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APB: Reloaded Dev Journals: Why APB?

By Guest Writer on June 04, 2010

Hello, my name is EJ Moreland and I have been involved in the development of APB for the last three years as the Lead Designer. I'd like to take a moment to talk about APB and the choices we've made.

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What is APB?

For those who haven't heard of it, APB is a persistent - online - action game that focuses on player creativity and player-to-player conflict. Players participate in fast-paced third-person combat across a sprawling urban city and have a comprehensive set of customization editors at their finger tips to create their own unique designs for imagery, clothing, vehicles, and music.

Ultimately, we believe players will show off their prowess at the action game or their creativity with the customization - or both - to become a celebrity within the community.

What's so different about APB?

Well, for starters, we're an action game, not an RPG, and though we do have progression, the focus of combat is your ability to put the cross-hairs on your opponent, work within small-group tactics, and know your surroundings. Add diverse urban environments with a hundred players where the combat moves between alleys, main streets, and even in frantic car chases across the city and we believe APB isn't your typical online game.

Another key difference is that we are purely a player-versus-player game and all your teammates and opponents are living, breathing human beings. To accomplish this, we've created a matchmaking system that lives in the background and does its work while you're playing rather than making you wait in lobbies to find ideal opponents.

Lastly, APB is about players expressing their creativity and tastes. Starting with your avatar, you customize physical details with a myriad of choices, including body size, hair, scars, muscularity, ethnicity, facial structure, and even tattoos, which can be created by you in the Symbol Designer.

However, we don't stop with physical appearance. You can also use the same imagery created in the Symbol Designer to create clothing designs with hundreds of clothing choices at your disposal - shape, texture, coloring of various aspects, and image design/placement.

You can do the same for several types of player-owned vehicles including paint schemes, additional physical and audio components, and the same powerful image design and placement choices.

There are even ways to express your creativity and tastes with audio. The Music Studio allows you to create music that can be used as taunts called Death Themes, which play for your opponent when you kill or arrest them. Players can even create longer compositions that can be played from your car or various jukeboxes in the Social areas.

Don't want to make your own music to listen to? We have many licensed music tracks as well as the ability for your to bring your own MP3 library into the game - and play it from your car stereo for others to hear if they have the same track in their library, otherwise our music matching will use last.fm technology to find a comparable track for their listening pleasure.

"Create. Conflict." is not just a catchy tag-line... it is what makes APB something quite different.

Check your expectations at the door

We're an open-world, urban action game where Criminals fight Enforcers - it's seems easy to have expectations such as " online" or "Cops and Robbers online", right?

Not exactly. We certainly share some similarities with both expectations above but we recommend coming into APB with an open mind - it shares as much with experiences like Counter-strike as it does with any open world crime game.

All Points Bulletin is something that we feel is completely different than what's out there online or offline - and at its core it's about you... your tastes, your creations, your skill, and your stories.

See you in San Paro.

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