Monday, August 13, 2012

In the Spirit of Scots and Schoolgirls

Now that 1.9.0 (New Breed Part 2) has made its debut to San Paro, we can take a brief moment to share some of the things going on behind the scenes leading up to the big launch.  We have a few stories of travel and adventure to share first, and then we’ll get into the title of this blog post.
About 2 weeks prior to 1.9.0 launch, some members of our US Team (including myself), went to visit out UK Team. For many of us this was our first time visiting Scotland.  For those of you who are not familiar, our Reloaded Studio is located in Edinburgh, Scotland - a very beautiful European city rich in its history and culture. Our office is located right in the heart of Edinburgh within walking distance to many historical and famous attractions such as the Scot Monument, Edinburgh Castle, and the National Gallery.  Not quite the birthplace you’d imagine for the chaotic world of APB Reloaded.
Let me paint a picture of some of the stark differences between a city like Edinburgh and a city like San Paro.  One city has cobblestone-streets lined with quaint cafes, brownstone buildings, and red double-decker buses passing through.  The other city has asphalt roads lined with looted electronic stores, neon-flashing billboards, and sidewalks littered with pedestrian corpses throughout.  One city was founded before the 7th Century AD – antiquated and European.  The other was founded in the New Millennium- modernistic and Californian-inspired. 

Our journey to Edinburgh did not come without a few hiccups. I’ll start off with the security line at LAX airport.  One of the guys traveling with us forgot about a USB at the bottom of their bag.  This was no ordinary USB, it was a special USB we made specifically for marketing APB Reloaded… and it was in the shape of a bullet!  Needless to say we had to wait for our lucky travel buddy to pass security after some scrutiny. 

Outside of some rain the first day we were there, the rest of the trip was pretty smooth. In a nutshell – lots of meetings, lots of cross training, lots of lunches, plenty of haggis, blood pudding, and whisky.  Not to mention some of the best scones I’ve ever had.  
For one full week the Reloaded team was under one roof in one singular spot on the globe.  Not only did we get the opportunity to spend time with each other in person (versus video conference), we were able to have more in-depth discussions going about our plans for the future and how to move forward with those plans. Included in those plans were the new sets of Gear we had thought about right around the time we launched the Combat Gear and Tactical Gear Packs & Bundles.  Enter scene – Schoolgirl and Highlander Packs!  We are excited to announce that these new additions to the Armas Marketplace will be available this week or next.
What might have inspired this particular combination you might wonder?  Well, the connection to the Highlander Packs and Scotland Weapon Skin I’m hoping is apparent.  Plus if female characters are going to get skirts shouldn’t the male characters get something similar?  So there you have it – Highlander (Enforcer) and Goth Highlander (Criminal) Packs. Both packs include the Scotland Weapon Skin (a.k.a. Saltire Flag Weapon Skin).  One little fun factoid –the kilt included in the Enforcer Highlander Pack was inspired by our Lead Designer’s family tartan.  That’s right – now you can pay homage to Qwentle and family in game!
As for the inspiration for the Schoolgirl outfits, some of you may remember our live-action trailer.  Although, this concept for the Schoolgirl outfits was something the community has wanted for a while perhaps the trailer reminded everyone.  On a side note, one of our artists was inspired by…well… the desire to see female characters in little skirts.  I’m not naming names, however, the in game description specifically for the Schoolgirl Skirt hints that there was some ulterior motives when this pack was conceived.  The in game description says:
“A schoolgirl skirt. 100% cotton and schoolgirl cut. Someone ‘accidentally’ moved a zero from the length to order number category when ordering skirts for San Paro High. This is the result.”
Guess who that “someone” might be? Finally, the fun factoid for the Otome Neko Weapon Skin – this was inspired by one of our very own APB Community members.  Now player-made content has made it into the game and into Armas.  We are pleased to have such a creative player community!
So as I mentioned keep your eyes peeled for these tantalizing editions to the Armas Marketplace we will be releasing this week or next.  You too can soon celebrate APB Reloaded in the spirit of Scots and Schoolgirls.