Nintendo patent details in-game walk-throughs

Wii maker's "Kind Code" system seeks to add ways for action-oriented games to be broken up into easily digestible scenes.

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Lowering the barrier to entry has been one of Nintendo's central design philosophies when making Wii games for the nontraditional gaming crowd. Now, it appears as if the game maker is considering ways to extend this mentality outside the realm of games such as Wii Music and into its more action-oriented offerings such as Zelda and Super Mario Bros.

Three ways to
Three ways to "play."

Last year, preeminent Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto filed an application to patent a "Kind Code" system with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. That patent application, which was only just recently made public through the USPTO's online database, describes an in-game walk-through and scene-select system that would specifically apply to games that fall into the genre of "a role-playing game, an action adventure game, and an action role-playing game."

Specifically, the application notes that, for some gamers, a lengthy story or challenging puzzles may prevent some gamers from seeing a game to its conclusion. Although in-game hints have already been established to compensate for challenging puzzles, the patent application claims that a drawn-out story mode may put off some players, even if the difficulty level has been reduced.

Jump to any scene at the touch of a button.
Jump to any scene at the touch of a button.

Therefore the new patent would create a way for players to watch prerecorded footage of the game being played. The application notes that if a game is played in such a fashion, gamers would not be able to save their progress. Gamers would be able to jump into and out of the action when they so desire, which would be facilitated by a scene-selection menu.

Given that the Wii is notorious for its built-in memory restrictions, the patent application also notes that the saved-game data would be served through a network, making it "unnecessary to include the digest saved-data in the game program" and "possible to reduce a storage capacity necessary for a storage medium."

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