All Points Bulletin (APB): Vendetta
APB Vendetta: an Extreme Agility Shoot-and-Slash FPS with unique fighting-game inspired characters, and “easy-to-mod” server tools.
APB Vendetta is a character-driven extreme mobility competitive shooter, inspired by the APB Reloaded universe, built on an entirely new high-agility game system featuring; extreme movement mechanics, melee combat, dual wield weapons, character-specific finishing moves, a fighting-game ethos, customizable private servers, modding tools and an upgraded game engine using the latest (2013) version of Unreal3.
APB Vendetta is a buy-to-play game where players receive all guns, characters and game affecting items upfront, with optional monthly server rentals for on-demand managed and modded servers. If you already play APB Reloaded, then APB Vendetta can connect to its predecessor and you can share “Premium Account Status” between the two games. One long-term stretch goal includes expansive tools to export non-game-play affecting visual customized items from APB Reloaded to APB Vendetta as part of future mod and ops toolkits. By backing our Kickstarter you empower us to create this separate dedicated development team expanding the APB universe.
With that super cut-and-dry summary out of the way... here is the story of what drove us to make this game, and why we need your help to achieve this vision of the game...
Everyone knows the score; San Paro mayor Jane Derren signs the City Security Act into law. Vigilantism becomes legal overnight and the glossy covers of Effigy Magazine makes media gods of murderers and vigilantes. Predictably, the city goes crazy, its seedy characters driven mad by lust for fame and fortune. The rest of the world looks on in horror as a once proud city commits a fiery suicide.
Then a moment of hope; the discovery of a new, naturally occurring chemical dubbed Sapphire Blue in the area means the city can start producing something more valuable than blood filled images on the nightly news.
But the universe has a cruel sense of humor.
Sapphire Blue turns out to be the perfect designer drug for private military companies and mercenaries the world over; enhancing healing, aggression, speed and reflexes. The rest of the world looks on in envy as one of its most damaged cities becomes the exclusive producer of the world’s most desired substance, and the resulting mayhem spreads far beyond the city limits. Organizations spring up overnight feeding the region’s expanding appetite for illicit goods and instruments of death.
As the violence escalates, a handful of recent arrivals, all supremely talented individuals, including some famous San Paro-ites, are starting to play a dominant role in the brave new Sapphire Blue fueled world...
Some Vendettas are just business, others are deeply personal...
The Six Pillars of Vendetta...
APB Vendetta offers a brand new way to engage with the All Points Bulletin story line, its characters and the world surrounding San Paro.
APB Vendetta combines the gameplay of a modern shooter with the character styling of a fighting game and the ethos of classic Heroic Bloodshed movies by the likes of John Woo and Ringo Lam. Expect a lot of global balletic firefights in wildly differing locales.
Each of the core playable characters’ feels slightly larger than life with their own unique set of moves and abilities. The characters’ attitudes and special abilities are strongly inspired by fighting games, in particular Street Fighter, Soul Calibur and King of Fighters, but adopted in the context of an FPS.
Another strong source of inspiration has been classic HalfLife-1 mods, especially The Specialists and Action Half-Life and we want to bring that style of gameplay back in a modern FPS.
Mirror’s Edge came very close to the feeling we are aiming for, but its gameplay focused on gaining and storing momentum. While it was a really great game, it was not driven by the instant agility and conflict we are aiming for in APB Vendetta. We want a game where players instantly shoot off from a standing start and jump into the fray without worrying about building up and maintaining momentum.
Vendetta is first and foremost a game about swift and energetic movement. Run on walls, slow down time, kick weapons from the hands of opponents, throw katanas, smash through environmental objects, slide backwards while shooting and earn extra-points performing ultra-stylish take-downs. We have designed a super responsive game mechanic so your movement creativity will be a core part of the game-play.
Vendetta is a high lethality game, and staying on the move while adjusting your visual profile is critical to your survival. When you kill enemies, the value of your kill is based on your previous movement combinations, so the more you use the Vendetta Combo System the higher your score. For example; a sliding kill is worth more than a standard kill, but a sequence with a sliding, wall-running headshot is worth significantly more.
The weapon system in Vendetta is designed to work hand in hand with our extreme agility gameplay system. Each player configures a distinct loadout based on a character’s unique size, carrying capacity and weapon slot shapes. Smaller weapons, some medium ones and a few of the large weapons can be dual wielded if the character type has a sufficiently large slot to hold two weapons at the same time.
Dual wield can be asymmetric and you can even combine different guns and melee weapons. Want a katana in one hand and a pistol in the other? Sure thing. Two double-barrel sawn-offs? We have you covered. Weapons range from the usual shotguns, assault rifles, SMGs and pistols, to a variety of classic melee favorites, like swords, sledge-hammers and axes, combined with impromptu environmental weapons available in each map. Environmental melee weapons include bowling balls, pool cues (which are great throwing spears, though they do tend to break when you hit someone with them) and the classic lead pipe and broken bottle, available in a dark alley near you.
In addition to all equip-able weapons each map will have unique powerful weapons and power-ups strategically placed in highly vulnerable locations. Contextual weapons include room-clearing RPG launchers, massively powerful 50cal Single Use sniper rifles and ‘Hard Boiled’ shotguns with significantly limited ammo supply. Power-ups include Body Armor, Health Regen, Slow-Time-Activation and the aforementioned Sapphire Blue, the drug at the center of APB Vendetta’s factional struggles.
Each character’s unique combination of weight, power, speed and finishing moves means a unique gameplay experience every time you pick a new character in APB Vendetta. Examples of special character moves include the ability for Gossamer to summon a thieving pet raven that literally steals your opponents’ weapons mid firefight, and for Zombie to deploy a skateboard to perform "skate-by-kills" and blazingly fast skate-and-shoot stunts.
You will have 12 characters to learn and master as part of the initial game in addition to expanding your roster with future DLC content, and rolling your own custom character mods on your own server (which you can share with your friends).
Characters all use one of three archetypes; Acrobat, Mercenary and Juggernaut. These roughly represent Light, Medium and Heavy classes in other games with some key differences. Each character has unique abilities independent of the archetype they belong to, and the Juggernaut/heavy class is the fastest sprinting character type. This somewhat unusual arrangement works by giving Juggernauts a “charge” move (forward power sprint, which knocks anyone they hit back) while reducing their off-the-ground (jumping and wall-running) abilities -they are simply too heavy to go highly vertical. This design lets us place all characters along three dimensions of Speed, Health and Agility rather than just the usual Speed/Health tradeoff scale.
We’ll start by revealing a new character in the All Points Bulletin lore. “Gossamer” Below you can see the first stat card for Gossamer. In addition to these basic data points, our final character designs will also show additional information such as mass, slide distances, kick-off angle from walls, air friction and more. We’ll be revealing another character every $50,000 level we reach on Kickstarter.
Part of APB Vendetta's core is the idea the game will encourage players to gather together in communities. Great communities have been a core part of games that we take inspiration from, and we want to continue that tradition.
The unique aspect of this is your ability to attach servers to your Vendetta Community Hub. Through the hub you can set your own and your community’s server properties for some interesting results; you can be a private community with one private and one public facing server, you can flag various different servers as Tournament, Newbie, etc. Each server can of course be customized with a large number of additional settings that we will be detailing in a future update.
In addition to this, one of our major stretch goals is a full modding system that allows you to create your own characters, stats, maps and game modes, and you will be able to either create communities specifically for these mods, or share them with the wider mod. There will be a centralized location for mods where everyone can view, rate and download mods, quickly finding lists of communities running specific games. This will provide a much easier way to create, upload, and distribute mods than the classic mod systems of yore.
A key stretch goal for the project is creating a good balance of easy to use official servers, simple point-and-click management of your private servers and a great set of modding tools for full-blown game modifications for the real creative geniuses among our players.
We are also exploring a concept we currently are calling a “Mod Store.” If there is a demand for this type of feature from our supporters, we may enable the ability for other players to purchase your mod without you having to use a traditional donation system to support your hard work on your version of the game. However this type of feature will depend a lot on Kickstarter backers’ response to the idea. We will share more information about this potential system in a future update as well.
"Isn't free-to-play the future?" Well, our team has been working on free-to-play games for ages. It's great for certain game types, but we are also fully aware of that game types' strengths and weaknesses, especially in very competitive games.
In a free-to-play game the game progression and damage systems have to be tightly controlled to create progression and grinding systems. With Vendetta we are instead taking a portion of the APB world, and turning it in to a premium experience where the community can participate in reworking the game design on their own servers.
We are very excited about opening up the game this way, but because it's very different from the current game, we will rely heavily on our Kickstarter supporters to tell us if you want us to expand the APB franchise in this manner.
Basic and Stretch Goals
Base Goal: $300,000; BASE LINE
This is the minimum goal that allows us a dedicated APB Vendetta development team and will allow us to complete the first PC version of this game using the latest version of the Unreal engine. This is actually a very modest amount of money to go from our current prototype game to the Live version of the game.
Stretch Goal 1: $750,000: CHARACTER EXPORT-TOOL EXPANSION;
This goal gives us additional resources to create a character-mod-export tool from APB Reloaded to APB Vendetta. The APB Reloaded character customization system is a fantastic system, but part of the challenge has been its hard-coded reliance on the original APB engine. Reaching the stretch goal means you will be able to direct-export your characters from APB Reloaded into APB Vendetta to your own private server. Or spruce them up in 3DStudio Max before using them in Vendetta. Then you are free to share (or sell) them to your friends.
Stretch Goal 2: $1,000,000: MODDING TOOL UI SYSTEM
Reaching Stretch Goal 2 will allow us to create a nice dedicated UI system for the Advanced Modding Tools. The base game will permit Mods to be created using external editors. Similar to TorchLight’s TorchEd we would like to combine several tools under one nice streamlined UI to help make the modding experience streamlined.
Stretch Goal 3: (TBD) Other Platforms.
As an approved PS4 development studio our ambition is to create a future PS4 digital version of the game and give that to all those who have supported APB Vendetta at the higher level pledges. However there are several unknowns; first Epic has yet to decide if they will officially support PS4 with Unreal3. If not, a Vendetta PS4 digital version may require an engine change. But presuming UE3 becomes an officially supported engine for PS4 then further support above the stretch goals will go toward expanding the platforms for the game.
We are also of course interested in feedback from the community as to what platforms you want to see the All Points Bulletin franchise expanded to.
Who Are We?
We are Reloaded Productions, a studio team based in Edinburgh, UK and in Irvine, CA, USA. On the game development side we consist of mostly former Realtime Worlds employees (along with former employees from lots of other game companies) who made the transition along with APB Reloaded.
We are incredibly passionate about this franchise, its unique characters and the potential that APB Vendetta can become a premium competitive game with unique characters that gives modders and tweakers all the tools they need to set up their own game experience.
Definitely. The standard way to play Vendetta will be on Dedicated Servers, either official or those run by communities. We’ve not fully specced out Peer to Peer play yet, but if we include it, it will be as an additional way to play when all other servers are full, not as a primary feature.
·Eventually. We will offer cloud-hosted servers initially, and LAN support for formal game events (think MLG). But we do expect to release a full LAN game client as well.
What in the way of modding support are you looking at?
·We are looking to have mod support implemented by launch in the form of level creation and prop plugins to allow players to create new challenges for Proving Grounds, and extra scenarios for Time Trial, both using UDK. We will look at adding level creation support for the Versus mode shortly after. We will be unlikely to support full creation of weapons/player characters/abilities however.
·Our single-player is created through our Proving Grounds and Time Trial modes. Due to our small Kickstarter budget the project doesn’t have the scope to create a full single-player campaign (which can be expensive) and in either case we don’t feel that direction is right for Vendetta. The Time Trial mode fulfils individual scenarios with limited self-contained stories.
·We are planning for all single-player portions of Vendetta to have offline play available. This is the challenge-based Proving Grounds, and the Story mode. Due to cheating possibilities, leaderboards for the time trials and proving grounds will be unavailable while offline, and it will not update if you go online after (our servers will have to verify challenge scores as they happen).
A Huge Thanks for supporting our Kickstarter!
A huge thanks for supporting our Kickstarter. Your support makes this game possible!
Risks and challenges
Game development is always a risky endeavor, especially as teams expand and the game gets closer to production.
While we already have a first prototype of basic systems and characters running in the updated Unreal engine, there are always risks that our extensive plans for new systems and user modifications cannot be built in time, or with the range of features that we are hoping to implement. In particular with regard to the PS4 stretch goal there will be specific approvals that lie outside the teams' direct control.
While we are mitigating most of the development risks by using experienced developers who have shipped great games in the past, the biggest risks to a project like this remains schedule, funding and approvals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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