Epic’s colourful design director Cliff Bleszinski has used his anticipated GDC address to offer a barrage of advice on becoming a hugely successful game developer.
The secret is to establish yourself as ‘power creative’, he told the gathered attendees at a session titled ‘Industry Lessons Learned and Applying Them to the Road Ahead’
Bleszinski went on to go into substantial detail, defining a power creative as a PR savvy, publicly confident, thick skinned developer flanked by a frank and balanced team that aren’t afraid to offer criticism during the development process.
“Assess yourself and know your weakness," suggested Bleszinski, encouraging his audience to build a team around themselves that complements their professional shortcomings.
"As a creative, I am not a spreadsheet designer, I am a holistic designer. You must find complementary talent; the yin to your yang, and build mutal respect."
Bleszinski, who rarely shies from the public spotlight, also insisted that recognising game development as a business as well as a creative endeavor is essential.
“PR is necessary, you need it now,” he added. “You need to figure out how to put yourself out there.
"You need to be a chameleon, and you also need to be able to sit down with the hardcore coder, and the hippie artist, and sit down with the marketing guy and get drunk and have fun with him. And do not be afraid to be public with yourself."
Speculating that publishers are all too ready for developers to be little more than a cog in the machine of the entire process of a game’s creation and delivery, he encouraged them to push themselves beyond such a passive role, suggesting that potential power creatives should strive to influence a title’s box art, branding and advertising.
"Put yourself out there," he said. "You may be a person, but ultimately you have to be a brand."
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