Posts Tagged ‘Splash Damage’

Brunked: Brink Impressions

Alternative header: Brimpressions.

My first ever published review was of Project Gotham Racing, and ended with this thought: “Because really, what’s the point of winning if you don’t look cool doing it?”

Which is a concept that I feel has hobbled FPSes for a while now. An FPS athlete isn’t some cowboy gunslinger, thrashing superior numbers with grace and cunning. He’s a robot. A horrible, jinking turret, popping the heads of other players like a rushed bartender opens bottles. Having played about an hour of Brink at the Eurogamer Expo last weekend, I can safely say that Brink bucks this trend. Winning actually feels cool. And here’s why.
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RPS vs Brink: Wot You Thought

Assorted pustules of RPS spent the weekend at the Eurogamer Expo in London this weekend. While we were there, we arranged some characteristically ad-hoc and vaguely inept events for some of the readers who happened to be in attendance, which nonetheless – I think I hope I pray – turned out pretty well. As in, no-one died or suffered catastrophic organ failure, which is forever my personal benchmark for success.

And so it was that, earlyish on Sunday morning, I led a cartel of gun-curious readers past a phalanx of annoyed security guards, and managed to seat them down for a play session of Splash Damage’s Brink before the show kicked off for the day. It’s worth noting that Brink drew by far the biggest queues of the show, with some attendees reporting 2 and a half hour waits. But did the team shooter deserve such patience and passion? I shoved a microphone into the mouth-holes of some of the RPS readers (and contributors) who played the game that fateful morning, and listened to what they had to say about trousers and violence.

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Brink: Thinking And Killing

The wait for Splash Damage’s hybrid single/multiplayer shooter Brink feels oh-so-long now. From mutterings to concept art to proof of concept to concept to ooh-that-looks-ace to last month’s hands-on sessions (which RPS hasn’t actually yet had, mostly due to haphazard GamesCom scheduling on our part), the near-future team-barney has very much been made flesh. It’s been a long time coming, but all of sudden we’re theoretically now just a couple of seasons away from release. Spring 2011? Oh, that’d be grand. Here’s why the big-faced factional warfare game matters to its creators….
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Smooth Moves: Brink Footage


Ah, QuakeCon leftovers. Delicious. Here we have two Brink videos via GameTrailers, one being Splash Damage boss Paul Wedgwood talking about the game in some depth – although with plenty of stuff we’ve heard before – and one talking about S.M.A.R.T., which is the game’s unusual movement system. It’s worth taking a look at that second one, at least, because it looks fairly intriguing. A free-running, sliding, leaping, vaulting, mantling approach to movement. And, well, blimey. Getting more excited about this one each time I see it.
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Splash Damage Explain Brink’s Backstory


Giant cities in the sea, a crisis of resources, a refugee disaster, the brink of civil war (do you see…), yes it’s all going on in Brink, and Splash Damage have produced an enthusiastic new video to explain it all. Richard Ham, Paul Wedgwood, and Ed Stern explain the world they’ve created while we get to see more of the art, and more of the fancy shootin’. Interesting to see an FPS developer making this kind of effort, and certainly landing a few yards from the usual sci-fi template. Of course I’m rather more keen to actually see how this one plays, especially since it’s been a while since a multiplayer FPS really grabbed me. Maybe… just maybe.

The video, via the News Colonels of VG247, is below.
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Brink Sure Is Colourful: New Images

It's a colourful way to die.

Bethesda has released new assets for two of the games on our watch list, Brink and Rage. (They also released shots of New Vegas, but they’re dreadful.) And they’re all rather pretty. So you should probably want to look at them. First off, here’s Splash Damage’s Brink looking all colourful and fun.

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Edgy: Eyes-On With Brink

As Jim prophesied, so it has come to pass. Yes, I come here to link to a preview of Brink I wrote for another website. To whit, IGN UK, and specifically here. If, hypothetically speaking, I had written the piece in an incredible hurry because I’d stupidly but hypothetically forgotten what day the embargo lifted on, you might hypothetically be able to tell. Hmm. Here’s a non-hypothetical quote:

“Brink’s aim is to tear down the church and state separation of single and multiplayer, so you’re using the same disciplines, chasing the same goals and enjoying the same rewards however you play. This is, of course, the theory: other games are sniffing around the same idea, with Left 4 Dead arguably at the head of this young pack. With Brink though, there’s a real sense of no compromise. This is not two separate modes which happen to be linked by persistent unlocks and experience points: it’s one sprawling action game which you choose to play in your preferred fashion.”

Behold: Some Fresh Brink Images


There’s going to be a heap of Brink coverage turning up across the net this week, as Paul Wedgwood, Ed Stern and their Splash Damage crew have been off showing the game to European press in Paris. We’ll link to some of that in a bit, I suspect. Brink, the grapevine has it, was quite the star in an event that showed off Rage, Hunted, and Fallout: new Vegas. In the meantime: see these new images. Click for full size!
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I Spy A Brink Trailer


The new cinematic trailer for Brink (via VG247) is pretty damned good. Lots of running and jumping and sliding all tries to get across the movement system that is one of the game’s core features. The character and environmental design is absolutely fantastic, too, as it should be given the studio’s astonishing pedigree. Quake Wars might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ve pretty much put together a supergroup to make Brink, and I think it’s going to pay off. (Although, is it just me, or is that the TF2 spy at the end there?)
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Brink Character Customiser Shows Its Face

He's totally shifting.

Brink is showing all sorts of potential. Back at E3 I was rather taken aback by the possibilities for blurring the lines of team-based online gaming and offering a linear narrative. And also slightly bemused by it all. There’s a big old preview here. Below is a video showing off the character customisation, but carrying with it a bunch of more useful information. The body type you create, it seems, isn’t just for your aesthetic pleasure, but also defines the role your character will play and the types of equipment he can use.

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Further Abundance Of Brink Footage


We already had the first proper video via G4 earlier in the week, and now the blighters have two more videos, which I’ve posted below. The environments really do look as impressive and freely explorable as Splash Damage have been boasting. We also get to see even more of the romping gun-action, which is making the delay until the end of 2010 all the more frustrating. This really is one of the most interesting FPS games in development, and I pray Splash Damage have the talent to pull it off. For a lot of chat about the philosophy and fiction of the world, check out our interview with senior designer Ed Stern.
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Brink-o-Vision: In-Game Footage At Last

Cryptic, gravitas-laden teasers are of little use – genuinely seeing a game in action is all that matters when it comes to trailertime. So, it’s relief to be able to show you goodly human beans just what Splash Damage’s upcoming hybrid single/multiplayer shooter Brink really looks like. This video focuses specifically on the (optional) auto-jump/climb system they call SMART. It’s caused a bit of a fuss as Some Gentlemen have expressed that it must mean the game has been stupidised in the name of consolebox success, and similarly snobbish knee-jerk assertions. Maybe it will. But have you played it yet? No, you haven’t. So maybe it won’t. Gotcha!

This walkthrough vid tries to both explain and justify SMART’s existence. Does it help, Some Gentlemen? Oh, and it also does a sterling job of demonstrating that the uber-shiny screens we’ve seen to date really are very close to the real thing…
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Chat Damage: Ed Stern On Brink

Some weeks back, I visited Splash Damage to take a peek at how their upcoming shooter Brink is coming along. Thanks to the invaluable assistance of Master Transcriber Jim Rossignol, I finally have a textual record of my interview with SD’s Senior Game Designer Ed Stern. Read on for an avalache of Brink-o-facts…
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Splash Damage’s Brink: This Is How It Is

Earlier this week, I saw Brink, a game whose substance no-one had hitherto seemed terribly clear about. Pray allow me to try to correct this…

You can tell this is a Splash Damage game because it’s about two teams of players fighting an eternal, bloody war against each other in objective-based maps. It’s not nominally an Enemy Territory game (as have been SD’s two titles to date, Wolfenstein: ET and Quake Wars), but for all the Kent-based developers’ claims that Brink is something of a new beginning, it’s very much a natural extension of what they’ve done previously.

You can’t tell this is a Splash Damage game because, well, everything.
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RPS At E3: Brink Revealed

After a mysterious announcement of Brink last week, we tracked down Splash Damage at E3 to see the game running.

With over a billion matches played over six years in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, London-based developers Splash Damage feel pretty cocksure of their multiplayer prowess. What makes Brink so interesting is that rather than simply repeating a tried and tested formula, once again they’re attempting something new. Brink is… well, this will take some explaining.

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Splash Damage’s New Game: Brink


Splash Damage’s new game, being developed in conjunction with Bethesda, is called Brink. It’s a game of future war. The teaser trailer below offers very little in the way of additional clues about the title. Eyes, it seems, will feature in the game. And you can bet it’s a multiplayer FPS (because we know it is). It’s scheduled for Spring 2010. That’s all eye got. (Sorry.) Perhaps you guys can speculate the game into existence, below. Oh, and the official site is here, although it doesn’t contain much more than the video, yet.
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Splash Damage Help Save The Tapirs


Enemy Territory: Quake Wars developers Splash Damage have taken on the prenhensile-snouted jungle dwellers as their unofficial mascot for some time now, and were keen advocates of World Tapir Day. However, rather than simply using the beast as a crazy icon for their blog-posting shenanigans, they’ve actually decided to take some action in helping save the endangered ungulate.

As overdue recognition of the sterling service our Tapir friends have done us in our work, Splash Damage are delighted to announce that we’re donating a GPS collar to help keep track of one of our Tapir cousins in Costa Rica via the excellent SaveTapirs.org. Here in the office we’re also making individual contributions to help this very deserving conservation effort, and we’d encourage any and all of our readers and players to do likewise.

Now if only a few other folk would help out, the tapir might actually have a chance of not being wiped off the face of the planet. What animal have you helped survive its human enemies, readers?

RPS Interview: Splash Damage


Sat around a table on the mezzanine of a poncey San Francisco hotel were Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s international agent, Jim Rossignol; PC Gamer’s poseable action editor, Tim Edwards; and droopy-fringed Official Xbox 360 Magazine editor and frequent PC Gamer contributor, Jon Hicks. Joining them for man-to-man chat were three members of the UK-based Enemy Territory: Quake Wars development studio, Splash Damage: Owner and lead designer, Paul Wedgwood; business development director, Steve Gaffney; and Splash Damage’s newly promoted art director, Richard Jolly. They all had a nice chat about running a game community, the tribulations of game development, the PC, and how the game that follows ETQW could be “deeper yet more accessible”.

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ETQW Released, Dated For Steam

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars went on sale in Europe on Friday and on Monday and the US. Clearly RPS has been a little distracted with Team Fortress 2, but there’s every reason why we, and you lot too, should be playing ETQW. It’s ludicrously good.

Fortunately, should you (like me) be intent on remaining posted at your keyboard 24/7, you’ll be able to download the beast on October 5th in Europe and October 9th in the US: Steam is taking pre-orders for ETQW now. Why does it come out in Europe first? I have no idea.

In some ways it’s a shame that ETQW’s demo level was that particular map. It’s one of the more underwhelming designs that Splash Damage have come up with. Just in terms of the palette used, it’s rather middle-ground and didn’t really sell the game. The mission itself might have been representative of the game mechanics (and therefore good for beta testing) but part of ETQW’s appeal is the sheer beauty of its wartorn terrains, and some of the other maps simply have far more intense objectives built into them. The island (pictured) and the beach assault are particularly solid, while the Slipgate map… well, I’m going to post in detail on a couple of my favourites next week.

As fun as I’ve found Team Fortress 2, I think I’m going to be finding a more satisfying long-term gaming outlet in ETQW. With vehicles, larger maps, and absurdly varied selection of classes, it simply caters for a wider range of possible actions and experiences. It’s a harder, bigger, brasher game in all kinds of ways, and yet still pretty accessible, I think. Anyway, perhaps we’ll sort out some RPS Steam community games later in October. I’ll also be arranging an interview with Splash Damage to chat a bit about the community end of things, and what they’ve learned from clan gaming in the past.

Interview: The Splash Damage Story

This feature on the origins of the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars team, Splash Damage, was originally published in February this year by the world’s cleverest games development website, Gamasutra. The piece is based around an interview with Splash Damage owner and founder, Paul Wedgwood. I’ve updated it slightly, to reflect the fact that we’re now rather close to the release of the game. That meeting with Wedgwood went on to provide material for my book about gaming, which I’ll pimp to death on here once it’s approaching publication. Anyway, read on for the story of the little mod team that ended up making one of the games of 2007. If you want to make it big in games, this is a pretty good way to go about it.

This interview was an odd kind of reunion. I had been acquainted with Paul Wedgwood for many years, long before we met in person. Back when I was an obsessed Quake player he was one of the people organising the communities, writing columns, administrating games, and commentating for an Internet TV show for which my Quake clan played numerous exhibition matches.

Now that his life has taken quite a different path – into the highest echelons of game development – you might expect him to have left his fan community roots behind, but quite the opposite it true. It is the first-person gaming community, and its focused, implacable gamers, that have made Wedgwood and his company what they are today. These guys are fans, and utterly in love with living a geek dream. You can tell this because of Wedgwood’s enormous collection of sci-fi miniatures in the boardroom… But there’s much more than that to this particular group’s development credentials.

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