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. Will there be a Security-Update to fix multiple fix ? (Xbox 360)
    1 week before release Tools popped up which give you the ability to Modify your Local Gamesave, which contains COMMANDS assigned to the single buttons, so people are able to assign any kind of command to them.
    Atleast add some kind of “black list” of commands you cant assign.
    Also, people are modifying the GameDisc for the same reason.
    Look into that please, since thats the only thing that keeps me from buying this game :-/

    greetings
    v3

  2. I’m afraid this “zero hour” patch you implemented hasn’t fixed any of the problems on the 360 version of the game. Even though I ripped the disc to the hard drive, the game still takes several seconds to load textures in at all times. If I make a 90 degree turn and then turn back, all textures had disappeared and needs to take another 10 seconds to load. This happens at a consistent pace.

    The game is still heavily aliased and blurry. Buildings & characters in the distance are so blurry and jaggy that it (no exaggeration) looks like an original Xbox title. The skybox and textures in the entire game are so heavily artifacted and suffer from so much banding it looks like it wasn’t put through QC at all. The quality of the art design is so high, and the character models in the menus look great- why does it render down to an Xbox quality display once I’m in-engine? It really looks like something is wrong, like something is seriously broken. This game does not display or run like a game on a modern console is intended to.

    To be quite honest, the game looks, runs and feels like it’s playing below 480p and getting up-res’d to 720p on my television. Everything is just so low quality it’s hard to believe anyone even looked or playtested the 360 version prior to launch.

    And these are just the graphical issues, which admittedly, are the tip of the iceberg. Myself and five of my friends were unable to play online at any point last night due to extreme lag. And I’m not talking about small lag, I’m talking “I can’t even move forward without getting rubber banded 20ft in every direction” lag. For a multiplayer game, this is an unprecedented cockup, and once again, looks like it was never even playtested.

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I’m a big fan of Bethesda and have enjoyed Splash Damage’s previous titles, but the heinous condition of Brink on the Xbox 360 is something you should be ashamed of. I’d love any of the SD/Bethesda team to see how this game runs for us, in our home conditions, and honestly confess that they’re proud of their work.

  3. What about the issue everyone is concerned about regarding the lack of a lobby for multiplayer? If you guys could please fill us in on what you plan to do about that, it’d be greatly appreciated – even if you just let us know whether or not you ARE going to do something about it (which we really, really, really, REALLY want you to do – i cannot stress that enough). My friends and I don’t even bother going into Public matches because most of the time we can’t all get in. That’s kinda lame.

    On the bright side, i’m loving this game in most all other aspects, and I look forward to future updates and the statistics site.

    Thanks, guys!
    -Ryan

  4. The only thing that offed me about the game, is there is no competitive value… you took out headshots which make sniper rifles really bad… look at counter-strike… that game has so much competitive value that im still playing it every time i try to quit and find a better game i realize that there just isn’t one. Depth of competitiveness is what people want they want to work hard to get good and be better then other players. other then that keep up the good work

  5. What about the issue with the AI? From all the interviews I saw about this game, the player shouldn’t notice a change between Bots and people playing. Well I can tell you I can see a HUGE difference between Bots and people playing. I’m upset about this, because it makes playing the game harder when you watch the bots not helping me win the match. What is being done about this?

  6. Hopefully you guys also collaborate with AMD to get this Radeon 48xx series texture line problem fixed as well as the general performance issues with all Radeon cards.

    The PC version is extremely fun, but these performance issues + that texture line glitch with that line of Radeon cards really drags it down.

  7. i’m happy to say the stability and performance of Brink have been good under Windows 7: no crashes, and the only performance issue has been very occasional stuttering that may be another process.

    what has not been good is the learning curve. i am no stranger to objective-based games, yet even after watching all the tutorial videos the actual flow of gameplay still takes some getting used to. the game tries very hard to help, dangling that 1000xp video, but the most useful thing was the first challenge.

    IF YOU ARE BAFFLED BY BRINK, PLAY THE FIRST CHALLENGE.

    in fact, i believe the game should shelve that video and offer you the 1000xp to play the first challenge, renaming it a “tutorial”. a video just can’t get across how fast a Brink match moves or how to get stuff done without fumbling on the (numerous) controls for five minutes. i stumbled through the first couple campaign missions, confused and annoyed, and then i played the first Be Objective challenge and then i started to have fun. seriously, force people to play Be Objective!

    the other really, really frustrating part is playing the campaign with unscripted, AI-driven NPCs. these guys are disastrously disorganized, and it is not much fun to have to rely on them. just about the only thing they seem good for is reviving and the occasional buff, if they aren’t scattered all over the map. if i’m playing “solo”, the AIs should just form up around me and not do anything else. don’t run off, don’t get in my way, just stick by me. ultimately, Brink (or any other game) is not very fun when you depend on an AI NPC.

    IF BRINK SOLO IS PISSING YOU OFF, STOP AND PLAY IT CO-OP.

    i’m not even going to attempt solo-play of the other higher-difficulty objective challenges, and will go straight to co-op. i know that it will just be too annoying and frustrating to watch the AIs be worthless while i do everything.

    ok, all that having been said, i’m starting to like it. the sound is good, it looks great, and the pitch of battle can be exciting. i’ve been having fun alternating between Sec and Res missions, as you see how the conflict is ratcheting up from both sides – including the misunderstandings and fog of war that unnecessarily exacerbate conflicts. i can see that multiplayer – with friends on VoIP – has the potential for seriously epic battle shenanigans.

    they didn’t make it very easy to like, but maybe that’s a bit of a good thing to keep up the quality of multiplayer competition. you can’t really get by a noob in Brink.

  8. BEFORE YOU HEAR RANTING, i thought i would sum it up in case you don’t want to read it.

    GREAT GAME! BUT… it is too easy to unlock everything, which leave me not wanting to play since almost everything is unlocked. also, any chance of non objective based muti-player? already played each map and got board… both lead to almost no replayability, when i was told that there would be…

    i know you think you took care of this by being able to lvl up mulitple characters…. but it snot the same at all….. (sorry)

    NOW THE RANTING…. (all taken from your Face Book Page)

    This is an AMAZING GAME! but i do have one complaint…. there is nothing that i have to work hard for… i already have all the guns and am only missing a few unlocks… there is nothing to aspire for… i kinda wish you would lock half of the guns that are available so there was something to work for…. it make the game seem like it was WAY too easy….

    one more small thing… i wish i played with at least 50% real ppl online….your computer are really good and cool but there is a difference. but i am kinda glad it is not all real ppl to take the jobs i dont want to do like operative.

    you could even lock everything that i have earned! i just want to have to earn everything, not be given every thing… maybe wait till lvl 15 exp before you even unlock the first body type!

    yea they were kinda challenging, but you were given almost every gun right off the bat… except for 4-6 they should start you off with only 1-2 of every kind so you have something to work for. that would keep me playing for a long time… now i feel like i am almost dine… and i stopped playing by noon on Monday…

    i was the only one of my friends to get the game yesterday, the rest were waiting to see what i thought and now no one wants to get it because they heard i had unlocked most everything already…

    i just want something to work hard for! there is no point in trying anymore. it took me months to get to a 10th prestige lvl 70 in MW2, i was just looking for the same thing here. give ppl the option to reset it and lvl higher.

    WHERE IS THE CHALLENGE…. great game! great ideas! but way too simple to unlock everything… everything looks and feels great! but you made this game for noobs! each mission in its self was difficult enough. but you need to make the unlocks more difficult… i know you wanted to make it fair, but there is fair and there BORING. no one shot kills, GREAT IDEA, no XP for kills and make ppl work together, im a killer and that’s still great! but what you need to do is LOCK all but a few guns, and make us work for guns, not stupid videos that i dont care about..

    im just saying now that i have almost everything, and there is nothing else to lvl up, what am i supposed to do?…. it is a great game. and normally people work on one weapon till it is lvl’d up all the way. but i have nothing to lvl up. i just wish there was…

  9. Thanks for the update guys! It’s cool to see that you are dedicated to fixing as many issues as possible to make the game a better experience for everybody! nice to see you care.
    I’m just wondering if anything will be released that might improve the AI in this game?
    Thanks.

  10. Great game so far, havnt had too many lag issues or graphical errors, but every so often the sound just cuts out for the remainder of the match, not sure if others are having that problem.

    Other than that though, fantastic game experience so far, and I look forward to the idea of a competitive e-sports related scene playing brink, which I think would be totally badass.

    From a balance perspective, I do think it should be *slightly* easier to finish someone off on the ground, I swear its like half a clip usually for me as a light class. :[

  11. nice to see a company giving the players updates on what they are working on. its good to hear that the lag issue is being investigated.

  12. WOOHOO, good support is what makes a game to me worth the 50 euros! Im waiting for the release in Germany ;) Keep it up man! I have faith in Brink team!

  13. Great to hear about the lag issue is being looked at. I also wish that when online I could switch my characters though. I dont know if they can fix that or not. I made a second character for its body type. But I dont see a way to switch and i hate to leave a good game just for a body type.

  14. or emilio you could go into options and memorize the controls from there its not that hard plus you can customize the controls to your liking :P

  15. I love the email I got yesterday and your support blamed the lag on XBOX Live and told them to contact them.

    Here is what support said

    The network performance issue appears to be an Xbox Live issue. Please contact them for support for that.

    Best Regards,
    Joel D. at Bethesda Softworks Technical Support

    Great support blaming someone else.

  16. So i bought this game the first day it came out. and i have it for the ps3. even though psn is down im loving it already. the campaign may be short but it is fun, and like no other fps campaign out there. it also helps you get used to the gameplay which will help later when psn is back up and we can play online. i just cant wait to play online and the waiting is killing me. but i can wait cuz just playing the game is fun. hope to see you fellow gamers online when psn comes back online. maybe you’ll get in a match with me. hope to see you all soon. p.s. gamertag…. So-Cal-Swag1995, or my secondary… Random_Red_Dot

  17. I’m glad that there’s already a patch for the graphics issues. However, I honestly wanted to buy Brink just to have a new experience regardless of the online capabilities. I’ll play co-op and versus when the lag gets fixed, but playing solo is OK with me. My only request: bring out some more missions/maps in DLC packs. I’ll buy em if they’re available.

  18. Any word on if we will see the ability to play team death match or more traditional competitive experiences with the 8 maps. Not all of the maps are exactly fair so one side is MUCH more likely to come out on top leading to an inbalanced experience.

    Also when can we expect all maps? Or can team deathmatch/CTF be built into the maps for the challenges?

  19. Although Brink has been something new to play instead of Battlefield or Call of Duty, its not what I was expecting. Jumping over tables, climbing up walls, and sliding under things is cool but its when you knock against a object that you can not jump over. I actually got stuck, for some reason I could not jump over nor slide because I had no room to run. I ended up shutting off the game and loaded up Modern Warfare 2.

    Brink is fun, I will say that. But a few things should have been tested before release. Like 1 map on pc where the audio just stops completely, something major like sound should have been figured out way before now. As much as Im made about this being a steam required game I wont complain because I got it almost free at Gamestop.

    If you not sure about this game and dont feel spending $50 on it, talk to your friends. Im sure someone got it. Wait for a demo! Like Borderlands, this game has its perks to some people but others will ask why did they bother and go back to Cod or BF.

  20. Only ran into about 7 bugs in game, which is fine for a new release, but the AMD issue is pretty severe. I have the 11.5a drivers, and basically play at 30 FPS or below. My third party FPS counters tell me I’m actually getting 100+ frames ingame, so something in the graphical engine is struggling, and failing.

    The point system is incorrectly balanced and while it does encourage team play, it unfortunately does so too well, and people are finding going for objectives yields LESS points than simply camping back and doing nothing but buffs.

  21. Thank you for your quick response and thank you creating such a fantastic game for us to enjoy. I have only played for about six hours but I am loving every minute of it.

    Congratulations on Brink! and your future ventures.

  22. First off, thanks for the update. Seeing this kind of initial support is spectacular and keeps me optimistic. I love the game and the gameplay.

    Second, the issues I’ve been having and that I feel are the most important. I’ve been playing on Xbox 360. The number one thing to fix right now is the lag. That should be first and foremost for an online focused shooter. The only solution I’ve found is to play the Competitive playlist (less players = less lag). Second, please put in a party system so I can get into a game with my friends. This game is a team focused game, and not being able to join up as a team is hindering. Almost all of the games I join are full and I cannot even invite 1 friend.

    Thank you once again Splash Damage/Bethseda for Brink.

  23. This is a Bethesda title right, then HOW can you neglect having female characters…..? THAT must be why nobody else came to the ARK, no women!!

  24. My biggest complaint with the game now is the lack of lobbies in multiplayer games. I honestly do not understand how that could me omitted from the game. This is a real pain trying to arrange games with friends and is a joke. Was their any testing? Can this be fixed?

  25. @Matthew Downham

    Your complaints about the graphics are baffling to me. I’m playing from the disc and not having any of the issues you described. The game looks as good or better than any other FPS out on the market today.

  26. Ive been waiting for this game since Sept and overall its been fun. I think yall have a really good base for a game that could be great. Wish there was more of challenge getting weapons and gear than just playing a couple of missions but i understand the need to get everyone up to speed so online matches are more exciting. I totally agree with the DLC, new maps, guns, outfits would be sweet. So far though the game has grinded to a hault for me because I can’t even play one minute online before I quit because of lag. Ive tried to play about 20 online matchs and hadn’t been able to finish any yet due to connection problems with host I guess. Really hope yall figure it out because I dont want to stop playing a game that has peaked my interest for so long.

  27. do the best u can guys cause this game has hypes of potential but the issues are stoping it from beeing the best. so try and fix as much as you can cause i’d hate to see this game fall to the ground.

  28. ‘Urgently investigating’ does not mean ‘fixing.’ You only have to look at the disaster that was Gears of War 2’s multiplayer to know that no amount of updates will fix a server once it has gone live. I’m so bitterly disappointed as I wanted both Splash Damage and Brink to suceed as much as possible, instead this may bury the entire team. Hopefully your fixes work and we can salvage a game that had huge potential.

  29. It’s for reasons like this that i love playing games from independent studios. Since launch i haven’t experienced any issued on my x360, except for major lags in multi. I suspect that only has to do with the host selection. Otherwise it’s been awesome. keep up the great work guys, and i can’t wait for the first DLC, whenever it gets here.

  30. Thank you, for creating Brink! It’s an incredibly fun game, especially when you’re playing with friends! But the unbearable lag for the 360 has to be fixed asap! It’s god awful when you’re trying to play in a room full of humans!

    I’m just wondering, is there is any region based “matchmaking”? Or does it just put you in any room with available slots? I live in Hawaii, so playing with people on the mainland can be pretty bad at times. (unless they’re on the west coast sometimes…)

  31. I have to 100% agree with what Matthew Downham wrote. I could not have said it any better myself. I can honestly say I feel a little duped after seeing the videos and screens posted on their website of what the game looks like. They in no way represent what the game looks like when I play. Like Matthew said, a res’d up old Xbox game. The way the graphics currently look, there is no way this game should have been released on consoles. Compare Crysis 2 (which has too much detail in my opinion) to this game and it makes you scratch your head as to why the graphics are so bad.

  32. Joining friend’s games on Xbox 360 is a hassle when it really shouldn’t be. Is there any chance that a party system a la Halo or Call of Duty will be implemented in the future? For such a team-based game the lack of an easy way to get your team together seems like a huge misstep.

  33. I had tons of fun playing Brink, and I am wondering when we might have a server browser for campaign? Whenever I join a match via Campaign, I am always lagging really badly.

  34. I’m glad to see that bug fixing is high priority. Sadly I haven’tplayed the game yet; apparently the canadian postal system has decided I want to wait few days for it. -.-;

  35. Same as what some one else said Make some Mission/Map Packs I will also but them and any other DLC like weapons and clothing all would be appreciated :)

  36. I know that most mp 360 games have lag problems on launch but this has to be the worst. Please keep us updates and I hope you find the solution for the lag AND graphics soon before people start returning.

  37. When is PC going to get Logitech, XBox and PS3 controller support? It’s unbelievable that the game made it out the door without this in the first place. It’s not a matter of “just use KB and mouse it’s better anyway” it’s about having the OPTION for players who prefer controllers. Especially players like me that play the same game on multiple platforms and want familiar controls for each. I do not use and do not want aim assist, just controller support.

  38. Please guys, fix the AMD/ATI framerate issues as fast as you can, tons of players can’t play because of all the lag caused by this. It’s annoying, and it shouldn’t be happening on great rigs like mine.

  39. Dear Creators of Brink,

    I have been a fan of your games in the past and was very excited to start playing Brink. I preordered the game but was a little concerned when I read the reviews from various review sites. However, I still purchased the game along with my brother. Upon playing it we both love the game and the concept. The smart movement is amazing. However, we both experienced problems with the audio. Now we are both playing on separate xboxs in different towns together over xbox live. I would experience problems where the sound would skip and give that blown out speaker squawk. It would only come during intense fighting parts where there was a lot going on. Now my brother had a different audio issue. He said that his sound was lagging a good 4 seconds from what he was experiencing playing. Now today we were playing and I experienced no problems but then again installed the game on my hard drive before I played today. My brother said that it wasn’t as bad today but he said there was still some audio delay around 1-2 sec.

    As a side note I would really like to see an option to create a party before I started a game

  40. I played the game last night on Windows 7 (32 bit) and experienced no problems once I got it running (steam was initially saying that the game was not available even after it unlocked.) BTW I saw one of the devs on the Machinima live stream of the game and I really appreciate how he answered the questions posed by the Machinima crew. I also thought it was interesting what happened with the reviewers…how the US reviewers were writing their reviews without the day 1 patch available and the European reviewers had the patch and that was in part responsible for the reviews being all over the place. I personally side with the “like” group…I had fun playing it last night (even solo.) The character customization definitely added to the fun factor. One good point I heard is there is a question of amount of content in the game…hopefully some DLC is in thee works or even map creation tools?

  41. i pre-ordered brink and played all day yesterday. after the shock and awe of how beautiful the game looked wore off, i was stuck with a frustrating single player campaign. Brink is a very team oriented game and the AI doesn’t seem to understand that. maybe its just me but it is kinda hard on normal. let alone on the hard setting but thats not a bad thing. the bad thing is that i can barley play brink online. i upgraded my internet JUST for this game hoping i would have no issues. but there are issues and though i am glad that its not just my internet connection and that its the whole thing, this definitely left an impression on how i feel about the game.

    I was so stoked for this game and i am still excited to see where its going to end up. i just feel a little let down ya know? Matthew Downham said pretty much everything i was going to say so ill just agree with him and hope that this lag situation is addressed as soon a possible.

  42. I would like to request that there be a way to gather my fire team before I start match making. Finding a game (with out lag) and enough empty player slots for my friends is so annoying. Besides these issues i am loving the game thanks to everyone at Splash Damage!

  43. Im quite upset about how on earth this could have been released?! Such an awesome company and the game was such a great idea but why on earth wasnt this stuff handled before launch!? Another question I have for any random person reading this is how come our unique characters are not showing up online? Everyone ive talked to just sees a generic random clothing for their body types when playing online (xbox 360) and were all quite upset about that.