GB2326830A - Electronic game - Google Patents

Electronic game Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2326830A
GB2326830A GB9713926A GB9713926A GB2326830A GB 2326830 A GB2326830 A GB 2326830A GB 9713926 A GB9713926 A GB 9713926A GB 9713926 A GB9713926 A GB 9713926A GB 2326830 A GB2326830 A GB 2326830A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
apparatus
symbols
adapted
handset
control electronics
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9713926A
Other versions
GB9713926D0 (en
Inventor
Mark Webber
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
ROSART Ltd
Original Assignee
ROSART Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by ROSART Ltd filed Critical ROSART Ltd
Priority to GB9713926A priority Critical patent/GB2326830A/en
Publication of GB9713926D0 publication Critical patent/GB9713926D0/en
Publication of GB2326830A publication Critical patent/GB2326830A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3206Player sensing means, e.g. presence detection, biometrics
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3262Player actions which determine the course of the game, e.g. selecting a prize to be won, outcome to be achieved, game to be played

Description

DESCRIPTION ELECTRONIC GAME PLAYING APPARATUS The present invention reiates to an electronic apparatus for playing a game of the type in which electronics are used to control a screen display, a player being provided with means for responding to the display and also to an electronic entertainment apparatus having means for attracting the attention of a passer by.

A coin operated electronic apparatus for entertaining young children is known which comprises a screen having several translucent areas on which are illustrated characters - eg zoo animals - and a corresponding set of buttons, so that once coins have been inserted the child presses a button to select a character. Following this, a story about the selected character is played to the child through a loudspeaker while the character is illuminated by means of a bulb positioned behind the screen.

The activity involves little challenge to the child, and one object of the present invention is to provide a development of the above type of apparatus which enabled playing of a game.

Many types of entertainment apparatus need to be capable of catching the attention of potential users, and this is particularly important where the apparatus is coin operated, the revenue generated thus being dependent on the number of people persuaded to use the apparatus.

It is known to provide such an apparatus with a sensor, specifically a pyrosensor, adapted to detect a change in the surroundings of the unit such as the approach of a person, a visual or audible signal being given when the state of the pyrosensor changes.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an entertainment apparatus having especially effective means for attracting the attention of a passer by.

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided an electronic apparatus for playing a game having a screen whereon any of a set of symbols can be displayedlilluminated, a set of manually actuable response means respectively corresponding to the symbols, and control electronics adapted to selectively display or illuminate one of the symbols and to detect whether the corresponding response means is concurrently actuated.

Thus, a game can be played using the apparatus in which symbols are selectively displayedlilluminated and the player is required to concurrently actuate the corresponding response means to make progress in the game.

The screen may be an electronic display screen, e.g. an LCD screen or cathode ray tube. In such an embodiment, the symbols could be displayed one at a time. More preferably, however, the symbols are marked on the screen, such as by printing, and respective light emitters are associated with the symbols, the light emitters being selectively switchable to illuminate the relevant symbol. Electric bulbs or light emitting diodes are suitable light emitters.

The screen is preferably a panel which is wholly or partially transparent or semi-transparent. Still more preferably, the panel is removably attachable to the remainder of the apparatus, so that it can be replaced to change the appearance of the unit - e.g. to allow a different set of symbols to be shown. the light emitters may be positioned behind the screen. Their light is then visible through transparent or semi-transparent areas of the screen.

It is especially preferred that in operation the control electronics causes the symbols to be displayedlilluminated sequentially.

The symbols may be positioned on the screen in a loop and be illuminated in rotation.

In a particularly preferred embodiment, the control electronics are adapted to record when a symbol has been eliminated by actuation of the corresponding response means during displaylillumination of the symbol, and to subsequently displaylilluminate only those symbols which have not been eliminated.

Such an embodiment is preferably adapted to indicate to the player that he/she has won when all, or a predetermined number, of the symbols have been eliminated.

The manually actuable response means preferably comprise electrical switches, and these may in particular be operable by respective push buttons.

The apparatus is preferably coin operated.

It is especially preferred that the apparatus comprises a handset provided with a loudspeaker. The handset may be formed to have the appearance of a telephone handset. In one such embodiment, the control electronics are adapted to play a message or story through the handset loudspeaker following indication to the player that he/she has won. Further, the control electronics may be adapted to allow the player to select the message/story by actuation of one of the response means.

It is also preferred that the apparatus comprises a sensor adapted to detect when a person approaches the apparatus, the control electronics being adapted to provide an audible and/or visible signal upon a change in the state of the sensor indicative of the possible approach of a person. In particular, the signal may take the form of a sound similar to the ringing of a telephone. "Ringing" as used herein should be understood to encompass any of the sounds made by telephones to indicate an incoming call, including for example the electronic tones emitted by modern telephones.

This allows a passer by to be attracted by the sound of a phone ringing in response to his/her approach. Upon subsequent lifting of the handset, the control electronics may be adapted to play through it an instruction message, e.g. inviting insertion of coins to commence the game.

The apparatus may be adapted for use by children.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided an electronic entertainment apparatus comprising a handset provided with a loudspeaker, sound emitting means, a sensor adapted to detect when a person approaches the apparatus, and control electronics adapted, upon a change in the state of the sensor indicative of the possible approach of a person, to control the sound emitting means to emit a sound similar to the ringing of a telephone.

Preferably, the apparatus further comprises means for detecting that the handset has been lifted, and the control electronics are adapted to play a message through the handset loudspeaker following lifting of the handset.

The apparatus according to the second aspect of the present invention provides a particularly effective way to attract the attention of passers by. Where the apparatus is a coin operated game, in accordance with an especially preferred embodiment, this helps to increase the revenue generated.

The sensor may be heat/infra red sensitive. A pyrosensor /PIR is utilised in a particularly preferred embodiment.

A specific embodiment of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying figures, in which: Fig. 1 is a perspective illustration of an entertainment apparatus according to the present invention; Fig. 2 is a plan view of a screen forming part of the apparatus shown in Fig. 1; and Figs. 3, 4 and 5 are flow diagrams relating to the operation of the entertainment apparatus shown in Fig. 1.

The apparatus in question is a light/sound interactive association game.

As Fig. 1 illustrates, the entertainment apparatus according to the present embodiment of the invention is an upright floor-standing unit having a shaped casing 1 formed of plastics which defines a panel 3 and has a screen 5. The apparatus takes the form of an "arcade" game.

The panel 3 is inclined to the horizontal, projecting forwardly and downwardly from the main body of the casing, and being positioned approximately half way up the casing, at a height which makes it accessible to the hands of a child.

Mounted on the panel 3 are a number of press buttons 7 operatively connected to respective electrical switches (not shown). In the illustrated embodiment, eight such press buttons are provided, each being sufficiently large to allow them to be easily actuated by a child, and brightly coloured.

Also mounted on the panel 3 is a handset 9. This is shaped to have the appearance of a conventional telephone handset, and is provided with a loudspeaker (not illustrated) which is connected to electronics within the casing 1 via an electrical cable 11.

The screen 5 (illustrated in particular in Fig. 2) is brightly decorated to appeal to children, and is formed as a thin, removable panel which can be replaced to allow the appearance of the unit to be altered.

Behind the screen are electrical light sources - filament bulbs according to the present embodiment, although other types of light source could be used - which can be selectively illuminated by the control electronics and whose light can be seen through translucent portions of the screen 5. Thus, around the perimeter of the screen is arranged a line of bulbs whose light can be seen through the coloured dots labelled 13 in Fig. 2.

In addition, the screen has a number of display zones 15, each of which is associated with at least one bulb and each of which can be selectively illuminated. The present embodiment comprises eight display zones, arranged in a loop. Each display zone corresponds in operation to one of the press buttons 7, as will be explained below.

Each of the display zones 15 is distinctively decorated or labelled, preferably with a character. In the illustrated embodiment, each bears a cartoon picture of a zoo animal.

The screen may also be marked with operating instructions.

Each of the press buttons 7 is labelled or decorated in a manner corresponding to the labelling or decoration of a respective display zone 15. The buttons may for example each bear the same character shown on the corresponding display zone, or may bear a written label - e.g. "elephant", to correspond to a picture of an elephant shown on a corresponding display zone.

The screen also comprises two message zones 17, 19, each with an associated selectively illuminable bulb. Message zone 17 bears a prompt indicating to the user that money should be inserted, while message zone 19 invites the user to press a "start" button to commence the game.

The entertainment apparatus additionally comprises a coin receiving and counting apparatus of conventional type, the coin insertion slot 21 and coin return slot 23 of which are seen in Fig. 1.

The apparatus is provided with a passive infra red sensitive sensor/ a pyrosensor (PIR) which is not shown in the Figs. In known manner, this is used to detect persons passing the unit, so that signals can be given to attract the person's attention, as will be explained.

As well as having a loudspeaker in the handset 9, the apparatus comprises a main loudspeaker for emitting sound effects which are loud enough to be audible e.g. to passers-by/spectators.

When not in active use, the apparatus operates in "attract mode", the lights being selectively illuminated/flashed and sound effects being emitted by the main loudspeaker. This activity is of course intended to make the apparatus attractive and conspicuous to would-be players passing by.

The sequence of operations in attract mode will now be explained with reference to Fig. 3. Following initiation (box 30) the control electronics of the apparatus enters a loop, the branch point of which is labelled A. The first step in the loop is to test, at 32, whether the pyrosensor has been triggered - i.e. whether a passer-by has been detected. If so, the next test is whether a predetermined period has elapsed since the last playing of a welcome message over the loudspeaker 34, subject to which the apparatus proceeds to play the welcome message and the loop begins again at point A in the diagram.

The welcome message may be a tune, but more preferably includes a spoken message addressed to the passer-by.

An alternative welcome message is an audible "ringing" tone akin to the ringing of a telephone receiver. In this case, the apparatus may be arranged, upon lifting of the handset 9, to provide an instructing message through the handset speaker.

If either of the tests 32, 34 has a negative result, the apparatus is maintained in a mode in which it selectively flashes the screen lights (box 36) and also periodically plays one of three "attract messages" - boxes 38, 40 and 42 - which may be a spoken message, a sequence of sound effects, or both, a pair of flags being utilised to select which of the attract message is played - boxes 42 and 44.

Referring now to Fig. 4, it will be understood that while the loop illustrated in Fig. 3 is in operation, a further test is periodically being made - have sufficient coins been inserted for a game to be played - box 46? If so, the apparatus changes from attract mode to run mode, the sequence of which is illustrated in Figs. 4 and 5.

In this regard, it should be pointed out that Figs. 4 and 5 together essentially form a single flow diagram, which has been broken into three parts simply due to constrains imposed by paper size.

At the commencement of run mode, the apparatus plays a spoken instruction message via the main loudspeaker, then waits for the player to press a button to begin the game (box 48), whereupon the game itself commences.

The steps in the game will be described in more detail subsequently but, to summarise, the game begins with the display zones being individually illuminated in rotation, each zone being iliuminated for a set period of time before being extinguished, whereupon the next zone (say, the next around the loop of display zones in a clockwise direction) is illuminated. The player's task is to depress the button 7 corresponding to a specific display zone 15 while that display zone is illuminated. By doing so, the player eliminates the zone in question, and subsequently the remaining zones are again illuminated in rotation, giving the player the opportunity to eliminate a further zone.

As zones are eliminated, the period for which each zone is illuminated is reduced, increasing the speed and difficulty of the game.

When only one display zone 15 remains, this is flashed rapidly, and the player must press the corresponding button 7 while the zone in question is illuminated, to win the game and obtain a reward - a story, played through the handset 9, relating to one of the characters shown on the screen.

To consider this whole process in more detail, reference is directly firstly to Fig. 4, in particular the group of boxes labelled 50, showing that following pressing of a button by the player to start the game, sound effects are diverted to the handset 9, the various lamps are illuminated in a selected pattern, and the sequential illumination of the display zones 15 commences. The apparatus the enters loop 52, which is exited either when the total time for playing the game is exhausted or when the player presses one of the buttons 7.

In the latter case, a test is made at 54 whether the player's input was correct - i.e. whether the button pressed corresponded to the display zone 15 which was illuminated. If not, then the loop 52 is reentered. On the other hand, a correct input leads to the steps shown at 55 in Fig. 5 - playing of a "well done" message and subsequent constant illumination of the display zone in question. In the case where not all of the zones have yet been eliminated, the apparatus returns via 56 (which causes an increase in the flashing rate of the zones) to the loop 52. In the alternative case in which the player has won by eliminating all of the zones, a flag indicative of this fact is set (box 58) and, depending on whether sufficient time remains, the apparatus either gives the player another go by returning to the loop 52 (having played an appropriate message) or proceeds directly to a point E in the flow diagram of Fig. 4, corresponding to the final phase of the game.

This point E is in any event reached when the time allowed for the game has elapsed, if not via box 58 then via box 60, included in loop 52.

In the final phase, dependent on the state of the flag, the apparatus either plays an end message indicative of failure to the player (box 62) and returns to attract mode, or (in the event that the flag indicates that there has been a win) causes all of the screen lamps to flash, sounds a congratulatory sound effect (preferably a cheer) and invites the player to select a character - boxes 63.

The subroutine at 64 (Fig. 5) allows the player to select a character by pressing one of the buttons, then play through the handset a story relating to the selected character. A timing loop 66 provides that if no button is pressed in good time, a randomly selected story is played.

Clearly, there are numerous possible variations of the game.

For example, the zones 15 need not be illuminated in rotational sequence - they could equally well be illuminated in random order.

Alternatively, a randomly selected character could be illuminated, the player being required to press the corresponding button within a limited time.

Further, while the embodiment described utilises lights beneath a screen, the apparatus could alternatively comprise a different display, such as an LCD screen or cathode ray tube, to produce the screen, the display zones then being illuminated by changes on the display, e.g. to their colour or brightness - the word "illuminated" as used herein must be understood to encompass this type of operation.

Claims (20)

1. An electronic apparatus for playing a game, having a screen whereon any of a set of symbols can be displayed/illuminated, a set of manually actuable response means respectively corresponding to the symbols, and control electronics adapted to selectively display or illuminate one of the symbols and to detect whether the corresponding response means is concurrently actuated.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the symbols are marked on a screen, respective light emitters being associated with the symbols and each being selectively switchable to illuminate its associated symbol.
3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the light emitters comprise electric bulbs or light emitting diodes.
4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the screen is a panel which is wholly or partially transparent.
5. An apparatus as claimed in any of claims 2 to 4, wherein the screen is removably attachable to the remainder of the apparatus and can be replaced to change the appearance of the apparatus.
6. An apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, the control electronics being such as to cause the symbols to be displayed/illuminated sequentially.
7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 6, wherein the symbols are positioned in a loop and illuminated in rotation.
8. An apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the control electronics are adapted to record when a symbol has been eliminated by actuation of the corresponding response means during display/illumination of the symbol, and to subsequently display/illuminate only those symbols which have not been illuminated.
9. An apparatus as claimed in claim 8, which is adapted to indicate to the player that he/she has won when all, or a predetermined number, of the symbols have been eliminated.
10. An apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the manually actuable response means comprise switches.
11. An apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim which is coin operated.
12. An apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim which comprises a handset with a loudspeaker.
13. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12, wherein the handset is formed such as to have the appearance of a telephone handset.
14. An apparatus as claimed in claim 12 or claim 13, wherein the control electronics are adapted to play a message or story through the handset loudspeaker following indication to the player that he/she has won.
15. An apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the control electronics are adapted to allow the player to select the message/story by actuation of one of the response means.
16. An apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim which comprises a sensor adapted to detect when a person approaches the apparatus, the control electronics being adapted to provide an audible and/or visible signal upon a change in the state of the sensor indicative of the possible approach of a person.
17. An apparatus as claimed in claim 16, wherein the signal is a sound similar to the ringing of a telephone.
18. An apparatus as claimed in claim 17, when dependent upon claim 12, wherein the control electronics are adapted, upon lifting of the handset following provision of the signal, to play through the handset an instruction message concerning commencement of the game.
19. An apparatus as claimed in claim 16, wherein the sensor is heat/IR sensitive.
20. An electronic apparatus for playing a game, substantially as herein described, with reference to, and as illustrated in, the accompanying drawings.
GB9713926A 1997-07-02 1997-07-02 Electronic game Withdrawn GB2326830A (en)

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GB2326830A true GB2326830A (en) 1999-01-06

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EP1304669A2 (en) * 2001-10-22 2003-04-23 Aruze Co., Ltd. Game server, game machine under control of the server, and game control method
EP1302914A3 (en) * 2001-10-12 2004-09-29 Aruze Co., Ltd. Game server, game control method, and game machine
US7465232B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2008-12-16 Aruze Co., Ltd. Game server, game machine, and game control method
US7887410B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-02-15 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine
US7972208B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-07-05 Universal Entertainment Corporation Slot machine and control method of game
US7976383B2 (en) 2007-04-13 2011-07-12 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine and control method that accumulatively adds a fractional value
US7980944B2 (en) 2005-11-07 2011-07-19 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Gaming machine, game control method and game system
US7985135B2 (en) 2007-04-13 2011-07-26 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine and control method that accumulatively adds a value less than one credit as a fractional value
US7985131B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-07-26 Universal Entertainment Corporation Slot machine and control method of game
US8021225B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-09-20 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine
US8025563B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-09-27 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine
US8033907B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-10-11 Universal Entertainment Corporation Slot machine and control method of game
US8062118B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-11-22 Universal Entertainment Corporation Slot machine and control method of game
US8083579B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-12-27 Universal Entertainment Corporation Slot machine and control method of game
US8083580B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2011-12-27 Universal Entertainment Corporation Slot machine and control method of game
US8096870B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2012-01-17 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Gaming machine capable of bet of monetary value as a condition for acquisition of insurance pay
US8105154B2 (en) 2005-08-30 2012-01-31 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Gaming machine, game control method and game system
US8142278B2 (en) 2007-11-01 2012-03-27 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine with locking function and insurance feature
US8172664B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2012-05-08 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Slot machine and control method of game
US8177631B2 (en) 2007-04-13 2012-05-15 Universal Entertainment Corporation Gaming machine with insurance pay and playing method thereof
US8177623B2 (en) 2001-10-02 2012-05-15 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Slot machine and control method of game
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US8298076B2 (en) 2009-01-27 2012-10-30 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Gaming machine and control device capable of collecting advertisement cost from sponsor, and method of collecting the advertisement cost
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US8105154B2 (en) 2005-08-30 2012-01-31 Aruze Gaming America, Inc. Gaming machine, game control method and game system
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