In the first two Developer Diaries for Brink, Game Director Paul Wedgwood introduced you to Brink and the team behind it, while Art Director Olivier Leonardi talked in depth about the direction of the game’s art style.
In this third diary, Lead Writer Ed Stern explains how Brink’s environment communicates the game’s narrative.
The Writing on the Wall
At Splash Damage, we believe that a game’s environment is the best narrative medium we have. Compelling environments allow players to pull in information from their surroundings without having to be held hostage by an NPC lecturing them on The Way Things Were. We knew we wanted to use our game environments to tell the story, so they’d need to be packed with detail.
We created a design goal internally called IDC: Instant/Deep Context. Basically it’s the old axiom “Show, don’t Tell”. If we get IDC right, then when the player looks at a game asset they immediately and intuitively grasp where they are (that’s the “Instant” part). And the more they look at the assets, the more the cumulative narrative detail builds up, and the more they see how the game world works and how it came to be that way (that’ll be the “Deep”).
So, how did we go about creating the story and setting for Brink?