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GDC 2007: Talking APB with Real Time Worlds

8:36 PM on 03.07.2007 // Robert Summa
  @summaaftershow

Today I got to sit down and hear some good details on the upcoming MMO that you'll be hearing alot about in the future: APB. Crackdown developer Real Time Worlds has kept the project under wraps, so get ready to finally hear some news on a truly ambitious project that can break the MMO mold.

Check out the full interview with Nicky Hunt, senior software engineer for Real Time Worlds, after the jump, including information on the Xbox 360 version.

DESTRUCTOID: So, I haven't honestly heard about APB, what's it really about?

NICKY HUNT: First off, it's completely unrelated to the classic coin-op version. Basically it's a cops and robbers kind of thing online. Think of it as GTA online, but with much more depth and complexity. There's no A.I., it's pure PvP.

DESTRUCTOID: No NPCs at all?

NICKY HUNT: Well, there are NPC pedestrians and such that you can steal from and buy things from. But, the main focus is PvP.

DESTRUCTOID: There has been no media released related to this game. Is it a 3rd-person view title? What graphic engine are you using?

NICKY HUNT: Yes, it is. And, we're using Unreal Engine 3 to develop the game.

DESTRUCTOID: How important is user created content in APB?

NICKY HUNT: User created content plays a huge role in the game. Players will be able to do things like make their own jacket, sort of like how you can do custom paint jobs in Forza with layers. Also, you can trade those items between players.

DESTRUCTOID: How many layers are there in a design job with something like that?

NICKY HUNT: I'd say about 100 or so layers for each.

DESTRUCTOID: When can we expect APB to finally come out?

NICKY HUNT: We're looking at a 2008 release date.

DESTRUCTOID: What kind of system requirements are we looking at? Will this be for high-end only?

NICKY HUNT: Yes, in fact it will. We know it's a risk, but it's something we didn't want to compromise on. Overall it will be a more rewarding experience because of that.

DESTRUCTOID: When I spoke with Colin Macdonald last week about Crackdown, he had mentioned that an Xbox 360 version of APB may be coming out. What are the plans so far on that? 

NICKY HUNT: We are talking with Microsoft about the Xbox 360 version and I think we have approval, but we haven't started the development process. Our priority though, has always been the PC.

DESTRUCTOID: So, if the game is cops vs. robbers, how do you start the game?

NICKY HUNT: Criminals will start as a basic thug and cops will start out as a rookie. Each side will level up and move up through the ranks of their respective areas of play.

DESTRUCTOID: Can you make or join a gang if you're a criminal?

NICKY HUNT: Yes, of course, and that will play a big role. You'll also be able to control territory with your gang. There's going to be a whole territory system involved.

DESTRUCTOID: For many, including myself, they've grown tired of the standard fantasy-based MMO filled with elves and orcs. Was that something Real Time Worlds will focus on when spreading word about this game?

NICKY HUNT: I look at it this way -- I feel like the game was made for me. It's all about fun. We wanted to make a game that was more like a sport with interaction. This game is more about enjoyment and less about stats.

DESTRUCTOID: How do you generate income in the game?

NICKY HUNT: By stealing from people or breaking into cars, you'll be able to build it up.

DESTRUCTOID: Can you sell drugs?

NICKY HUNT: No, we're not going to go there.

DESTRUCTOID: Is there any sort of black or grey market?

NICKY HUNT: Yes, there will be a grey market where you will see cops and gangs exchanging weapons and such. It will be in the game, but you really have to work to get there. Police will be able to buy from gangs and vice versa.

DESTRUCTOID: There's been very little information about this game, if any, why is that?

NICKY HUNT: Yeah, we're keeping a really low profile with APB for right now. We want to make sure everything is there before we start to release stuff, but it will come soon, including a community site. Right now people can go to APB.com, but nothing is really there.

DESTRUCTOID: So will the game have real-time combat?

NICKY HUNT: Yes, everything will be in real time and you'll have an aiming reticule just like in a first-person shooter. We want to keep that first-person shooter feel in the game when it comes to combat. 



Robert Summa, Contributor
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