By Ryan Rayhill
In part 1 and 2 of MLG's exclusive Q&A with Cliffy B you heard about theGears of War 3 beta, DLC, thoughts on the industry and his hopes for the future of competitive multiplayer. In the final installment, Cliff tells MLG about Easter Eggs, his dog and his thoughts on Gears 3 on the Pro Circuit.
MLG: Gears 3 is loaded with Easter Eggs. How important was that to you and do you have a favorite? Is there Anything people haven’t found yet?
Cliffy B: Oh yeah, Gears 3 has the most Easter Eggs of any product we’ve shipped in our 20 year history and that is absolutely by design. It came out of watching all the Red Dead Redemption videos like the Donkey Lady. I’ve never seen anyone find the Donkey Lady but it became this big thing online and we didn’t want to leave bugs in the game, but we thought “What if we leave quirky stuff that’s super buried that won’t come out for weeks if not months?” I believe players have found the golden chicken on the Raven’s Nest, the Cluckshot and a few other things, but I assure you there’s plenty more. If they don’t find it within a couple months, we have ways of creatively leaking them. I think we’re in a world where we’re not just making a great game or entertainment experience, you’re making something that can seed videos online; people finding secret things or even the occasional bug and posting it on Youtube. Look up Gears of War on YouTube and see how many videos you can find. It’s pretty impressive.
MLG: This is the end of the Marcus Fenix story, are you guys thinking about any spin-offs with Cole, Carmine, etc?
Clify B: I’d love to see infinite stories about every character but it’s a matter of bandwidth and time. When it comes to making one-offs and single player DLC, that’s your wiggle room. It’s something I learned from watching Fallout and Borderlands DLC with the zombies, giant robots, and spaceships. That’s the place to play outside the main plot so it doesn’t feel like it was taken off the cutting room floor, and feels bright and new and fresh.
MLG: Speaking of giant robots, Gears has some big set-piece boss battles. Do you guys work that from story angle first or just think “Hey I want to see a giant octopus shark thing fighting these guys”?
Cliffy B: It’s usually that we want to see a giant “whatever”, and then think if it’s something that could come from the depths of the sea or the depths of the hollow. If someone wanted to do a giant robot, it would be like “Really? Where did this come from? The COG have limited space travel and they just got a mech suit. How are they gonna have a 40-story tall mech-walker? That doesn’t make sense.” You have to think about those kinds of things. There’s some “Hey wouldn’t it be cool” ideas but you have to go back and compare it to the template of the franchise. Those are my favorite features, the ones that enhance gameplay, show off the technology and advance the fiction.
MLG: Whats the most crazy/outrageous thing a fan has every done to show their loyalty to Gears?
Cliffy B: One guy got his whole back covered in a tattoo mosaic of different characters and scenes from the game. It’s one thing to get a crimson omen on your ankle, and that’s amazing and I respect the hell out of that, but to cover your whole back with scenes from the game, there’s a lot of responsibility there. That tattoo ain’t going anywhere unless your on Sons of Anarchy and they choose the blade or the flame. We have a responsibility to see that this person stays engaged with the franchise for the foreseeable future.
MLG: You’re big into Twitter. Anyone you suggest we follow?
Cliffy B: First and foremost my dog, @DogHuge. Going back to the Easter Eggs, he’s actually hidden in Gears 3. You can find a hidden photo of him, which is pretty cool. I follow The Onion, of course. FilmDrunk and Huffington Post are good too. I also follow a weird combination of video game people and film directors. Hollywood Reporter @thr, and some comedians. Rob Delaney is absolutely hilarious. Him and Patton Oswalt.
MLG: What gaming industry types do you follow?
Cliffy B: If you’re a game developer who Tweets me and I can look at your profile and get the feel that you’re a real designer working in a real studio, I’ll follow you. Some day I may want to steal you, and hopefully by my Twitter you’ll see that I’m not too much of an asshole.
MLG: Here’s a general Epic Games question: Any word on another Unreal Tournament or Shadow Complex 2?
Cliffy B: Nothing at this time, there’s been a little buzz about Shadow Complex 2, but it’s all up in the air right now.
MLG: Finally, what would your thoughts be on seeing Gears 3 on the MLG Pro Circuit?
Cliffy B: I like it not only from an “it would be cool” standpoint but from a business standpoint as well. It’s one of the ways to make games stick for a while. I would love to have it happen and will do whatever I can to make sure that’s the case. Also, and I wasn’t able to attend, but I was happy to see the exhibition match in Raleigh when TH3 NSAN3Z ripped the Epic team a new asshole.
MLG wants to thank Cliffy B and Epic Games for giving us the opportunity to pick his brain! If you missed part 1 or 2 of this Q&A, you can check them out below.