There’s more to the former Epic designer than a few nicknames.
The gaming industry has seen its share of icons. Some have fallen from grace while others continue to prosper, hopefully for many years to come. However, no one has quite captured the appeal and sheer force of personality that is Cliff Bleszinski. You probably know him as Cliffy B. He may even be that guy touting the Lancer chainsaw in that one picture. Many know him as the creator and face for Gears of War before Epic Games sold the franchise off to Microsoft. Regardless, Cliff Bleszinski is an icon and despite leaving his home at Epic, he’s bringing a new multiplayer shooter to the forefront with LawBreakers.
There’s still plenty of mystery surrounding the man. We know he was busy making LawBreakers and ranting after his sabbatical from Epic Games but what about his past? What about all the little facts that make up the man? What lies beneath the persona of the man who created some of the greatest shooters of our time? What don’t you know about Dude Huge, including how he got the name Dude Huge? Let’s take a closer look at Cliff Bleszinski himself and find out.
How He Became Dude Huge
For a long time, Cliff Bleszinski went by many names. CliffyB, The Cliffster, etc. However, one day, Kotaku writer Brian Ashcraft accidentally wrote “Dude huge” instead of “Dude hugs” in a post about Bleszinski. From that point onward, the name stuck and Bleszinski only wanted to be referred to as Dude Huge. Yes, that’s really the entire story. Yes, that grammatical mistake was fixed (but not before Bleszinski saw it) and yes, we wish were making this all up. Naturally Bleszinski wanted to be known as something else, namely The B. He finally said people could call him whatever we want but we’re not sure how Clifford would go down with him.
Father Issues and Gears of War
One of the core stories in the Gears of War franchise – and which seems to continue in Gears of War 4 – is the relationship between father and son. Marcus Fenix is at odds with his father’s philosophy, even in the end when the latter decided to sacrifice himself to save the human species. This core storyline was actually inspired by Bleszinski’s own father issues especially when the latter passed away while he was a teen. Bleszinski always tried harnessing his personal feelings in constructive ways and the Fenix family’s blues is only one example of the same. Unfortunate as it may sound, Bleszinski has believed in accepting what life gives you, both the good and the bad, especially when trying to be so public with your image.
Started Developing at Age 17
By his own admission, Cliff Bleszinski isn’t a master programmer or coder. His reputation as a designer is solid but it’s not just because he’s gifted – the man himself has been working on video games since the age of 17. So while most of us were still concerned with exams and part-time jobs, Bleszinski was busy creating video games. Credit is due to the people he worked with who helped with the visuals and overall programming but there weren’t many teens back then – even with the odd John Carmack and John Romero – pursuing a career in the gaming industry.
Jazz the Jackrabbit
Unreal may have been Bleszinski’s first real break in video games – and at Epic – but it wasn’t his first major creation. After a point and click adventure title Dare to Dream in 1993, Bleszinski would use his skills to design the action platformer Jazz the Jackrabbit. It wasn’t just a commercial success – Jazz the Jackrabbit spawned a sequel and spin-offs, pushing Bleszinski’s talents forward and on to bigger things like Unreal, Unreal Tournament and eventually, Gears of War.
The Drama King
Did you ever find it strange that of all the designers in the industry it would be Cliff Bleszinski constantly pushing to get his face out there and being the symbol of development for Gears of War? It turns out he learned quite a bit about being the centre of attention at an early age – Bleszinski used to act in high school plays like Romeo & Juliet and Ten Little Indians. He even worked with actress Courtney Ford who would go on to act in True Blood and Dexter. If it seems like there’s a sense of drama to Bleszinski’s overall demeanour, then it’s probably his inner high school self shining through.