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'GTA 6' Will Feature Much More Realistic NPCs, According To Rockstar Patent

'GTA 6' Will Feature Much More Realistic NPCs, According To Rockstar Patent

“Each NPC can define its own specific characteristics.”

Imogen Donovan

Imogen Donovan

Late last year, Rockstar Games' parent company filed a patent which would overhaul the artificial intelligence of non-playable characters in games to be much more lifelike. This addition could come into the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6, which has been kept under lock and key for about six years now.

NPCs. The unsung heroes of video games. Though it might be your actions that rescue the princess and save the world or safeguard a young teenager and doom the world, alternatively, it's these virtual constructs that are one part of the game's "beating" heart. They ensure that you believe in your mission and in the veracity of the consequences. They could be street vendors, guns for hire, four-legged companions, hordes of the undead. If you think I'm overegging it, well, remember what happened the last time the NPCs were acting out? The rest of the game could be picture-perfect, but if the people that inhabit this world are out of step, then the whole thing comes crumbling down like a house of cards.

So, this newly discovered patent submitted by Rockstar Games' parent company (Take-Two Interactive) marks a possible leap in the realisticness of behaviour simulated by NPCs. Specifically citing an example about driving vehicles around a city, it argues that "conventional systems only provide limited resources for automating NPCs," and that "NPCs are often grouped by characteristics and perform the same motions." As a result, these constructs are realistic to an extent, but the illusion is shattered when you see five different NPCs act out the same animation. This new "system and method for virtual navigation in a gaming environment" aims to overcome "hardware or software limitations" and engender a "realistic virtual world" that won't rely on things that are nearby to dictate an NPC's performance.

Grand Theft Auto V /
Rockstar Games

You might be thinking that, seeing as Take-Two Interactive owns a great many studios, we might be getting ahead of ourselves in thinking that this system may be included in Grand Theft Auto 6. But. David Hynd and Simon Parr are the inventors of this new directive for artificial intelligence, and they are the associate director of technology and lead AI programmer at Rockstar Games, respectively. Furthermore, the patent mentions different vehicles responding to different conditions and different skills of their drivers, conjuring images of an expansive open world set in a city. Heck, "each NPC can define its own specific characteristics" while in motion, and they'd be able to avoid an area where a "high-speed chase" is taking place.

This sounds very like Grand Theft Auto 6 to us, and for the time being, we'll roll with it. Details on the next entry to the popular series have been extremely light on the ground, and the prevailing claims state there will be a female protagonist in Vice City, and they'll be developing their crime empire between the iconic location and cities in South America.

Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games

Topics: News, Grand Theft Auto