This and the game's locomotion gameplay is the foundation of something big.The patent credits Hideo Kojima as the inventor.www.nme.com
The patent, submitted by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2019, was granted yesterday (December 7). It credits Hideo Kojima as the inventor, and a summary of the patent describes the invention as a “terrain radar and gradual building of a route in a virtual environment of a video game”.
Going into more detail, the summary describes it as “a method for influencing a gaming world of a video game” and plots out a way for online players to affect the terrain of single-player worlds, which are delivered to localised (single-player) versions of the game through a “cloud gaming system”.
“The method [includes] determining that a first path has been traversed one or more times by one or more characters,” and explains that it then changes “the first path based on a number of times the first path has been traversed by the one or more characters.”
These “characters” seem to refer to other online players, as the filing describes “cross-pollinating the first path” after it has been “improved across the plurality of virtual environments”.
Further down, the patent describes pathways that physically widen based on how many players have walked along it – an existing feature in Death Stranding.
In total, this all sounds very similar – if not identical – to how players can affect the environment of others in Death Stranding. In Kojima’s last game, players could build bridges, tread paths and leave other useful supplies to help others who followed after, despite being in separate single-player worlds.