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Cliff Bleszinski shares new game details in Reddit AMA

Designer talks free-to-play, PC focus and studio growth plans

Cliff Bleszinski has revealed a host of fresh details about his newly founded studio Boss Key Productions and its debut project, codenamed BlueStreak.

The former Gears of War designer announced earlier this week that he was working on a free-to-play sci-fi PC arena shooter, and last night he took to Reddit to answer a series of community questions about the game and the people making it.

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While Bleszinski said he wasn't yet sure how the game would be monetised, he said he's determined not to make a 'pay-to-win' title and explained his decision to partner with South Korean developer and publisher Nexon.

"I've never shipped a free to play game before," he said. "That's one of the many reasons why we're going with Nexon, they can provide server structures and a global peek into gamers of all types and guide us into a game that's more 'Shut up and take my money' as opposed to 'shaking you down for your hard earned cash.

"So we'll experiment, tweak, tune, and most importantly, build a positive community around the game as we develop it.

"When Nexon came calling I laughed," he added. "'The fucking Maple Story guys?!' And then I met Min Kim, president of Nexon US. And then Owen Mahoney, who runs all of Nexon. And I saw the direction they were going - Brian Reynold's new game, Robotaki's one, Splash Damage etc... and I spoke with all of these western devs who are working with them.

"They all had glowing things to say about working with Nexon. They said they just let you build the game you want to build and when the time comes to see if you can monetize they'll help. When your developer friends vouch for a publishing partner like that, you trust them."

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The game designer said his new title is still "a fair ways off" given that Boss Key has only just acquired office space and furniture, but the studio is in the process of growing its staff count.

"Right now we're around a dozen. Some folks have left Epic to join us, others from Call of Duty, some from Ubi, and we're actively flirting with more. Goal is 15-20 folks for the first year - find the fun first.

"Then ramp to 60-70, ideally tops - tons of outsourcing. I don't want to work at a studio where I don't know everyone's name, and preferably their spouse's, again.

"It'll be a slow burn for the first year but we promise to show you as much as humanly possible in the process."

Asked which engine the game will run on, Bleszinski said: "My former employers and old co workers seem pretty excited about our considering Unreal Engine 4. It's wide open right now what tech we'd use."

And on whether the game will be released on platforms other than PC: "PC first, and then we'll see. PC is where the comments generally are, the community gathers, and it's got that big global audience. In order to hit that global audience your game needs to look fantastic on the high end rigs but also run on a potato."

Bleszinski also said "there will be an emphasis on story, but not in the traditional sense", explaining: "Weapons will have manufacturing corporations, players will have lore/history, and the world will feel there and lived in.

"We also want to make live action shorts quarterly to help tell more about the universe outside of the game. If you're doing a Sci Fi IP you need as much of the fiction to come through in other mediums (and with lore) so people care about Plasma Rifle 3 or Player X."

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