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What? oO

That's a new system Nintendo will start using in the next Zelda. The objective of the system is to allow "hardcore" and "casual" gamers to enjoy the same game. Each one their own way.

















Furthermore, the flash memory 17 or the like stores an operation history of a game play of each player, and each player may be allowed to create his/her own "approach movie" based on the operation history. The "approach movie" created by each player may be uploaded to the server. When the hint button 102 is pressed, the server may be accessed so as to view the "approach movies" created by various players

(...)

[0158]As described above, in the present embodiment, when a player cannot find how to solve the "puzzle" which is set in the game, the player is allowed to view, in the scene, moving images for indicating how to solve the puzzle when the player desires to.

Therefore, a player that cannot find how to solve the "puzzle" may not become stuck with the game, and reduction, due to the puzzle being unsolved, in motivation for clearing the game may be prevented.

Thus, a player unaccustomed to a game or a player that does not have a lot of time for game play is allowed to play and clear the game to the end. Further, how to solve the "puzzle" is indicated as "moving images" by using an actual example in which the puzzle is actually solved, and therefore a player knows, for certain, how to actually move (operate) the player character.

Therefore, for example, a player that cannot know, from a hint represented by only character information, how to solve the puzzle may not become stuck with the game, and may be allowed to play the game to the end.
So if you get stuck in Zelda, you could choose to watch how another player passed the puzzle/boss.

grandjedi6 (NeoGaf) said:
There seem to be 3 main modes:

Game -- Play through the game normally. Hint system is available but not forced. So hardcore gamers could just play the game regularly and enjoy the challenge while more casual gamers can get hints if they get really stuck

Digest -- The game goes through important scenes (both movie and gameplay) in order. Essentially the game plays itself in this mode if you will. But you have the option of stopping the digest at any time and playing from that exact point. Plus when you choose to take control you are given the appropriate equipment and stats for that part of the game. No saving though, but it seems to be unneeded

Scenes -- essentially playthrough any puzzle or scene again. Like digest you are given the appropriate equipment and such.

What Nintendo is planning on doing is pretty insane and far more ambitious than some of you realize yet. This just might be the "gateway game" that gamers, casuals and non-gamers could all enjoy.
[0165]Further, the use of the digest saved-data may not be allowed for a certain initial time period (immediately after the game is purchased). For example, although the digest saved-data cannot be used immediately after the game is purchased, a plurality of pieces of the digest saved-data may be gradually used in accordance with a time period in which the game has been played. In this case, the digest saved-data are set so as not to be used when the game is shipped. The flash memory 17 [internal memory] of the game apparatus body 3 [Wii] purchased by a player stores the total cumulative time period obtained by adding the time periods [EARTH HOURS] in which the game has been played.

Developers Respond To Nintendo's Hint System Patent:


Kotaku said:
Today a Nintendo patent came to light for a hint system which would allow gamers to essentially let games play themselves. We reached out to game developers for their opinion on the patent.

The patent, filed by Nintendo Creative Director Shigeru Miyamoto on June 30, 2008, outlines a gaming system more akin to DVD playback, where the game can either be played normally, or watched in the form of an end-to-end video of gameplay, during which players can jump back in at any time by simply pushing a button.

Seeing as an idea like this could easily shift the way games are created, we talked to four of today's top developers, representing games such as Fallout 3, Prince of Persia, Braid, and Maw, to get their take on Nintendo's idea.

Ben Mattes, Producer of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia
"I read through it quickly, but I'm not sure I fully understand it yet. It makes sense to me in a purely linear game, but as soon as we get sand-box, or even remotely open ended, the number of variables would seem to invalidate the potential of this system.

"ie: I'm in Fallout3 and have focused energy on sneak and unarmed combat. If I'm in a particular point in the game I can't pass, and I use this system, what 'recording' could the game know to use? It can't possibly have developer walkthroughs of all possible configurations of a character and strategies to pass through each in-game challenge. More likely as not, it would have one 'right' way to pass through a particular challenge...

"That said, as I think our work on POP probably helps demonstrate, we're all for the idea of finding ways to help non-core gamers experience (and finish) the type of games that have traditionally only been available to a select 'few' (relatively speaking, of course). If everyone out there who owns a Wii were to play and love RE5, you can bet that the budget Capcom would have available for RE6 would allow them to create something even more spectacular."

Todd Howard, Game Director, Bethesda
"Most people stop playing a certain game because they get frustrated or confused by what the game wants them to do. It becomes work and frustration, as opposed to ‘playtime.’ This idea clearly tries to alleviate that. It’s much like passing the controller to someone who knows the game really well, so you can move ahead or simply enjoy the story. It’s the classic ‘challenge or entertain’ issue that designers often deal with. I think there’s a lot of ways around that, and remained confused by what people are actually allowed to patent these days."

Jonathan Blow, Creator, Braid
"Based just on reading your posting... I don't know. I mean, it's an okay idea for a developer to have a way to show you through various parts of the game I guess, to show you side-quests you missed or whatever. I'd like to see someone try that. But as a general paradigm for playing games there are a lot of problems.

"The defining characteristic of a game is that you play it. If, in order for games to be accessible to a wider audience, we need to make it so that most people can skip over the playing it part, then what that really means is that our medium sucks. If you have to elide the basic property of your medium to make experiences in that medium desirable, then the medium itself is questionable at a very deep level.

"The proper solution is to start producing games that don't have this kind of problem — not to create the problem, then band-aid over it and hope people still have a good experience.

"The way you phrase it — "moving developers away from the notion of beginning, middle and end" — sounds cool, I would like to see more of that. But that is something that has to be a core component of the game's design. Just because you have random access to a linear experience doesn't make the experience nonlinear. You can skip to any part of a DVD movie that you want, but that doesn't mean the movie has gone away from the notion of beginning, middle, and end, you know?

"Unless you are drawing this conclusion from something I missed or that is in the original patent application, which I haven't read..."

Michael Wilford, CEO Twisted Pixel Games
"Kind Code is an interesting idea that is squarely aimed at reaching non-gamers. In fact, we often debate internally about ways to make gaming as culturally relevant as film or literature. Perhaps it's just a matter of time, or perhaps there are some systemic flaws in the way games are made and presented. Something like Kind Code, if done right, could be a way to reach anyone with your content without requiring them to be accomplished video game players.

However, if Kind Code is intended as a general solution that adds Digest Mode to all games, that might be like putting training wheels on all bicycles, including Lance Armstrong's. As long as the functionality can be tightly integrated into the right places in the right games, it could be the way to truly open gaming up to everyone. I'm sure we could find ways to use it in our character-driven games and make more people enjoy and laugh at our stuff than otherwise possible."

There you have it. Four very different opinions from four different developers. While Ben Mattes questions the viability of such a system in today's more complicated games, Bethesda's Todd Howard sees this as one way of attacking a common development question. Braid creator Jonathan Blow feels it's a crutch for a problem we should be more actively trying to solve, and Maw's Michael Wilford sees some potential in the idea, but only if used in moderation.

--/--

Me? It's hard to say. I just spent one very busy fall gaming season playing through titles I both loved and hated, and having something like this in effect would have made it so much easier to do my job as a reviewer, but how much is too much? If I decide to let the game play while I have lunch, am I cheating in my role as a game reviewer, becoming more of a cross between a player and a watcher?
 
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