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Rockstar NPC Tech Patent has people talking about GTA 6



A new patent filed by Rockstar Games’ parent company Take-Two Interactive suggests that the studio is looking at new gaming systems to increase situational awareness of its NPCs.

The patent, entitled “System And Method For Virtual Navigation In A Gaming Environment”, outlines technology that aims to create a “realistic experience” in video games by making AI smarter to detect the environment. In particular, the patent is aimed at NPC driving behavior.

Currently in video games, NPCs can only sense a few objects in their immediate vicinity. This level of detection is usually referred to other cars almost exclusively, and that is why NPC drivers tend to not only bump into each other but also into the objects found in the world. Through this new patent, however, Rockstar wants to give NPCs a clear driving profile.

According to the patent ̵

1; filed by Rockstar’s Assistant Chief Technology Officer David Hynd and lead AI programmer Simon Parr – an NPC could “define its own specific characteristics for crossing road nodes.” Paths in games are connected as dotted lines, joined in nodes that AI reads to determine the path. This new method will give NPCs a sense of autonomy along the way. If a road is supported by traffic, the NPC may decide to take another route. If the roads are slippery due to rain, NPCs can avoid them.

In addition to analyzing weather conditions and making assessments based on these external circumstances, NPCs could recognize obstacles on the road – like a car accident – and navigate around them. In addition, the behavior of an NPC driver can be dynamically changed based on the situation, such as slowing down to drive on residential streets.

Furthermore, through this patent, NPCs could take into account other external factors, such as speed limits, vehicle handling and top speed, turning and maneuvering and breaking time. All of this is aimed at creating a more vivid driving experience when on the go with NPCs.

Of course, it is worth noting that an filed patent does not mean that it will be part of a project. Nor does it mean that Rockstar intends to use the technology it patents. It simply suggests that the studio is looking at ways to improve how NPCs are currently designed.

While the patent does not mention any Rockstar-related project, there has been some speculation from Reddit users that it has some sort of connection to Grand Theft Auto 6. The authors note that the technology is built for “virtual navigation and control of objects in a multiplayer” network gaming community “and targeting PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Neither does it matter much, but if the patent becomes the right Rockstar technology, it could appear in the long-renowned Grand Theft Auto 6 or the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto Online.

In other GTA news, Rockstar brings the seven-year-old Grand Theft Auto 5 to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S later this year. PlayStation Plus subscribers who play on PlayStation 4 will receive cash bonuses in GTA Online every month until the mode hits Sony’s next generation console.

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