All Points Bulletin Unveiled
An MMO that goes by the name of APB (All Points Bulletin) has been unveiled by David Jones. The creator of Crackdown and Grand Theft Auto made the announcement on the fourth day of the Game Developer’s Conference.
A description on the Realtime Worlds website tell us “APB is a city based community game where players choose between playing the criminals or those out to catch the criminals; carry out or thwart opposed crimes and build up areas of the city you control, all with unprecedented levels of character and vehicle customisation.”
Jones explained how “APB takes the style of games I like to make, and embraces them. The true beauty of the medium lies in the player’s imagination, not in the designers.” Jones emphasized how he feels the need to get the MMOG genre out of a fantasy/sci-fi setting to a more “geek with chic” setting.
APB will allow players to create their own character using the in-game creator. Realtime Studios felt it was important for players to create a unique, identifiable personality within the game so a lot of effort was put into this. Jones explained how they “wanted to make it completely free form and very high quality, as well as easy to use.” The video below shows the character creation demonstration shown at GDC.
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Realtime Studios has partnered with Internet radio service Last.fm so that players will be able to take music from their own Last.fm library and play it in their vehicle. Other players in the car can hear the song if it in their library but if it isn’t, the game will look for music from the same artist or a similar genre.
Jones criticized Blizzard’s World of Warcraft “kill 10 of these” quests, a common feature in MMORPGs. Jones broke down the math of how many monsters it would take to fill the time used to reach maximum level without introducing a grind which he answered by saying that they’ll “make the core game so much fun, it doesn’t feel like a grind.”
A typical mission was also demonstrated at GDC. The demonstrated mission began with four gangsters hijacking an armoured van full of cash. Once they had secured the vehicle, the gangsters had to get back to the base of operations to complete their goal. A process of dynamic matchmaking sends a call to enforcement who aims to stop the gangsters in a car chase and then a shootout. Jones says adding the competitive player elements will make the game’s repeatable missions fun and dynamic and that players will begin building reputations.
APB looks set to be released this year on PC and XBOX 360. Stay tuned to Console Monster for more details.