Splash DamageAugust 2011

August 2011

Community Question: Matchmaking

Following last week's shootilicious inaugural instalment, we've got an entire second community question for you to tackle today. This one's all about matchmaking and what you want from it in an ideal world. Since matchmaking is largely at home on the consoles, this one's primarily aimed at connoisseurs of those platforms, but feel free to chime in if you've had any sort of experience with matchmaking systems in the past.

So, today's question is:

What is the most important thing for you when using a matchmaking system in a game?

We've compiled several choices for you in a handy poll attached to the comments thread for this story; please pick your preferred choice(s) from the list and briefly let us know why that's important to you.

We have frequent debates about this subject here at the office, and it's now up to you to settle them once and for all. We look forward to your replies!

Brink Customisation Packs Now Available

As pointed out over on the Bethesda blog, the Doom/Psycho and Fallout/Spec-Ops customisation bundle packs for Brink are available now. The bundles contain content that was previously available as part of the pre-order packs, including the lovely, sack-headed gentleman in the screenshot above, and can be found on Xbox Live Marketplace, in the PlayStation Store, and on Steam right now. If you don't have access to your console or your Steam client at the moment, you can also buy them at the links below:

Keep reading for a full breakdown of what's in each pack.

Brink Pre-order Packages and North American Retailers Revealed

click to enlarge click to enlarge
Following a brief tease at QuakeCon last week, our friends at Bethesda have now officially announced the pre-order packs for the game along with the participating retailers in North America. There are four separate packs, each with a unique theme and to be had at a different store. Not in North America? Fear not, we'll have news for other territories soon. Full breakdown of the packs below.

Community Question: Weapon of Choice

Welcome to a brand-new feature here on the site where we throw questions at you, Community, so you can give us your input, thoughts, and opinions. Subjects can and will range from general gaming topics right down to specific gameplay mechanics and design decisions. Who knows, your answer may just have an impact on things here at the office!

To kick us off, we'd like to know the following:

What is your favourite weapon from any Splash Damage game and why?

Is it the MP40 from Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory? The Hyperblaster from Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars? The Mossington from Brink? Let us know in the comments - we look forward to your replies!

Web Nuggets: SD Studio Profile and the History of Clans

The weekend is very nearly upon us and we've cobbled together the latest Splash Damage coverage from around the web.

Today's tour kicks off at The Daily Telegraph, where Tom Hoggins has put together a detailed studio profile of Splash Damage, covering the history of the company from Quake III mod team all the way up to Brink's release. There's also a separate interview to be had, with Tom chatting to CEO and Game Director Paul 'Locki' Wedgwood about the UK video games industry and the plans for the future of Splash Damage.

Speaking of interviews, the Aussies over at PC Powerplay also managed to get some extended phone time with Paul to talk the past and future of the competitive scene. The Q&A comes in four, roughly page-shaped parts, each of them covering a different time period in the long and illustrious history of first person shooter clans:

Forums Upgraded to vbulletin 4

Behold - the Splash Damage forums have been updated with a fresh coat of paint and are now running vbulletin 4. vb4 brings with it numerous improvements and additional features, including being able to sign in with your Facebook account, getting notifications when one of your posts is quoted, and being able to quickly check out recent forum activity in a new sidebar on the forum home page.

On a related note, vbulletin 4 includes significantly improved password security as well. You'll need to re-enter your password to take advantage of the new encryption mechanisms - we recommend doing that right away if you like keeping your account as secure as possible.

Lastly, as with any major software upgrade, there's bound to be bugs and other issues, so if you spot anything that doesn't quite look or work right, do let us know in the comments and we'll get right on it. Happy browsing!

What We're Playing: The Games of Summer. Ish.

The great British summer seems to be coming and going as it pleases, which kind of works out as rain is a great excuse for staying in and playing video games. And so we come to an all-new instalment of What We're Playing, where we take a quick look at the games eating up the spare time of the Splash Damage boys and girls.

We've actually got two new faces in this edition, with Lead FX Artist Niel Venter and Character Artist Vincent 'vahl' Joyau joining us with their game-thoughts. Incidentally, Niel seems to be lacking a nickname at the moment, so if you've got any work-safe suggestions, please leave them in the comments (along with what you've been playing recently, of course!)

And begin:

Brink's Agent of Change DLC Now Available!

The Agents of Change DLC is now available for download on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam! Better yet, you'll be able to download it for free on all platforms for the next two weeks - it's our way of saying thank you for your continued support for Brink.

Agents of Change contains two brand-new maps, Labs and Founders' Tower, five new player abilities, two new outfits, and two new weapon attachments. It also raises the level cap to 24 and adds new trophies (PS3) and achievements (Xbox 360 and PC). Be sure to check out the image above for an overview of all the goodies included in the DLC.

To download Agents of Change, head to the Downloadable Content tab in the game's main menu or visit Xbox Live Marketplace, the PSN Store, or the Steam store, depending on your platform. If you don't have access to any of these at the moment, you can use these links to queue up the DLC on your system of choice and be all set when you return:

Have you downloaded Agents of Change yet? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Update: After a brief appearance, the Steam store has swallowed Agents of Change again. We'll let you know when it's back up.

Reminder: Agents of Change DLC Free Until Wednesday

If you haven't downloaded the Agents of Change DLC for Brink yet, now's the time! You'll be able to download it for free until this Wednesday - if you grab it for free, you'll own it and can re-download it at no charge if necessary.

If you hadn't heard, Agents of Change adds two all-new maps, five new abilities, two new outfits, and two new weapon attachments. You can find more information on the pack in this previous blog update.

If you're away from your home PC and/or console, you can use the links below to add the DLC to your account:

Brink is Free to Play on Steam Until Sunday!

Thanks to the magic of QuakeCon, Brink is completely and utterly free to play on Steam from right now until Sunday 1 PM Pacific (that's 9 PM UK time). Not only that, but you'll get to enjoy the just-released Agents of Change DLC as part of the deal. All you need to do get started is head over to Brink's Steam page and kick off the download.

In other steamy Brink news, the game is currently 50% off (making it £14.99 here in the UK) and can also be had as part of the humongous QuakeCon Pack 2011 alongside 34 other id Software and Bethesda titles for the incomprehensibly small sum of £49.99.

Exciting, isn't it? See you on the Ark!