Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Updates On APB Development Progress

Updates On APB Development Progress
Hi everyone,

I've gotten several requests to talk about our progress on the integration of Unreal 3.5 and our goal to merge the PC and Console codebases. I'll do my best to breakdown for you where we are currently and where we are heading on our path to upgrade and sync the game's core foundation.


THE PC VERSION: Currently, APB is running on a heavily modified version of the Unreal 3.0 codebase. APB is made up of many custom systems including the personalization tools, symbol editor, music editor, and various modes of play. Due to supporting 3.0, this older version of Unreal only supports exporting these assets in a very limited number of formats.

THE CONSOLE VERSIONS: Currently, this version of APB is running on Unreal 3.5. This codebase was originally created for Xbox360 and PS3. (Epic has since funded external development to port their engine to XboxOne and PS4.) Due to this and development constraints, APB on Console is a bit more limited in scope. It was released without the music editor and minimal usability in the symbol systems. This has resulted in rendering bugs, slow frame rates and inconsistent textures.

The important thing to understand is that there is a significant difference between PC and Console versions. We are working to merge the two but still have some work in front of us to actually sync the codebases and align progression paths.


As it has been mentioned before, I don't think this is going to be a massive upgrade visually. Some players may not even notice. However Unreal 3.5 is built for 64-bit systems, and it has a multithreaded renderer, so my hope is that it will take advantage of newer GPUs and computers.

Reloaded had already done a lot of work on this upgrade before the consoles were released, however since the music editor was never included with console, it was also missing from the PC Unreal 3.5 code base. Additionally, there are also ~40 external libraries that needed to be upgraded.

At this point, we have finished rebuilding the music editor and all but one of the external libraries are upgraded. After that we know there are several graphical issues, and some frame rate issues we need to address.

Based on where we are in the process, I have recently started reaching out to specific community members about reforming the SPCT. Our goal here was to choose veteran players that covered a wide range of play styles who could devote time to testing with us and give in depth feedback. They are under NDA, none of them will be able to publicly discuss what they are working on.


This early round of testing is to help us get performance stats across several hardware configurations, so we can compare against the current Unreal 3.0 PC build. It is my hope to start this in the month ahead on a locked down OTW server. From there, I really can't give an estimate on when we'll open access to that version of the game to regular players. It really depends on how testing goes. Even if we allow players onto OTW to help finish testing on Unreal 3.5 for PC in early January, I doubt this will be ready to launch publicly before the start of Spring 2019.


You can read more about the XboxOne and PS4 project back in my July update:

In order to update each console, we must do the following:

  1. Upgrade the projects to the latest Visual Studio compiler
  2. Upgrade the manufacturer's SDK and integration
  3. Upgrade all the external libraries
  4. Testing end-to-end by our QA and then fixing the defects
  5. Certification testing by Microsoft and Sony and if they kick back the build, we go through a round of fixing and testing again
Last time I gave an update, we had already upgraded Visual Studio, and we had also finished the PS4 SDK. We were working on updating the XboxOne SDK, and we had about 32 external libraries to finish upgrading. As of today, we have finished upgrade the SDK, and we are down to ~11 external libraries remaining to upgrade for each console. Some of these are small and some are rather large.
Unlike upgrading an external library for PC (which is mostly done), the process is a bit different for console:

  • Add and configure new platforms and configs for PS4 and XB1
  • Get the code to compile for PS4 and XB1
  • Modify project files for maintainability to simplify upgrading in the future
  • Hook up the game to use the new library
  • Fix any compile or link errors
It's difficult to estimate how much longer we have. There are several developers working on the external libraries now. Based on how our progress has been so far, my best guess is one more month, but it could take as long as two. That means we will potentially start testing early next year. If that happens, then we might be able to submit for certification in the February 2019 window with an update shortly thereafter.

It's important to note that we just want to get the same build submitted and passed. There may be a couple small optimizations, but the plan is to pull in new content and fixes on our 2nd first party submission.

That means we're currently looking at a March or April target for 2019. Given where we started, I am pleased with the progress. As we get closer, I will keep you up tp date. Thanks for joining us on this exciting journey.


Friday, November 16, 2018

New APB Event - Autumn Assault

New APB Event - Autumn Assault
Autumn Assault is a near 3-week event running from Nov 19th through the 4th of December. During Autumn Assault we will be running daily Gun Game matches in each district. Nearly 100 chances to win the new ACCOUNT BOUND Weapon Skin!

Gun games are back but with a twist!

In Gun Games matches, players are assigned a pre-set weapon. You are tasked with scoring points for that weapon. Once you meet your goal, your weapon is replaced with the next weapon in order. This will continue until you have conquered the final challenge, at which point you win the game.

Here is how Gun Games matches work, in case you need a refresher:
  • Streak: In Streak, you are tasked with killing your opponents. The higher tiers require multiple kills without dying. Should you die your streak for that weapon is reset and you will need to start over from that same weapon.
  • Pistols: This Gun Game is a bit different from Streak. Instead of making sure you have multiple kills in a row, in here you earn points for kills and assists and once you reach the correct score, you are given the next weapon. As the name indicates, every weapon in this game will be a pistol.
  • Explosives: Explosives Gun Game works exactly the same as pistols but every weapon, except one special one, is a form of explosive.
  • Joker Box: The scoring system of Joker Box is the same as Pistols and Explosives, but for this game, you are given the legendary weapons that can be found in Joker Boxes. Score kills and assists with these legendary weapons and if you win, get the top rank, and already own the Autumn Assault skin in addition to the Joker Tickets you will also be awarded 10 special consumables that can be equipped and placed on the ground. Once placed on the ground it will spin around and explode throwing a number of temporary versions of Joker Box legendaries that can be picked up by nearby players.
For players who participated but did not win the match, they will be rewarded with Joker Tickets based on how high they ranked in the event. The top 2/3rds of players will receive 100 Joker Tickets and the remaining players will receive 50 Joker Tickets.

A series of three Gun Games will be spawned every day - that's three daily matches on Citadel, Nekrova and Jericho. Due to the system intensive nature of the explosive Gun Game match, we will only be running those on selected days which will be announced beforehand.

The explosive game requires you to have a very good PC as well as a very good connection to the internet otherwise your game experience might be affected.

The schedule for the Gun game matches will be published later this week.

During the Gun game matches, we will also be having a Social Media Challenge.

You will have to customize your character or your car to blend in with a background of your choosing (it must be in the game). Players will be able to redeem AUTUMNASSAULT to get 2-day premium! Read more about this challenge on our Facebook page or Twitter!


  • Daily 5:00 PM PST (Jericho)
  • Daily 5:00 PM UTC (Citadel)
  • Daily 5:00 PM Moscow (Nekrova) 


Autumn Assault skin

Autumn Assault skin