Little Orbit CEO admits that upgrading APB Reloaded to its new engine has been ‘a slog’

    
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For the past several months, developer Little Orbit has been working on an engine upgrade to the multiplayer shooter APB Reloaded as part of its much-referenced 2.1 update, which now has a version number of 2.2. The game’s upgrade has gone through a number of beta tests of this new engine, but there has otherwise not been any hard date for the release, with only postings from Little Orbit CEO Matt Scott to primarily keep fans in the know.

This brings us to his latest posting, which comes after a month of general radio silence from him. Scott attributes this to the ongoing arduous work of converting data files from the 1.20 version to 2.2, which has run into no end of problems by all accounts.

“I’ll admit, the last 4 weeks have been a slog. We’ve hit very nuanced issues surrounding exactly how to load the new 1.20 data we were trying to preserve. These issues crash our conversion process. Each time, we spend nearly a day converting packages to 2.2, hit a crash, go back to the 1.20 code, step thought side by side, find the problem, work out how to fix it, and then re-run the lengthy conversion till it crashes again.”

With that said, there was a recent breakthrough that saw the Social district of the game map load in without any major problems, though the devs did run into a new problem related to how levels are loaded at runtime. The plan is to address this issue first, and then convert the Financial district, convert the rest of the maps, and after a few more engine-related upgrades, bring in a small group of community testers.

“I know this has been a long process, but no one has attempted this new direction before. It’s uncharted territory,” Scott writes. “As I have stated before, the original team at Reloaded felt it was impossible to port the game this way. But today we saw our first big sign of progress.”

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Fisty
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Fisty

Fallen Earth would’ve been the better broken game to repair/remake.

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Bruno Brito

Personally, sure. But APB is their moneymaker, sadly.

Fisty
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Fisty

I find it hard to believe these days. Especially, since everyone has GTA at this point.

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Bruno Brito

I’ve been thinking about FE these days and how it sucks that Matt sits on the engine without using it, but i get why. I hope he gets the APB stuff sorted out quick so we can get back to what really matters :D

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Hikari Kenzaki

Even point release updates can be harsh. Updating from UE3 to UE4 is complicated by a bunch of custom code that no longer works on UE4.
It’s the nature of the beast. If you want a game that doesn’t look like every other UE game, you need custom code, but the future versions of that engine may not support it.
Combine that with the fact that every minute spent on the upgrade is lost money. Sure, you might draw in a few new players with an upgrade and you might even be able to sell them some new cosmetics and such, but for the most part, an engine upgrade is pure expense.