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U.S. Patent No. 8,491,394: Squad vs. squad video game
Issued Jul. 23, 2013, to Microsoft Corporation




Summary:

The ‘394 patent applies to shooter video games, which are focused around competing squads. The patent covers both games in which a single player controls each squad and more than one player controls each squad. The game receives inputs from the controlling players about squad actions and communicates these actions to other systems in the game. The patent also covers the player’s ability to join or leave his or her squad at any point during gameplay without ending the game.


Abstract:

A squad versus squad shooter video game receives input from one or more players via their respective use of controllers in communication with one or more console-based video game systems. The input from each controller is interpreted as a command to a squad in a competition against one or more other squads that are respectively commanded by one or more players via their respective use of controllers. Each squad includes a plurality of characters. Each player is assigned to one of the squads. Actions of each character in the video game are a function of commands given to that character by one of the players. Players can join or exit their assigned squad during game play.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A method comprising:
facilitating play of a game title by one or more players commanding, via their respective use of controllers, a squad in a competition against one or more other squads that are respectively commanded by one or more players via their respective use of controllers, wherein:
each said squad includes a plurality of characters;
each said player is assigned to one said squad;
each said squad has at least one said player assigned thereto; and
action of each said character in the play of the game title is a function of a command given to that character by one said player;
detecting, while any said player is playing the game title, a join condition indicating that a new player would like to join in playing the game title; and
in response to the join condition, assigning a new squad to the new player when it is determined that the new player is to form the new squad.

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