Activision Making Mobile Games “Less Distracting” For Players
Activision Blizzard | Source: Activision Blizzard
Activision Publishing has recently been awarded a patent for a system that enables different modes in a mobile video game based on the physical orientation of the mobile device.
The first mode allows players to play the video game with others, while the second mode provides communication features but does not allow multiplayer gameplay.
The system can detect changes in the orientation of the mobile device and automatically switch between modes based on time, location, display, or mobile device button.
The patent includes an interesting “Train” feature in the portrait orientation for the single-player mode and a potential reward system for players to gain in-game credits or items through mini-games or similar activities.
The patent aims to provide a more convenient and efficient way for players to access video game features without being distracted or disrupting others in their surroundings.
Earlier today, we came across a recently published patent titled “Systems and Methods for Dynamically Enabling Feature Changes in a Mobile Game,” filed in October 2022 under Activision Publishing, Inc. The patent, published earlier this week, describes a system enabling different modes in a mobile video game. The system enables players to switch between different modes of the video game based on the physical orientation of their mobile device. The first mode allows players to play the video game with other individuals, while the second mode provides features that enable players to communicate with others but not play the video game with them. The system can detect changes in the orientation of the mobile device and automatically switch between modes. The mode switch can be based on time, location, display, or mobile device button. The system aims to provide a more convenient and efficient way for players to access video game features without being distracted or disrupting others in their surroundings.
“A method for selecting a mode for interacting with a video game is provided,” reads the abstract for the patent. “The method includes identifying an input to the video game and providing the game in a first mode based on the identified input. The method further includes providing the game in a second mode based on identifying a change to the input.” The patent aims to solve the cumbersome and potentially disruptive in-game communication features in mobile video games, which can be difficult and distracting to access. Activision Publishing proposes a solution by providing a system for dynamically enabling feature changes in a mobile video game based on physical manipulations of the mobile device, such as changing its orientation. This allows players to easily switch between different modes within the video game environment, making it more practical and less distracting when the player is not playing the video game. The patent encourages players to engage further with the video game features by providing a more user-friendly and accessible interface for in-game communication.
According to the patent’s claims, the system involves identifying the orientation of the mobile device, executing the video game in the first mode based on the identified orientation, identifying a change in the orientation of the device, and initiating the execution of the video game in the second mode based on the identified second orientation. The second mode has different features than the first mode, and at least some features from the first mode are not present in the second mode. The patent further specifies that the first mode does not include a feature enabling video game players’ communication. Rather, the second mode includes a function enabling communication between video game players. When the mobile device is in the landscape orientation, the video game is in the first mode, and the first plurality of features enables the player to play the video game with other individuals. Likewise, when the mobile device is in the portrait orientation, the video game is in the second mode, and the second plurality of features enables the player to communicate with others, but the player cannot play the video game with other individuals.
Furthermore, Activision Publishing specifies that the first mode is the default mode, the second mode is an alternative mode, and the execution of the video game is shorter in the alternative mode than in the default mode. In addition, the alternative mode comprises one or more communication features unavailable in the default mode. The patent also specifies that in the default mode, the execution of the video game enables a multiplayer version of the video game, while in the alternative mode, the execution of the video game enables only a single-player version of the video game. Lastly, stopping the execution of the video game in the first mode and initiating the execution of the video game in the second mode is based on time, the location of a display, a button on display, or a button on the mobile device.
One interesting aspect of the second mode is its depiction of a “Train” feature in the portrait orientation for the single-player mode, according to one of the patent drawings. However, the patent’s example video game used to showcase this feature is a first-person shooter (FPS) game, which raises questions about how this feature could improve gameplay in a portrait orientation, given that most first-person shooter (FPS) games on mobile devices use landscape orientation. Additionally, the drawing mentions an “Earn Rewards” feature, which could suggest a reward system for players to gain in-game credits or items through mini-games or similar activities.
As online multiplayer video games increasingly incorporate social features, video game companies must balance these two elements. Riot Games, for example, released Riot Mobile in August 2021, a mobile application that helps players stay informed across all company franchises and events, connect with other players outside the video game, and discover new content and activities. However, because the application is exclusive to the video game, navigating between the two can be inconvenient. Activision Publishing’s patent appears to address this issue by integrating the video games’ social and gameplay aspects into a single application. However, it’s important to note that the system is only a patent and does not guarantee implementation or development. Only time will tell when or if Activision Publishing decides to incorporate the technology into its existing or upcoming video game franchises.
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From writing short stories in his room to finding true enthusiasm for video game and computer hardware journalism, Huzaifa plays video games and write all the latest and greatest news about them. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, he dives deep into the news, authenticating every tiny detail to serve his audience. When he’s not breaking news, he becomes a master storyteller, conjuring up captivating tales from the depths of his imagination. With a wealth of experience as a Video Game Journalist. He has also worked with Publishers like eXputer, The Nerd Mag and Gamesual making him an expert in Gaming News Industry.