GTA 6’s Non-Playable Characters: Creating Memorable and Believable NPCs

Could GTA 6 set a new bar for NPCs in open-world gaming?

GTA 6's Non-Playable Characters: Creating Memorable and Believable NPCs

SUMMARY

  • A new patent has Rockstar developing new animation tech.
  • NPCs repetitive animations could become a thing of the past.
  • What does this mean for encounters with NPCs in GTA 6?
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It appears there is no stopping the GTA 6 hype train and certainly as fans learn more about it, the more excited they become. Whilst it may be 2025 before the game is released, there is little doubt that it is currently, and will probably remain, one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the last decade for fans.

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Clocking up over 150 million views in its first week, the latest Grand Theft Auto is over a decade in the making, and certainly, technology has developed even further since 2013’s GTA V. So much so that NPCs may become more realistic than ever, according to some leaks which were released before last week’s trailer.

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What is the new patent technology for GTA 6?

GTA 6 animations
The AI technology being implemented for NPCs could make GTA 6 more realistic.

As expected with a game of this magnitude, there are bound to be leaks, it’s commonplace now and just goes hand in hand with the industry. Sure some of it has to be taken with a pinch of salt, but one Reddit user going by the name of u/Tobbelobben30 happened upon a patent from a former Rockstar Games Lead that certainly raised more than a few eyebrows.

As we can see from the post on Reddit, ‘Tobbelobben30’ discovered the patent notice in association with Tobias Kleanthous whose name appeared in several leaks. From the document we can see that it refers to a ‘System and Method for Virtual Character Locomotion‘ but no doubt people will be asking, what does that mean for the game?

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Casting an eye over the 11-page document which was lodged in April of this year, the patent is described as ‘A system and method for controlling the animation and movement of in-game objects.’ So if we were to simplify what is being said, it is looking at making the characters more lifelike, the animations more realistic, and trying to create one of the most immersive experiences ever.

Looking at the AI technology being implemented for NPCs there could be the potential for independent behaviour which in turn could mean no significant repetition, commonplace with most NPCs. This revolutionary technology has the potential to set a new bar for open-world gaming experiences and make it even more realistic.

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What could this mean for GTA 6?

GTA 6 references some classic movies.
It may be some time away but fans are certainly ready for the wait for GTA 6.

Interactions with the cops could certainly become more challenging and there could be an end to predictable encounters where players can pre-empt what an NPC is about to do. Car chases, casual encounters, the possibilities are endless as to what this will bring to the upcoming game.

There has also been mention of how NPCs would react to certain aspects of weather in the game, which is mind-blowing. Not only that but encounters with players and specific actions and interactions could then lead to consequences, as the AI technology allows for the NPCs to have a recollection of the person’s appearance and smell.

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It may be nearly two years away but already the hype for GTA 6 is off the scale. Talk of ‘Game of the Year’ at this stage of development just underlines how much faith fans have in Rockstar to bring them the game that they have waited so long to experience and with this new technology, you can understand why it may take a little longer.

There is no doubt that the developments in the new patented technology will make the NPCs a bigger part of the gaming world and make the game more immersive overall. Whilst some aspects of NPCs are dismissed as an afterthought in gaming, it appears that this may become a thing of the past if developers want to bring that more realistic look and feel to their titles.

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So maybe the early talk of GTA 6 being the game of the year for 2025 is not without merit and for the fans worldwide, it’s a waiting game from here on in.

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Written by Andy MacGregor

Born and raised in the West coast of Scotland. A massive fan of Comics and losing endless hours in epic Video Games.