US20070218980A1 - System and Method for Instant Ticket-Based Entertainment Game - Google Patents

System and Method for Instant Ticket-Based Entertainment Game Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070218980A1
US20070218980A1 US11734487 US73448707A US2007218980A1 US 20070218980 A1 US20070218980 A1 US 20070218980A1 US 11734487 US11734487 US 11734487 US 73448707 A US73448707 A US 73448707A US 2007218980 A1 US2007218980 A1 US 2007218980A1
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game
instant
ticket
pre
server
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Abandoned
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US11734487
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Spyridon Pachnis
Elena Lialiamou
Marios Anapliotis
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Intralot SA
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Intralot SA
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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
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3223Architectural aspects of a gaming system, e.g. internal configuration, master/slave, wireless communication
    • 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
    • A63F13/12Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions involving interaction between a plurality of game devices, e.g. transmisison or distribution systems
    • 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
    • A63F13/35Details of game servers
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/10Office automation, e.g. computer aided management of electronic mail or groupware; Time management, e.g. calendars, reminders, meetings or time accounting
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/26Push based network services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • H04L67/306User profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L69/00Application independent communication protocol aspects or techniques in packet data networks
    • H04L69/30Definitions, standards or architectural aspects of layered protocol stacks
    • H04L69/32High level architectural aspects of 7-layer open systems interconnection [OSI] type protocol stacks
    • H04L69/322Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions
    • H04L69/329Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions in the application layer, i.e. layer seven
    • 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
    • A63F2300/406Transmission via wireless network, e.g. pager or GSM
    • 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
    • A63F2300/407Data transfer via internet
    • 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
    • A63F2300/50Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/08Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications adapted for terminal emulation, e.g. telnet
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/12Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications adapted for proprietary or special purpose networking environments, e.g. medical networks, sensor networks, networks in a car or remote metering networks

Abstract

The present invention relates to systems and methods for playing an instant ticket-based entertainment game combining elements of chance and player skill. In an embodiment of the present invention, a game player receives an electronic scratch-off instant ticket from a central server over a communications network (e.g., a mobile phone network). The instant ticket may provide an instant prize and may also provide entry into an inter-active multiplayer bonus game (e.g., a car racing game) by awarding the game player with at least one game attribute (e.g., car type, time in which to complete race) to be used during play of the bonus game. Scores are reported to the game server upon completion of the game and winners are determined by the game server based on game player rankings at various checkpoints throughout the bonus game. Another embodiment of the present invention may include a mystery promotion prize feature.

Description

  • This patent application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/404,402, filed on Apr. 13, 2006, entitled “System and Method for Entertainment Game,” which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to communication systems and methods for implementing mobile, PC and console entertainment games with instant ticket capabilities.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Communication between people has been a main social event ever since the invention of the telephone reduced the spatial limits of communication—further reduced by the subsequent introduction of the Internet. Whereas communication via telephone generally continues to be delimited to a person-to-person contact or between limited numbers of participants in a conference call, Internet and related networks use platforms for more open communication between larger groups of people, sometimes between a virtually unlimited number of participants. In contrast to traditional broadcasting (e.g., radio, television), communication through modern communication networks operates bi-directionally. One well-known example of multi-directional communication is commonly known as a “chat room”.
  • Prior to the invention of computers, games were primarily used as a means of social interaction—to bring people together. Prior to the inception of digital media distribution channels, single-player betting and instant ticket games predominated. Players would bet against a bet company, e.g., “the bookmaker”, on the results of sporting events or other types of events through points-of-sale. Players would also buy instant scratch-off tickets that reveal instant-winnings. The introduction of digital distribution channels, and especially mobile phone gaming, have radically changed the way games are conceived and designed. Because mobile phones are personal devices connected to each other over a communication network and are used extensively for facilitating social events and for keeping in touch with friends, family and others, and because games are social events that require social environments, digital channels, particularly mobile phones, and multiplayer gaming are a natural fit that should be widely accepted by a global consumer market.
  • Any game is, in a sense, a competition, a struggle—players are expected to prepare and train to achieve their objectives. In a single-player game, the player's struggle may be against chance, in the case of a statistical number game, or against odds calculated by a “bookmaker”. In most current games, players compete against statistical challenges, mental challenges and, of course, luck. Often, the outcome of these games may also depend upon the player's skill or knowledge. In a multiplayer game, the player's struggle is usually against opposing players. The players' skills and knowledge typically dictate the performance of each player and the game's outcome. Multiplayer games give players the ability to hinder or help each other, bet against each other, or participate in cash competitions. Other types of challenges that exist in single-player games may also exist in multiplayer games. For example, the need to think several moves ahead in a strategy game like chess presents mental challenges while the ticket winning distribution in an instant ticket cash competition provides statistical challenges.
  • The concept of “metagame,” a “game around the game,” involves a set of surrounding factors and circumstances that increase interest in a game and promote repeat play. For example, in online card games, the ability of players to socialize during game-play via a communication network with a chat feature may be very important for the ultimate success of the game. For two-player games, a “challenge” system whereby one player can challenge another to play the game may also be important. Game seasons and tournaments are other examples of circumstances that may enhance a game's success. For many game players, the outcome of an entire season or tournament may be more important than whether they win or lose a particular game. In other words, tournaments and seasons give players an incentive to compete for the honor of winning the tournament or championship. Gaming therefore becomes an ongoing event instead of one session of game-play.
  • Currently, entertainment gaming solutions exist for PC, mobile and console devices with different implementation architectures. However, there are currently no adequate technological solutions available for enabling an effective combination of entertainment games and lottery/chance or betting games for a multitude of channels including PC, mobile and console devices.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • These and other long-felt but previously unmet needs are addressed, at least in part, by various aspects of the present invention.
  • The present invention combines elements of chance, competition against other players and individual skill in an instant ticket game that is exciting, fun and simple to play. Players are entertained by learning to improve their skill levels and thereby increase their odds of winning. The aspects of the present invention allow players to connect to a community and freely meet opponents thus permitting play from a mobile phone even for those who are on the move.
  • The present invention, therefore, is a natural choice for game service providers seeking to offer unique entertainment games combined with skill and chance features. Games can be offered through a variety of digital channels, including, though not limited to, mobile networks (e.g., GPRS, 3G, SMS, WAP), Internet, game consoles and interactive TV. In addition, game service providers will be able to offer complete game lobby features including matchmaking, online and offline messaging, scores, rankings, relevant statistics and content.
  • One aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a gaming system for an instant ticket game combining elements of chance and skill comprising a game server, at least one instant ticket edition file, a user device, a communications medium for enabling communication between the game server and the user device, and a game client. The instant ticket edition file is generated by the game server and comprises a set of bonus games with game attributes and a set of instant tickets. The instant ticket edition file has a preselected total payout to be awarded for that set of instant tickets. The instant tickets comprise a base game corresponding to an instant-win play area and at least one game attribute for use during play of a bonus game selected from the set of bonus games. The game client is downloaded from the game server to the user device over the communications medium, typically before the purchase of an instant ticket by the user. The game client loads, from the purchased instant ticket, the game attribute for bonus play prior to running the bonus game. The outcome of the bonus game is at least partially dependent upon a combination of the game attribute and the gaming skill of a participating user.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a gaming system for an entertainment game combining elements of chance and player skill comprising at least one instant ticket edition file with a pre-selected total payout, the at least one instant ticket edition file comprising a set of interactive bonus games with associated game attributes and a set of instant tickets for awarding instant prizes and at least one game attribute for use in at least one interactive bonus game. The gaming system further comprises a pre-selected set of winning categories. At least one winning category comprises an instant prize awarded with an instant ticket. At least one other winning category comprises a checkpoint winning based on the performance of a player using the awarded at least one game attribute during play of the at least one interactive bonus game. During the interactive bonus game, a player competes against other players. Therefore, the outcome of the interactive bonus game depends in part on the player's performance as well as on the performance of his or her opponent(s). The performance of a player is measured, at least in part, by the player's ranking position relative to the other players at a game checkpoint associated with the checkpoint winning. A game checkpoint may occur at pre-defined time periods or when all instant tickets of an edition file are sold. In a rally game, for example, each checkpoint may correspond to a different position on a race track. The checkpoints are pre-defined for each interactive bonus game.
  • Yet another aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of an instant ticket edition file for use in an instant ticket entertainment game combining elements of luck and user skill comprising a set of bonus games with associated bonus game attributes, a set of instant tickets wherein at least one instant ticket of the set of instant tickets includes an instant-win play area and a bonus game play area, a pre-selected payout amount, and a pre-selected set of winning categories. The instant-win play area comprises a concealed instant-win prize and the bonus game play area comprises a concealed bonus game attribute for use in at least one bonus game selected from the set of bonus games. The outcome of the bonus game is at least partially dependent upon a combination of the bonus game attribute of the at least one instant ticket and the gaming skill of a game player.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a method for playing an entertainment game combining elements of luck and skill. First, a game ticket is requested from a system server through a client device in communication with the system server over a network. The game ticket comprises an instant-win play area corresponding to an instant-win prize and an interactive play area corresponding to a game attribute for use in an interactive bonus game. The outcome of the interactive bonus game depends, at least in part, on a combination of the game attribute and game user skill. Second, the requested game ticket is received at the client device. Third, the game ticket is displayed on the client device.
  • Still yet another aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a method for playing a game combining elements of chance and player skill comprising the following steps. First, a central server generates an edition file based, in part, on a pre-selected total payout amount. The edition file comprises a series of instant-win vouchers and the instantwin vouchers provide an instant-win prize and at least one game attribute for use in an associated interactive bonus game at least partially utilizing player skill. Next, the central server transmits an instant-win voucher to a client device via a communication network.
  • In one embodiment of this aspect of the present invention, the pre-selected total payout amount comprises a pre-selected total mystery prize amount and the series of instant-win vouchers comprises at least one mystery prize winning voucher inserted at a predetermined location within the series of instant-win vouchers. The at least one mystery prize winning voucher awards at least a pre-selected portion of the pre-selected total mystery prize amount. The method further comprises the following steps. A counter value associated with the edition file is increased by a uniform pre-selected amount, such that when the at least one mystery prize winning voucher is transmitted, the counter value will correspond to the pre-selected portion of the pre-selected total mystery prize amount awarded with the mystery prize winning voucher. The counter value will also be displayed.
  • A further aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a method for playing a game whose outcome depends on both random parameters and player skill. A client device first downloads a client application from a system server via a communications network. The client then receives unique identifying information relating to a player and transmits the unique identifying information to the system server for authentication of the player and authorization of game play. Upon successful authorization by the system server, the system server transmits an instant ticket to the client device. The instant ticket comprises an instant prize and a game attribute for use in a corresponding interactive bonus game. The game client then loads the game attribute into the client device. Next, the game client runs the interactive bonus game on the client device with the loaded game attribute. Upon successful completion of the interactive bonus game, a game score is reported to the system server. The outcome of the interactive bonus game depends, at least in part, on a combination of player skill and the game attribute provided by the instant ticket.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a gaming system for an instant ticket game combining elements of chance and user skill comprising an instant ticket file object, a game device and a central server for generating the instant ticket file object and for distributing the instant ticket file object to the game device via a communications network. The instant ticket file object comprises an instant-win game and an interactive bonus game. The game device receives the instant ticket file object and displays a graphical representation of the instant ticket file object. The graphical representation of the instant ticket file object comprises an instant-win game play area corresponding to the instant-win game and an interactive bonus game play area corresponding to the interactive bonus game. The user enters input into the game device to advance play of the instant-win game and to advance play of the interactive bonus game. The result of the instant-win game is based on a random parameter and the result of the interactive bonus game is based at least partly on a combination of a measure of a user's performance and a game attribute randomly assigned to the interactive bonus game play area of the instant ticket file object.
  • Yet another aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a system for playing an interactive instant ticket lottery game combining elements of user skill and chance comprising a game server and at least one game terminal. The game server comprises a processor for generating an instant ticket edition file. The instant ticket edition file comprises a set of bonus games with associated game attributes and a series of instant tickets for randomly awarding an instant prize and a game attribute for use in at least one bonus game. At least one instant ticket of the series of instant tickets corresponds to a mystery promotion winning ticket located at a pre-selected position within the series of instant tickets. The game terminal is configured to receive an instant ticket from the game server over a communications medium, display the instant prize and the game attribute awarded with the received instant ticket, and display a mystery promotion counter value assigned, by the game server, to the received instant ticket. The mystery promotion counter value assigned to the first instant ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a pre-selected minimum value. The value assigned to each subsequent ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a uniformly increasing amount such that the mystery promotion counter value assigned to the mystery promotion winning ticket corresponds to a pre-determined mystery prize value.
  • A further aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a system for playing an instant ticket-based entertainment game comprising a processor located in a central server and at least one client device connected to the central server via a communication network. The processor is configured to generate a series of pre-sorted instant tickets. At least one instant ticket in the series of pre-sorted instant tickets corresponds to a mystery prize winning ticket inserted into a pre-selected position within the series of pre-sorted instant tickets. A plurality of instant tickets award at least one instant prize and at least one game attribute for use in an interactive bonus game. The processor assigns a counter value to each instant ticket in the series of instant tickets. The value assigned to the first instant ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a pre-selected minimum value. The value assigned to each subsequent ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a uniformly increasing amount such that the value assigned to the mystery promotion winning ticket will correspond to a pre-determined mystery prize value. The client device requests an instant ticket from the central server, receives the requested instant ticket from the central server over the communication network, displays the instant prize and the game attribute awarded with the received instant ticket, and displays the counter value assigned to the received instant ticket.
  • An additional aspect of the present invention is an embodiment of a method for distributing instant tickets in an instant ticket-based entertainment game comprising a mystery promotion feature. A processor located in a server generates at least one ticket file object. The at least one ticket file object comprises a set of bonus games with associated game attributes, a series of pre-sorted instant tickets for awarding an instant prize and a game attribute for use in a bonus game selected from the set of bonus games and a fixed total payout. In a preferred embodiment, each instant ticket awards a set of game attributes corresponding to one and only one of the available bonus games. At least one instant ticket in the series of pre-sorted instant tickets corresponds to a mystery promotion winning ticket inserted at a pre-selected position within the series of pre-sorted instant tickets. The fixed total payout comprises a fixed pre-selected mystery promotion winning ticket payout amount corresponding to the prize value awarded with the at least one first mystery promotion winning ticket. A processor assigns a counter value to each ticket in the series of tickets. The counter value assigned to the first instant ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a pre-selected minimum value. The counter value assigned to each subsequent ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a uniformly increasing amount such that the value assigned to the mystery promotion winning ticket will correspond to a predetermined mystery prize value. An instant ticket is then distributed to a remote client device over a communication network. The counter value assigned to the distributed instant ticket is displayed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIGS. 1A and 1B show a flow chart for an embodiment of a method for playing an instant ticket-based entertainment game combining elements of chance and user skill.
  • FIG. 2 shows a schematic diagram of a computer system that implements embodiments of various aspects of the instant ticket-based entertainment game methods according to the present invention.
  • FIGS. 3A and 3B show architectural details of the protocols used by various embodiments of methods and systems of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 shows a flow chart comprising the general steps of a computer communication method in an embodiment of the invention involving mobile phones as user access front ends.
  • FIG. 5 shows architectural details of the protocol messages sent between the mobile phones and the server according to FIG. 4 and illustrates a particular embodiment of the protocols shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B.
  • FIG. 6 schematically shows overall system architecture according to the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • This description, including the figures and any material incorporated herein, describe embodiments that illustrate various aspects of the present invention. These embodiments are not intended to, and do not, limit the scope of the invention to particular details, but provide bases for supporting the claims of the invention.
  • Typically, an instant ticket game comprises an instant ticket edition file with a predetermined total payout. Instant tickets can be delivered in electronic form through digital channels such as the Internet or a mobile network. In an embodiment of the present invention, the instant ticket edition file is a set of bonus games with game attributes and a set of instant tickets where each instant ticket comprises an instant-winning prize amount and provides a game attribute associated with a bonus game. For each instant ticket game, the total, predetermined payout amount is divided into two main parts: (1) a monetary amount awarded with the instant tickets as instant winnings and (2) a potential monetary award based on successful completion of specific bonus game checkpoints. The result is an entertainment game which combines player skill with the elements of chance typically experienced in instant ticket gaming. In particular, each instant ticket may be associated with a set of bonus game attributes that, when combined with an individual player's skills and the performance of other competitors, may allow the player to claim at least part of the potential monetary award.
  • One aspect of the present invention is an instant ticket edition file with a pre-set payout. Each instant ticket edition file has a pre-defined number of winning categories, each representing an opportunity to win an award. Typically, each edition file winning category is awarded with an amount of monetary winnings. In addition, a winning category may award a number of game bonuses. For each bonus game there is a set of game attributes awarded to the player such as car speed, available time and game level.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, each instant ticket edition file will include, among a variety of possible combinations, winning instant tickets with instant prizes and high-level game attributes, as well as non-winning instant tickets with low-level game attributes. To support different instant ticket game types, prizes can be in the form of cash, gifts or bonus credits. In an embodiment, prizes will be defined for each winning category and each winning category will be defined as each winning ranking position at each game checkpoint (described below).
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, there will be a minimum and a maximum number of winning players for each winning category, e.g., first through third ranking positions at a specific game checkpoint. In the event of a tie involving more players than the maximum allotted for a winning category, the system may take one of two approaches. In one embodiment, the system will calculate the total amount that should be awarded to winning category X and below. Then the system will divide the total amount by the total number of players ranked in winning category X and below. The result is the amount to be allocated to each of the players ranked in winning category X and below. In a second embodiment, the system will define a minimum difference for the amount to be allocated between winning category X and winning category X+1 winners.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is checkpoint winnings. Checkpoints are identifiable positions or stages of the actual bonus game. For example, checkpoints can be locations A through D on a racing track in a car racing game. Checkpoint winnings can be monetary winnings or other prizes that are awarded to players who have ranked in the top ranking positions at a particular game checkpoint. For example, the players who are ranked in the first three positions at each checkpoint can win $1000 each. In an embodiment of this aspect of the invention, the bonus game will include at least four different game checkpoints.
  • Players who have been awarded entry into a bonus game (e.g., a car racing game) with game attributes can select to play the bonus game. Players who choose to play the bonus game are eligible to participate in the competition for claiming checkpoint winnings. Winning instant tickets, therefore, can offer a number of game bonuses with game attributes that, combined with an individual player's skills and the performance of other competitors, allow the player to claim part of the checkpoint winnings.
  • An instant ticket can have the following states: (i) free (i.e., the ticket has not been sent to any player), (ii) last-not-played (i.e., the ticket has been sent to a player but no score has yet been reported, or (iii) played (i.e., the ticket has been sent to a player and a score has been reported). In one embodiment of the present invention, where a player requests a new instant ticket and there is at least one last-not-played ticket available for the specific client, the system will send a last-not-played ticket to the client. If no scores are reported for a last-not-played ticket after a pre-defined amount of time, the system will mark the ticket as played.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is a game client that a player downloads to his or her mobile, console or PC device. Security features are applied to the downloaded game client so as to assure game client authenticity and originality. The game client connects to the server so as to report game client authenticity, request an instant ticket and report game scores achieved upon passing different game checkpoints. The game client uses the ILOT Lobby protocol (described in more detail below) directly on top of a data communication protocol such as HTTP/UDP/TCP so as to facilitate communication with the ILOT Server.
  • FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate a flow chart for an embodiment of a method for playing an instant ticket-based entertainment game combining elements of chance and user skill. Prior to initiation of the instant ticket game, in one embodiment of the present invention, at least two pre-conditions may be required. First, the player should have successfully downloaded the game client to his or her mobile or PC device through a WEB/WAP portal (101). Second, the player should have been successfully authenticated by the server and authorized to play using a user ID and PIN code/password (102).
  • A player initiates game play by starting the game client downloaded on his or her mobile, console or PC device (103). The instant ticket game can be delivered through mobile, PC or interactive TV data networks. The player then requests a new instant ticket or a last-not-played instant ticket (104). If the player requests a new instant ticket, the server makes a reservation on the player's wallet account (105) and transmits an instant ticket to the requesting player's device (106). The player then previews the instant ticket on his or her game client (107). The game client then sends a confirmation to the server (108), which, in turn, commits the reservation on the player's wallet account (109).
  • The instant ticket may or may not award an instant prize. If the instant ticket awards an instant prize, the player may preview the winning amount (110), which is then deposited into the player's wallet account (111), after successful confirmation, by the server. The instant ticket may also award entry into a bonus game. If the instant ticket awards the player with a bonus game, the player may preview the game attributes (e.g., car speed, time to run) provided by the instant ticket for use during bonus game play (112). The player can select to play the bonus game with the game attributes provided by the instant ticket at the time bonus game entry is awarded, or the player may postpone bonus game play. Bonus game play may involve the player alone, or may require the player to compete against real, or computer opponents.
  • When the player chooses to initiate bonus game play, the game client will load the game attributes provided by the instant ticket (113) and then run the bonus game with the loaded game attributes (114). After the bonus game has been completed based on the game attributes supplied with the instant ticket and the player's skill (and the skill of his or her opponents, if any), the game client reports scores to the server (115). The player may then elect to buy a new instant ticket and repeat the steps described above.
  • In an embodiment of the present invention, successful completion of the instant ticket game and bonus game should result in a player having successfully fetched an instant ticket and played the bonus game with the game attributes supplied by the instant ticket, and in the game client having reported scores to the server.
  • In yet another embodiment of the present invention, where a game is interrupted unintentionally, e.g., the player loses his or her connection to the server, the server will determine that the game has been disrupted and depending on its configuration will either (a) consider the game played with a score of zero or (b) consider the game not-played and thus allow the player to log-in again and restart the game by retrieving the last-not-played instant ticket. Where a game is interrupted intentionally, e.g., the player presses the exit button while the game is running, the server determines that the game termination was intentional and thus considers the game played with a score of zero.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, where an instant ticket is requested from the game client but no receipt confirmation message is received, the server shall not charge the cost of the instant ticket to the player's wallet account but shall mark the instant ticket as used (116). The instant ticket, however, is considered granted to the requesting user and shall be available as a last-not-played instant ticket so that the user can request it at a later time. It will be possible to preview and verify the maximum time each last-not-played ticket will be available for players to request them before they expire. In addition, when a game is terminated, it will be possible to view last-not-played instant tickets and take appropriate actions, e.g., contact the player.
  • The instant ticket game is terminated when every instant ticket in the instant ticket edition file has been exhausted, or when an administrator indicates that the instant ticket game must be terminated. In the latter case, the administrator will be able to determine how the fixed winning amount should be allocated to the existing winners.
  • Below is a description of an embodiment of the instant ticket game described herein, implemented in the form of a car racing game. The car racing game is an instant ticket based game that combines player skills with extra advantages gained by a player, in an arbitrary way, according to the prizes offered by an instant ticket. It enables participation in a rally competition for cash money. The total payout offered to participating players is fixed. The player requests an instant ticket through a mobile game client, a WEB portal or a PC game client. Each ticket reveals to the player, cash money, a car type and a time in which to complete the race and/or pass a checkpoint.
  • The rally track comprises of various checkpoints. Each checkpoint has a fixed pay-out to be shared among a predefined number of top scorers that have passed that checkpoint in the fastest times. In one embodiment of the present invention, the farther the distance to a checkpoint, the larger the payout and/or the fewer the number of players qualified to share it. In this way, the further a player goes in the race and the less time he takes to reach each checkpoint, the larger his potential winnings will be.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, the player selects a single player mode to run the race alone, to train himself or herself and to improve his or her skills and racing time. The system will record the player's results so that the player may review his or her progress.
  • In another embodiment of the present invention, the player enters a virtual room where he or she requests an instant ticket. The instant ticket is revealed and the player enters the track with the car type and time to race provided by the instant ticket. If the instant ticket also contains an instant cash prize, the amount of that prize is deposited into the player's wallet account.
  • In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the instant ticket edition file may be associated with a mystery promotion feature. Apart from bonus games and monetary amounts corresponding to winning categories, an instant ticket in the edition file may also win the mystery promotion. From a player's perspective, the mystery promotion is similar to a jackpot in a casino environment, in the sense that it has a current monetary value, always increasing, until someone wins it after which it is reset to a minimum value. However, this feature is not implemented in the traditional way, by diverting a percentage of revenue to a jackpot pool that is won by a player. Instead, the mystery promotion is built into the edition file and not managed externally.
  • When the edition file is generated, the algorithm that produces the edition file takes as input the minimum and maximum number of tickets that can win the mystery promotion (“mystery promotion-winning tickets limits”). Other relevant input parameters include the total amount to be disbursed through mystery promotion-winning tickets (“mystery promotion amount”), as well as the minimum and maximum percentage of this amount that will be transferred to the next edition file (“transfer amount limits”).
  • The algorithm first subtracts a random amount from the mystery promotion amount, within the bounds set by the transfer amount limits. It then decides, at random, how many tickets will win the mystery promotion, within the bounds set by the mystery promotion-winning tickets limits. Then, it splits the mystery promotion amount (minus the transfer amount) among the tickets that are selected to win the mystery promotion. The amount allotted to each ticket is random but must be higher than a minimum, given as input to the algorithm.
  • The mystery promotion-winning tickets are then placed in random positions throughout the series of instant tickets generated as part of the edition file. To satisfy a demand to display an ever-increasing amount on the player terminal which, to the player, will represent the current value of the mystery promotion, a “mystery promotion counter” is included with every ticket. The counter value is calculated as follows:
      • (1) The mystery promotion counter of the first ticket of the first edition (see below for subsequent editions) will be set to a minimum value (a parameter of the algorithm). This minimum value may not be less than the minimum value of the amount transferred to the following edition.
      • (2) For each subsequent ticket, the mystery promotion counter must increase uniformly so that when the ticket that wins the mystery promotion is sold, the value of the mystery promotion counter is equal to the value of the mystery promotion.
      • (3) The mystery promotion counter of the first ticket after a mystery promotion-winning ticket will be set to the minimum value. If there is another mystery promotion in the edition, the mystery promotion counter will again increase uniformly in subsequent tickets until the next mystery promotion-winning ticket is issued. If not, the mystery promotion counter will increase in such a way as, when the last ticket of the edition is sold, it will have reached a random percentage of the amount that was transferred to the following edition. The percentage must be high enough so that the final value of the mystery promotion counter is higher than the minimum value of the mystery promotion counter.
      • (4) The mystery promotion counter of the first ticket for the following edition file will have the same value as that of the mystery promotion counter of the last ticket of the previous edition. From this follows the constraint that the first mystery promotion amount of the second edition file may not be lower than the starting value of the mystery promotion counter.
  • In summary, in this embodiment the total amount that will be distributed through mystery promotion-winning tickets in an edition file may be a fixed amount plus the amount transferred by the previous edition minus the amount to be transferred to the following edition file.
  • The randomness of the number of tickets that win the mystery promotion, as well as of the total value of the mystery promotion (since a random amount is added and another is subtracted from the fixed pre-defined mystery promotion amount) guarantee that it is not possible to infer, by looking at the current mystery promotion counter, when the next mystery promotion-winning ticket will appear.
  • The following example provides further detail regarding the embodiment of the mystery promotion feature described above:
  • If edition file A includes 500 tickets, the number of mystery promotion-winning tickets in which to split the mystery promotion amount of edition file A will be between one and three, that the mystery promotion counter starting amount is $100, that the fixed total mystery promotion amount is $1000 and that the amount to be transferred to the following edition file B will be between zero dollars and $500.
  • First, a random amount between zero and 500, representing the amount to be transferred to the following edition file B, is subtracted from the total amount (1000). If the random amount to be transferred is $300, the amount, then, that edition file A will distribute through mystery promotion-winning tickets is $700 ($1000 total amount minus $300 transfer amount plus $0 transferred from a previous edition file).
  • Next, the number of mystery promotion-winning tickets is chosen at random within the range of one and three. If one mystery promotion-winning ticket will be included in edition file A, because there is only one mystery promotion-winning ticket in edition file A, the entire amount of the mystery promotion for edition file A ($700) will be awarded with that one ticket.
  • The mystery promotion-winning ticket is placed, at random, in a location within the series of instant tickets generated as part of edition file A. Assuming the mystery promotion-winning ticket is placed at location 300 out of the 500 total tickets in edition file A, this means that the 300th ticket sold in edition file A will be awarded the mystery promotion of $700. The mystery promotion counter starts at $100 (i.e., when the first ticket in edition file A is sold, the mystery promotion amount displayed on the player terminal is $100). For every ticket that is sold, the mystery promotion counter is incremented by just over 2, so that when the 300th ticket is sold, the mystery promotion counter will have reached $700 and is thus equal to the pre-defined mystery promotion amount to be distributed with the winning ticket. (In fact, the counter is incremented by 2.00668896321 (600/299) because the mystery promotion counter is equal to (n−1)x+100, where n is the position of the ticket starting at 1 and x is the amount that is added whenever a ticket is sold.)
  • For the ticket following the mystery promotion-winning ticket, in this example, the 301st ticket, the mystery promotion counter is reset to the minimum amount, $100. Since, in this example, there is no other mystery promotion-winning ticket in edition file A, the mystery promotion counter is incremented in such a way as to reach, by the end of edition file A, a random percentage of the amount transferred to the following edition, say 50% of the $300 transfer amount (i.e., $150). Since the last ticket of edition file A is the 500th ticket, the mystery promotion counter must be incremented by just over $0.25 per ticket. (the actual increment in this example is 0.2512562814 (50/199) because the mystery promotion counter is equal to (n−301)x+100.
  • The following table illustrates the mystery promotion counter increments for edition file A, as described above:
    Edition File A Mystery Promotion Mystery Promotion-
    Ticket No. Counter Value Winning Ticket?
     1 100 NO
     2 102.00668896321 NO
     3 104.01337792642 NO
    . . . . . . . . .
    299 697.99331103678 NO
    300 700 YES
    301 100 NO
    302 100.25125628141 NO
    303 100.50251256281 NO
    . . . . . . . . .
    499 149.74874371859 NO
    500 150 NO
  • When the algorithm is restarted to produce the following edition file B, it is given as an input parameter, the amount transferred from the previous edition file A (i.e., $300), which it adds to the amount it will deliver through mystery promotion-winning tickets. Assuming the edition file will again award a total amount of $1000, the new total for edition file B will be $1300 (i.e., $1000 total amount plus $300 transferred from edition file A). From this amount, $1300, the amount that will be transferred to the following edition file C is subtracted, say $200, thus the total amount that will actually be distributed through mystery promotion-winning tickets in edition file B is $1100 ($1000 total amount plus $300 transferred from edition file A minus $200 transfer amount to edition file C).
  • As an added constraint, the initial value of the mystery promotion counter in edition file B may not be less than the last value of the mystery promotion counter in the previous edition file A (i.e., $150).
  • Assume that the first mystery promotion-winning ticket of edition file B is in position 51 (i.e., the 51 st instant ticket sold in edition file B) and its mystery promotion award value is $400. In this example, the counter will start at $150 and increment by $5 for each ticket sold so that when the 51 st ticket is sold, the counter will have reached $400.
  • The following table illustrates the mystery promotion counter increments for edition file B, as described above:
    Edition File B Mystery Promotion Mystery Promotion-
    Ticket No. Counter Value Winning Ticket?
     1 150 NO
     2 155 NO
     3 160 NO
    . . . . . . . . .
    50 395 NO
    51 400 YES
    52 100 NO
    . . . . . . . . .
  • In an embodiment of the mystery promotion aspect of the present invention, the amount transferred to the mystery promotion of an edition file, as well as the last value of the mystery promotion counter in the previous edition file, which are input parameters to the algorithm (and are output parameters from the previous time the algorithm was run) is not in a human readable form. They are included in encrypted format in a small file that will be read by the algorithm. It is also possible for the algorithm to produce more than one edition file in one run so if, for example, two consecutive edition files are produced, the amount transferred from the first to the second and the value of the mystery promotion counter is not saved anywhere.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an embodiment of a system implementing aspects of the present invention, including implementation of the methods, data structures and user interfaces according to the present invention. The system comprises a game server 200 with an internal processor 205, an internal memory unit 210, a storage device 215 and a plurality of client devices 220 connected to the game server 200 via a communications medium 225. Client devices 220 may comprise a number of different devices including, but not limited to, game consoles, mobile phones, PCs, laptop computers, PDAs, Blackberry devices, etc. Communications medium 225 may comprise, but is not limited to, the Internet, LANs, WANs, mobile communication networks, etc.
  • Processor 205, among other tasks, generates ticket edition files, runs the mystery promotion algorithm, authenticates individual users to authorize game play, distributes tickets to client devices 220, withdraws and deposits funds from and to user accounts stored on storage device 215, administers instant ticket games and related bonus games, receives game scores from client devices 220, and determines bonus game winners. Storage device 215, among other things, stores data relating to registered users, stores game data, and maintains user accounts.
  • Client device 220 downloads a game client application from the game server 200 over communications medium 225. A user at client device 220 next enters his or her user ID and password, which are transmitted over communications medium 225 to game server 200 for authentication. Once authorized to participate, the user may begin a game by requesting a ticket from server 200. Server 200 makes a reservation for the ticket on the requesting user's account and transmits an instant ticket to the requesting client device 220. The requesting user may then preview the received instant ticket on his or her client device 220, which, upon receipt of the requested instant ticket, sends a confirmation to game server 200.
  • If the transmitted instant ticket awards an instant prize, the requesting user may pre-view the prize on his or her client device 220. Game server 200 will then deposit the instant prize amount into the requesting user's account. If the transmitted instant ticket awards entry into a bonus game, the requesting user will be able to preview the game attribute(s) awarded with the instant ticket and decide whether to play the bonus game immediately or at some point in the future. If the requesting user chooses to play the bonus game in the future, game server 200 will store the transmitted instant ticket in storage device 215 as a last-not-played ticket available for later use. If the requesting user chooses to play the bonus game immediately, the game client application on client device 220 loads the game attribute(s) awarded with the transmitted instant ticket and runs the bonus game. Upon completion of the bonus game, client device 220 reports game scores to game server 200. Game server 200 determines winners based on these scores and deposits bonus prizes into appropriate user accounts, as needed.
  • The systems and methods according to the present invention provide for the automatic performance and administration of a comparison of data of any sort, of the result of the comparison and of data correlated to the result by way of a computer communication system or by way of a computer communication method.
  • It is one aspect of the present invention that a communication server for automatically performing and administrating a comparison, its result and data correlated to the result is connectable to a network. The server of the invention is accessible via the network by at least two users connected to the network by user terminals.
  • The server of the invention comprises a platform program accessible by the users allowing communication between the users. Preferably, the users enter the platform via the network through mobile phones—wherein preferably only one application is required on the respective mobile phones for easy and immediate availability at any place. The communication may be performed either in real time—or stepwise, e.g. addressing communication to mailboxes of communication partners or even to storage areas of broader accessibility, like “pin boards” in traditional communication.
  • The platform program of the invention is programmed to request availability of certain data (“first data”) from the users, wherein the first data is correlatable to a result of a comparison of second data. In other words, if, for example, a comparison between efficiency parameters (second data) of technical devices like energy storages is to be performed, availability of data regarding their further technical specification (first data: spatial dimensions, weight, . . . ) is requested.
  • The server of the invention further comprises a correlation program allowing the users to correlate the first data to the result of a comparison. If at least one of the users is, for example, an engineer in a research and development team who would like to communicate the efficiency of an energy storage mechanism, which he has just developed, via the team intranet, the correlation program allows him to correlate the mentioned first data (the technical specification of the storage) to the result of a comparison of the second data. This is for example first data that he wishes to forward to his colleagues in case that a comparison with another energy storage mechanism (developed e.g. by another colleague) reveals that his own development is more efficient.
  • A server in an embodiment of the invention further comprises a comparison program, which is programmed to automatically compare second data entered by the users—e.g. the efficiency parameters of energy storage A and B developed by two different members of a research and development team.
  • The server in this embodiment further comprises an evaluation program that automatically distributes the first data, which had been correlated to the result of the comparison of the second data—according to the result of the second data's comparison and according to the correlation. In the above example, the evaluation program automatically directs and sends the technical specification data (first data of the more efficient data storage) to the two developers (and preferably to other team members as well) if the respective developer had correlated the first data accordingly.
  • It is another aspect of the invention that a computer communication method for automatically administrating a comparison, its result and data correlated to the result comprises the step wherein at least two users respectively enter second data into a program, which then is automatically compared by means of a program. The method further comprises the step that the users respectively correlate first data to the result of the comparison via a network and that the first data is distributed to the users automatically by means of a program according to the result of the comparison and according to the correlation.
  • In one embodiment, the involved network comprises a mobile phone network as at least part of the network, in which users access the network through mobile devices. Examples of wireless (mobile) communication networks include, without limitation, GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) or various GSM based systems (such as GPRS: General Packet Radio Service), AMPS (American Mobile Phone System), DAMPS (Digital AMPS), WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) or TD/CDMA in UMTS (Time Division/Code Division Multiple Access in Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), IMT 2000 and so on. The network may also comprise the Internet, a LAN, a WAN and/or any other type of communication network.
  • In an embodiment of a further aspect of the invention, users may enter the second data at the same time, e.g., the comparison is performed in real time, where appropriate. For example, if the users are playing a video game—wherein the second data is, e.g., steering signals from a joystick—the users enter these second data simultaneously in order to perform a competition, which is automatically evaluated according to an aspect of the present the invention. From this example, it may be understood that the comparison of the second data according to the invention may be performed indirectly as well—by comparing an intermediate result produced, for example, by the video game program affected by the steering signals. It is further understandable from this example that the entering of the second data can be dependent on and/or affected by the physical and/or intellectual skill of the user. In the context of entertainment games, the result of the comparison may as well be affected by random parameters, which may be communicated by a program to the users as “instant tickets” in advance, prior to initiation of the game. For example, the player receives an instant ticket that defines, e.g., the power, speed and tires of his or her car at a formula 1 racing game. Those parameters—e.g., being better or worse than those which his competitor has received with the competitor's own instant ticket, in addition to the skill of each player, affect the result of the race.
  • As a new means of communication, the invention technically enables users to reliably contact each other for a comparison of facts, objects, information, experience, or knowledge or to play games with each other, either in real-time or with a time gap between their respective entering of second data. The present invention can be implemented on multi-user platforms and/or in an around-the-world-distance relationship. The present invention can provide for reliable automatic exchange of (the first) data as correlated prior to the start of the comparison.
  • Various aspects and embodiments of the present invention deploy a multiplayer gaming infrastructure capable of supporting PC, mobile and console gamers, a WEB/WAP portal infrastructure, an instant messaging infrastructure, an e-mail/SMS messaging infrastructure and can support a wide variety of entertainment game types for channels such as mobile, PC, console or others as needed in the future. The present invention permits multiplayer gaming with near real-time game data update and intelligent game network optimization, digital content discovery and download to allow mobile clients to download digital content to their devices, messaging services for sending and receiving SMS/emails and alerts, WEB/WAP portal and WAP rendering to allow adaptation of the WEB/WAP pages to the different accessing device capabilities (WML, HTML, xHTML), and multi-channel access. The platform supports extensive security features suitable for PC, mobile and console devices. In particular, through the security features (key generation, encryption, MACs) it is possible to ensure the integrity and authenticity of critical information transmitted from the client to the server and vice versa, e.g., game scores. Finally, the platform supports extensive error management and reporting capabilities.
  • The gaming infrastructure may comprise the following sub-systems:
      • (1) A WEB/WAP portal, for gamers to access the server and for performing general management operations, completes the player registration process, performs player login and logout functions, provides for profile and wallet account management, and handles browsing and downloading of digital content to the client device.
      • (2) Client software provides online and offline messaging capabilities and allows players to view tournament results, winners, scores, game statistics and other information relating to the multiplayer game sessions handled by the server.
      • Players access the WEB/WAP portal through WEB/WAP capable devices such as PCs, laptops, PDAs, mobile phones and other mobile devices. The data access network technology can range from GRPS to fixed line ADSL, PSTN or ISDN. In addition, devices can comply with any of the widely accepted industry mark-up languages such as WML, xHTML, HTML, cHTML and others. Moreover, the WEB/WAP portal shall be accessible through most of the widely used browsers such as IE, Netscape, Opera, Mozilla and others.
      • (3) A rendering sub-system is responsible for adapting the layout and content to be presented through the WEB/WAP portal according to the client device capabilities (excluding standard PC-based access to the WEB portal). A web server should be included that is responsible for hosting WEB/WAP pages and for displaying them to players.
      • (4) A multiplayer gaming sub-system is responsible for communicating with the game clients and coordinating the data exchange between multiple players participating in the game session. In addition, it calculates the basic game session results and provides them to the server for further processing. The multiplayer gaming subsystem is a network solution for a high quality, commercial real-time gaming service in both existing and future mobile and fixed networks. With its unique and sophisticated network technology, it enables new types of multiplayer games and gaming experiences. With a generic approach it gives the operator the possibility to launch and run a high performance commercial online gaming service cost effectively.
      • The multiplayer gaming sub-system enables a wide range of business models by utilizing the system's features for game statistics and billing records. It offers the following key features: (i) flexible and user-friendly networking, (ii) a small foot-print on the wireless handset (only 2K for a typical game), (iii) high-end user quality through efficient use of access bandwidth, (iv) highly efficient backbone network utilization, (v) functionality to adapt data streams to varying network conditions, (vi) the ability to support all network access technologies (e.g., TCP, HTTP, UDP), (vii) the ability to support different gaming platforms and ensure that they work together, (viii) a generic solution allowing a gaming service to be rolled out and operated on a global basis by a single provider or by cooperating providers, (ix) a scalable platform with a distributed load balancing architecture, (x) back office functionality support for many business models (e.g., subscription, pay-perlay, quality-based charging), (xi) a generic solution that eliminates the need for game server farms, and (xii) telecommunication standard operation and maintenance.
      • (5) A messaging service manages alerts and notifications for events generated inside the system. The messaging service is responsible for sending SMS/emails to individual users or to user lists, upon user request or based on alerting event triggers.
      • (6) The server (i.e., I-Gate Server, ILOT Server) is responsible for providing several important services.
      • The Service, Subscription Management Service (SSM Service) acts as a centralized repository for service, subscription and service data. In addition, it offers management capabilities for both system administrators and gaming users to enable self-service management. The SSM Service stores and manages user profile data, subscriptions and game services.
      • The P2P Betting Service is responsible for handling peer-to-peer bets and calculating winnings according to the game results supplied by the Lobby Service (described below). In addition, the P2P Betting Service is responsible for calculating winnings for tournaments according to the tournament result supplied by the Lobby Service. In practice, the P2P Betting Service is responsible for registering bets, making checks and credit reservations, calculating winnings and deducting and/or adding credits to a user's wallet account. This can be applied to both entertainment—and casino-type games.
      • The Live Multicasting Gaming Service sends live content and data (e.g., draws) to the connected devices.
      • The Lobby Service is responsible for score management, game statistics and tournament results with communication to the Multiplayer Gaming middleware as well as tournament management with communication to the SSM Service. The Lobby Service also performs session management. In addition, The Lobby Service is responsible for handling online and offline messaging between users. It also implements the matchmaking feature required for peer-to-peer betting games, as well as the management of system and personal communities.
      • Extended Lobby System Software (“XLBS”) implements betting and instant ticket game logic for any type of entertainment game through any type of digital channel, implements algorithms for fraud prevention and implements algorithms for gamer protection with regard to P2P bets. XLBS also handles gamer matchmaking and gamer profiling based on both game and betting behavior.
      • XLBS integrates to Terraplay Gaming Middleware using three distinct interfaces: (i) TWLP, (ii) MLCI, and (iii) GAS API. XLBS comprises three main software modules. First, Lobby Listener implements the MLCI interface to Terraplay MLBS. Second, Session Controller implements the TWLP and GAS API interfaces to Terraplay MLBS and Terraplay GAS. In addition, Session Controller acts as the protocol processing layer responsible for receiving, processing and sending ILOT protocol messages to and from the connected mobile game applications. Third, XGS (“Extended Gaming Server”) (a J2EE application) implements the needed business and gaming logic for supporting new game concepts. FIGS. 3A and 3B illustrate the relationship among ILOT WLBS, Terraplay Gaming Middleware and their respective interfaces.
      • The Wallet Payment Service is responsible for handling cash out/cash in operations in connection with the payment business partners and for managing users' wallet accounts and prepaid cards. In practice, the Wallet Payment Service is responsible for making credit reservations, committing or canceling credit reservations, checking wallet account balances and refilling wallet account balances with prepaid cards.
  • Components of an embodiment of the present invention include XLBS and SDK. Betting and instant ticket gaming logic seamlessly integrates with otherwise traditional entertainment games such as chess, rally, trivia or others. The same architecture can simultaneously support PC, console and mobile gamers. In addition, PC, console and mobile gamers can participate in the same entertainment multiplayer game and place bets against each other.
  • SDK is a specifically built communication protocol that allows game developers to incorporate betting and instant ticket gaming features into their entertainment games. SDK supports both PC and mobile devices and can run on J2SE, J2ME or Symbian environments. In practice, SDK is the counterpart of XLBS on the client thus enhancing otherwise existing entertainment games into XLBS compatible applications.
  • XLBS and SDK offer a platform technology where new game types can be built and new game concepts can be introduced combining key features such as entertainment, chance, competition, skill and communication.
  • An embodiment of the present invention uses Terraplay Gaming Middleware as the underlying technology enabling peer-to-peer and multicast communication between mobile game applications. In addition, the proposed solution utilizes public and private sessions enabled by Terraplay Gaming Middleware. Mobile game applications connected to public or private sessions can have peer-to-peer and multicast communication. In principle, Terraplay Gaming Middleware uses object synchronization techniques so as to enable realtime peer-to-peer and multicast communication between connected mobile game applications whereby game state and information is distributed between game clients.
  • One embodiment of the present invention employs the concept of XLBS acting as a super client for all the mobile public and private sessions. Connected mobile game applications must communicate using ILOT protocols with the XLBS in order to deliver the expected functionality for new game concepts.
  • In practice, mobile game applications are clients to the ILOT XLBS and communicate to ILOT XLBS using the ILOT protocol messages transported over Terraplay Gaming Protocol. Mobile game applications connect to Terraplay Gaming Middleware using UDP/TCP over GPRS, HTTP over GRPS or even HTTP over WAP. Using Terraplay objects as “containers” for the ILOT protocol messages, mobile game applications communicate with the ILOT XLBS using the ILOT protocols. In addition, connected mobile game applications can have peer-to-peer communication with XLBS and with any other mobile game application connected in the same public or private session.
  • FIGS. 3A and 3B demonstrate an overview of the communication protocols used where mobile game supports TCP sockets over a GPRS network. There are two main ILOT protocols specified, the ILOT Lobby Protocol and the ILOT Gaming Protocol.
  • The ILOT Lobby protocol provides lobby capabilities before and after the actual game. The totality of the ILOT Lobby Protocol messages are unique to their kind and enable several capabilities needed to implement the new game concepts presented herein. Although ILOT Lobby Protocol is currently implemented on top of Terraplay Gaming Protocol, there are no technical reasons requiring this implementation. In principle, ILOT Lobby Protocol could implement on top of other Multiplayer Gaming Middleware or even directly on top of other transport layer protocols such as GRPS, WAP or HTTP. ILOT Lobby Protocol provides security features required for cash games. FIG. 3A shows an overview of the ILOT lobby protocol on top of Terraplay Gaming Protocols. In various embodiments of the present invention, the Terraplay Gaming Protocols may take the form of various general multi-user protocols.
  • The ILOT Gaming Protocol uses ILOT Gaming Protocol messages to implement new games, in particular mobile multiplayer casino-type games like poker, in a secure and reliable manner. In practice, ILOT Gaming Protocol messages allow for implementing protocol security features such as message integrity, non-repudiation and message encryption. Using the ILOT Lobby Protocol, gamers are able to join into a public session for a poker game, for example, where they can preview available table type sessions and select which one to join. In addition, gamers can chat while connected to the poker public session as well as when connected on the private poker table session. FIG. 3B demonstrates an overview of the positioning of the ILOT Gaming Protocol.
  • In addition to the ILOT protocols described above, XLBS implements additional key functionalities such as a game interruption-departure function. In short, this involves a gamer interrupting the game in order to avoid an adverse outcome by leaving the game, such as when network corruption or computer/mobile problems will cause a loss. Interruption-departure can affect gamer global rankings and gamer tournament rankings because a gamer may drop out when losing to avoid deterioration of his or her position in either of these ranking systems.
  • If the game has a global ranking system where a player's ranking on the leader board improves with each win and declines with each loss, and the leader-board position is not affected by games that a player drops, competitive players will just turn off their phones when they are losing, to the detriment of other players' gaming experiences. Therefore, it would be better to have global ranking positions affected by wins and losses in all games that the player starts. In other words, if the player drops out of the game, the player's global ranking position shall be changed as a result, even though part of the game may or may not be continued by an AI. This gives players a strong incentive to complete games. It may displease some players who drop inadvertently, but that is preferable to a system that can be easily abused.
  • Because interruption-departure can severely affect any game involving bets or competition amongst various opponents, real-time monitoring and fraud detection may be appropriate. In one embodiment of the present invention, the game system determines when a game session should be considered complete or incomplete. Different rules will apply for different types of games, e.g., turn-based games, simultaneous movement games, and round-robin games.
  • For example, in simultaneous movement (e.g., action or racing) games involving bets, a system administrator will specify a game validity time. A game session will be considered “incomplete” when any of the participating gamers drop out of the game session normally or abnormally before the game validity time has elapsed. In this case, the system will record the game score reported but will not validate any bets placed. Gamers can view the game validity timer while competing in the game session. When the validity time has elapsed, game clients will report game scores to XLBS. Bets will be validated against the game scores reported when the validity time has elapsed.
  • In addition, the system will mark a gamer that has dropped out of the session as a “fraud suspect.” If the gamer repeats the same behavior more than a pre-configured number of times, either continuously or within a pre-defined time period, the gamer will be marked as “fraudulent.” The system administrator may define the business rules based on which gamers are to be classified as “fraud suspect” and “fraudulent.” Past performance data may be considered so as to identify patterns in gamer behavior, e.g., when a gamer drops out of more than 40% of the game sessions played over the past three months, the gamer will be classified as a “fraud suspect” or “fraudulent.” In practice, each time a gamer drops out of a game session before the game validity period has elapsed, the fraud detection rules will be re-evaluated so as to determine whether the gamer should or should not be marked as a “fraud suspect” or “fraudulent.”
  • The system administrator may define different policies applicable for gamers marked as “fraud suspect” and “fraudulent.” For example, “fraudulent” gamers may only be allowed to join entertainment-only sessions or may be restricted from using any of the system services. In addition, the system administrator may notify users by SMS/e-mail or present them with a “warning screen” when entering the WEP/WAP portal or the Lobby through the game client.
  • A specific embodiment of the invention—and particularly the server therein—is capable of receiving events in real time from network clients connected to a “session”, e.g. according to steps 400-407 of FIG. 4. In other words, all information that is required at one point in time about the “event” is comprised in one message—for example using protocol stacks according to FIG. 5. The events are sent in real-time directly to the server. The events relate to one session, for example (as in the example further above), to a networked energy storage design team or to an entertainment game community being online via mobile phone and/or PC. The events are generated by a number of different connected network clients, e.g., the designer colleagues or the members of the game community.
  • At this mobile phone communication system, there is no need for the user to use additional applications, establish additional network connections or have any prior knowledge of the other users of the system. Also, no end user personal data (such as MSISDN, email) needs to be disclosed so as to achieve instant messaging and offline messaging, but end users are identified by a unique “nickname”.
  • Without the benefit of the invention, mobile phone users would need a series of different mechanisms and tools to locate the party with which they would like to communicate, e.g. use of WAP browser so as to find other end users based on certain relevant search criteria. Communication would also require applications like Mobile Instant Messaging for enabling message exchanges between selected end users. Among other advantages, the invention eliminates the need for accessing and distributing end user personal data such as MSISDN or email for locating and addressing users via standard voice, electronic mail or mobile SMS so as to enable communication between end users and agree upon the first data. End users would otherwise also need to have a synchronized set of parameters for exchanging required information, i.e. exact time/date to start playing an actual game, initiate multi-user communication session, provide required authentication information and enter second data. Furthermore, users would require a mechanism to allow them to locate additional end users for setting up new first data and repeating the previously described process.
  • An application “session” according to the invention is an instance of an application that is started at a given point in time. Clients join and leave the virtual world, and the application session is eventually terminated under some predefined conditions. During the session, the server (Multi-User Node) receives information (data) from the client units directly, containing all required information within the protocol stacks of one message (multiuser protocol message). The server unit stores state information received from each of the client units. The server also transmits at least a part of the stored information to the connected clients. This way, the entire state of an application can be stored even in one unit of the network. This avoids each client needing to store the entire state, and reduces memory and bandwidth requirements for each client.
  • Security and fraud prevention features are preferably implemented in the communication system.
  • According to FIG. 5, one embodiment of the invention for communication and gaming via a mobile phone network comprises client applications and a server implementing a protocol stack comprising the following protocol layers:
      • ILOT Lobby Protocol/ILOT Game Protocol
      • ILOT Security Protocol
      • Multi-User protocol
      • TCP protocol
      • IP protocol
  • A protocol stack is a layered set of protocols, which work together to provide a set of network functions. Each intermediate protocol layer uses the layer below it to provide a service to the layer above.
  • A protocol layer is the software and/or hardware environment of two or more communication devices or computers in which a particular network protocol operates. A network connection may be thought of as a set of more or less independent protocols, each in a different layer or level. The lowest layer governs direct host-to-host communication between the hardware at different hosts; the highest comprises user application programs. Each layer uses the layer beneath it and provides a service for the layer above. Each net-working component hardware or software on one host uses protocols appropriate to its layer to communicate with the corresponding component (its “peer”) on another host. Such layered protocols are sometimes known as peer-to-peer protocols.
  • The advantages of layered protocols is that the methods of passing information from one layer to another are specified clearly as part of the protocol suite, and changes within a protocol layer are prevented from affecting the other layers. This greatly simplifies the task of designing and maintaining communication systems.
  • Examples of layered protocols are TCP/IP's five-layer protocol stack and the OSI seven-layer model.
  • An objective of this embodiment is to allow users with mobile devices to run client applications having a “small footprint” (namely, the amount of disk space required by an application) with a single network connection and, through a single protocol stack with reduced memory and bandwidth requirements, to perform operations for the following functions: chatting between clients, e.g., about entertainment games and their past performance therein, instant messaging or offline messaging to invite opponents, matchmaking (i.e., to agree on first data), negotiating a bet amount and registering a peer-to-peer bet (i.e., to correlate first data to the result of the comparison of second data, wherein first data may even be correlated to money), playing the actual multi-player game (i.e., to enter second data in real time), evaluating the result including automatic fraud-protected distribution of the first data (i.e., to evaluate and administrate the result of the comparison of second data) and requesting and thus assuring the availability of the first data and the integrity of the whole procedure.
  • As explained above, the client application has a small footprint so as to run on lowend mobile devices. The client application needs to establish only one data network connection and a minimum amount of data is sent/received over the single data network connection.
  • FIG. 6 schematically shows an overall system architecture according to the invention with components including the Intralot® (“ILOT”) Server, a multiplayer gaming infrastructure, and ILOT Protocols, in addition to optional system components such as a WEB/WAP Portal Infrastructure, allowing users to browse through their PC/mobile WEB and mobile WAP browsers, and a messaging infrastructure allowing for the transmission of SMS and email notifications.
  • As seen in FIG. 6, terminals (i.e., Mobile, PDA, PCs) are the necessary equipment for the end user to gain access to the ILOT Server. The game client is a piece of software implementing the necessary game logic and the ILOT Protocols and runs on the terminal device. In addition, the terminal equipment allows for establishing a data network connection through a fixed or mobile network.
  • Terminals can be any of the following type:
      • Mobile devices supporting one or more of the following technologies: WAP, xHTML, J2ME, GPRS
      • Windows-compatible PCs
      • PlayStation2 and Microsoft XBOX consoles with internet connectivity
      • iTV set-top boxes
  • According to FIG. 6, the WAP Portal Infrastructure on the ILOT Server is responsible for adapting the layout and content to be presented according to user device capabilities, e.g., screen size, supported colors, etc. The WAP Portal Infrastructure is also responsible for hosting WELB/WAP pages and allowing users to view those. The Multiplayer Gaming Infrastructure on the ILOT Server is responsible for communicating with game clients and co-coordinating data exchange between multiple players participating in a session. The Messaging Infrastructure on the ILOT Server manages alerts and notification subscriptions, i.e., allowing the creation of alerts/notifications for events generated within the system, allowing users to select which alerts/notifications they would like to receive, and determining which users should receive relevant event notifications and when and how they should receive them.
  • The ILOT Server of FIG. 6 is the “brain” of the system. It contains user data, game configuration data, gamer communities, services, and orchestrates processes for delivering end user service. The ILOT Server implements ILOT protocols and communicates to connected clients through the Mobile Gaming Infrastructure.
  • The following table briefly explains the relationships shown in FIG. 6:
    Components Purpose Technology
    Login and Registration procedures, JAVA based
    Download Digital Content, APIs
    HTTP Access to ILOT Server
    Game Client - Join/Leave Session Multiuser
    Multiplayer Gaming Send/Receive Data Protocol
    Infrastructure
    Game Client - Mobile Lobby Functionality ILOT Protocol
    ILOT Server (matchmaking, instant messaging,
    first data negotiation)
    Multiplayer Gaming Login, Join/Create Session, Multiplayer
    Infrastructure - View Active Sessions Gaming
    ILOT Server Interface
    Messaging Send Alerts/Notifications to JAVA based
    Infrastructure - User(s) APIs
    ILOT Server using SMS, email
    Terminal - Allows to browse WEB/WAP HTTP/WAP
    WEB/WAP Portal pages using terminal's protocol
    Infrastructure WEB/WAP browser on terminal
    SMS, Email - Allows Messaging Infrastructure Different
    Messaging to massively send messaging
    Infrastructure SMS/email to clients using protocols
    different proprietary messaging
    protocols.
  • All aspects of the invention that involve recording, transmitting, modifying, updating, manipulating, calculating, displaying and reporting information, as well as all associated processing, can be performed on one or more computing devices that may be coupled by one or more networks, which may be the public Internet, WANs and/or LANs, public and/or private.
  • Specific arrangements and embodiments descried above provide examples of the principles covered by the appended claims and their equivalents, but also include many other embodiments and variations, as well as objects and advantages, that may not be explicitly described in this document but that would nevertheless, be appreciated by those skilled in the field of this invention. For example, but without limitation, structural or functional elements might be rearranged, or method steps reordered, consistent with the present invention. Similarly, processors or databases may comprise a single instance or a plurality of devices coupled by network, databus or other information path. Similarly, principles according to the present invention, and systems and methods that embody them, could be applied to other examples, which, even if not specifically described here in detail, would nevertheless be within the scope of the appended claims.

Claims (36)

  1. 1. A gaming system for an instant ticket game combining elements of chance and user skill comprising:
    a game server;
    at least one instant ticket edition file, generated by the game server, with a preselected total payout, comprising a set of bonus games with game attributes and a set of instant tickets wherein at least one instant ticket selected from the set of instant tickets comprises
    a base game corresponding to an instant-win play area, and
    at least one game attribute for use during play of a bonus game, the bonus game selected from the set of bonus games;
    a user device;
    a communications medium for enabling communication between the game server and the user device; and
    a game client wherein the game client is downloaded from the game server to the user device over the communications medium, the game client loads the at least one game attribute for bonus game play and the outcome of the bonus game is at least dependent upon a combination of the at least one game attribute and the gaming skill of a participating user.
  2. 2. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the communications medium comprises the Internet.
  3. 3. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the communications medium comprises a mobile network.
  4. 4. The gaming system of claim 3 wherein the user device comprises a mobile phone.
  5. 5. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the game client authenticates a user prior to game play.
  6. 6. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the game client requests the at least one instant ticket from the game server via the communications medium.
  7. 7. The gaming system of claim 6 wherein the game client receives the requested at least one instant ticket from the game server and displays the requested at least one instant ticket on the user device.
  8. 8. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the game client reports a game score to the game server via the communications medium upon completion of the bonus game.
  9. 9. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the instant-win play area corresponds to an instant-win prize awarded upon completion of the base game.
  10. 10. The gaming system of claim 1 further comprising a storage device for storing user information and for maintaining user accounts.
  11. 11. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein at least one bonus game of the set of bonus games comprises a car racing game.
  12. 12. The gaming system of claim 11 wherein the at least one game attribute is a car type.
  13. 13. The gaming system of claim 11 wherein the at least one game attribute is a time in which to complete the race.
  14. 14. The gaming system of claim 11 wherein the at least one game attribute is a time in which to pass a checkpoint.
  15. 15. The gaming system of claim 14 wherein the car racing game comprises at least four checkpoints.
  16. 16. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the at least one instant ticket comprises a state selected from the group consisting of new, last-not-played and played.
  17. 17. The gaming system of claim 1 wherein the pre-selected total payout comprises:
    a fixed total prize amount equal to the sum total value of instant-win prizes awarded in the set of instant tickets of the at least one instant ticket edition file; and
    a fixed total amount of potential prize winnings based on successful completion of a game checkpoint by a user under pre-selected circumstances during bonus game play, the fixed total amount of potential prize winnings equal to the sum value of all possible prize winnings for all game checkpoints.
  18. 18. A gaming system for an entertainment game combining elements of chance and player skill comprising at least one instant ticket edition file with a pre-selected total pay-out, the at least one instant ticket edition file comprising a set of interactive bonus games with associated game attributes and a set of instant tickets for awarding instant prizes and at least one game attribute for use in at least one interactive bonus game, the gaming system further comprising a pre-selected set of winning categories, wherein:
    at least one first winning category of the set of winning categories comprises an instant prize awarded with an instant ticket, and
    at least one second winning category of the set of winning categories comprises a checkpoint winning based on the performance of a player using the awarded at least one game attribute during play of the at least one interactive bonus game, the performance measured, at least in part, by the player's ranking position at a game checkpoint associated with the checkpoint winning.
  19. 19. An instant ticket edition file for use in an instant ticket entertainment game combining elements of luck and user skill comprising:
    a set of bonus games with associated bonus game attributes,
    a set of instant tickets wherein at least one instant ticket of the set of instant tickets includes an instant-win play area and a bonus game play area,
    a pre-selected payout amount, and
    a pre-selected set of winning categories,
    wherein the instant-win play area comprises a concealed instant-win prize and the bonus game play area comprises a concealed bonus game attribute for use in at least one bonus game selected from the set of bonus games, and
    wherein the outcome of the bonus game is at least dependent upon a combination of the bonus game attribute of the at least one instant ticket and the gaming skill of a game player.
  20. 20. A method for playing an entertainment game combining elements of luck and skill comprising the steps of:
    requesting a game ticket from a system server through a client device in communication with the system server over a network, wherein the game ticket comprises
    an instant-win play area corresponding to an instant-win prize, and
    an interactive play area corresponding to a game attribute for use in an interactive bonus game wherein the outcome of the interactive bonus game depends, at least in part, on a combination of the game attribute and game user skill;
    receiving the requested game ticket at the client device; and
    displaying the game ticket on the client device.
  21. 21. The method of claim 20 further comprising the step of downloading a client game application to the client device prior to the step of requesting a game ticket.
  22. 22. The method of claim 20 further comprising the seep of sending a confirmation receipt from the client device to the system server upon receipt of the game ticket.
  23. 23. The method of claim 22 wherein the game ticket comprises a new game ticket.
  24. 24. The method of claim 22 wherein the game ticket comprises a last-not-played ticket.
  25. 25. The method of claim 23 further comprising the steps of:
    reserving an amount to be deducted from a user account upon request of the new game ticket, and
    deducting from the user account the reserved amount upon receipt of the confirmation receipt by the system server.
  26. 26. The method of claim 20 further comprising the steps of:
    revealing the instant-win prize awarded in the instant-win play area, and
    depositing the value of the instant-win prize in an account associated with the user.
  27. 27. The method of claim 21 further comprising the steps of:
    revealing the game attribute awarded in the interactive game area,
    loading the awarded game attribute into the client device with the client game application,
    running the interactive bonus game associated with the loaded game attribute, and
    reporting a game score to the server upon completion of the interactive bonus game.
  28. 28. The method of claim 27 wherein the interactive bonus game is a multiplayer game.
  29. 29. The method of claim 27 wherein the instant ticket with the revealed game attribute is stored by the server as a last-not-played ticket and the steps of loading the game attribute, running the interactive bonus game and reporting a game score are delayed until the client device requests the last-not-played ticket upon a subsequent game ticket request.
  30. 30. A method for playing a game combining elements of chance and player skill comprising the steps of:
    generating, at a central server, an edition file based, in part, on a pre-selected total payout amount wherein the edition file comprises a series of instant-win vouchers, the instant-win vouchers providing an instant-win prize and at least one game attribute for use in an associated interactive bonus game at least partially utilizing player skill, and
    transmitting an instant-win voucher from the central server to a client device via a communication network.
  31. 31. The method of claim 30, wherein the pre-selected total payout amount comprises a pre-selected total mystery prize amount and wherein the series of instant-win vouchers comprises at least one mystery prize winning voucher inserted at a pre-determined location within the series of instant-win vouchers, the at least one mystery prize winning voucher awarding at least a pre-selected portion of the pre-selected total mystery prize amount, the method further comprising the steps of:
    increasing a counter value associated with the edition file by a uniform pre-selected amount, such that when the at least one mystery prize winning voucher is transmitted, the counter value will correspond to the pre-selected portion of the pre-selected total mystery prize amount awarded with the mystery prize winning voucher, and
    displaying the counter value.
  32. 32. A method for playing a game whose outcome depends on both random parameters and player skill comprising the steps of:
    downloading a client application from a system server to a client device via a communications network;
    authenticating a player and authorizing game play by receiving unique identifying information relating to the player at the client device and transmitting the unique identifying information to the system server for authentication and authorization;
    transmitting an instant ticket to the client device upon successful authentication and authorization by the system server, wherein the instant ticket comprises an instant prize and a game attribute for use in a corresponding interactive bonus game;
    loading the game attribute into the client device;
    running the interactive bonus game on the client device with the loaded game attribute; and
    reporting a game score to the system server upon successful completion of the interactive bonus game,
    wherein the outcome of the interactive bonus game depends, at least in part, on a combination of player skill and the game attribute provided by the instant ticket.
  33. 33. A gaming system for an instant ticket game combining elements of chance and user skill comprising:
    an instant ticket file object comprising an instant-win game and an interactive bonus game;
    a game device; and
    a central server for generating the instant ticket file object and for distributing the instant ticket file object to the game device via a communications network,
    wherein the game device receives the instant ticket file object and displays a graphical representation of the instant ticket file object,
    wherein the graphical representation of the instant ticket file object comprises
    an instant-win game play area corresponding to the instant-win game, and
    an interactive bonus game play area corresponding to the interactive bonus game,
    wherein the game device receives input entered by a user to advance play of the instant-win game,
    wherein the game device receives input entered by the user to advance play of the interactive bonus game, and
    wherein the result of the instant-win game is based on a random parameter and the result of the interactive bonus game is based at least partly on a combination of a measure of a user's performance and a game attribute randomly assigned to the interactive bonus game play area of the instant ticket file object.
  34. 34. A system for playing an interactive instant ticket lottery game combining elements of user skill and chance comprising:
    a game server comprising a processor for generating an instant ticket edition file, the instant ticket edition file comprising a set of bonus games with associated game attributes and a series of instant tickets for randomly awarding an instant prize and a game attribute for use in at least one bonus game, wherein at least one instant ticket of the series of instant tickets corresponds to a mystery promotion winning ticket located at a pre-selected position within the series of instant tickets; and
    at least one game terminal wherein the game terminal is configured to
    receive an instant ticket from the game server over a communications medium,
    display the instant prize and the game attribute awarded with the received instant ticket, and
    display a mystery promotion counter value assigned, by the game server, to the received instant ticket,
    wherein the mystery promotion counter value assigned to the first instant ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a pre-selected minimum value and the value assigned to each subsequent ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponds to a uniformly increasing amount such that the mystery promotion counter value assigned to the mystery promotion winning ticket corresponds to a predetermined mystery prize value.
  35. 35. A system for playing an instant ticket-based entertainment game comprising:
    a processor located in a central server, the processor configured to generate a series of pre-sorted instant tickets
    wherein at least one instant ticket in the series of pre-sorted instant tickets corresponds to a mystery prize winning ticket inserted into a pre-selected position within the series of pre-sorted instant tickets,
    wherein a plurality of instant tickets award at least one instant prize and at least one game attribute for use in an interactive bonus game, and
    wherein the processor assigns a counter value to each instant ticket in the series of instant tickets, the value assigned to the first instant ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponding to a pre-selected minimum value and the value assigned to each subsequent ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponding to a uniformly increasing amount such that the value assigned to the mystery promotion winning ticket will correspond to a pre-determined mystery prize value; and
    at least one client device, connected to the central server via a communication net-work, the client device configured to
    request an instant ticket from the central server,
    receive the requested instant ticket from the central server over the communication network,
    display the instant prize and the game attribute awarded with the received instant ticket, and
    display the counter value assigned to the received instant ticket.
  36. 36. A method for distributing instant tickets in an instant ticket-based entertainment game comprising a mystery promotion feature, the method comprising the steps of:
    generating, with a processor located in a server, at least one ticket file object, wherein the at least one ticket file object comprises
    a set of bonus games with associated game attributes,
    a series of pre-sorted instant tickets for awarding an instant prize and a game attribute for use in a bonus game selected from the set of bonus games, wherein at least one instant ticket in the series of pre-sorted instant tickets corresponds to a mystery promotion winning ticket inserted at a pre-selected position within the series of pre-sorted instant tickets, and
    a fixed total payout comprising a fixed pre-selected mystery promotion winning ticket payout amount corresponding to a prize value awarded with the at least one mystery promotion winning ticket;
    assigning, with the processor, a counter value to each ticket in the series of tickets, the counter value assigned to the first instant ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponding to a pre-selected minimum value and the counter value assigned to each subsequent ticket in the series of instant tickets corresponding to a uniformly increasing amount such that the value assigned to the mystery promotion winning ticket will correspond to a pre-determined mystery prize value;
    distributing an instant ticket to a remote client device over a communication net-work; and
    displaying the counter value assigned to the distributed instant ticket.
US11734487 2005-04-14 2007-04-12 System and Method for Instant Ticket-Based Entertainment Game Abandoned US20070218980A1 (en)

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KR101066710B1 (en) 2011-09-23 grant
RU2439836C2 (en) 2012-01-10 grant
US20060253528A1 (en) 2006-11-09 application
EP1713228A1 (en) 2006-10-18 application
DK1713228T3 (en) 2013-01-07 grant
RU2007141766A (en) 2009-05-20 application
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US7736233B2 (en) 2010-06-15 grant
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EP1713228B1 (en) 2012-10-10 grant

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