Friday, June 22, 2018

APB Roadmap

Hi everyone,

Today, I'm going to attempt to outline our Roadmap and approach, so you guys can see our priorities for what we're working on.
This is a little overdue, and I apologize for that. I gave what I thought was a decent overview of the APB Roadmap on the Q&A, but since then several players have expressed that they would like to see something a bit more formal.
I'm going to divide the Roadmap into Projects. Some of these occur in parallel using different teams and team members, but I'm going to list them in chronological order here.
As a side note, most of this early development focuses on PC for a number of reasons. APB console currently has a different publisher, so we have to jump through some hoops when submitting those builds to Microsoft and Sony. That slows things down. But more importantly, we're trying to align the PC version with the console versions to consolidate everything on Unreal 3.5. That means that the bulk of the work is focused on PC.

Project #1: Infrastructure (1.19)We're about halfway through this project. It's everything we feel we need to get out of the way before diving into Unreal 3.5.
Version 1.19.5 (PC Only)
For the month of May and June, we've been focusing on cleaning out the cobwebs. It took a little bit of time just to get a PC build through QA and out the door properly. This version focused on eliminating as many of the cheat opportunities in the game.
- Integration with new client-side Anti-cheat
- Some exploit fixes (coming up in the next patch)
Version 1.19.6 (PC Only)
This version focuses on some quality of life changes for players.
- Fixes to networking to help lag
- Overall weapon balance pass
- Fixes to Friends system
- Update to visual design of ARMAS to help with navigation
- Dropping unpopular items from ARMAS
Version 1.19.7 (PC Only)
This version focuses on some quality of life changes for players.
- New Trade System for players to move items and money back and forth without getting scammed
Version 2.1.0 (Consoles Only)
We need to do some basic console SDK upgrades that have to be completed before we can submit any new changes. Our goal is to get this out of the way in July.
Notes on Project #1:
We also plan on supporting Two-Factor Authentication in this Project.

Project #2: Unification (2.2)This project focuses on bringing the PC version up to Unreal 3.5, and then optimizing and adding some features to the console versions. Some of this work will start in July.
Version 2.2
There is quite a bit here that I'm not going to specifically list. This version focuses on the remaining bits of Unreal 3.5 for PC. But it also includes:
- Fix crashes on console related to memory handling
- Fix level optimizations
- Fix bad frame rate for dynamic lights / night lights / day night cycle
- Fix level collision meshes
- Add music studio to PC/console for Unreal 3.5
Notes on Project #2:
It looks like we will be dropping support for Windows Vista when we upgrade APB PC to Unreal 3.5. Microsoft officially stopped supporting Vista in April 2017, so it just isn't worth the extra development time for us.

Project #3: Critical Mechanics / Minor Content (2.2.1)This isn't as far out as you think, but we have some content planned including progression changes, 1 new gun and 1 new vehicle.

Alongside all of this, our 2nd team is working on Unreal 4. This will not be a short project, but it has lots of milestones along the way. We are initially focused on getting the third person shooter mechanics of APB up and running in one of the existing districts. From there we'll start layering on customization and other systems.
I plan on doing regular updates to this Roadmap, and hopefully a dev blog to show off things we're excited about.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

June 2018 Anti-cheat Update!

Hi everyone,

We're coming up on nearly 30 days, and I am excited to announce that we will be releasing our first patch.

Just to set expectations there is one major outstanding bug, so I'm not 100% positive this will be ready, but with a little testing we should be ready to go. We expect to lock servers at 4am Pacific / 11am UTC, and there will be 6 hours of downtime for patching and testing.

One of our players provided these links to track the exact time in your timezone:

Server going down:
Server coming back up (expected):


This is the first big step in rebuilding this game as a fun, safe environment to play. Our new client-side anti-cheat is the biggest addition in this update. Our initial implementation should handle a majority of situations, but you can expect that we will continue tweaking this until we're happy with the results.

FairFight unbans:

In my Q&A I mentioned that I had done a lot of research into many of the FairFight bans, and due to a number of factors, I found many permanent bans that were either blatantly incorrect or too subjective for my comfort level. As of this release, we will be unbanning a significant of those players because it's impossible for me to tell who cheated and who didn't. For most players, you should be able to log in on Friday and access these older accounts. If you didn't get unbanned, you are welcome to send in a support ticket, but it will take some time for us to address these, so please be patient with us.

Stripping unbanned accounts:

The community has been very vocal about the fact that we will be unbanning known cheaters. This is unavoidable, even though we know those accounts abused the system and their opponents to their own personal gain. After some consideration, I have decided that all unbanned accounts will be stripped of the following:
- APB$
- Joker Tickets

I realize this will also penalize some of the honest players who were banned unfairly, but it's the only way I can see to make sure we don't flood the game with accounts that have unfair advantages.

Next steps:

I'll be collecting notes from the devs over the weekend, and I'll post the timeline and focus of our next update soon.