Sony Patent Discusses Virtual Dojo For Players Based On Skills
Demon's Souls | Source: PlayStation
Sony Interactive Entertainment is possibly working on a technology to incorporate a personalised virtual dojo for players to improve their skills based on data retrieved from their gameplay.
The technology aspires to make it convenient for players to improve their skills without navigating through third-party resources that may or may not be relevant.
The technology would be able to assess the player’s skills and provide relevant resources to assist the player in improving them accordingly for a particular video game(s) or an entire genre.
The resources provided to the players may be recordings of their failed attempts and/or tutorials on executing certain skills based on their previous failed attempts.
Sony Interactive Entertainment is one of the world’s most widely recognised video game and digital entertainment companies, with subsidiaries like Naughty Dog and Guerilla Games under its name. With the success that the company has achieved following the release of video game franchises like The Last of Us and Horizon, the company is constantly striving to improve the playability and accessibility of its video game franchises, even releasing some of its most recognised ones on other platforms, like PC.
In October, we uncovered a recently published patent from Sony Interactive Entertainment which discusses an “adaptive graphics” technology for cloud gaming to counter inferior playability on poor internet connections. Earlier today, we came across another recently published patent from the company, this time discussing a personalised virtual dojo for players to improve their skills in certain video games based on data retrieved from their gameplay without navigating through third-party resources.
The abstract for the patent titled “Virtual dojo,” which was filed in August 2021 and published earlier this month under the name of Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, reads, “A method and system for assisting a play is disclosed. A gameplay of a user of media content that is associated with a game type is received. A skill involved in the gameplay of the user is determined based on the gameplay of the user and the game type. A skill level of the user is determined based on the gameplay of the user. A training curriculum is provided to the user based on the skill and the skill level of the user upon detecting a triggering event.”
Personalised coaching for players to improve their skills within certain video games isn’t unheard of by Sony Interactive Entertainment. In January, the company published a patent for “systems and methods for coaching a user for game play” when a player has “fallen below a skill threshold” in a certain video game by providing them with suggestions, as found by VGC. However, this feature would be restricted to whether the player falls below a certain threshold, and the coaching would be provided through suggestions only. Hence, if players wanted to improve their skills outside of the provided suggestions, they would still have to search for third-party resources, which may be time-consuming and counter-productive. For such players, it may be more beneficial to provide a personalised virtual dojo based on their expertise and experiences to improve their skills accordingly.
“For example, a user who is having difficulty with a particular level or challenge in a game may pause the gameplay session and retrieve such training materials. Depending on the user’s memory and familiarity with gameplay, the gaming platform and other hardware, the game title, and other factors, the user may need to reference such training materials repeatedly in order to improve their gameplay,” explains the patent. “Moreover, users that are new or unfamiliar with gameplay may not even be aware of the availability of training materials, may find it difficult to identify and retrieve relevant training materials, and/or may be frustrated by the need to continually start and stop gameplay to access the training materials.”
According to the patent, the technology would function by retrieving the gameplay of a particular player through media content associated with a particular video game, which may then be used to determine the player’s skill level based on the particular video game they are playing. As a result, the technology would be able to assess the player’s skills and provide relevant resources to assist the player in improving them accordingly. This way, there won’t be a need to search for third-party resources that may or may not be relevant to the player’s desires.
Furthermore, it’s also worth noting that the patent doesn’t mention the technology being used by a particular video game but rather a “game type,” which may refer to an entire video game genre, like first-person shooters or roleplaying games. Hence, the technology may assess the player’s skills and determine how they can be improved for a particular video game or the entire genre. Additionally, the patent refers to “trigger events” that determine whether the player requires assistance in improving their skills in a particular video game or not, which may include “failure to execute the skill,”“a threshold number of repeated attempts,” and “a threshold number of failed attempts at executing the skill.”
As a result of the mentioned “trigger events,” data is retrieved from the player, which may include “a number of skills successfully executed by the user” and “a ranking of the user in comparison to one or more other users” upon which the player’s skill level is determined and the relevant “training materials” are provided accordingly. Additionally, the technology may also determine when the player is “engaged in gameplay of a second media title”, thereby retrieving data based on that particular video game and providing the “set of training materials to the user based on the skill.” Hence, the technology could simultaneously personalise the virtual dojo for each video game that the player plays.
Lastly, the “training materials” provided by the personalised virtual dojo may include “a recording of the gameplay during which the triggering event was detected,” “a tutorial regarding controller sequences associated with executing the skill,” and “a map associated with a virtual environment of the media title.” Hence, not only could the personalised virtual dojo provide assistance through tutorials, but it may also show how the player failed to execute a certain action so that they could improve upon their missteps. In addition to this, the technology could also analyse the player’s gameplay to “determine a gameplay style of the user, wherein customizing the training materials is further based on the gameplay style of the user.”
According to the details of the patent, the “training materials” may be provided to the player simultaneously during the gameplay of a particular video or a “phase” in the gameplay of a particular video game and may also be streamed on a secondary device while the player plays the particular video game on the primary device. Once the player can successfully execute a skill, they couldn’t previously, the personalised virtual dojo is updated with “training materials” based on the newly retrieved data.
While it seems like Sony Interactive Entertainment is trying to use artificial intelligence to improve the playability and accessibility of its video games for players, there remains the ethical issue of retrieving data from players to be used by the company for whatever purposes. In April, it was reported by Business Insider that Sony Interactive Entertainment is supposedly planning to incorporate third-party advertisements in inconspicuous places within its video games. As a result, players have been concerned about whether companies like Sony Interactive Entertainment will use their data to promote advertisements within their video games. However, only time will tell how (or even if) this is implemented.
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