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MattScott

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  1. Hi everyone, I'm watching this thread and taking some notes. I appreciate the feedback so far from testers. There have been a couple statements from players that certain things are "unfixable" because they are related to the old version of Unreal that APB is based on. I will go on record saying that nothing is unfixable at this point. It may be unrealistic to fix or incredible hard to fix, but we have long given up maintaining upgrade compatibility. So, the team is actively looking at each and every one of the things that have been reported. For those that have brought up matchmaking and other items outside of stability - that's where we are headed next. I just want to close out this first effort and get 64-bit into production. Then I'll work with the team to create updated roadmap that we can share with the community. We are bouncing ideas around the right format that we can publish in. Thanks, Matt
  2. Hi everyone, For those that don't follow my 64-bit updates, I'm creating a new thread here where players can discuss testing issues. We have opened a public test server that is now online for APB 1.30, the 64bit upgrade. We had a group of community players in test districts yesterday. Before I give notes and links below, I do want to set expectations. This is our 3rd attempt to upgrade APB and it's massive codebase. The first attempt was to finish off work that was started on APB 2.x before we took over. That entire attempt was flawed because the underlying code was the APB console code. They skipped major parts of 1.20 when they did that upgrade, so getting to better performance was never going to be possible. Our second attempt was to start with APB 1.20 and pull down all the functionality from APB 2.x. That effort was also met with failure, because there were simply too many moving parts. So we decided to slim things down and simply upgrade the codebase to 64-bit. This gives us native compatibility with RTX cards, but my hope is that this doesn't feel any different than APB 1.20. This is just us getting to first base instead of continuing to strike out trying to hit a home run. From here, we can cherry pick features out of 2.x and migrate them one by one into 1.30. "I dont want Perfect to be the enemy of Good." The community has waited too long for forward progress. So I'm anxious to get us a decent foundation to build off of. Notes for the test: Effective this evening, we have opened access to all players. There is no whitelist or NDA for the test. Anyone may download the client and provide feedback on the forums. You can hop on to OTW by downloading the launcher here: https://apb.patch.ot.gamersfirst.com/APB_OTW_Installer.exe Streaming and open discussion of the test is allowed as of this post. EasyAntiCheat is currently present – but we are using Battleye for the time being. As previously mentioned, our plan is to integrate EasyAntiCheat as quickly as possible. Known Bugs: If you are encountering issues running the game, run the launcher’s repair tool. There is an issue with BattlEye and multiple APB directories that running “Repair” on the OTW launcher will fix. There are known issues involving doors respawning in specific parts of maps. There is an issue with Joker Ammo machines repeating audio. Baked shaders and lighting may be incorrect in certain areas of the maps. A highly specific crash related to the music player known to exist. (EDITED: Thanks Skitty) A highly specific crash related to the clothing editor is known to exist. Provided there are no major blockers during the test, we plan on cutting over to LIVE with 1.30 as soon as possible. We hope to see you in-game testing! Thanks, Matt
  3. Hi everyone, We have a very exciting announcement this week. First, a majority of 1.30 work has been completed. We have run tests internally, and things seem to be holding together. Second, a test server is now online for Beta Testing the 64bit upgrade. We had a group of community players in test districts yesterday. I am going to be making a separate post on how to join this effort, but here is a quick rundown. Notes for the test: Effective this evening, we have opened access to all players. There is no whitelist or NDA for the test. Anyone may download the client and provide feedback on the forums. You can hop on to OTW by downloading the launcher here: https://apb.patch.ot.gamersfirst.com/APB_OTW_Installer.exe Streaming and open discussion of the test is allowed as of this post. EasyAntiCheat is currently present – but we are using Battleye for the time being. As previously mentioned, our plan is to integrate EasyAntiCheat as quickly as possible. Known Bugs: If you are encountering issues running the game, run the launcher’s repair tool. There is an issue with BattlEye and multiple APB directories that running “Repair” on the OTW launcher will fix. There are known issues involving doors respawning in specific parts of maps. There is an issue with Joker Ammo machines repeating audio. Baked shaders and lighting may be incorrect in certain areas of the maps. A highly specific crash related to the music studio is known to exist. A highly specific crash related to the clothing editor is known to exist. Provided there are no major blockers during the test, we plan on cutting over to LIVE with 1.30 as soon as possible. We hope to see you in-game testing! Thanks, Matt
  4. Hi everyone, Time for another 1.30 update! We’ve made progress this week on various tasks from the last two weeks. We created a workaround for the localization problem we encountered and have continued progress on all other tasks. Out of those tasks, the following need to be completed before we can ship 1.30: Fix an issue where a crash occurs on exit during the build process. (This is an irritating bug, because our continuous integration build system thinks the build didn't work - but it did. Its some other crash at the end of the process throwing things off) Resolve an issue relating to a third-party library responsible for loading intro movies. Test EasyAntiCheat integration. Deploy the builds from the build server to a 1.30 environment that Beta Testers can use. Perform internal QA on the 1.30 build. Deploy & test the build with Beta Testers. Process regressions encountered during the Beta Test. We still intend to get a build to our Beta Testers on schedule. As previously mentioned, we may opt to keep the NDA for the test. Thanks, Matt
  5. Hi everyone, I am traveling this week in Europe, so my schedule is a bit off, but I think I can just barely squeak this update in on time. We’re chugging along with 1.30. Every map now has lighting built, and we have been able to get into all districts in our production (shipping) build. If you missed my Twitter update, we did a very quick comparison of APB 1.20 (LIVE) and 1.30 (the x64 Upgrade) and there are some solid performance improvements, notably with regards to stutters. So good news there. The following tasks still need to be completed before we can ship 1.30: Integrate 1.30 into existing Continuous Integration systems for automated builds. Find and fix an issue relating to specific localized strings in production builds. Resolve an issue relating to a third-party library responsible for loading intro movies. Test EasyAntiCheat integration (yes, EAC is back. I mentioned this in my AMA) Ensure the crash dump reporting system from 2.x is implemented and works as intended. Create the 1.30 environment that community beta testers will use. Perform internal QA on the 1.30 build. Deploy & test the build with community testers. Process regressions encountered during the community test. The build for our community beta testers is still a couple weeks away. Depending on the severity of the issues encountered, we may opt to keep the NDA in place for some of the early tests. But we are excited to get 1.30 in your hands as quickly as possible, so the team is pushing as hard as they can. Thanks, Matt
  6. Hi everyone, It’s been another 2 weeks since my late update (1 week since the sphere), and what a two weeks it has been! First, I hoped everyone enjoyed the AMA today. We had over 1,000 unique viewers who tuned in to listen to Frosi and I, ask questions, and get a sneak peek at 1.30. I want to personally thank everyone who showed up. If you’ve missed the AMA, you can watch the VOD on Twitch here: https://youtu.be/K2MGdEOhbKY As I mentioned earlier on the livestream, we’ve made it past the Editor stage and into the game. Next, during the last 2 weeks, our team has completed the following (in order of completion): Fixed a critical bug relating to DirectX 9 and 64-bit compatibility while running under Visual Studio 2017 Ability to launch and run the Editor using 1.30’s codebase Ability to use Editor tools, such as the Skeletal Mesh Viewer, and the Static Mesh Viewer Built a sphere Load Editor assets properly Save Editor assets properly Load District Maps in-editor Fixed a few merge-related issues related to backporting 2.x memory work into 1.30 Re-baked Lighting for 1.30 within Social and Baylan Shipping Storage Re-built PhysX meshes for all assets Completed PhysX compatibility work Ability to run a test level offline Ability to enter the test level networked Created a workaround for compressed textures that resulted in player character meshes appearing transparent Ability to enter the Social district networked Ability to enter Baylan Shipping Storage networked Implemented a fix for a crash issue in DirectX related to a depth pass shader. Ability to enter the Financial district (!!) Implemented a fix for traffic lights which was causing a crash when recalculating whether a car could pass through a light. Implemented a fix for pedestrians which was causing a crash. Implemented a fix for various allocation issues within the audio subsystem that prevented the game from playing specific sounds due to being out of memory. Needless to say, I am extremely happy. There was no way I could have planned for us to have video ready for today's AMA. Just saw more progress than I expected in the last two weeks. We are now in Financial running tests. You can see the footage here: https://youtu.be/MqQUjXlITJI Our remaining issues are as follows, and will be tackled in the following order: Get the video player working Re-bake lighting for all maps (Only Social, Financial, and the Baylan Shipping Storage districts have been fully baked) Test missions and ensure they work Implement the crash dump reporting system from 2.x Upgrade the production configuration for the game’s code and assets and make a "Shipping" binary that has all the optimizations that are in the Live build. Get the testing environment back online Our target is to get 1.30 in the hands of our beta testing group no later than February. As mentioned in the AMA, we may also opt to remove the NDA for 1.30 testing so more people can see results for themselves on Twitch in a couple matches between testers. As mentioned elsewhere on the forums, San Paro will have its annual Holiday event starting tomorrow! You can get all the details about that event here: https://forums.gamersfirst.com/topic/20504-holiday-event-2022/ We hope you enjoy the Holiday festivities into the new year, and hope you are as excited about 1.30’s progress as we are! Thanks, Matt
  7. Hi everyone, I couldn't think of a better way to illustrate what stage we just hit with 1.30, so I'll just leave this here. Thanks, Matt
  8. Hi everyone, Time for another update, and this time it's a bit more exciting. Going into last week, we had hit a number of irritating issues with byte alignment blocking our progress, so our engineers brainstormed through a task to revert a slice of our changes and focus on keeping only the memory management from the 2.x. This meant going back and revising code to try and stay inline a bit closer to 1.20 - except in situations where 64-bit or VS2017 compatibility was required. We worked on that task last week, and it proved to be very successful. The code is much more reliable than what we were trying to do before. We were able to complete the serialization and UnrealScript building part of the 1.30 upgrade on Monday. Now that we’re finally able to build the game’s UnrealScript packages, we can finally begin the process of attempting to load the Editor and the game’s content. I'm happy to report we are finally booting the Editor and working through ensuring shaders build properly! I'll report more progress next time. It's worth noting that separately I have created a series of forum threads for the Open Letter that was sent to my team. The plan is to work on responses to each issue and then schedule a Live AMA with the community soon. Thanks, Matt
  9. Last but not least is the topic of actually enforcing what config edits are allowed and which aren’t. We already know that config edits that edit .ini files are fair game while things such as the Nofog shader and Localization edits are more of a grey area. However, we also know that the removal of particles such as grenade smoke, muzzle flash or other things that edit .upk files is absolutely not allowed, but this front is not being enforced whatsoever so please sit down with the customer support team and train them which edits are not allowed and which are. Right now you may as well not even have a config ToS seeing as most people streaming nowadays are openly using edits that are against the ToS. Alternatively, use your client side anticheat to perform file checks on .upk files to see they have not been altered and replaced with empty files. “This is a puzzling one. Certain things are supposedly not allowed, but you only have to turn on a stream to see things like no smoke, no muzzle flash, no ambient sounds, etc. It's led to the common advice "no that's not allowed, but honestly, no one is getting banned for it". I think clarification is needed and seeing as though it would take little time to write up a post explaining the situation, I don't understand why it hasn't been done yet.” -Community Member
  10. As mentioned at the start, it would be nice to ramp this up again, reflect on why communication on many of the topics mentioned above has died down and try to do better in the future. We care about the game, we want to hear about it whether it's good or bad news. My personal suggestion would be to do blog posts a few weeks ahead of a seasonal event not only announcing said event but also talking about things that LO wants to do and where they want the game to head. The sooner you mention ideas, the sooner we can give feedback. Many of us love to read about the things you have planned and hope for a bright future for APB so please don’t make us go out of our way to beg on the forums or LO discord about any updates in regards to seasonal events or the general state of the game. You can use the broadcast feature to keep players informed and simply be transparent. Also honestly, once work on APB ramps up again, please create a Trello page and keep things updated, it's such a great way to keep players informed about what projects are in the works and which are actively being worked on and where progress has been made. Here’s an example of a Trello page by PixelTail Games who work on Tower Unite. Another thing you could do in order to strengthen the trust between the systems in place and the community would be to do monthly update posts talking about how many cheaters the Anti-cheat has banned this month, how many player mutes have happened, how many account restrictions happened for toxicity, griefing etc. No one is asking for name and shame – APB has already seen its fair share of it and it’s not something we should be going back to – but it would be encouraging for the playerbase to know and see that action is being taken to keep the game clean. “We need more communication between the devs and the everyday players regarding what's happening with the game and with Little Orbit as a whole.” “I think the players that still game this on a daily basis deserve to know what's the real state of APB and where it is heading.” -Community Members
  11. I purposely put this topic far down the list as it reflects on many of the topics above, it really comes down to this, what is Little Orbits vision for the state of the 64Bit upgrade when they release it, do you plan on massively improving the game, fixing many of the issues mentioned above to hopefully keep players around this time? Or do you plan on releasing 64Bit as a “QoL” update to fix the RTX crash issue, increase the memory ceiling as well as increase game performance by a bit and then use their 64Bit tools to begin tackling the issues above? This is an absolutely massive question in everyone's mind when they think of the 64Bit update and it is one that has to be answered. “64-bit is a good direction. We need this for quality of life for sure. However if it is taking longer to get it out then please give more updates. (PLease do not make promises and dates but please consider keeping players better informed.) Otherwise they feel abandoned.” -Community Member
  12. This is, and always will be a hot topic in the community and something the game has quite frankly lacked a direction with, recent updates were received with mostly mixed results, some like them, some don’t, but the most recent balance update was followed by a healthy boost in population. Balancing simply needs to happen more frequently and now would be the best time to buff a crap ton of weapons. I personally have already created a 18 page document with weapon-related and some car-related changes which are all buffs except for one thing which is a nerf to the DMR-AV. Another issue lies with map balance. There are countless spots that make for unfun missions – for example, areas such as the buildings in Financial that the community calls “German fortress” as well as many other spots that only have one or two ways to get to, often linked to climbing ladders which in most cases means certain death. Waterfront also needs a lot more cover around common spawn areas such as the big boat and has some nasty areas where spots can only be reached through to props that can be destroyed, this is something the community could be very helpful with when it comes to looking for places to start and getting feedback. “I would like to see a much more aggressive approach when it comes to weapon balance. Progress has most certainly been made, and imo the meta is in a better place when compared to before LO's balance passes, but more needs to be done. If it is possible, I would love to see more rapid-fire changes, or at least faster than the months-long periods between balance passes we have had. The same goes for vehicles though I think vehicles are in a pretty good spot.” -Community Member
  13. This is yet another huge thing that the game needs but communication on this front has been completely silent for a while. This is one of the things on this list where most of the responses were understanding of the fact that this is a large undertaking and could possibly not even be possible to do until 64Bit, however with the shift away from 3.5 but rather updating to 64Bit it has become unclear whether or not the tools required to make this work would be a part of the 64Bit upgrade and whether or not this is still something LO wants to do. “Would be really really good, but also takes a lot of engineering effort. Understandable that it would not come before 64bit. But I hope the topic has been explored internally for how this could be implemented as it would be huge for the game.” -Community Member
  14. While I already mentioned some things LO could do above it simply cannot be stressed enough how much QoL changes can do for a game and how important they are for a game to not make it feel as if it has been abandoned. These are the things that have to happen sooner or later if LO wants the 64Bit update to be another big shot at reviving the game. When LO took over APB saw an insanely large surge of returning players, as a company LO has to sit down and understand why these players left and start tackling the reasons why, whether that’s things such as the tutorial being poor or the matchmaking not being in a good state. The gap between what the system considers enough for gold threat and how well the best gold players actually perform in-game is astronomically large. As such, a threat rebalance would be one of those things that would improve the experience for all players across the board by bringing them closer to matches against their skill equals. “The tutorial might be a good start, but that's not enough. Furthermore there should be a detailed guide for new players where they can understand most of the mechanics in the game.” -Community Member
  15. Toxicity has always been one of APB’s biggest issues and this is yet another thing where things are simply getting out of control because of the fact that the Live game seems abandoned. I can’t go for 30 minutes without seeing someone being blatantly racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminating whether thats through chat, clan names or names themselves, in now 13 years of playing online games, mainly shooters, I have never seen a worse example of toxicity than in the recent year or so of playing APB it is simply out of control. This isn’t the only form of toxicity either, a lot of members of the community that have a name for themselves whether it's through streaming or being parts of programs like SPCT get targeted by harassment or griefing every time they open the game. Things have gotten so bad that many of us who want to enjoy the game can’t stream and have to play on hidden characters, meaning we’re locked out of any meaningful endgame progression such as maxing roles. This form of harassment comes in the form of stream sniping, griefing or things such as toxic whispers etc. Not even GM’s are spared from this, making their life and volunteer duty miserable. Toxicity is something that LO can fix now and it has been left to fester for way too long. Stricter rules and punishment handed out by both GM’s and Support are one of possible methods of handling this problem. Even if they don’t show it, people care about their accounts and I could almost guarantee you that a lot of the racist things that are being spewed would go away if it came with severe penalties to their accounts such as a 30 day ban for first offenders and a permanent ban for repeated offenders. Wipe everyone's ignore list and make it so ignoring players ignores ALL characters on their account rather than just the one, combine this with a GTA 5 inspired passive mode of sorts that lets you ignore collisions tied to that players player-owned car or car he’s currently in for a few hours of recently ignored players and you have a solution against targeted griefing that doesn’t require GM’s to step in. “People are too used to it to a point where it has become part of the game. There are ways to be toxic that aren't even considered as violations. Huge changes and stricter rules, maybe stronger punishments that mean something are required in my opinion.” -Community Member
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