Cliff Bleszinski Wants to Re-Earn The Trust of Gamers with Blue Streak; Talks Keyboard and Mouse and More

By Giuseppe Nelva

August 8, 2014

Cliff Bleszinski has recently unveiled his news studio, Boss Key Productions, and his new project, named Blue Streak, and today he sent out the first installment of the studio’s mailing list, talking about what’s going on at the studio, the developers he’s hiring and the ones he has his eyes on.

Cliff Bleszinski here, founder and CEO of BKP. I wanted to drop y’all a line and keep you updated with what we’ve got going on right now at our cozy studio. (For once I’m typing more than 140 characters.)

Right now we’re up to 12 hires, which is still pretty small, but to be honest I’m attempting to facilitate a very family like vibe when it comes to the company’s culture. People are honest but kind and straightforward. Company culture comes from the very top, and I’m attempting to be a CEO who does what he says he’s going to do. We’re targeting at least six more active candidates as I type this. If you grow too fast, you crumble under your own weight. People need to learn how to work together, especially considering that I’m recruiting from a variety of studios. I’ve always said that development teams are like rock bands, you play your garage first and build up to the Staples Center over time!

Figuring out which positions to fill when you’re starting from scratch is an art form. For example, if your guns are hardly even prototyped, do you need a particle FX artist? (FX artists are like technical animators or UI specialists, they’re hard to find, so if you’re one, you should ask for a raise…or apply at BKP!) We’ve had a lot of great talent reach out to us via, as much as I’m impressed with some of the more experienced folks it’s the folks that are fresh to the industry that excite me the most.

It’s funny, looking at level design candidates, I can almost tell which ones I’m going to want to consider seriously by the thumbnails of their work and the design of their website. Clean Arena Shooter map lineage goes a long way, finding the spatial balance between tight corridors and open arena areas is an art form, be it in UT, Quake, TF2, or CS:GO. It’s almost like I’m picking the “Ownage” back from the UT days, only this time we’re offering full time employment!

Bleszinski also mentioned how he feels about going back to work on a keyboard and mouse-based game after working for so long on consoles:

After making console focused games for so long I can’t describe how nice it feels to get back into a keyboard and mouse state of mind. The possibilities for aiming and movement are boiling out of my head, imagine what happens when someone plays with mobility in a PC FPS when they’re inspired by 16 bit platformers, strafe jumping, and Tribes Skiiing, not to mention the possibilities with weapons!

Finally, he explained that despite his experience he feels like he’s starting over, and expressed his hopes to re-earn the trust of gamers with his new game.

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One final thought. Although I’m fortunate enough to have made games for over 20 years and I had a good track record I truly feel like I’m starting over. From scratch. I need to re-earn the trust of as many gamers out there now that it’s my baby, my studio, and my vision. I want Project: BlueStreak to be my baby that grows into the company’s teenager that flourishes into the community’s adult.

That’s about all for now. Our COO, Arjan Brussee, has arrived in Raleigh and has proceeded to kick butt and take names. Time to roll up the sleeves and unlock some fun.

Considering Bleszinski’s track record in the genre, it’s hard not to be excited about the project. Even if Blue Streak is still in its infancy, I can’t wait to see the first screenshots and footage.

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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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