Activision Wants To Create In-Game Characters Without Pre-Defined Limits

The "blank" characters will be free of any pre-defined statistics to make it a more fair gameplay experience.

Story Highlights

  • Activision has rolled out a patent that discusses adding blank characters to games without pre-defined attributes or limits hindering the user experience.
  • Currently, the game characters tend to have separate pre-defined statistics in different classes or athletes featuring other limits.
  • The attributes have been defined as “competencies or features that have a potential to affect gameplay when assigned to or acquired by a virtual character.” 
  • The patent will remove the maximum cap placed on the characters and slash pre-defined attributes to improve competitive experiences and leveling systems.

Activision has recently published a patent that talks about how multiplayer games currently cannot fully showcase players’ potential due to the chosen characters having pre-defined limits or stats. The document dubbed “MULTIPLAYER VIDEO GAMES WITH VIRTUAL CHARACTERS HAVING DYNAMICALLY MODIFIED FIELDS OF VIEW” brings up a solution to the current system implemented in multiplayer entries of varied genres.

To enable avatars to become truly unique and reflective of the human players themselves, however, it is essential to create games where the attributes of the avatars, and the respective value ranges of those attributes, are not preset by a game developer and are authentic to, and fully controllable by, the players.”

Thus, Activision proposes “blank” characters with no pre-determined stat points or limits to solve the issue. These characters can be fully customized from the start and lack any existing stats, accurately mirroring the choices and playstyle of the player and reducing the set contrasts by the game itself. For instance, choosing a class in a roleplaying game will not contain pre-defined stats, and the user will start without any set attributes.

All virtual characters, upon creation, are blank slates having respective first states or attributes profiles with one or more base attributes and corresponding base values.”

The flowchart discusses rendering gameplay of a video game based on a player’s field of view attribute.
The flowchart discusses rendering gameplay of a video game based on a player’s field of view attribute.

The attributes have been defined as “competencies or features that have a potential to affect gameplay when assigned to or acquired by a virtual character.” In other words, we can visualize these stats as investable points that can be used in many areas, such as strength and wisdom, in roleplaying games that alter the outcome. Currently, there is always a meta in most roleplaying games where certain classes do better than others.

It means that there are no predefined virtual character classes like guards, centers, forwards in a basketball game; or mages, knights, elves in a fantasy game that would have certain predisposed abilities or attributes.”

For a sports game example, the attributes would be “height, weight, wingspan, speed, agility, strength, balance, stamina…” and the like. Without pre-existing stats or any placed limits, the player could naturally transition from a newbie to a professional while growing alongside the character. This would significantly boost the organic competitiveness present in titles of any genre.

The patent argues that instead of a character increasing its strength attribute sequentially with levels to a pre-defined limit, the process can be open-ended with organic progression and a learning curve without an “actual maximum cap on the attribute value” in some cases. To help with the naturalistic approach to training each specific attribute, a game could feature assigned “training areas” to help grow each statistic.

The image discusses enabling a virtual character of a player to acquire one or more attributes in a multiplayer game by using training areas.
The image discusses enabling a virtual character of a player to acquire one or more attributes in a multiplayer game by using training areas.

For some examples, there could be a weight training room for the strength attribute and a shooting range to help with shooting. Activision’s patent also talks about trading or swapping virtual characters in the games or even buying new attributes by making in-game purchases to help make gaining different stats easier.

Currently, each character or selected class tends to have set limits or attributes that do not reflect the player’s ability, making the gameplay unfair. Players cannot create unique characters since there is always a limit and a certain boost in some aspects of the chosen avatars. The gamers cannot naturally evolve and acquire attributes in the games, sapping the pleasure out of otherwise competitive multiplayer experiences. 

Some conventional games, such as sports games, base their virtual characters on real life athletes, where the game characters attempt to copy the attributes of the real-life athlete. The shortcoming of these games is that it limits the characters to actual people and the attribute values or levels are predefined.”

Activision’s multiplayer games could drastically change if the patent is implemented into its game. We could see many of its current and upcoming titles becoming more competitive and based on the innate skills of the players. However, such a system could likely be meant for a specific game or two, which is likely to be the case.

The notable publisher has also rolled out many enticing patents in the past, such as generating unique in-game music for each player utilizing the power of AI and creating bonus matches for its games for MVPs decided by non-MVP players. Moreover, it has also explored ways to render 3D visuals inside 2D games.

Similar Reads: FromSoftware Is Developing Multiple Projects; Hopes To Release Games In Short Periods.

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Shahmeer Sarfaraz


Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to devoutly keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and several years of experience reporting on games. Besides his passion for breaking news stories, Shahmeer loves spending his leisure time farming away in Stardew Valley. His articles have been cited by VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more. Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Computer Science || Written 800+ News Stories.

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