Splash DamageJuly 2009

July 2009

Technical Director Arnout van Meer Talks Brink Tech

In an interview on PC Games Hardware, Splash Damage's Technical Director Arnout van Meer tells all about the technology driving Brink. Topics of discussion include special rendering techniques used in Brink, the advantages of licensed technology, special features for the PC version, multi-core support, physics, DirectX 11, and more. Definitely worth a read if you're into the technical side of things.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Matt 'taff' McDaid

Starring as both the good cop and the bad cop in the latest installment of our perpetually shark-jumping series of staff interviews is Matt 'taff' McDaid. Matt is part of our corporate flotilla of environment artists and previously worked at Free Radical on Star Wars Battlefront III and a few highly secretive but undoubtedly tetris-based simulations for the government.

To read up about Matt's top secret path into the industry, his somewhat less classified arrival at Splash Damage, and why he's really a river, make your way over to his staff profile; it's just past the metal detectors and bomb sniffing dogs.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Aubrey 'Bezzy' Hesselgren

In the latest installment of our perpetually on-going series of staff interviews, we sit down with Aubrey 'Bezzy' Hesselgren. Aubrey is a Technical Game Designer here inside Splash Damage's Blimp of Doom, which is a sort of weird cyborg-esque combination of programmer and game designer. In between cat-like parkour sprints to the watercooler, he spends most of the day arranging individual letters into elaborate documents with one hand while writing game code with the other.

To find out more about Aubrey's doings here at Splash Damage, his design aspirations, how he ended up here, his Parkour exploits, and oh so much more, check out the complete interview in his profile.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Ed 'BongoBoy' Stern

This week's staff interview baton is passed to Senior Game Designer Ed 'BongoBoy' Stern, who not only runs with it but also manages to knock over several pigeons in the process. Ed has been with Splash Damage since the early days of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and while coders code, modellers model, level designers design levels, and artists ... art, we're still not entirely sure what Ed does.

Luckily that very question is the opening volley in the full interview, which also covers how Ed ended up at Splash Damage in the first place, his tips for designery types wanting to break into the industry, and his very average musical skills.

New Brink Video Interviews Surface

Flying in the face of rumors that E3 2009 is so two months ago, we've got a pair of previously unseen (by us, anyway) video interviews recorded at the show. First up is GameReactor TV, where Brink's Senior Game Designer Ed 'BongoBoy' Stern is most definitely ready for his close-up and chats about the game for some 12 minutes. Meanwhile, E3's Most Enthusiastic Developer and Splash Damage Creative Director Richard 'Rahdo' Ham is video-quizzed by Bobby Blackwolf on the rather appropriately titled E3Coverage.com, shedding some more light on How It All Works (and revealing some new information in the process).

Brink Print Coverage Round-up - UK Edition

While we've had plenty of round-ups detailing Brink's extensive online coverage, we've not yet devoted any space to our paper-based friends in the press. Here to right this terrible wrong is our first (and admittedly completely UK-focused) print coverage. So, without further ado, the August issues of the following magazines feature Brink previews:

  • 360 Magazine
  • Official Xbox Magazine
  • 360 Gamer
  • PC Format
  • PC Zone
  • PlayStation World
  • PSM3
  • Xbox World 360

In related and 173% more sparkly news, Brink also scored two E3 awards in PSM3 Magazine ('Best New Game' and 'Most Enthusiastic Games Developer' for Richard Ham) and received PC Format's 'Pride of Britain' award.

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory ESL Summer League About to Kick Off

With sign-ups closed and the final groups announced, the latest season of the European Sports League's Summer League for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is all revved up and ready to go. There are over 200 teams participating in 1 on 1, 2 on 2, and 3 on 3 matches this time around, making the ESL Summer League once again one of the largest Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory competitions in Europe. Things will officially kick off on July 20th, with a no doubt epic, rifle grenade-filled conclusion on August 23rd. For those looking to keep tabs on it all, match coverage will be provided by Crossfire.nu, own3d.at, et.owned.pl, and et-scene.de.

Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At... Downloadable Things

Hello and welcome to another edition of Currently Hurling, our semi-regular look at what games we're playing here at Splash Damage. With Fallout 3's steady stream of DLC , the just-released Battlefield 1943, and the supremely awesome Friendly Fire, download-only titles are ruling the office this week, though there's plenty of other stuff, both new and old, being played.

In this update, Tim enjoys long walks on the beach in Battlefield 1943, Neil T-Viruses it up in [PROTOTYPE], and Steve has a severe case of Efficiency OCD. On to the words:

Flavius 'Flawe' Alecu (Programmer):
Battlefield 1943 brrrmmm, woosh, pew pew, BOOOM!

Currently Hurling Controllers / Mice At... Zombies in Chinatown

Oh zombies, we love them and they love us back. Needless to say, Left 4 Dead is still being played on an extremely regular basis here at the office, with the Character Team regularly facing off against our Production Testers and whoever else is willing to be pounced on by Huntle. As far as new releases go, only GTA Chinatown Wars and MadWorld seem to be willing to do battle in the Great Retail Arena and both of them have actually been getting play time from us and are covered in an undisclosed location in this update.

We've also got several new faces, with Programmers Ed 'mred' Reid and Ronald 'Conine' Koppers both throwing their assorted words into the mix. Welcome guys!

BRINK on the Cover of PlayStation Official Magazine UK

BRINK is the cover story of the latest issue of PlayStation Official Magazine UK, which is in stores as of today. The POM guys got to see the game firsthand here at the Splash Damage offices and chatted with several members of the team, resulting in a five page blowout crammed with information and garnished with new art and screenshots. Here's a small taste:

...one thing we're even more sure about even at this early stage is that Brink's core gameplay will be exceptional. The shooting and movement is solid and clean, the bright, exaggerated visuals contrasting brilliantly with thunderous sound effects, which build into a hammering chaos when the fights kick off in full.

Pick up issue 034 of PlayStation Official Magazine UK for the full feature.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Jonas 'suctionlord' Nelson

suctionlordUnable to run for the hills in time, Programmer Jonas 'suctionlord' Nelson is the latest subject of our on-going series of staff interviews. Jonas previously worked at Swedish developer Avalanche Studios where he copiously sprinkled code all over at least two Just Causes and has now taken up residence at Splash Damage as our dedicated AI programmer. Somewhat predictably, he spends most of his time being responsible for the inevitable robot uprising while also infusing Brink's characters with all manner of life and player-like behaviors.

To find out more about Jonas, his work at Splash Damage, his advice for aspiring programmers, and how he came to be one of only two existing Suctionlords, check out the full interview in his profile.

BRINK E3 Awards Round-up

Team Xbox Most InnovativeIncGamers Best Games of E3GameStooge Game of ShowGameSpot Best Shooter (Finalist)NOW Gamer Best of ShowPCGZine Best of E3X360A Surprise of the Show

E3 wouldn't be E3 without awards and BRINK has received its fair share during the past few weeks. Below are some of our favourites in bite-sized list form:

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Linus 'Lanyo' Lidberg

LanyoThe latest staff member to roll around under our text-based magnifying glass is Character Artist and more-than-occasional hat wearer Linus 'Lanyo' Lidberg. Linus previously game-developed Conflict: Denied Ops and a few other bits at Pivotal Games and is now one of the guys behind the highly customizable characters in our latest game BRINK.

To find out more about Linus, how he arrived in the industry, his work at Splash, and how Quake II exploded his phone bills, check out the full interview in this profile.