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US20070060353A1 - Program, information storage medium, and game device - Google Patents

Program, information storage medium, and game device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070060353A1
US20070060353A1 US11515995 US51599506A US2007060353A1 US 20070060353 A1 US20070060353 A1 US 20070060353A1 US 11515995 US11515995 US 11515995 US 51599506 A US51599506 A US 51599506A US 2007060353 A1 US2007060353 A1 US 2007060353A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
insect
character
section
generation
game
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11515995
Inventor
Yasushi Omori
Ryoichi Kaku
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Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc
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Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc
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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/20Input arrangements for video game devices
    • A63F13/23Input arrangements for video game devices for interfacing with the game device, e.g. specific interfaces between game controller and console
    • A63F13/235Input arrangements for video game devices for interfacing with the game device, e.g. specific interfaces between game controller and console using a wireless connection, e.g. infrared or piconet
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/30Interconnection arrangements between game servers and game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game servers
    • A63F13/32Interconnection arrangements between game servers and game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game servers using local area network [LAN] connections
    • A63F13/327Interconnection arrangements between game servers and game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game servers using local area network [LAN] connections using wireless networks, e.g. Wi-Fi or piconet
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/30Interconnection arrangements between game servers and game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game servers
    • A63F13/33Interconnection arrangements between game servers and game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game servers using wide area network [WAN] connections
    • A63F13/332Interconnection arrangements between game servers and game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game devices; Interconnection arrangements between game servers using wide area network [WAN] connections using wireless networks, e.g. cellular phone networks
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/70Game security or game management aspects
    • A63F13/79Game security or game management aspects involving player-related data, e.g. identities, accounts, preferences or play histories
    • A63F13/795Game security or game management aspects involving player-related data, e.g. identities, accounts, preferences or play histories for finding other players; for building a team; for providing a buddy list
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/80Special adaptations for executing a specific game genre or game mode
    • A63F13/825Fostering virtual characters
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/40Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of platform network
    • A63F2300/404Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of platform network characterized by a local network connection
    • A63F2300/405Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of platform network characterized by a local network connection being a wireless ad hoc network, e.g. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Pico net
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/60Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program
    • A63F2300/65Methods for processing data by generating or executing the game program for computing the condition of a game character
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/80Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game specially adapted for executing a specific type of game
    • A63F2300/8058Virtual breeding, e.g. tamagotchi

Abstract

When an insect character generation control section has detected reception of a beacon periodically transmitted from an AP located in the current wireless communication area of a player's device, the insect character generation control section detects the MAC address of the AP which has transmitted the beacon. When the detected MAC address does not coincide with the previously detected MAC address, the insect character generation control section determines whether or not to generate an insect character according to a generation rate calculated by a generation frequency adjustment section. When the insect character generation control section has determined that an insect character is to be generated, the insect character generation control section determines the type of insect character to be generated by referring to insect character information, and displays a video image of the insect character on an insect cage screen on a lower screen.

Description

  • [0001]
    Japanese Patent Application No. 2005-259278 filed on Sept. 7, 2005, is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to an image display control method, a game device, a storage medium, and a data signal.
  • [0003]
    Along with wide-spread use of portable game devices provided with a wireless communication function, various games have been developed which acquire and utilize the current position of the player's device. For example, a technology has been known which extracts the ID code of a base station which controls the current wireless area of the player's device from a signal transmitted from the base station, stores the ID code of the base station, and changes the progress of the game by utilizing the stored ID code of the base station (JP-A-2001-96069).
  • [0004]
    In the technology disclosed in JP-A-2001-96069, the ID code of the base station is utilized when the game has entered a specific scene, such as when determining an enemy character or generating a new item. If a new character or the like can be generated when detecting reception of a signal transmitted from another communication instrument, a novel interesting game can be realized in which the player enjoys collecting characters.
  • [0005]
    The invention has been achieved in view of the above situation.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    A first aspect of the invention relates to an image display control method comprising:
  • [0007]
    receiving a sender ID transmitted from another communication instrument which is located in a current wireless communication area and performs wireless communication according to a specific communication standard; and
  • [0008]
    generating a new character upon reception of the sender ID and displaying an image of the character.
  • [0009]
    A second aspect of the invention relates to a portable game device for executing a game in which a player enjoys collecting characters, the game device being provided with wireless communication section which performs wireless communication according to a specific communication standard, the game device comprising:
  • [0010]
    reception detection section which detects that the wireless communication section has received a sender ID transmitted from another communication instrument which is located in a current wireless communication area and performs wireless communication according to the communication standard; and
  • [0011]
    character display control section which generates a new character upon detection by the reception detection section and displaying an image of the character.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a view showing an overview example when a game device is a folding-type portable game device.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is a view showing an example of a moving path of a player who carries a game device.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a view showing an example of the relationship between the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes and the insect character generation rate (%).
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 is a view showing an example of a game screen.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing an example of a functional configuration of a game device.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 6 is a view showing a data configuration example of insect character information.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 7 is a view showing a data configuration example of a collection list.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 8 is a view showing a data configuration example of a discarded character list.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 9 is a view showing a data configuration example of an insect cage list.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrative of the flow of game processing.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrative of the flow of insect character generation control processing.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 12 is a view showing a modification of a game screen.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT
  • [0024]
    The invention may realize a novel interesting game in which a new character or the like can be generated when reception of a signal transmitted from another communication instrument has been detected so that the player enjoys collecting characters.
  • [0025]
    One embodiment of the invention relates to an image display control method comprising:
  • [0026]
    receiving a sender ID transmitted from another communication instrument which is located in a current wireless communication area and performs wireless communication according to a specific communication standard; and
  • [0027]
    generating a new character upon reception of the sender ID and displaying an image of the character.
  • [0028]
    Another embodiment of the invention relates to a portable game device for executing a game in which a player enjoys collecting characters, the game device being provided with wireless communication section which performs wireless communication according to a specific communication standard, the game device comprising:
  • [0029]
    reception detection section which detects that the wireless communication section has received a sender ID transmitted from another communication instrument which is located in a current wireless communication area and performs wireless communication according to the communication standard; and
  • [0030]
    character display control section which generates a new character upon detection by the reception detection section and displaying an image of the character.
  • [0031]
    According to the above embodiment, a new character can be generated upon reception of the sender ID transmitted from another communication instrument, and the image of the character can be displayed. Therefore, a novel interesting game can be realized in which the player enjoys collecting characters.
  • [0032]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0033]
    generating a new character while variably controlling a type and/or a number of characters newly generated upon reception of the sender ID.
  • [0034]
    In the above game device, the character display control section may variably control a type and/or a number of characters newly generated upon detection by the reception detection section.
  • [0035]
    This allows the type and/or the number of characters generated upon reception of the sender ID to be changed, whereby interest in the game is increased.
  • [0036]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0037]
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on time and/or date when receiving the sender ID.
  • [0038]
    This allows the type and/or the number of characters generated to be changed depending on the time and date when receiving the sender ID, whereby interest in the game is further increased.
  • [0039]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0040]
    counting a cumulative play time; and
  • [0041]
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the counted cumulative play time.
  • [0042]
    This allows the type and/or the number of characters generated to be changed depending on the cumulative play time when receiving the sender ID, whereby interest in the game is further increased.
  • [0043]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0044]
    acquiring a current position of a player's device; and
  • [0045]
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the acquired current position.
  • [0046]
    This allows the type and/or the number of characters generated to be changed depending on the current position of the device when receiving the sender ID, whereby interest in the game is further increased.
  • [0047]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0048]
    selecting an item from predetermined items for increasing a generation probability of a specific type of character according to a player's operation input; and
  • [0049]
    increasing a generation probability of a character of a type corresponding to the selected item as a generation probability of a character newly generated.
  • [0050]
    According to this feature, when the item for increasing the generation probability of a specific character has been selected by the player's operation, the generation probability of the character of the type corresponding to the selected item can be increased. Therefore, interest in the game is further increased.
  • [0051]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0052]
    uniquely determining the type of character newly generated based on the received sender ID and a player's device ID set in advance.
  • [0053]
    According to this feature, since the type of character newly generated is uniquely determined based on the received sender ID and a device ID set in advance when receiving the sender ID, interest in the game is further increased.
  • [0054]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0055]
    determining reception frequency of the sender ID; and
  • [0056]
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the determined frequency.
  • [0057]
    The above game device may further comprise:
  • [0058]
    detection frequency determination section which determines a detection frequency of the reception detection section;
  • [0059]
    wherein the character display control section may change a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the detection frequency determined by the detection frequency determination section.
  • [0060]
    This allows the type and/or the number of characters generated to be changed depending on the reception frequency of the sender ID, whereby interest in the game is further increased.
  • [0061]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0062]
    when the determined frequency satisfies a specific high frequency condition, reducing a generation rate of a character upon reception of a sender ID.
  • [0063]
    According to this feature, the character generation rate is reduced when the reception frequency of the sender ID satisfies the specific high frequency condition, and a situation is prevented in which a new character is generated each time the sender ID is detected. This allows adjustment of the disparity in the character generation frequency due to the regional difference in the installation density of the communication instruments, for example.
  • [0064]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0065]
    determining whether or not to generate a new character even if the sender ID has not been received based on an unreceived time in which the sender ID is not received; and
  • [0066]
    generating a new character when having determined that a new character is to be generated.
  • [0067]
    This allows a new character to be generated based on the undetected time in which reception of the sender ID is not detected, whereby the disparity in the character generation frequency due to the regional difference in the installation density of the communication instruments can be adjusted, for example.
  • [0068]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0069]
    storing the received sender ID by which a character has been generated while associating the sender ID with the generated character; and
  • [0070]
    when a received sender ID is the same as the sender ID which has been previously stored, generating a character of the same type as the character associated with the sender ID.
  • [0071]
    According to this feature, when a sender ID which is the same as the sender ID by which a character has been generated has been again received, the same type of character can be generated by controlling the type of character generated.
  • [0072]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0073]
    determining whether or not a received sender ID is a sender ID which has been previously received; and
  • [0074]
    preventing generation of a new character upon reception of the sender ID when having determined that the sender ID has been previously received.
  • [0075]
    In the above game device, the character display control section may determine whether or not a sender ID received by the wireless communication section is a sender ID which has been previously received, and may prevent generation of a new character upon detection of reception of the sender ID when the character display control section has determined that the sender ID has been previously received.
  • [0076]
    According to this feature, a new character can be prevented from being generated when receiving a sender ID which has been previously received.
  • [0077]
    The above image display control method may comprise:
  • [0078]
    generating a predetermined special character upon reception of a sender ID which satisfies a specific ID condition.
  • [0079]
    The above game device may comprise:
  • [0080]
    specific ID reception detection section which detects that the wireless communication section has received a sender ID which satisfies a specific ID condition;
  • [0081]
    wherein the character display control section may generate a predetermined special character upon detection by the specific ID reception detection section.
  • [0082]
    This allows the special character to be generated when receiving the sender ID which satisfies the specific ID condition, whereby interest in the game is further increased.
  • [0083]
    Another embodiment of the invention relates to a storage medium having stored therein a program for causing a processor to execute the above image display control method.
  • [0084]
    A further embodiment of the invention relates to a data signal embodied in a carrier wave comprising information used to execute the above image display control method.
  • [0085]
    A game device to which the invention is applied is described below in detail with reference to the drawings. The following description illustrates the case of applying a game according to invention to an “insect collecting game” in which the player enjoys collecting insect characters.
  • [0000]
    <Overview of Game Device>
  • [0086]
    FIG. 1 is a view showing an example of an overview of a game device 1. The game device 1 shown in FIG. 1 is a folding-type portable game device in which an upper housing 10 and a lower housing 20 are connected through a hinge 30 so that the game device 1 can be opened and shut. FIG.1 illustrates the game device 1 in an open state (during use).
  • [0087]
    Two displays 400 a and 400 b which are disposed to be separately arranged on either side of the hinge 30 during use, a speaker 11, a microphone 25, various operation buttons 21, and the like are provided on the inner surfaces of the housings 10 and 20. In the following description, the display 400 a disposed on the upper side during use is called the “upper screen 400 a”, and the display 400 b disposed on the lower side during use is called the “lower screen 400 b”.
  • [0088]
    A touch panel (not shown) is integrally formed over the entire display region of the lower screen 400 b. The touch panel detects the touch position in units of dots forming the lower screen 400 b by utilizing a detection principle such as a pressure-sensitive method, an optical method, an electrostatic method, or an electromagnetic induction method. The player inputs various operations by utilizing a stylus pen 40 provided as an accessory or by touching the lower screen 400 b.
  • [0089]
    In the game device 1, a cartridge 50 which can be inserted into and removed from a slot 23 provided in the side surface of the housing 20 is used as an information storage medium which stores a program, data, and the like necessary for performing game processing.
  • [0090]
    The game device 1 includes a control unit 31 provided with a CPU and an IC memory, a wireless communication module 33 for performing wireless communication according to a wireless LAN standard, a reader for the cartridge 50, and the like. The game device 1 performs various types of game processing based on the program and data read from the cartridge 50, the touch position detected by the touch panel, operation signals input using the operation buttons 21, data received from an external instrument through the wireless communication module 33, sound data collected through the microphone 25, and the like to generate image signals of a game screen and sound signals of game sound. The generated image signals of the game screen are output to (displayed on) the upper screen 400 a and the lower screen 400 b, and the sound signals of the game sound are output as sound from the speaker 11. The player touches the lower screen 400 b while watching the game screens displayed on the upper screen 400 a and the lower screen 400 b to enjoy the insect collecting game.
  • [0000]
    <Outline of Game>
  • [0091]
    FIG. 2 is a view showing an example of the moving path of the player who carries the game device 1.
  • [0092]
    In this embodiment, the game device 1 generates an insect character by utilizing a beacon periodically transmitted from wireless LAN access points (AP) 9 (9-1 to 9-6) provided at specific locations in a town for connection with a LAN, the Internet, and the like. The term “beacon” used herein refers to a signal for informing the game device 1 as a terminal station located in the communication area of the AP 9 of the presence of the AP 9. The beacon includes information such as a media access control (MAC) address as a sender ID.
  • [0093]
    In more detail, when the game device 1 has detected reception of a beacon transmitted from the AP 9, the game device 1 detects the MAC address of the AP 9, and generates an insect character based on the detected MAC address. For example, when the game device 1 has received a beacon transmitted from the AP 9-3 which has entered a wireless communication area CR of the game device 1 along with the movement of the player, the game device 1 generates a new insect character based on the MAC address of the AP 9-3. Likewise, when the game device 1 has received a beacon transmitted from the AP 9-5, the game device 1 generates a new insect character based on the MAC address of the AP 9-5. When the game device 1 has received a beacon transmitted from the AP 9-4, the game device 1 generates a new insect character based on the MAC address of the AP 9-4.
  • [0094]
    In more detail, the insect character generation rate is adjusted in order to adjust the disparity in the insect character generation frequency so that each player is not partially treated due to the regional difference in the installation density of the access points 9 and the like. For example, the insect character generation rate is defined in advance while being associated with the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes. An insect character is generated according to this generation rate.
  • [0095]
    FIG. 3 is a view showing an example of the relationship between the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes and the insect character generation rate (%). In FIG. 3, when the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes is five or less, the insect character generation rate is 100%. In this case, a new insect character is necessarily generated each time a new beacon is received. When the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes is five or more, the insect character generation rate is set to become smaller as the number of beacons received becomes greater. When the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes is 30 or more, the insect character generation rate is 5%. When the insect character generation rate is 5%, an insect character is generated in the ratio of one to 20 beacons.
  • [0096]
    The player carries the game device 1 while supplying power to the game device 1, and collects an insect character generated upon reception of a beacon transmitted from the AP 9. When the player has collected all types of insect characters provided in advance, the game is completed.
  • [0097]
    FIG. 4 is a view showing an example of the game screen. In FIG. 4, the game screen displayed on the upper screen 400 a is illustrated in the upper side, and the game screen displayed on the lower screen 400 b is illustrated in the lower side. In this game, an insect cage screen W20 is displayed on the lower screen 400 b. A video image of insect characters (insect characters C21 to C29 in FIG. 4) generated upon reception of a beacon is displayed on the insect cage screen W20.
  • [0098]
    A collection screen W10 is displayed on the upper screen 400 a. A still image of insect characters (insect characters C11 and C13 in FIG. 4) generated upon reception of a beacon and added to the collection by a player's collection registration operation is displayed on the collection screen W10 in a list form.
  • [0099]
    In more detail, when the player has designated an insect character by touching the lower screen 400 b and has slid (dragged) the insect character upward on the screen, the designated insect character is added to the collection. For example, when the player has designated the insect character C27 using the stylus pen 40 and slid the insect character C27 as indicated by the arrow A21, the insect character C27 is added to the list on the collection screen W10 and is displayed as a still image. An insect character which has been added to the collection may be returned to the insect cage screen W20 by operating the operation buttons 21.
  • [0100]
    When the player has designated an insect character by touching the lower screen 400 b and has slid the insect character downward on the screen (discard operation), the designated insect character is discarded. For example, when the player has designated the insect character C27 using the stylus pen 40 and has slid the insect character C27 as indicated by the arrow A23, the insect character C27 is discarded and disappears from the insect cage screen W20.
  • [0101]
    As described above, an insect character generated upon reception of a beacon is appropriately displayed on the insect cage screen W20 on the lower screen 400 b. The player collects insect characters by moving a desired insect character of the insect characters displayed on the insect cage screen W20 to the collection screen W10 to add the insect character to the collection.
  • [0102]
    <Functional Configuration>FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing an example of a functional configuration of the game device 1 according to this embodiment. As shown in FIG. 5, the game device 1 includes an operation section 100, a sound input section 200, a processing section 300, a display section 400, a sound output section 500, a wireless communication section 600, a GPS positioning section 700, and a storage section 800.
  • [0103]
    The operation section 100 is a device for allowing the player who operates the game device 1 to input various game operations. The operation section 100 is realized by a button switch, lever, dial, keyboard, mouse, various sensors, and the like. The operation section 100 includes a touch panel 110, and outputs the coordinates of the touch position indicated by the finger or using a dedicated stylus pen or the like to the processing section 300. In FIG. 1, the operation buttons 21 and the touch panel (not shown) integrally formed with the lower screen 400 b correspond to the operation section 100.
  • [0104]
    The sound input section 200 corresponds to the microphone 25 in FIG. 1. The sound input section 200 collects sound such as voice input by the player, and outputs sound signals corresponding to the collected sound to the processing section 300.
  • [0105]
    The processing section 300 controls the entire game device 1, issues instructions and transfers data to each functional section of the game device 1, and performs various types of processing such as image processing and sound processing based on a program, data, and the like stored in the storage section 800. The function of the processing section 300 is realized by hardware such as various processors (e.g. CPU or DSP) or an ASIC (e.g. gate array) and a given program.
  • [0106]
    The processing section 300 includes a game calculation section 310, an image generation section 330, and a sound generation section 350 as the main finctional sections. The processing section 300 generates a game screen and displays (outputs) the game screen on the upper screen 400 a and the lower screen 400 b. The processing section 300 appropriately causes the sound output section 500 to output game sound.
  • [0107]
    The game calculation section 310 performs various types of game processing for realizing the insect collecting game, and outputs the processing results to the image generation section 330 and the sound generation section 350. The game calculation section 310 includes an insect character generation control section 311. The insect character generation control section 311 includes a generation frequency adjustment section 311 a.
  • [0108]
    When the insect character generation control section 311 has detected reception of a beacon periodically transmitted from the AP 9 located in the current wireless communication area of the game device 1, the insect character generation control section 311 generates a new insect character and displays an image of the insect character on the game screen. In more detail, the insect character generation control section 311 detects the MAC address of the AP 9 which has transmitted the beacon. When the detected MAC address does not coincide with a previously detected MAC address, the insect character generation control section 311 determines whether or not to generate an insect character according to the generation rate calculated by the generation frequency adjustment section 31 la described later. When the insect character generation control section 311 has determined that an insect character is to be generated, the insect character generation control section 311 determines the type of insect character to be generated by referring to insect character information 820 stored in the storage section 800, and displays a video image of the insect character on the insect cage screen on the lower screen 400 b.
  • [0109]
    The insect character generation control section 311 determines whether or not to generate an insect character based on an undetected time in which reception of a beacon is not detected. When the insect character generation control section 311 has determined that an insect character is to be generated, the insect character generation control section 311 determines the type of insect character to be generated by referring to the insect character information 820, and displays a video image of the insect character on the insect cage screen on the lower screen 400 b.
  • [0110]
    The generation frequency adjustment section 311 a adjusts the insect character generation frequency based on the beacon reception frequency. In more detail, the generation frequency adjustment section 311 a counts the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes and calculates the insect character generation rate, for example.
  • [0111]
    The image generation section 330 is realized by hardware such as a CPU or DSP and its control program, a drawing frame IC memory such as a frame buffer, and the like. The image generation section 330 generates a game screen based on the processing results from the game calculation section 310, and outputs image signals of the generated game screen to the upper screen 400 a and the lower screen 400 b.
  • [0112]
    The sound generation section 350 is realized by hardware such as a CPU or DSP and its control program, for example. The sound generation section 350 generates game sound (e.g. insect songs) used during the game based on the processing results from the game calculation section 31, and outputs sound signals of the generated game sound to the sound output section 500.
  • [0113]
    The display section 400 is a device for displaying a game screen based on the image signals input from the image generation section 330. The display section 400 includes the upper screen 400 a and the lower screen 400 b in which the touch panel 110 forming the operation section 100 is integrally formed in the display region. The upper screen 400 a and the lower screen 400 b are realized by display devices such as a liquid crystal display (LCD) or an electroluminescent display (ELD).
  • [0114]
    The sound output section 500 is a device for outputting game sound based on the sound signals input from the sound generation section 350. In FIG. 1, the speaker 11 corresponds to the sound output section 500.
  • [0115]
    The wireless communication section 600 corresponds to the wireless communication module 33 in FIG. 1. In this embodiment, the wireless communication section 600 is realized by a communication instrument conforming to the IEEE802.11 wireless LAN standard.
  • [0116]
    The GPS positioning section 700 includes a GPS antenna which receives radio waves from a GPS satellite and the like. The GPS positioning section 700 measures the absolute position (e.g. coordinates determined by the latitude and the longitude) of the game device 1 from radio waves received through the GPS antenna. The absolute position of the game device 1 when generating an insect character is measured by the GPS positioning section 700.
  • [0117]
    The storage section 800 stores a system program for causing the processing section 300 to control the entire game device 1 and a program and data necessary for causing the processing section 300 to execute the game. The function of the storage section 800 is realized by various IC memories such as a ROM and RAM including a rewritable flash memory, a built-in hard disk, a hard disk connected through a data communication terminal, or an information storage medium such as a CD-ROM, DVD, IC card, magnetic disk, or optical disk and its reader, for example. In FIG. 1, the cartridge 50 and its reader and the IC memory provided in the control unit 31 correspond to the storage section 800.
  • [0118]
    In order to realize this embodiment, the storage section 800 stores a game program 810 including an insect character generation control program 811 for causing the processing section 300 to function as the insect character generation control section 311 and a generation frequency adjustment program 813 for causing the processing section 300 to function as the generation frequency adjustment section 311 a.
  • [0119]
    The storage section 800 stores as data insect character information 820, a collection list 830, a discarded character list 840, an insect cage list 850, cumulative play time 860, a beacon reception history 870, and a last insect character generation time 880.
  • [0120]
    As the insect character information 820, setting data on an insect character which may be generated by the insect character generation control section 311 is stored. FIG. 6 is a view showing a data configuration example of the insect character information 820. The insect character information 820 is provided for each type of insect character, and includes an insect type 821, a generation condition 822, a degree of rarity 823, a price 824, a rank 825, and character setting data 826.
  • [0121]
    As the insect type 821, the name of the insect character is stored, for example. The insect type 821 is used to identify the type of the insect character.
  • [0122]
    A condition for determining whether or not to select the insect character as a candidate for the insect character to be generated is set as the generation condition 822.
  • [0123]
    In more detail, the generation condition 822 is defined by a condition relating to the beacon detection date and detection time, a condition relating to the period such as the season such as “Spring”, “Summer”, “Autumn”, and “Winter”, a condition relating to the time zone such as “Morning”, “Daytime”, “Evening”, and “Night”, a condition relating to the cumulative play time, a condition relating to the input sound, a condition relating to the current position (latitude and longitude) of the game device, a condition relating to the number of beacons received and the beacon reception frequency, or a combination of these conditions, for example. This allows the type of insect character newly generated to be variably controlled corresponding to the date, time, time zone, current position, input sound, the number of beacons received, the beacon reception frequency, and the cumulative play time when reception of the beacon has been detected. A condition of which the content is not set is regarded as a condition which is unconditionally satisfied. For example, it is determined that an insect character for which the condition relating to the input sound is not set satisfies the condition relating to the input sound irrespective of the presence or absence of input sound.
  • [0124]
    The insect character generation control section 311 selects the insect character information 820 which satisfies the generation condition 822 as a candidate when generating an insect character.
  • [0125]
    In more detail, when the condition relating to the detection date and detection time, the condition relating to the period, and the condition relating to the time zone are set as the generation condition 822, the insect character generation control section 311 determines whether or not the conditions are satisfied based on the current time information.
  • [0126]
    When the condition relating to the current position is set as the generation condition 822, the insect character generation control section 311 acquires the current position of the game device by controlling the GPS positioning section 700, and determines whether or not the condition is satisfied.
  • [0127]
    When the condition relating to the input sound is set as the generation condition 822, the insect character generation control section 311 determines whether or not the condition is satisfied based on sound data input from the sound input section 200.
  • [0128]
    When the condition relating to the number of beacons received and the beacon reception frequency is set as the generation condition 822, the insect character generation control section 311 calculates the number of beacons received and the beacon reception frequency referring to the beacon reception history 870, and determines whether or not the condition is satisfied.
  • [0129]
    When the condition relating to the cumulative play time is set as the generation condition 822, the insect character generation control section 311 determines whether or not the condition is satisfied by referring to the cumulative play time 860.
  • [0130]
    For example, when the current time is “2005/08/01 17:32” and the number of beacons received at present is “45”, the insect character information 820 of a “robust cicada” shown in FIG. 6 is selected as a candidate for an insect character to be generated.
  • [0131]
    The insect character information 820 in which no condition is set as the generation condition 822 is included in the insect character information 820 so that two or more types of insect character information 820 are necessarily selected as candidates. The type of insect character actually generated is determined based on the degree of rarity 823.
  • [0132]
    The degree of rarity 823 indicates the level of the availability of the insect character using values “0” to “99”. The smaller the value of the degree of rarity 823, the more easily available the insect character, and the larger the value of the degree of rarity 823, the less easily available the insect character. When the insect character generation control section 311 generates an insect character, the insect character generation control section 311 calculates the generation ratio of each insect type 821 based on the value of the degree of rarity 823 set as the insect character information 820 which satisfies the generation condition 822, and determines the insect type to be generated according to the calculated generation ratio.
  • [0133]
    In more detail, the insect character generation control section 311 calculates the generation ratio of the insect type 821 corresponding to the selected insect character information 820 provided that the generation probability when the value of the degree of rarity 823 is “0” is “100%” and the generation probability when the value of the degree of rarity 823 is “99” is “1%”, for example. Consider the case where three pieces of insect character information 820 which satisfies the generation condition 822 are selected, and the value of the degree of rarity 823 set for the selected insect character information 820 is respectively “0”, “60”, and “40”. In this case, the generation probabilities of the corresponding insect types 821 are respectively “100%”, “40%”, and “60%”. The generation ratio of each insect type 821 is calculated using the generation probability. For example, the generation ratio of each insect type 821 is 100/200:40/200:60/200 (=5:2:3). The insect type to be generated is determined according to this generation ratio.
  • [0134]
    The price 824 is a price set in advance corresponding to the degree of rarity 823. The price becomes higher as the value of the degree of rarity 823 becomes larger.
  • [0135]
    The rank 825 indicates the degree of rarity 823 using the number of stars. The number of stars becomes larger as the value of the degree of rarity 823 becomes larger.
  • [0136]
    The price 824 and the rank 825 are displayed on the game screen as the value of the insect character.
  • [0137]
    As the character setting data 826, image data for displaying a video image or a still image of the insect character, song data of the insect character, and the like are stored.
  • [0138]
    As the collection list 830, a list of insect characters which have been generated by the insect character generation control section 311 and added to the collection by the collection registration operation is stored and managed. The insect characters registered in the collection list 830 are displayed as a still image on the collection screen on the upper screen 400 a.
  • [0139]
    FIG. 7 is a view showing a data configuration example of the collection list 830. The collection list 830 is a data table in which the generation location and the generation time are set while being associated with the insect type.
  • [0140]
    The MAC address of the AP 9 which has transmitted the beacon by which the insect character has been generated and the absolute position (latitude and longitude) of the game device measured by the GPS positioning section 700 when detecting reception of the beacon are set as the generation location.
  • [0141]
    The time information when generating the insect character is set as the generation time.
  • [0142]
    As the discarded character list 840, a list of insect characters which have been generated by the insect character generation control section 311 and discarded by the discard operation is stored and managed. FIG. 8 is a view showing a data configuration example of the discarded character list 840. The data configuration of the discarded character list 840 is similar to that of the collection list 830 described with reference to FIG. 7, in which the generation location and the generation time are set while being associated with the insect type.
  • [0143]
    As the insect cage list 850, a list of insect characters which have been generated by the insect character generation control section 311 and have not been added to the collection or discarded by the player's operation is stored and managed. The insect characters registered in the insect cage list 850 are displayed as a video image on the insect cage screen on the lower screen 400 b. FIG. 9 is a view showing a data configuration example of the insect cage list 850. The data configuration of the insect cage list 850 is similar to that of the collection list 830 described with reference to FIG. 7, in which the generation location and the generation time are set while being associated with the insect type.
  • [0144]
    As the cumulative play time 860, the time elapsed after starting the game is stored. The cumulative play time 860 is counted and appropriately updated by the game calculation section 310.
  • [0145]
    As the beacon reception history 870, the time information when detecting reception of a beacon is stored. The beacon reception history 870 is updated by the generation frequency adjustment section 311 a.
  • [0146]
    As the last insect character generation time 880, the time information when generating the insect character for the last time is stored. The insect character generation control section 311 updates the last insect character generation time 880 each time the insect character generation control section 311 generates the insect character.
  • [0000]
    <Processing Flow>
  • [0147]
    The flow of processing performed by the game device 1 is described below with reference to FIGS. 10 and 11. The processing described below is realized by causing the processing section 300 to read and execute the game program 810 including the insect character generation control program 811 and the generation frequency adjustment program 813.
  • [0148]
    FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrative of the flow of game processing according to this embodiment. This processing starts when the game device 1 is turned ON, and repeatedly performed until the game device 1 is turned OFF.
  • [0149]
    The insect character generation control section 311 executes insect character generation control processing (step a10). FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrative of the flow of the insect character generation control processing.
  • [0150]
    In the insect character generation control processing, when a beacon has been received (step b10: YES), the processing transitions to a step b20. On the other hand, when a beacon has not been received (step b10: NO), the processing transitions to a step b130.
  • [0151]
    Specifically, the generation frequency adjustment section 311 a acquires the current time and updates the beacon reception history 870 (step b20), and the insect character generation control section 311 detects the MAC address of the AP 9 which has transmitted the received beacon (step b30). The insect character generation control section 311 sequentially checks the MAC addresses set as the collection list 830, the insect cage list 850, and the discarded character list 840, and determines whether or not the MAC address coincides with the detected MAC address. When the MAC address coincides with the detected MAC address, that is, when the detected MAC address is the same as the MAC address by which the insect character has been generated, the insect character generation control section 311 determines that the detected MAC address has been previously received (step b40: YES), and transitions to the step b130.
  • [0152]
    When the MAC address has not been received (step b40: NO), the generation frequency adjustment section 311 a counts the number of beacons received during the last 10 minutes by referring to the beacon reception history 870 (step b50). The generation frequency adjustment section 311 a calculates the insect character generation rate according to the counted number of beacons received (step b69).
  • [0153]
    After the generation frequency adjustment section 311 a has calculated the insect character generation rate, the insect character generation control section 311 determines whether or not to generate an insect character based on the calculated generation rate. When the insect character generation control section 311 has determined that an insect character is not to be generated (step b70: NO), the processing transitions to the step b130.
  • [0154]
    When the insect character generation control section 311 has determined that an insect character is to be generated (step b70: YES), the insect character generation control section 311 checks the generation condition 822 set as the insect character information 820 and selects the insect character information 820 which satisfies the generation condition 822 (step b80). The insect character generation control section 311 calculates the generation ratio of the corresponding insect types 821 according to the degree of rarity 823 respectively set as the selected insect character information 820, and determines the insect type to be generated according to the calculated generation ratio (step b90).
  • [0155]
    After the insect character generation control section 311 has determined the insect type, the insect character generation control section 311 acquires the absolute position (latitude and longitude) of the game device by controlling the GPS positioning section 700, and adds a record including the MAC address detected in the step b30, the measured absolute position, and the current time information to the insect cage list 850 while associating the record with the determined insect type (step b100). The insect character generation control section 311 sets the current time information as the last insect character generation time 880 to update the last insect character generation time 880 (step b110).
  • [0156]
    The insect character generation control section 311 performs control for updating the display of the insect cage screen and causes the insect character of the determined insect type to be displayed on the insect cage screen (step b120). The image generation section 330 refers to the insect character information 820 based on the insect cage list 850 and generates the insect cage screen. The image generation section 330 outputs image signals of the generated insect cage screen to the lower screen 400 b to update the display of the insect cage screen. After the display of the insect cage screen has been updated, the processing is finished.
  • [0157]
    When the insect character generation control section 311 has determined that transition to the step b130 is justified in the step b10, b40, or b70, the insect character generation control section 311 refers to the last insect character generation time 880 and determines whether or not a specific undetected time (e.g. 10 hours) has elapsed after generating the last insect character. When the specific undetected time has not elapsed (step b130: NO), the processing is finished. When the specific undetected time has elapsed (step b130: YES), processing similar to the steps b80 to b120 is executed.
  • [0158]
    Specifically, the insect character generation control section 311 selects the insect character information 820 which satisfies the generation condition 822 (step b140). The insect character generation control section 311 calculates the generation ratio of the corresponding insect types 821 according to the degree of rarity 823 respectively set as the selected insect character information 820, and determines the insect type to be generated according to the calculated generation ratio (step b150).
  • [0159]
    After the insect character generation control section 311 has determined the insect type, the insect character generation control section 311 acquires the absolute position (latitude and longitude) of the game device by controlling the GPS positioning section 700, sets a blank value as the MAC address, and adds a record including the determined insect type, the measured absolute position, and the current time information to the insect cage list 850 (step b160). The insect character generation control section 311 sets the current time information as the last insect character generation time 880 to update the last insect character generation time 880 (step b170).
  • [0160]
    The insect character generation control section 311 performs control for updating the display of the insect cage screen to display the insect character of the determined insect type on the insect cage screen (step b180). After the display of the insect cage screen has been updated, the processing is finished.
  • [0161]
    Again referring to FIG. 10, when the touch operation has been performed on the lower screen 400 b during the game and the slide operation which designates an insect character on the insect cage screen has been performed (step a20), the game calculation section 310 determines whether the slide operation is the collection registration operation or the discard operation depending on the slide direction of the slide operation to cause the processing to branch.
  • [0162]
    When the slide operation is the collection registration operation, the game calculation section 310 reads the record of the designated insect character from the insect cage list 850, adds the record to the collection list 830, and deletes the record from the insect cage list 850 (step a30).
  • [0163]
    The image generation section 330 then updates the display of the collection screen and the insect cage screen (step a40). Specifically, the image generation section 330 refers to the insect character information 820 based on the collection list 830 and generates the collection screen. The image generation section 330 outputs image signals of the generated collection screen to the upper screen 400 a to update the display of the collection screen. The image generation section 330 refers to the insect character information 820 based on the insect cage list 850 and generates the insect cage screen. The image generation section 330 outputs image signals of the generated insect cage screen to the lower screen 400 b to update the display of the insect cage screen.
  • [0164]
    When the slide operation is the discard operation, the game calculation section 310 reads the record of the designated insect character from the insect cage list 850, adds the record to the discarded character list 840, and deletes the record from the insect cage list 850 (step a5O).
  • [0165]
    The image generation section 330 then updates the display of the insect cage screen (step a60). Specifically, the image generation section 330 refers to the insect character information 820 based on the insect cage list 850 and generates the insect cage screen. The image generation section 330 outputs image signals of the generated insect cage screen to the lower screen 400 b to update the display of the insect cage screen.
  • [0166]
    The above-described game processing is repeatedly performed until the game device 1 is turned OFF. When the game device 1 has been turned OFF (step b70: YES), the processing is finished.
  • [0167]
    According to this embodiment, when reception of a beacon transmitted from the AP 9 has been detected, the MAC address of the AP 9 is detected, and a new insect character is generated based on the detected MAC address and displayed on the game screen. When the detected MAC address has been previously received (when the detected MAC address is the same as the MAC address by which the insect character has been generated), generation of a new character can be prevented. When the beacon reception frequency is high as a result of counting the number of beacons received, the insect character generation frequency can be adjusted by reducing the insect character generation rate.
  • [0168]
    This realizes a novel interesting game in which the player enjoys collecting insect characters.
  • [0000]
    <Modification>
  • [0169]
    The preferred embodiments of the invention have been described above. Note that the invention is not limited to the above-described embodiments. Various modifications and variations may be made within the spirit and scope of the invention.
  • [0170]
    For example, a condition given below may be set as the generation condition for determining whether or not to select the insect character as a candidate for the insect character to be generated.
  • [0171]
    Specifically, a condition relating to the temperature may be set. In this case, a thermosensor is provided in the game device 1, for example. When the insect character generation control section 311 has detected reception of a beacon, the insect character generation control section 311 selects the insect character which satisfies the condition relating to the temperature based on the temperature detected by the thermosensor. This allows the type of insect character newly generated to be controlled depending on the temperature when reception of a beacon has been detected.
  • [0172]
    A condition relating to the number of steps taken may be set. In this case, a pedometer (registered trademark) is provided in the game device 1, for example. When the insect character generation control section 311 has detected reception of a beacon, the insect character generation control section 311 selects the insect character which satisfies the condition relating to the number of steps based on the number of steps counted using the pedometer. This allows the type of insect character newly generated to be controlled depending on the number of steps when reception of a beacon has been detected.
  • [0173]
    A condition relating to the noise level may be set. In this case, a noise sensor which detects the noise level in the environment is provided in the game device 1, for example. When the insect character generation control section 311 has detected reception of a beacon, the insect character generation control section 311 selects the insect character which satisfies the condition relating to the noise level based on the noise level detected using the noise sensor. This prevents an insect character from being newly generated when the noise level is equal to or greater than a specific threshold value based on the noise level in the environment when reception of a beacon has been detected, for example.
  • [0174]
    The player may virtually carry a bait (item) according to the player's operation, and an insect character which is fond of the bait may be generated with a high probability. In this case, information relating to favorite food (information such as “banana” or “watermelon”) is set as the insect character information 820, for example. Icons of various baits are displayed on the game screen (e.g. lower screen 400 b). When the icon has been selected by the touch operation on the lower screen 400 b, the player virtually carries the bait. When reception of a beacon is detected within a specific period (e.g. one hour) from the above operation to generate an insect character, the insect character information 820 in which the bait virtually carried by the player is set as the information relating to favorite food is selected as a candidate at a probability higher than other pieces of insect character information 820 (e.g. “80:20%” or “100:0%”). The bait is canceled after the specific period has elapsed. This allows production in which the player lures and captures an insect utilizing the odor of the bait.
  • [0175]
    A condition relating to the sender ID may be set. For example, a specific MAC address and a special character which is generated when detecting the MAC address are defined in advance. In more detail, a special character is defined in advance while associating the special character with a specific manufacturer's number by utilizing the identification number (e.g. higher-order eight bits) of the MAC address specific to the manufacturer, for example. The insect character generation control section 311 determines the manufacturer's number of the detected MAC address from the received beacon, and, when the manufacturer's number is a specific manufacturer's number, generates the corresponding special character.
  • [0176]
    The type of insect character to be generated may be uniquely determined by comparing the MAC address of the AP 9 detected from the received beacon with the MAC address of the game device. In more detail, the type of insect character to be generated is determined depending on the numerical relationship (e.g. difference) between the detected MAC address of the AP 9 and the MAC address of the game device. This allows the type of insect character to be generated to be controlled corresponding to the combination of the MAC address of the game device and the MAC address of the AP 9.
  • [0177]
    The above embodiment illustrates the case of controlling only the type of insect character generated upon detection of reception of a beacon. Note that the number of insect characters newly generated may also be controlled. In more detail, the number of insect characters generated may be set in advance corresponding to the date, time, time zone, current position, and input sound when reception of a beacon has been detected, the number of beacons received and the beacon reception frequency when reception of the beacon has been detected, the cumulative play time, the temperature, the number of steps, and the like to variably control the number of insect characters generated. A condition relating to the number of insect characters generated may be set for each insect type and stored as the insect character information 820.
  • [0178]
    The above embodiment illustrates the case where generation of a new character is prevented when the MAC address detected from the received beacon is the same as the MAC address by which the insect character has been generated. Note that the following modification may also be employed. Specifically, an insect character of the same type may be generated by controlling the type of insect character to be generated. In more detail, when the detected MAC address coincides with the MAC address stored in the collection list 830, the discarded character list 840, or the insect cage list 850, the insect character generation control section 311 generates the insect character of the corresponding insect type.
  • [0179]
    A detection section for measuring the intensity of radio waves received by the wireless communication section 600 may be provided in the game device 1 to provide production corresponding to the received radio wave intensity level.
  • [0180]
    In more detail, the insect character generation control section 311 may display a message prompting the player to move for generating a new insect character on the game screen in a period in which the received radio wave intensity level measured by the detection section is equal to or less than a specific threshold value. FIG. 12 is a view showing an example of the game screen in this case. FIG. 12 shows the game screen displayed on the lower screen 400 b. In FIG. 12, a message “There is something nearby . . . ” is displayed on the insect cage screen W21 on the lower screen 400 b as the message prompting the player to move.
  • [0181]
    When the received radio wave intensity level is equal to or greater than the specific threshold value, the insect character generation control section 311 transitions to the step of updating the beacon reception history 870 (step b20 in FIG. 11), and generates an insect character by executing the above processing.
  • [0182]
    The above embodiment illustrates the case where a new insect character is generated using the MAC address included in the received beacon as the sender ID. Note that a service set identifier (SSID) included in the beacon may be detected, and a new insect character may be generated using the detected SSID as the sender ID.
  • [0183]
    Or, a value such as the IP address, the serial number provided to the communication instrument, or an ID assigned by the user may be acquired as the sender ID, and a new insect character may be generated based on the acquired sender ID.
  • [0184]
    The invention is not limited to the case of utilizing a beacon periodically transmitted from the AP 9. It is also possible to utilize a probe request transmitted from the terminal station to question the presence or absence of the AP 9 which exists near the terminal station and a probe response transmitted from the AP 9 to respond to the probe request. In this case, the game device 1 regularly transmits the probe request, and generates an insect character by utilizing the probe response transmitted from the AP 9 to respond to the probe request.
  • [0185]
    The above embodiment illustrates the case of applying the invention to the portable game device. Note that the invention may also be applied to other terminal devices which can be carried by the player, such as a portable telephone or PDA.
  • [0186]
    In the case of applying the invention to a portable telephone, when communication has been established with a wireless base station which forms a wireless communication system realized by a known portable telephone system managed by a portable telephone service provider, the ID of the base station with which the communication has been established may be acquired as the sender ID, and a new insect character may be generated based on the acquired sender ID.
  • [0187]
    The above embodiment illustrates the case where wireless communication according to the wireless LAN standard is performed between the AP 9 and the game device 1. Note that the invention may also be applied to communication according to other communication standards such as an infrared communication standard such as IrDA, Bluetooth standard, and wireless USB standard. The game device 1 generates an insect character corresponding to a signal from another communication instrument which can perform wireless communication of the same standard as the communication instrument provided in the game device 1.
  • [0188]
    When the game device 1 has entered a wireless communication area of another game device 1 and can communicate with the other game device 1, the game devices 1 may exchange insect characters. For example, the game devices 1 may transfer and exchange data of insect characters managed in the insect cage list 850.
  • [0189]
    The above embodiment illustrates the case where the invention is applied to the game in which the player enjoys collecting insect characters. Note that the type of character collected is not limited thereto. For example, a game may be realized in which existing or past trains are used as characters, and train characters which existed or are existing near the generation location (absolute position) are collected. In this case, train characters in various places in Japan can be collected by traveling all over Japan.
  • [0190]
    Although only some embodiments of the invention are described in detail above, those skilled in the art would readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the invention. Accordingly, such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. An image display control method comprising:
    receiving a sender ID transmitted from another communication instrument which is located in a current wireless communication area and performs wireless communication according to a specific communication standard; and
    generating a new character upon reception of the sender ID and displaying an image of the character.
  2. 2. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    generating a new character while variably controlling a type and/or a number of characters newly generated upon reception of the sender ID.
  3. 3. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on time and/or date when receiving the sender ID.
  4. 4. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    counting cumulative play time; and
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the counted cumulative play time.
  5. 5. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    acquiring a current position of a player's device; and
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the acquired current position.
  6. 6. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    selecting an item from predetermined items for increasing a generation probability of a specific type of character according to a player's operation input; and
    increasing a generation probability of a character of a type corresponding to the selected item as a generation probability of a character newly generated.
  7. 7. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    uniquely determining a type of character newly generated based on the received sender ID and a player's device ID set in advance.
  8. 8. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    determining reception frequency of the sender ID; and
    changing a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the determined frequency.
  9. 9. The image display control method as defined in claim 8, comprising:
    when the determined frequency satisfies a specific high frequency condition, reducing a generation rate of a character upon reception of a sender ID.
  10. 10. The image display control method as defined in claim 8, comprising:
    determining whether or not to generate a new character even if the sender ID has not been received based on an unreceived time in which the sender ID is not received, and generating a new character when having determined that a new character is to be generated.
  11. 11. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    storing the received sender ID by which a character has been generated while associating the sender ID with the generated character; and
    when a received sender ID is the same as the sender ID which has been previously stored, generating a character of the same type as the character associated with the sender ID.
  12. 12. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    determining whether or not a received sender ID is a sender ID which has been previously received; and
    preventing generation of a new character upon reception of the sender ID when having determined that the sender ID has been previously received.
  13. 13. The image display control method as defined in claim 1, comprising:
    generating a predetermined special character upon reception of a sender ID which satisfies a specific ID condition.
  14. 14. A portable game device for executing a game in which a player enjoys collecting characters, the game device being provided with wireless communication section which performs wireless communication according to a specific communication standard, the game device comprising:
    reception detection section which detects that the wireless communication section has received a sender ID transmitted from another communication instrument which is located in a current wireless communication area and performs wireless communication according to the communication standard; and
    character display control section which generates a new character upon detection by the reception detection section and displaying an image of the character.
  15. 15. The game device as defined in claim 14,
    wherein the character display control section variably controls a type and/or a number of characters newly generated upon detection by the reception detection section.
  16. 16. The game device as defined in claim 14, further comprising:
    detection frequency determination section which determines a detection frequency of the reception detection section;
    wherein the character display control section changes a type and/or a number of characters newly generated based on the detection frequency determined by the detection frequency determination section.
  17. 17. The game device as defined in claim 14,
    wherein the character display control section determines whether or not a sender ID received by the wireless communication section is a sender ID which has been previously received, and prevents generation of a new character upon detection of reception of the sender ID when the character display control section has determined that the sender ID has been previously received.
  18. 18. The game device as defined in claim 14, comprising:
    specific ID reception detection section which detects that the wireless communication section has received a sender ID which satisfies a specific ID condition;
    wherein the character display control section generates a predetermined special character upon detection by the specific ID reception detection section.
  19. 19. A storage medium having stored therein a program for causing a processor to execute the method as defined in claim 1.
  20. 20. A data signal embodied in a carrier wave comprising information used to execute the method as defined in claim 1.
US11515995 2005-09-07 2006-09-06 Program, information storage medium, and game device Abandoned US20070060353A1 (en)

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JP2005-259278 2005-09-07

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GB0617537D0 (en) 2006-10-18 grant
JP4741327B2 (en) 2011-08-03 grant
GB2429930A (en) 2007-03-14 application

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