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Brink Postmortem

There's a Splash Damage postmortem on Eurogamer for Brink, where they report on a talk looking back at the first-person shooter conducted by Splash Damage's Ed Stern at the Develop conference. As the game's writer, most of his perspective focuses on the actors and dialog. He is critical of the direction they gave their talent, as well as the decision to allow voice actors to ad lib, saying: "Write out all of the alternate lines no matter how stupid you feel. I made an absolute mistake on that." Other elements that didn't turn out as hoped include too much gratuitous physical interaction between characters and the abuse of CSI-style "button" lines. He also notes that the absence of the Founders from the game may have been confusing after they are mentioned in the game's introduction, though he stresses that they did not want to add a third faction.

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16. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 22:29 xXBatmanXx
 
nin wrote on Jul 25, 2011, 11:54:
Worst bots ever, and whilst the maps looked great they were far too big and far too horribly designed with the worst chokepoints ever.

I liked the size of the maps, but the bots were extremely dumb, and the choke points were a big issue, too.

So much potential, so little pay off.


Couldn't agree more. I was very pumped up for this game....they never did fix the "crouch and fire CTD" for me....oh well.
 
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15. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 21:14 Nate
 
They said that the free DLC is held up because of they are waiting for the XBox approval process. Don't know why but they must want to do a simultaneous DLC release for PC, XBox, PS3. Another stupid move.

I've been playing the PC version. Getting a good amount of fun out of it but developed a hate for the Reactor map and one other. Some of the maps I really like.

The PC release could have been much better. A short period of open beta testing would have pin-pointed various simple problems that they shouldn't have went live with. Brink was close to being a very good game but they blew it.
 
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14. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 15:34 theyarecomingforyou
 
The voice acting was most certainly not "fine". It was dire. And the cutscenes were incredibly poorly constructed and had absolutely no bearing on the game - I have no idea why they were even included.

Perhaps if they had included an actual singleplayer campaign it would have been justified and that's what I was actually expecting based upon the early preview videos. Instead the entire premise of the game is confined to the intro CGI and then quickly forgotten.

The other problem was that the engine was crap. The videos looked amazing but after playing games like Team Fortress 2, Bad Company 2 and Far Cry 2 it just felt horrible.

The game is still very enjoyable but completely failed to live up to its huge potential.
 
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13. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 14:04 The Half Elf
 
The writing was fine except it wasn't fleshed out enough. The voice acting was fine, the cinematics were fine. Art direction was fine, abilities were ok, but as everyone else stated the Map choke points were horrible, as was/is the AI.

And they still haven't released the free DLC they promised months ago.
 
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12. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 13:48 Ruffiana
 
Warskull wrote on Jul 25, 2011, 13:38:
The voice acting? There are so many other, massive problems with the game. The fact that they don't address them in the slightest tells me either they are in denial or don't understand how they screwed up. Either way, it indicates we'll probably never see a good game from them again.

I know, right? Why the fuck is the writer talking about all of the problems related to writing during a post-mortem at a developer's conference, rather than all of the other problems that have nothing to do with writing whatsoever?
 
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11. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 13:42 Verno
 
They were interviewing the writer of the game, I'm not sure what else he could have discussed. Not that writing was a high point in the game either but it's not like the writer finishes the scripting and dialogue then goes on to code the engine and user interface.  
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10. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 13:38 Warskull
 
The voice acting? There are so many other, massive problems with the game. The fact that they don't address them in the slightest tells me either they are in denial or don't understand how they screwed up. Either way, it indicates we'll probably never see a good game from them again.  
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9. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 13:03 descender
 
The worst squad and VOIP implementations ever seen

Borderlands has a bone to pick with that one.
 
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8. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 12:52 Verno
 
I was actually quoting a dev there but having thought about it, yeah its wrong. In any case its a really poor choice for the bots who sadly get used quite a bit now that the player base is gone. It probably didn't help having dumb AI for release week either, most people think the bot AI was terrible based on how they performed against low level opponents.  
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7. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 12:35 PHJF
 
I don't think you quite know what inverse means.  
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6. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 12:12 Verno
 
nin wrote on Jul 25, 2011, 11:54:
Worst bots ever, and whilst the maps looked great they were far too big and far too horribly designed with the worst chokepoints ever.

I liked the size of the maps, but the bots were extremely dumb, and the choke points were a big issue, too.

So much potential, so little pay off.


Amusing aside, the bot AI is really, really good. However they made a serious design mistake, it scales inversely to your level. That is to say the bots become smarter as you level up. Logically it makes some kind of sense but its one of those things that doesn't work in practice, particularly when the entire user base starts out at low levels.

Brinks list of sins:

- Often misleading prerelease advertising
- Supposed balance netvars not even used
- Weaponry has minimal differentiation due to customization system
- Very poorly balanced, no public beta
- Poor map design with ridiculous choke points
- The worst squad and VOIP implementations ever seen
- Framerate problems on many ATI cards
- Dodgy animations
- SMART system was never really fully explored due to limiting map design
- Couldn't switch body types mid map
- Bizarre implementation of single player campaign
- Forced cutscenes in MP

And the list goes on but that's all I care to write.
 
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5. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 11:55 Arithon
 
Bad implementation of AI teams.
Dreadful buggy server code.

We set up a server and couldn't keep it running long enough for an evening's play.

Interest waned fast and now it's a dead game.

I could have told Splash damage the issues after five minutes, so who there didn't have the guts to stand up and say "this isn't ready to release"?
 
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4. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 11:54 nin
 
Worst bots ever, and whilst the maps looked great they were far too big and far too horribly designed with the worst chokepoints ever.

I liked the size of the maps, but the bots were extremely dumb, and the choke points were a big issue, too.

So much potential, so little pay off.

 
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3. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 11:36 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Yeah, the maps needed serious work. The ideas were good, but the execution was bad. The bots were definitely a problem, and some of that is probably also due to the poor maps. Other than that, it was mainly the bugginess of the release that really killed it. Had it not required months of patching to fix it, it might have still had a chance. An extended beta period could have helped resolve much of this, as the problems were obvious and easy to point out.  
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2. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 11:31 MajorD
 
Cutter wrote on Jul 25, 2011, 11:13:
The story and art wasn't the problem the map design and actual gameplay were. Worst bots ever, and whilst the maps looked great they were far too big and far too horribly designed with the worst chokepoints ever. It's a shame because the potential was so big here, but you can't play potential.


Well said, I couldn't agree more. Yes, very much a shame with all that potential.....

 
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1. Re: Brink Postmortem Jul 25, 2011, 11:13 Cutter
 
The story and art wasn't the problem the map design and actual gameplay were. Worst bots ever, and whilst the maps looked great they were far too big and far too horribly designed with the worst chokepoints ever. It's a shame because the potential was so big here, but you can't play potential.

 
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