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Brink: 'I still don't understand why people make the games they make'

Splash Damage CEO talks Brink DLC, Doom 4 and Quake...

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What do you think the next big thing will be in FPS games? What will be the next defining characteristic?

That's really easy. I just want a really good massively multiplayer shooter, thanks. I'm desperate for it. Why isn't there? I just can't stand the fact that there isn't one yet. I'd do it but 140 staff? Managing 140 people? It's just so hard.

You know, for a long time it hasn't been technically feasible because you need super low latency connections for good shooter combat and that's generally incompatible with 1000 people being on a server at the same time.

But there are enough solutions around now so that it's reasonably feasible. I know that there are some teams on the periphery working on ideas for this. I saw some video footage of something that I quite liked the look of, they deployed some harvester then they were bouncing around shooting aliens that were attacking them.
So I think there's definitely going to be some cool stuff that comes around but I think the massively multiplayer shooter, one where we're all engaged in the same continuous environment is the thing that's going to truly impress me next.


Obviously the other titles that are close to your heart are Doom and Quake. Doom 4 and a new Quake have already been announced - you were involved in Doom 3 - will you be looking to make a contribution at all?

Like help or something? I think we probably would do if we were asked but Kevin Cloud who's in charge of the Doom 4 team, he taught us pretty much everything that we know about game design and business development because we worked with him for six years. So I don't know how we could help him that he wouldn't know how to competently manage himself anyway because he's such a good thinker, he such a rational thinker in terms of problems in video games and stuff.

Also he has a unique approach to video game design, much like Richard Ham our creative director, the two of them, Kevin Cloud at id Software and Richard Ham over at Splash Damage both often use board games and table top games as references for how they think about things and I find that just really compelling the idea that those things just translate so well.

I was giving an example earlier; when I was thinking about how objectives would work in Brink, I kept having this idea about a vision of Mouse Trap, the board game, and how you construct these different things and if you get it right you get a reward and if you get it wrong it doesn't happen. That got abandoned because the level designer I was preaching it to resigned.

But in the end we kind of ended up with something like that. In Contained City if you get everything right and you get all your ducks in a row then at the end you can grab your data sample and escape with it and I love that feeling of a plan coming together.

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