Patents Examined by Michael O'Neill
  • Patent number: 7008322
    Abstract: A practice mode can be inserted into an RPG program without giving the player a sense of boredom. Because the distinction between the practice mode and the game is eliminated, the player is not given the sense that the progress of the game is being interrupted and the problem of the player losing interest can be resolved. Also, because of the construction of a new training system wherein training for special moves, that are difficult to remember, is easily stored on the screen, the player can focus on the progress of the game and can have increased interest in the game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega
    Inventors: Yuu Suzuki, Hideaki Miyagushi
  • Patent number: 6986710
    Abstract: A gaming device having an element and element group selection and elimination scheme for randomly determining an award. The gaming device provides a selection and elimination sequence of an element from a group. The selection and elimination scheme continually selects and eliminates a next element from a successive group at least containing the previously selected element. The selection and elimination scheme awards a player when the game ends.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2006
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventors: Anthony J. Baerlocher, Bayard S. Webb
  • Patent number: 6979265
    Abstract: A game system allows a player's wish to influence appearance of event production squares. A game control device functions as various devices, including a device for displaying a route including plural squares and symbols representing attributes of the squares, on a display, a device for determining a value to be obtained by a player based on an instruction of the player via an input device, a device for moving a player character on the route according to the obtained value, a device for controlling a peculiar value corresponding to an attribute of the squares based on a stop position of the character, a device for controlling appearance of event production squares based on the peculiar value, and a device for producing an event relating to the event production square under a condition that the event production square and a stop position of the character establish a predetermined relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2005
    Assignee: Konami Corporation
    Inventor: Gen Suzuki
  • Patent number: 6976919
    Abstract: A gaming unit includes a currency container. The currency container includes a locking mechanism for selectively locking the container to a housing of the gaming unit. In one embodiment, a secondary locking mechanism is associated with the housing, the secondary locking mechanism preventing, at one or more times, de-activation of the currency container locking mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2005
    Assignee: Cole Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph W. Cole
  • Patent number: 6976917
    Abstract: An electronically implemented method of playing a poker style video game displaying a 5×4 matrix. The rows are each preassigned a single card value from the group consisting of Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. Only Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces of each suit, namely Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds, from a standard 52 card deck are utilized. The twenty cards are randomly shuffled and dealt into the 5×4 matrix. Pay outs are based on the number of Tens in the preassigned Tens row, Jacks in the preassigned Jacks row, etc. Additional pay outs are based on the cards in each of the columns. Column pay outs include straights and royal flushes. Preferably, players are allowed to select which initially dealt cards to hold and which to discard. The discards are shuffled and randomly re-dealt a second time to the unoccupied spaces of the matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2005
    Inventor: Robert N. Peccole, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6971957
    Abstract: A DVD-ROM stores a plurality of shadow volume data corresponding to respective attitudes of an object which casts a shadow. A CPU sets a shadow volume corresponding to the attitude of the object by performing interpolation based on the shadow volume data as necessary. Based on the thus-set shadow volume, a GPU determines a shadow region using a stencil buffer. Based on the determined results, the GPU updates luminance information of each pixel stored in a color buffer. According to this configuration, when a game system uses the shadow volume to draw a shadow, it is possible to reduce the processing load caused by setting the shadow volume while drawing a more realistic shadow corresponding to the attitude of the object which casts the shadow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Satoru Osako
  • Patent number: 6971953
    Abstract: A gaming device having a plurality of goals, at least one destination goal, a player goal indicator, an award associated with the destination goal which is provided to the player if the player goal indicator reaches the destination goal, a setback condition associated with one of the goals, wherein when the player goal indicator moves to the goal having the associated setback condition, the player goal indicator is relocated to one of the goals further from the destination goal based on the setback condition, an advance condition associated with one of the goals, wherein when the player goal indicator moves to the goal having the advance condition, the player goal indicator is relocated to one of the goals closer to the destination goal based on the advance condition, and a plurality of offers associated with the goals, wherein the player is enabled to accept or reject the offer associated with goal of the player goal indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventors: Peter Gerrard, Anthony J. Baerlocher, Dov L. Randall
  • Patent number: 6966833
    Abstract: A gaming device that provides a player with an opportunity to maximize a gaming device award. The gaming device presents the player with a display having a plurality of symbols and enables the player to choose one or more of the symbols. The game reveals the award(s) associated with the selected symbols but does not reveal which awards are associated with which symbols. The game then provides the player with one or more opportunities to upgrade the total award by deselecting one or more of the selected symbols and re-selecting another symbol for each deselected symbol.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventors: Joseph E. Kaminkow, Jean M. Brossard, Anthony J. Baerlocher, Joseph R. Hedrick, Lance R. Peterson
  • Patent number: 6960133
    Abstract: A method of playing a slot machine game in which a player wagers upon one or more symbols and then collect awards for combinations of two or more symbols wagered upon appearing in adjacent to each other in the symbol matrix. The slot machine game may also provide a symbol repositioning feature in which one or more symbols are moved from their original positions to other positions in the symbol matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventors: Daniel M. Marks, Anthony M. Singer, Howard M. Marks
  • Patent number: 6955604
    Abstract: A method of and system of providing a realistic audiovisual representation at a remote location of a game occurring at a base location in which the base location and remote location are linked by a communications channel, including the steps of preparing a library of prerecorded video clips depicting events typically encountered in conducting a game, storing the library of the remote location, transmitting information as to the progress of a game from the base location to the remote location over the communication channel at the base location using the information to select appropriate video clips from the library that replicate the game, and presenting the selected video clips at the remote location to provide a realistic audiovisual representation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2005
    Assignee: Multimedia Games, Inc.
    Inventors: Gordon T. Graves, A. Clifford Barker
  • Patent number: 6949024
    Abstract: This image processing device for games is a device whereby a prescribed number of models (characters) are setup in virtual space, these models are controlled such that they move in prescribed directions in the virtual space, and images of this virtual space from a virtual viewpoint are displayed on means for display. In order to display the movement of the models that are arranged in virtual space more realistically, in one construction thereof, this device is provided with means for image processing that apply virtual centripetal force to the models. Furthermore, in order to display the movement of the models more realistically and to heighten the dramatic effect, in one construction thereof, this device is equipped with means for processing residual image presentation in order to represent the track of movement of a model as residual images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Sega Enterprises
    Inventors: Tetsuya Kaku, Yuichiro Mine, Takashi Ono, Norio Haga, Makoto Osaki, Takayuki Yamaguchi, Norihiro Sekine, Ryoya Yui, Saori Nishikawa, Tetsuya Sugimoto, Shigeru Yoshida, Manabu Nakatani, Masumi Uchida
  • Patent number: 6949023
    Abstract: The objective of the present invention is to provide a game machine, a musical tone generation device, and an information storage medium that make it possible to synchronize reproduced sounds and images, even if faults such as skips in those sounds or images occur during the reproduction of sounds and images that have been recorded on optical disk. When a game computation section (30) in this game machine instructs the reproduction of given sound data that has been recorded on an optical disk, based on the game state, sound data (96) that has been read from an optical disk (90) is reproduced by a sound reproduction section (60) and is output to a sound output section (80). During this time, a synchronization processing section (40) performs processing to obtain synchronization with the reproduced sounds, based on synchronization data that was read in together with the sound data, and instructs the images to be reproduced by an image generation section (50) and also the timing at which images are switched.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: Namco Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Okubo, Toshiyuki Koike, Yutaka Ito, Tetsukazu Nakanishi
  • Patent number: 6942569
    Abstract: In this Automatic Electronic Entry allows entry for the award drawing using electonic receipts. Users with receipts from electronic ATMs, debit card, EZ Pass and Internet merchants and other fee and receipt collectors would have the option to be automatically entered into the drawings through means other than registering and entering into the games manually via the web site. All receipts will be entered into all daily, weekly, monthly and year end games. Receipts will continued to have the information such as data and time. Individuals will have the option at the time of purchase or ATM transaction to participate in the drawing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Inventor: Anthony Petracca
  • Patent number: 6942566
    Abstract: The present invention is a gaming device and preferably a bonus round game of a gaming device that enables a player to initiate a randomly generated number, wherein said number determines the number of positions that a position marker will move along an enclosed path. Each time the marker lands upon a previously unmarked position, the game provides an award associated with that position to the player. When the marker lands upon a previously marked position, the game ends. The present invention also contemplates updating or changing the values of unmarked or unselected positions along the enclosed path by preferably adding to each unmarked or unselected position the value of the award of a previously selected position. That is, when the game randomly selects an unmarked position, the game provides the player with an award, wherein the game preferably replaces a previously achieved award with the award of the newly selected position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventors: Anthony J. Baerlocher, Randall D. Mead, Bayard S. Webb
  • Patent number: 6942573
    Abstract: An existing video game system is modified to include additional communication and storage capability via a modem and hard disk drive. In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, the primary system security features are incorporated into a video game system expansion device having a hard disk drive. The security system does not rely on the relatively insecure video game system. The present exemplary embodiment focuses security control in a disk drive/mass media controlling engine which is physically disposed within the expansion device housing as close as possible to the hard disk drive and the downloaded video games and other data it is designed to protect. Security features are incorporated into, for example, a disk drive controlling processing engine to provide security features which extend far beyond simplistic password systems which have heretofore been utilized in conjunction with disk drive controllers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: Nintendo Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Scott Elliott
  • Patent number: 6942572
    Abstract: Fifteen reels are arranged in five lines and three columns. Plural kinds of symbols are drawn on each reel at a constant pitch, so that one symbol is observed through a display window. There are three type winnings, such as a line winning, which is completed when predetermined symbols are lined on the winning line, a block winning, which is completed when predetermined symbols are displayed from a group of display windows, and an ANY position winning, which is completed when a fixed number of predetermined symbols are displayed. When one of winnings is completed, the symbols constituting the winning is illuminated by a specific color allocated the winning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: Dragon Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Haruo Inoue
  • Patent number: 6939230
    Abstract: Methods for enhanced interactive playing of a casino game on account of an attribute by a player have steps including. The steps of establishing one or more threshold criteria for tracking the attribute and allowing the player to wager and play the casino game are performed. The actual casino game data related to the attribute is tracked. The player is provided with enhanced interaction if the tracked data fulfills at least one threshold criteria during enhanced interactive playing of the casino game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Mikohn Gaming Corporation
    Inventor: Olaf Vancura
  • Patent number: 6939232
    Abstract: In the disclosed invention, correlation information expressing the correlation between a plurality of operation terminal devices and information operable therethrough is generated, and such correlation information is output to the operation terminal devices. Such present invention allows the operators of the operation terminal devices to readily recognize the correlation between the operation terminal devices and information operable therethrough among information handled on an information processing devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
    Inventors: Makoto Tanaka, Toru Akazawa, Rajesh Kumar Dixit
  • Patent number: 6939227
    Abstract: An electronic gaming device, such as a slot machine, is provided which initiates a game without input from a player. After initiating the game, the device may present one or more active game elements, such as rotating slot reels, to the player. The device determines an outcome of the game corresponding to a final position of the active game elements. The device further provides an interval to the player to make payment before the final outcome of the game is displayed. Payouts to the player are based on the final outcome and whether the player has made payment. Payouts may be increased based on a measurement of the player's participation rate in a series of games and the frequency of the games played, as measured by the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Walker Digital, LLC
    Inventors: James A. Jorasch, Jay S. Walker, Magdalena M. Fincham, Jason C. Krantz
  • Patent number: 6935958
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for tracking and determining a location of a gaming machine or other item within a casino or hotel is disclosed. In one embodiment the method and apparatus utilizes a transmitter or emitter to provide a tracking signal that may be tracked by one or more receivers or detectors. It is contemplated that the transmitter or emitter connect to a gaming machine. As the gaming machine is relocated within the casino its location is monitored. The one or more receivers may communicate with a host computer or other data processing system to generate location data regarding the gaming machine in relation to other aspects of the casino. Based on the location information generated by the location monitoring and tracking system, other aspects of machine operation may be controlled and additional features dependant on the machine location information may be enabled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: IGT
    Inventor: Dwayne Nelson