Brink – Unique Immersive FPS

Posted: 10th December 2009 by Maxim Bardin in Uncategorized
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Brink is an upcoming FPS game developed by SplashDamage with the use of id tech 4 modified engine.
SplashDamage made several games for id software.
Among those games are : Wolfenstein:ET and Wolfenstein MP (Multiplayer) , Doom3 MP and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
This is however, their first original title without id software’s help (except the licensed id tech 4 engine).

About Brink

Brink is an immersive shooter that blends single-player, co-op, and multiplayer gameplay into one seamless experience, allowing you to develop your character across all modes of play. You decide the role you want to assume in the world of Brink as you fight to save yourself and mankind’s last refuge for humanity. Brink offers a compelling mix of dynamic battlefields, extensive customization options, and an innovative control system that will keep you coming back for more.

A man-made floating city called the Ark, made up of hundreds of separate floating islands, is on the brink of all-out civil war. Originally built as an experimental self-sufficient and 100% “green” habitat, the reported rapid rise of the Earth’s oceans has forced the Ark to become a refuge for humanity. Crammed with the original Ark founders, their descendants, as well as tens of thousands of refugees, the Ark exists in total isolation from the rest of the world. With 25 years of social unrest, the inhabitants of the Ark have reached their breaking point. It’s up to you to decide the future of the Ark and the human race.

Key Features:
Blurring the Lines Between Offline and Online – Advance your character’s development across every gameplay mode: single player, co-op, and multiplayer. Gain experience points that you can spend on customizing and upgrading your skills and abilities, designing an entirely unique look and feel for your character.
Groundbreaking Kinesthetics – Brink uses the familiar shooter controls that you’re used to, without frustrating, artificial constraints and takes advantage of a new feature: the SMART button. When you press the SMART button, the game dynamically evaluates where you’re trying to get to, and makes it happen. No need to perfectly time a jump or vault, the game knows what you want to do.
Context-Sensitive Goals and Rewards – Objectives, communications, mission generation, and inventory selection are all dynamically generated based on your role, your status, your location, your squad-mates, and the status of the battle in all gameplay modes. You’ll always know exactly where to go, what to do when you get there, and what your reward will be for success.
Virtual Texturing – Brink’s proprietary technology, Virtual Texturing, breaks new ground on current-gen consoles and PCs with an even greater focus on highly detailed characters, realistic environments, lighting, effects, and atmospherics,. This competitive lead on the squad-combat genre helps thrust players into the gritty reality of the Ark’s epic secluded arcology.

The GNU/Linux port is currently unconfirmed but highly possible, if the publishers “Bethesda Softworks” won’t object.
From the GNU/Linux port for Brink Forums thread :

Dev – RR2DO2 :
” In the end, the Linux version causes a lot of extra headaches. If there is someone dedicated on the team to support the client (which mainly involves porting a lot of the simd code, implementing functional windowing/input/sound backends as well as deal with any compatibility/performance problems at the rendering side) then there is a chance that a Linux client will be made. Usually this involves someone’s spare time as a hobby project. Getting just the headless linux dedicated server up and running is a lot less effort, as this tends to be mainly based on code that is inherently written in a cross-platform manner.
Yes, Linux games can have a relatively high % of people buying a product in a short time, part of this is because there aren’t many games out there as well as dedication to their favourite platform that makes people buy these games. This shows their dedication to their platform. However, a lot of these people will also be able to run Windows and create a VM or dual boot to play there games – often because the Windows experience will likely guarantee a more tested and stable way to play. Unfortunately, from a commercial POV there is no real critical mass yet in this segment. This is unlike the Mac market, where a port is more likely to be profitable.”

“TTimo works for id, he is not involved with Brink. Any potential linux work is an in-house SD effort at the moment.”

“We use OpenGL for Brink. Partially because of our legacy, partially because it provides a nice platform for cross DX9 and DX10+ class hardware, partially because of the portability. Yes, D3D has some nice debugging tools that at times I wish I’d have for GL, but at the same time there is not enough of a reason to change to D3D and support two renderer backends on the PC (D3D9 and D3D10+).
Moving tools into dlls was completely separate an issue – tools have lots of non-game specific code in there that just complicates the code base in certain ways. Having them more isolated made things nicer in certain ways (and more of a pain in others).”

Dev – Rahdo :
“all i can say to this is the ball is in Bethesda’s court. if they see the financial incentive to do Linux (or mac) ports, they’ll do them. if not, they won’t. it’s their money, and you’ve got to take the argument to them. we’re just trying to make the best game we can”

Hamish Wilson, member of our GNU/Linux community made a nice (and long) post trying to convince the developers to make a GNU/Linux port for Brink :
“Hello everyone,

I know that this is my first post here, and I got an account here only to post in this thread. I will probably not come here often, and this account will probably be mostly inactive. For this I apologize. However, when I found this thread during a Google search I felt I needed to post some information.

As has been previously revealed, Timothee Besset has said that about 5% of QuakeLive players play from Linux, which is about average for their Linux game ports. Not a huge amount, but more than enough to make a port marketable. And has also previously been stated, Linux users tend to be more dedicated to their games so this percentage likely increases as a game ages and many other players start playing the latest new flashy soulless games instead. On Timothee’s blog there was also an interesting post by someone saying his family alone probably gives id roughly $1200 per game. His family only buys Linux games. Not a huge amount of money, but from one family that is quite the dedicated investment.

I will also redirect you to another Linux friendly developer, Frictional Games, which has had experiences on Linux that have been nothing short of remarkable. During one weekend alone last summer they managed to sell 3000 units of their Linux box sets. In a recent interview with one of the companies head people, Jens Nilsson revealed how their games sold by platform. It makes interesting reading:

Windows: 80%
Linux: 12%
Mac: 8%

You should also keep in mind that the Linux and Mac ports did not receive any backing from any publishers and they rely on word of mouth marketing by their fans for knowledge of the game to spread. Only the Windows version received any marketing. Also note how a dedicated Linux fan-base can beat a more lethargic Mac one if the conditions are right.

As far as I can tell the game already uses OpenGL, as the technical director so kindly informed us earlier, and all that it needs is for someone to put the time into building the port and fixing one or two errors that may pop up during porting. The problem is no one at Splash Damage has any prior background in this and are of course already busy working on a game that is worth playing. Timothee Besset is in no way involved with this project, as such he is unavailable for porting. Do not despair however, there are people willing to do this for you.

Ryan C. Gordon is the obvious example. He is the guy behind the Mac and Linux ports of UT2004/2003 and several other games. What makes him even more desirable for this project is he even has experience with idtech4, being contracted by Human Head to port Prey to Linux. He has also been known, if the situation is right, to do the port for free in some cases, as he had done for Postal 2 and is currently doing with Aquaria. Splash Damage is taking its firsts steps to independence, and naturally they do not want to invest in a potentially risky venture if it costs them. He might very well be willing to do the port for free to allow you to see what Linux has to offer, so if the experience is good, you would be willing to pay him to port, for lack of a better example, Brink 2. He could also probably give you a Mac port in a pinch. There are other porting contractors out there as well such as Frank Earl, and of course there is always Linux Game Publishing.

At this point you may very well be asking “This is all very well and good, but even if the port is done for free it is not as if we would gain anything substantial. Is it even worth the effort to contract a porter?” My answer would be a definite “yes” for many reasons. As has already been mentioned, porting a game exposes more bugs than even a debugger possibly could. Just ask Ryan or Timothee about it, they will be sure to back me up. However, the one which I think would be of specific interest to the kind folks here at Splash Damage is the recent problems the game “Wolfenstein” has had with it’s sales figures. Wolfenstein, in case you did not know, strayed a wee bit too far from the nest making it so Timothee was not able to make a port for it. Due to this many Linux users boycotted the game. I am sure many of you have read the news reports from last August about the game’s poor sales. Did not having a Linux port cause this? Probably not. Would a Linux port have increased sales? Definitely, they would have at least gotten that guy’s family’s $1200, not to mention all those boycotter’s money.

Why is this relevant? Well, to be honest I have seen some worrying signs for Brink. Several news sources I have viewed online when receiving Brink news have seemed none caring or ignorant of its existence. I have read more titles like “Brink has been delayed, which is shocking! Because we didn’t even know it was coming out.” then I wanted to. Since this is Splash Damage’s first game without id offering them support, it is essential for it to succeed. In a market like we have today it is important to diversify and find new sources of income to support your development. It is also especially important not to piss off already established fans. All your previous titles have been more than popular on penguin-powered machines. Linux could very well be the next big market, and it already is a very appreciative and vocal market. Emphasis on the vocal there, we won’t stop talking about the good games on our platform. With things looking the way they are it might be something you really do not want to ignore.

I just hope someone here takes this post seriously…

Sources:….html#comments…games-amnesia/…y-from-release…nux-gaming.ars “

“Yeah, I know it got a bit long but it needed to be said…

Incidentally, I was meaning to add this to my original post but forgot about it while I was writing (yes, it took that long). Anyway, here is my rough count of the people who said they would like a Linux client on this thread:

Fourteen people want a client (I am including myself in there of course)

One person said it would be interesting if there was one at least, and one person just said it would probably be not that hard to do. I counted about four or five people who said it would not be worth it. Keep in mind though, they would not boycott the game because a Linux client was made so it is not like you are losing customers there…

I would also like to add even if Ryan needed the money it would probably still be worth it considering he could probably give you a Mac and Linux port for the price of one. But considering he seems to have given somewhere between 500$ – 999$ to the FSF last year… “

If you want to help bring Brink to GNU/Linux you can make your voices heard !
Post in the GNU/Linux thread asking for a GNU/Linux client for Brink.
Write to Splashdamage developers asking them to volunteer making a GNU/Linux client in their free time like TTimo does.
And more importantly write to their publishers Bethesda Softworks asking for a native GNU/Linux client.
The power is in your hands – you can make it happen.

Screenshots :

Video :


Links :
Brink Official Website
GNU/Linux Brink Port Thread
Bethesda Softworks
id tech 4

  1. Hamish Wilson says:

    Seriously dude, are you following me? First my Wiki and now this…

    Okay, it is actually much appreciated. Let us get the word out about this game and its potential ported future!

  2. Max says:

    I already saw this ages ago, but I think a port is just as likely as a port of a Microsoft game to Linux…

  3. Maxim Bardin says:

    Hello Hamish Wilson !
    Thanks for honoring us with your visit.

    What wiki are you talking about ?

  4. Maxim Bardin says:

    SplashDamage did a lot of games with id software, and all of them ad GNU/Linux clients.
    The engine supports it, and they don’t against making one, if enough people will ask for it – then it’s not a dream.

  5. Hamish Wilson says:

    The Blood Wiki of course. User:Gideon is the assistant moderator, I am the head moderator.

  6. SlickMcRunFast says:

    Looking at Splash Damages site, everything they ever made runs on Linux natively. Brink will be their first to not support Linux. It will be their first mistake as well.

  7. Max says:

    It’d be really sweet if they released it for Linux, I guess the only factor that could totally destroy all hope is Bethesda.
    Does SD have anyone on their team who does stuff in the free time? I know Prey was ported by Icculus, well, maybe he offers his service for Brink, who knows.

  8. obsrv says:

    This looks great. Hope to see this running on Linux 🙂

  9. Nick says:

    While its true that linux users COULD dual boot windows to play your game, so you can theoretically still capture the linux market…..this is partially flawed reasoning. If you make the game for windows you will get SOME of the Linux base….if you make it native to linux you will get a HUGE share of linux users because of the novelty and because its the OS they run most.

    If you think that you will get just as many linux users or even close to nearly as many by counting on them all buying it for windows and dual booting….I think you are sadly mistaken. A native linux game will have that extra novelty.

    And while there are a lot of volonteers who could make this happen, I think Bethesda should offer a little more support than that…it WILL be financially advantageous.

    Maybe linux distros could help market the game by allowing it to be downloaded via the repositories with a purchased code….even with some people not paying for it (Windows games are just as easily cracked), I guarantee that a native linux game will get more attention than just hoping people will dual boot windows to play it…especially now that people are using windows less and less…..they may simply choose not to buy your game at all if its inconvenient to switch desktops.

    Be the developer who makes a cutting edge game for linux. I think it will be more profitable than not doing it.

  10. Tim says:

    I probably wouldnt play this game unless its available for Ubuntu. I used to dual boot into windows on a regular basis but these days I have made a complete transition into Linux and dont look back. Dual booting into windows would disrupt my daily experience when I could be playing a game on my linux cubed graphical desktop and not have to end all my other programs just to pay a game.

  11. Modzog says:

    I would definitely buy it if it runs natively in linux 🙂

  12. Chris says:

    I have buy the game since it will release these days. Personally i think that a Linux-Port is really unlikely cause of the Games4Windows Code. That (may be) the same issue with Unreal-Tournament and another online-user-management-system. This game looks really well and since i like to play still ETQW i hope this game is one real good experience.

    But if there will come a later Linux-Client, i would it prefer!

    Actual the Game Starts in Wine but has issues to handle the Mouse/Keyboard-Input.