US20080280674A1 - Gaming machine apparatus performing a multi-player-type playing game and game rules - Google Patents

Gaming machine apparatus performing a multi-player-type playing game and game rules Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080280674A1
US20080280674A1 US11971037 US97103708A US2008280674A1 US 20080280674 A1 US20080280674 A1 US 20080280674A1 US 11971037 US11971037 US 11971037 US 97103708 A US97103708 A US 97103708A US 2008280674 A1 US2008280674 A1 US 2008280674A1
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Prior art keywords
game
player
cpu
gaming
playing
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11971037
Inventor
Hiro Sakuma
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Universal Entertainment Corp
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Universal Entertainment Corp
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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
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3272Games involving multiple players
    • G07F17/3283Games involving multiple players wherein the number of active machines is limited
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3216Construction aspects of a gaming system, e.g. housing, seats, ergonomic aspects
    • 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
    • G07F17/3225Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users
    • G07F17/3232Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed
    • G07F17/3234Data transfer within a gaming system, e.g. data sent between gaming machines and users wherein the operator is informed about the performance of a gaming system, e.g. revenue, diagnosis of the gaming system

Abstract

A gaming machine apparatus includes gaming machines and a central controller. Each gaming machine includes a memory storing a game program, a display and an input device. The display device displays a result of a first game performed in accordance with a first game program applied to a single game. The input device allows a player to set a number of times to perform selection per round of game to a second game program, which is applied to a multi-player-type game and different from the first game program. The central controller is configured with logic to: randomly determine with predetermined timing a transition to a second game; (b) transmit a signal indicating a start of the second game to the plurality of gaming machines; (c) receive data related to the number of times to perform selection per round of game, and execute the second game program.

Description

  • [0001]
    This application is based on and claims the benefit of priority from Japanese Patent Application No. 2007-002555, filed on 10 Jan. 2007, the content of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a gaming machine apparatus having a plurality of gaming machines performing a multi-player-type playing game and the game rule.
  • [0004]
    2. Related Art
  • [0005]
    Regarding a slot machine which is one of the conventional gaming machines, U.S. Pat. No. 6,984,174 discloses a gaming system and a method where qualification to play a bonus game is linked to play of a normal playing mode. Specifically, multiple players may qualify for the bonus game by achieving preselected criteria associated with play of the normal playing mode. Each qualified player may also eliminate other qualified players by occupying the same space in the bonus game. Furthermore, U.S. Pat. No. 6,988,267 discloses a technique for connecting a plurality of slot machines through a communication link. According to U.S. Pat. No. 6,988,267, updating software in a slot machine can be performed from a remote location through a communication link.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    However, since the gaming machine disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,984,174 is configured so that multiple players may qualify for the bonus game by achieving preselected criteria associated with play of the normal playing mode, it is difficult for a plurality of players to play a bonus game simultaneously. Furthermore, since each qualified player may also eliminate other qualified players by occupying the same space in the bonus game, the other qualified players thus eliminated cannot perform the bonus game. Therefore, it cannot provide bonus game opportunities evenly to all of the players, thereby making the players who cannot participate in the bonus games lose interest.
  • [0007]
    Furthermore, updating software in a plurality of slot machines from a remote location through a communication link, which is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,988,267, can only be performed as a single play game, thereby failing to effectively utilize the communication link.
  • [0008]
    The object of the present invention is to provide a gaming machine with more novel entertainment properties for a multi-player-type playing game including a bonus game, where a plurality of players can participate in the game simultaneously and have opportunities to play the game equally.
  • [0009]
    In an aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine apparatus is provided, which includes a plurality of gaming machines and a central controller. Each of the plurality of gaming machines includes a memory storing a game program, a display and an input device. The display device displays a result of a first game performed in accordance with a first game program that is applied to a single game and stored in the memory. The input device allows a player to set a number of times to perform selection per round of game to a second game program, which is applied to a multi-player-type game played by participants and different from the first game program, in response to receiving a signal. The central controller is configured with logic to: randomly determine with predetermined timing a transition to a second game performed in accordance with the second game program; (b) transmit a signal indicating a start of the second game to the plurality of gaming machines; (c) receive data related to the number of times to perform selection per round of game, and execute the second game program.
  • [0010]
    The gaming machines of the gaming machine apparatus described above, which can provide the multi-player-type game in addition to the single game, allows players to enjoy these two types of games, particularly the multi-player-type game played by participants that allows the players to feel excited about playing the common game. Since the gaming machines are communicatively connected with each other to execute the common game, the gaming machine apparatus can realize an efficient use of communication lines.
  • [0011]
    In another aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine apparatus is provided, in which the plurality of gaming machines adds credit determined by the second game to credit to be used for the first game stored in the memory.
  • [0012]
    In still another aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine apparatus is provided, in which the plurality of gaming machines transmits a result of a round of the second game, and the central controller is further configured with logic to: (d) store credit and a number of second game for each gaming machine to participate in the second game; (e) terminate the second game when the central controller has received a first predetermined data representing the result of a round of the second game, and transmit credit data, which is stored by the central controller and correlated with each of the gaming machines, to the gaming machines except the gaming machine that has sent the first predetermined data; and (f) transmit a signal indicating continuation of second games until a number of second game has reached a predetermined threshold when the central controller has received a second predetermined data representing the result of a round of the second game.
  • [0013]
    As described above, the central controller does not distribute the credit to the particular gaming machine that has transmitted the specific data, but distributes the credit corresponding to each of other gaming machines, in response to the result of second game played by the plurality of gaming machines. In this way, the gaming machine apparatus allows a player to enjoy the second game that determines whether the credit is distributed according to selection made by the player.
  • [0014]
    In yet another aspect of the present invention, a method of playing a game is provided. The method includes the steps of: allowing a particular player to perform a first game prepared for a single player; randomly determining with predetermined timing a start of a second game prepared for a plurality of participants different from the first game; terminating the first game; and allowing a start of the second game.
  • [0015]
    In a further aspect of the present invention, a method is provided, which further includes the steps of: determining an award for the second game in response to reception of an input from the particular player; and using credit provided in accordance with the award as credit for the first game.
  • [0016]
    In a still further aspect of the present invention, a method is provided, which further includes the steps of: not paying out the credit of the second game to the particular player when a result of a round of the second game includes specific data; and paying out the credit to the participants except the particular player.
  • [0017]
    In a yet further aspect of the present invention, a method is provided, which further includes the steps of: continuing second games until a number of second game reaches a predetermined threshold when the result of a round of the second game played by the particular player does not include the specific data; and paying out credit in accordance with the award to all the players when the number of second games reaches the predetermined threshold.
  • [0018]
    Accordingly, the present invention is able to provide a gaming machine with further novel entertainment properties, where a plurality of players can participate in the game simultaneously and have opportunities to play the game equally.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0019]
    FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a schematic configuration of the gaming system according to an embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective diagram showing an external configuration of the gaming system according to the present embodiment;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective diagram showing a gaming machine according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an enlarged view of a display region of the gaming machine according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0023]
    FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of a controller of a gaming machine according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0024]
    FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of a display/input controller of a gaming machine according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0025]
    FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing an electrical configuration of a central controller according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0026]
    FIG. 8 is a diagram showing a symbol line represented on each video reel according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0027]
    FIG. 9 is a diagram showing a symbol arrangement table according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0028]
    FIG. 10 is a diagram showing a random number table for a single play game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0029]
    FIG. 11 is a diagram showing a payout table for a single play game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0030]
    FIG. 12 is a diagram showing a random number table for shifting to a multi-player-type playing game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0031]
    FIG. 13 is a diagram showing a storage table for a multi-player-type playing game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 14 is a diagram showing a payout table for a multi-player-type playing game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 15 is a flowchart showing a processing flow in the single play game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 16 is a flowchart showing the processing operation for determining a multi-player-type playing game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 17 is a flowchart showing the processing operation in a multi-player-type playing game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 18 is a continued flow chart from FIG. 17;
  • [0037]
    FIGS. 19 and 20 are diagrams showing an example for a basic game, which is a single play game according to the embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 21 is a display example which is displayed during game selection of the pop-up pirate game for the multi-player-type playing game in the gaming machine in the embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0039]
    FIGS. 22 to 24 are display examples of the pop-up pirate game for the multi-player-type playing game in the gaming machine.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0040]
    The embodiments of the present invention are hereinafter described in detail with reference to the attached drawings.
  • [0041]
    A description is provided regarding a schematic configuration of a gaming system 10 according to the present embodiment with reference to FIG. 1. FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a configuration of a gaming system 10 according to the present invention. In the gaming system 10 shown in FIG. 1, a network 12 is connected with a plurality of gaming machines 13 and a central controller 11.
  • [0042]
    The central controller 11 controls each gaming machine 13 via the network 12. More specifically, the central controller 11 performs processing for determining team play for a multi-player-type playing game, which is illustrated later in FIG. 16. The central controller 11 also performs processing for team play for a multi-player-type playing game described in FIGS. 17 and 18. The central controller 11 determines whether to move to the multi-player-type playing game or not (the details are described later). Furthermore, in the present embodiment, the multi-player-type playing game is a game in which a player tries not to select a specified symbol from a plurality of selections, as shown in FIG. 22 described later. The specified symbol is, for example, the hole among a plurality of holes shown in FIG. 22 where a doll with a black beard flies as soon as a player inserts a sword therein. Another example is, for example, that a player draws a joker from a deck of cards. Therefore, the multi-player-type playing game is a game in which a credit is paid out corresponding to a player's selection of a certain symbol, and the credits which have been accumulated are seized corresponding to the player's selection of a specified symbol, which is a so-called pop-up pirate game.
  • [0043]
    Each gaming machine 13, for example, serves as a slot machine that a player can play a basic game as a single play game. In addition, the gaming machine 13 performs a multi-player-type playing game (hereinafter, a pop-up pirate game) instead of performing a single play game, in response to receiving a signal for starting a multi-player-type playing game from the central controller 11. The pop-up pirate game is performed by being controlled using the central controller 11 in the present embodiment. Since the gaming machine 13 which a player uses serves as a terminal for the pop-up pirate game, the player can operates the pop-up pirate game.
  • [0044]
    Based on the configuration, the player can enjoy a single play game using the gaming machine 13. In addition, the player can also enjoy the multi-player-type playing game as well, which is different from the single play game.
  • [0045]
    Furthermore, by controlling the multi-player-type playing game using one gaming machine 13, the central controller 11 may serve as a hub which controls communication between one gaming machine 13 and the other gaming machine 13.
  • [0046]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view which shows an external configuration of the gaming system 10 according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 2, the gaming system 10 includes a plurality of gaming machines 13. The gaming machine 13 performs a single play game described later in FIG. 15, and also performs the multi-player-type playing game as well under predetermined conditions, which is described later in FIGS. 17 and 18.
  • [0047]
    A plurality of gaming machines 13 is connected to the central controller 11 (not shown) via the network 12 (not shown).
  • [0048]
    In addition, the gaming system 10 as shown in FIG. 2 is provided with a large-size monitor 16 at a place where players at a plurality of gaming machines 13 can see. In FIG. 2, a plurality of the gaming machine 13 (six gaming machines in the present embodiment) are provided so as to allow the players sitting on chairs 14 at the respective gaming machines 13 to see the large-size monitor 16. The players' situations, such as operations of selecting, may be displayed in the monitor 16 for showing a status of the multi-player-type playing game. For example, images of the players captured by a movable viewpoint camera 17 described later may be displayed as necessary. In this case, the monitor 16 is also connected to the central controller 11. The monitor 16 may directly connect with a central controller 11, and it may be connected through the network 12.
  • [0049]
    Furthermore, the gaming system 10 includes a plurality of movable viewpoint cameras 17 (three in the present embodiment) The movable viewpoint cameras 17 are installed on the upper end of the monitor 16, which allows images of the player's expressions to be captured. The images captured by the movable view point cameras 17 may be displayed on the large-size monitor 16. Alternatively, the images may be displayed on a liquid crystal displays 30 (see FIG. 3) of the gaming machines 13. The gaming system 10 is installed in an amusement facility such as a casino.
  • [0050]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective diagram illustrating the gaming machine 13 according to the embodiment of the present invention. The gaming machine 13 includes a cabinet 20. The cabinet 20 has a structure in which the face facing the player is open. The cabinet 20 includes various kinds of components. Such components include: a controller 100 (see FIG. 5) for electrically controlling the gaming machine 13; a hopper 44 for controlling insertion, retaining, and paying out of coins (game medium) (see FIG. 5), etc. The game medium is not restricted to coins. In addition, examples of such game media include medals, tokens, electronic money or electronic value information (credits) having the same value.
  • [0051]
    The liquid crystal display 30 is installed substantially in the middle of the front face of the cabinet 20, and the liquid crystal display 40 is installed in upper side of the cabinet 20.
  • [0052]
    The liquid crystal display 30 is provided for displaying various kinds of images with respect to the game such as images for visual effects. Such a configuration allows the player to advance the game while visually confirming various kinds of images displayed on the liquid crystal display 30. In the single play game, a slot game shown in FIGS. 19 and 20 described later is displayed. In addition, in the multi-player-type playing game (the pop-up pirate game), a game shown in FIGS. 22 through 24 is displayed.
  • [0053]
    In a configuration in which the gaming machine 13 includes video reels, five virtual reels are displayed on the liquid crystal display 30. It should be noted that the term video reel as used here represents a mechanism for displaying a reel on the liquid crystal display 30 in the form of an image. Multiple kinds of symbols necessary for the single play game include “BONUS”, “WILD”, “TREASURE BOX”, “GOLDEN MASK”, “HOLY CUP”, “COMPASS & MAP”, “SNAKE”, “A”, “K”, “Q”, “J”, and “10”. With such an arrangement, the liquid crystal display 30 displays these symbols with an image as if the reel has rotated.
  • [0054]
    The liquid crystal display 40 in the upper side of the liquid crystal display 30 serves as a sub display, which displays rules of the single play game and the multi-player-type playing game, demonstration images, and the like. In addition, the liquid crystal display 40 may also be configured to display player's expression.
  • [0055]
    Furthermore, sound transmission openings 29 a and 29 b are provided to both upper left and right sides of the liquid crystal display 40. Here, the sound transmission openings 29 are provided for transmitting sound effects generated by a speaker 41 (see FIG. 5) stored within the cabinet 20. The sound transmission openings 29 a and 29 b generate sound effects and the like in accordance with the progress of the game. Decorative lamps 42 a and 42 b are provided on both right and left sides of the substantially center portion of the gaming machine 13. The decorative lamps 42 a and 42 b emit light in accordance with the progress of the game.
  • [0056]
    The gaming machine 13 includes a substantially horizontal operation unit 21 below the liquid crystal display 30. A coin insertion opening 22 is provided on the right side of the operation unit 21, which allows the player to insert coins. On the other hand, the components provided to the left side of the operation unit 21 include: a bet switch 23 which allows the player to determine which lines are to be set to active pay lines among nine lines L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L6, L7, L8, and L9, for providing an award described later (which will simply be referred to as “active pay lines” hereafter), and which allows the player to select the amount of coins as game media which are to be bet on the active pay lines; a spin repeat bet switch 24 which allows the player to play the game again without changing the amount of coins bet on the active pay lines from that in the immediately prior game. Such an arrangement allows the player to set the amount of coins bet to the active pay line by performing a pressing operation on either the bet switch 23 or the spin repeat bet switch 24.
  • [0057]
    With the operation unit 21, a start switch 25 is provided on the left side of the bet switch 23, which allows the player to input a start operation instruction for the single play game in increments of games. Upon performing a pressing operation on either the start switch 25 or the spin repeat bet switch 24, which serves as a trigger to start the game, the image that the five video reels 3A to 3E start to rotate is displayed.
  • [0058]
    A cash out switch 26 is provided near the coin insertion opening 22 on the operation unit 21. Upon the player pressing the cash out switch 26, the inserted coins are paid out from a coin payout opening 27 provided at a lower portion of the front face. The coins thus paid out are retained in a coin tray 28.
  • [0059]
    FIG. 4 is an enlarged view which shows the display region of the gaming machine 13. The gaming machine 13 has the nine lines L1 through L9 for providing awards as shown in FIG. 4. Each of the lines L1 through L9 for providing awards is formed such that it extends so as to pass through one of the symbols for each of the video reels 3A to 3E when the five video reels have stopped.
  • [0060]
    Upon pressing the bet switch 23 once, the line L3 for providing a third award, the line L5 for providing a fifth award, and the line L7 for providing a seventh award, are set to be active pay lines, and one coin is input as a credit medal, for example.
  • [0061]
    Furthermore, upon pressing the bet switch 23 twice, the line L1 for providing a first award, the line L4 for providing a fourth award, and the line L8 for providing an eighth award, are set to be active pay lines, in addition to the three lines, and two coins are input as credit medals, for example. Moreover, upon pressing the bet switch 23 three times, the line L2 for providing a second award, the line L6 for providing a sixth award, and the line L9 for providing a ninth award, are set to be active pay lines, in addition to the six lines, and three coins are input as credit medals, for example.
  • [0062]
    The game available in the present embodiment is a single play game in which a predetermined set of symbols are made along the active pay lines. When the single play game is performed, it shifts to the multi-player-type playing game by receiving a start signal for the multi-player-type playing game.
  • [0063]
    Furthermore, various kinds of display units, i.e., a payout display unit 48, a credit amount display unit 49, and a bet amount display unit 50, are provided on the upper part of the liquid crystal display 30. The payout display unit 48 is a component for displaying the amount of the coins paid out when a specified combination of the symbols has been displayed along any one the active pay lines for providing an award. The credit amount display unit 49 is a component for displaying the amount of the coins retained in the gaming machine 13 in the form of credits. The bet amount display unit 50 is a component for displaying the bet amount which is the amount of coins bet on the active pay lines.
  • [0064]
    FIG. 5 is a block diagram which shows an electrical configuration of the controller 100 of the gaming machine 13. As shown in FIG. 5, the controller 100 of the gaming machine 13 is a micro computer, and includes an interface circuit group 102, an input/output bus 104, a CPU 106, ROM 108, RAM 110, a communication interface circuit 111, a random number generator 112, a speaker driving circuit 122, a hopper driving circuit 124, a lamp driving circuit 126, and a display/input controller 140.
  • [0065]
    The interface circuit group 102 is electrically connected with the input/output bus 104, which carries out input and output of data signals or address signals for CPU 106.
  • [0066]
    The start switch 25 is electrically connected with the interface circuit group 102. In the interface circuit group 102, a start signal generated by the start switch 25 is converted into a predetermined form of signal to be supplied to the input/output bus 104.
  • [0067]
    Furthermore, the bet switch 23, the spin repeat bet switch 24, and the cash out switch 26 are connected to the interface circuit group 102. Each of the switching signals output from these switches 23, 24, and 26 is also supplied to the interface circuit group 102, and is converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuit group 102. The switching signals thus converted are supplied to the input/output bus 104.
  • [0068]
    A coin sensor 43 is also electrically connected with the interface circuit group 102. The coin sensor 43 detects coins inserted into the coin insertion slot 22, and is disposed at an appropriate position relative to the coin insertion slot 22. The sensing signal output from the coin sensor 43 is also supplied to the interface circuit group 102, and is converted into a predetermined signal by the interface circuit group 102. The sensing signal thus converted is supplied to the input/output bus 104.
  • [0069]
    The ROM 108 and the RAM 110 are connected to the input/output bus 104.
  • [0070]
    When the start switch 25 accepts an instruction for starting a single play game, the CPU 106 reads a single play game program and executes the single play game. The single play game program has been programmed so as to instruct the CPU 106 to perform the following operations of displaying an image of the five video reels commencing to scroll the symbols on the five video reels on the liquid crystal display 30 via the display/input controller 140; then displaying an image of the five video reels stopping such that the combination of the symbols on these five video reels is rearranged, upon which a new combination of the symbols is made along the active pay lines. In a case where a specified combination of the stationary symbols for providing an award has been made along any one of the active pay lines, the CPU 106 pays out a predetermined amount of coins corresponding to the specified combination for providing the award.
  • [0071]
    Furthermore, the CPU 106 controls the multi-player-type playing game. Specifically, the CPU 106 controls the team play game based on a signal transmitted from the central controller 11 via a communication interface circuit 111, which is described later.
  • [0072]
    The ROM 108 stores: a control program for central control of the gaming machine 13; a program for executing a routine shown in FIGS. 15 through 17 (which is referred to as “the routine execution program” hereafter); initial data for executing the control program; and various data tables used for determination processing. It should be noted that the routine execution program includes the single play game program and the like. On the other hand, examples of the data tables include tables such as those shown in FIGS. 9 through 11. The RAM 110 temporarily stores flags, variables, etc., used for the control program.
  • [0073]
    Furthermore, a communication interface circuit 111 is connected to the input/output bus 104. The communication interface circuit 111 is a circuit for communicating with the central controller 11 etc., via the network 12 including various kinds of networks such as a LAN. With the present embodiment, in a case that a predetermined condition has been satisfied in the single play game, the CPU 106 switches the game to the multi-player-type playing game. In this case, the CPU 106 transmits a start signal for the multi-player-type playing game to the central controller 11 etc., via the communication interface circuit 111. Furthermore, the CPU 106 receives data necessary for displaying an image of the multi-player-type playing game from the central controller 11 via the communication interface circuit 111, and displays the image thus received on the liquid crystal display 30 as the image of the multi-player-type playing game. Subsequently, the liquid crystal display 30 serves as a terminal which the gaming machine 13 performs operations in the multi-player-type playing game.
  • [0074]
    The random number generator 112 for generating a random number is connected to the input/output bus 104. The random number generator 112 generates random numbers in a predetermined range of “0” to “65535” (the sixteenth power of two minus one), for example. Alternatively, an arrangement may be made in which the CPU 106 generates a random number by computation.
  • [0075]
    The speaker drive circuit 122 for the speakers 41 is also electrically connected with the input/output bus 104. The CPU 106 reads the sound data stored in the ROM 108, and transmits the sound data thus read to the speaker driving circuit 122 via the input/output bus 104. In this way, the speakers 41 generate predetermined sound effects.
  • [0076]
    The hopper drive circuit 124 for driving the hopper 44 is also electrically connected with the input/output bus 104. Upon reception of a cash out signal input from the cash out switch 26, the CPU 106 transmits a driving signal to the hopper driving circuit 124 via the input/output bus 104. Accordingly, the hopper 44 pays out coins such that the amount thereof is equivalent to the current number of coins remaining as credits, which is stored in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110.
  • [0077]
    The lamp drive circuit 126 for driving the decorative lamps 42 a and 42 b is also connected with the input/output bus 104. The CPU 106 transmits the signal for driving the lamps according to the predetermined conditions based on the program stored in the ROM 108 to the lamp driving circuit 126. Thus, decorative lamps 42 a and 42 b blinks and the like.
  • [0078]
    The display/input controller 140 is connected to the input/output controller 140. The CPU 106 creates an image display command corresponding to the state and results of the game, and outputs the image display command thus created to the display/input controller 140 via the input/output bus 104. Upon reception of the image display command input from the CPU 106, the display/input controller 140 creates a driving signal for driving the liquid crystal display 30 according to the image display command thus input, and outputs the driving signal thus created to the liquid crystal display 30. As a result, a predetermined image is displayed on the liquid crystal display 30. The display/input controller 140 transmits the signal input through the touch panel 32 provided on the liquid crystal display 30 to the CPU 106 via the input/output bus 104 in the form of an input signal. In addition, the image display command includes commands corresponding to a payout display unit 48, a credit amount display unit 49, and a bet amount display unit 50.
  • [0079]
    FIG. 6 is a block diagram illustrating an electrical configuration of the display/input controller 140 of the gaming machine 13. The display/input controller 140 of the gaming machine 13 is a sub-microcomputer for performing image display processing and input control for the touch panel 32. The display/input controller 140 includes an interface circuit 142, an input/output bus 144, a CPU 146, ROM 148, RAM 150, a VDP 152, video RAM 154, image data ROM 156, a driving circuit 158, and a touch panel control circuit 160.
  • [0080]
    The interface circuit 142 is connected to the input/output bus 144. The image display command output from the CPU 106 of the controller 100 is supplied to the input/output bus 144 via the interface circuit 142. The input/output bus 144 performs input/output of data signals or address signals to and from the CPU 146.
  • [0081]
    The ROM 148 and the RAM 150 are connected to the input/output bus 144. The ROM 148 stores a display control program for generating a driving signal, which is to be supplied to the liquid crystal display 30, according to an image display command received from the CPU 106 of the controller 100. On the other hand, the RAM 150 stores flags and variables used in the display control program.
  • [0082]
    The VDP 152 is connected to the input/output bus 144. The VDP 152 includes a so-called sprite circuit, a screen circuit, a palette circuit, etc., and can perform various kinds of processing for displaying images on the liquid crystal display 30. With such an arrangement, the components connected to the VDP 152 include: the video RAM 154 for storing image data according to the image display command received from the CPU 106 of the controller 100; and the image data ROM 156 for storing various kinds of image data including the image data for visual effects, etc. Furthermore, the driving circuit 158 for outputting a driving signal for driving the liquid crystal display 30 is connected to the VDP 152.
  • [0083]
    The CPU 146 instructs the video RAM 154 to store the image data which is to be displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 according to the image display command received from the CPU 106 of the controller 100 by reading the display control program stored in the ROM 148 and by executing the program thus read. Examples of the image display commands include various kinds of image display commands including the image display commands for visual effects, etc.
  • [0084]
    The image data ROM 156 stores various kinds of image data including the image data for visual effects, etc.
  • [0085]
    The touch panel control circuit 160 transmits the signals input via the touch panel 32 provided on the liquid crystal display 30 to the CPU 106 via the input/output bus 144 in the form of an input signal.
  • [0086]
    FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating an electrical configuration of a controller 200 of the central controller 11. As shown in FIG. 7, the central controller 11 includes the controller 200 of the central controller 11 and several peripheral devices. Furthermore, a plurality of gaming machines (six gaming machines in the embodiment) 13 are connected to the central controller 11 via the communication interface circuit 212 of the central controller.
  • [0087]
    Furthermore, the controller 200 of the central controller 11 includes an input/output bus 204, a CPU 206, ROM 208, RAM 210, a communication interface circuit 212, a timer 214, and a display controller 220.
  • [0088]
    The ROM 208 and the RAM 210 are connected to the input/output bus 204.
  • [0089]
    The CPU 206 performs various kinds of processing according to an input signal supplied from each of the gaming machines 13, and data and programs stored the ROM 208 and the RAM 210. Furthermore, the CPU 206 transmits command signals to the gaming machines 13 based upon the results of the processing thus performed. Thus, the CPU 206 centrally controls each of the gaming machines 13, thereby advancing the game.
  • [0090]
    The ROM 208 includes semiconductor memory or the like, for example. The ROM 208 stores a program for providing basic functions of the central controller 11, a program for providing the functions of the movable viewpoint cameras 17, a program for centrally controlling each of the gaming machines 13. Examples of such programs include a program shown in FIGS. 16 through 18.
  • [0091]
    More specifically, the ROM 208 is provided with a storage area (not shown) for storage a random number table for shifting to a multi-player-type playing game for determining whether to shift to the multi-player-type playing game or not (FIG. 12), and a storage table for a multi-player-type playing game for storage information regarding the multi-player-type playing game (FIG. 13).
  • [0092]
    On the other hand, the RAM 210 temporarily stores bet information in each gaming machines with respect to an area storing an award for the multi-player-type playing game, the amount of jackpot accumulated up to the current point in time, and the results of the processing executed by the CPU 206, etc.
  • [0093]
    The timer 214 for performing time measurement is connected to the input/output bus 204. The time information supplied from the timer 214 is transmitted to the CPU 206 via the input/output bus 204. The CPU 206 performs processing for determining a starting condition for the multi-player-type playing game, which is described later, based upon the time information received from the timer 214.
  • [0094]
    Furthermore, the display controller 220 is connected to the input/output bus 204. The CPU 206 performs various kinds of processing based upon the data and programs stored in the ROM 208 and the RAM 210. The CPU 206 controls the monitor 16 and captures images based upon the results of the processing thus performed.
  • [0095]
    Furthermore, the movable viewpoint cameras 17 are connected to the input/output bus 204. The CPU 206 performs various kinds of processing based upon the data and programs stored in the ROM 208 and the RAM 210. The CPU 206 controls the movable viewpoint cameras 17 and captures images based upon the results of the processing thus performed.
  • [0096]
    FIG. 8 shows symbol lines on which 21 symbols arranged on each video reel 3A to 3E are represented. The symbol line for the first video reel corresponds to the video reel 3A. The symbol line for the second video reel corresponds to the video reel 3B. The symbol line for the third video reel corresponds to the video reel 3C. The symbol line for the fourth video reel corresponds to the video reel 3D. The symbol line for the fifth video reel corresponds to the video reel 3E.
  • [0097]
    Referring to FIG. 8, a code number of “00” to “20” is referred to for each symbol of video reels 3A to 3E. These code numbers are converted to be data in a data table so as to be stored in the ROM 108 (FIG. 5).
  • [0098]
    On each video reel 3A to 3E, a symbol line is represented with symbols as follows: “Bonus” symbol (symbol 61) (hereafter, “Bonus”), “Wild” symbol (symbol 62) (hereafter, “Wild”), “Treasure Chest” symbol (symbol 63) (hereafter, “Treasure Chest”), “Golden Mask” symbol (symbol 64) (hereafter, “Golden Mask”), “Holy Cup” symbol (symbol 65) (hereafter, “Holy Cup”), “Compass and Map” symbol (symbol 66) (hereafter, “Compasses and Map”), “Snake” symbol (symbol 67) (hereafter, “Snake”), “Ace” symbol (symbol 68) (hereafter, “Ace”), “King” symbol (symbol 69) (hereafter, “King”), “Queen” symbol (symbol 70) (hereafter, “Queen”), “Jack” symbol (symbol 71) (hereafter, “Jack”), and “10” symbol (symbol 72) (hereafter, “10”). The symbol line of each video reel 3A to 3E displays an image moving to the direction of the arrow in FIG. 8 (moving below from the top) by displaying an image that the each video reel 3A to 3E is being rotated in forward direction.
  • [0099]
    Here in the present embodiment, each combination of “Bonus”, “Wild”, “Treasure Chest”, “Golden Mask”, “Holy Grail”, “Compass and Map”, “Ace”, “King”, “Queen”, “Jack” and “10” is set as an award combination. A combination (combination data) is control information which relates credits awarded to a player (the amount of payout of coins) to a combination of an award combination, and which is used for stop control of each video reel 3A through 3E, change (shift) of a game state, awarding of coins, and the like.
  • [0100]
    In addition, a single play game which causes symbols to be achieved along an active pay line can be performed in the present embodiment.
  • [0101]
    FIG. 9 shows a symbol arrangement table. The symbol arrangement table relates the code number indicating the position of each symbol which constitutes the symbol lines to each symbol of the respective video reels 3A to 3E, and then, registers thereof. In addition, the first video reel through the fifth video reel corresponds to the video reels 3A to 3E, respectively. In other words, the symbol arrangement table includes symbol information corresponding to the symbol position (the code number) of video reels 3A to 3E.
  • [0102]
    FIG. 10 shows a single play game random number table used in the single play game performed by the gaming machine 13 described later with reference to FIG. 15. In the single play game random number table, a range of random numbers and the probability of winning are registered in association with each of the specified winning combinations. Accordingly, in the combination determination processing (Step S6 shown in FIG. 15), in a case that a random number lying in a range of numbers “0” to “29” is extracted from a range of numbers of “0” to “65535”, for example, the internal component of the gaming machine 13 determines to generate a specified combination for providing a BONUS award which is the final result of the game in the single play game. In other words, the probability is “30/65536” that the combination of the stationary symbols matches a specified combination for providing the “BONUS” winning. Furthermore, in a case that a random number lying in a range of “3000” to “3999” is extracted from a range of numbers of “0” to “65535”, for example, the internal component of the gaming machine 13 determines to generate a specified combination for providing a K winning as the final result of the single play game. In other words, the probability is 1000/65536 that the combination of the stationary symbols matches a specified combination for providing the “K” award. On the other hand, in a case that a random number lying in a range of “10000” to “65535” is extracted from a range of numbers of “0” to “65535”, the internal component of the gaming machine 13 determines to generate other combinations, i.e., losing combinations, as the final results of the single play game. In other words, the probability is “55536/65536” that the combination of the stationary symbols matches any one of the losing combinations.
  • [0103]
    FIG. 11 shows a single play game payout table used in the single play game described later with reference to FIG. 15. In the single play game payout table, the coin amount to be paid out is registered in association with each specified combination for providing an award for each credit amount bet on one game. Therefore, in cases in which a determination is made whether the combination thus generated matches any one of winning combinations for providing an award, for example, when the combination thus generated matches the combination “K”, where the credit amount bet is “1”, 4 coins are paid out. In cases where the credit amount bet is “2”, 8 coins are paid out. In cases where the credit amount bet is “3”, 12 coins are paid out. On the other hand, in the case in which the combination thus generated matches the combination “BONUS”, and then, in the case that the credit amount bet is “1”, 100 coins credit data is transmitted to the central controller 11. In the same way, in the case that the credit amount bet is “2”, 200 coins credit data is transmitted to the central controller 11. Furthermore, in the case that the credit amount bet is “3”, 300 coins credit data is transmitted to the central controller 11.
  • [0104]
    FIG. 12 is a diagram showing a random number table for shifting to a multi-player-type playing game used in processing for determining a multi-player-type playing game described later in FIG. 16. In the random number table for shifting to a multi-player-type playing game, a range of random numbers and a probability to be determined for shifting are registered in association with shifting or not. Therefore, in the random number table for shifting to a multi-player-type playing game described later (Step S23 of FIG. 16), for example, in a case where a random number lying in a range of “0” to “99” extracted from a range of numbers of “0” to “65535”, the internal component of the central controller 11 determines to shift to the multi-player-type playing game, which is a bonus game. In other words, the probability to shift to the multi-player-type playing game becomes “100/65,536”. On the other hand, the probability that the multi-player-type playing game is not shifted to is “65,436/65,536”.
  • [0105]
    FIG. 13 shows a storage table for the multi-player-type playing game used in processing the multi-player-type playing game described later with reference to FIGS. 17 and 18. The storage table for the multi-player-type playing game can register, to each game number representing a unit game of the multi-player-type playing game, machine numbers which are distributed to the each gaming machine 13 which performs a game that has the same number among the gaming machines, the pop-up pirate machine number for which an award is seized, and a table which can register the sword number to display an image that swords have been inserted previously so as not to select. The game numbers are provided in order from 1 to 30, and thus a total of 30 games can be performed. The machine numbers are set to assign unique numbers to the each gaming machine 13 that performs the multi-player-type playing game, in order from the game number 1. When the game with the game number 1 is terminated, the machine number is assigned to a game number without any machine number. Regarding a game selection, a game which a player selects is associated with the number. For example, if the player selects one, “1” is set, and if the player selects three, “3” is set. The pop-up pirate number and the sword number are determined in processing for determining the pop-up number (Step S206 in FIG. 17). The image is displayed that the swords of some numbers among seven numbers have already pierced. In addition, players cannot select the numbers which has been already assigned to the swords. Furthermore, if a player selects a pop-up pirate number, the game is terminated, and then awards that the player has obtained in the previous multi-player-type playing game are seized.
  • [0106]
    FIG. 14 shows a multi-player-type playing game payout table used in the multi-player-type playing game described later with reference to FIGS. 17 and 18. In the multi-player-type playing game payout table, the amount of credits which a player can obtain per unit game is registered. Therefore, ten credits are given if the number of selection is “1”. Furthermore, a total of 30 credits is given since an additional 20 credits are given if the number of selection is “2”. In addition, a total of 60 credits are given since an additional 30 credits are given if the number of selection is “3”. In addition, these credits are stored cumulatively for each of the gaming machines 13 in the RAM 210 of the central controller 11. Then, upon terminating the multi-player-type playing game, these credits are transmitted to the gaming machines which the players, except for the player who drew the pop-up pirate, operate.
  • [0107]
    FIG. 15 is a flow chart showing a flow of the processing operation in the single play game of the gaming machine 13 executed by the controller 100 of the gaming machine 13. The processing operation is called from a main program for the slot machine 13 at a predetermined timing, and then executed.
  • [0108]
    A description is provided below regarding a case in which the slot machine 13 has been activated beforehand. Furthermore, let us say that the variables used by the CPU 106 included in the controller 100 have been initialized to predetermined values, thereby operating the slot machine 13 in a normal state.
  • [0109]
    First, the CPU 106 included in the controller 100 determines whether or not any coins inserted by the player are remaining (Step S1). More specifically, CPU 106 reads the amount of credits C stored in the RAM 110, and executes processing according to the amount of credits C. When the amount of credits C equals “0” (NO in Step S1), the CPU 106 terminates the routine without executing any processing, since it cannot start a game. When the amount of credits C is not less than “1” (YES in Step S1), the CPU 106 determines that coins remain as credits, and the CPU 106 moves the processing to Step S2.
  • [0110]
    Upon moving to Step S2, the CPU 106 determines whether to receive a start signal for the multi-player-type playing game or not. In the case that the CPU 206 has received the start signal (in the case of YES in the determination processing in Step S2), the flow proceeds to Step S12 according to the instruction from the CPU 106. In the case that the CPU 206 has not received this signal (in the case of NO in the determination processing in Step S2), the flow proceeds to Step S2 according to the instruction from the CPU 106.
  • [0111]
    In the following Step S12, the CPU 106 performs a multi-player-type playing game processing described later with reference to FIGS. 17 and 18. Subsequently, upon terminating the multi-player-type playing game, the flow proceeds to Step S3 according to the instruction from the CPU 106.
  • [0112]
    Next, in Step S3, the CPU 106 determines whether or not a pressing operation has been applied to the spin bet repeat switch 24. When the switch 24 has been pressed and the CPU 106 receives an operation signal from the switch 24 (YES in Step S3), the CPU 106 moves the processing to Step S13. On the other hand, when the CPU 106 does not receive the operation signal from the switch 24 after a predetermined period of time elapses (NO in Step S3), the CPU 106 determines that the switch 24 has not been pressed and moves the processing to Step S4.
  • [0113]
    In the following Step S4, the CPU 106 sets the game conditions. Specifically, the CPU 106 determines the amount of coins bet on the active pay lines in this game based on the operation of the bet switch 23. Then, the CPU 106 determines the bet amount to be bet on the active pay lines based upon the number of times signals that indicate operation of the bet switch 23 have been received, and stores the bet amount thus determined in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. The CPU 106 reads the amount of credits C stored in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110, and subtracts the total bet amount, which is the sum of the bet amounts, from the amount of credits C thus read. Then, the CPU 106 stores the subtracted value in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. Subsequently, CPU 106 moves the processing to Step S5.
  • [0114]
    In the following Step S5, the CPU 106 determines whether the start switch 25 is ON, and then, waits for the start switch 25 to be operated. Upon the start switch 25 being operated, and accordingly, upon the operation signal being input from the start switch 25 (in a case of YES in the determination processing in Step S5), the CPU 106 determines that the start switch 25 has been operated, and the flow proceeds to Step S6.
  • [0115]
    On the other hand, in Step S13, the CPU 106 determines whether the amount of credits C is at least the total bet number in a previous game. In other words, the CPU 106 determines whether it can start a game in response to a pressing operation applied to the spin repeat bet switch 24. Specifically, in a case that the spin repeat bet switch 24 has been pressed, and accordingly, in a case that the operation signal has been input from the switch 24, the CPU 106 reads the amount of credits C and the bet amount bet on each of the active pay lines L1 to L9 in the previous game stored in the predetermined memory areas of the RAM 110. Then, the CPU 106 determines whether or not the amount of credits C is at least the total bet amount bet in the previous game based upon the relation between the amount of credits C and the bet amount thus read. When the CPU 106 determines that the amount of credits C is less than the total bet number (NO in Step S13), the CPU 106 terminates the routine without any processing, since it cannot start a game. On the other hand, in a case where determination has been made that the amount of credits C is at least the total bet amount bet in the previous game (in a case of YES in the determination processing in Step S13), the CPU 106 subtracts the total bet amount bet in the previous game from the amount of credits C, and stores the subtracted value in a predetermined area of the RAM 110. Subsequently, CPU 106 moves the processing to Step S6.
  • [0116]
    In the following Step S6, the CPU 106 performs processing for determining the combination. Specific description will be made below regarding processing for determining the combination.
  • [0117]
    In the processing for determining the combination, first, the CPU 106 determines the combinations of the stationary symbols along the active pay lines. Specifically, the CPU 106 issues a command for the random number generator 112 to generate a random number, thereby extracting a random number in a predetermined range (in a range of “0” to “65535” in the present embodiment) generated by the random number generator 112. The CPU 106 stores the random number thus extracted in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. It should be noted that a description is being provided in the present embodiment regarding an arrangement in which the random number is generated by the random number generator 112, which is a separate component from the CPU 106. In addition, an arrangement may be made in which the random number is generated by computation processing by the CPU 106 without involving the random number generator 112. The CPU 106 reads the random number table for the single play game (see FIG. 10), and a specified combination table for providing an award (not shown), each of which is stored in the ROM 108. Then, the CPU 106 stores the random number table for the single play game and the specified combination table for providing an award thus read in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. Note that the CPU 106 controls display of the stationary symbols for each reel based upon the random number table for the single play game. Furthermore, the CPU 106 reads the random number table for the single play game and the specified combination table for providing an award stored in the predetermined area of the RAM 110. Then, the CPU 106 determines the combination of the stationary symbols with respect to the active pay lines with reference to the random number table for the single play game, using the random number stored in the predetermined memory region of the RAM 110 as a parameter. Upon determination of specified combinations for providing an award, the CPU 106 stores the specified combination data for providing an award thus determined in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. Then, the CPU 106 reads the random number and the specified combination data for providing an award stored in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 110, and determines the combination of the symbols to be displayed to be stationary based upon the random number and the specified combination data for providing an award thus read. In this stage, a symbol arrangement table (see FIG. 9) stored in the ROM 108 is read by the CPU 106. The symbol arrangement table thus read is stored in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110, and used as reference data. The CPU 106 stores the data for the stationary symbols thus determined in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. Alternatively, an arrangement may be made in which the stationary symbols are determined for each reel using the random number table for the single play game.
  • [0118]
    Upon determination of the combination of the symbols when stationary with respect to the active pay lines, the CPU 106 determines whether the combination of the stationary symbols with respect to the active pay lines matches any one of the specified combinations for providing an award. In a case where the combination of the stationary symbols with respect to the active pay lines matches any one of the specified combinations for providing an award, the CPU 106 activates a flag, which indicates that the player has won the award that corresponds to the kind of specified combination for providing an award, in order to provide the award that corresponds with the specified combination of symbols with respect to the active pay lines for providing the award. The activated flag, which indicates the player has won an award, is stored in a predetermined area of the RAM 110 according to the instruction from the CPU 106. On the other hand, in a case where the combination of the stationary symbols with respect to the active pay lines matches any one of the other combinations, i.e. the losing combinations, the CPU 106 does not activate the flag which indicates that the player has won an award. Subsequently, the CPU 106 moves the processing to Step S7.
  • [0119]
    In the following Step S7, the CPU 106 instructs the video reels 3A through 3E to start to rotate. Specifically, the CPU 106 displays an image which shows rotating the video reels 3A to 3E, in sequence or simultaneously, based upon the symbol arrangement table stored in the RAM 110.
  • [0120]
    Upon displaying the image which shows the video reels 3A to 3E starting to rotate, the CPU 106 waits for a predetermined period of time to elapse (Step S8). After the predetermined period of time has elapsed (in a case of YES in the determination processing in Step S8), the CPU 106 instructs the video reels 3A to 3E to automatically stop rotating (Step S9). Specifically, the CPU 106 displays an image which shows the video reels 3A to 3E stopping rotation in sequentially or simultaneously such that the stationary symbols, which correspond to the specified combinations for providing an award determined in the Step S6, are displayed within a display region that has a visually interactive relationship with the player. Subsequently, the CPU 106 advances the flow to Step S10.
  • [0121]
    In the following Step S10, the CPU 106 determines whether or not a predetermined symbol combination has been formed based upon the results of the combination determination processing performed in Step S6. Specifically, the CPU 106 makes this determination based upon the state of the flag that indicates whether the player has won an award with respect to the active pay lines stored in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. In a case where the flag, which indicates that the player has won an award, has not been activated, i.e. in a case where the symbol combination matches a combination of “Others”, which is a combination other than the specified combinations for providing an award (in a case of NO in the determination processing in Step S10), the CPU 106 determines that the specified combination for providing an award has not been formed, and ends this routine. On the other hand, in a case where the flag, which indicates that the player has won an award, has been activated, i.e. in a case where the symbol combination matches any one of the combinations other than the combination of “Others” (in a case of YES in the determination processing in Step S10), the flow proceeds to Step 11 according to the instruction from the CPU 106.
  • [0122]
    In a case where the flow has proceeded to Step S11, the CPU 106 pays out the amount of coins corresponding to the specified combination for providing an award. Specifically, the CPU 106 calculates the amount of coins to be paid out for the specified combination for providing an award, with reference to the single play game payout table. The CPU 106 reads the credit amount stored in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. Then, the CPU 106 calculates the sum total amount of coins to be paid out thus calculated and the credit amount thus read, and stores the sum thus calculated in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. The CPU 106 displays the value thus stored on the credit amount display unit 49. The CPU 106 then ends the routine.
  • [0123]
    In addition, a portion of the credits may be stored as a jackpot. In this case, the jackpot thus stored may be paid back to a player in a multi-player-type playing game described later if a predetermined condition is satisfied.
  • [0124]
    Subsequently, FIG. 16 is a flowchart showing a processing operation for determining a multi-player-type playing game which is a bonus game in the central controller 11, which is performed by the controller 200 of the central controller 11. This is performed by a main program of the central controller 11 which has been previously performed in the case where any one of the gaming machines 13 that can communicate with the central controller 11 performs a single play game.
  • [0125]
    In the description below, the central controller 11 has been activated previously, and variables used in the CPU 206 included in the controller 200 have been initialized at a predetermined value, whereby the central controller 11 has been activated in a normal state.
  • [0126]
    Firstly, the CPU 206 included in the controller 200 starts a timer (Step S21). Specifically, the CPU 200 activates a timer 214 (FIG. 7). Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S22 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0127]
    Upon moving to Step S22, the CPU 206 determines whether a predetermined amount of time has elapsed or not. Specifically, the CPU 206 determines whether three minutes have elapsed since the timer had started, for example. In the case where a predetermined amount of time has elapsed (in the case of YES in the determination processing in Step S22), the flow proceeds to Step S23 according to the instruction from the CPU 206. In the case where a predetermined amount of time has not elapsed (in the case of NO in the determination processing in Step S22), the CPU 206 performs the processing in Step S22, and waits for the period for accepting the team play game to expire.
  • [0128]
    Upon moving the processing to Step S23, the CPU 206 performs processing for determining a starting condition for the multi-player-type playing game. A specific description is provided below regarding processing for determining a starting condition for the multi-player-type playing game.
  • [0129]
    At first, in the processing for determining a starting condition for the multi-player-type playing game, the CPU 206 extracts random numbers generated from a predetermined range (“0” to “65535” in the present embodiment). The CPU 206 stores the random number thus extracted in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 210. Furthermore, the CPU 206 reads the random number table for shifting to the multi-player-type playing game stored in the ROM 208, and stores the random number table for shifting to the multi-player-type playing game thus read in a predetermined memory area in the RAM 210. Then, the CPU 206 stores a value to a shifting flag for the multi-player-type playing game, which indicates whether to shift to the multi-player-type playing game or not, in the predetermined memory area in the RAM 210 based on the random number table for shifting to the multi-player-type playing game. Specifically, if the random number stored in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 210 falls in a range of random numbers for shifting to the random number table for the multi-player-type playing game stored in the ROM 208 (a range of “0” to “99”), the CPU 206 activates the shifting flag for the multi-player-type playing game in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 210. The CPU 206 does not activate a shift flag for a multi-player-type playing game in a predetermined memory area of the RAM 210. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S24 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0130]
    Upon moving to Step S24, the CPU 206 determines whether to shift to the multi-player-type playing game or not based on the random number table for shifting to the multi-player-type playing game. Specifically, the CPU 206 determines it based on whether the shifting flag for the multi-player-type playing game is activated or not. In the case of shifting to the multi-player-type playing game (in the case of YES in the determination processing in Step S24), the flow proceeds to Step S25. On the other hand, in the case of not shift to the multi-player-type playing game (in the event of determination of NO in the processing in Step S24), the CPU 206 terminates the routine. In other words, it does not shift to the multi-player-type playing game.
  • [0131]
    Upon moving to Step S25, the CPU 206 transmits a multi-player-type playing game start signal having a signal for causing each gaming machine 13 to start the multi-player-type playing game. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S26 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0132]
    Upon moving to Step S26, the CPU 206 performs processing for the multi-player-type playing game shown in FIGS. 17 and 18 described later. Upon terminating the multi-player-type playing game, the CPU 206 terminates the routine.
  • [0133]
    Subsequently, FIGS. 17 and 18 are flowcharts showing the processing operation in the multi-player-type playing game of the gaming system 10. With reference to FIGS. 17 and 18, descriptions are made regarding the multi-player-type playing game processing program for the gaming machine 13 executed by the CPU 106 of the gaming machine 13 and the multi-player-type playing game processing program for the central controller 11 executed by the CPU 206 of the central controller 11, in that order. It should be noted that each of the programs shown in the flowcharts in FIGS. 17 and 18 are stored in the ROM 108 and the RAM 110 included in the gaming machine 13, or in the ROM 208 and the RAM 210 included in the central controller 11. These programs are executed by the CPU 106 included in the gaming machine 13 or the CPU 206 included in the central controller 11.
  • [0134]
    First, a description is provided regarding the multi-player-type playing game processing program for the gaming machine 13 with reference to FIGS. 17 and 18. In Step S101 shown in FIG. 17, the CPU 106 transmits a start confirmation signal for a multi-player-type playing game to the central controller 11. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S102 according to the instruction from the CPU 106. The multi-player-type playing game start confirmation signal at least includes data which specifies the gaming machine 13.
  • [0135]
    In Step S102, CPU 106 receives a multi-player-type playing game start data from the central controller 11 and displays a game selection image shown in FIG. 21 described later on the liquid crystal display 30 of the gaming machine 13, thereby causing a player to select a game. Specifically, the player presses any one of the select buttons 81 to 83 displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 only to select a game. When the player selects any one of the buttons, the CPU 106 transmits game select data based on the selected information (Step S103).
  • [0136]
    In Step S104, the CPU 106 receives data of the determination number of the specified symbol in the multi-player-type playing game. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S105.
  • [0137]
    Upon moving to Step S105, the CPU 106 displays a game image. Specifically, the CPU 106 generates a multi-player-type playing game image based on the data of the determination number received in Step S104, and then displays the image shown in FIG. 22 described later on the liquid crystal display 30 of the gaming machine 13. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S106 shown in FIG. 18.
  • [0138]
    Upon moving to Step S106 in FIG. 18, the CPU 106 transmits data of a game result to the central controller 11. Specifically, the CPU 106 performs the multi-player-type playing game based on a program read from the ROM 108. Then, the CPU 106 transmits the data of the result to the central controller 11. In addition, the timing of transmission may be upon termination of a unit game. Furthermore, the CPU 106 may transmit the data in response to an event that the gaming machine 13 accepts an input from a player. The data of the game result may be information regarding whether to clear a game or not, data of the number selected by a player in the multi-player-type playing game having a game number of 1, and the like.
  • [0139]
    In addition, the other player's expression while performing the multi-player-type playing game may be captured from the central controller 11 so as to display thereof such as on the display 40 of the gaming machine 13. Subsequently, the CPU 106 advances the flow to Step S107.
  • [0140]
    In Step S107, the CPU 106 determines whether or not a game result is cleared. In a case where the game result is cleared (in a case of YES in the determination processing in Step S107), the flow proceeds to Step S108 according to the instruction from the CPU 106. On the other hand, in the case where the game result is not cleared (in the case of determination of NO in the processing in Step S107), the CPU 106 terminates the routine.
  • [0141]
    In Step S120, the CPU 106 receives award data from the central controller 11. Specifically, upon receiving the award data, the CPU 106 stores the award data in the RAM 110. Subsequently, the CPU 106 advances the processing to Step S109.
  • [0142]
    In Step S109, the CPU 106 adds up an award received in Step S108. Specifically, the CPU 106 reads the amount of credits used in the single play game, which is stored in the predetermined memory area. Then, the CPU 106 calculates the sum total of the amount of credits thus read and the credit data corresponding to the award for the multi-player-type playing game stored in the PAM 110. Then, the CPU 106 stores the sum thus calculated in the predetermined memory area of the RAM 110. Furthermore, the CPU 106 displays the sum thus calculated on the credit amount display unit 49 of the gaming machine 13. The CPU 106 then terminates the routine.
  • [0143]
    As described above, in a case where the player has won an award in the multi-player-type playing game, the credit that has increased by the amount of the award is added to the coins for the gaming machine 13. Such an arrangement allows the player to use the award from the multi-player-type playing game in the form of coins. This provides a closer relation between the single game and the multi-player-type playing game, thereby improving the amusement value of the game provided by the overall game system 10.
  • [0144]
    Next, a description is provided regarding the multi-player-type playing game processing program for the central controller 11 with reference to FIGS. 17 and 18.
  • [0145]
    In Step S201 shown in FIG. 17, the CPU 206 receives a start confirmation signal for a multi-player-type playing game transmitted in the Step S101 from the CPU 106 of the gaming machine 13. Upon receiving the multi-player-type playing game start confirmation signal, the CPU 206 displays a start message of the multi-player-type playing game on the large-size monitor 16. With such an arrangement, the start message of the multi-player-type playing game is displayed on the large-size monitor 16. This notifies other persons in the amusement facility of the start of the multi-player-type game, in addition to the players at the other gaming machines 13. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S202 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0146]
    In Step S202, the CPU 206 counts the number of games. Specifically, the CPU 206 stores the machine number of the gaming machines 13, in the column of machine number for each game number in the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game stored in the RAM 210 shown in FIG. 13 described above in the order of the game numbers from 1, in every gaming machine 13 that has received the multi-player-type playing game start confirmation signal. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S203 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0147]
    In Step S203, the CPU 206 determines whether the number of games surpasses 30 or not. This is because it is set in advance that 30 unit games are performed in the present embodiment in the multi-player-type playing game of the game number 1. In a case where the number of games surpasses 30 (in the case of YES in the determination processing in Step S203), the flow proceeds to Step S208 according to the instruction from the CPU 206. In a case where the number of games does not surpass 30 (in the case of NO in the determination processing in Step S203), the flow proceeds to Step S204 shown in FIG. 18 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0148]
    Upon moving to Step S208, the CPU 206 stands by in the present state until the multi-player-type playing games of all the gaming machines 13 are terminated. Specifically, the CPU 206 stands by in the present state until all the game numbers 1 from 30 are terminated and the data of game results are transmitted. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S210 shown in FIG. 18 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0149]
    On the other hand, upon moving to Step S204, the CPU 206 transmits the multi-player-type playing game start data. Specifically, the CPU 206 transmits a command signal for causing the gaming machine to start the multi-player-type playing game.
  • [0150]
    In Step S205, the CPU 206 receives game select data transmitted from the gaming machine 13. Specifically, upon receiving the game select data, the CPU 206 stores the received results in the column of game selection corresponding to the game number in the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game in the RAM 210. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S206 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0151]
    In Step S206, the CPU 206 performs processing for determining a pop-up pirate number. A specific description is provided below regarding processing for determining the pop-up pirate number.
  • [0152]
    In the processing for determining a pop-up pirate number, firstly, the CPU 206 determines the pop-up pirate number indicating a specified symbol from which an award is seized, and determines the sword number displaying an image of a sword which cannot be selected in advance by a player. Specifically, the CPU 206 generates random numbers by computation processing (“0” to “6” in the present embodiment). Furthermore, the CPU 206 reads the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game (see FIG. 13), and stores the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game thus read in a predetermined memory area in the RAM 210. Then, the CPU 206 inserts the number which adds up the pop-up pirate numbers in the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game and the number of random number values generated by the CPU 206 adding up 1, to the game number in the number order of the game numbers from 1 to 30. Furthermore, the CPU 206 introduces three numbers among 1 to 7 other than the numbers which are inserted to the pop-up pirate numbers by way of random numbers generated by computation processing, and then inserts these numbers to the column of the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game stored in the predetermined memory area in the RAM 210 in the number order of the game number from 1 to 30. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S207 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0153]
    In Step S207, the CPU 206 transmits the data of the pop-up pirate numbers and the sword numbers determined in Step S206 to the gaming machine 13. While receiving the data of game result from the gaming machine 13 soon after transmitting the data of the determination number, the multi-player-type playing game is performed in the gaming machine 13. Therefore, the CPU 206 may occasionally transmit an image capturing signal to the movable viewpoint camera 17, may capture a player's expression, and may transmit the image data to the monitor 16, the gaming machine 13, and the like. Subsequently, the CPU 206 moves the processing to Step S209 of FIG. 18.
  • [0154]
    In Step S209 in FIG. 18, the CPU 206 receives the data of game result from the gaming machine 13. Specifically, the CPU 206 receives data, as data of the game result, such as a game number, a machine number, and the number selected by a player, and the like. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S210 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0155]
    In Step S210, the CPU 206 determines whether the game result received in Step S209 is clear or not. More specifically, the CPU 206 determines whether the result received in Step S209 is clear or not by comparison with the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game shown in FIG. 13 based on the data received in Step S209. In the case where the game result is cleared, which indicates that the game is terminated, without selecting a specified symbol (in the case of YES in the determination processing in Step S210), the flow proceeds to Step S213 according to the instruction from the CPU 206. On the other hand, in the case where the game result is not cleared with selecting a specified symbol (in the case of NO in the determination processing in Step S210), the flow proceeds to Step S211 according to the instruction from the CPU 206. When the game is cleared, the CPU 206 stores credit data in the memory area of the RAM 210 of each gaming machine. In addition, in the case of shifting to Step S208, it is determined based on the game result of the final gaming machine 13.
  • [0156]
    In Step S211, the CPU 206 terminates the multi-player-type playing game. In the case where the multi-player-type playing game is terminated, the CPU 206 transmits the signal indicating the termination to each gaming machine 13, and then the multi-player-type playing game in each gaming machine 13 is terminated. Subsequently, the flow proceeds to Step S212 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0157]
    In Step S212, the CPU 206 transmits award data only to gaming machines 13 for which game results were cleared in order to provide an award. Subsequently, the CPU 206 terminates the routine.
  • [0158]
    On the other hand, in Step S213, the CPU 206 determines whether the game number of the game which was performed until just prior is 30 or not. In the case where the game number is 30 (in the case of YES in the determination processing in Step S213), the flow proceeds to Step S214 according to the instruction from the CPU 206. In the case where the game number is not 30 (in the case of NO in the determination processing in Step S213), the flow proceeds to Step S202 shown in FIG. 17 according to the instruction from the CPU 206.
  • [0159]
    In Step S214, the CPU 206 transmits award data to each gaming machine 13. Specifically, the CPU 206 transmits the award data stored in the RAM 210 for each gaming machine 13 to the gaming machine 13. Subsequently, the CPU 206 terminates the routine.
  • [0160]
    Furthermore, for example, in the case where a predetermined game (the game 30 in the present embodiment) is terminated, the CPU 206 may pay out credits of a jackpot in addition to the award data stored in the RAM 210 for each gaming machine 13 in the processing in Step S214.
  • [0161]
    It should be noted that an arrangement may be made in which, in a case where all the gaming machines 13 are performing only the single play game, i.e. in a case where none of the gaming machines 13 are performing the multi-player-type playing game, the monitor 16 displays a demonstration image of the multi-player-type playing game stored in the ROM 208.
  • [0162]
    FIGS. 19 and 20 show examples of a basic game which is a single play game in the gaming machine 13 in the embodiment of the present invention. In the example shown in FIG. 19, the symbols are displayed to be stationary on the liquid crystal display 30 of the gaming machine 13. Furthermore, in the example shown in FIG. 20, the symbols are displayed to be stationary on the liquid crystal display 30 of the gaming machine 13. More specifically, in the FIG. 20, there is a column displaying a payout display unit 48 and a bet amount display unit 50 on the upper portion of the image, in order from the left, and a credit amount display unit 49 on the right side of the image. Here, the information of credits regarding the single play game can be referred to. Furthermore, in the center of the image, five video reels 3A to 3E are displayed to be stationary. When a combination except “Other” shown in FIG. 10 on the line shown in the FIG. 4 is achieved, the predetermined credits shown in FIG. 11 are paid out.
  • [0163]
    FIG. 21 shows a display example which is displayed during game selection of the pop-up pirate game for the multi-player-type playing game in the gaming machine 13 in the embodiment of the present invention. In Step S102 in FIG. 17 described above, the display example is displayed on the liquid crystal display 30 when the gaming machine 13 receives the multi-player-type playing game start data. A player can select any one of the buttons 81 to 83, and the difficulty level depends on the player's selection.
  • [0164]
    Thus, game contents can be changed according to the player's selection.
  • [0165]
    FIG. 22 shows a display example which is displayed initially on the liquid crystal display 30 as a display example of the pop-up pirate game for the multi-player-type playing game in the gaming machine 13.
  • [0166]
    At first, on the upper left portion of the liquid crystal display 30, the amount of coins, which the gaming machine 13 has obtained in the pop-up pirate game from the start of the pop-up pirate game to the present, is displayed as a current amount of obtained coins. In addition, a game number is displayed on the upper right part of the liquid crystal display 30. In the example of FIG. 22, a first game is displayed. In addition, at the center of the image, a doll with a black beard in a barrel is displayed. In the barrel that the doll is in, the 7 holes to be pierced by swords are numbered in order from 1. Three holes among the 7 are displayed for which the swords have been already pierced. Since the hole where the displayed image that the sword has pierced has been decided based on the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game, the image in which the sword has pierced the number with the hole can be displayed. In the case of the example of the FIG. 22, the swords have pierced the numbers 1, 2, and 6 with the holes.
  • [0167]
    FIG. 23 is a display example in which the hole concealing coins as an award is pierced in the pop-up pirate game. In this example, since the game number represented in the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game shown in FIG. 13 is “1”, the sword number 5 is not the pop-up pirate number which is a specified symbol. Therefore, when a player selects the number 5, the image in which 10 dollar coins comes up is displayed, and “$10” is displayed as the current amount of obtained coins on the upper left portion of the liquid crystal display.
  • [0168]
    On the other hand, FIG. 24 is a display example in which the hole concealing the pop-up pirate number, which is a specific symbol, is pierced in the pop-up pirate game. In this example, since the game number represented in the storage table for the multi-player-type playing game shown in FIG. 13 is “1”, the sword number 3 is the pop-up pirate number which is the specified symbol. Therefore, when a player selects the number 3, the doll in the barrel jumps up and the game is terminated. Simultaneously, the current amount of the obtained coins returns to “$0”, and the player loses all the coins that the player has obtained from before.
  • [0169]
    While the gaming system according to the present invention has been described above by way of embodiments, it should be clearly understood that the embodiments in no way restrict the present invention, and that the specific configurations such as the means and components may be modified and altered as suitable. Moreover, it should be understood that the advantages described in association with the embodiments are merely a listing of most preferred advantages, and that the advantages of the present invention are by no means restricted to those described in connection with the embodiments.
  • [0170]
    For example, although a game performed in the gaming machine 13 is normally set forth as a single play game performed in a slot machine, the present invention is not limited thereto. Any game which can be played as a single play game may be available.

Claims (7)

  1. 1. A gaming machine apparatus, comprising:
    a plurality of gaming machines; and
    a central controller,
    wherein each of the plurality of gaming machines includes:
    a memory storing a game program;
    a display device for displaying a result of a first game performed in accordance with a first game program that is applied to a single game and stored in the memory; and
    an input device allowing a player to set a number of times to perform selection per round of game to a second game program, which is applied to a multi-player-type game played by participants and different from the first game program, in response to receiving a signal,
    wherein the central controller is configured with logic to:
    (a) randomly determine with predetermined timing a transition to a second game performed in accordance with the second game program;
    (b) transmit a signal indicating a start of the second game to the plurality of gaming machines;
    (c) receive data related to the number of times to perform selection per round of game, and execute the second game program.
  2. 2. The gaming machine apparatus according to claim 1,
    wherein the plurality of gaming machines adds credit determined by the second game to credit to be used for the first game stored in the memory.
  3. 3. The gaming machine apparatus according to claim 2,
    wherein the plurality of gaming machines transmits a result of a round of the second game, and
    wherein the central controller is further configured with logic to:
    (d) store credit and a number of second game for each gaming machine to participate in the second game;
    (e) terminate the second game when the central controller has received a first predetermined data representing the result of a round of the second game, and transmit credit data, which is stored by the central controller and correlated with each of the gaming machines, to the gaming machines except the gaming machine that has sent the first predetermined data; and
    (f) transmit a signal indicating continuation of second games until a number of second game has reached a predetermined threshold when the central controller has received a second predetermined data representing the result of a round of the second game.
  4. 4. A method of playing a game, comprising the steps of:
    allowing a particular player to perform a first game prepared for a single player;
    randomly determining with predetermined timing a start of a second game prepared for a plurality of participants different from the first game;
    terminating the first game; and
    allowing a start of the second game.
  5. 5. The method according to claim 4, further comprising the steps of:
    determining an award for the second game in response to reception of an input from the particular player; and
    using credit provided in accordance with the award as credit for the first game.
  6. 6. The method according to claim 5, further comprising the steps of:
    not paying out the credit of the second game to the particular player when a result of a round of the second game includes specific data; and
    paying out the credit to the participants except the particular player.
  7. 7. The method according to claim 6, further comprising the steps of:
    continuing second games until a number of second game reaches a predetermined threshold when the result of a round of the second game played by the particular player does not include the specific data; and
    paying out credit in accordance with the award to all the players when the number of second game reaches the predetermined threshold.
US11971037 2007-01-10 2008-01-08 Gaming machine apparatus performing a multi-player-type playing game and game rules Abandoned US20080280674A1 (en)

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US8684811B2 (en) 2009-12-03 2014-04-01 Patent Investment & Licensing Company Gaming device having advance game information analyzer
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