A Rockstar Games patent has been discovered which suggests that GTA 6 is going to be the studio’s most realistic game yet.
Whether it’s GTA or Red Dead Redemption, NPCs play a huge role in titles from Rockstar Games.
NPCs not only fill out the world but they also add an extra level of immersion for the player. After all, just imagine Los Santos, Liberty City or the Wild West without any NPCs.
However the newly discovered patent from Rockstar Games hints that future titles from the studio will have NPCs that can act of their own accord and have some form of natural instinct, or at least that’s the illusion that it will provide to the player.
The documents in question were filed in October last year by Rockstar parent company Take-Two. The filing was recently spotted by a Reddit user, and has been credited to Rockstar North’s tech director David Hynd and AI lead Simon Parr.
The patent for “System and Method for Virtual Navigation in a Gaming Environment” doesn’t mention any game in particular but it’s safe to assume that it will likely be implemented in GTA 6 and future titles.
The patent describes a new AI system that evolves NPC navigation around virtual environments to behave in a more realistic manner.
“Conventional systems only provide limited resources for automating NPCs,” reads the patent. “For example, processing power, memory, and efficiency only allow for a predetermined number of NPC controlled cars in any single instance of a conventional system.”
“However, players of a video game would expect to see more than a predetermined number of NPC controlled cars in a video game for a realistic experience.”
The patent continues: “In conventional systems, NPCs are often grouped by characteristics and perform the same motions. In fact, some NPCs of conventional systems fade out of existence as the player approaches the NPC.”
So in a nutshell what I take from the above is that during certain areas of, let’s say ‘GTA 5,’ you expect to see a number of vehicles and NPCs walking outside of a football stadium. This would be regardless of the time of day and they will all largely be acting the same walking on similar routes.
However in GTA 6 you might see an increased number of vehicles leaving and entering the stadium premises, as well as perhaps more NPCs walking about on Match Day. Heck we might even see NPCs celebrating or commiserating depending on their team’s success.
The patent also describes how NPCs’ behaviour while driving may differ depending on the terrain, being in residential areas or could even have them react to oncoming traffic. Essentially, NPCs could simulate having the natural instincts to avoid an accident rather than just colliding.
“For example, driving slower on residential-type roads or having to perform certain manoeuvres to avoid oncoming traffic on single-lane streets,” explains the patent.
It all sounds very impressive and if these are some of the smaller improvements that we can expect to see in future titles from Rockstar Games, then I’m even more excited for GTA 6 then I ever was.
What do you think of the Rockstar patent, and will we see its effects implemented in GTA 6?
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Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games