Issued March 31, 2015 to Kabushiki Kaisha Square Enix

Priority Date December 30, 2011 

Summary:

U.S. Patent No. 8,992,321 (the ‘321 Patent) is for all the players who like to show off their extra special moves. In a network game with multiple players, if a player makes a special move, this can potentially greatly influence the progress of the game. However, when a player is participating in a network game, the screen displayed on each player’s screen generally shows each individual player’s character. Therefore, a player may not be able to see the special move of another player which significantly influences the game. This brings about a problem that the excitement of the game is not enhanced.

This patent helps to resolve these problems by allowing each player in a network game to focus on a player’s character showing a special move. When one of the player characters makes a special move, not only the display screen of that player’s device focuses on the move, but the display screens of the devices of the other players in the party focus on the move as well. This allows for a flashy player to show off their impressive abilities.

Abstract:

In a network game, player characters manipulated by individual players of video game apparatuses belong to the same party to battle with an opponent character. When a player character making a special move is not present in the party, the display screen of each video game apparatus becomes a screen focusing on the player character of the player who uses this video game apparatus. When one of the player characters makes a special move, not only the display screen of the video game apparatus corresponding to this player, but also the display screens of the video game apparatuses corresponding to the other player characters in the party become screens focusing on the player character which makes the special move.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A network game system including a server apparatus and a plurality of terminal apparatuses connected to the server apparatus over a network, players who respectively use the plurality of terminal apparatuses manipulating player characters to participate in a game provided by the server apparatus, wherein the server apparatus comprises: a movement information receiver that receives movement information transmitted from each of the plurality of terminal apparatuses; a game processor that progresses with the game on the basis of the movement information received by the movement information receiver; a special character determiner that determines whether a presence of a special player character showing a predetermined special movement state is identified on the basis of the movement information received by the movement information receiver; and a game information transmitter that transmits game information according to a progress state of the game progressed by the game processor to at least one of the plurality of terminal apparatuses, wherein each terminal apparatus of the plurality of terminal apparatuses comprises: a display; an input; a game information receiver that receives the game information; a graphics processor that causes the display to display an image based on the game information received by the game information receiver; and a movement information transmitter that transmits the movement information on a movement of a player character according to an input by a player from the input to the server apparatus, wherein the graphics processor includes: a normal-mode image display that causes the display to display a normal image basing on the player character of the player who uses the terminal apparatus and a progress state of the game when the special character determiner determines that there is no special player character showing the special movement state; and a special-mode image display that causes the display to display a special image basing on the special player character showing the special movement state and the progress state of the game when the special character determiner determines that there is the special player character showing the special movement state.’