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U.S. Patent No. 7,632,186: Spectator mode for a game
Issued Dec. 15, 2009, to Microsoft


Summary:

The ‘186 patent provides for a system which allows a player to observe other game sessions without participating. The invention monitors the gameplay and allows the player to access game stats (score, time, etc .) in order to follow alongside the game. The invention is intended to allow novice players the chance to watch other players and learn moves or tactics which will help in their progression. Since different players advance through the game at different paces, this observation mode allows a player to learn without being disadvantaged while playing.

Abstract:

Methods and systems for broadcasting game sessions to be viewable by spectators are disclosed. In addition to sending telemetry data to other game clients participating in a game session, one or more game clients in the game session also sends the game telemetry data to a title server for the video game being played. The title server analyzes and repackages the received telemetry data and rebroadcasts the repackaged telemetry as a spectator feed to non-participant spectator client devices for viewing by users of the spectator client devices. Each spectator client device can analyze and manipulate the received telemetry data using a copy of the video game executing on the spectator client device, or may simply playback the feed when the feed includes a complete audiovisual file.

Exemplary Claim:

1. One or more computer storage media storing computer executable instructions for performing a method of distributing game telemetry data corresponding to a game session of a video game to a spectator client to allow a user of the spectator client to spectate the game session, said method comprising steps of: receiving at a network location not joined in the game session, game telemetry data generated by one or more participant clients of the game session of the video game, each participant client executing the video game under the control of a corresponding participant player; the network location creating a spectator feed by aggregating the received game telemetry data; receiving a request for the spectator feed from a spectator client not participating in the game session; the network location sending the spectator feed over the computer network to the spectator client; executing the video game on the spectator client using the received game telemetry data wherein the game telemetry data comprises projectile information and wherein the executing step comprises: establishing a ghost character representation for the spectator at the camera position; and applying the received game telemetry data against the ghost character wherein the applying step comprises the ghost character taking damage as a result of being hit by a projectile.

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