Rockstar Games’ lead AI programmer, Simon Parr, and associate director of technology, David Hynd, have authored a patent application that describes a new NPC system involving vehicles and character behavior.
As spotted by Reddit users, the patent mentions technology that will not be held back by hardware and software limitations, and when it comes to traffic behavior, “each NPC can define its own specific characteristics for traversing the road nodes.” The application mentions “speed, classification (e.g., a highway, a road, a private driveway, private land, and so on), supported vehicles (e.g., big vehicles, work vehicles, buses, sedans, motorcycles, bicycles, and so on), limitations (e.g., tunnel, low headroom), and so on.”
Sounds a lot like Grand Theft Auto!
Unsurprisingly, the application also mentions multiplayer, suggesting that the next GTA will follow a similar route to GTA V/GTA Online. It states:
Since currently-available multiplayer gaming systems are deficient because they cannot provide realistic movements for non-player objects in a virtual world without increasing computational resources and/or restricting game development/design, a system for managing nodes and node graphs relating to non-player characters that provides virtual navigation and management can prove desirable and provide a basis for a wide range of network applications, such as creating a realistic virtual world that is not limited by hardware and software limitations. This result can be achieved, according to one embodiment disclosed herein, by a node network system.
It goes without saying that there will be a new GTA. However, Rockstar has been keeping things tightly under wraps so we haven’t the slightest clue when we’ll see the upcoming title.