Now from the newbie angle, it’s subtly different. In all our past shooters, if we wanted to allow you to jump a table, we had to make it a certain height. If we wanted to allow you to climb, a Level Designer needed to put an entity there. If something wasn’t done right, you couldn’t jump high enough, or climb, or go prone, and it was just frustrating – it was completely artificial. This solution often relied on simply stripping all the detail from a map because it got in the way of combat.
With SMART, the new player coming in to the game can now negotiate much more complex objects in the map, meaning that our Level Designers can place far more detail too, and this means that advanced players also get to make much better use of cover. In play-tests it’s win-win for everyone, and perhaps more amazingly, it’s actually frustrating to go back to our old shooters and play that way. SMART movement is smart.
Hooked Gamers: Brink's story is certainly intriguing, somewhat reminiscent of the movie "Waterworld" but with a sci-fi touch. We know how The Ark came to be inhabited by its populace but little is known about how the resistance and police came to be at odds with one another. Can you tell is a bit more about this aspect of the storyline?
Paul Wedgwood: I’ll let Ed ‘BongoBoy’ Stern, our Senior Gamer Designer and Writer answer that one… Here’s his answer:
The Ark was originally intended to be a proof-of-concept demonstration of sustainable development, zero-carbon living, powered by renewable resources. The plan was to build a poster-child for sustainable development. Much like the similarly visionary Arcosanti project, the Ark ran out of money and remained embarrassingly unfinished. Control of the Ark project was then wrested by venture capitalists who rebranded it as a Ten Star luxury eco-resort catering to celebrity/billionaire guests.
The Ark was never designed to support so many people, or for so long. After years of living in cramped, unsafe surroundings, on minimal water rations, many Guests simply don’t believe that all contact has been lost with the outside world, or that life doesn’t continue elsewhere, on safe dry land with plenty of room for everyone. In some ways it’s a disagreement over resource allocation. The Security are responsible for maintaining things as they are and preventing the Guests achieving by force what they’re unable to achieve peacefully. By 2045, when Brink is set, Ark’s Security force are taking an increasingly hard line with Guest dissent, while both political and military wings of the Guest Resistance are escalating their demands for better conditions and to see for themselves what’s over the horizon.