Apple Patents Personalized Videogame Comic Books

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Apple Patents Personalized Videogame Comic Books

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After you beat a game like Mass Effect 2, Apple wants to send you a comic book that re-tells your unique videogame story.

Have you ever thought that the way you completed a game was so cool it was worthy of being in print? Apple thinks so too, with a recent patent filed by the company that will generate a book based on the recorded data from a videogame called "Automatically Generating a Book Describing a User's Videogame Performance."

The way it works is quite simple. A consumer plays a videogame and then requests a book to be made. Information recorded in the game is sent to a server, which generates "narrative data" and transcribes it into a book, e-book, or comic book. This could likely include pregenerated text and images, or screenshots that take the place of illustrations. The platforms mentioned for use with this technology are mobile phones, videogame consoles, handhelds, and personal computers.

This might not be all that useful for a game like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but with an expansive game like Mass Effect or Fallout 3 where choice is a key mechanic it could create vastly different books for each person. The patent names Mass Effect specifically to point out how the technology would work, with each of the game's dialog choices referred to as one of the differences the system would record and then print. The resulting book would also feature the type of character that a player created with his/her specific looks, character class, etc.

This isn't anything that's going to revolutionize gaming but it is a clever thought. As personal choice becomes a larger part of many videogames, it might be cool to have a reminder of how we completed a game in the past. Even better, emergent gameplay could lead to emergent books. And you never know, with mod tools like Fallout 3's G.E.C.K. now prominent, we might someday be able to create our own books/comic books simply by playing through our own creations.

Source: U.S. Patent Office via Apple Insider via Kotaku

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this sounds awsome....except...i will have read it before and alot of the books will be the same...now if you could also select key moments in gameplay to have in the story also...like when you pull the whole room of baddies and just barly manage to escape because you were PRO AS CAN BE...then that would be...well epic

I want to see If I can use pong. It would go like this, "at first there was nothing then...... pong!....pong!.....pong!....pong!

best waste of tech ever

While this sound pretty cool, I'm not so sure how this would work out practically.
The quality of the comics would be an issue with games like Mass Effect and Fallout because they would require different graphics depending on your characters appearance. And if they just use screenshots they still need quality control and look at all the screenshots to prevent them having a picture of the wall for when the camera acts up.
Not to mention that all these personalised comic books will be more or less the same as these games usually don't offer all that many different outcomes.

One panel, Commander Shepard is in a heated conflict with an interplanetary drug lord, and finds out about his hidden base on another planet.

The next, he goes to strip mine a couple of planets just for funsies.

This is certainly a much better idea than Sony's "degrading demo," but why is Apple the one pitching it? They're not even in the ballpark of a game company; are they just trying to get the patent themself so that if anyone else thinks it's a good idea, they'll have to go through them?

I dont think its a bad idea, and could be pretty cool, but, the question is...do they want to charge?!

Fuck - I totally already thought of this, only with an actual Superhero Game like Freedom Force (sequel please?). Bastards.

And how much will this thing cost?

My Mass Effect comic book will involve ten pages of the same image of Shepard standing in front of someone whilst I make a sandwich. Gripping stuff.

I didn't know you could patent a "kind of comic book"?

addeB:
I didn't know you could patent a "kind of comic book"?

Apple can. They can do this kind of shit somehow.

This seems kinda dumb. How well would a comic book translate a game, what with 'kill 8 X' and the like.

Holy fuck, that could be awesome.

"And Commander Frilly-laces Sheppard shot up the place and saved (what was left) of the innocent civilians."

Apple can patent my left nut.

An idea like this is kind of useless so long as human beings still have that whosywhatsit thing.

Oh yeah. Memory!

Only the price might affect me. For the rest, I WANT. It's genius!

Interesting. I'd love a comic about my hundreds of hours of TF2.

You know what? That could be really freaking cool

dathwampeer:
Apple can patent my left nut.

They probably can, if they haven't already tried.

Ekonk:
This seems kinda dumb. How well would a comic book translate a game, what with 'kill 8 X' and the like.

Backstory and the like. A small paragraph of the group you were assigned to kill and why the protagonist needed to kill them. It's pretty simple actually to make a page to do that.

The hard part is essentially cutting all the fat to create a comic book.

As for the patent they aren't copyrighting a comic book but the ability to produce a comic book from the game you have played. This still allows people to create comic books of their own even from their own gameplay like what we have on the escapist but now comic book companies will no longer be able to make comic books around a specific individual's experience from playing a game.

The Amazing Tea Alligator:

dathwampeer:
Apple can patent my left nut.

They probably can, if they haven't already tried.

Sad thing is. They probably would try if they thought there was any fiscal advantage.

Chapter the Twenty Fifth: Wherein Sheperd Scans Planets for Minerals Most Valuable

Sheperd: I say good chap, have thee any suggestions for the ship?
Jacob: Y'all ain't gon' ask me things now is yeah?
Sheperd: But of course not, my delightful darkened one! To the space lynchatorium!
Chambers: You have new messages at your private terminal.
Wrex: ...Sheperd.
Sheperd: Lower classed indivual.

I don't know why Sheperd ended up being a plantation owner, but damn it, this is MY story!

This sounds like a really great idea. But it would be just general stuff and will not capture the gaming experience. In Mass Effect 2 for example, my most memorable moments were not the story twists. It was several fights where I was outnumbered and outgunned. Standstill shootings in alleys lasting several minutes, where I hop from cover to cover trying to gain position or land a special power hit. That's what gaming is for me and it can't be quantified by a spreadsheet of statistics.

And everyone who actually works with videogames goes, "FFFFFFFFFFF - why didn't I think of that?"

Ekonk:
This seems kinda dumb. How well would a comic book translate a game, what with 'kill 8 X' and the like.

Most likely in games with branching choice structures there will be whole pages, or just panels of pre-prepared illustrations and text for those choices. More likely there will be only a few dozen real difference and the rest will just be mixed up a bit because you did it in a different order.

I think the idea behind this is intriguing. The execution however probably won't be.

Whatever, I like sketching, inking and colouring my own comic books, far more enjoyable than having someone retell me the story choices in a game I just saw. And I can do that for a lot less than someone selling me the same story twice.

Now, if they can convince me that there is going to be some serious artistic license taken with it for more imaginative narratives, maybe I would see it being worth something.

Jarrid:
This is certainly a much better idea than Sony's "degrading demo," but why is Apple the one pitching it? They're not even in the ballpark of a game company; are they just trying to get the patent themself so that if anyone else thinks it's a good idea, they'll have to go through them?

You might be on to something. While Apple is more likely to possibly use this tech, there are companies who don't manufacture any products but purchase patents in order to generate revenue through infringement lawsuits.

What shows the sad state of the US patent office is that it allows companies to patent broad ideas, especially when dealing with software (i.e. something like "Use colors to display images on a mobile device"). It would've been fine if Apple patented the specific way that they'd code and process this idea, but in gaining a patent for the idea itself, they've effectively cut off any future attempts for other companies doing the same.

LunarCircle:

Jarrid:
This is certainly a much better idea than Sony's "degrading demo," but why is Apple the one pitching it? They're not even in the ballpark of a game company; are they just trying to get the patent themself so that if anyone else thinks it's a good idea, they'll have to go through them?

You might be on to something. While Apple is more likely to possibly use this tech, there are companies who don't manufacture any products but purchase patents in order to generate revenue through infringement lawsuits.

What shows the sad state of the US patent office is that it allows companies to patent broad ideas, especially when dealing with software (i.e. something like "Use colors to display images on a mobile device"). It would've been fine if Apple patented the specific way that they'd code and process this idea, but in gaining a patent for the idea itself, they've effectively cut off any future attempts for other companies doing the same.

Not neccessarily. If I remember my law classes right, you can patent an improvement of a patented idea without the original patent holder having any rights to income derived from the newer patent. The key is to demonstrate that the new patent has enough of a change that it requires it's own patent, so if it's an idea then if someone patents the actual tech to do it then Apple is SOL, unless the person who patents the tech is scared of going toe to toe with the cult of Apple.

Just look at the smart phones that do the same things, but all have different patents based around a specific thing (antenna placement and the like).

While it's not a bad idea, I'm wondering about the logistics of it all. How will it turn game actions into natural-flowing text? So many questions, so many questions...

My first thought when reading this headline was "Wow, it's like in that movie Big.".. but it's nothing like that, and I'm a little sad.

I'm assuming that it would record conversations and the like, and have simple, relatively pre-scripted bits for the combat. In which case, I'd totally "Shepard." "Wrex." after every mission.

Butbutbutbut...that means I won't spend hours upon hours of wasted time at the computer, replaying my RPGs so as to try and form my ideal story by playing through them again and again. :(

Seriously, this is actually a damn fine idea. One that'd save a lot of time too for all the roleplaying nuts like me to be honest. Go figure Apple snatches the patenting rights for it.

*Rushes off to do the same thing but call it a, "Graphic Novel"*

FUCK YOU APPLE!

T-Bone24:
My Mass Effect comic book will involve ten pages of the same image of Shepard standing in front of someone whilst I make a sandwich. Gripping stuff.

And it shall be titled..

AFK: COMIC of THE GAME!

On Topic: I still want to play Mass Effect and Fallout 3. I feel left out.
Personalized comics sound like a fine idea for RPG fans. Getting attached to a character has its rewards, and now you can share the experience! Sounds neat.

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