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Splash Damage Details Brink Mistakes

It's always interesting to hear how a designer evaluates his game's success...or lack thereof.

Splash Damage lead designer Neil Alphonso discussed the mixed response to his team's recent production, Brink. Rather than being defensive, Alphonso said much of the critique the game received was legitimate and warranted, although he did suggest reasons as to why certain gamers enjoyed it more than others.

The idea behind Brink was to provide a game where single-player and multiplayer blends, so it'll play very similarly regardless of mode. Unfortunately, in our eyes, this just made everything feel like an online multiplayer game and Alphonso admits the story "had to take a back seat." Still, Alphonso had to add:

"Some would say there's no story to speak of. I would beg to differ. Some loved the setting and the context given to the action. We don't really spoonfeed it to people, which is maybe what some people were looking for."

Actually, Neil, a story sort of has to be "spoon-fed" to people. Do authors write books and leave blank pages with the words, "okay, just guess what happens here"? You're telling a story, dude. But anyway, Alphonso does say that as a single-player experience, the game doesn't really hold up and as for that "SMART" (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) movement system, he says the mechanic worked but it messed with the game's overall shooter focus.

Lastly, it's interesting to note the differences in American and European gamer receptions:

"We got pretty different responses across the globe," said Alphonso. "It was far more accepted in Europe than in America. Americans prize individualism a lot more, this didn't catch on as much over there as it did here [in Europe]."

In the end, Alphonso believes Brink's innovations caused it to become unfamiliar and hence, gamers didn't respond. We'll agree with that but only partially. It's a game that needed more of a focus, and there were some definite gameplay problems, some of which have been addressed via patches. Maybe Splash Damage will get another shot with a sequel.

Related Game(s): Brink

Tags: brink, splash damage, brink sales, bethesda

8/15/2011 10:23:51 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (7 posts)

Monday, August 15, 2011 @ 11:58:53 AM

Brink was my worst purchase this year unfortunatley. It's really a shame that a gameplay video or trailer dosen't show what a game truly is. Rather have people all get hyped up for a product that's not worth the hype. Yea its business, but Brink is just a broken game IMO

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Monday, August 15, 2011 @ 12:36:30 PM

The setting was my favorite part of the game. I just wish that there was more parkour in the game.

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Monday, August 15, 2011 @ 2:39:19 PM

I've loved Brink since picking it up and I don't regret my purchase decision at all.

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Monday, August 15, 2011 @ 2:45:27 PM

Story is a large important factor to me in a game. For some reason whenever I think of poorly displayed storylines I think of Resistance: Fall of Man. I had a reason why, but it's been so long since I played it to remember. (I just disliked it personally, doesn't really mean too much).

I actually enjoy some games like Team Fortress 2 that have no story in the game and just focus on some good multiplayer. (Of course some story can be found in comics and videos). I think a good balance between 'single-player only' games and 'multiplayer only' games on the market would be a good thing. I'm not too sure about Brink as I have't played it, but it sounds somewhat decent at least.

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Monday, August 15, 2011 @ 3:44:42 PM

That last *huge* patch looks like one major upgrade to the game, and the teamwork focus looks interesting.

There is another price drop in the air, this game is soon at £9.99 (Around $15 or so?). I'll get it then.

Last edited by Beamboom on 8/15/2011 3:45:58 PM

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Monday, August 15, 2011 @ 4:25:36 PM

"Americans prize individualism"

from a political point of view, I wish this were the truth but its not.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 @ 3:12:54 AM

it was a ok game, just needed allot more work.
in a sense its allot like alpha protocol.
at its core so fresh new and innovative, but it just does not know what it wants to be, and because of that it suffers from the what i like to call GT5 syndrome.
jack of all trades, master of none.
better to have 1 glass of purified water then 10 glasses of poison water!
for once more is not better!

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