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U.S. Patent No. 6,428,414: Method for representing character, storage medium, image display device, and video game device
Issued Aug. 6, 2002, to Konami


Summary:

The ‘414 patent describes a method during a video game where the player is able to customize his character to look the way he wants. The character is presented naked and the player can select from a list of items to place on the character. The items the player selects have an effect on the character. Thus, the player needs to carefully decide which items to use so as to maximize his character’s attributes.

Abstract:

In character representation whereby an actual or imaginary character is represented electronically, naked body image data showing the state of the character when not carrying or wearing any equipment at all is previously prepared, and furthermore, item image data showing the state of an item of equipment when it is applied to the naked body image data is previously prepared for each type of equipment item. When an item of equipment to be worn or carried by the character is selected, the naked body image data is composed with item image data corresponding to the item of equipment selected at the item of equipment selection state, and the composed data is displayed.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A software product comprising: an image display program to be executed by a processing unit in cooperation with a display device for displaying an appearance image of a character; reference character image data representative of a reference state image of said character free from any item; and item image data representative of images of items to be equipped by said character, said image display program comprising the processes of: selecting said at least one item from the item image data; creating a new image data, by said processing unit, based on said reference character image data and at least one item image data selected; and displaying created image data as said appearance image on said image display device, wherein: said character has a set of numeral values each of which depends on a specific attribute of said character; said item has correctional values for modifying the numeral value set; the software product comprises a video game program to be executed by the processing unit; actions of the character in the video game are commanded by an input device cooperating with said processing unit; a player of the video game is aimed to meet the condition representing the end of the game to play said video game program; and said correctional values depend on the number of times that said condition is met.

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