Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games Entertainment

How APB's Persistent World Will Work 33

Posted by Soulskill
from the very-carefully-and-with-guns dept.
Edge Magazine recently sat down with David Jones, creative director for Realtime Worlds, the studio behind upcoming action MMO APB. He spends some time talking about their thinking behind the game, and he also gets into how their persistent online worlds will work. Quoting: "... you absolutely want 'moments' in the game. Even if it's just for thirty minutes, you want people to become celebrities — OJ Simpson on TV with the police chasing after him: you want those kind of moments in the game. We can't create them, so it's about what mission can ultimately lead to those kinds of experiences. We have what we call heat mechanics in the game, so if a criminal has just been on a complete rampage, recklessly blowing stuff up and killing people, heat builds up until eventually we unlock him to every single enforcer on the server. It's not part of their missions, it's just that this guy has become number one wanted and everyone has the authority to take him down. That's a fun mechanic from both sides; everybody who's a criminal is going to want to reach that and if you're on a mission for the enforcers you'll see that guy and wonder whether you should break away to get him. You get a lot of compound stuff which we never planned for, because it's a hundred real players interacting in ways we don't expect."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

How APB's Persistent World Will Work

Comments Filter:
  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Friday August 14, 2009 @02:42AM (#29062537)
    I thought the whole concept of persistent world meant you could build up your characters (level, skills, possessions etc). If you keep swapping between good guys, bad guys and celebs, how is it persistent?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Yoozer (1055188)

      If you keep swapping between good guys, bad guys and celebs, how is it persistent?

      Hey, Hollywood hasn't magically disappeared since it was founded in the 19th century, so I'd call that pretty persistent.

  • Legitimizing trolls (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @02:53AM (#29062583)

    It sounds interesting, but I have to wonder about the long-term viability of a game based on legitimizing trolls. As we've seen on many discussion boards, trolls can cause a huge disruption with their presence. They say outlandish things, or do things which irk the existing audience. This leads to retaliation and "troll hunting" which doesn't serve the purpose of discussion or anything else. In the end, the troll is as successful in proportion to the disruption he causes.

    So what happens when the prime motivator is to be a troll? There were several pure troll sites a few years back. Adequacy.org, Kuro5hin, and GNAA were all sites dedicated specifically to trolling. It ended up being mostly a circlejerk and these sites are no longer around or are so diminished in audience as to be moot.

    I have to wonder what the result will be in APB when everyone is seeking their 15 minutes of fame. It sounds like something that may be fun for a short while, but when everyone is out to whore attention, the players lose their personal connections to each other.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by dangitman (862676)

      I have to wonder what the result will be in APB when everyone is seeking their 15 minutes of fame.

      Yeah, sounds like the Employee of the Month Award in The Simpsons, where the plant is contractually obligated to give the award to every employee at least once. Real fame is rare, and some players simply won't be good/outrageous enough to reach that level. So, you either end up with people getting disillusioned with the promise of the game, or the concept of "fame" gets diluted so much as to be worthless.

      P.S: Excuse my ignorance, but was Kuro5hin actually a site devoted to trolling? Not that I ever read it,

      • by Swizec (978239)

        So, you either end up with people getting disillusioned with the promise of the game, or the concept of "fame" gets diluted so much as to be worthless.

        But that's what makes the game realistic! If fame actually meant something that'd be boring, people actually _want_ fame to be meaningless while having a big face value upfront. It's why we've created the concept here at the biggest MMORPG everyone plays.

        • by dangitman (862676)

          If fame actually meant something that'd be boring, people actually _want_ fame to be meaningless while having a big face value upfront.

          I don't think so. Many gamers want to be famous, like fata1ty famous. They know that contrived famousness isn't for real. They know that the "big face value" isn't all that. See for example, the recent "Pranknet" story for example - that group seemed to largely consist of bored gamers (who also happened to be sociopaths).

        • As long as you get to beat [youtube.com] (skip to 3:40) a confession out of a punk, I'm up for it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)

        P.S: Excuse my ignorance, but was Kuro5hin actually a site devoted to trolling?

        I think thats a meta troll from BadAnalogyGuy. Not sure why he is putting on this act though. Maybe he wants the attention.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vertinox (846076)

      It sounds interesting, but I have to wonder about the long-term viability of a game based on legitimizing trolls.

      APB is basically Grand Theft Auto but multiplayer on a larger scale.

      And GTA gameplay itself in single player was about doing troll things to the NPCs but now you are going to direct this to other players.

      That said, its all PvP so its like calling people who taunt in Counter Strike and Halo trolls. I mean they are but its basically all smack talk because you basically can just shoot them on an equ

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      Replace troll, trolling, trolls sites, and other related terms with serial killer, murdering, murder simulators, and other related terms and the parent could have been written by Jack Thompson. Thank you, BadAnalogyGuy! If this wasn't one of my weeks without mod points, I'd be modding you up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zyl0x (987342)
      Please pardon my excessive optimism for a moment, but I think there's a pretty good chance that for every troll that wants to be the biggest, most annoying criminal in the game, that there would be a player who wants to be the famous hero who brings him down. There are a lot of gamers that don't want to be the rampaging criminal, and want to be the good guy instead. Personally, whenever I'm given the choice between good and evil in a video game, I always take the good path. I think being evil is usually the
  • by RuBLed (995686) on Friday August 14, 2009 @02:58AM (#29062601)
    I'm under the impression that such things are created and made famous (or infamous) by the community itself. Much like the community discussions regarding WoW's Leeroy Jenkins and EVE's various treachery, corporate drama and ISK embezzlements that make it into mainstream gaming blog and news sites.
  • It's that when game designers come up with ideas like "And then we'll unlock him to everyone, and they'll all hunt him blah blah blah" (where designers try to intentionally create spontaneity) is that it USUALLY fails to take into account cycles of adaptation.

    If someone has managed to become the number one bad-ass on the server, is it really worth going after them when they almost certainly did it specifically to attract people into a trap/gank?

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday August 14, 2009 @04:27AM (#29062973) Homepage

      It depends what "worth" it means. In EVE, you've always mindful of the potential loss if you get raped, but I doubt that the consequences of death in APB are going to be particularly onerous.

      So even if you are driving into Obvious Trap Alley, being a victim-participant in that experience may be fun in itself, just to see how badly it's possible to get ganked.

      Different games, different reward and loss schemes.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14, 2009 @04:37AM (#29063011)

      I see this going two ways. The way I think it's going to go is there simply won't be a good enough reason for people to stop whatever they are grinding and go after this character. There won't be a reward that will motivate people. The other way it could go is that they make a great reward worth bothering for, in which case the biggest guilds will find a way to exploit or camp around the game mechanics to get it, reliably, every time, locking out everyone else. It will be on lockdown, just like, say, the outdoor dragons were in vanilla WoW.

    • by tygerstripes (832644) on Friday August 14, 2009 @07:31AM (#29063719)

      I can honestly see it working if it's an emergent property of the mechanics rather than a deliberate attempt to generate "spontaneity".

      On first reading, it gave me the impression of working in a similar way to the original GTA games, whereby if you kept up a rampage, more and harder forces were dispatched to stop you. It took some skill and determination to keep that up for long, especially when the National Guard came out.

      If, in the same way, it is difficult for a criminal-player to be that brazen and bad without getting stopped, then only the really skilful players will manage to become notorious enough to warrant their 15 minutes. Presumably the rewards - and fame - for stopping said criminal will be significant because it will be a similarly difficult achievement. Essentially the game's mechanics are inherently pitting the best good/evil players against one another, by emulating the real-world notion of expanding the net and pouring more resources into the bigger crimes, which would be a good thing and would encourage skilful players on both sides.

      Essentially, it doesn't matter why criminal players go on their sprees - troll or not - so long as only the best players make it while the unskilled trolls get weeded out before they can start. As long as you gain fame by being good at the game rather than by being annoying, I see no reason why this couldn't work.

      • And you have the risk of casuals crying because they can't enjoy all the content or achieve the same as the power-players do, like it happened in World of Warcraft
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by phoenix321 (734987) *

          That's the usual difference between skill vs. level as the character base. Skill based means YOUR skill, level based mean YOUR freetime. Both concepts need adjustments or alternatives so the "disadvantaged" (low skillers or low freetimers) don't get mauled up too much.

          If I had anything to say, I would offload all low-skilled, high-freetime gamers to WoW and not deal with any of them. Game mechanics to protect those mouse-potatoes are only needed in a politically-correct "everyone-gets-a-prize" kindergarten

          • There are more low skill then there are high skill people. The Game mechanics to protect "those mouse-potatoes" are there so that they continue to pay to play every month.
            • I would dare to guess that about 49 in hundred people have a lower than average skill in any given game, while another 49 percent has a higher than average skill.

              That doesn't tell us anything about motivation and fun, as millions of low-skilled people playing football and soccer, quake and counter-strike can attest.

              When the game mechanics are manipulated to alleviate "skill" with "time invested" it's either because of the need to collect more monthly fees or out of a kindergarten worldview, where "everyone

    • If someone has managed to become the number one bad-ass on the server, is it really worth going after them when they almost certainly did it specifically to attract people into a trap/gank?

      If the reward is high enough; yes, it's worth it.
    • by iainl (136759)

      Even the number-one badass on the server is going to find it difficult with 99 cops after him in a single instance.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It depends on how well the 99 coordinate. If they all are chasing behind me they'll suck. If they work together to control the route and cut off options until you're trapped it's a different story. Does anyone know how the game will work communication wise? Are you auto connected to the people on your mission or only to your clan on teamspeak? I think it could be good if as random people join to assist they auto join the communications.

  • ...that the quote "that's a hundred players" sounds almost weak to me.

    There are nights when you gather over a hundred people into a single gang, and it's still not enough to fight the bigger gang of opponents. 4-500 people per side in a fight is normal these days.

    Still, APB sounds like fun.

    • by dave562 (969951)

      The game play mechanics are different. I only played Eve for a short period of time, but the environment seemed pretty simple. Everyone is out in space. In that environment there isn't much processing power required to generate... nothing. Space is nothing. It is just a vast open nothingness. When all the server and client machines have to account for are other players it is easier to scale up to hundreds upon hundreds of players.

      APB seems to be more like GTA on a massive scale. It takes place in a c

  • Procedurally-generated, dynamic content in an upcoming MMO? Next you're going to tell me it's going to revolutionize gaming!
  • I grew up playing roleplaying games, and also playing computer games. I always enjoyed the simulator games and liked the idea of being able to explore different worlds. My friends and I always wanted games that were more interactive. We wanted 'real life' like environments to interact with. For me, Syndicate was a huge leap in the right direction. That was one of the first games I remember where you could destroy the environment. The zones themselves were limited size, but the game itself didn't limit

Say "twenty-three-skiddoo" to logout.

Working...