The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, which will undoubtedly get a much cooler name from Nintendo when the time is right, made a star appearance in this year's online-only E3. The trailer above made clear that it'll be an ambitious follow-up to the much-loved original, with Link seen up in the skies and doing all sorts of interesting things; great hair too, it really is a thing of beauty.
Interestingly, Gamereactor.eu has been digging around and come across patents published by Nintendo that reinforce some of the fascinating features we saw, and in one case gives us thoughts of epic sky-falling showpieces.
The patents themselves are all about the concepts and technicalities around gameplay moves. For example, in the trailer we see Link go through the bottom part of a platform and emerge out of the top via a portal. This patent addresses that, suggesting that when conditions allow (and of course when the game makes it accessible) Link may theoretically be able to do it with any surface. The detail goes into how the game will calculate the target destination and whether there's a valid endpoint for the player to transport themselves.
Next we have a rewind feature, described in the patent as a return movement. This has been used in many games of different types, and in a Legend of Zelda game could be utilised for some interesting puzzles and dungeon designs, and could also be pretty enjoyable if it's incorporated into combat.
Finally, a patent addresses different approaches to Link falling, which is more important than it admittedly sounds. It shows paragliding, of course, and also a sky-diving style as was prominently shown in the trailer. Link is also shown shifting his stance / positioning, and the patent talks about all of this in relation to how the bow shooting mechanic will be implemented for each stance. Again, this sets up some potentially thrilling sequences that would go beyond anything achieved in the original.
It's interesting to see these patents, and to consider how much this new entry looks set to shake up and evolve the formula. Considering the impact of the original and how it revolutionised the franchise, it's exciting to consider that Nintendo seems eager to take its ideas further.
Let us know what you think, as always, in the comments!
Fig. 12 (Middle Picture) reminds me a bit of the DK Bongos haha.
Patenting gameplay mechanics will always sound a red alert for me.
Nope, don't like these sorta patents. I thought i had read that a judge had ruled against these sorta patents, declaring that a game itself can be patented but not its mechanics, but maybe I am wrong.
Interesting to see them but I'll always stand by it being inherently wrong to patent game mechanics. Shadow of Mordor devs did this too with their nemesis system and it only stifles creativity in the industry.
The E3 trailer was not great. I’d call it a bad trailer for my tastes. I expect they’ll release a trailer that does show off the promise of the game more comprehensively. But as it is, that trailer doesn’t match up to the initial trailers the first game got.
Wait, there are patents for gameplay mechanics? Then how come there are so many mario clones (platformers) and doom clones (first person shooters)??
There are even BOTW clones like Immortals Fenix Rising.
This kind of patent was responsible for The Simpsons Road Rage being taken off shelves. By all means patent a product but the concepts within? Loading screens would have been interactive for years had 'game within loading screen' not been patented.
Totally agree. Can't wait until Microsoft bags the patent for 'vehicle driving around track in order to achieve first place'. Or Nintendo securing 'mascot character has adventure in whimsical 3D environment'.
Nintendo have requested US patents for gameplay mechanics for years. See https://patents.google.com/patent/US6139433A/en which is an expired patent for much of Super Mario 64's game mechanics (also interesting for the very early models of Peach's Castle included).
I'm not entirely sure why they do this, or how often it's been legally useful to them. Are there any patent lawyers here who understand this better?
Shouldn't a patent include a novel idea? Not being able to move to a location that your character can't stand on or in doesn't seem original to me. And a rewind feature is certainly not new.
People wondering how such patents are possible don't know a one important distinction: game ideas/mechanics are not patentable as w hole but specific solutions to achieve them are.
For example, you can have a system similar in your end-user experience as the Nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor, but it cannot work under the hood the same way.
Did you know natural movement from Dying Light is patented? It didn't stop other games from having systems for grapping ledges, simply these systems work differently.
Patents are needed to minimize the risk and encourage companies in investing in research & development.
Here I thought most people were gonna be talking about how hyped up the BotW2 mechanics are going to be, but instead, I'm seeing almost too much discussion about business ethics.
Patenting game mechanics like this is no different than game code being intellectual property; you can legally recreate it, but you can't straight-up copy and paste it. That's the same idea with this patent. You can definitely have something similar, but it cannot be the exact same.
The 1st patent is not patenting the idea of the player character phasing through objects, but rather the set of conditions that must be satisfied for the character to be able to phase through the given surface/terrain
The 3rd patent is so specific that it even includes control mappings:
> Hold R to do a high-velocity dive downward while dive falling.
> Tap A to toggle between normal dive falling and backward falling.
None of these patents are patenting ideas or game mechanics, but rather specific engineering and software implentations of those ideas.
@TCF I think the freestyle gameplay in BOTW is overrated, it makes the game too easy and removes the excitement if you can just go and climb everywhere right from the beginning.
If this game gets delayed Nintendos 2022 is ruined
@chipia but without enough stamina you can't climb everything you want. You need to do some shrines first, and/or cook some stamina food. It's not just, hey new game, let's climb everything.
@NintendoKnight Calling it now: the game is taking this long cause they want to be sure the DK Bongos remain a viable way to play. Bookmark this.
@Gwynbleidd They aren't patenting falling angles. The patent only covers situations where:
1. The button inputs involved are identical, specifically A for toggling states and R for speeding up. If a different controller labeling scheme is used it's invalid.
2. The falling character is wielding a bow and arrow
3. The archery stance is changed based on the angle between the current direction and a set reference angle
4. The player can speed up falls
5. The player can toggle between horizontal and vertical stances at will.
6. It's from a third person perspective.
If any condition is not met, the patent doesn't cover it.
Edit: also, the point of a super specific patent like this is it prevents anyone else from releasing a more generalized patent of the idea that this would be a specific instance of, making sure they can't be locked out of using it.
I recommend people look at all of the patents since some weren't shown here. One patent shows Link doing some really cool acrobatics in the air, like backflips, fast-falling, and other things. There's going to be a MUCH greater influence on mid-air movement in this game.
Removed - inappropriate
@Venus_Adept Yes, I would have preferred if you have to solve shrines first, to increase your stamina. But Stamina-enhancing food is ubiquitous in the game world, so in the end it's not really necessary. Stamina-orbs are really just for convenience, not a necessity.
@CielloArc They did it with the sanity effects in Eternal Darkness and never did anything with it again.
@chipia It's almost like you haven't played BotW, because you can't just climb anywhere from the get go, you don't have enough stamina and also BotW is the hardest 3D Zelda game to date.
@StarPoint Hearing that is making me so hyped, wow. Any mention of flying mount mechanics?
@BTB20 Even if you don't have enough stamina, you can still replenish stamina while climbing by drinking potions. The ingredients for them are ubiquitous from the beginning of the game.
Legend of zelda: Patent of time.
Jokes aside. I am really hyped about this game
@Ulysses I didn't see anything like that in the patents, but I could have missed it. Maybe that'll be a feature in BOTW 3??!1?
The game was finished ages ago, but its release has been delayed until Nintendo secures as many ridiculous patents as possible…
The original idea of patents was good and noble, but now it’s a litigious, business-stifling beast. I’m in the middle of a product design and have specific patents to work around - these existing patents are for a product that doesn’t exist and which the patent-holders will never make - but they block anyone else. So when I see patents for game mechanics, it really annoys me
@TCF Maybe the reason is because, you know, patenting mechanics, a thing central to game design, seems incredibly weird and against good ethics in business.
It's like patenting a storyline from a book, or patenting a method of cooking food that literally anyone can do with practice. Or patenting a painting technique.
These are not things that are useful to patent in any form or fashion.
@westman98 Even if that's the case, it still comes off as incredibly weird. What if other people want to use this method in new ways in order to create new and interesting gameplay mechanics or games? See my last comment as to why that is.
You're patenting something useful to literally everyone that would allow new ideas to flourish and will nickel and dime anyone who dares to use anything too similar.
-and before someone makes the point: no, I wouldn't care if someone used my exact method for making a cool game or gameplay mechanic based around my tech with the engine. Cause the idea spreading around and making new and fun ways to play would be the entire damn point.
@Bondi_Surfer Patents, like copyright law, are completely exploitable. All you have to do is not copy EXACTLY what is patented (referring to gameplay mechanics specifically)
Legend of Zelda fan like me don't want free falling mechanics, we want underground/underwater exploration, return of the tradicional Dungeons and playable Zelda not this.
oh Nintendo pateting gameplay mechanic is such a slesy tactic.
@ModdedInkling what do you expected, is wrong to patent gameplay mechanic to keep others game studios for using it, this is very slesy.
@Giancarlothomaz Patents don't work like copyright. All this does is say that developers can't copy the mechanics to a tee. It's very exploitable.
Patents aside, it's starting to look like I'll have to skip this one. I'm already incapable of aiming at moving targets in BotW when I am not moving myself.
It's wrong to steal someone's code without paying them money to use it. That's why such patent exists.
That doesn't stop them from replicating it and creating something 99% similar to the patented mechanic. There's a fine line between "copying" and "replicating" and this sort of thing emphasizes on that.
Take a look back at the recent news about Ocarina of Time being fully decompiled (https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2021/08/after_18_months_zelda_ocarina_of_time_fans_are_almost_done_decompiling_the_game). Aside from using intellectual property, this is perfectly legal. It's because it's not copying and pasting Ocarina of Time's code. It's just the entire game recoded by someone else.
Besides, as for your edit about "what Zelda fans want," you're looking at one. Real Zelda fans appreciate anything they get. They'd rather have diversity which is the exact reason why BotW exists.
Software patents should not exist.
Namco patented the concept of a mini-game in the loading screen during the PS1 era, when we needed it most, the patent already expired, but few games use the idea thanks to a creativity vacuum.
The title of the game is:
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 2
Considering that Breath of the Wild was barely anything more than a Tech Demo, I'm glad to see actual work go into the new game!
I'm looking for concepts that go beyond something one would normally imagine in an game like this, like something never seen before on a Zelda game and really pushes the hardware...
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