Interactive Loading Screens are exactly what they say they are. They are screens which allow the player a certain amount of interactivity whilst waiting for the game to load. The amount of user-interactivity ranges from game to game and with advancing technology, what the player is able to do whilst waiting for their game has increased enormously. This is not to say that minigames during load screens are a modern idea. In fact the first game to feature interactive loading screens was Skyline Attack
for the Commodore 64 in 1984.
Nowadays, games like Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit
allow the user to take control of objects of at least some relevance, in this case Dragon Balls, by pressing buttons on the controller whilst waiting for the game to load. This is a relatively simple form of interactivity compared to what other games allow you to achieve. For instance, the football franchise FIFA
, in recent games, have included minigames which allow you to control a player and attempt shots against an AI controlled goalkeeper until your game had loaded. This interactivity not only banished the archaic load screens of previous games giving repetitive albeit useful advice, but also provided a form of practice for the real game.
Static load screens, for the most part, are boring. There is no way of getting around that fact. Even the funniest game tip in the world grates on a gamer after the first hundred loads. Attempts to cover up load screens with elevator scenes (see Metroid Prime
, Ratchet and Clank
, Mass Effect
) can also be a little tiresome. Modern day developers now have the task of finding new and exiting ways of keeping players intrigued, even whilst the game is loading.
owns the US patent to minigames during load screens ( US patent 5,718,632) . This is why, in many of Namco's games minigames can be found during the load screens. Early Playstation releases by Namco saw old arcade classics such as Galaxian
adaptations appear as minigames during loading times. Namco's own Tekken
franchise has always been one to provide minigames during load times. The patent was filed November 27, 1995 and so likely expires November 27 2015.