Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard a lot of rumours about Grand Theft Auto 6. So far, the most reliable information found about the next game of the series was a couple of hints from Rockstar in their recent promotional ads for the Cayo Perico heist. However, information from Take Two’s recent patents has been discovered, and the information within is interesting. Rockstar’s patents indicate big improvements for the franchise’s future.
Having looked through this information myself, I have picked out some patents that I found particularly indicative of what we could expect from GTA 6. They have confusing names, but let’s break down what they actually mean for the future of the series.
Patent 1: System and Method for Virtual Navigation in a Gaming Environment
Patent by: David Hynd, Associate Director of Technology at Rockstar Games | Simon Parr, Lead A.I. Programmer at Rockstar Games – Filed 29th October 2020
Every open-world video game developer wants to create an A.I. system that can interact properly with the environment. The idea of having an A.I. system that seeks not just to be practical and unnoticeable; but realistic and immersive has always been a challenge to programmers. The closest we’ve ever got to that in a game was in Rockstar’s most recent title, Red Dead Redemption 2. But apparently, that isn’t enough for Rockstar’s team.
Because of the tech limits that were set by the last generation of consoles, It was hard to implement (for instance) Guarma from Red Dead Redemption 2 in the actual map so NPCs can have routes between the United States of America and Guarma. NPC data isn’t saved, so they can’t make their daily routines and loops while you’re somewhere far away. However, this patent seems to take action against this problem.
The patent’s intent is generally to create a program that can save NPC data. Even if you don’t see the NPC or it’s not rendered, they will be able to fulfil their daily routines. Additionally, NPCs will be more aware whilst following their routines, making them interact with the environment in a more complex way.
Patent 2: System and method for session management in a multiplayer network gaming environment
Patent by: Philip Degarmo, Senior Network Programmer at Rockstar San Diego | Robert Schmitz, (Unknown Position) – File Date: 8th november 2017, Publication Date: 9th May 2019.
One reason I stopped playing Grand Theft Auto Online (aside from modders) was the “Joining Session…” text. The boredom I felt whilst watching Los Santos from the skies is unparalleled. It’s a moment that feels like it lasts forever. I do not doubt that this could be the reason you stopped playing too.
This patent intends to create various systems to ease the session management in the multiplayer network of an online game. Interestingly, one of those methods was to create a system that is able to connect players to sessions seamlessly. When the command is executed, you will be able to join your friend’s session in a matter of moments.
GTA 6 is Still a While Away
Those two patents were the most interesting to me. As far as we know, the patent claims weren’t used in Red Dead Redemption 2. The probability of Rockstar using these methods only gets higher the longer that GTA 6 is in development. Additionally, these methods fit the context of a Grand Theft Auto game more than anything. The huge, bustling city populated with countless players and NPCs in GTA Online would surely benefit from these patents, which signals we may see them implemented in the future of the series. As always, take all this information with a pinch of salt – GTA 6 is likely still a while away and we know extremely little.
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