Issued April 30, 2019 to Electronic Arts Inc.

Priority Date August 1, 2014 

Summary:

U.S. Patent No. 10,275,947 (the ‘947 Patent) relates to simulation video games. Simulation video games are games designed to simulate aspects of real life or a fictional reality as close as possible. A notable example in this genre is the game The SIMS. In this game a player can create a character and configure its appearance by changing its body type, physical attributes, clothing, or accessories. Previously, to make these modifications to each character the user would move a slider along a predefined range of options. The ‘947 Patent details a methods for directly manipulating the selected portions of the character. This direct manipulation improves on the variety of sliders system by simplifying the interface and design process for the user. The need for lengthy menus and sub-menus is abrogated by the direct manipulation using a mouse cursor. The cursor may directly modify hotspot areas of a character such as the character’s nose area. This is an advancement over older methods of character customization.

Abstract:

Systems and methods for modifying images of simulated video game characters. An example method includes: identifying, by a processor, a zoom level associated with a video game character image; identifying a location, within the video game character image, of a cursor associated with an input device; identifying, based on the location and the zoom level, a modifiable portion of the video game character image; and responsive to receiving an input from the input device, modifying the portion of the video game character image in at least two directions based on a direction of movement of the cursor.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A method comprising: identifying, by a processor, a current zoom level associated with a video game character image; identifying a location, within the video game character image, of a cursor associated with an input device; based on the location of the cursor and the current zoom level, selecting, among at least a first portion of the video game character image and a second portion of the video game character image, a modifiable portion of the video game character image, wherein the first portion is associated with the location of the cursor and a first zoom level and the second portion is associated with the location of the cursor and a second zoom level, and wherein the first zoom level is different from the second zoom level; and responsive to receiving an input from the input device, modifying the modifiable portion of the video game character image in at least two directions based on a direction of movement of the cursor.