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Fascinating Brink Postmortem

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I love these.

Eurogamer took notes at GDC Europe 2011 as Splash Damage’s Neil Alphonso talked Brink. Splash Damage has been very open post launch, talking about what worked, what didn’t and what the company learned from the game’s development and horrid launch.

This is really worth a read as we tend to dispose of games, in the media at least, after they are released so I always enjoy reading about this sort of stuff after a game has been digested.

“Brink tried to be something new and different in several areas,” Alphonso said. “In hindsight we perhaps strayed away from convention a bit too much in some areas.”

I also recall Barnes calling Brink very European.

“We got pretty different views across the globe about it,” Alphonso revealed. “It was far more accepted in Europe than it was in America. They [Americans] prize individualism a lot more. I don’t think it caught on quite as much there as it did here. It’s something I saw over and over again as we were developing it. It’s a point of personal fascination. I don’t mean to slander them all, though. Some absolutely love it.”

You realize he’s going to be impossible to live with now.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

3 thoughts to “Fascinating Brink Postmortem”

  1. Barnes 1, Abner 0.

    Aside from the look and style, which is very European, that’s almost exactly what I meant…the usual concepts of individualism, self-aggrandizement, and personal achievment that are endemic in most first person shooters in Brink are subverted…it becomes all about the other people on your team, playing your class, and getting abilities to help _them_ more than you. Call of Duty lets you earn perks for being a badass so you can be even more of a badass. Brink lets you get special abilities that you can give to teammates to make your squad as a whole better. It’s more communal, and yes, more European.

  2. I understand that American’s are more individual, but that wasn’t what killed Brink for me.

    It had some of the worst map design I’ve ever seen. Why on earth would you put an objective 10 feet away from an enemy spawn? It makes no sense.

    As fun as Brink’s core gameplay was, it was ruined when I spent 40 minutes fighting in 1 HALLWAY during a multiplayer match.

  3. yeah I have to agree with this. The maps were poorly conceived and paced, the guns were really awful: there’s a loadout of like 20 guns that all do the same thing… shoot bullets. I mean if you’re going for a team based thing then why not iterate and slim down. Lot’s of stuff was just thrown into this game with no rhyme or reason. Although they say they wanted to make a different game from call of duty, they ended up making a game that’s a LOT like call of duty. at least COD exploited people’s thirst for constant periodic rewards.

    bunch of gameplay stuff too: has anyone noticed that the parkour thing is next to useless in this game? aside for the ocasional climbing on a ledge or something, you never saw anyone use it and NOT because it was too complicated or something, but because the level design barely allowed for it to begin with. the maps are a lot of hallways and corridors connecting some really large areas, just like in every other shooter: where does the parkour supposed to come in. i expected the maps to be like… I dunno assassin’s creed? not literally but the feeling that you can run and climb almost anywhere. THAT’S parkour.

    i think i understand their intentions and all, but forget all that shit about american’s being individualists. the battlefield series as well as the inspiration for this game, team fortress 2, are actually quite popular despite not giving as much of a shit about k/d. rewarding people for team play isn’t new, and it has certainly been done better than in Brink.

    and it’s a bummer too, because their ideas were pretty good. they had their hearts in the right place, just didn’t spend enough development time.

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