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APB to reward creativity as richly as game skills, says designer

Game will build on fame hungry X Factor style mentality

Realtime Worlds MMO APB will capitalise on the desire people have to be famous, or at least recognised by others as being good at something, the game's lead designer EJ Moreland has told attendees of the NEoN digital arts festival in Dundee.

"Everyone wants to be famous in some fashion. Everyone wants to feel they are good at something and that other people recognise that," he said, using the TV show X Factor as an example.

Which is, he explained, the reason behind APB's focus on customisation, and also for its making creativity as important a skill as being good at action games.

"We're actually letting users come in and use their talent – it's not just about how well they play the actual game, or about their stats or items."

There will be a range of ways players can become famous – or be 'the best' - including how they play the game, but also for a range of other things, from the clothes they've designed for themselves to the music they've composed to be played when they make a kill.

These celebrity and creativity aspects are two of the "three core pillars" the game was built around, said Moreland – the other one being conflict. And the game is a "cool action game at heart," he added.

Unlike the majority of MMO games, the team wanted to ensure talent was reflected in more ways than simply what level the player is at, or what items they possess.

"It's about being able to reflect creative talent rather than just reflect the amount of time you've spent in the game," he said.

APB is expected to be released next year, however Moreland was keen to point out the release of the game isn't the finishing line for the team.

"For us, the release of the game is just the beginning. This is an online service. It's not just a boxed product. We feel like we have a great creative platform, a great social platform, for players to come in and really attach to the world and enjoy it."

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Kath Brice