Visit BannerWitcoff.com

U.S. Patent No. 7,713,116: Inventory management of virtual items in computer games
Issued May 11, 2010, to Microsoft


Summary:

The ‘116 patent provides an inventory management system to manage the display of inventory items during a computer game. In many games, a player’s inventory is vital to his success or failure in a game. The method described here allows a player to have a limited number of items he has collected to be displayed and be easily accessible. The method also allows the player to categorize his inventory as he wants. The player also has the ability to use pre-set inventory categorizations (by the developer) if he would rather use those.

Abstract:

Within a game, a filter is applied to a game inventory based on an attribute of each one of a plurality of virtual items. The filter can be player defined, game developer defined, system programmer defined, or a combination thereof. In certain versions, the virtual items that satisfy the query provided by the filter are displayed to the player. The player can thereupon access any one of the virtual items that are represented by the icons that satisfy the filtering query. In one version, the attributes of the virtual items can be changed using the filtering game inventory system.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A method comprising: operating, on a computing device comprising an electronic display, a computer game inventory management system to manage display of a game inventory of a plurality of virtual objects acquired during computer game play on the computing device as a function of computer-executable instructions that configure a processor to perform operations comprising: indicating to a game player, on the electronic display during computer game play, the plurality of computer generated virtual objects in a graphical scene describer of a game display, the graphical scene describer used to illustrate a computer generated representation of a player character that is interacting with one or more characters within a virtual world in the computer game play, the player character controlled by the game player, wherein the plurality of virtual objects are configured in the computer game play: to be obtained as possessions by the computer generated representation of the player character; and to comprise one or more attributes; collecting, in the graphical scene describer of the game display, the plurality of virtual objects using the computer generated representation of the player character; indicating, on the game display, at least a portion of the collected plurality of virtual objects as being possessed with the computer generated representation of the player character; displaying, on the game display, an inventory management describer in addition to the graphical scene describer of the game display, the inventory management describer comprising: one or more filter icons that represent one or more filters; and an inventory display that is used to display the filtered plurality of virtual objects; receiving, in the computer game play, an input via an input device from the game player, the input used to activate a filter of the one or more filters, the activation comprising selecting, in the inventory management describer, a filter icon that represents the filter; filtering, upon receiving the input from the game play to activate the filter, the collected plurality of virtual objects based on their respective attributes that are assigned during the computer game play, the filtering comprising filtering the collected plurality of virtual objects that match the filter that is activated by the game player; and displaying, upon activation of the filter, a filtered portion of the collected plurality of virtual objects in the inventory display, wherein each of the filtered portion of the plurality of virtual objects in the inventory display includes at least an attribute that matches the filter, and wherein display of the filtered portion of the plurality of virtual objects based on the filter activated by the game player facilitates the game player to determine which of the plurality of virtual objects to be disposed of or used in the computer game play as the computer generated representation of the player character interacts with the one or more characters in the virtual world in the graphical scene describer of the game display.


U.S. Patent No. 7,713,126: Video game control program and video game device
Issued May 11, 2010, to Sega


Summary:

The ‘126 patent allows a player, while playing a video game, to choose between a plurality of paths. The player may select a path in advance, but he has the ability to change the path before the character gets to the selected path. The game described also includes a feature which allows the player to travel forward or backward; this prevents the game from feeling like a linear path where the player has no control

Abstract:

In a video game device which performs a video game wherein a game character or unit moves through a plurality of paths including a plurality of branch points according to an instruction of a player, a first movement control unit displays branch-direction indications enabling the player to select one of a plurality of first branch directions at a branch point on a path in the video game, so that a selected one of the plurality of first branch directions is received from the player. A second movement control unit displays preceding-branch-direction indications enabling the player to select, in advance, one of a plurality of second branch directions at a branch point on a following path in the selected first branch direction, so that a selected one of the plurality of second branch directions is received from the player.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A computer program computer-readably stored in a memory unit which, when executed by a computer having a processing unit, causes the computer having the processing unit to perform a video game control process of a video game wherein a game object moves through a plurality of paths in response to instructions by a player operating an input unit connected to the computer having the processing unit, the video game control process comprising: allowing the player to designate a destination which the player intends to cause the game object to reach; detecting a path from a current location of the game object to the designated destination and controlling the game object to move from the current location of the game object toward the designated destination; if the path detected from the current location of the game object includes a branch, displaying preceding-branch-direction indications in advance before the game object reaches a branch point, and enabling the player to select, in advance before the game object reaches the branch point, one of the preceding-branch directions for the branch point; and when the game object has reached the branch point, controlling the game object to move along the selected branch direction unless an instruction for selecting a branch direction different from the selected branch direction is given by the player for the branch point.


U.S. Patent No. 7,717,781: Apparatus and method for controlling clearing in a falling object game with a sequence bar
Issued May 18, 2010, to Bandai Co. Ltd.


Summary:

The ‘781 describes a computer game similar to other “falling block games” like Tetris or Columns, in which the player operates a falling object that falls in a predetermined area. The ‘781 patent differs from previous falling block games in that, unlike previous games, the blocks do not disappear immediately after a predetermined condition is met. Here, the objects are cleared after a sequence bar has passed. The sequence bar moves vertically or horizontally in sync with a music output to make the game more enjoyable for the player. The game described under the ‘781 patent also allows for unusual patterns to meet the clearing requirement. For example, if the blocks for the shape of a dog, that will be an acceptable pattern which will be cleared whenever the sequence bar moves past it. By adding these new patterns for clearing, the makers hope to keep the player entertained in new and exciting ways.

Abstract:

A computer game which makes the player operate a falling object that falls in a predetermined display area, and clears the falling object and falling stop objects by combining the falling object and falling stop objects under a predetermined condition. If falling stop objects including blocks that stop falling include a group of blocks which meet a predetermined clear condition, the group of blocks are registered as blocks to be cleared, and the control waits for a clear waiting state. Even in this waiting state, the next falling object begins to fall. After that, when a sequence bar (701) which moves vertically or horizontally in synchronism with a music output along with the progress of the game has passed the blocks to be cleared, these blocks are cleared.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A computer system comprising: a processor; an operation unit that makes an operation input to a game, by which a player controls a falling object that falls within a predetermined display area, and clears the falling object and falling stop objects by combining the falling object and the falling stop objects under a predetermined condition, a display unit which displays information associated with the game, a computer-readable storage unit which stores data required to execute the game and program instructions, and an audio output unit which outputs music along with progress of the game based on the stored data, wherein execution of the program instructions by the processor controls the computer system to: display the falling object at a falling start position by setting display position data of the falling object at the falling start position in the predetermined display area of the display unit; change the display position data of the falling object to move the falling object displayed on the display unit in a lower direction of the display area independently of an operation input from the operation unit; change the display position data of the falling object to move the falling object in the lower or horizontal direction of the display area in accordance with an operation input from the operation unit to the falling object; stop, when the falling object reaches a falling stop position of the display area and satisfies a falling stop condition, falling of the falling object, and displaying the falling object as a falling stop object; determine if the display position data of the falling stop object and display position data of other falling stop objects which are arranged around the falling stop object in advance satisfy clear conditions; generate, when the clear conditions are satisfied, clear object data used to register a portion of the falling stop object which satisfies the clear conditions as an object to be cleared, and storing the generated data in the storage unit; highlight the registered portion of the falling stop which satisfies the clear conditions; display a sequence bar which moves in the display area in a direction which is different from the lower direction in synchronism with the music data which is read out from the storage unit and is output from the audio output unit along with progress of the game; determine, on the basis of display position data of the sequence bar, if the sequence bar has moved past the portion of the falling stop object corresponding to the clear object data stored in the storage unit; and clear, when it is determined that the sequence bar has moved past the highlighted portion of the falling stop object corresponding to the stored clear object data, the display of the highlighted portion corresponding to said stored clear object data while maintaining the display of other portions of the falling stop object that have not been determined to satisfy the clear conditions.


U.S. Patent No. 7,717,782: Helpfulness in a virtual environment
Issued May 18, 2010, to Leviathan Entertainment, LLC


Summary:

The ‘782 patent describes a video game environment where players interact with one another and progress through the game by receiving help from other players. Players can post a request for help which can be accepted by other players. A player cannot complete the game without receiving help from other players. By requiring the players to cooperate, the makers are hoping to create a strong player community. This reminds me of a Foxtrot comic strip from a few years back mocking Grand Theft Auto: Vice City with the less-violent Nice City:


 Abstract:

A virtual game environment in which characters are allowed to give help to one another and in which the game tracks the amount of helpfulness of each character is provided. Characters may be rewarded or paid for giving help to each other. In some embodiments, help may be given in the form of advice.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A method performed by a computer, the method comprising: communicating, by the computer, with a plurality of game devices to provide a virtual video game environment, wherein each game device allows at least one respective player to access the computer, wherein each of the players controls at least one player character; wherein the plurality of player characters interact with one another and wherein the virtual video game environment includes a plurality of game parameters that are completed by the player characters as the player characters progress through the game; identifying, by the computer, game parameters which can be completed by receiving help from another player character; permitting, by the computer, a first player character of the plurality of player characters to post a request for help for the other players to view; permitting, by the computer, a second player character of the plurality of player characters to accept the request for help; permitting, by the computer, the second player character to provide help to the first player character; determining, by the computer, whether the first player character successfully completes a first game parameter; providing, by the computer, a benefit to the second player character based on whether the first player character successfully completes a first game parameter; and receiving, by the computer, from the first player character a rating of the help given by the second player ch

< Previous     Home     Next >

Get the Patent Arcade App

Get the Patent Arcade App
Available now for iOS

Search This Blog

Recognition

Buy your copy today!

Buy your copy today!
ABA Legal Guide, 2d Ed.

Ross Dannenberg

Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly
Archives

Blogroll

Data Analytics

Copyright ©2005–present Ross Dannenberg. All rights reserved.
Visit BannerWitcoff.com