Interesting interview for Train2Game students: Splash Damage on Brink, game development, and humour

Brink Train2Game blog image

Brink is released this Friday – with many Train2Game students looking forward to it – so a lot of publicity for the Splash Damage game is doing the rounds online.

Last week the Train2Game blog brought you an in depth look behind the Art & Animation of the upcoming shooter.

Another article that Train2Game students may find interesting is an interview with Brink writer Ed Stern in The New Statesman.  He begins by discussing why Splash Damage decided to make Brink in the first place.

“We started off by saying; “We want to make this sort of a game, for this sort of a budget, that will allow the player to do this sort of thing – so where is it set and what is it about?” I can only answer the last two of those.

One of the struggles of game writing in general is coming up with ideas that are the right size and shape. Quite often the bits that don’t work are perfectly good solutions to the problems, but they don’t work in the context of the game. That often means cutting all your favourite bits.”

Stern also gives an insight into how game development can be be a fluid, ever changing role for everyone involved in producing a game.

“People talk about development as if we know what we’re doing, and of course we don’t: if we did, we could stamp these things out in weeks. And remember that while the roles on a film haven’t changed for decades, with games, there are job titles which didn’t exist two, five, let alone ten years ago.” He said

“The old joke that a month after the game ships, you find out what it’s about, is one I no longer find funny. It’s a bit like bad acting. You think: “Don’t they know how stupid that looks?” And of course they don’t, because they’re stood in a room with a camera pointed at them, possibly a long way away.”

“And that’s exactly how every element of games work: you don’t know how the whole package will be. When it goes wrong, it’s often because one element seems to be in a completely different game. When it goes right, everything is mutually reinforcing.” He added.

Stern also speaks about the use of humour in games – or lack of it – and that he’s waiting to see who will make the first “Monty Python-ish game”

“In one of the films there’s a Gilliam still image of someone reading a story to a child, and he describes this incredible scene of a thousand knights in sparkling armour — and says “it’s far too expensive to be animated in a film like this”. Which is brilliant as a joke about the limitations of film-making.

“But games don’t get to do that. They don’t make jokes about their narrators, or the weird plight of their non-player characters generally — OK, a few do; Valve are fantastic at it.” He added.

Yesterday the Train2Game blog reported on why Valve made protagonist Chell a silent character and that helped the humour.

Splash Damage have high expectations of Brink, and as reported by the Train2Game blog, they’ve previously claimed it’ll ‘end the FPS genre as we know it.’ The game is released on Friday for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Stern’s comments about game development? And what about what he has to say about humour in games? Would you attempt to develop a funny game? And are you looking forward to Brink?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: The New Statesman]

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