Brink: An Update from Splash Damage

Wanted to share an update on Brink from Splash Damage’s Paul Wedgwood – the Game Director on Brink.

Now that Brink has been released in North America, we’ve had hundreds of thousands of people create their character and join the civil war for the Ark. Seeing the game out there being played and enjoyed by so many is very exciting for us, and we’ve been hopping into multiplayer matches ourselves to get in on the action with all of you.

Before we dive into this blog update, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who’s been sharing their feedback about Brink. We keep a close eye on what all of you have been saying about the game and wanted to give you an update on what’s been happening on our end:

Xbox 360

We’ve now put up our first game update on the Xbox 360, which went live at launch. It addresses several of the issues raised in some of the early US reviews of the game and brings with it some major improvements.

Most importantly, this update significantly reduced texture loading times thanks to improved hard-drive caching. It also improves client prediction when playing online – in other words, you’ll experience much less “rubber banding” in multiplayer. We’ve also fixed several issues that could lead to the game freezing, and resolved an issue where Brink would insist on playing all of the training videos rather than just the introductory one.

If you’ve not yet got the update, simply restart the game while your Xbox is connected to the internet.

We’ve also been getting new reports of lag when playing online, especially in matches with lots of human players. We’re all huge multiplayer fans here at the office and we know how important a lag-free online experience is. We’re urgently investigating this issue and seeing what we can do to improve things in that area. Stay tuned.

Information on PS3, PC, and the game’s upcoming statistics site after the break…

PlayStation 3 Update

The PlayStation 3 version of Brink has also received its first game update late Monday. It incorporates the same prediction fixes as in the Xbox 360 version, resulting in a smoother online performance.  In addition, host migration has seen several improvements as well, and we’ve fixed an issue where the Ability Wheel sometimes displayed the wrong class abilities. This update also fixes several potential freezes and, like the Xbox 360 version, now only plays the introductory tutorial video at the initial prompt, rather than all of them.

Even though PSN is currently offline, you’ll still be able to get this update if your console is connected to the internet. Once PSN is back online, we’ll closely monitor player feedback for this platform.

PC Update

On the PC side, we’re pleased to report that we’ve put together our first game update, bringing two immediate improvements to Brink:

It greatly enhances the crash reports we’re getting through Steam, with more detailed information coming our way from now on. While this doesn’t sound very exciting for you as a player, it’s really useful for the Brink team as it’ll allow us to track down the underlying issues much more quickly and work on fixes for them – particularly stability issues relating to compatibility.

This update also fixes an issue where closing the game before getting to the character selection screen can corrupt your character data and make it unusable. Until the game update comes out, we strongly recommend not shutting Brink down during start-up to avoid this issue altogether.

Better yet, this update has just hit Steam and you can download it by simply signing into your Steam client.

In other PC news, we’ve also been working closely with the guys over at Bethesda Softworks to identify and solve any hardware compatibility issues that people have been reporting. For the AMD graphics card owners out there, make sure you’ve installed the latest AMD video drivers as that will solve a fair few of the visual and performance issues out there. Similarly, if you have an NVIDIA card and are experiencing issues with the game, make sure you’ve got the latest NVIDIA video drivers installed.

The next game update for the PC version is already in the works, and includes a fix for the FOV issue some of you have been reporting on the forums, among several other things. We’ll have more information to share on that soon.

Statistics Site

We’ve also seen a few questions about the Brink statistics website and what you should be doing with the VIP code that’s displayed in the game. When the Brink statistics site launches on www.BrinkTheGame.com, you’ll be able to register a profile on there and can then use the VIP code from inside the game to link your Xbox 360 gamertag/PSN ID/Steam ID to it. More details on all of that soon!

Lastly, please do keep your Brink feedback coming. It’s really useful to us and we really do check all of it. We have teams at Splash Damage and Bethesda dedicated full time to resolving any issues you discover.

That’s it for now – thanks for reading and see you online in Brink!

Paul Wedgwood
Game Director

Reader Comments

  1. Well I really hope the update fixes this game, because otherwise it could easily be considered DOA. I’ve never had a worst day 1 experience then with this title. So far I like what I can about it but as others have said, its like the QC/Testing was almost non-existent, this coming from someone who has played it on the 360 and not PC’s where console performance variables can be extremely varied. So I cant imagine what PC players are going through. If they fix the lag there could be a good bit of fun here, but without it running smoothly, whats the point? it just doesn’t work without fluidity. For a game where the emphasis is to “move more then you shoot” not being able to move properly OR shoot responsively puts the kai-bosh on the whole thing.
    Looking forward to smoother days soon….

  2. I got talked into buying this game from the clerk at gamestop. Then when I tried to bring it back cuz it is not a game that is done being made and I don’t feel I should have to pay for that, they told me no. I got for xbox and the lag is so bad I have not been able to kill one person online! Not one… wow… I can’t believe ID TECH and BETHESDA put there name on this game…

  3. flamethrowers would be a nice addition to the heavy’s arsenal… loving the game by the way. Keep up the good work splash damage.

  4. I love this game, yes i agree that the multiplayer lag makes it so i have to quit matches sometimes cause its like im dancin in a strobe light but it is a very fun game. im glad to see that there is finally after all this time a new original first person shooter that isnt just about death matches. The class system is amazingly balanced and i have never played a game that makes team work a necessary like this one does. the characters are friggin sweet im hopin for DLC in the future with some more stuff unlockables and maps but im happy with what ive got for the time being. What im really amazed by is the smart system, i have played another parquor game before but never have I machine gunned a enemys while running along a wall until now. also the sliding and such just makes it feel like so much action is going on it is awesome.

    TO ALL THOSE HATERS

    please stop crying like babies about the game being hard or the ai team not helping you. ai teams should suck so that you actually have to try. like i said before the multiplayer lag is bad yes, realy bad, but they are fixing it like they said so have a little patience for once. And if really this game is as “unplayable” as a lot of you are saying go make your own game and leave that awesomeness of brink alone

    IN THE END

    Brink is freaking awesome

  5. After this patch, now whenever I move my mouse, the screen freezes, and will stay frozen as long as I move the mouse. ONLY IN BRINK. I’ve tried all the fixes…this is out of control.

  6. I really love playing Brink, but there are many issues I feel you guy’s should resolve. I’m glad to hear that you guys are currently working on such issues. However, I’d like to call to your attention that mysteriously the voice of my character changed today after I made a new character and it seems that any new security members I make have the same voice regardless of which one I pick. I love character customization and am fairly frustrated with the fact that this is happening. Hopefully you guys can look into this as well. I really do love this game and hope you guys are gonna be able to fix these little technical errors that got you such bad ratings. Whatever you do don’t give up on us, I can’t wait to see things all worked out.

  7. I agree and disagree with some of the complaints I’ve seen posted here. Yes there are lag/rubber banding issues and the AI for your team mates certainly leaves something to be desired although I don’t think most people have taken into consideration that the AI on both sides get boosted when you amp up the difficulty level. All that aside I love the game and think you’ve done a wonderful thing with encouraging people to actually work together instead of being the “think for your self-ers” that I’ve had to suffer through with other titles on Xbox live. The supposed lack of a challenge to unlock things isn’t an issue for me although I wish there were more things to unlock I think that the way you’ve designed the shooting mechanics for all of the different guns is great in the respect that: yeah it took me a while to find my niche and a gun that worked for me in brink but once I found it I was golden. I think that’s a realistic approach because in real life you can’t just pick up any gun and instantaneously be able to shoot it with pin point accuracy you have to get a feel for it first and see what works for you and your specific strengths and weaknesses.
    All in all if you fix the lag issues I’ll definetly be playing this game for a long time Keep up the good work Bethesda (looking foreward to Skyrim) (If by chance you can somehow get Skyrim to me faster I’d greatly appreciate it lol) :P

  8. How did you guys miss the lag issue in QA?

    Should remake RTCW: ET multi, I love that level where you drive the train!

  9. I loved this game for the longest, PLEASE Fix the Lag on 360 and the Texture problems as well, ASAP. Thanks Splash Damage!

  10. PRICE! Egads fellas. $90 USD for a fast twitch multiplayer FPS?

    I think you’re you need to get off the sauce.

    Any game, and I mean ANY, over $80 USD is automatically off my shopping list, ever. And gaming is my biggest hobby. Paragliding is my second hobby and it has cost me more than my car which is substantial.

    You really need to revisit what constitutes value. You also need to revisit how much competition is out there.

    Can’t help but feel insulted by the likes of Treyarch, Bethesday, and EA, just to name a few.

  11. So this is a great game! But there are NOT enough unlocks! You need people to have to work or stuff leveling up a different character isn’t good enough, we want to feel like we earned something!
    You should have more challenges that unlock stuff but don’t unlock it in a huge cluster of guns like you already have. I have heard allot of complaints about be more objective** being to hard, I agree, once I got to the operative objective the NPC’s clustered there and I could only hack it a tiny bit then I’d be overwhelmed and die and before I could get back a engineer would repair it!! Last of all there need to be more parkour challenges I love the SMART and is one of the main reasons I bought the game but I found there weren’t enough awesome things to do. Sure vaulting over a ledge landing in slide wile shooting is awesome but we need more wall running!

  12. Currently I run a gamer blog (Click name to see), and Blogger is down at the moment. I also got half a dozen of my friends to pick Brink up. The first day we played 12 HOURS! (Including breaks) and beat the entire game. That is not the problem.

    The problem is the same as everyone else. Lag, and horrible lag. My buddy has a 40Mb fiber optics line and we were lagging like an old 28.8bps modem did back in the early 90s.

    We know this is your first major title, and we also know you guys had a few hiccups and setbacks, but I know the work you guys provide will be patched (we hope). Please help us like you guys more. One of the most important things you can do to win the loyal people back is a patch that fixes the lag.

    Also, this game SCREAMS DLC! The possibilities for the maps would be endless for this game. Again, if you really want to win the love of your fans and a lot of people, you will do some FREE DLC map packs. This will, and with a patch that solves the lag will get peoples interest in the game, therefore bringing in more money for you guys.

    Maybe even a gun pack? There’s so much this game has to offer, please don’t let me and the rest of the loyal community down.

    Thank you

  13. I’m really disappointed in the lack of a lobby. In Reach you get to show off your fighter, but in Brink, though there is considerably more detail, I’m the only person that will ever see my guy’s dead eye scar.

  14. (These observations are about the XBox 360 version of the game)

    I think there is an awesome game here, somewhere in the box I bought.

    But right now, I can’t figure out how to enjoy it.

    Single player is an exercise in frustration, because I cannot control my teammates priorities. When I’m two minutes away from losing the match, I don’t need you to guard the supply command post, I need you to help blow the door.

    Online multiplayer is unplayably laggy more than half the time. Even when it isn’t, there is no party, lobby, or group management system that allows me and my friends to play in the same game online without the hassle of joining and inviting, except then the game is full and we quit and do it again, and so on. I don’t want to fight the system for half an hour to enjoy a game with my friends.

    The good news is that online co-op is an incredible amount of fun. But I won’t be able to keep playing the same missions for very long before I get bored. I hope that at least some of the other problems will be addressed by then.

  15. In about 1/3 of all the matches I join all enemies are invisible. This is unacceptable, and I’m not buying any more Bethesda games until you stop releasing unfinished products.

  16. Hey guys i love the game but when i play i dont get any audio it might be my speakers but they work fine when i start the game but during cutscenes i hear everything except people talking just thought it might be the game considering it only effects brink but all my other games i can her the audio during cutscenes but other wise all i can says is that i havnt stopped playing

  17. This is obviously an unfinished game. The severe lag in multiplayer matches and lack of the AI’s dedication to the OBJECTIVES, in the OBJECTIVE-BASED game modes (which in fact, might I add, is the ONLY game mode available), can stand alone in proving that this game was not tested whatsover before being released. I have yet to play a single match in “freeplay” where I didn’t get “rubber-banded” across the entire map at 20 second intervals.

    A word of advice to Splash Damage: It’s clear that you have a rep for specializing in PC games, which is great. However, it’s also obvious you’ve had no experience with the devolopment of games for consoles, based on the feeling of utter disappointment I got when I first played Brink, and not to mention the part of my conscience that’s still screaming “You just got ripped off”. The next time you make a console game, if for whatever reason you feel the burning desire to disappoint your fans again, be sure you have even the slightest clue about how to design a game to be compatible with modern console technology.

    Given, the S.M.A.R.T. aspect was a unique and even invigorating part of the game, it’s rendered utterly useless by the game’s many other inadiquecies. “Free-running/Parkour” was bound to find it’s way into the FPS world eventually, I’m just disappointed that the idea landed in the heads of Brink developers first and not someone who was truly dedicated to making a quality product.

    Many owners of Brink appear to see the fact that Splash Damage is currently “seeing what [they] can do to improve things” as a redeeming quality for the reputable PC game developer. I would like to bring into perspective the fact that, not only would they not have to fix anything if they’d just done their jobs right the first time, but us consumers wouldn’t have to suffer through round after round of a horridly unpolished, though potentially very enjoyable, game while we wait for them to “see what they can do to improve things.”

    Bethesda Softworks has built up a spectacular name for themselves, in my eyes, with their “Elder Scrolls” and “Fallout” sagas. I’ve always seen them as the one gaming company who still gives a damn about QC and customer playtesting. Congrats to Splash Damage for ruining that well deserved reputation. I sincerely hope that Bethesda does not decide to publish another one of your games.

  18. awaiting the release I was ‘fingers crossed’ for a system-link effort for the 360, I live with 3 other gamers and we have the ‘COD corner’ (4 xbox’s and TV’s set up as a LAN). We were hoping that BRINK would be our new COD:MW2, but alas if we want to kill each other, COD is the only way to go.

    Is there any chance a LAN mode will make an apperance???

  19. Hi Paul Wedgwood,

    My name is Donaga and I would like to thank you and your team for delivering Brink.
    I’m playing on the PC and I really enjoy it. However there are some things I think would make Brink much better:

    – Lobbies: give players to make and join lobbies. As the multiplayer is the core of the game, lobbies would improve the ease and smoothness of starting a match in Brink. This way, it’s also much easier to play with friends.

    – Adding people easier you meet online: I wish it was possible to click on players ingame (scoreboard, ingame and at the end of matches) and send them an invite to add them on your steam friends list (co-operate with Valve?). This way you can save the people you like, and play Brink with the people you have fun with. This improves the fun for everyone. It would be nice if it was something like Blizzard’s Starcraft II.

    – Map Refuel no sound: Everyone I know in Brink has issues in the map Refuel. After 20 seconds of the match, the sounds goes dead. Please fix this.

    These 3 points are my main issues with the game. There are also some minor things:

    – Challenge 1 Objectives: Make the bots in your team at least cover you while you’re at an objective.

    – Idea for DLC: Make more and bigger Parcour maps. Maybe an idea for future maps: design maps so that you have to sort of race from one point to another. And make the way to go to another points more like Prince of Persia/Mirror’s Edge style. I like the parcour and SMART thought, but unfortunately I don’t see the usage of this system in the current maps very often, not enough.

    Thanks for your time reading this.

    Kind regards,
    Donaga

  20. Brink was a complete and utter disappointment to my friends and I. I’m glad I warned my friends who were contemplating on getting it. I definitely saved them from getting robbed.

    1. Who ever was in charge of designing the AI should be fired. Either the bots (both friendly and enemy) are completely useless or they have incredible deadly powers. The game is downright depressing to play by yourself. On different choke points on the map, friendly AI will rush in continuously, getting mowed down over and over. I have completed all sorts of games on their hardest difficulties and had no complaints..but playing Brink on the normal difficulty can be beyond frustrating.

    2. The lag issues make multiplayer unplayable at some times. I hope this can be fixed for the sake of the Brink fans. I’ve already decided Im going to sell the game once I get all the achievements. The fact that there is no lobby system is laughable to me. Get with the program, Splash Damage.

    3. Corruption issues. There are PLENTY of them. Audio glitches, unreadable disc errors, game freezes, and visual bugs. I question whether anyone you guys hired any game testers at all. My Xbox tells me my game is corrupted about 4 times a day.

    These are my biggest complaints. I have plenty more issues with the game than these such as the extremely poor texture loading, but I will refrain from ranting any more. I hope the games you make in the future can surpass this unacceptable trash.

  21. I for one plan on keeping my copy of Brink and playing it for some time. Unfortunately, I seem to be in the minority on that stance. Before the game was released I told EVERYONE about it who had a mic on any game I played over Xbox LIVE. I told nearly a dozen people on my Friends List about the game as well. I really wanted Splash Damage/Bethesda to get the support it deserved for making a game that I thought was going to be truly amazing. But out of the 4 friends of mine that bought the game (were too enthusiastic to wait for reviews), 3 have already stopped playing it.

    One was so disappointed he traded the game in 4 hours after buying it, and we had both pre-orded. Another had enough of the lag issues and shelved it apparently for good (he may have actually gotten rid of it). The last friend of mine to get rid of it at least played until he had all the achievements but has since sold his copy of the game. I hate to admit it but I feel really stupid for boasting about how great the game was going to be to everyone. I really had faith in it and now I feel like I may have cost people 65 dollars for something they hated. All I know is that I’ll never promote another game again.

    I find the game to be fun, but the gameplay videos/walkthroughs/and trailer were all a bit misleading. I see features in them that aren’t in the game such as the swords that The Anger used to kill The Bug, dual wielding weapons, some other things like facepaint in colors that it isn’t able to be applied in. That and the “Deep narrative” aspect as well. There is no real story; besides Mokoena and Chen I don’t even know any of the character’s name because they change every match. The only story we get is 20 second cutscenes before every game starts.There was no drama, suspense, or betrayal. Call of Duty games have way more story than Brink did and that’s a shame.

    Lastly, the lag. I have a decent connection and have been able to play other multiplayer games without hiccups. Brink, on the other hand is plagued with lag. If one player in the game has a poor connection, everyone suffers. I find myself all hyped up and excited to sit down and play the game just to end up switching game modes and maps over and over for 15 minutes just to find a game that is playable; and even then I have to tolerate some rubber banding and lag spikes. I know the graphics will probably never improve, but if the lag could be resolved or we could get dedicated servers this game could make a strong recovery.

    It’s definitely not what I imagined it would be. I wasn’t one of those people expecting it to be an open-world Borderlands variation just because I hadn’t researched what the game was about. I knew it was going to be a Team Fortress 2 style team-based multiplayer FPS… But I find myself playing alone because all of my friends have sold it, on a laggy server that I can barely move in.

  22. Hello Bethesda and SD team-

    I have the game and and am enjoying it greatly, however I have a few suggestions for what i think would help create a more enjoyable long term experience with Brink:

    -please add a matchmaking lobby, one where me and my friends can party together to join games with a compatible host **on the same team**. Also, adding a feature in the lobby that would allow for a group enviornment where everyone’s custom characters could be shown together would be nice, considering how much work was put into the customization system.

    -I know many people have stated this, but the lag (at least on xbox360) is making the multiplayer expirence very painful and frustrating- this is one of the aspects I was most looking forward to in Brink- fixing this to create a more sustainable competitive enviornment would help.

    -I know you have already announced the first wave of DLC, which is great! please continue to do that, and considering I have already paid you $60 for all your hard work, more than 2 or 3 free maps would be greatly appreciated to reduce the repetitive nature of the original maps. Adding iterations or new components of the challenge mode would also be a great bonus!

    Overall, I love the gameplay and look forward to your support while i continue to play in the future-thanks!