Nintendo Patents Insanity (SlashDot link)
Yes, apparently, Nintendo feels the need to patent an aspect of an RPG. Why in the world do they feel they need to do this? The patent states:
A video game and game system incorporating a game character’s sanity level that is affected by occurrences in the game such as encountering a game creature or gruesome situation. A character’s sanity level is modified by an amount determined based on a character reaction to the occurrence such as taking a rest or slowing game progress and/or an amount of character preparation. That is, if a character is prepared for the particular occurrence, the occurrence may have little or no affect on the character’s sanity level. As the character’s sanity level decreases, game play is effected such as by controlling game effects, audio effects, creating hallucinations and the like. In this context. the same game can be played differently each time it is played.
I wonder just how long it will be before other game developers start patenting their ideas? I suppose D&D has some lock on the rules that they created. Probably copyright based. Is there any that Blizzard can use. Instances perhaps?
What does this gain developers like Nintendo? Will they use them to trade with other deveopers for other ideas?
In the long run, all this does is stifel the game development community. If a small developer was working on a game that used this idea, I suspect they will have to either license it from Nintendo, or just dump all the code and start over again.