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Splash Damage "found the transition from PC to consoles" to be "a challenge"


Paul Wedgwood has said Splash Damage had to hire folks who were familiar with console development to lend a hand with Brink, due to the firm being more of a PC developer.

Speaking VG247's Nathan Grayson during QuakeCon, the Splash Damage CEO told us the team found the transition from working on PCs to consoles "to be a challenge"; therefore it was much easier to hire people to help with what he called an "alien language".

"We certainly found the transition from PC to console development to be a challenge, because when you’re developing for something like a PlayStation 3, it’s almost an alien language that you’re trying to decipher as a PC developer," he said. "So we hired a lot of very talented console developers to join our team to help us make that transition.

"But I think, really, the most interesting thing about the three different lead platforms for our type of games – the Xbox 360, the PC, the PlayStation 3 – are the design challenges in achieving gameplay parity and visual parity. Because with the PC being further ahead now in visuals, getting a PC to look as good as a console or better is a particularly tough challenge anymore. The challenge is how do you get a good framerate, a really good rate of physics processing, and efficiently use the network bandwith you have for each player to develop a presentation that supports excellent gameplay no matter what platform you’re playing on.

"How do you make sure that the S.M.A.R.T. movement system – with its intricacies and people jumping and sliding and turning and shooting and sliding into cover – how do you make sure that works just as effectively on an analog controller when you can’t rebind every key on the keyboard for all of those functions.

So there’s a really interesting challenge to create a control schematic and an interface that works effectively for everything, so that nothing is a port. Nothing is a compromise to make it almost as good as the other platforms.

"That’s one of the things I’ve found most enjoyable about Brink, and I think we’ve largely succeeded. Now the way we achieved it as an approach was to be truly platform agnostic from the start. So even though the very first prototype was brought in on the PC because it was the quickest thing for us to do, we played on console controllers connected to the PC. So, you know, at E3, we played on PS3s. This time, we’re using PC boxes, but we’ve got the 360 interface and 360 controllers. Sometimes, we have a mouse-and-keyboard. And we’re not really dictatorial about it in the office. We just like people to switch around and play with different controllers and see how they feel.

"And I think you can see in some games that the interface isn’t as effective on one platform as it is on another platform. And that’s something that’s a real goal for us: visual parity and gameplay parity."

Wedgwood's comments reflect ones he made previously to Gamspot during QuakeCon, where he chatted about showing the public the different formats of the game, and how the controls are just as effective on all three.

Brink is out sometime in 2011.

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