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U.S. Patent No. 7,628,688: Game apparatus, game control method, recording medium and program

Issued December 8, 2009, to Konami Holding Corp.

 

Summary:

Battling opponents is a quintessential part of gaming, and U.S. Patent No. 7,628,688 (the '688 Patent)helps these battles take place. The ‘688 patent describes an image generator used to display both a player and opponent in a state of combat, as well as showing the characters fighting in real time. The patent describes a detector that tracks the distance between a player and opponent. Using a game map, the player and opponent’s relation to each other results in the changing from a normal gameplay mode to combat mode. For example, if a player or opponent enters a certain area (usually within a distance sufficiently close to the opponent), either the opponent or player satisfies a preset condition to initiate a battle. Once the conditions for ending the combat are met (i.e. the player wins or loses), the battle would end and the game would continue on as usual. The patent describes that the game map has a number of geographic features that influence whether the elements are met for a battle to begin. For example, a character could hide behind a wall close to an opponent and avoid a battle which would otherwise take place. This helps to simulate sneaking around an enemy.


Abstract:

An image data generator of this game apparatus generates, in a combat state, combat image data to display player's combat elements that executes a combat and opponent's combat elements fighting with the player's combat elements on the display unit in real time. This game comprises a distance detector that detects a distance between the player's combat element and the opponent's combat element at the time of changing a normal state to the combat state, and displays an initial image at the beginning of the combat state in accordance with the distance therebetween.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A game apparatus for executing a war simulation game, comprising: a first generator for generating image data to display a normal state image on a preset display, which includes a map, at least one player's element, and at least one opponent's element, both elements being positioned on the map; a first controller for activating the first generator when operation data indicating an operation by a game player is sent to the first controller and controlling the first generator to generate the image data for the normal state image according to the operation data; a second generator for generating image data to display a combat state image on the preset display, which represents that one of the at least one player's element fights against one of the at least one opponent's element; a second controller for activating the second generator when the operation data is sent to the second controller and controlling the second generator to generate the image data in real time in response to the operation data, wherein the real time generation of image data is free of a turn-based generation of image data; and a selector for receiving the operation data, determining whether or not the operation data satisfies a preset condition, and sending the operation data to either the first controller or the second controller in accordance with the determination wherein the map of the normal state image comprises a plurality of areas, and each of the both elements is positioned in one of the plurality of areas respectively, wherein the second controller determines, according to the operation data, whether or not an area in which the desired player's element is positioned is adjacent to an area in which the desired opponent's element is positioned, and controls the second generator so that the displayed combat state image represents the desired player's element to fight the desired opponent's element in short-range circumstance when the area in which the desired player's element is positioned is adjacent to the area in which the desired opponent's element is positioned, while the display combat state image represents the desired player's element to fight the desired opponent's element in long-range circumstance when the area in which the desired player's element is positioned is not adjacent to the area in which the desired opponent's element is positioned, wherein the map comprises a matrix form having a plurality of geographic features that exert an influence upon a result of combat between the at least one player's element and the at least one opponent's element, wherein the preset condition is whether the operation data includes an instruction that desired one of the at least one player's element should fight against desired one of the at least one opponent's element, wherein the selector sends the operation data to the second controller when the operation data satisfies the preset condition, and wherein the movements of the at least one player's element and the at least one opponent's element are influenced by the plurality of geographic features of the map.



Research By: Rachel Johns
Edited By: Andrew F. Thomas
U.S. Patent No. 6,231,444: Operating device for game machine
Issued May 15, 2001, to Sony Interactive Entertainment, Inc.
Priority date: October 11, 1996


Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 6,231,444 (the ‘444 Patent) is the patent that relates Sony’s DualShock controller. The DualShock controller featured two analog sticks and two integrated vibration motors. The ‘444 Patent mainly relates to the two analog sticks and their functionality. Most developers build a game's control scheme around a dual analog controller. Computers use to dominate the first-person shooter genre because the mouse and keyboard provided better controls to the players. Dual analog sticks made consoles a more viable option for first-person shooters because developers could separate the aim and movement inputs. The aim could be on the left stick and player movement on the right stick. It took a while for developers to maximize the potential of the dual analog, but now every console uses a dual analog controller.


Abstract:
An operating device used in a game machine for playing a television game includes a main body portion of the operating device and first and second grip portions protruding from one side on respective end parts of the main body portion. A first operating unit is mounted on one end of the main body portion and a second operating unit is mounted on the opposite end of the main body portion. The first and second operating units are provided with a plurality of thrusting operators protruding from the upper surface of the main body portion and a plurality of signal input elements actuated by the thrusting operators. A third operating unit and a fourth operating unit are arranged facing each other on the proximal ends of the first and second grip portions. Each of the third and fourth operating units has a rotation member and a plurality of signal input devices actuated by the rotation member. When the first and second grip portions are gripped, the third and fourth operating units can be manipulated by a thumb finger of a hand gripping the first or second grip portion. The operating device further includes vibration imparting mechanism for imparting vibrations to the user's hands.

Illustrative Claim:
1. An operating device for a game machine, comprising: a main body having front and rear sides and upper and lower surfaces; first and second grips protruding at spaced positions from end parts; a first operating unit mounted in said main body adjacent one of said spaced positions, said first operating unit having a plurality of first thrusting operators protruding from said upper surface of said main body and a plurality of signal input elements each for generating a signal when a corresponding one of said first thrusting operators is depressed; a second operating unit mounted in said main body adjacent the other one of said spaced positions, said second operating unit having a plurality of second thrusting operators protruding from said upper surface of said main body and a plurality of signal input elements each for generating a signal when a corresponding one of said second thrusting operators is depressed; and third and fourth operating units arranged on said rear side of said main body, said third operating unit being positioned adjacent said first grip and said fourth operating unit being positioned adjacent said second grip so that said third and fourth operating units confront one another, said third and fourth operating units each having a rotation member and at least one signal input element for generating a signal in response to an operation of said rotation member.


Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 4,445,187: Video games with voice dialog
Issued April 24, 1984, to Best, Robert M. 
Priority Date February 5, 1979


Summary:
Patent No. 4,445,187 (the '187 Patent) describes a video game in which the user can talk to a character in a video game. The '187 Patent is a continuation of U.S. Patent No. 4,305,131 (the '131 Patent), titled Dialog between TV movies and human viewers. Both patents utilize a hand-held speech-recognition device so the user can interact with the characters on screen. A major difference between the two patents is the '187 Patent relates to game characters or cartoon characters whereas the '187 only relates to human actors.

The game described in the '187 Patent has branching storylines. A player will be presented with an option at a given point in the game. Both possibilities link to different storylines saved in the game data. A player will encounter different dialogue and different scenarios based on which option was chosen. The player makes his choice by giving a verbal answer into the speech-recognition device. The hand-held device would display a menu with prompt words. A player could also ask the game character a question or make a side comment by pressing a button on the hand-held. The system would listen for select words to determine how the game character should respond. The game also allowed for multiplayer, but each player needed a hand-held unit so that they could each receive a different prompt.


Abstract:
A video game system by which human viewers conduct simulated voice conversations with game characters or cartoon characters in a branching story game shown on a television screen. The characters and cartoons reply responsively with lip-sync sound to words input by viewers. Different audio and video frames are generated from data memory and video disc to provide one of several alternative replies or alternative actions at each branch point in the game, depending on which words are selected by the viewer. A menu of prompting words is displayed to inform viewers of what words they can use at each branch point. Viewers can input questions or make other remarks by pressing a button next to one of the displayed sentences which causes a recording of the displayed sentence to be played or speech synthesized in lieu of a viewer speaking it. Viewers can chat with simulated images of famous people, call the plays in a ball game, make executive decisions as a king or general, and participate in simulated adventures with interesting game characters who respond to each viewer's words and answer back responsively.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A video apparatus for simulating a voice conversation between a human viewer of the apparatus and a talking video character, the apparatus comprising: first means for reading video frames from a record carrier means to provide a first video frame sequence associated with a plurality of alternative second video frame sequences; second means for reading video frames from a record carrier means to provide access to at least one of said alternative second video frame sequences before the end of said first video frame sequence; means for displaying said first and second video frame sequences including a simulated image of said talking character accompanied by corresponding voice sounds, thereby providing one side of a simulated voice conversation; means for communicating to said human viewer during said first video frame sequence a plurality of alternative verbal responses corresponding to said alternative second video frame sequences; means for receiving from said human viewer a response signal corresponding to a selected verbal response in said plurality of alternative verbal responses, thereby selecting a corresponding [second] video frame sequence; means for generating voice sounds electronically including words in said selected verbal response, thereby simulating the viewer's side of the voice conversation; and means for switching at the end of said first video frame sequence between the video frames from said first reading means to the video frames from said second reading means to provide said selected second video frame sequence accompanied by voice sounds corresponding to said selected second video frame sequence, thereby simulating a voice conversation between the talking character and the human viewer.





Researched by: Andrew F. Thomas
U.S. Patent No. 8,882,594: Control Scheme for real time strategy game
Issued November 11, 2014, to Microsoft Corp.
Priority Date April 5, 2007




Summary:

Real-time strategy games allow the player to command an army against imposing forces in real time. The player builds his army at the same time his opponent. The classic example of a real-time strategy game is StarCraft. Every movement in a real-time strategy game is crucial because time is a factor; wasteful motion can be the difference between winning and losing. Because time is such a factor, PC has dominated the real-time genre due to the flexibility and quickness of a mouse and keyboard offer. Traditionally, the cursor and screen position moved independently of each other. Early attempts at bringing real-time strategy kept the tradition control scheme, but cursor's movement speed on a console could not match the quickness of a PC mouse. U.S. Patent No. 8,882,594 (the '594 Patent) describes a control scheme for a real-time strategy game on a console that locks the cursor to a fix position in the center of the screen. When the player moves the cursor, the screen position also moves. The cursor always stayed in the center of the screen even if the player tilted the camera. By bolting the cursor to the center and moving the screen position instead, players could move and select units at a quicker pace. Also, the control scheme allowed for players to switch between different units using certain buttons. Microsoft used the '594 Patent's control scheme in the Halo Wars franchise.

Abstract:
A control scheme for a real time strategy game using a game controller includes maintaining a cursor in a known, fixed position of the monitor in a manner so that it appears the game space if moving behind a cursor even during changing viewing positions such as tilting movements. The control scheme further includes other aspects including a technique for selecting units using the game controller and interacting with menus using the game controller.

Illustrative Claim:

18. A system comprising: a processor; an input device having a user activated button; a rendering device; and a computer readable storage medium having instructions accessible by the processor and which when executed on the processor conduct a real time strategy game based on user input from the input device, the instructions comprising: operating a plurality of units of a plurality of different unit types in a game space, each of the units taking action in the game space based on corresponding instructions; determining a first user position relative to at least some units in the game space, the first user position being spaced apart from the units and having a parameter indicative of a first tilt with respect to the units; rendering a first view of a portion of the game space on the rendering device based on the first user position, the first view not corresponding to a view as seen by any of the units in the game space, the first view having the first tilt and including a cursor for selecting a unit, the cursor being at a known position relative to an edge of the rendered first view; receiving an indication of activation of the input device and, in response, identifying a set of the units based on the unit types; determining a second user position, with the processor, based on the identified set of the units, the second user position being spaced apart from the units and having a parameter indicative of a second tilt with respect to the units that is different than the first tilt; and for at least some of the execution of the game, rendering a second view of a portion of the game space based on the second user position, the second view having the second tilt and showing the identified set of units, while maintaining the cursor in the known position relative to the edge of the rendered view, the second view not corresponding to a view as seen by any of the units in the game space.


Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas





U.S. Patent No. 9,138,648: System and method for dynamically loading game software for smooth game play
Issued September 22, 2015, to Sony Interactive Entertainment America, LLC
Priority Date October 10, 2001




Summary:
"See that mountain over there, you can climb it," is the open world game's promise that a player can travel to an object seen in the environment without encountering a load screen, no matter how far the object is from the player. U.S. Patent No. 9,138,648 (the '648 Patent) describes a system and method for a video game to load an environment without entering into a load screen. It is impossible for a game to load the entire environment because doing so would require too much computing power, which ultimately would slow down other aspects of the game. Loading the environment in pieces allows for the game to present large environments without sacrificing other elements, but could slow down the game's pacing or compromise the openness feeling. The '648 Patent solves this problem by loading the next environment piece while the player is traveling in the game. Loading boundaries are set so that when a player crosses the boundary, the game begins to load in the next section. The boundary is set to give the game enough time to load correctly. New loading boundaries are set once the player has crossed into the new environment section. The previous section eventually becomes another loading boundary. Using this method for dynamically loading a game creates the illusion that the entire game world is persistent without overloading the system. 


Abstract:
A system and method are disclosed for dynamically loading game software for smooth game play. A load boundary associated with a game environment is identified. A position of a character in the game environment is then monitored. Instructions corresponding to a next game environment are loaded into a memory when the character crosses the load boundary, such that game play is not interrupted.


Illustrative Claim:
1. A method for dynamically loading game software, the method comprising: generating a display of a current game environment, wherein the current game environment is associated with a plurality of next game environments; determining a load time for each of the plurality of next game environments, wherein the next game environments are not yet displayed; identifying in the current game environment a plurality of different load boundaries that are each associated with loading one or more of the plurality of next game environments, wherein the location of each load boundary in the current game environment is based on the load time of the associated next game environment; identifying that a character has crossed a load boundary in the current game environment associated with one of the plurality of next game environments; determining a direction in which the character has crossed the crossed load boundary; identifying one of the next game environments for loading based on the crossed load boundary and the determined direction in which the character has crossed the load boundary, wherein the next game environment associated with the load boundary is identified for loading when the character is determined to have crossed the load boundary moving in a forward direction toward one of the next game environments associated with the load boundary, and a different next game environment is identified for loading when the character is determined to have crossed the load boundary in a backward direction away from the one of the next game environments associated with the crossed load boundary; and loading instructions corresponding to the identified next game environment into a memory prior to the character entering the identified next game environment, loading of the instructions commencing when the character crosses the load boundary in the current game environment in the determined direction such that game play is not interrupted by loading instructions for display of the identified next game environment when the character enters the identified next game environment.


Researched by: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 9,266,022: System to pause a game console whenever an object enters an exclusion zone
Issued February 23, 2016, to David Paul Pasqualone
Priority Date August 21, 2012



Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 9,266,022 (the '022 Patent) describes a method to pause a game due to the player physically entering into a danger zone. Motion control video games often require players to move physically. Physically moving can become a problem when the player does not realize where he/she is in relation to other objects, like the television. It is possible that a player does not realize he/she has moved closer to the television due to being intensely focused on the game. The '022 describes a method to warn players before crashing into the television by creating several exclusion zones using a console's motion sensors. The first zone is a warning zone, so when a player enters into it, a warning is displayed telling the player he/she is getting too close. If the player ignores the warning and enters the second zone, the system pauses the game. The game will resume after a set amount of time or if the player manually resumes.

Abstract:
A system for use in an interactive gaming console system wherein the gaming console system uses a sensor monitor to detect player actions, wherein either the sensor monitor's motion and proximity sensors or dedicated motion and proximity sensors detect whenever an object enters an exclusion zone, which is the area wherein the object is too close to the sensor monitor. If an object is detected within the exclusion zone, then the game being played by the gaming system is paused at the point of played and resumed after a set or settable time delay or after a manual resume command is issued by user in the usual way. A warning zone can also be defined just beyond the exclusion zone so that a warning signal of appropriate type can be issued to warn a player that the player is approaching the exclusion zone allowing the player to back away from the exclusion zone.
Illustrative Claim:
1. An interactive gaming system, for use by at least one player, the interactive gaming system comprising: a gaming control unit running a software routine that runs a game and displays the game being run on an output device, the software routine capable of being paused at a point within the game, and thereafter resumed from the point; a forward direction looking sensor monitor determines motion of an object and a proximity of the object from the sensor monitor in the forward direction, the sensor monitor in communication with the gaming control unit such that the gaming control unit receives input signals gathered from the sensor monitor and uses the input signals to control the software routine such that if the sensor monitor senses that a moving object is in the forward direction and is closer to the sensor monitor than a first threshold distance, the gaming control unit issues a threshold pause and pauses the software routine and wherein the gaming control unit issues a perceptible warning if the sensor monitor senses that a moving object is in the forward direction and at a proximity distance greater than the first threshold distance and less than a second threshold distance; and wherein the first threshold distance is variable and wherein the gaming control unit automatically resumes running of the software routine after a set amount of time has elapsed and the sensor monitor no longer determines that a moving object is closer to the sensor monitor than the first threshold distance in the forward direction and wherein the gaming control unit has an accumulator that calculates the number of times the threshold is exceeded during a set time interval and if the number of times calculates exceeds a threshold number, the software routine pauses the software routine until a set code is communicated to the gaming control unit.


Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas
U.S. Patent No. 9,669,291: System and method to facilitate moves in a word game
Issued June 6, 2017, to Zynga, Inc.
Priority Date May 31, 2011




Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 9,669,291 describes a system and method for distributing letters in a digital scrabble game. In an analog Scrabble game, a player has to rely on luck when pulling their letters, compared to a digital game where a computer algorithm is selecting the pieces. Each letter has a probability rate based on the number of pieces that letter has in the physical board game. Once probability rates are established, the game then analyzes the digital game board, list of playable words, player skill levels, and relationships of particular letters in word formations. From there, the game adjusts the probability rates of the remaining letters. Changing the rates helps balance the competition between players of different skill levels and ensure that a player can play a word in most situations.

Abstract:
A system and method to facilitate moves in a word game includes a game asset distribution module that adjusts the respective distribution weights of letters in a set of alphabet letters. The letters are distributed to players in a word game with a probability proportional to the distribution weights. The game asset distribution module includes an analysis module to analyze the game board, lists of playable words, player skill levels, and relationships of particular letters in word formations. Accordingly, distribution weights of the letters are adjusted in order to facilitate allocation to the player of those letters which will facilitate word formation, ensure at least a minimum playable word experience, and enhance an overall user experience, even amongst players with significantly different skill levels.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A computer-implemented method comprising: assigning, via at least one processor, to each alphabet letter a respective distribution weight according to a weighting rule of an online game, wherein each respective distribution weight reflects a frequency the corresponding alphabet letter, to which the respective distribution weight is assigned, is available for a game action in the online game of a game network server system; allocating based on respective assigned distribution weights, for availability in one or more game actions by a particular player, instances of each alphabet letter in a plurality of the alphabet letters; initiating display, to the particular player, of the allocated instances of each alphabet letter in a game interface of the online game; receiving a game action representing completion of a formation of a word, the word based on selection of a subset of the allocated instances of each alphabet letter; determining a losing player being the particular player having a point score in the online game lower than any further player within the online game, wherein each further player has a respective social network connection in a social network server system with the particular player; based on determining the losing player being the particular player: determining a number of remaining instances of the alphabet letters, available for distribution, and yet to be allocated to the losing player, in accordance to the respective distribution weights and the plurality of alphabet letters previously allocated to the losing player; determining the number of the remaining instances of the alphabet letters is less than or equal to a predetermined threshold; comparing a set of played words based on one or more words previously formed in one or more game action selected by the losing player in the online game; determining a prospective word formation, in a subset of the remaining instances of the alphabet letters, matches at least one of the words previously formed; adjusting the respective distribution weight of each letter in the subset of the remaining instances of the alphabet letters, the adjusted respective distribution weight being greater than a prior corresponding distribution weight.

Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 9,005,033: Game movie maker
Issued April 14, 2015, to Sony Interactive Entertainment America, LLC
Priority date April 11, 2008



Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 9,005,033 (the '033 Patent) describes a method for recording the successful completion of a level in a video game. The patent is concerned about how gamers describe their conquests to their friends. The '033 Patent addresses the issue by providing players a video archive every time the player completes a level. While a person is playing a video game, the system begins to create an archive. If the player fails to complete the level then the system deletes the archive. A separate video is created for each level completed, but upon the completion of the game, the system will combine all the videos into a single video. The claims in the '033 Patent only relate to the creation of videos, and does not claim any method for sharing.

Abstract:
Methods, apparatuses, and techniques for recording a user's game play experience. The player's game play can be recorded by recording a player's commands as the player navigates a game level as well as game data that can include a state of the game and variables, such as random numbers, generated during the game play that were used to control aspects of the game. The recording of the player's game play can then be reviewed and shared with others.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method for recording a path of completed levels of a game by a player, the method comprising: determining if the player completed a particular level of the game, wherein the player completes a level of the game when the player makes it through the level, and wherein the game includes a plurality of levels including a start level and an end level; storing data captured during gameplay of the particular level of the game by the player to a file if it is determined that the player completed the particular level of the game; and discarding the data captured during the gameplay of the particular level of the game by the player if it is determined that the player did not complete the particular level of the game, wherein as the player plays through the plurality of levels of the game, the data captured during the gameplay of each completed level is saved to each respective files and when the end level is reached, files for all levels from the start level to the end level is combined into a single video file such that contents of the single video file upon completion of the game comprise data representing a completed path of the gameplay taken through the game from the start level to the end level.



Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 8,858,330: Music video game with virtual drums
Issued October 14, 2014, to Activision Publishing, Inc.
Priority Date July 14, 2008







Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 8,858,330 (the '330 Patent) describes a music rhythm game that uses motions controls without any peripheral equipment. An excellent example of the '330 Patent is a game with virtual drums. The game represents the drums on the screen. To play the virtual drums, the user must do the correct controller inputs, which could include motions. A person using the Nintendo Wii might have to swing the Wiimote down for the system to register an input. A drum sound will be played on the television once the system logs the input. The '330 Patent is not limited to just motion controls; a player can use traditional controller inputs as well.

Abstract:
A video game maps each of a plurality of outputs to inputs associated with a video game controller. In some embodiments, the plurality of outputs represent the various potential outputs of a drum set. Combinations of video game controller inputs are used to generate the outputs. Video game controller inputs include traditional input devices such as button inputs, as well as input signals generated from positioning and movement of the video game controllers. In some embodiments, a video game console provides a video representation of the outputs generated by input combinations received from the video game controllers.
Illustrative Claim:
1. A method of providing audio and video outputs for a video game, comprising: receiving an input signal from a video game controller, the input signal being based on an output of an accelerometer of the video game controller; receiving additional signals from a plurality of additional inputs on the video game controller, the additional signals being based on status of a plurality of buttons of the video game controller, at least one combination of the additional inputs being associated with a predefined sequence of successive audio outputs; selecting one or more audio outputs to output based on the input signal and the additional signals, the one or more audio outputs including the predefined sequence of successive audio outputs; and determining a video output based on the selection of the one or more audio outputs.

Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 8,851,993: Game device, game method, non-transitory storage medium encoded with computer readable program for controlling game device, and game system, allowing for fun in tactics and enhanced zest of game
Issued October 7 2014, to Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Priority Date: June 3, 2011





Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 8,851,993 (the '993 Patent) describes a board game video game where all the players travel along the same path together. Normally, every player in a board game travels an independent route. Each player will roll a dice that determines how far an individual player travels. Depending on the game, the route may have forks in the road where a player can choose which direction to travel. The '993 Patent describes a board game where each player travels together. Each player will get to roll dice but the distance traveled will be applied to the group. If the group lands on a special square, then the player who rolled the dice will receive the benefit or determent of the square. Some squares will apply to the group as a whole. Nintendo has used the board game described in the '993 Patent in the most recent Mario Party games.

Abstract:
An exemplary embodiment provides a game device. The game device includes an indication acceptance unit for accepting an indication for determining an amount of movement, a movement amount determination unit for determining an amount of movement on the prescribed route, a position updating unit for updating positions of all player characters on the route in accordance with the determined amount of movement, and an event processing unit for executing an event on the player character and the indication acceptance unit includes a normal indication acceptance unit for accepting a normal indication for determining a normal amount of movement and a special indication acceptance unit for accepting a special indication for determining an amount of movement different from normal, which is executed alternative to the normal indication and of which number of permitted times of issuance by the plurality of player characters is limited.
Illustrative Claim:
1. A device for playing a game in which a plurality of player characters move on a prescribed route in a game space displayed on a display, comprising: an information processing device including one or more processing units configured to perform functions and operates as: an indication acceptance unit that accepts a movement indication for determining an amount of player character movement on said prescribed route directed to a player character among said plurality of player characters; a movement amount determination unit that determines an amount of player character movement on said prescribed route when said indication acceptance unit accepts the movement indication; a position updating unit that updates positions of said player character for which the movement indication has been accepted and of all other player characters on said prescribed route in accordance with said amount of player character movement determined by said movement amount determination unit; an item acquirement/loss processing unit that performs processing by which player characters acquire or lose a prescribed item in accordance with an update of a position of said player character for which said movement indication has been accepted; an event processing unit that executes an event at least on said player character for which the movement indication has been accepted in accordance with the position to which said player character has been moved; and a win/loss processing unit that performs a win/loss determination in which winning and losing is determined for player characters based on an amount of said prescribed items acquired by each of said plurality of player characters; wherein said indication acceptance unit further operates as: a normal movement indication determiner that accepts a normal movement indication for determining an amount of player character movement of a type that is a normal movement for a player character in the game, wherein said normal movement indication corresponds to a value of a cast shown by using a normal die, and a special movement indication determiner that accepts a special movement indication for determining an amount of player character special movement which is of a type that is different from said type that is a normal movement for a player character in the game, the special movement indication being used as an alternative to said normal movement indication and for which a number of permitted times of usage by each of said plurality of player characters is limited, and wherein said special movement indication corresponds to a value of a cast shown by using a special die different from said normal die.


Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas



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