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MS patents 'camera' for third-person shooter

Could this be Natal's first shooter?

A Microsoft patent has revealed a camera system for an unnamed third-person shooter, possibly in development for the Xbox 360 Natal.

The filing, spotted by Skoar, describes 'exploring' and combat camera mechanics and even makes mention of Xbox 1 game Brute Force.

It reads: "In a third-person shooter video game, the viewing perspective is smoothly transitioned between an 'explorer' viewpoint and a 'ready' viewpoint as game conditions change. In the 'explorer' viewpoint, scenes are depicted from a camera positioned behind and removed from a character.

"The explorer viewpoint offers a wide angle of view of the surrounding combat area, enabling the game player to scout the terrain. In the 'ready' viewpoint, scenes are depicted from the camera as it is repositioned close to the character. The ready viewpoint provides a narrower angle of view to facilitate better aiming when the character is engaged in armed combat. The transition between the explorer and ready viewpoints tracks a non-linear path.

"A technique for controlling camera viewpoints in a third-person shooter video game is described. Scenes are depicted from a camera positioned behind and removed from a character that is being controlled by a player. As conditions change during the game, the camera is moved smoothly along a non-linear path between an 'explorer' viewpoint and a 'ready' viewpoint.

"In the 'explorer' viewpoint, the camera is farther removed from the character to provide a wider angle of view of the battle terrain as the character moves about. In the "ready" viewpoint, the camera resides just behind the character to facilitate better aiming when the character is engaged in combat.

"Selection of a camera viewpoint and timely movement between the two viewpoints are controlled to facilitate a more intimate feel with the character and to avoid having obstacles obscure vision of the character and/or reticle used to sight targets."

Make of that what you will.

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