Bandai Namco Wants Aim Assist-Like Feature For Action RPGs

Bandai Namco
ELDEN RING | Source: Steam


  • Bandai Namco Entertainment was recently awarded a patent for a protection control system that aims to protect players’ characters during the preparatory state of an attack in video games.
  • The system detects when a player’s character is in a preparatory state for executing a close-range attack and ensures the character satisfies the conditions for executing the attack.
  • It activates protection control to shield the player’s character from interference by other characters while in the preparatory state, reducing the damage inflicted by adjusting offensive or defensive strengths.
  • The protection control takes into account factors like positional relationships between characters, character information, moving speed, and geographical environment to provide a realistic and dynamic gameplay experience.
  • The system also allows players to choose the specific attack function in advance, enhancing customisation possibilities and preventing unforeseen consequences in intense combat situations.

Earlier today, we came across a recently published patent from Bandai Namco Entertainment titled, “COMPUTER SYSTEM, GAME SYSTEM, AND GAME PROGRESS CONTROL METHOD,” filed in February under the name of BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC. The patent, published earlier this month, describes a system that protects the player’s character during the preparatory state of an attack. Specifically, it addresses the problem of interruptions or failures in executing attacks, especially close-range attacks, due to interference from other characters.

Bandai Namco
Flowchart illustrating a flow of a process executed for each movable player character in game progress control by the server system according to the first embodiment. | Source: Patent Public Search

“A computer system determines that a player character is in a preparatory state for executing an external function (close-range attack) toward a target character (e.g., enemy character). Furthermore, the computer system determines that the player character satisfies an executable condition that enables execution of the external function,” reads the abstract for the patent.

“When the player character satisfies the executable condition, the computer system causes the player character to execute the external function. Then, the computer system executes protection control for protecting the player character from another character while the player character is in the preparatory state.”

The preparatory state is when the player’s character is getting ready to execute a specific attack function, such as a close-range attack, towards a target character. The system first determines if the player’s character meets the conditions necessary for executing the attack. If the conditions are met, the system allows the player’s character to execute the attack function.

At the same time, the system activates protection control to shield the player’s character from interference by other characters while it is in the preparatory state. In video games with a lock-on function, which automatically maintains aim at a target character, this protection control prevents the player’s character from being damaged or slowed down by attacks from other characters while approaching the target.

Bandai Namco
Diagram for describing a game and is a schematic diagram illustrating an example of protection control. | Source: Patent Public Search

It ensures that the player’s character can successfully perform a close-range attack without interruptions. The protection control can reduce the damage inflicted on the player’s character by adjusting offensive or defensive strengths, thereby enhancing the player’s experience. Additionally, the system can notify the player’s when their character is in the preparatory state, ensuring clear communication and awareness of the ongoing action.

The protection control can be adjusted based on various factors such as the positional relationship between characters, character information (for instance, type, level, and skills), the moving speed of the player’s character, and the geographical environment of the video game. These adjustments aim to provide a realistic and dynamic gameplay experience.

In addition, the system provides the player with the ability to choose the specific external function (such as attack, healing, or rescue) to be performed even before the conditions for execution are met. This capability enhances player support and customisation possibilities while preventing any unforeseen consequences, particularly during intense combat situations involving multiple enemies at once, which are frequently encountered in action roleplaying games.

Bandai Namco
Schematic diagram illustrating a modification example of the protection control. | Source: Patent Public Search

According to Bandai Namco Entertainment’s claims, if the player’s character is determined to be in the preparatory state, the system automatically moves it to the required distance from the target character. Hence, the executed protection control may include reducing the amount of damage inflicted on the player character by attacks from other characters.

The protection control can reduce the damage by either decreasing the offensive strength of the other character or enhancing the defensive strength of the player character. Furthermore, executing the protection control involves adjusting the protection-related mechanisms.

The adjustment control in the protection control can be based on the positional relationship between the player’s character and the other character, the character information of the player’s character or the other character, the moving speed of the player’s character, or the geographical environment of the player character’s position.

In case there are multiple types of external functions, the system can allow the player to choose one of them before the executable condition is met. The adjustment control in the protection control is then performed based on the type of external function selected.

The protection control’s adjustment can be accomplished through probability calculations as well. By assessing the adjustment level, the system establishes a probability associated with it and utilises this probability in the adjustment control process. Consequently, the entire procedure can be automated for players, thereby making challenging combat scenarios in video games such as ELDEN RING much easier to navigate.

It is important to acknowledge that the current state of the patent signifies potential improvements to the player experience in action roleplaying games, but it should be noted that its existence as a patent does not assure its actual implementation by Bandai Namco Entertainment.

While it remains to be seen how or if this patent will be implemented in specific video game franchises, such as DARK SOULS, players can certainly look forward to enjoying action roleplaying games with enhanced protection, allowing them to focus on strategic decision-making and immersive gameplay.

What do you think about this? Do tell us your opinions in the comments below!

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