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MasterTheHero

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  1. Unfortunately, the game is on life support. Player population is abysmal and the engine update is still running into problems. The latest update in the engine tracker from Matt is something I saw when exporting assets from motion builder into a game engine. If even one object is not tagged correctly or the name doesn't match, the converter will fail and create incompatible data that will not import into the game. Real Time Worlds did such a shitty job, then again, the features they were adding in did not exist. So I guess I can't really fault them for that. APB technology was several years ahead of its time. Just a shame really.
  2. Realistically, this game is not going to survive if they don't do something drastic to make this game relevant again. If they don't get the engine update done and start working on adding new maps and content, this game is going to go the way of the Avengers and become a low pop waste land of vets vs. vets. With all the issues they are having in just getting the game updated to an old version of Unreal, the amount of resources they spent into the engine upgrade is most likely getting close to equal the cost it would have taken to start the game from scratch while using some of the original source code for reference.
  3. I suppose to clarify, I did work at R* for a time in their cutscene department. I know first hand what a monumental task it is to build a game. There would be certain months where everything in the build would crash simply because something wasn't right with the lighting engine or the buggy animation editor wasn't finished and therefore led to asserts. But APB is nowhere near the scale of a Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead game. APB has a financial district, waterfront district, asylum, social district, and a few fight club maps. I also remember the APB guys saying that RTW had made the maps as one giant mesh rather than a Lego block of assets which was completely bizarre to me back then. I know that game dev isn't easy but at the same time I don't feel like APB is nearly as complicated as any of the other games in the market. The only thing that differentiates APB from other games is that designer. The character creator, emblem designer, car customization, is still one of the best out there. But asides from customization what is really unique about APB besides cops and robbers? A GTA modder could easily recreate everything in APB with the exception of the emblem and character designer which would take a significant amount of work. APB is no longer the unique snowflake it was when it first released. Creating an instanced matchmaking system of cops vs. robbers is amateur hour compared to the things video games can do now. No other open world game has implemented the logo designer into their games, but Forza motorsport has and so has most racing games. It's only going to be a matter of time before the character customization and custom emblems become something a triple A game supports. This game is awfully old and the technology is far outpacing the development of what APB can support. I mean, are we really going to expect this game to have the longevity of Everquest 2, World of Warcraft? If they don't get this engine update out and start delivering new content, I honestly don't see how Little Orbit can hope to make APB profitable again. My friends and I loved to play APB and we always took the time to tag those graffiti spots. But with the way development of this engine "update" is going, I feel like APB's engine update will deliver at the same day that Star Citizen officially launches . . . which is never.
  4. For the past 11 years, the first 5 spent playing the game. I have been lurking on the APB forums, reading updates from Matt, following blog posts, all in the vain hope of finally seeing that the engine update is released. Three years after Little Orbit has taken over this still hasn't happened. I do not understand why these game devs think they could reverse engineer APB's code into NOT EVEN the newest engine of Unreal. It is painfully apparent that Real Time Worlds coded the game in a way that would only work with the Unreal Engine it was built in. Every week I read Matt's engine tracker updates and all I see is problem after problem in regards to making this game work. It's too old, it was never built properly to begin with, and I think Little Orbit is wasting time trying to make this game work. The amount of time invested into upgrading the engine should have been spent rebuilding APB from scratch with the Unreal 4 codebase or a different engine altogether. The code was not built correctly, plain and simple. If it were built correctly, then APB would be in the same boat as Grand Theft Auto Online which is using the RAGE engine version built during GTA IV. Their engine is not perfect and it certainly has a lot of limitations, but the code to upgrade it and continue to develop it is on a solid foundation. That same GTA IV engine was used to develop Red Dead Redemption 2. Funnily enough, I believe horses were listed under vehicles and there was still some code for airplanes that weren't used in RDR2. My concern now is that I fear Little Orbit will now run into the investors fallacy. Where they've spent so much money on trying to make something work they will continue throwing money into it even though it's never going to pan out. This is how I feel about APB. Instead of trying to glue together a broken egg shell, Little Orbit should consider transferring their resources into developing APB 2 and just put APB 1 on maintenance mode. Reasons why Little Orbit should focus on developing APB 2 instead: 1.) Good will with APB is already tarnished. The terrible launch on consoles already left a bitter taste in most gamers mouths who didn't know anything about APB. 2.) The engine update isn't even going to dramatically increase graphic fidelity. The screenshots that were released with the "engine update" is the equivalent of an HD remaster of a game. And with the way development has been going, stability won't be improved due to spaghetti code. 3.) Veteran players have been playing the same maps for 11 years. There's no freaking way new players will stand a chance against the vets. When I was matched against a new player, I was dominating the poor kid without even trying. So rather than let him get discouraged, I change my guns (nerfed myself) and played less competitively. I heard him get excited over voice chat when he was finally able to beat me. I shouldn't have to play worse so that new players don't leave. 4.) With all the experience Little Orbit has gained in the development of APB, all that experience can be transferred over into developing an engine that is stable, clean, modable, and offer better performance than the current one. Leave the original APB in maintenance mode, continue to run your events, and build a competent codebase that can be upgraded in the same way as Rockstar's RAGE engine.
  5. Most folks on here have not worked in game dev, I have and I can tell you exactly what doomed APB and it has very little to do with the engine update. The real reason APB was doomed was because the core foundation of the game was never built properly. The only thing Realtime Worlds got right was the customization editor, an arcade gameplay loop, and a fun game world to run around in. But Realtime worlds failed to plan for the FUTURE of the game. They didn't anticipate what would happen if players who could navigate the maps with their eyes closed would be put in the same pool as new players. They used custom hacks and code to make their game work in THAT version of Unreal Engine, never dreaming it would have to be changed. They never had a plan on how to sustain the longevity of the game. The engine update is not intended to enhance the graphics. The engine update is being pushed because APB has become impossible to update and upgrade with its current code and engine limitations. Newer PC's still can't run APB well because of the shoddy code that was built into the game into the first place. An update to a new engine would allow LO to bring better performance to consoles and have a stronger foundation with which to build their game. But as everyone has noticed for the past 10 years, APB was a cluster f--- to begin with. LO signed up to maintain an upgrade a lemon. They bought a car with no brakes, a failing transmission, and glued on shoddy repairs that would never pass inspection. What LO is doing is the equivalent of restoring an old car but it turns out engine code is more complicated than a real engine. Even after LO completes this upgrade, I doubt they can truly salvage APB. The only way to put players on an even playing ground is to add new maps and make some changes to the current layouts. Right now, not a single new player will stick with the game because the veterans will outmaneuver and outgun them at every turn. The new player population needs to be kept on its own server away from the veterans who have already played the sh** out of this game. APB is a very unique game and it definitely loads faster and performs better than GTA Online. But it simply doesn't have enough depth or variety to sustain the population. The account bound guns and cars without new maps is a joke. APB is essentially a mobile game in PC form. I hope the engine update is the upgrade LO needs to truly add some support to this game, but I fear it's going to be too little too late.
  6. Doubt it. Read Matt's engine update thread. They can barely figure out how to get the lights working properly. Also look at how APB launched on Xbox and what crappy performance it had. No, these guys are operating on a small crew that inherited a game code that is difficult to understand and is most likely a mess of hacks and custom built tools. You are right, there is no better customization. What I meant by groundbreaking for its time is that it was the first game to do it. Other games could easily do what APB does, they have simply chosen not to.
  7. I stopped playing this game ages ago, but I keep lurking these forums in the hopes of seeing a worthwhile update to the game where I could get my friends back in. Still hasn't happened. So, here's the deal... LittleOrbit's biggest mistake, and G1's biggest mistake, was not tearing down APB and starting from scratch. All these devs keep trying to build these new updates on worthless code that was groundbreaking for its time, and completely non-functional in 2020. Unreal Engine 3 was still fairly new when APB came out, and RealTime Worlds had to do an enormous amount of custom code to make features that are now standard in the newest engine, functional in the old engine. And contrary to popular belief, video game developers and programmers don't know crap about building games. When a bug pops out, the game devs are just as surprised as the players when it comes to figuring out what caused it. Stuff like missing geometry, blank textures, that's all easy stuff that may have been overlooked. But when there's a bug that's like, everytime you spawn a vehicle the game crashes. That's a little harder to track down and figure out why it's happening. If LO really wanted to bring APB back, then they had to start from scratch, plain and simple. The worst part is, LO isn't even updating APB to UE 4, I think they're only going as far as UE 3.5 due to how horrible the original APB code is. The harsh reality is that LO and G1 are too small to maintain a game like APB. APB should have AT LEAST 12-16 open world maps to choose from at this point. Financial, Waterfront, Asylum? Yeah okay, that was a joke. There should be so many more districts to choose from, and I'm talking big city districts, not trash maps like asylum. But no, everyone is still playing on the same maps, and the lifers have mastered these maps which makes it impossible for new players to have any fun. And there's not enough population in matchmaking to have the new players fight new players, so APB is really only being barely sustained by the old veterans. And the reason we still have the same crappy maps is because of how poorly built APB is. I think I even read one time that the APB maps of Waterfront and Financial are all just one GIANT MESH, instead of individual buildings. That is insanely stupid. But you know what the worst part is going to be? The engine update isn't going to change anything. I've seen the screenshots and videos, and this game still looks like an outdated mess. There is absolutely nothing revolutionary coming with the engine update except for perhaps, a more stable FPS. But in terms of the textures, lighting, mesh quality, it all still looks basic AF. I'm still interested in playing the game when the engine update comes out, but it's not going to be this revolutionary change to the game that's needed to bring this dead franchise back to life. The shame of it all is that APB is still the only game that truly let's you customize everything. Even Grand Theft Auto can't compete with APB's customization system, but GTA has a ton of different things to do to keep everyone busy, something APB is sorely lacking. And how about the fact that after all these years, the big arena in the Social District is still completely worthless! No one goes over there. The social district should have been revamped from scratch completely. Honestly, the only thing that's going to save APB is a complete reboot or an APB 2. This game is dead.
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