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Publication numberUS20090170581 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/295,351
PCT numberPCT/JP2007/056340
Publication date2 Jul 2009
Filing date27 Mar 2007
Priority date30 Mar 2006
Also published asWO2007116727A1
Publication number12295351, 295351, PCT/2007/56340, PCT/JP/2007/056340, PCT/JP/2007/56340, PCT/JP/7/056340, PCT/JP/7/56340, PCT/JP2007/056340, PCT/JP2007/56340, PCT/JP2007056340, PCT/JP200756340, PCT/JP7/056340, PCT/JP7/56340, PCT/JP7056340, PCT/JP756340, US 2009/0170581 A1, US 2009/170581 A1, US 20090170581 A1, US 20090170581A1, US 2009170581 A1, US 2009170581A1, US-A1-20090170581, US-A1-2009170581, US2009/0170581A1, US2009/170581A1, US20090170581 A1, US20090170581A1, US2009170581 A1, US2009170581A1
InventorsYukiko Onuki, Noboru Kasahara
Original AssigneeKonami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game apparatus
US 20090170581 A1
Abstract
A game apparatus is provided, in which a player may not lose interest in a game when new character data are provided from a different player. Appearance parameter setting means (27) sets appearance parameters for the new character data which have been received from a different player via communication, based on a subjective impression held by a player using the game apparatus about the different player. The player answers a question generated by question generation means (23). Appearance parameter determination means (25) determines the appearance parameter, by considering the player's answer to the question as the subjective impression and checking the answer with predetermined appearance parameter criteria. A frequency of appearance and a scene of appearance for a character appearing in an event are determined based on the appearance parameters.
Images(9)
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Claims(9)
1. A game apparatus comprising:
receiving means for receiving new character data via communication means or other external input means;
character data storing means for storing a plurality of character data including appearance parameters used in determining a frequency of appearance and a scene of appearance for at least one character appearing in an event;
event generation means for generating the event, in which the at least one character appears, based on a program running in the game apparatus and the plurality of character data stored in the character data storing means;
display means for displaying the event on a screen; and
appearance parameter setting means for setting the appearance parameters for the new character data, based on a subjective impression held by a player using the game apparatus about a different player who has provided the new character data.
2. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the appearance parameter setting means comprises:
question generation means for generating a question provided for the player using the game apparatus to subjectively determine the impression about the different player after receiving the new character data in the receiving means; and
appearance parameter determination means for determining the appearance parameter, which considers an answer to the question as the subjective impression and determines the appearance parameter by checking the answer with predetermined appearance parameter criteria.
3. The game apparatus according to claim 2, wherein
the question generation means is configured to generate a question about favorability that asks how favorable the player using the game apparatus feels toward the different player; and
the appearance parameter determination means is configured to determine the appearance parameter so as to increase the frequency of appearance for a character having a higher favorability.
4. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the event generation means is configured to use the appearance parameter in generating a happy event or an unhappy event for the player using the game apparatus so that a character having a high favorability may appear in the happy event rather than in the unhappy event.
5. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the event is a matched game and the event generation means is configured to use the appearance parameter in generating the event so as to increase the frequency of appearance for a character having a low favorability that appears as an enemy character.
6. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the event is a game for which a level of difficulty is established, and the event generation means is configured to use the appearance parameter in generating the event so that a character having a higher favorability may appear in a game with a lower level of difficulty.
7. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the event generation means is configured to display narrative text on the screen as the event, and use the appearance parameter in displaying the narrative text which is favorable or unfavorable for the player using the game apparatus so as to increase the frequency of appearance for a character having a high favorability that appears in favorable narrative text.
8. The game apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
the character data storing means is configured to store the plurality of new character data so that the order of the new character data stored therein may be identified; and
the event generation means is configured to determine the character to appear in the event, taking both of the stored order and the appearance parameter into consideration.
9. A game apparatus comprising:
a function of receiving new character data via communication means or other external input means;
a function of determining a frequency of appearance and a scene of appearance for at least one character appearing in an event in accordance with appearance parameters predetermined in character data for the at least one character;
a function of displaying the event on a screen; and
a function of setting the appearance parameters for the new character data, based on a subjective impression held by a player using the game apparatus about a different player who has provided the new character data.
Description
    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a game apparatus which receives new character data provided from a different player.
  • BACKGROUND ART
  • [0002]
    Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2005-192599 (Patent Document 1) discloses a communication game apparatus which can obtain and store character data stored in a game apparatus of a different player through communication so that, for subsequent communications, data may be processed in consideration of the newly obtained data. Specifically, in the communication game apparatus, communication histories and various data on characters held by the different player are reflected in the contents of a game and simulation.
  • [0003]
    Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 11-76609 (Patent Document 2) discloses a video game apparatus, in which players are required in the course of the game play to make a selection from among some ready-made choices. Here, each choice has its own favorability point so that the favorability point for a pre-stored character which will appear in the game may be increased and decreased in accordance with the choice selected by the player. In this video game apparatus, a character selection section selects a character according to the favorability point at the time that a given command is inputted.
  • [Patent Document 1] Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2005-192599 (JP2005-192599A) [Patent Document 2] Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 11-76609 (JP11-76609A) SUMMARY OF INVENTION Technical Problem
  • [0004]
    In the conventional communication game apparatus shown in Patent Document 1, the relationship between the new character obtained from a game apparatus of the different player through communication and the player's own character operated by the player is determined based on the number of communication exchanged between the player and the different player once the new character data obtained from the different player has been stored in a storage section of the player's game apparatus. Thus, it is difficult to reflect the player's intention in the frequency of appearance of a character, so that even a character about which an impression held by the player is bad may appear frequently in the game or simulation if they communicated many times. In particular, when the contents of the game and simulation are related to marriage, love or the like, it may occur that a character of a different player about which an impression held by the player is bad may appear more frequently as a marriage partner or sweetheart, or a character of a different player about which an impression held by the player is good may appear as a bad character. That may make the player get displeased and lose interest in the game, etc.
  • [0005]
    In the video game apparatus shown in Patent Document 2, an increase and decrease in favorability is adjustable only for the characters that have been pre-stored in an object box. Thus, the player can hardly feel in the game play as if the new character provided from the game apparatus of the different player through communication were an avatar or alter ego of the different player or the communication partner.
  • [0006]
    It is an object of the present invention to provide a game apparatus in which a player does not lose interest in the game when a new character data is provided from a different player.
  • [0007]
    It is another object of the present invention to provide a game apparatus in which an appearance parameter for new character data is determined based on a subjective impression held by a player about the different player who has provided the new character data so that the player may feel in the game play as if the new character were an avatar or alter ego of the different player.
  • [0008]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide a game apparatus in which favorability of a different player, with whom a player has communicated, is considered as a subjective impression about the different player when determining an appearance parameter for new character data so that a frequency of appearance for a character provided from a different player about which an impression is good may be increased.
  • [0009]
    It is still another object of the present invention to provide a game apparatus in which, when a happy event occurs to a player, a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by a player is good appears in the event, and when an unhappy event occurs to the player, a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is bad appears in the event.
  • [0010]
    It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a game apparatus in which, when an event is a matched game, a character provided from a different player about which an impression is bad appears as an enemy character so as to increase the player's interest in the game apparatus.
  • [0011]
    It is even another object of the present invention to provide a game apparatus in which a new character, which has been obtained through communication most recently, is given priority for appearing in events so as to increase the player's interest in the game apparatus.
  • Solution of Problem
  • [0012]
    A game apparatus of the present invention includes a function of receiving new character data via communication means or other external input means. Here, the character data includes specific information such as character names and appearance parameters used in determining a frequency of appearance or scene of appearance. For a character which is to appear in a screen, the character data further includes image data. For a character for which only the name thereof is to appear in the screen, the character data does not need to include image data. The game apparatus of the present invention further includes a function of determining the frequency of appearance and the scene of appearance for at least one character appearing in an event in accordance with the appearance parameters predetermined in character data for the at least one character. The game apparatus of the present invention further includes a function of displaying the event on the screen. The game apparatus of the present invention comprising the above-mentioned functions further includes a function of setting the appearance parameters for the new character data, based on a subjective impression held by a player using the game apparatus about a different player who has provided the new character data.
  • [0013]
    In the game apparatus of the present invention, the appearance parameter for the character data provided from a different player is determined based on the subjective impression held by the player using the game apparatus about the different player. Thus, if the character data newly provided from the different player is only the name of a character, the player may consider the name of the character as an avatar or alter ego of the different player with whom the player has communicated. Namely, since the name of the character is considered as the avatar or alter ego of a different player, it is less likely that the name of the character provided from a different player, whom the player does not like, appears as the name of a friend, sweetheart, or the like. If the newly-provided character data includes image data, the player may consider the character which appears based on the character data as an avatar or alter ego of the different player by determining the appearance parameters based on the subjective impression about the different player as mentioned above. As a result, if the player likes the different player, it is more likely that an image of the character may appear as an avatar of the different player in a favorite scene as a good character which does not displease the player. Accordingly, the impression and evaluation about the different player who has provided the new character are directly reflected in the impression and evaluation about the appearing character. As a result, the player feels more familiar with the character as the avatar or alter ego of the different player, thereby increasing the player's interest in the game apparatus.
  • [0014]
    More specifically, the game apparatus of the present invention includes receiving means for receiving new character data via communication means or other external input means, character data storing means, event generation means, displaying means that displays an event in a screen, and appearance parameter setting means. The character data storing means stores a plurality of character data including appearance parameters used in determining a frequency of appearance and a scene of appearance for at least one character appearing in an event. The event generation means generates the event in which the at least one character appears, based on a program running in the game apparatus and the plurality of character data stored in the character data storing means. The appearance parameter setting means sets the appearance parameters for the new character data, based on a subjective impression held by a player using the game apparatus about a different player who has provided the new character data. As a result, the impression and evaluation about the different player who has provided the new character through communication are directly reflected in the impression and evaluation about the appearing character, and the player may feel more familiar with the character as the avatar or alter ego of the different player and becomes more interested in the game apparatus.
  • [0015]
    The appearance parameter setting means may arbitrarily be configured to determine the appearance parameters on the basis of the subjective impression held by the player. For example, the appearance parameter setting means may include question generation means and parameter determination means. The question generation means generates a question provided for the player using the game apparatus to subjectively determine the impression about the different player after receiving the new character data in the receiving means. The parameter determination means considers an answer to the question as the subjective impression and determines the appearance parameter by checking the answer with predetermined appearance parameter criteria. With such configuration of the appearance parameter setting means, the appearance parameters to be set for new character data may be determined based on the subjective impression held by the player merely by answering the question generated by the question generation means.
  • [0016]
    The question generation means may be configured to generate a question about favorability that asks how favorable the player using the game apparatus feels toward the different player. The parameter determination means may be configured to determine the appearance parameter so as to increase the frequency of appearance for a character having a higher favorability. With such configuration, since a character provided from the different player toward whom the player feels favorable may appear in events more frequently, the player feels more familiar with the character as an avatar or alter ego of the different player, thereby increasing the player's interest in the game.
  • [0017]
    If the event generated by the event generation means is a matched game, the event generation means may be configured to use the appearance parameter in generating the event so as to increase the frequency of appearance, which is determined by the player, for a character having a low favorability that appears as an enemy character. With such configuration, it is very likely that a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is bad (that is, a character having a low favorability) appears as an enemy character in the matched game. Thus, the player is motivated to positively make attacks on the enemy character, and becomes more interested in the game.
  • [0018]
    If the event is a game for which a level of difficulty is established, the event generation means may be configured to generate the event so that a character having a higher favorability, which is determined by the player, may appear in the game with a lower level of difficulty, and that a character having a lower favorability, which is determined by the player, may appear in the game with a higher level of difficulty. With such configuration, the player finds it easy to clear a game in which a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is good (that is, a character having a higher favorability) appears. The player finds it difficult to clear a game in which a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is bad (that is, a character having a lower favorability) appears. Thus, the impression and evaluation about the different players who have provided the characters are directly reflected in the impression and evaluation about the appearing characters so as to increase the player's interest in the game.
  • [0019]
    Events generated by the event generation means may be displayed in the form of narrative text. In this configuration, the event generation means may use the appearance parameter in displaying the narrative text which is favorable or unfavorable for the player using the game apparatus so as to increase the frequency of appearance for a character having a high favorability that appears in the favorable narrative text. With such configuration, it is more likely that a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is good (that is, a character having a high favorability) appears in the narrative text which is favorable for the player. Thus, the impression and evaluation about the different player who has provided the character are directly reflected in the narrative text as the impression and evaluation about the appearing character, thereby increasing the player's interest in the game.
  • [0020]
    The character data storing means may be configured to store the plurality of new character data so that the order of the new character data stored therein may be identified while the event generation means may be configured to determine the character to appear in the event in consideration of both of the stored order and the appearance parameter. With such configuration, even if the appearance parameters for the plurality of character data have an identical value, priority of appearance in an event may be given to a character of which character data have been stored more recently. Thus, a character obtained more recently is likely to appear more frequently, thereby increasing the player's interest in the game.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • [0021]
    FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the configuration of a principal portion of a game apparatus according to the present embodiment.
  • [0022]
    FIGS. 2A and 2B are a front elevation view and a perspective view of a body of the game apparatus according to the present embodiment.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 3 shows a timetable scheduled for a human character and pictorial images to be displayed on a display screen .
  • [0024]
    FIG. 4 shows example events that are classified in a tabular form on the basis of the level of happiness of the events.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 5 shows a frequency of appearance, which is determined for each event, in a tabular form in accordance with the level of favorability.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 6 conceptually shows that the character data storing means stores both of pre-stored character data and newly-stored character data with the appearance parameters being classified into “High,” “Medium,” and “Low”.
  • [0027]
    FIGS. 7A to 7D are example illustrations displayed on the display screen in connection with the events using the character data shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing a program algorithm which is employed in a computer to implement the embodiment of FIG. 1.
  • DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT
  • [0029]
    An embodiment of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to the drawings, in which a game apparatus of the present invention is applied to a portable game apparatus. FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a principal portion of a game apparatus according to the present embodiment. FIGS. 2A and 2B are a front elevation view and a perspective view of a body 3 of the game apparatus 1 according to the present embodiment. A display screen 5 of a display unit 11 appearing in FIG. 1 and three input switches 7 constituting input means 13 appearing in FIG. 1 are disposed on a front face of the body 3 as shown in FIG. 2. A light receiving and light emitting portion 9 which constitutes external I/O means 15 appearing in FIG. 1 is disposed on an upper end face of the body 3. The external I/O means 15 does not always utilize lights, and may employ a wire communication or wireless communication using ordinary cables. In the present embodiment, a player receives new character data from a different player via the external I/O means 15 of the different player's game apparatus by placing the light receiving and light emitting portion 9 of the player's game apparatus faced to that of the different player's game apparatus to transmit and receive the data. This is true when the player transmits new character data from the player's own game apparatus to the different player's game apparatus. Transmission and reception means 17 receives the new character data from the different player's game apparatus and causes character data storing means 35 to store the data therein. At that time, since no appearance parameter for the newly-received character data is determined yet, appearance parameter setting means 27 sets the appearance parameter in the character data for the newly-received character, as described later in detail. The external I/O means 15 constitutes external input means of the present invention, and the transmission and reception means 17 constitutes receiving means of the present invention.
  • [0030]
    Images to be displayed on the display screen 5 of the display unit 11 is determined based on a driving signal outputted from display driving means 19 of FIG. 1. The display driving means 19 receives various kinds of instructions from control means 21, processes the received commands, and outputs the driving signal to the display unit 11.
  • [0031]
    The control means 21 generates various kinds of commands to display on the display screen 5 a question, which is generated by question generation means 23 for asking the player a subjective impression, as well as an event, which is generated by an after-mentioned event generation means 33 according to event data stored in an after-mentioned program storing means 37. Illustrations of hardware, such as a microcomputer that executes operations, are omitted from FIG. 1. FIG. 1 does not show all of the configuration parts of the control means 21.
  • [0032]
    According to the game apparatus of the present embodiment, a scenario program is a daily life of a human character which imitates a working adult in a real society. Thus, the player may leisurely observe the character's daily life or life style over a long period of time by giving a suggestion or helping hand to the character. The scenario program is configured so that various events may happen in the course of the scenario. In the present embodiment, programmed events typically include daily events such as having a meal, commuting, bathing, and sleeping as shown in FIG. 3, business events such as a job meeting and receiving a visitor at work, and still other events such as eating/drinking-out at night, dating, and attending various parties. FIG. 3 shows a preset timetable in which events for a weekday are roughly scheduled, along with typical pictorial images which will be displayed on the display screen 5 corresponding to the events. The progress of the timetable is synchronized with the actual time passage of one day having twenty four hours. However, the player may arbitrarily select any of the real time as the starting time of 0:00 in the timetable.
  • [0033]
    As shown in FIG. 6, the character data storing means 35 stores not only predetermined character data that have initially been stored but also new character data received from a different player's game apparatus. Each character data stored in the character data storing means 35 includes specific information for identifying a character that appears and the appearance parameter utilized in determining a frequency of appearance and a scene of appearance for the character. In the present embodiment, at the time that new character data have been received from the different player's game apparatus, the appearance parameter for the new character data has not been set yet. Accordingly, the appearance parameter setting means 27 sets the appearance parameter for the newly-received character data. In the present embodiment, the player transmits or receives new character data from or to the game apparatus of the different player. The player receives the new character data from the different player's game apparatus as if they were exchanging business cards for example. The specific information included in the new character data typically include at least the name of the character, which was determined by the different player in the different player's game apparatus. Besides the name, other specific information may include gender, age, and position or title in the office in the present embodiment. If the event generation means 33 generates an event in which a fighting character appears as with a matched game, the character data will further include image data.
  • [0034]
    The parameter setting means 27 has a function of setting the appearance parameters for the new character data, based on a subjective impression held by the player using the game apparatus about the different player who has provided the new character data. In the present embodiment, the appearance parameter setting means 27 includes the question generation means 23, parameter determination means 25, and appearance parameter criteria storing means 26.
  • [0035]
    The question generation means 23 generates a question provided for the player to subjectively determine the impression about the different player who has transmitted the new character data received in the transmission and reception means 17. In the present embodiment, the question generation means 23 generates a question to ask about “favorability” to capture a subjective impression held by the player. Here, “favorability” means how favorable the player feels toward the different player who has provided the new character and represents the player's subjective impression and evaluation about the different player. Example questions given by the question generation means 23 may be “what kind of smell?”, “what kind of eyes?”, “how dressed?”, “prude or flaccid?” or the like. In other words, those questions may derive the player's subjective impressions about the different player with whom the player has communicated, namely, whether the player likes or dislikes the different player. The question generation means 23 outputs to the display driving means 19 a command to display a question on the display screen 5 of the display 11 promptly after receiving the new character data in the transmission and reception means 17 and outputs the contents of the question also to the appearance parameter determination means 25. The question generation means 23 displays how to answer the question generated by the question generation means 23 on the display screen 5 of the displaying means 11 so that the player can answer the question using the input means 13. The number of questions may be determined arbitrarily. Only one question may be sufficient. However, the player may lose interest in the game apparatus if there is always only one question and accordingly only one answer. It is preferable that there may be a plurality of questions including dummy questions which are not used in determining the subjective impression held by the player.
  • [0036]
    If the question is about smell, alternative answers to the question may be “good smell,” “no smell,” and “bad smell.” If the question is about eyes, alternative answers to the question may be “sharp-eyed,” “ordinary,” “no power,” or the like. If the question is about clothes, alternative answers may be “cool,” “just ordinary,” “ill-fitting,” or the like. Preferably, the answer candidates to be displayed may reflect straightforward the player's subjective impression about the different player. The answer candidates may be represented in numeric characters, emoticons or face marks, and a heart symbol, for example.
  • [0037]
    For example, a plurality of answer candidates may be prepared and displayed on the display screen 5 as alternative answers or choices so that the player may select one answer from the choice candidates. For another example, the player may freely input an answer to the game apparatus by any appropriate means. In the present embodiment, three answer candidates are displayed on the display screen 5 for each question. As described above, since a plurality of answer candidates are displayed as alternative answers on the display screen 5 and the player is allowed to select one of them, the parameter determination means 25 may readily work.
  • [0038]
    The parameter determination means 25 determines an appearance parameter by checking the answer which the player has entered using the input means 13 in response to the question given by the question generation means 23 with an appearance parameter criteria stored in appearance parameter criteria storing means 26. Here, the appearance parameter is a variable which varies its value (parameter value) according to the answer to the question. For example, assuming that the appearance parameter criteria storing means 26 stores three levels of appearance parameters of “high”, “medium” and “low” as appearance parameter criteria, corresponding to the three choices to one question given by the question generation means 23. Among the above mentioned three choices, “good smell,” “sharp-eyed,” and “cool” are considered as associated with a high favorability and the appearance parameters are set to “high.” “No smell”, “ordinary,” and “just ordinary” are considered as associated with a medium favorability and the appearance parameters are set to “medium.” “Unfavorable smell,” “no power,” and “ill-fitting” are considered as associated with a low favorability and the appearance parameters are set to “low.” In this manner, the appearance parameter criteria may be provided for each question. A given point may be allocated to each answer and the total points may be calculated to determine the appearance parameter. Here, the values of appearance parameters should be pre-determined corresponding to the total points. Such appearance parameters determined in this manner are stored in the character data storing means 35 together with the character data inputted from the transmission and reception means 17.
  • [0039]
    In the present embodiment, as described above, the character data storing means 35 has some pre-stored character data other than new character data to be received via the transmission and reception means 17. In such configuration, it is possible to let a character appear in an event even if the event with the character appearing therein occurs before the player receives new character data from the different player.
  • [0040]
    The control means 21 further includes the program storing means 37 which stores a program that is installed in a microcomputer disposed in the game apparatus. The program storing means 37 stores not only the program data written in accordance with a scenario but also data on a plurality of events to be generated while implementing the scenario. As mentioned above, the plurality of events are generated by the event generation means 33 in the course of the scenario, processed in a predetermined manner by event processing means 39 based on an output of the event generation means 33, and displayed on the display screen 5 of the display 11. The generated events are processed by the event processing means 39. Namely, in response to an input signal inputted via the input means 13 by the player who is looking at the contents of the event displayed on the display screen 5, the event processing means 39 processes the event according to a command given by the player to deal with the event, and outputs the processing result to the display driving means 19. The display driving means 19 displays the result on the display screen 5 of the display unit 11 in response to the command from the event processing means 3.
  • [0041]
    In the present embodiment, the appearance parameters are determined based on the subjective impression held by the player about the different player who has provided a new character data. Accordingly, the appearing character is recognized as an avatar or alter ego of the different player who has provided the new character data. Thus, in various events in which characters appear, an impression or evaluation about the different player who has provided the character data is reflected in the impression or evaluation about the appearing character by determining the frequency of appearance and the scene of appearance for each character appearing in an event on the basis of the value of the appearance parameter of each character. That increases the player's interest in the game.
  • [0042]
    For example, there are three kinds of events of “happy events,” “unhappy events,” and “neither happy nor unhappy events” in which a character appears. In this situation, a “happy event” may be made up so that a character having a high favorability, for which a high appearance parameter has been set, may appear in a scene which the player likes. As well, an “unhappy event” may be constructed so that a character having a low favorability, for which a low appearance parameter has been set, may appear in a scene that the player does not like. As a result, a character (an avatar or alter ego of a different player who has provided new character data) for which a “high” appearance parameter has been set (that means the player subjectively has a good impression), may appear in a “happy event.” In this manner, since a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is subjectively good appears in a happy event, the impression and evaluation held by the player about the different player who has provided the appearing character are directly reflected in the impression and evaluation about the appearing character. As a result, the player feels more familiar with the appearing character as if it were an avatar or alter ego of the player. Similarly, a character (an avatar or alter ego of a different player who has provided new character data) for which a “low” appearance parameter has been set (that means the player subjectively has a bad impression) may appear in an “unhappy event.” Also in this situation, since a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is subjectively bad appears in an unhappy event, the impression and evaluation held by the player about the different player who has provided the appearing character are directly reflected in the impression and evaluation about the appearing character. As a result, in the present embodiment, it is possible for the player to keep interested in the game apparatus.
  • [0043]
    The game apparatus may be configured so that the frequency of appearance in events may be increased for a character for which a “high” appearance parameter has been set or which has a high favorability. Similarly, the game apparatus may be configured so that the frequency of appearance in events may be decreased for a character for which a “low” appearance parameter has been set or which has a low favorability. With such configuration, a character provided from a different player about which an impression is good may appear in events more frequently, and a character provided from a different player about which an impression is bad may appear in events less frequently. Accordingly, the impression and evaluation about the different player are well reflected in the impression and evaluation about an appearing character. As a result, the player considers the character provided from the different player as an avatar or alter ego of the different player, thereby increasing the player's interest in the game apparatus.
  • [0044]
    No appearance parameters are needed in events in which no characters appear. Such kind of events may be configured so that a good thing for the player may happen in a “happy event,” and a bad thing for the player may happen in an “unhappy event.”
  • [0045]
    FIG. 4 shows example events in the present embodiment. In FIG. 4, events are classified into “happy events,” “neither happy nor unhappy events,” and “unhappy events” which are respectively represented as “High Favorability Event,” “Medium Favorability Event,” and “Low Favorability Event” in a tabular form. In the “Event with Character” column, the High Favorability Events are “Asked for a date” and “Receive a present” as shown in the table. In those events, it is determined that one who asks the player for a date is some of the characters for which a high appearance parameter has been set, and one who gives a present is also some of the characters for which a parameter has been set.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 5 shows example values for frequency of appearance, which are determined for respective events. Here, “Character Favorability” in FIG. 5 corresponds to an impression about a different player, as determined based on a subjective impression held by the player about the different player who has provided new character data. Accordingly, “High” means that the impression about a character is good, “Low” means that the impression about a character is bad, and “Medium” means that the impression about a character is neither bad nor good. In the example of FIG. 5, a character having a high appearance parameter may appear more frequently in the above-mentioned high favorability events. For example, in the “High Favorability Event 1”, a character having high favorability has an appearance parameter of 9 (nine), a character having medium favorability has an appearance parameter of 0 (zero), and a character having low favorability has an appearance parameter of 1 (one). Accordingly, for example, when an event of “Asked for a date” occurs, it is very likely that a character having a high appearance parameter (an avatar or alter ego of a different player about which a subjective impression held by the player is good) will appear to ask for a date. In some occasions, however, one of the characters for which a low appearance parameter has been set (an avatar of alter ego of a different player about which a subjective impression held by the player is bad) may appear to ask for a date. FIG. 5 shows an example of the relationship between the frequency of appearance and the appearance parameters. The present invention is not limited to this.
  • [0047]
    According to the present embodiment as described above, narrative text may be displayed on the display screen 5 as an event. When displaying narrative text which is favorable or unfavorable for the player using the game apparatus, the appearance parameter may be used to cause a character having a high favorability may appear more frequently in favorable narrative text. Namely, in the present embodiment, the player may choose one from “diary,” “letter,” and “reminiscences” by appropriately operating the input switches 7. The narrative text is thus displayed on the display screen 5 by choosing one from the three kinds of situations: “diary,” “letter,” and “reminiscences.” For example, in the “diary” situation, events that have happened in the course of the twenty-four-hour timetable set by the player are displayed in the narrative text form. In the “reminiscences” situation, events that have happened in a game program for a period from the starting point to a preset point of time are displayed in the narrative text form. In narrative text favorable for the player, the frequency of appearance may be increased for a character for which the appearance parameter is set to “high” (as the name of the character will appear in the text), that is, an avatar or alter ego of a different player about which an impression subjectively held by the player is good. In narrative text unfavorable for the player, the frequency of appearance may be decreased for a character for which the appearance parameter is set to “low”, that is, an avatar or alter ego of a different player about which an impression subjectively held by the player is bad.
  • [0048]
    As mentioned above, the character data storing means 35 stores both of the pre-stored and the newly-stored character data. Accordingly, the event generation means 33 may select a character to appear in an event by appropriately using such character data. An appearance parameter is set to each of the pre-stored character data. Accordingly, if there are no newly-stored character data, a character to appear in an event may be selected from the pre-stored character data, using the appearance parameters thereof. FIG. 6 conceptually shows that the character data storing means 35 stores both of the pre-stored character data and the newly-stored character data with the appearance parameters being classified into “high” “medium” and “low” levels. In this example, the specific information of characters stored in the character data is their names. Accordingly, an event will be implemented by displaying text on the display screen 5. How to utilize the character data stored in the character data storing means 35 may be determined arbitrarily depending on each event. For example, an event may be configured so that an appearance ratio between a character in the pre-stored character data and a character in the newly stored character data may be predetermined. Alternatively, an event may be configured so that only a character in the pre-stored character data may appear in the event, or only a character in the newly-stored character data may appear in the event.
  • [0049]
    If there are two or more characters for which the appearance parameters of an identical value have been set, which character should appear in an event may be determined arbitrarily depending on each event. For example, the character data storing means may store a plurality of new character data so that the order of the new character data stored therein may be identified. In FIG. 6, names located at the bottom of the respective appearance parameter columns (High, Medium and Low) are those of the newest characters of which character data have been stored most recently in the respective appearance parameter levels. If new character data are stored in the character data storing means 35 so that the order of storing data may be identified as described above, even when the appearance parameters for a plurality of character data are set to an identical value, for example, an event may be configured so that priority of appearance in an event may be given to a character of which character data have been stored later than a character of which character data have been stored before. With such configuration, since a character obtained more recently may appear more frequently, the player feels as if a new, impressive acquaintance appears in the player's daily life or the player becomes familiar with the new acquaintance. Thus, the player gets more interested in the game.
  • [0050]
    FIGS. 7A to 7D are example illustrations displayed on the display screen 5 in an event using the character data shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 7A is an example in which a character having a high appearance parameter is chosen from the pre-stored characters and appears in the above-mentioned high favorability event. In this example, a girl character named “A-ko” which has a high appearance parameter appears as a date, and a main character displayed on the screen is very excited. FIG. 7B is an example in which a character having a high appearance parameter is chosen from the newly stored characters and appears in the same high favorability event. In this example, a girl character named “Yukorin” which has a “high” appearance parameter appears as a date, and the main character displayed on the screen is very excited. FIG. 7C is an example in which a character having a low appearance parameter is chosen from the pre-stored characters and appears in the above-mentioned low favorability event. In this example, an “assistant manager” character which has a “low” appearance parameter appears in a scene of lunch, and the main character pays the bill for him. FIG. 7D is an example in which a character which has a low appearance parameter and has been stored most recently is chosen from the newly stored characters and appears in the same low favorability event. In this example, a character named “Chutaro”, which has a “low” appearance parameter and is located at the bottom of the “Low” column of the table, appears in a scene of lunch, and the main character pays the bill for him. As mentioned above, how to cause characters to appear in events and how to display the characters are arbitrary.
  • [0051]
    If an event is a matched game, the event be regarded as an “unhappy event” for the player. In this situation, the frequency of appearance may be increased for a character, which has been provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is bad (that is, a character having a low favorability) and appears as an enemy character. Since the character having a low favorability appears frequently, the player will positively make attacks on the enemy character, thereby increasing the player's interest in the game apparatus.
  • [0052]
    Further, if the event is a game for which a level of difficulty is established, a character having a higher favorability set by the player may appear in a game with a lower level of difficulty, and a character having a lower favorability set by the player may appear in a game with a higher level of difficulty. With such configuration, the player finds it easy to clear a game in which a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is good (that is, a character having a higher favorability) appears. The player finds it difficult to clear a game in which a character provided from a different player about which an impression held by the player is bad (that is, a character having a lower favorability) appears. In this manner, the subjective impression and evaluation held by the player about the different player who has provided the character are directly reflected in the impression and evaluation about the appearing character, thereby increasing the player's interest in the game.
  • [0053]
    FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing a program algorithm executed by a computer to implement the embodiment of FIG. 1. In step ST1, a scenario program starts to proceed by starting the game. If a specified requirement is satisfied in the course of the scenario, it is determined in step ST2 whether or not an event has been generated. If it is determined that an event has been generated, it is then determined in step ST3 whether or not a character appears in the event. If it is determined that a character appears in the event, it is then determined which character should appear based on the appearance parameter in the character data, and the determined character is caused to appear in the event. Then, the event is processed in step ST5. If it is determined in step ST3 that no character appears in the event, the process skips to step ST5 to process the event. If it is determined in step ST2 that no event has been generated, no event processing is needed.
  • [0054]
    In step ST6, it is determined whether or not new character data have been received. If it is determined that no new character data have been received, it is then determined in step ST10 whether or not a game termination process has been performed. If it is determined that the game termination process has been performed, the game is over or terminated. If it is determined that no game termination process is performed, the process goes back to step ST1 to proceed with the scenario. If it is determined in step ST6 that a new character data have been received, the question generation means 23 generates a question about a different player who has provided the new character data in step ST7. The player inputs an answer to the question into the input means 13, thereby completing the process of step ST8. In step ST9, the parameter determination means 25 sets the appearance parameter for the new character data by checking the answer with the appearance parameter criteria.
  • [0055]
    In the present embodiment, when new character data are provided from a different player, the appearance parameter for the newly-obtained character data may be determined based on a subjective impression held by the player about the different player. Thus, the player may feel in the course of the game play as if the newly-obtained character were an avatar or alter ego of the different player. As a result, according to the present invention, player does not lose interest in the game apparatus.
  • INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
  • [0056]
    In the present invention, when new character data are provided from a different player, the appearance parameter for the newly-obtained character data may be determined based on a subjective impression held by the player about the different player. This configuration allows the player to feel in the course of the game play as if the new character were an avatar or alter ego of the different player who has provided the new character data. As a result, the player does not lose interest in the game apparatus.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8825492 *28 Oct 20132 Sep 2014Yousef A. E. S. M. BuhadiLanguage-based video game
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/9, 463/43, 463/40
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2300/206, A63F13/537, A63F2300/65, A63F13/10, A63F2300/5553, A63F13/58, A63F13/12, A63F2300/552, A63F13/47, A63F2300/204, A63F2300/405
European ClassificationA63F13/12, A63F13/10
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
30 Sep 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: KONAMI DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ONUKI, YUKIKO;KASAHARA, NOBORU;REEL/FRAME:021607/0298
Effective date: 20080916