Splash DamageNovember 2011

November 2011

Small Brink PC Update Released

We've just released a small update for the PC version of Brink as well as the dedicated server. This update fixes an issue where dedicated servers would not report stats correctly to the statistics website and ensures that your player profile will now accurately reflect your multiplayer performance. Steam will automatically download and install this update the next time you log into your Steam client.

As this update includes a server fix, there's a new version of the Brink Windows Dedicated Server, as well. If you've got a dedicated server for Brink and haven't grabbed this update yet, you can find it in Steam's Tools menu.

Community Question: Shooting While Sprinting

Sprinting has been a staple of our own games as well as many other first person shooters for a long time. What hasn't been around much lately is the ability to also fire your weapon while sprinting. This is leads us to this week's Community Question:

Do you want to be able to fire your weapon while sprinting at a huge spread penalty (and also be fired at by other sprinters), or should firing your weapon interrupt the sprint?

Cast your vote in our latest Community Question poll. Also, please share the reasons for your decision in the comments, along with any games that do particularly well in how they handle sprinting.

Forum Maintenance Scheduled for Tomorrow

Update: Maintenance complete. Thanks for your patience!

Original story: We'll be performing scheduled maintenance on the Splash Damage forums tomorrow morning UK time. Proceedings will kick off at around 10 AM UK / 5 AM Eastern time and shouldn't take more than an hour or so. Please note that the forums will not be accessible while maintenance is going on.

Feel free to take to our Twitter or Facebook outposts during this time to get your fix - we'll also be keeping you updated on maintenance progress there.

Happy 10th Birthday, Return to Castle Wolfenstein!

The first game Splash Damage ever officially contributed to, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, is 10 years old! Following our success with the Operation Marketgarden map, Splash Damage crafted three all-new multiplayer maps for the RtCW Game of the Year edition: The Damned, Rocket, and Tram Siege (still one of this humble editor's favorite maps of all time) took that game's objective mode to new environments and laid the foundation for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.

As a small birthday treat from us, we dug out the original whiteboard topdown for The Damned, which you can find at the top of this post (click it for maximum bigness).

Here's to you, Return to Castle Wolfenstein!

New Brink Updates Released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC

A new game update is now available for all versions of Brink, containing a bunch of fixes and improvements, and paving the way for the soon-to-be-released clan support. Highlights include improved spectator mode and host migration on the consoles, as well as demo recording and weapon tweaks on the PC. To grab the updates, simply fire up Brink while connected to the internet (consoles) or log into your Steam client (PC). We've got the full changelog for each platform at the end of this post, so keep on reading for those.

Please note that if you're running a dedicated server for the PC version of Brink, you'll need to update it to this new version, as well. The dedicated server download can be found in Steam's Tools menu.

With the new clan features now just around the corner, we've also got a separate clan blog update for you, going over the new functionality it'll be bringing to the game. To read all about it, check out our Brink Clans & Tournaments Sneak Peek.

Sneak Peek: Clans and Tournaments Update for Brink

We're close to releasing a comprehensive update for Brink, bringing full clan support, ladders and tournaments to all versions of the game. This update is currently in the final stages of testing and will be pushed out to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and the PC version of Brink as soon as that is complete.

Since there's a whole bunch of new stuff headed your way, we thought we'd give you a sneak peek of the goodness that awaits you:

ETXreaL Brings New Renderer to Wolfenstein: ET

A new version of the ETXreaL graphics modification for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory has been released. Now up to version 0.3.0, ETXreaL enhances Wolf: ET's renderer with several new visual bells and whistles. The feature list is quite exhaustive (and we've got the full thing after the jump for the curious) - suffice to say, the end result is a boost in visual fidelity that fans of Wolf: ET are sure to appreciate. While the mod isn't finished yet, people test-driving this version and providing feedback will be most helpful to the development team behind ETXreaL.

YOu can download ETXreaL from SourceForge. More information about this release along with the full changelog can be found in this forum thread for more information about ETXreaL 0.3.0. Keep reading for ETXreaL's full feature list.

Community Question: Stamina Bars - Yay or nay?

Our latest Community Question is here, pondering the fun factor of stamina bars in games. Those of you playing Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory will be familiar with that game's stamina bar - sprinting and jumping eat up certain amounts of the bar, which recovers when you're not doing either one of those things. Both Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars and Brink did away with the stamina bar, allowing for unlimited sprinting/jumping/SMARTing. But which system works better? This neatly leads us to our question:

How do you feel about stamina bars limiting the amount of sprinting and jumping available to players?

Please cast your vote in our poll and do let us know your arguments for and against stamina bars in the comments.

Download Paul Wedgwood's Advice for Aspiring Developers

Splash Damage's CEO and Game Director Paul Wedgwood gave a special guest lecture at Kingston University earlier this month, sharing advice for aspiring developers. Many topics were covered, including tips for how to make your portfolio shine, how several of Splash Damage's own employees made it in, and a look at the future of the games industry in general.

If you weren't able to make it to the lecture, you can now download Paul's PowerPoint slides and relive some of the excitement. You'll need to be logged in to kick off the download - if you don't have an account yet, click here to create one. It's free and only takes a minute.

Finally, if you have any questions for Paul regarding his Kingston lecture, post them up in the comments.

Splash Damage Supports Special Effect - And You Should Too

Special Effect is a charity dedicated to making games more accessible for people with disabilities. They help them and their carers to find out which games they can play, and how to adapt those games that they can't. Special Effect's efforts make a huge difference in the lives of disabled gamers.

We're delighted to support Special Effect and their cause 100%. To kick things off properly, we recently had a meeting with the guys behind it to discuss ways to make games more accessible (think Brink's full button remapping). We'll be implementing their recommendations in our future titles, and we'll also be helping them out with their Loan Library system, which brings specialised games technology to young people.

There's a fantastic editorial over on GamesIndustry.biz, highlighting the great work done by Special Effect, including many awesome stories of how they had a hugely positive impact on people's lives. Splash Damage's CEO and Game Director Paul Wedgwood also features in the piece with plenty of insight from the developer side and our own efforts in the area. Go have a read and help spread the word about Special Effect's efforts.

To find out more about Special Effect, hit their website. If you're on Twitter, be sure to follow our Game Director Paul Wedgwood for bite-sized nuggets about Splash Damage's Special Effect initiative and other SD happenings.

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Robert 'Mac' Macdonald

Our intrepid series of staff interviews returns, shining our inquisitive spotlight on UI programmer Robert 'Mac' Macdonald. Mac has rather illustrious background, having worked on at least several Silent Hills as well as a few simulations for The Government. Being our resident UI programmer, he gets to implement the elaborate user interfaces conjured up by the design department with a generous helping of transitions, animations, and swooshes (gotta have those). He also wears kilts (allegedy, of course) and owns a fake pipe (depicted on the right there).

To find out more about Mister Mac, including how he stumbled into the games industry (hint: it wasn't head-first), his job at Splash Damage, his tips for asipiring games programmers, and loads more, compile the full interview on his profile page.

And don't forget - if you've got any questions you'd like to ask Mac, post them up in the comments and we'll gently push him your way.

Community Question: Your Favourite Objective Types

This week's Community Question is all about multiplayer objectives. We've had many different kinds over the years, from escorting the massive vehicles to stealing documents or blowing stuff up with dynamite. Each of them brings with it different tactics and class dynamics, and we'd like to know the following from you:

Which objective types do you enjoy the most and what map has the most fun version of your favourite objectives?

Cast your vote in our latest multiple choice poll and do let us know which maps feature the most fun version of your favourites. Vote away!

Paul Wedgwood to Speak at Kingston University Tomorrow

If you're a student at London's prestigious Kingston University, you'll be able to attend a special guest lecture by Splash Damage's CEO and Game Director Paul Wedgwood tomorrow. Paul will be speaking about the future of video game development and how to get into the industry as a university graduate, peppered with plenty of anecdotes and tips from Paul's own experiences. The lecture kicks off at 11 AM tomorrow morning and is open to all games and media students of Kingston.

If you're unable to make it, we'll be making Paul's PowerPoint slides available here on the Splash Damage website soon after.