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APB - GDC First Look Part One and Two

Posted Feb 28, 2008 by Jon Wood

APB - GDC First Look Part One and Two

While at this year's Game Developer's Conference both Keith Cross and Laura Genender attended a seminar called "My First MMO". This seminar was about the upcoming MMO All Points Bulletin. While both Keith and Laura left the room impressed, Keith's impressions were pessimistic, while Laura's was through the roof enthusiastic. Today, we present both of their views as an first look at APB.

Part One Sample

While at the Game Developers Conference, I attended a seminar titled “My First MMO.” I assumed the focus of the seminar was going to be on tips and tricks for those ambitious souls who want to take on the challenge of creating the fickle creature known as the MMO game. The seminar turned out to be more of a showcase for the graphics and game concepts for APB. If you haven’t heard of APB, or All Points Bulletin, it’s essentially cops and robbers online. Another way to look at it would be to think of it as GTA’s half sibling because the guy up on the podium is none other than Dave Jones, the creator of the original GTA and currently the CEO of Real Time Worlds.

The question of what exactly defines an MMO took up the first portion of the talk. The MMO world is currently dominated by RPGs, and the definition of MMO in the popular consciousness is blurred with that of the MMORPG. In my mind, the bare minimum you need to call you game an MMO would be a number of players, numbering in at least the thousands, playing together in a persistent game environment with unique characters. Of these minimum qualities the only one that I would put in the category of both MMO and RPG would be having unique characters.

Part Two Sample

This past Thursday I accompanied Keith to the “My First MMO” seminar. I didn’t really know what to expect; to be honest, I thought it would be ‘lessons learned’ about MMO-specific issues, like customer support tools, PVP vs. PVE balance, etc. As Keith mentions in his article, though, the seminar was more about speaker David Jones’ upcoming MMO All Points Bulletin, or APB.

The first half of the seminar, Jones discussed the definition of an MMO and how he was trying to break that mold. Keith gives an excellent description of that presentation, far beyond my power of memory, so I’ll just recommend you read his article and move on to APB.

The second half of the seminar was a showcase of APB, and here’s where my jaw started unhinging. Everything about the game seems fresh, detailed, and unique; whether or not it will actually work as an MMO is another question, but it’s Keith’s job to be jaded – I get to be a fangirl.

Read Part One here.

Read Part Two here.


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