End of the year update

November 17, 2023 | PC

End of the year update

MESSAGE FROM MATT

Message from Matt!

Welcome to our “Showvember” newsletter. There’s a lot to dig into, but I want to start by clearing the air on a couple things before we jump in.

“Where has Matt been?”

I’m still here, but it’s been an admittedly rough year for me – both on a personal and professional level. The year started off great with the 64-bit launch, but then I had a close business partner pass away suddenly, followed by a publishing partner who failed to pay us for a year’s worth of work, followed by a string of projects that have all been put on hold as those companies weather their own financial storms.

In my opinion, Little Orbit is an odd little company. We’re a publisher that also develops titles – both for ourselves and for other publishers. We suffered a pretty big setback in 2020 on a game that never shipped, and I feel like we’ve been playing catch up ever since. But we don’t have large stacks of cash in the bank to fall back on. We don’t have private investors funding our titles. We just have to dig in and balance putting resources on internal projects while we finish external titles to pay the bills. Now with inflation, economic turbulence, and two wars internationally, the current business climate has been a CEO’s nightmare. It’s a storm out there.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of “just wait a bit longer to give an update.” I meet with the staff on each project every day to check in and organize priorities. I also work on many of our titles myself to help. There’s always a desire to provide good news. There’s always hope that some bit of tangible progress is right around the corner. So, I ended up telling myself that “tomorrow” will be the perfect time to write something up for the community. But it’s a storm. The rain keeps coming. Real life happens, and you just keep slogging it out. With that said, I want to apologize for the radio silence. I’ll do better. For now, the clouds have parted and there’s a little sunshine on the other side. Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be scheduling live Q&As on Twitch for not just APB Reloaded, but for each of Little Orbit’s titles. No roadmaps. No promises. Just me and a couple of staff members giving a raw walkthrough of where we are actually at. Show and tell

MATCHMAKING PROGRESS UPDATE

In our opinion, we can upgrade graphics, add content, and try to address lots of other issues in APB Reloaded, but none of that matters if players get terrible matches.

The Problem

Unfortunately, matchmaking was designed back in 2009 using a dated methodology limited to pairing similar threat players on their current district server. That system contains complex, buggy rules that were implemented in the rush to launch the game, and while there have been some attempts to make minor tweaks, the core design remains flawed.

We feel it’s important to understand that rewriting matchmaking is a colossal effort littered with pitfalls and issues similar to the 64-bit upgrade, which is why none of the previous owners of the game have attempted it.

The Solution

At the beginning of the year, we started work on a brand-new solution that would bring cross-district matchmaking into APB Reloaded. Rather than attempt everything, everywhere, all at once. We decided to split the matchmaking rewrite into two steps so that we could deliver something sooner to players to show progress.

Step 1 moved all the matchmaking logic from the District server to the World server. It’s a ground up rewrite with improvements through out, but in this Phase we still have threat-based districts and players will still only get matches with other players on the same District server.

Step 2 leverages the logic at the World server to allow for Cross District matchmaking with the ability to aggregate players across any District server to move them all onto a single District server for their match. In this Phase, players can join any district and threat is removed. All of that is used behind the scenes during matchmaking. It also means friends can play with friends anywhere they want - even Social - while they queue for matches.

Step 1 Announcement

We are excited to announce that we have completed Step 1, and that we have already started testing with both the public and our Discord Beta Testers group on OTW.

As part of this initial step, we significantly rewrote the matchmaking logic, so players should experience an improvement in overall match quality even in the same district. We will be announcing more scheduled play tests leading up to the release of matchmaking. Please join the official Little Orbit Discord channel if you are interested in participating in any play tests, as we frequently will have them open to the public. (https://discord.gg/LittleOrbit)

EVENTS

HALLOWEEN EVENT 2023:

BLACK FRIDAY SALE: November 22 - 11 A.M. UTC / 3:00 A.M. PST

  • 45% discount on the Key to the World pack, Joker Ticket sale and we’ll be dropping a brand-new store item.

MATT GOES LIVE ON TWITCH : TUESDAY, Nov 21 - 7:00 P.M. UTC / 11:00 A.M. PST

  • Join Matt APB’s Show & Tell Session

Got any questions? Want to chat with other players? Then discuss this article in our Forums! You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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