- Electronic Arts has been granted a patent for an anti-peek system designed to prevent players in first-person shooter (FPS) games from gaining an unfair advantage by quickly switching between first-person and third-person perspectives.
- The system would detect the player’s point of view (POV) and determine which characters would be visible in the third-person perspective but not the first-person perspective, preventing the rendering of non-visible characters.
- The patent claims that the system can hide indications related to other characters, such as enemy weapon muzzles, if a player attempts to change their point of view (POV) to gain an advantage.
- The patent employs images from Apex Legends to illustrate the system’s workings, suggesting that Electronic Arts may be considering integrating the anti-peek functionality into its other first-person shooter (FPS) franchises.
Earlier today, we came across a recently published patent from Electronic Arts titled “Anti-peek system for video games,” filed in December 2021 under the name of Electronic Arts Inc. The patent, published earlier this month, discusses a system to detect the point of view (POV) of the player in a first-person shooter (FPS) game and determine if it is about to change from a first-person perspective to a third-person perspective. If such a change is detected, the system determines which characters are outside the field of view (FOV) of the player in the first-person perspective but would be within the field of view (FOV) of the player in the third-person perspective. Then, the system changes the point of view (POV) of the player from first-person to third-person, and only renders characters that are within the field of view (FOV) of the player in the third-person perspective, preventing the rendering of other characters that would be visible in the first-person perspective.
“Various aspects of the subject technology relate to systems, methods, and machine-readable media for preventing rendering of a character in a video game. The method includes receiving an action regarding a first character rendered in a first-person point of view (POV), the action causing the POV of the first character to change from the first-person POV to a third-person POV. The method includes detecting the POV of the first character is to be changed,” reads the abstract for the patent. “The method includes determining characters are outside of a field of view (FOV) of the first character in the first-person POV and would be within the FOV of the first character in the third-person POV. The method includes changing the POV of the first character from the first-person POV to a third person POV. The method includes causing rendering of the video game in a third-person POV of the first character, the rendering preventing rendering of other characters.”
The patent aims to solve the problem of players in first-person shooter (FPS) games exploiting in-game features to gain an unfair advantage in competitive gameplay. Specifically, it addresses the issue of players “peeking” around corners or obstacles in first-person shooter (FPS) games by quickly switching between first-person and third-person perspectives, allowing them to see opponents without being seen themselves. Electronic Arts aims to prevent this behavior by preventing the rendering of other characters when a player switches to third-person perspective, thus maintaining a fair and competitive gameplay environment. It is worth noting that the company has already implemented an identical feature in Apex Legends with certain emotes that allowed players to see opponents around corners by quickly switching them from a first-person to a third-person perspective without notifying the opponent. However, this feature was introduced back in April 2021, months prior to the patent application, which suggests that the company may be considering implementing the same feature into its other first-person shooter (FPS) franchises.
Ground emote anti-peek prevents players from using the third-person POV to get an advantage.
Here's how it works: pic.twitter.com/OHMX3wzlCK
— Apex Legends News (@alphaINTEL) April 29, 2021
According to patent’s claims, when the system detects the change in point of view (POV) of a first-person shooter (FPS) game from first-person to third-person, it will also identify any other characters that were previously outside of the player’s field of view but will now be visible. The system will then change the perspective to third-person and prevent these other characters from being rendered on the screen. The system can determine which characters should be hidden when the player switches from a first-person to a third-person perspective and sends out a set of lines in the first-person perspective to see what objects are visible in that point of view (POV). Then, when the system switches to the third-person perspective, it will check which objects are visible in the new point of view (POV) and hide the objects that were not visible in the first-person perspective. This method is fundamentally distinct from the anti-peek functionality in Apex Legends, which merely prevents the camera from rotating to reveal characters or objects situated around corners.
Moreover, the system can seemingly hide any “indications related to the one or more other characters,” implying that if a player attempts to change their point of view (POV) to gain an unfair advantage, they may not be able to catch a glimpse of even the enemy’s weapon muzzle. Furthermore, the patent discusses that the player’s field of view (FOV) encompasses a “a range from zero degrees to 180 degrees.” However, generally, first-person shooter (FPS) games, such as Apex Legends, restrict the first-person field of view (FOV) to a range of 70° to 110°. Thus, it is unclear why the patent mentions the full range of 0° to 180°. Curiously, the patent employs images from Apex Legends to illustrate how the system works, which reinforces the notion that Electronic Arts could be contemplating integrating the anti-peek functionality into its other first-person shooter (FPS) franchises.
While Electronic Arts’ patented system shows promise for maintaining a fair and competitive gameplay environment, it is important to note that this is just a patent and does not guarantee implementation. Additionally, it must also be noted that this patent could just refer to Apex Legends after all and may not be integrated into the company’s other first-person shooter (FPS) franchises. It remains to be seen how and if the company plans to integrate this system into its existing and upcoming video game franchises. Nonetheless, the patent illustrates Electronic Arts’ clear vision for improving gameplay experiences and addressing the problem of players exploiting in-game features to gain an unfair advantage in competitive gameplay, which is something that both competitive and casual players alike can look forward to in the future.
What do you think about this? Do tell us your opinions in the comments below!
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