Splash DamageBlogDive Inside Brink's SMART System at GDC 2012

Splash Damage Blog

Dive Inside Brink's SMART System at GDC 2012

Gameplay Programmer Arne-Olav Hallingstad will be giving a talk about Brink's SMART system at next month's GDC in San Francisco. Titled 'Vault, Slide, Mantle: Building Brink's SMART System', Arne's session will examine the technical side of the game's iconic freedom of movement system, covering everything from early prototype to a detailed breakdown of the final implementation. This talk is going to be a great way to find out How Stuff Works and is a must-see/hear for anyone interested in bringing more fluid player movement to their games. For those unable to attend, we plan to make Arne's slide available here on the site after the event.

In other GDC news, Splash Damage's Lead Designer Neil Alphonso is also returning as a speaker to this year's event. Neil will be part of the Level Design in a Day tutorial, where he'll be offering portfolio critiques, advice and insights to those looking to break into the industry as a level designer.

GDC 2012 takes place from 5 - 9 March at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information, visit the

8 Comments

Sounds awesome. I'll hopefully be able to check this out online.
Posted on 25 February, 2012 - 19:53
Has anyone tried syndicate yet? Noticed how it uses a fairly similar system for movement only it does it without a SMART key? While sprinting if you hit duck you slide. While moving into cover hitting jump will mantle you over the cover. There's no wall bouncing so I guess the agent is medium body size.
Posted on 27 February, 2012 - 16:21
Has anyone tried syndicate yet? Noticed how it uses a fairly similar system for movement only it does it without a SMART key? While sprinting if you hit duck you slide. While moving into cover hitting jump will mantle you over the cover. There's no wall bouncing so I guess the agent is medium body size.
I never use the SMART except for one or two jumps that are hard to do manually, but seem to be programmed in as a SMART route. I sprint...but I always hit the manual button input before the game does anything automatically. I didn't even use SMART in the first hour of playing, because just holding down a button and not hitting jump or crouch to do a slide or vault feels very non-intuitive to me. The idea of just holding down a button was something I had to "learn" for those one or two spots where it is necessary. This free to play game has wall-jumping that seems pretty effective. (1:04 in the video. I'm not recommending this game at all, though. It forces you to "rent" weapons.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRbNa8vl1G0 (It does it with accurate weapons too.) There is also a boost forward mechanic which you could probably implement into Brink's movement system by letting it be triggered by vaulting over something. (Maybe hitting the jump button a second time, towards the end of a launch animation, would launch you forward when vaulting.) I think Splash Damage could use gunplay similar to that game. Accurate, no iron sights, and similar movement, but incorporating the environment more for movement, so that you aren't able to launch yourself without using the environment.) And maybe a grenade jumping mechanic for reaching higher ledges. But it would be best with more player health so that the duels are longer.
Posted on 28 February, 2012 - 01:57
SMART was just as overhyped as Brink, I remember that a lot of people compared it with Mirrors Edge. The intro parkour level was ok, but the other maps of Brink almost didn't make use of SMART. I hope that they will get rid of the one button movement system in their next game, but I am sure they will use it. Games that have a way better movement system are: Mirrors Edge, The Batman games, The Assassins Creed series.
Posted on 28 February, 2012 - 13:28
SMART was just as overhyped as Brink, I remember that a lot of people compared it with Mirrors Edge. The intro parkour level was ok, but the other maps of Brink almost didn't make use of SMART. I hope that they will get rid of the one button movement system in their next game, but I am sure they will use it. Games that have a way better movement system are: Mirrors Edge, The Batman games, The Assassins Creed series.
I agree that the 'auto-SMART' button should be removed. Manually hitting duck and jump to pull off the moves works just as well and means there's a little bit of skill to your movement. It also prevents the unwanted issue of vaulting over the cover you were trying to sprint into. You have to be a bit careful comparing games though. a good movement system in a 3rd person game may not work well in a first person game (although I generally agree that those movement systems worked well in their games). That said: SMART was fine, but overhyped as you say.
Posted on 29 February, 2012 - 10:51
Anyone from SD gonna be at PAX East this year? I'll be there all 3 days.
Posted on 29 February, 2012 - 19:36
I agree that the 'auto-SMART' button should be removed. Manually hitting duck and jump to pull off the moves works just as well and means there's a little bit of skill to your movement. It also prevents the unwanted issue of vaulting over the cover you were trying to sprint into. You have to be a bit careful comparing games though. a good movement system in a 3rd person game may not work well in a first person game (although I generally agree that those movement systems worked well in their games). That said: SMART was fine, but overhyped as you say.
like anyone care... people told them to remove smart since beginning (people told them many things that were totally unlistened) they didnt and the result is the game is dead.
Anyone from SD gonna be at PAX East this year? I'll be there all 3 days.
sounds like a menace... [center] [/center] ps: if u see some of them ask my 30 euros back plz
Posted on 1 March, 2012 - 08:13
sounds like a menace... [center] [/center] ps: if u see some of them ask my 30 euros back plz
lmao 10 chars
Posted on 1 March, 2012 - 20:19