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Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself 152

Posted by Soulskill
from the say-what-now dept.
Kotaku points out a recent patent filed by Nintendo which automates gameplay unless the user specifically chooses to play a particular part of the game. Quoting: "The new system, described in a patent filed by Nintendo Creative Director Shigeru Miyamoto on June 30, 2008, but made public today, looks to solve the issue of casual gamers losing interest in a game before they complete it, while still maintaining the interest of hardcore gamers. The solution would turn a game into a full-length cut scene of sorts, allowing players to jump into and out of the action whenever they wanted. But when played this way, gamers would not be able to save their progress, maintaining the challenge of completing a game without skipping or cheating."
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Nintendo Files Patent For Game That Plays Itself

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  • by gcnaddict (841664) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:48AM (#26396781)
    Let's look at it this way: this is combining simple, linear bots into the storyline which play as the first person in the event that the main player gets bored.

    Am I the only one who sees this as a bit obvious and un-patent-worthy? Games have been doing this for a while during Demo screens... just without the story advancement.
    • by JimboFBX (1097277)
      Do anything in games ever get patented really? I mean the controller yeah, but everything else is just another game's "inspiration". Imagine if having a first person viewpoint and shooting something out the center of it was patented...
      • by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @07:39AM (#26397341) Journal

        Nintendo has always played the legal card to the maximum extent possible, going all the way back to the days of draconian contracts that forbade you from making a game for anyone else if Nintendo published one of your games. They tried to control even how much you can advertise. It got ruled invalid eventually, but in the meantime, yes, they did try to put anyone out of business who no loner toes the Nintendo line.

        Or here in Europe they tried to strong-arm the retailers into what they can and can't sell, and basically used the European market as an experiment in whether they can make more money with only a handful of games and restricting access to anything else. They actually got slapped with an anti-trust for that, and were found guilty. Worse yet, it turned out that they knew they're in violation of the law, and had planned to violate it, thinking they can make more money than the fine can possibly be. (Wrong guess.)

        To get back to patents and to more recent times, they also patented or filed for patent:

        - the XBox Live, basically [arstechnica.com]

        - emulation of its own consoles, again [slashdot.org], to try to keep other people from doing it (and, yes, they tried to bully emulator developpers before)

        - weird stuff, like comparing each other's avatars online [pocket-lint.co.uk], never mind that people have been holding costume contests in COH since the fucking launch in 2004

        - something as broad as making a stage magician kinda game/sim [pocket-lint.co.uk]

        - a "wearable" controller to digitize body motions [pocket-lint.co.uk], never mind that motion capture has been done before like that for ages

        - a rechargeable game controller [espacenet.com] never mind that chargers like that existed for mice, headsets, and everything for freaking ages before that

        - just about anything you can put a motion detector into, from bikes to teddy bears [kotaku.com]

        - horror games, or at least stuff like hallucinations or hearing voices in games [uspto.gov], never mind that neither is new, and an insanity sim had even been made to train police in how to deal with dementia people

        Etc.

        Some of those seem to even exist just to keep others from doing it. E.g., they filed for a patent for console online gaming, at a time where they were publicly bashing it and saying they have no intention to do that.

        Frankly, I don't get the hardon some people seem to get about Nintendo. While they do have a couple of talented designers, the management has an uninterrupted history of being evil fucks that make MS look good by comparison. They tried every possible way to lock competitors out, and developers in, some of which MS so far never even dreamed about. E.g., I don't remember MS suing anyone for developing for the Mac too. They too broke anti-trust laws. Etc.

        And at least the previous management had no problem with even insulting its customers, especially if, god forbid, they're asking for a genre Nintendo isn't currently selling. Yamauchi publicly called RPG gamers "depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games", for example.

        The only thing that changed that was the GameCube being the second dud in a row, which prompted a mellowing out of attitude. If they ever get back in a positio

        • by pnumoman (1348217)

          But that's exactly why Nintendo fascinates me. They manage to utilize all the protections and attacks the law provides for and still thrive; most companies can't, because you just drain goodwill too fast to do business. Nintendo, beyond anything else, does absurdly good PR.

          Which, when you think about it, makes them the revived Apple before Apple.

          • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

            by Moraelin (679338)

            Well, fascinating it is. I don't think many other companies outright insulted their customers (see such Yamauchi quotes as the one I quoted) _and_ business partners (see their attitude to the devs when some threatened to jump ship in the N64 days... which caused most to actually do jump ship) _and_ have a chairman who's publicly _proud_ to not be among the customers (Yamauchi actually took pride in never having played a single video game in his life), and, yes, get such adoring fans.

            I mean, comparing to tha

            • by KDR_11k (778916)

              Well, Yamauchi resigned some time ago. The new leadership was necessary to pull off the changes needed for the DS and Wii. Also most people consider Miyamoto their public faceinstead of Yamauchi and Miyamoto's public character (no idea how he's in private) is pretty humble and friendly.

              • by Moraelin (679338)

                Miyamoto is a nice and humble guy, yes. On the other hand, some of the recent blanket patents have been filed by him, or maybe in his name.

                In at least the patent aspect, nothing seems to have changed lately. Nintendo after Yamauchi still patents everything in sight, and every vague idea that they might sometimes use... or just wish to keep their competitors from using. The one in today's news wasn't filed under Yamauchi, was it?

                So at the very least, this still is my answer the OP's "Imagine if having a firs

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jaktar (975138)
          I believe you're referring to this Yamauchi speech from Nintendo Spaceworld.

          http://www.gamespot.com/news/2467470.html [gamespot.com]

          Yamauchi does not say "depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games". What he did say was "stop playing boring games" and "If we can change the quality, the number of the available software titles can be as little as one-tenth the current figure. Somebody says there are a small number of titles available for Nintendo 64 and others say we do not have enou

          • by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @01:00PM (#26399209) Journal

            Nope, it's not even remotely the one I'm refering to. The quote about RPG gamers is from an 1999 interview.

            But, yes, he did do a lot of stupid quotes in his time, including the one you linked to. Telling me that I play boring games, and that I should stop playing them for no other reason than that all the RPG developers left Nintendo... isn't exactly going to make me like him.

            Especially because of this: he didn't play either kind of games, and took pride in not having played any game ever. So _how_ does he fucking know which are boring and which aren't? On what knowledge does he base his presuming to tell me what to play? Oh, wait, he's just telling me to buy his snake-oil and stop buying the competition's. And not even in nice terms.

            I mean, picture me coming and saying something like, "I haven't played any MMO, and I'm proud I never blew my money on those, but I know that Vanguard rules and WoW is crap. Only depressed losers play WoW. Stop playing that boring game now." (Just hypothetically.) Wouldn't you say, "so how would you know, if you haven't played either?"

            I mean it's like a nun telling you which sexual position feels better. Or like a vegan telling you which meat tastes better and which to buy. Or like the Amish telling you which brand of car is more fun to drive. I could go on, but you get the idea already. How would he flipping know?

            But, as I was saying, he doesn't. He was just telling us to stop buying the competition's product and start buying more of his. Without even having used either. Just because one makes him money and the other doesn't.

            • There are certainly issues, but I would like to note that avoidance of something does not render one's opinion in the matter irrelevant. In my own experience, people have found my anime recommendations to be very useful and accurate despite the fact that my own anime experience has been very slight (a few episodes of crappy American dubs, a couple episodes of fan-subbed Naruto, and the first several episodes of Higurashi, to be entirely complete). The key is that I associate with a lot of people who watch
              • by Moraelin (679338)

                Duly noted, but, still, I'm guessing you wouldn't go on a stage and tell people to "stop watching boring anime", from some position of authority, based on just second hand hearsay. It's one thing to offer an opinion when asked, and even then presumably in the same circle from which you already have some idea about their subjective tastes. And it's another thing to go and proclaim what's wrong with someone who likes X, when you haven't even seen X. I'm guessing you don't do that, right?

                Also, at the very leas

        • by emilng (641557)
          One of my favorite quotes happens to be from Yamauchi via Miyamoto,

          Do not try to compete with the others, try to be the only one.

          I think it's a great quote in and of itself, but taken within the context of his anti-competitive practices it puts a whole new spin on things. I guess it makes sense that to not compete you either have to do something completely different from someone else or prevent someone else from doing the same thing as you.

          As far as why people still have such a positive attitude towar
    • by evanbd (210358)

      I think software patents are bad, and that therefore this is not patent worthy, but I'd be hard pressed to find a game that does this. Sure, there are the occasional playable cutscenes. But in how many of those can you do more than wander around? Can you name a single game where you can just decide to not to play while in the middle of any given level, and the game will play for you? I'm not sure I like the idea, but it does sound different and neat. Possibly very interesting, if used well -- or possib

      • Isn't it more or less the same principle as an autopilot?
        • by evanbd (210358)
          Yes, but taken further in a way that makes it qualitatively different. I have yet to see a flight sim autopilot that will fly the entire mission, including any combat sequences...
          • Correct, but I was talking general principles. But take the case you mentioned, I don't see the point in that.

            To paraphrase what someone else said in this thread, games are escapism, so why escape from them?

            • by evanbd (210358)
              Well, as I've said... I'm not convinced this patent is useful. And I don't think it should be patentable. But I do think it's original. I could see deciding that the game was too hard (or, say, I was too tired/inebriated/distracted) but that I was enjoying the plot and wanted to watch it. I see it as a blurring of the line between games and movies.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dougisfunny (1200171)

        left 4 dead?

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Can you name a single game where you can just decide to not to play while in the middle of any given level, and the game will play for you?

        Ur-Quan Masters [sourceforge.net]. You can either fly through hyperspace by yourself, or let the autopilot guide you. The former has advantages if you're flying through enemy territory and want to avoid confrontations. The old Elite games also have an autopilot available. Coming to think of it, World of Goo's "skip this level" feature could be considered effectively the same as a self-p

      • by TheKidWho (705796)
        Stepmania does this, you can press a button to have the game autoplay for you while you watch, or walk away for a moment.
    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Not bored, overwhelmed. It's a hint system.

  • by callistostg (1199181) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:50AM (#26396791)
    Square-Enix has prior art on their side with Final Fantasy XII.
    • by Greyfox (87712) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:58AM (#26396819) Homepage Journal
      *cough*Idlerpg [idlerpg.net]*cough*
      • by aliquis (678370)

        But you do play idlerpg by NOT doing anything. So it's still an active choice from your side, so to speak :D

    • by coder111 (912060) <coder@rr[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @07:32AM (#26397309)
      This will never stand because of this: http://www.progressquest.com/ [progressquest.com]

      --Coder
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Warlords II and Warlords III from Red Orb also allowed jumping in and out of a game that coul dbe auto played.
    • by Neoprofin (871029)
      Damnit! There goes my funny comment.
    • Seriously. My first encounter with the game was a demo in a game store, where I was walking around a beach and eventually fighting a T-rex. At first I thought it was neat that my party members could automatically heal each other and so on... but then I realized they were doing fine against the dino, and that no further input was required from me. I stepped back from the controller and watched. Later, I bought the game, but got bored of it a few hours through.

      Hey, what about "Progress Quest?"
  • Progress Quest! (Score:5, Informative)

    by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecransNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @04:54AM (#26396811) Homepage

    Or, at least, Progress Quest with the addition of an option to play it. Frankly, I don't see why adding an option to play a game is defensibly patentable. I mean, I could choose not to play it without any special technology at all!

    • by aliquis (678370)

      Reminds me of how a guy I know played Dune II.

      Towers and those free artreides helicopters :D

      Just spamming copters all the time.

    • I caught a friend of mine Jonesing for football so bad one day he sat down and watched the game play itself... at least that's what I thought. I caught him again, and he finally admitted he liked watching the defensive plays and picked up only when it was his turn to be on offense.

      These conceptual patents give me the creeps - there's no huge innovation here at all.
  • itself (Score:2, Funny)

    by big whiffer (906132)
    nintendo didn't file the patent, the patent filed itself.
  • For years people have been programming entire play-throughs of games using programmable inputs on emulators.

    This is the same concept, you input an exact sequence of events for the controller, that will exactly complete a part of the game, or the entire game if you want. But instead of the tool-assisted-speed-run community doing it, it is the developers themselves this time.

    It is very very complicated to program input commands for a game and doing a run through of an entire game is incredibly laborious. You

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      A full TAS is hard because it needs to be optimized for time, a walkthrough helper wouldn't need to shave off frames and such, just use savestates to avoid taking hits/failing.

      An advantage of this helper over GameFAQs is that you can use it directly to skip parts if you just cannot do it. A regular walkthrough can only tell you what to do, if you're not good enough to actually do it that's of no use to you.

      A side effect could be that this allows games to get harder again because there's no need to worry abo

    • by Ubahs (1350461)
      If this was built into a game, however, the game could be programmed to always do the same thing - as a toggle. This would make the pain of 'randomness' go away. These type of things are already done internally at several game studios, that I know about. Some had it down to locking the random number generator's seed to a predefined value, enemies would always dive the same direction, always miss every fourth shot, etc. Other methods were to just prevent enemies from firing and moving around, then having
    • by emilng (641557)
      I think the view that the traditional play model of the player being the hero with the singular goal of "beating" the game is the only way to design and play a game is the problem here. The potential for a hero character that plays itself and allows you to jump into the game at any point would be much greater if you throw away that assumption.

      Games initially had no end and were solely exercises in getting a high score. This was eventually replaced by the "reach the ending" model of gaming that you're refer
  • by VShael (62735) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:16AM (#26396901) Journal

    Or finds the game too difficult?
    I don't want to come home and find my Wii browsing for tech-porn.

  • Angband prior art (Score:3, Informative)

    by imbaczek (690596) <imbaczek@pocz t a . fm> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:20AM (#26396915) Journal
    IIRC Angband bots did that.
  • ...they need to make a Wii that goes to my job for me. I enjoy playing the games, so I have that part covered. What's next, a Wii that drinks my beer and has sex with my girlfriend?
    • by ultranova (717540)

      What's next, a Wii that drinks my beer and has sex with my girlfriend?

      How about a Wii that finds you a girlfriend ?-) It might be more relevant...

      ...now that I think of it, a dating service based around game-playing girls and the games they play might actually work. It's a common hobby, after all, and tying it into the online aspect of Wii would help keep the grievers out, since you'd need to buy a new console to re-register if you're banned. Plus, as I noted above, this is a demographic which might actual

    • by hedwards (940851)

      You didn't see that USB powered sex toy? Because I'm sure that could be adapted to the WII.

  • by spoonboy42 (146048) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @05:52AM (#26397001)
  • In Soviet Russia, games plays without YOU.

  • If you use the ANTAGonizer patch and maybe before that, hitting M in the planet management screen will automate planet management.

    Also, if you place a certain file into the base directory of it, the entire game will play itself.

    The idea is obvious what is hard is to do it for a specific game.

    For example, in Master Orion 2 you could choose to automate ship battles, although the automation sucked.

    • Most 4X games these days seem to allow you to more-or-less automate planet development. It does tend to get rather tedious building a new set of factories on every single new planet you colonize. Also, I seem to recall Caesar 2 allowing for automated battles as well, and I swear it worked far better than in MoO2.

      More importantly, now I know I'm not the only one who ever played Ascendancy! That game was great back in '95 or whenever.

  • A long time ago (we're talkin' 1987 or so here), I wrote a Klondike solitaire game for the PC (CGA, whoo hoo). One of the controls was to toggle auto-play on/off. When enabled, the game would play for you (according to some algorithm I made up[1]). There was even a speed control too, so you could slow it down to see it doing its stuff, or speed up, to the point of having it finish off the game in a flash. It would even quit the game when it saw there were no further possible moves.

    Prior to that, I had a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 10, 2009 @08:25AM (#26397539)

    Years ago when I was a game tester at Sega, there was a guy in the next cubicle who was unfortunate enough to be stuck with "Barney's Hide and Seek".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney's_Hide_and_Seek [wikipedia.org] Though he could generally be heard to be muttering "kill me" over and over to himself, he had the advantage over the rest of us because whenever he wanted to pretend like he was working, all he had to do was slump in his chair with his controller held limply in his hands, doze off, and yes, the game would play itself. The idea,evidently, was that kids of a certain age wouldn't have the attention span or skills necessary to help Barney do whatever it is he does, and so an auto-pilot feature would kick in if you stalled long enough.

  • by psnyder (1326089) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @08:35AM (#26397581)
    McDonalds Files Patent for Hamburger that Eats Itself.
    The New York Times Files Patent for Newspaper that Reads Itself and then Complains to Self about it's Left-wing Bias.
    Internet Forum Trolls File Patent for Web Browser that Rick Roll's Itself.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by LtGordon (1421725)

      Internet Forum Trolls File Patent for Web Browser that Rick Roll's Itself.

      Too late. That one's mine:
      "A method of hyperlink substitution, whereby the seemingly intended URL is replaced with that of a cheesy 1980's music video."

      Cease and desist or that'll be $1 billion, kthx.

      • by Tatisimo (1061320)
        I call prior art on all those: I patented a goatse that gouges out its own eyes back in 1999.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ophion (58479)
      What did apostrophes ever do to you?
    • by EEBaum (520514)

      Internet Forum Trolls File Patent for Web Browser that Rick Roll's Itself.

      Prior Art: RollTube [fffff.at] Firefox extension.

  • Rog-o-matic? (Score:3, Informative)

    by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Saturday January 10, 2009 @08:42AM (#26397623) Homepage

    Mauldin et al., ROG-O-MATIC: A Belligerent Expert System [princeton.edu], Fifth Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence, London Ontario, May 16, 1984.

    Rogue [wikipedia.org] had a storyline in it - okay, not exactly a really complex one, but a storyline nonetheless... and this thing plays it automatically, in case people don't want to play it themselves! Yup, people have been making self-playing games since forever.

    • Mauldin et al., ROG-O-MATIC: A Belligerent Expert System [princeton.edu], Fifth Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence, London Ontario, May 16, 1984.

      Rogue [wikipedia.org] had a storyline in it - okay, not exactly a really complex one, but a storyline nonetheless... and this thing plays it automatically, in case people don't want to play it themselves! Yup, people have been making self-playing games since forever.

      But ROG-O-MATIC plays Rogue automatically... even if you do want to play it yourself. There's no ability to place your hands on the keyboard and take control for an hour, then remove your hands and let the bot take over again. Self-playing games isn't the point - it's an assisting game, such that you can play until you get stuck, let the game take over until you're past the particularly difficult platform jump, then take control again for the boss fight.

  • I'm target audience (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MouseR (3264) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @08:59AM (#26397685) Homepage

    I'm a casual gamer. Nowhere near hardcore. Partly because of lack of interest, partly because I dont have time to become a good paddle jockey.

    One example of a game where I would have liked this feature is Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii. I absolutely loved this game for the puzzles and roaming around and then suddenly, you're confronted with sudden harsh treatment for a grinding session that only looks and feels like that: a grinding session. Typically, the "scene's boss".

    While I managed to finish the game, there are a couple of ones that I basically turned off the game after a couple of attempts. It made me feel like it was keeping me away from the game. A passage of rights that didn't have much purpose on *my* gameplay.

    Now I know this might very well be due to this particular game itself but the pattern is throughout the game industry, and that's what turning off some prospective players.

    While bot-supported games is nothing new, the fashion in wich this patent attempts to use them is an interesting idea.

    In my view however, it's not worthy of a patent in itself. Games should always have been like this, with some kind of "assist me here" option/widget to get people (with a life) moving on with the game.

    • by mdmkolbe (944892)

      Imagine that Metriod Prime 3 had had an auto-play feature. It would get you past the grinds, but it would also get you past the puzzles (after all what you call a grind might be the part someone else loves). The only thing keeping you from using it on the puzzle parts is your own judgment. This puts you in the situation of always having to choose whether a part or puzzle is "too hard" and to use the auto-player. But at the same time conquering something that is "too hard" is an important aspect of fun.

      • by Ophion (58479)

        But at the same time conquering something that is "too hard" is an important aspect of fun.

        No, it is the primary component of frustration, which is never fun. Certain very difficult endeavors in real life are edifying or vindicatory, but it is the rare individual who describes them as entertaining.

  • Sorry to say this but this is more wrong than it is right. I can see why they would want to make games that the casual just put aside and jump back in when they feel like it. But for fucks sake, that's not why video games are cool.

    I, for one, need to earn something while playing the game. Be it experience, skill or sheer amusement. The best games, that I remember most vividly, where those that tortured my brain and my hands. That made me swear and hate the enemies. The one that gave me a sense of "I fuck
    • Unless they give me some incentive (added bonus, extra trophies, seperate ending) this will be a kick in the face for all hardcore gamers.

      Read the summary for cricket's sake. You can't save your progress if you turn on autopilot.

      • by meist3r (1061628)

        Read the summary for cricket's sake. You can't save your progress if you turn on autopilot.

        So what you'll still be able to see all the levels, beat all the monsters and witness the ending. Who cares if you can't save? You don't have to save because you won't die or pause.

  • by rlp (11898)

    First there was Rogue - a character graphic adventure game. Then there was Rogue-o-matic [wikipedia.org]. I think there was also a variant called AutoRogue.

  • How about that 80's tic tac toe game that could be set to number of players zero and Global Thermal Nuclear War game that you had to dial in to play and it would take over playing for you if you got cut off.

  • by skia (100784)

    The WOPR doesn't count as prior art?

  • I honestly believe that this patent will be thrown out. If, for some odd reason, it gets passed, then it will merely be laughed at and/or abused. My brother is a prime example of someone who would BARELY use this type of "cheating"; he loves the challenge of finishing a game and doing it on his own. He says, and I quote, "The only reason I would use this feature is to [bypass using] YouTube videos so that I didn't have to use the Internet to help me solve my problems." He goes on to say "I wouldn't save the
  • Definitely out long before June '08, you can, with the push of a button, turn Autoplay on or off at any time during gameplay.

    ...never mind that it has no cut scenes or plot because it's just a DDR clone, but this feature sounds just like what Nintendo's patent describes.
  • Exosquad for the Sega Genesis worked almost EXACTLY in this fashion, but not from complete start to finish.

  • by EEBaum (520514) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @03:54PM (#26400797) Homepage
    A friend tried to get me into Ultima Online a while back. Once I installed the app, she directed me to an app that would auto-play my character to dig for gold and such, so that I didn't have to spend countless hours on the grind work, but that I could turn off to play when I wanted.

    That lasted about two hours for me. I determined that a game that needs such an app to be fun has a highly flawed design.
  • It's called Metal Gear Solid 4

  • Doesn't Mario Galaxy do this already. when I go to the toilet Mario starts scratching his arse and i don't have to push any buttons. Or does he go to sleep, mhh can't remember.

  • by GrpA (691294) on Saturday January 10, 2009 @09:39PM (#26403917)

    This is exactly what Space Channel 5 does... Hit a combination of keys on the controller to activate it and the game plays itself. You can switch in and out of the game.

    My kids were amazed at my beat-memory skills as I flawlessly played this game through to the end before I showed them the trick.

    Now sometimes they load it up and activate it just for amusement although they also like playing it too.

    GrpA

  • Would masturbation be considered prior art???

  • "But when played this way, gamers would not be able to save their progress".

    Wait, I'm confused. Most games nowadays take anwhere from 5-200 hours to complete. If you can't save your progress when you play with this feature, how is this at all useful? It becomes little more than a demo to show you the first bit of the game, something games had in 1980 (if you didn't start the game, most games used to go into demo loops which would show you what the game was like).

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      I did not RTFM, but if the other responses in this thread have actually given me an idea of how this would work, it could be potentially useful in this case:
      1) I save my game in progress
      2) I get to a part where I'm stuck and am frustrated
      3) I turn on autopilot and get past this hard part
      4) I restore the game from step 1, and now am able to get past the frustration point.

      It sort of seems like a way to avoid going to gamefaqs.com. I wish that a lot of games had varying amounts of 'hints'. Even in mostly _si

  • Game Arts did this as far back as the Lunar games on Sega-CD, you could choose "Auto", and all characters would continue going until the end of the turn. The Shin Miegami series took this a step further with Persona 3 where the characters just kept going until told to do otherwise. Namco's "Tales of" series has multipul characters, in which any player can step in, at any time, and play as. When not activated, the characters just start playing themselves. I can theoretically setup all 4 characters to play on

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