Thursday, January 22, 2015

Preview of upcoming 2015 APB blog posts

Today’s post is not a traditional blog post, but a quick preview of items are going to cover on the blog over the next couple of weeks.

Blog Preview 1: Engine Upgrade 

The First Rule of the Engine Upgrade - is that we don’t talk about the Engine Upgrade.

However, I will be breaking this apparent First Rule in order to share one of the very BIG things that has been going on “under the surface” in APB since early 2014. This “something” has forced us pick a specific date for the engine upgrade release, and then to not talk about it.

Today I can say we WILL be able to share more information about this project "VERY SOON™". As in “days," not weeks. And then it will all make sense. And it will also make sense how the Engine Upgrade relates to what's coming.

Here is a preview image. You will recognize it as one of APB’s startup 3D scenes. The upgraded engine has a new light system that makes lights appear to be part of the scene itself, and not "painted on." In this case, the mobile light rig throwing a yellow-ish hue, from what appears to be portable Sodium Vapor lights, onto the crime scene. Which also features a lot more visual enhancements.

Stay tuned for more information, and timeline for the conclusion of this VERY LONG project, in the next blog entry.

Blog Preview 2: What Players Want! (hint: better matchmaking and a "better" community)

At the end of 2014 we ran several surveys of what our players liked/disliked about APB Reloaded. First the good news; players overwhelmingly like the APB game play by an 83%-17% margin. That’s great news!

But players’ top concern; getting a good match, where they can actually enjoy that game play. Matchmaking loses the “what do you like in APB” question by a 40%-60% margin, with 60% of players calling matchmaking “poor."

Solving matchmaking is complicated in APB, since unlike other games it uses players already in any given 100-player district to trigger new matches, and the selection in each district is naturally limited, especially when it comes to groups and teams.

Therefore in this upcoming blog post, our lead designer Ricardo ("Mok") will share how the team is heads down working on a revamp of all match handling in APB, resulting in a much more global match making system, to give you exponentially better matches.

On the Community side, while we cannot fix the personalities of a few crazy trolls that hang out in the APB community there are some new systems on the horizon that will let us moderate live chats and control the in-game experience much more effectively. These improvements are rolling out over the next few months and should improve the in game experience immensely, hopefully leading to fewer newbies being harassed in game, and happier newbie and "not-yet hardened" players.

Blog Preview 3: Status of New APB Servers 

We have been going through iterations and iterations of different hardware and different configurations, and we think we have finally worked out a solution that will work well and can be deployed starting in our Frankfurt location (yay!). This will also be the permanent solution going forward for all our servers globally, and over time will replace the current range of configurations we have today. This final blog post in the series will examine the new setup, and then show some of the performance metrics we have collected on all the different options over the past few months.

Stay Tuned and check back for the these blog entries VERY SOON™


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