“Such tags introduce an additional dimension of community participation to both single and multiplayer games,” the patent reads.
“Through such tags, players are empowered to communicate through filtered text messages and images as well as audio clips that other game players, including top rated players, have generated and placed at particular coordinates and/or in context of particular events within the game space.”
The patent, which brings to mind Dark Souls’ in-game player-to-player messaging system, includes an annotated image of Killzone (below) featuring tips. One piece of advice highlights a specific enemy and includes the warning: “Watch out for this guy as you come around the corner.”
Research reportedly conducted by Sony and distributed to developers in 2019 outlined several key issues PlayStation users were encountering with single player games, including the amount of time it takes to locate gameplay solutions online when they’re stuck.
This issue is also referenced in the newly discovered patent. “In order for a game player to obtain a complete `walk thru` of a particular interactive game, the user may have to visit multiple websites on the Internet,” it reads. “Since these websites tend to be `unofficial,` there is often an issue with the veracity or accuracy of the information displayed on these websites.”
PS5 launch title Demon’s Souls includes over 180 help videos available through PS5’s Activities feature, which Sony says is designed to “remove barriers to gameplay” by enabling players to bring up hints without leaving a game.
Last year, Dark Souls developer From Software released a Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice update introducing a messaging system which enables players to help one another overcome tricky obstacles or locate hidden locations by uploading 30 seconds of in-game activity accompanied by a written note for other community members to play back. If messages are watched and rated, the messenger’s HP recovers.