RealTime’s lead designer talks crazy customization options in APB

The concept behind the much-anticipated anarchy simulator All Points Bulletin, RealTime Worlds’ massively multiplayer title where every enforcer and every criminal is backed by a real live person, is tough to wrap your head around. Described by creative director Dave Jones as “the game he wanted Grand Theft Auto to be,” APB is packed with creativity-encouraging features, the most exciting of which is the complex customization system allowing players to design their own clothes, cars, tattoos, music and logos, perhaps even trading or selling their creations down the line.

“It started out being, ‘OK, let’s make this really believable city with a cool action game.’ As we layered the customization, as more and more people got involved, we took a look at it and realized, ‘Hey, wait a minute…This is a whole separate product in and of itself,'” said lead designer EJ Moreland in an interview with Gamasutra. “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.”

“We are looking for an audience that enjoys the game,” he said, adding that RealTime Worlds hopes to carve out their own online genre with APB, which is unlike any other massive multiplayer on the market. “That may be console guys who do play GTA; that may be guys who play WoW; that may be guys who play My Little Pony Online…the audience is still kind-of an unknown country.”