US20060019737A1 - Computer-implemented method and gaming apparatus for playing a progressive game - Google Patents

Computer-implemented method and gaming apparatus for playing a progressive game Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060019737A1
US20060019737A1 US11/075,139 US7513905A US2006019737A1 US 20060019737 A1 US20060019737 A1 US 20060019737A1 US 7513905 A US7513905 A US 7513905A US 2006019737 A1 US2006019737 A1 US 2006019737A1
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Prior art keywords
prize
virtual
bingo
game
player
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US11/075,139
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Arden Yang
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Astro Corp Taiwan
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Astro Corp Taiwan
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Priority to TW093122096 priority Critical
Priority to TW93122096A priority patent/TWI235679B/en
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Assigned to ASTRO CORP. reassignment ASTRO CORP. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: YANG, ARDEN
Publication of US20060019737A1 publication Critical patent/US20060019737A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • 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
    • G07F17/3244Payment aspects of a gaming system, e.g. payment schemes, setting payout ratio, bonus or consolation prizes
    • 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
    • G07F17/3267Game outcomes which determine the course of the subsequent game, e.g. double or quits, free games, higher payouts, different new games

Abstract

A computer-implemented method for playing a progressive game includes: a) playing a main game that is associated with a predetermined first prize combination including a set of virtual prizes, and that is further associated with a set of predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; b) awarding the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination when the outcome of the main game played in step a) matches the first winning criteria; c) repeating steps a) and b) until the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; and d) playing a bonus game when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination. A gaming apparatus for performing the computer-implemented method is also disclosed.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims priority of Taiwanese application no. 093122096, filed on Jul. 23, 2004.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The invention relates to a computer-implemented method and gaming apparatus for playing a progressive game that includes main and bonus games.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Computer-implemented methods and apparatus for playing bingo are known in the art. FIG. 1 illustrates a graphical user interface 10 generated by a conventional gaming apparatus for playing bingo. The interface 10 includes a virtual bingo card 11 and an odds table 12. The virtual bingo card 11 includes a numerical bingo pattern in the form of a 5×5 numerical matrix, each element of which is randomly selected by the gaming apparatus. The odds table 12 includes fifteen rows 121 of five number spaces. Each of the rows 121 of the odds table 12 is associated with a corresponding payout multiplier, such as ×20 (20 times payout), ×10 (10 times payout), ×5 (5 times payout), etc., that is marked at a left end thereof. When playing the bingo game, a bingo number is randomly drawn, one of the number spaces of the odds table 12 is filled with the drawn bingo number according to the drawing sequence of the bingo number, and the virtual bingo card 11 is marked accordingly when the drawn bingo number is present in the numerical bingo pattern of the virtual bingo card 11. The above procedure is repeated until a predefined winning bingo pattern, such as a complete row of marked bingo numbers, is formed on the virtual bingo card 11. The gaming apparatus then determines a payout amount based on a bet placed beforehand by the player and the payout multiplier associated with one of the rows 121 of the odds table 12 containing a latest one of the bingo numbers that was drawn and that resulted in the formation of the winning bingo pattern on the virtual bingo card 11. In the example of FIG. 1, the bet placed beforehand by the player is 5 points, the latest bingo number that resulted in the formation of the winning bingo pattern is “70” and is contained in the third row 121 of the odds table 12, and the payout multiplier associated with the third row 121 of the odds table 12 is ×5. The payout amount is thus equal to 5×5 or 25 points.
  • The aforesaid gaming apparatus is disadvantageous in that it is monotonous and lacks variety, and is unable to keep the interest of a player who has been playing the bingo game for some time.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a computer-implemented method and gaming apparatus for playing a progressive game so as to overcome the aforesaid drawbacks of the prior art.
  • According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer-implemented method for playing a progressive game, comprising:
  • a) playing a main game, the main game being associated with a predetermined first prize combination that includes a set of virtual prizes, and being further associated with a set of predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination;
  • b) awarding the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination when the outcome of the main game played in step a) matches the first winning criteria;
  • c) repeating steps a) and b) until the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; and
  • d) playing a bonus game when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
  • According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer program product for a gaming apparatus that includes a user input unit, a display unit, and a game processor coupled to the user input unit and the display unit. The computer program product configures the gaming apparatus for playing a progressive game, and comprises a computer readable storage medium comprising:
  • a first code that directs the game processor to allow the player to play a main game, the main game being associated with a predetermined first prize combination that includes a set of virtual prizes, and being further associated with a set of predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination;
  • a second code that directs the game processor to award the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination when the outcome of the main game matches the first winning criteria;
  • a third code that directs the game processor to repeat execution of the first and second codes until the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; and
  • a fourth code that directs the game processor to allow the player to play a bonus game when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
  • According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a gaming apparatus that comprises a user input unit, a display unit, a game processor coupled to the user input unit and the display unit, and a computer program product for configuring the gaming apparatus to perform consecutive steps of a computer-implemented method for playing a progressive game. The computer-implemented method comprises:
  • a) playing a main game, the main game being associated with a predetermined first prize combination that includes a set of virtual prizes, and being further associated with a set of predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination;
  • b) awarding the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination when the outcome of the main game played in step a) matches the first winning criteria;
  • c) repeating steps a) and b) until the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; and
  • d) playing a bonus game when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a graphical user interface generated by a conventional gaming apparatus for playing bingo;
  • FIG. 2 is a front view of the preferred embodiment of a gaming apparatus according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a system block diagram of the gaming apparatus of the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 4 is a flowchart to illustrate how a main game is played in the preferred embodiment of a computer-implemented method for playing a progressive game according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a graphical user interface generated by the gaming apparatus of the preferred embodiment when playing the main game;
  • FIG. 6 is a flowchart to illustrate how a virtual prize is awarded in the computer-implemented method of the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a graphical user interface generated by the gaming apparatus of the preferred embodiment of the computer-implemented method when awarding the virtual prize;
  • FIG. 8 is a flowchart to illustrate how the progressive game can be terminated upon awarding of a payout amount according to the computer-implemented method of the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 9 is a graphical user interface generated by the gaming apparatus of the preferred embodiment upon collection of a set of the virtual prizes by the player;
  • FIG. 10 is a flowchart to illustrate how a bonus game is played in the computer-implemented method of the preferred embodiment;
  • FIG. 11 is a graphical user interface generated by the gaming apparatus of the preferred embodiment while selecting a bonus prize to be awarded to the player; and
  • FIG. 12 is a graphical user interface generated by the gaming apparatus of the preferred embodiment upon selection of the bonus prize to be awarded.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the preferred embodiment of a gaming apparatus 2 according to the present invention is shown to comprise a user input unit 21, a display unit 23, a game processor 22 coupled to the user input unit 21 and the display unit 23, and a proprietary computer program product 20 that configures the gaming apparatus 2 for playing a progressive game.
  • The user input unit 21 includes a BET key 24, a CHANGE key 25, a CONFIRM key 26 and a PAYOUT key 27.
  • The game processor 22 is the core of the gaming apparatus 2. In this embodiment, the game processor 22 is disposed on a game motherboard (circuit board). The computer program product 20 includes a computer readable storage medium (i.e., a memory unit) that is also disposed on the game motherboard and that comprises program codes for configuring the gaming apparatus for playing the progressive game. When the gaming apparatus 2 is powered on, the game processor 22 executes the program codes for performing the following steps of the computer-implemented method for playing the progressive game according to this invention:
  • Step a): Playing a main game
  • In this embodiment, the main game of the progressive game is a bingo game. Referring to step 41 in FIG. 4 and to FIG. 5, the game processor 22 enables the display unit 23 to generate a graphical user interface 200. The graphical user interface 200 includes a virtual bingo card 28 and a door frame 40. The virtual bingo card 28 includes a numerical bingo pattern in the form of a 5×5 numerical matrix, each element of which is randomly selected by the gaming apparatus. The door frame 40 includes left and right jambs 401, 402 and a strip décor 403 interconnecting top ends of the jambs 401, 402. The left jamb 401 is formed with a pair of prize windows 404, 405, whereas the right jamb 402 is formed with a pair of prize windows 406, 407. The strip décor 403 is formed with a bonus slot 408. Moreover, an animated object, which is a virtual dancer 409 in this embodiment, is disposed in the door frame 40 between the left and right jambs 401, 402.
  • The graphical user interface 200 further includes an odds table 29. The odds table 29 includes fifteen rows of five number spaces. Each of the rows of the odds table 29 is associated with a corresponding payout multiplier that is marked at a left end thereof. The payout multipliers decrease in a descending order of the rows. The graphical user interface 200 further includes a smaller virtual bingo card 30 having the same content as the virtual bingo card 28, a remainder column 31 showing remaining points of the player, a payout column 32 showing a payout amount to be awarded to the player, and a bet column 33 showing a bet placed by the player.
  • Next, referring to step 42 in FIG. 4, the player activates the main game by dropping in coins, a game card (prepaid card) or any other manner authorized by the gaming apparatus 2. Thereafter, referring to step 43 in FIG. 4, the player places abet (such as 5 points) through the BET key 24, operates the CHANGE key 25 to change the virtual bingo card 28, and operates the CONFIRM key 26 to select the desired virtual bingo card 28. Subsequently, referring to step 44 in FIG. 4, a winning area of the odds table 29, such as the tenth row of the odds table 29, is defined with reference to the bet placed by the player. Then, referring to step 45 in FIG. 4, a predefined winning bingo pattern, for instance, the four corners of the numerical bingo pattern, is shown on each of the virtual bingo cards 28, 30.
  • Subsequently, referring to step 46 in FIG. 4, the game processor 22 of the gaming apparatus 2 randomly draws a bingo number ranging from 1 to 75, fills in one of the number spaces of the odds table 29 with the drawn bingo number according to the drawing sequence of the bingo number, and marks the virtual bingo card 28 accordingly when the drawn bingo number is present in the numerical bingo pattern of the virtual bingo card 28. At the same time, referring to step 47 in FIG. 4, the game processor 22 constantly checks whether the predefined winning bingo pattern is formed on the marked virtual bingo card 28. Step 46 is repeated until the predefined winning bingo pattern is formed on the marked virtual bingo card 28.
  • When the predefined winning bingo pattern is formed, the player is required to operate the CONFIRM key 26 in step 48 in FIG. 4 to confirm the presence of the winning condition in accordance with game rules established in certain places. If the player presses the CONFIRM key 26 before a preset period (such as five seconds) expires, the flow goes to FIG. 6. Otherwise, the flow goes to FIG. 8.
  • In step 61 in FIG. 6, with reference to FIG. 7, three rows of the numerical bingo pattern of the virtual bingo card 28 are replaced by a multi-liner pattern to indicate the outcome of the main bingo game. Note, however, that the content of the smaller virtual bingo card 30 remains unchanged.
  • The multi-liner pattern includes a plurality of distinct images, such as a crown, a necklace, a bracelet, a belt, a figurine, a specter, etc. In this instance, the game processor 22 selects the crown, the necklace, the bracelet and the belt to form a set of virtual prizes of a first prize combination.
  • Step b): Awarding of a virtual prize
  • After step 61, the flow goes to step 62 in FIG. 6, where the game processor 22 determines whether the row that contains the winning bingo number is located in the predefined winning area of the odds table 29. In the example of FIG. 7, since the winning bingo number “14” is contained in the tenth row of the odds table 29, which is the predefined winning area, the game processor 22 deems the outcome of the main bingo game to match predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the first virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
  • When the main game outcome matches the first winning criteria, the flow goes to step 63 in FIG. 6, where the game processor 22 awards the player a randomly selected one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination. As shown in FIG. 9, the awarded virtual prize is put on the virtual dancer 409. In the preferred embodiment, because the player received a virtual prize, the player is no longer awarded with a payout amount initially acquired in the main bingo game. Then, referring to step 64 in FIG. 6, the game processor 22 determines whether the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination. In the affirmative, the flow proceeds to FIG. 10 for playing a bonus game. Otherwise, the flow proceeds to FIG. 8.
  • In step 62, when the game processor 22 determines that the main game outcome does not match the first winning criteria, the flow goes to step 65 in FIG. 6, where the game processor 22 calculates a payout amount based on the bet placed beforehand by the player and the payout multiplier associated with the row of the odds table 29 that contained the winning bingo number. The flow then proceeds to FIG. 8.
  • Referring to step 81 in FIG. 8, the player is prompted to operate the CONFIRM key 26 so that the points in the payout column 32 are added to the points in the remainder column 31. Then, referring to step 82 in FIG. 8, the player is further prompted whether or not to terminate the progressive game. If it is desired to terminate the progressive game, the points in the remainder column 32 are printed out or stored in the game card of the player, and the game is ended. In the negative, the flow goes back to FIG. 4.
  • Step c): Repeating Steps a) and b) until the Player has Collected All of the Virtual Prizes in the First Prize Combination
  • When the flow goes back to FIG. 4, a new bingo game session begins. Thereafter, based on the outcome of the new bingo game, the game processor 22 determines whether or not to award the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination in the manner described hereinabove. Note that, since the virtual prize awarded in step b) is randomly selected, it is possible that that the player will be awarded with a virtual prize that he or she had already collected. As a result, the player may have to play a large number of bingo game sessions before he or she is able to collect all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
  • Step d): Playing a bonus game
  • As shown in FIG. 9, playing of the bonus game begins when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination, i.e., when the virtual dancer 409 has put on all of the virtual prizes (i.e., the crown, necklace, bracelet and belt) in the first prize combination.
  • Referring to step 91 in FIG. 10, when the bonus game begins, the bonus prizes included in a second prize combination are arranged among the prizes windows 404, 405, 406, 407 of the jambs 401, 402. In this embodiment, the bonus prizes are predetermined points, such as 20, 50, 5 and 100 points. Then, referring to step 92 in FIG. 10, the virtual dancer 409 begins to dance and, as shown in FIG. 11, points to different ones of the prize windows 404, 405, 406, 407 using her hands within a predetermined time period, such as five seconds. Subsequently, in step 93 in FIG. 10, it is determined if the predetermined time period has expired. In the affirmative, the flow goes to step 94 in FIG. 10, where the virtual dancer 409 stops dancing, as best shown in FIG. 12. At this time, a selected one of the prize windows 404, 405, 406, 407 is that pointed to by the virtual dancer 409 at an instant the predetermined time period expired. Thereafter, with reference to step 95 in FIG. 10, the game processor 22 determines whether the prize window selected by the virtual dancer 409 is not empty, which is referred to herein as second winning criteria for winning one of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination. If the selected prize window is empty, the bonus game is terminated, and the flow proceeds to FIG. 8. Otherwise, with reference to step 96 in FIG. 10, the points (in this instance, 20) contained in the selected prize window (in the instance, the prize window 404) are awarded to the player, the accumulated awarded bonus points are shown on the bonus slot 408 and, as shown in FIG. 12, the selected prize window 404 is emptied. The flow then proceeds to step 97 in FIG. 10, where the game processor 22 determines whether all of the prize windows 404, 405, 406, 407 had been emptied. In the affirmative, since all of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination had been awarded to the player, the bonus game is terminated, and the flow proceeds to FIG. 8. Otherwise, the flow goes back to step 92 in FIG. 10 so as to give the player a chance to win another one of the bonus prizes.
  • Therefore, the first time the virtual dancer 409 selects one of the prize windows 404, 405, 406, 407, the player is guaranteed to win one of the bonus prizes. However, since the selected prize window 404, 405, 406, 407 will be emptied subsequently, the probability of winning another one of the bonus prizes will be lowered accordingly.
  • While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.

Claims (36)

1. A computer-implemented method for playing a progressive game, said computer-implemented method comprising:
a) playing a main game, the main game being associated with a predetermined first prize combination that includes a set of virtual prizes, and being further associated with a set of predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination;
b) awarding the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination when the outcome of the main game played in step a) matches the first winning criteria;
c) repeating steps a) and b) until the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; and
d) playing a bonus game when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
2. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 1, wherein, in step d),
the bonus game is associated with a predetermined second prize combination that includes a set of bonus prizes, and is further associated with a set of predefined second winning criteria for winning one of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination,
the player being awarded one of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination when the outcome of the bonus game matches the second winning criteria.
3. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 2, wherein, in step d), playing of the bonus game is continued as long as the outcome of the bonus game matches the second winning criteria.
4. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 3, wherein, in step a), the main game is a bingo game.
5. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 4, wherein step a) includes:
a1) generating a virtual bingo card with a numerical bingo pattern;
a2) generating an odds table that includes fifteen rows of five number spaces, each of the rows of the odds table being associated with a corresponding payout multiplier;
a3) randomly drawing a bingo number, filling in one of the number spaces of the odds table with the drawn bingo number according to drawing sequence of the bingo number, and marking the virtual bingo card accordingly when the drawn bingo number is present in the numerical bingo pattern of the virtual bingo card;
a4) repeating sub-step a3) until a predefined winning bingo pattern is formed on the marked virtual bingo card; and
a5) determining a payout amount based on a bet placed beforehand by the player and the payout multiplier associated with one of the rows of the odds table containing a latest one of the bingo numbers that was drawn in sub-step a3) and that resulted in formation of the winning bingo pattern on the virtual bingo card.
6. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 5, wherein the first winning criteria is one in which said one of the rows of the odds table containing the latest one of the bingo numbers that resulted in formation of the winning bingo pattern on the virtual bingo card is located in a predefined winning area of the odds table.
7. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 6, wherein said one of the virtual prizes awarded to the player in step b) is chosen randomly from the first prize combination.
8. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 7, wherein step a) further includes:
a6) generating an animated object, the virtual prizes in the first prize combination being ornaments to be put on the animated object upon collection by the player.
9. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 8, wherein a door frame having a pair of jambs is further generated in sub-step a6), the animated object being disposed in the door frame between the jambs, a number of prize windows being formed in the jambs.
10. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 9, wherein step d) includes:
d1) arranging the bonus prizes among the prize windows;
d2) enabling the animated object to select one of the prize windows within a predetermined time period;
d3) when the prize window selected in step d2) is not empty, awarding the bonus prize in the selected one of the prize windows to the player, and subsequently emptying the selected one of the prize windows; and
d4) when the prize window selected in step d2) has been emptied, terminating the bonus game.
11. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 10, wherein sub-step d2) includes causing the animated object to point to different ones of the prize windows within the predetermined time period, the selected one of the prize windows being that pointed to by the animated object at an instant the predetermined time period expired.
12. The computer-implemented method as claimed in claim 11, wherein, in sub-step d2), the animated object is a virtual dancer that dances and that points to the different ones of the prize windows using its hands.
13. A computer program product for a gaming apparatus that includes a user input unit, a display unit, and a game processor coupled to the user input unit and the display unit, said computer program product configuring said gaming apparatus for playing a progressive game, and comprising:
a computer readable storage medium comprising:
a first code that directs the game processor to allow the player to play a main game, the main game being associated with a predetermined first prize combination that includes a set of virtual prizes, and being further associated with a set of predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination;
a second code that directs the game processor to award the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination when the outcome of the main game matches the first winning criteria;
a third code that directs the game processor to repeat execution of said first and second codes until the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; and
a fourth code that directs the game processor to allow the player to play a bonus game when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
14. The computer program product as claimed in claim 13, wherein:
the bonus game is associated with a predetermined second prize combination that includes a set of bonus prizes, and is further associated with a set of predefined second winning criteria for winning one of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination;
said fourth code directing the game processor to award the player one of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination when the outcome of the bonus game matches the second winning criteria.
15. The computer program product as claimed in claim 14, wherein said fourth code directs the game processor to allow the player to continue playing the bonus game as long as the outcome of the bonus game matches the second winning criteria.
16. The computer program product as claimed in claim 15, wherein the main game is a bingo game.
17. The computer program product as claimed in claim 16, wherein said first code includes:
a first sub-code that directs the game processor to enable the display unit to generate a virtual bingo card with a numerical bingo pattern;
a second sub-code that directs the game processor to enable the display unit to generate an odds table including fifteen rows of five number spaces, each of the rows of the odds table being associated with a corresponding payout multiplier;
a third sub-code that directs the game processor to randomly draw a bingo number, to enable the display unit to fill in one of the number spaces of the odds table with the drawn bingo number according to drawing sequence of the bingo number, and to enable the display unit to mark the virtual bingo card accordingly when the drawn bingo number is present in the numerical bingo pattern of the virtual bingo card;
a fourth sub-code that directs the game processor to repeat execution of said third sub-code until a predefined winning bingo pattern is formed on the marked virtual bingo card; and
a fifth sub-code that directs the game processor to determine a payout amount based on a bet placed beforehand by the player through the user input unit and the payout multiplier associated with one of the rows of the odds table containing a latest one of the bingo numbers that was drawn and that resulted in formation of the winning bingo pattern on the virtual bingo card.
18. The computer program product as claimed in claim 17, wherein the first winning criteria is one in which said one of the rows of the odds table containing the latest one of the bingo numbers that resulted in formation of the winning bingo pattern on the virtual bingo card is located in a predefined winning area of the odds table.
19. The computer program product as claimed in claim 18, wherein said second code directs the game processor to chose randomly said one of the virtual prizes to be awarded to the player from the first prize combination.
20. The computer program product as claimed in claim 19, wherein said first code further includes:
a sixth sub-code that directs the game processor to enable the display unit to generate an animated object, the virtual prizes in the first prize combination being ornaments to be put on the animated object upon collection by the player.
21. The computer program product as claimed in claim 20, wherein said sixth sub-code further directs the game processor to enable the display unit to generate a door frame having a pair of jambs, the animated object being disposed in the door frame between the jambs, a number of prize windows being formed in the jambs.
22. The computer program product as claimed in claim 21, wherein said fourth code includes:
a first secondary code that directs the game processor to enable the display unit to arrange the bonus prizes among the prize windows;
a second secondary code that directs the game processor to enable the display unit such that the animated object is able to select one of the prize windows within a predetermined time period; and
a third secondary code that directs the game processor to award the bonus prize in the selected one of the prize windows to the player and to subsequently empty the selected one of the prize windows when the selected one of the prize windows is not empty, and to terminate the bonus game when the selected one of the prize windows has been emptied.
23. The computer program product as claimed in claim 22, wherein said secondary sub-code directs the game processor such that the display unit causes the animated object to point to different ones of the prize windows within the predetermined time period, the selected one of the prize windows being that pointed to by the animated object at an instant the predetermined time period expired.
24. The computer program product as claimed in claim 23, wherein the animated object generated by the display unit is a virtual dancer that dances and that points to the different ones of the prize windows using its hands.
25. A gaming apparatus comprising a user input unit, a display unit, a game processor coupled to said user input unit and said display unit, and a computer program product for configuring said gaming apparatus to perform consecutive steps of a computer-implemented method for playing a progressive game, said computer-implemented method comprising:
a) playing a main game, the main game being associated with a predetermined first prize combination that includes a set of virtual prizes, and being further associated with a set of predefined first winning criteria for winning one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination;
b) awarding the player one of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination when the outcome of the main game played in step a) matches the first winning criteria;
c) repeating steps a) and b) until the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination; and
d) playing a bonus game when the player has collected all of the virtual prizes in the first prize combination.
26. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 25, wherein, in step d),
the bonus game is associated with a predetermined second prize combination that includes a set of bonus prizes, and is further associated with a set of predefined second winning criteria for winning one of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination,
the player being awarded one of the bonus prizes in the second prize combination when the outcome of the bonus game matches the second winning criteria.
27. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 26, wherein, in step d), playing of the bonus game is continued as long as the outcome of the bonus game matches the second winning criteria.
28. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 27, wherein, in step a), the main game is a bingo game.
29. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 28, wherein step a) includes:
a1) generating a virtual bingo card with a numerical bingo pattern;
a2) generating an odds table that includes fifteen rows of five number spaces, each of the rows of the odds table being associated with a corresponding payout multiplier;
a3) randomly drawing a bingo number, filling in one of the number spaces of the odds table with the drawn bingo number according to drawing sequence of the bingo number, and marking the virtual bingo card accordingly when the drawn bingo number is present in the numerical bingo pattern of the virtual bingo card;
a4) repeating sub-step a3) until a predefined winning bingo pattern is formed on the marked virtual bingo card; and
a5) determining a payout amount based on a bet placed beforehand by the player and the payout multiplier associated with one of the rows of the odds table containing a latest one of the bingo numbers that was drawn in sub-step a3) and that resulted in formation of the winning bingo pattern on the virtual bingo card.
30. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 29, wherein the first winning criteria is one in which said one of the rows of the odds table containing the latest one of the bingo numbers that resulted in formation of the winning bingo pattern on the virtual bingo card is located in a predefined winning area of the odds table.
31. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 30, wherein said one of the virtual prizes awarded to the player in step b) is chosen randomly from the first prize combination.
32. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 31, wherein step a) further includes:
a6) generating an animated object, the virtual prizes in the first prize combination being ornaments to be put on the animated object upon collection by the player.
33. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 32, wherein a door frame having a pair of jambs is further generated in sub-step a6), the animated object being disposed in the door frame between the jambs, a number of prize windows being formed in the jambs.
34. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 33, wherein step d) includes:
d1) arranging the bonus prizes among the prize windows;
d2) enabling the animated object to select one of the prize windows within a predetermined time period;
d3) when the prize window selected in step d2) is not empty, awarding the bonus prize in the selected one of the prize windows to the player, and subsequently emptying the selected one of the prize windows; and
d4) when the prize window selected in step d2) has been emptied, terminating the bonus game.
35. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 34, wherein sub-step d2) includes causing the animated object to point to different ones of the prize windows within the predetermined time period, the selected one of the prize windows being that pointed to by the animated object at an instant the predetermined time period expired.
36. The gaming apparatus as claimed in claim 35, wherein, in sub-step d2), the animated object is a virtual dancer that dances and that points to the different ones of the prize windows using its hands.
US11/075,139 2004-07-23 2005-03-07 Computer-implemented method and gaming apparatus for playing a progressive game Abandoned US20060019737A1 (en)

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