- Activision has recently published a patent that seeks to automatically generate variants of already-existing in-game assets to omit tedious manual steps.
- The proposed system will allow creators to select various parameters and rules for the customized assets before creating them automatically using existing assets.
- The patent seeks to fasten the game development lifecycle and also let users and developers create in-game assets on the spot instead of requiring manual designs.
- An example would be a game map with many cars; the system could let users create different vehicle variants with different parameters and rules instead of manual creation.
Activision is a renowned figure in the gaming industry, often paving the way toward new innovations with its influence. Like some other notable giants, it is also seeking to automate the many aspects of the development process of a game. It has recently patented a new system for developers and users that aims to automatically create new variants of existing in-game assets without requiring any of the manual and tedious steps.
The patent dubbed “COMPUTER IMPLEMENTED METHOD OF SCALABLY GENERATING GAMING ASSETS FOR RENDERING DURING GAMEPLAY” seeks to assist the devs by automating the process of in-game asset generation. Assets, also called props, are objects that populate a game map and are extremely important in adding details to a game. Activision wants to make creating variants of existing assets an automated process.
Artists typically need to manually design these gaming assets along with associated variations and customizations in order for these assets to be made available to players as options to choose from during gameplay. […] However, being a manual process, such creation of gaming assets along with associated customizations is neither efficient nor scalable.”
The patent argues that as the scale of video games increases, it takes a longer time to populate maps with game assets. Moreover, the variants of different assets need to be manually designed by developers, which is a major and time-consuming hindrance. The number of gaming assets designed by the devs can increase from a few hundred to thousands, but the patent seeks to solve that problem by automating the process.
Therefore, there is a need for a method to automatically generate custom gaming assets based on corresponding generic or high-level gaming assets. There is also a need for the method to be scalable and efficient.”
According to Activision, the existing generic assets can be utilized to generate customized gaming assets automatically. Various parameters can be selected by the user, alongside constraints, that can help generate the customized variants of the existing assets flawlessly without requiring any manual processes. Moreover, the new variants can be shown to users or developers to be placed on the game map.
Once the full hierarchical set of different types of variants are selected, the system automatically, and without human intervention, generates permissible combinations of the different types of variants to yield multiple instances of an asset for a video game, where each instance has a different combination of traits.”
The patent uses the example of a map littered with game cars; if the creator wants to place more variants of cars on the map, then the proposed system can be used instead of manually designing and placing each car in the landscape. The asset module used in the proposed system is able to place assets in the game maps automatically, but the creator can still set rules for the system to ensure everything feels natural in the game.
For instance, a rule can be set for vehicles not to be placed on top of others or for two specific game assets to not be near each other. A rule can also be set for assets to be placed along the river bank but not on top of it.
The studio likely seeks to utilize this technology to boost its development times, and each AAA entry seems to take many years before releasing these days. The ability to automatically create variants of existing game assets will significantly boost the time and allow for more detailed game maps.
Activision is among the leading figures in securing alluring ideas in legal papers, and the new patent will is among them. Previously, it has patented ideas to generate in-game music unique to every user. It also secured a record to create in-game characters without existing limits. Moreover, it is analyzing ideas to add a new game mode in the next Call of Duty titles for MVP users to partake in bonus rounds chosen by the non-MVP players.
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