A New Take-Two Patent Hints at GTA VI Upgrades

A Reddit post about a Take-Two patent filing has caused a stir among GTA fans. The parent company of Rockstar Games filed the patent last October to create a “system and method for virtual navigation in a gaming environment.”

Readers should note that the Take-Two patent was filed without mention of any specific games. Remember that Take-Two Interactive also owns 2K Games, who developed the Mafia and BioShock series.

However, people were quick to point out the patent’s inventors: David Hynd and Simon Parr, tech director and AI lead respectively at Rockstar North, the folks behind Grand Theft Auto.

The Take-Two patent seems to aim above all at creating more complex and varied NPC behavior when it comes to navigation, allowing for more realistic traffic conditions in games.

Current Limitations

As the patent explains, traditionally, “processing power, memory, and efficiency only allow for a predetermined number of NPC controlled cars in any single instance of a conventional system.”

Furthermore, because these NPC drivers run on a predetermined script, they can only interact with their environment in very limited ways, from how they react to potential collisions, to more complex navigation:

A node-based vehicle in conventional video games may make arbitrary decisions at junctions (wandering behavior). These node-based vehicles may not consider certain factors–such as traffic–when determining navigation. For example, some systems rely on low level vehicle avoidance to only have NPCs avoid vehicles and objects directly around it. This cannot account for changing lanes when parking cars, anticipating a road exit, weather conditions, and the like.

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The Possibilities

To rectify this, the technology presented in the Take-Two patent would allow for much more dynamic driver behavior. For example, NPC drivers might have different abilities, which determine whether they’re likely to speed, or to drive more slowly in a residential area.

Weather, road, and traffic conditions would also play a role. For instance, rainy weather might prompt drivers to be more careful, as would rough terrain. At the same time, savvy NPCs would know to avoid main roads with heavy traffic.

In-Game Gentrification?

This revelation has also prompted fresh discussion on Reddit of another Take-Two patent filed in 2019, which some take to be a system for in-game gentrification:

As another example, an older run-down neighborhood could be created by populating it with a higher proportion of assets tagged “old,” “worn_down,” “rusty,” “cheap,” etc. In game play where the player is attempting to improve the city they live in, as the player performs well in the game the game engine can slowly replace the objects tagged as described above with objects tagged “new,” “high-end,” “hipster,” “renovated,” etc. to indicated that the neighborhood is improving.

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A system whereby a neighborhood, a community, an entire city can evolve and change before our very eyes. Combine this with an equally organic traffic system and you have the potential for some truly game-changing (pardon the pun) world building.

Ever since Kotaku’s report about cultural changes at Rockstar, which included mention of the next GTA instalment, fans have been eager for news about the title. This latest development shows just how intense that enthusiasm currently is.

More Rumors

Here on VeryAli we even speculated on the possibility that GTA VI will finally feature a female lead, and that it will take place in Vice City, the setting of 2002’s eponymous Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

While it is certainly fun to imagine the possibilities of the potential new technology behind the Take-Two patent story, it is important to remember that Rockstar have yet to make any official announcement about the game. While waiting for GTA VI, You can get GTA V for only $12 here, for GTA V Premium Online Edition check here.

What innovations would you like to see in a future GTA title? Share you’re comments below! And while you’re here, why not check out some of our other recent articles, such as Former Team Ninja Head Tomonobu Itagaki Sets Up New Studio or Free Update for Ace Combat 7 in Anniversary Celebration? You can also find even more content on our YouTube channel. Thanks for reading VeryAli!

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