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U.S. Patent No. 7,530,895: Method for advancing network game by group competition
Issued May 12, 2009, to Square Enix


Summary:

The ‘895 patent provides for a game which includes a world map including multiple regions. The game allows players to compete against other players. Each of the players selects a character which belongs to different nations. The players connect to a network and communicate with other during competitions. Points are totaled during the game according to victories and accomplishments achieved by the players. Different tasks in the game are allotted different points. Thus, a player has the opportunity to achieve a higher point award by accomplishing one task, while receiving fewer points for completing another. Players may join together in order to earn more points during the course of the game.

Abstract:

A world map includes multiple regions. Each region includes one or multiple areas. A player causes his/her player character to belong to any nation. As a task given to the player character, a battle with an enemy character is provided on the map of each area (the battle may be waged by a party). When the, player character wins the battle in each area, predetermined points are given to a home nation of the player character participating in the battle. The points given to each home nation are totaled for each region, and a nation that dominates each region is decided according to a result of the total points.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A network game system having a server apparatus and a plurality of client apparatuses each connected to the server apparatus via a network, each of the client apparatuses comprising: a group selector that selects a group to which a player character operated in a virtual space based on a player's operation belongs, the virtual space being divided into a plurality of zones; a group information transmitter that transmits group information on the group selected by the group selector to the server apparatus via the network; an operation instructing device that instructs an operation of the player character in the virtual space based on a player's operation; an operation transmitter that transmits the operation to the server apparatus via the network; a change information receiver that receives change information indicating a change in a content of a game sent from the server apparatus; and a display controller that causes a display device to display the content of the game indicated by the change information, the server apparatus comprising: a group information receiver that receives the group information transmitted from the group information transmitter; a group register that registers groups to which each player character of the plurality of client apparatuses belongs based on the received group information; an operation receiver that receives the operation of the player character transmitted from the operation transmitter; a point calculator that calculates points corresponding to a degree of achievement of a task of each player character based on the received operation of the player character; a point totaler that, every fixed periodic judgment interval, which is independent from tasks assigned to player characters, totals the points calculated by the point calculator for each of the zones for each group to which each player character belongs; a game changer that changes the content of the game in a next fixed periodic judgment interval, which is independent from tasks assigned to player characters, based on the points totaled for each zone and for each group in a current fixed periodic judgment interval, which is independent from tasks assigned to player characters; a change information transmitter that transmits change information on the content of the game changed by the game changer to each of the plurality of client apparatuses via the network; a dominion provider that provides dominion of each zone to a dominating group having a greatest number of total points for the zone, wherein the game changer changes the content of the game according to whether dominion of each zone is provided to any one of the groups by the dominion provider so that each player character belonging to the dominating group receives an advantage within each zone dominated by the group of the player character; a point corrector that corrects the total points of each group in accordance with a number of registered player characters of each group; and a group changer that changes the group of the player characters registered in the group register based on an instruction from the client apparatus corresponding to each player character, wherein the point totaler totals the points of the player character subjected to the group change after excluding the points calculated by the point calculator before changing the group from the total points of each group, and wherein the point calculator calculates a different number of points as the points corresponding to the degree of achievement of the task, depending on whether the player character's group has dominion of the zone where the player character has accomplished the task.

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Ross Dannenberg

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