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U.S. Patent No. 7,094,153: Virtual space control method
Issued Aug. 22, 2006, to Sony


Summary:

The ‘153 patent describes a video game system where the camera viewpoint is changed depending on the character’s movement. Under this invention, the player has full control over his character. Whenever that character completes a certain objective, the camera is programmed to change and reflect a different viewpoint so that the player has a better view of the action at hand. The camera changes, not the view of the character, but of the whole world in orientation with the head of the character.

Abstract:

A program execution apparatus moves the fixation point in a virtual space in response to a change in the direction of a prescribed part of a virtual character in the virtual space. When the program execution apparatus moves the fixation point in a virtual space in response to a change in the direction of a prescribed part of a virtual character in the virtual space, it causes the occurrence of a prescribed object in the virtual space, thereby achieving a video game having a high level of reality and an improved level of entertainment.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A virtual space control method comprising the steps of: changing an orientation of a prescribed part of a virtual character in a virtual space; changing a screen image in response to the change in orientation of the prescribed part, wherein the screen image represents a virtual field of view of the virtual space defined by a viewpoint other than a viewpoint of the virtual character and including a whole image of the virtual character; moving the virtual character in the virtual space; and detecting an occurrence of a prescribed event, wherein the step of changing the orientation includes a step of changing the orientation of the prescribed part in response to the occurrence of the prescribed event, wherein the step of changing the screen image has a step of changing the screen image in response to the movement of the virtual character and to the change in orientation of the prescribed part, and wherein the prescribed event is selected from a plurality of events occurring in the virtual space.

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