Sony May Soon Let You Decide How Much NPCs Talk In Games

Skipping dialogues causing you to miss out on important clues will no longer happen.

Story Highlights

  • A new Sony patent wants to add multiple dialogue modes with different levels of complexity.
  • Players could switch between modes to skip the verbatim and only focus on critical clues to proceed.
  • It wants to cater to every kind of player to make the in-game narrative more customizable.

Sony is paving the way toward adding more accessibility features to its games. And most of these initiatives first appear in patents. Now, the company has published yet another unique patent that wants to add different modes of dialogue in games. The dialogue modes would differ in complexity to ensure that they cater to every kind of player. You could have the full dialogue, a summarized version, and one that only gives necessary clues.

The legal document—dubbed “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING DIALOGUE COMPLEXITY IN VIDEO GAMES“—will let us decide how much dialogue and audio verbatim we want in cutscenes and conversations with NPCs. Players can already solve this by skipping each cutscene. But by skipping, you would miss out on important details, stories, and immersion buried within all that conversation. 

The video game system 100 provides a graphical user interface which allows the user to adjust the game dialogue complexity during a conversation with game characters or a presentation of a narrative. […] They may press a designated button on the game controller 155 to change the full dialogue to the simple dialogue,” reads the patent.

The new Sony patent will let you choose how much NPCs converse in the game.
The new Sony patent will let you choose how much NPCs converse in the game.

The game console would store different dialogue and voice complexity for each interaction, allowing players to select any with the tap of a controller button. The patent argues that non-English speaking players can struggle in cutscenes with complex dialogues. Gamers with ADHD could also find it harder to concentrate on the ongoing discussions since the length of each interaction can be quite long in modern AAA games.

Since complicated narratives and dialogues require language skills for interpretation, not all players are interested in going through the lengthy text of the narratives or character dialogues, which they may find less exciting than other game elements such as the game graphics.”

The players will be able to escape all the aforesaid issues by changing the dialogue settings through a menu pop-up. It will be quite helpful for accessibility reasons and possibly open up AAA games for users who previously found them complicated. 

The flow chart shows methods of switch between the dialogue modes.
The flow chart shows various methods of switching between the dialogue modes.

The Sony patents are usually all about customization and accessibility. It has also published a legal doc for adding a trigger system so players can play from any point in the campaign. Additionally, it has also explored the idea of bringing modern accessibility features to existing games. 

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Shameer Sarfaraz is a Senior News Writer on eXputer who loves to keep up with the gaming and entertainment industries devoutly. 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. VGC, IGN, GameSpot, Game Rant, TheGamer, GamingBolt, The Verge, NME, Metro, Dot Esports, GameByte, Kotaku Australia, PC Gamer, and more have cited his articles.

Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor in Computer Science.

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