Brink will ‘end the genre as we know it’ say developers

Bethesda Softworks and Splash Damage have released a third developer diary about their upcoming first person shooter Brink. (You can watch a previous Brink developer diary over at Gabe’s Train2Game blog.) This latest Brink developer diary is titled ‘Brink: The end of the genre as we know it’ in which the developers discuss Brink’s ‘unique meld of single and multiplayer modes’ which form the basis of the game.

This third Brink developer diary begins with Creative Director Richard Ham telling us that the squad based shooter bridges the gap between single player and multiplayer games. Brink Game Director Paul Wedgewood echoes this theme by adding “We’re finally blurring the lines between offline gaming and online gaming” Splash Damage certainly want to let gamers know that this is the unique feature of Brink!

The Brink developers are very keen to push through that the game doesn’t have a pre-set path, with the player being able to choose their own story whether they are playing online or offline. Completing team based objectives in both modes will earn Brink players experience points which they can spend on customising their character with their own unique selection of clothes, weapons and other accessories.

Brink does look very impressive and it’ll be very interesting to see if the amalgamation of the single player and multiplayer experiences work when Brink is released in Spring next year.

Train2Game students can watch ‘Brink: The end of the genre as we know it’ below.

So Train2Game, do you think the idea behind Brink is a clever one? Or do you believe it might fall flat in reality? Are you looking forward to Brink? And do you think you could combine single player and multiplayer experiences into one whole game?

You can leave your thoughts on Brink here, or on the Train2Game forum.

Real money or digital currency?

With online gaming becoming an evermore-prevalent cornerstone of the games market, many developers are also turning to the Internet for publishing. As mentioned previously in this blog it’s Valve and their online digital distribution service Steam that are the current masters of this art – you pay your money you get your game.

Now many other developers are seriously looking at the prospect of online only publishing and this includes Realtime Worlds, the developer behind Crackdown and APB. The latter is an action orientated MMO which when purchased comes with 50 free hours of online play. After this, 20 more hours can be bought for £5.59 or if the player prefers they can buy a 30 day unlimited package for £7.99.

It’ll also be possible to buy this extra play time using an in game currency, RTW points, which can be bought in large amounts with real money or made through selling custom items to other players. In an interview with Develop, APB Lead Designer EJ Moreland said it’s a system that’ll also be implemented in the developers’ future titles.

““Realtime Worlds is transitioning from being a developer to being an online publisher, [and] RTW Points is going to be the currency for all of our games in the future.”

One of those games is a yet unannounced title and Moreland’s comments seem to suggest that the Dundee-based studio will be producing another online title.  Of course, through self-publishing a title online the Games Developers, Games Designers, and Games Artists cut out the middle man in the form of needing to cover the costs of physical discs and retail. This may very well be appealing to Train2Game students looking to break into the market.

However, one has to wonder if people will use the currency to buy extra playtime. Paying for RTW points with a debit card will take some time, then will the whole process have to be repeated in order to pay for the actual product? Though perhaps the use of RTW points will strengthen the APB community, and ultimately encourage them to play for longer – and thus pay for more content. Maybe players with large amounts of RTW points will play future titles too, seeing as they’ve already stocked up on the currency needed to buy it. We’ll see.

What do you think is the best system for a developer to use when publishing a game online? Real money or a specific type of in-game currency?