Nintendo Patent Details In-game Hint, Developer Walkthrough System

Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto recently filed a US patent for a system that would provide in-game hints and developer walkthroughs, allowing players to "jump in" on pre-recorded gameplay and clear areas of a game that would otherwise stump players.

As reported by Kotaku, the hypothetical system would have several modes: Game, Digest and Scene Menu.

"Game" would allow for typical gameplay with on-screen hints provided. "Digest" would play a video of a developer's run through the game, allowing users to resume control over the game at any point--though without the ability to save the game.

The "Scene Menu" would act in a similar fashion to Atari's recent Alone in the Dark, providing a DVD-like menu to skip through portions of the game.

Early developer reaction to the patent has been mixed, with some questioning the merit of a system that essentially plays the game for you.

"The defining characteristic of a game is that you play it," said Braid developer Jonathan Blow to Kotaku. "If, in order for games to be accessible to a wider audience, we need to make it so that most people can skip over the playing it part, then what that really means is that our medium sucks.

"If you have to elide the basic property of your medium to make experiences in that medium desirable, then the medium itself is questionable at a very deep level."