How to Build an Awesome World: “Brink” Devs on Narrative and Visuals, Part 2

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There’s no sliders.

Yeah, because we’re not offering five very blandly good-looking guys. You already have that in many other games. In Brink, you’re going to go for the mean guy who suits you best.

And what about the clothing and the tattoos stuff. Where does that fit into the fiction of the world?

I think that was the first thing I kind of discussed with the lead character modeler here. OK, the story says that you have this kind of really quite organized faction with Security, which, at the beginning, they’re just kind of random police guys. So, some of the outfits were inspired by guys that could be like on the beat, instead of a riot police guy or special forces soldier.

Like a beat cop. Got it.

Yeah. Exactly. The kind of a beat cop with a simple shirt and badge. On the Resistance side, those guys, in the story, there are workers. So most of the outfit they use to kind of fight, are inspired by safety gear plus sports gear as well. You have some guy with kneepads. Anything that can be transformed into something that can protect you. Visually, the big contrast between factions is the well organized uniform guys and the kind of mix-and-match fabrics of Resistance.

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In terms of like telling the story which is kind of this whole apocalyptic environmental disaster thing, how did you try to like bring that idea through the overall visual design of the world?

There’s some clearly identifiable zones in the Ark. One is really clean. Even if this place had been kind of decaying like for 20 years, they still maintain ridiculous level of cleanliness for the Founders’ part of the Ark. And the section on the Resistance side is gritty and rusty, and it’s in this state because it doesn’t have the resources to be maintained. There’s no upkeep whatsoever on this part. So it’s clearly a slum.

The Resistance and their families are too busy cleaning up the rich people’s part.

Exactly. Some tiny stuff we put in also helps build the vision of the world. Like, if you go to the terminal of the airport, it’s littered immigration fliers. It makes it feel like the Ark’s a place where you’d need to apply to get into. We’ve added other touches like protest fliers saying, “Stop the abductions!” because people from the slums disappear and nobody sees them again. So, stuff like that.

So you have meta-story seeded throughout the environment?

Yeah. That’s a concept that Ed, our writer, called Instant Deep Context. So, it could be in anything like the tattoos, fliers on the floor, posters and signs, anything that kind of gives a tiny bit on the story, a bit more information on the story.

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