In many ways, Realtime Worlds' All Points Bulletin
is paving brand-new territory for MMOs in terms of theme, content and gameplay. And as great as the challenge of defining a genre for itself may be, the team's vision for the project is even greater.
lead designer EJ Moreland tells Gamasutra that the game's wide-ranging framework, which combines MMO and action elements with player customization, is just the beginning, and that the concept is set to grow and shift based on player feedback -- and the possibilities are endless.
"What we've done is we've said, 'We want to use this to support this great action game -- this really different online type of game -- and then, once the game releases, based on what the players' feedback is, we're going to go in every direction we can,'" says Moreland, speaking in an in-depth Gamasutra feature interview
about the game.
"We're looking at much more horizontal expansion than reproducing the same content," he says. "So APB
is the action district; the conflict of the city is one part that we'll continue to support after release. But we're looking at things like racing districts, fashion shows, private housing -- you know, everything in between."
"It's just which way the player base wants us to take it, and which bases we want to attract after that."
Moreland recognizes that APB
lies at the junction of two very specific demographics: the MMO audience, and fans of open-world crime-spree action games. "We realize that the game has -- it's not what I would call a 'narrow' focus, but it has a very narrow initial potential. But we want to make sure people understand that there's much more to it."
Those drawn to the social and customization elements will be initial "early adopters," Moreland suggests, and then the team can adjust the scope and focus of the game even further based on what player groups are attracted to.
You can now read the full feature
at Gamasutra, where Moreland discusses the challenges and opportunities in opening new roads within the MMO genre (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).