US20100022307A1 - Skill-Based Electronic Gaming Tournament Play - Google Patents

Skill-Based Electronic Gaming Tournament Play Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100022307A1
US20100022307A1 US12180405 US18040508A US2010022307A1 US 20100022307 A1 US20100022307 A1 US 20100022307A1 US 12180405 US12180405 US 12180405 US 18040508 A US18040508 A US 18040508A US 2010022307 A1 US2010022307 A1 US 2010022307A1
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Prior art keywords
tournament
user
server
skill
client
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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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US12180405
Inventor
Michael Steuer
Dmitriy Temesov
Adrian Kurek
Tiago Teixeira
Krzysztof Goworek
Michal Okularczyk
Alvin Wong
Edward Scott Cragg
Eric Hayashi
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TWISTBOX ENTERTAINMENT Inc
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TWISTBOX ENTERTAINMENT Inc
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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
    • G07F17/3276Games involving multiple players wherein the players compete, e.g. tournament
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/12Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions involving interaction between a plurality of game devices, e.g. transmisison or distribution systems
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q90/00Systems or methods specially adapted for administrative, commercial, financial, managerial, supervisory or forecasting purposes, not involving significant data processing
    • 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
    • G07F17/3286Type of games
    • G07F17/3295Games involving skill, e.g. dexterity, memory, thinking
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/20Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of the game platform
    • A63F2300/204Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of the game platform the platform being a handheld device
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/40Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of platform network
    • A63F2300/406Transmission via wireless network, e.g. pager or GSM
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/40Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of platform network
    • A63F2300/409Data transfer via television network
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/50Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers
    • A63F2300/53Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers details of basic data processing
    • A63F2300/537Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers details of basic data processing for exchanging game data using a messaging service, e.g. e-mail, SMS, MMS
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/50Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers
    • A63F2300/55Details of game data or player data management
    • A63F2300/552Details of game data or player data management for downloading to client devices, e.g. using OS version, hardware or software profile of the client device
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/50Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by details of game servers
    • A63F2300/55Details of game data or player data management
    • A63F2300/5586Details of game data or player data management for enforcing rights or rules, e.g. to prevent foul play

Abstract

A system for managing an electronic gaming tournament between a plurality of users comprising user database operably associated with a server containing information related to each of the plurality of users, a central pseudo-random number generator providing server-side generated pseudo-random numbers; a tournament database operably containing information related to an electronic gaming; a skill-based electronic game operably deployed on a plurality of client devices, the skill-based electronic game having at least one of its starting conditions, its behavior or its appearance determined by one or more psuedo-random equations; a client-server communication module being deployed on each of the plurality of client devices operably disposed between each of the skill-based electronic games and the server, each client-server communication module providing a tournament menu to the skill-based electronic game so as to provide user-selectable access to ongoing tournaments found in the tournament database, and a prize fulfillment module for distributing the prize indicated in the tournament database to the user among the tournament participants who is determined to have won each tournament as of the tournament ending time.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention generally relates to electronic gaming, and in particular to improvements in electronic gaming tournament management.
  • 2. Background Information
  • Electronic gaming has been well known for a long time. “Pong,” one of the earliest electronic games was essentially a simplified two-dimenionsional tennis game where two players used joysticks to move an electronic paddle up and down on the left or right side of a television screen, respectively, to prevent the electronic ball from reaching the player's respective edge of the television screen and to send the electronic ball back toward the other player's side.
  • In the decades since the introduction of Pong, not only have game play and graphics increased in sophistication, but the electronics the games are played on have advanced drastically. For instance, handheld video game systems have developed that enclose a microprocessor, speaker, user input device and a display in a portable housing.
  • Within these same decades, radiotelephones (commonly referred to today as mobile or cellular telephones) were introduced and experienced similarly drastic technological advances. Mobile phones presently have microprocessors, memory, a video display, one or more user input devices (such as a keypad), and a radiotransceiver. More sophisticated radiotelephones may be referred to as smartphones, a term that reflects these devices greater computing power, size of memory and/or sophistication of the user input devices provided. Some portable computers and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) now have cellular telephone capabilities resulting in convergence of a variety of technologies. For purposes of the present disclosure, we will collectively refer to radiotelephones, mobile telephones, cellular telephones, smartphones, wireless-enabled PDAs, wireless-enabled portable computers, and other similar devices as mobile phones.
  • Mobile phones communicate with wireless networks, which are connected, in turn, to the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), to the Internet and often time to the wireless provider's own computer network. The wireless providers that own these wireless networks and other infrastructure provide mobile phones and a variety of services to their subscribers.
  • Some wireless providers provide mobile games for use on the mobile phones. These mobile games usually reside in the memory of the mobile phone and run on top of the operating system deployed on the mobile phone such that the microprocessor, display and user input device of the mobile phone can be harnessed for game play. The mobile games may be pre-loaded into the mobile phone memory or later installed either via the wireless communication link or via a wired connection between the phone and a computer.
  • Thus, there is a need for mobile game platforms that integrate easily into programs created for a variety of operating systems and network devices (e.g. mobile phones, personal digital assistants, personal computers, game consoles and TV set top boxes).
  • Many mobile games are based on popular electronic games from the personal computer domain. One games that has been adapted from the personal computer to mobile phones is Tetris®. In the game Tetris a variety of shapes fall from the top of a rectangular playing field or well. As the shapes fall, the user tries to rotate and move the falling shapes so they will fit together with previously fallen shapes resting toward the bottom of the well. If the arrangement of shapes is such that it fills a horizontal line completely from left to right wall that horizontal line disappears and the user is awarded points. If the horizontal line has gaps it cannot disappear and thus becomes the new, higher bottom of the well. Game play continues until the incomplete lines reach the top of the well, thus, precluding additional shapes from falling into the well.
  • Using Tetris® as an example, the type of shape, its rotation and intial placement into the well is determined by one or more pseudo-random equations. These one or more pseudo-random equations are “seeded” with a generated random number such that each game of Tetris® appears somewhat different from every other game of Tetris®. Use of a random seed to randomly initiate and determine a game's starting conditions, behavior and appearance is universally used in electronic games.
  • By using the exact same random seed to start an electronic game, such as Tetris®, two or more players would be faced with the same level of difficulty and challenges of play, subject only to difference as a result of each player's different level of skill in that game. Skill-based electronic game tournaments are based on this behavior.
  • There are primarily two types of skill-based electronic game tournaments: head-to-head and high-score. Head-to-head involves seeding two players of a particular games with the same random number, which is used to initiate and determine such game's starting conditions, behavior and appearance, and then comparing their final scores to declare a winner. Each player's wins and losses are tallied for each particular game, e.g. Tetris®, Poker, Pac-Man®, during a particular predetermined period of time, e.g. Jun. 26-30, 2008, and the user with the best win/loss percentage is the tournament champion. In a high score (also referred to as a progressive) tournament, each player receives the same random number seed every subsequent time they play the game during the predetermined period of the tournament, e.g. Jun. 26-30, 2008. In particular, everyone playing their first game in a High Score Tournament receives the exact same seed as everyone else playing their first game (Seed A) and everyone playing their second game in that same High Score Tournament receives the exact same seed as everyone else playing their second game (Seed B). The absolute highest score (of all attempted games) is the user's high score. In the end, all users' high scores are compared and the user with the highest overall score wins the tournament.
  • In some of these tournaments, the champion is awarded a prize. Prizes are pre-determined before the start of each tournament. For some tournaments, the value of the tournament is so significant that the value of the prizes offered is very high.
  • The higher the prize value the greater the potential for fraud. For instance, in head-to-head tournaments users have been traditionally paired by a network in order of entry, so two users could skew the tournament results by repeatedly entering the tournament nearly simultaneously in an effort to be intentionally paired. Then, the first paired-user could quickly and intentionally lose the game resulting in a very, very low or zero score. The second paired-user could then, play a shorter game achieving only a marginally higher score than the first user and still be awarded the win. In this way, more games could be played by the pair within the same time as could be the case with arms-length play leading to a higher number of wins in the same time, thus skewing the tournament results.
  • The methods for potentially defrauding are potentially unlimited. Accordingly, there is a need to create methods to substantially thwart fraud in skill-based electronic gaming tournaments.
  • Users pay cellular providers for access to these tournaments. One model is the pay-per-download model. In this model, a user is charged once for each game title downloaded to the user's mobile phone and they are allowed unlimited uses. A second model is subscription-based. In the subscription-based model, the user purchases a preset period of time, such as a month, a quarter or even a year to participate in the various tournaments offered by the cellular provider. In either event, the cellular provider and game companies are motivated to keep the subscriber actively playing. This motivation is provided in many ways, including but not limited to providing newer, more-complex games and/or larger, more expensive prizes. As a result the cost of providing mobile gaming is increasing.
  • Thus, there is a need to keep mobile gaming users interested while developing new revenue sources from the access these tournaments provide to users.
  • SUMMARY OF DISCLOSURE
  • The present disclosure teaches various inventions that address, in part or in whole, this and other various needs in the art. Those of ordinary skill in the art to which the inventions pertain, having the present disclosure before them will also come to realize that the inventions disclosed herein may address needs not explicitly identified in the present application. Those skilled in the art may also recognize that the principles disclosed may be applied to a wide variety of applications, platforms and electronic, networked devices.
  • One object of the present disclosure is to present a software development kit that facilitates development of mobile games for multiple platforms that integrate easily into skill-based electronic gaming tournaments.
  • Another object of the present disclosure is to disclose systems and methods that thwart fraud in skill-based electronic gaming tournaments.
  • Yet another object of the present disclosure is to disclose systems and methods that provide a new potential revenue source while keeping gaming users interested.
  • In one aspect, the present disclosure provides a system for managing an electronic gaming tournament between a plurality of users. The system comprises a user database, a central pseudo-random number generator, a tournament database, skill-based electronic game, and a client-server communication module.
  • The user database may be operably associated with a server containing information related to each of the plurality of users including a user name, a password, and tournament involvement with scoring data, and the central pseudo-random number generator may be operably associated with the server to provide server-side generated pseudo-random numbers.
  • The tournament database may be operably associated with the server and may contain information related to an electronic gaming tournaments including a tournament ID, tournament type, tournament ending time, tournament participants selected from the user database, a plurality of the server-side generated pseudo-random numbers generated by the central pseudo-random number generator, a plurality of results associated with each of the tournament participants, and a prize.
  • The skill-based electronic game may be operably deployed on a plurality of client devices. The skill-based electronic game may also have at least one of its starting conditions, its behavior or its appearance determined by one or more psuedo-random equations, where at least one of the one or more psuedo-random equations are seeded by at least a selected one of the server-side generated pseudo-random numbers. The skill-based electronic game may also provide a skill-based score.
  • The client-server communication module may be deployed on each of the plurality of client devices operably disposed between each of the skill-based electronic games and the server. The client-server communication module may also provide a tournament menu to the skill-based electronic game so as to provide user-selectable access to ongoing tournaments found in the tournament database, and receive the tournament ID associated with a user-selected ongoing tournament. The client-server communication module may further provide at least a selected one of the server-side generated pseudo-random numbers associated with the user-selected ongoing tournament and communicate the skill-based score to the server along with the tournament ID and the user name associated with the skill-based score.
  • The prize fulfillment module may be operably associated with the server for distributing the prize indicated in the tournament database to the user among the tournament participants who is determined to have won each tournament as of the tournament ending time.
  • In one aspect, the client device may comprise a mobile device selected from the group comprising a handheld video game system, a mobile phones, a wireless-enabled personal computers, and a personal digital assistant (PDA).
  • In another aspect, the skill-based electronic game with client-server communication module may be distributed to one of the plurality of client devices via a wireless communication link for installation in the client device.
  • In yet another aspect, the client device may comprises a game console.
  • In yet another aspect, the system according to claim 1 wherein the client device comprises a television set-top box.
  • In yet another aspect, at least some of the plurality of client devices may be operably connected to the server via a first wireless carrier, the first wireless carrier having a user database containing first wireless-carrier community user names. The system may also further comprise a process operably associated with the server that receives the first wireless-carrier community user names from the first wireless carrier, pads each of the first wireless-carrier community user names with a text string pre-determined for the first wireless carrier users, and stores the text padded first wireless-carrier community user names in the user database as the user name.
  • In yet another aspect, the information contained in the user database may further include a physical address and wherein the prize fulfillment module issues fulfillment orders that when acted upon result in the prize indicated in the tournament database being sent to the physical address of the user among the tournament participants who is determined to have won each tournament as of the tournament ending time.
  • In yet another aspect, the system may further include an SMS messenger operably associated with the server and operably connected to wireless carriers, where the prize fulfillment module further issues an SMS message to the user among the tournament participants who is determined to have won each tournament as of the tournament ending time to confirm the physical address of the user for shipping of the prize indicated in the tournament database and further acts upon a return SMS message from the user regarding the correctness of the physical address.
  • In yet another aspect, the system may further include a display screen process operably associated with the server that pushes down to each of the plurality of client devices via the client-server communication module one or more screens configured to display information on a display of the client device. In embodiment, the display screen process may determine dynamically the number of screens to be pushed down to the client devices wherein the displayed information is selected from the group comprising user information, legal disclaimer information, prize information, tournament information, and promotional information. In one example, the display information may include a graphical banner. The display screen process may also have a language localization table, and the user database may further include information regarding which localized text string to send back to the client device associated with each user.
  • In yet another aspect, the system may further include a process associated with the server that detects user fraud in a tournament and precludes the sending of the server-side generated pseudo-random number to each user who participated in the fraud. The user fraud process may also send an SMS message to each user who participated in the fraud informing them of detection. In one embodiment, the preclusion of sending of the server-side generated pseudo-random number may be only for a limited amount of time and the SMS message may include information regarding the limited amount of time. In another embodiment, the preclusion or sending of the server-side generated pseudo-random number may be only for head-to-head tournaments and the SMS message includes this information. The user fraud prevention process may also determine whether a user has sent a first predetermined number of scores to the server within a first predetermined number of minutes.
  • In yet another aspect, the user database may further store a frequent player point value for each of the plurality of users, where the system further comprising a frequent player point process operably associated with the server that credits the user with a predetermined number of points for using the system. The frequent player point process may also assign the pre-determined number of points for every skill-based electronic game played, for tournament participation, and for winning games.
  • In yet another aspect, the system may further include a raffle process operably associated with the server that accepts users as raffle participants upon deducting a pre-determined number of the frequent player point from the frequent player point value stored for the user, where the raffle process randomly selects one of the raffle participants to receive a pre-determined prize. The raffle process may also include means for entry of raffle participants independent of the user database and data contained in the user database.
  • These and other objects and advantages of the present disclosure will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art having the present drawings, specifications, and claims before them. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of one potential embodiment of a system.
  • FIG. 1A is a block diagram of one potential embodiment of a tournament server 200.
  • FIGS. 2A and 2B of the drawings are screens shots shown on a mobile phone display of a user entering into a mobile game enabled for tournament play.
  • FIG. 3 depicts the flow for user selection oft “Prizes Info” and “Scores.”
  • FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C depict three exemplary prize information screen shots on a mobile phone display.
  • FIG. 5 is a flow chart depicting a preferred method of enrolling a new user into the tournament server 200.
  • FIG. 6 of the drawings is a flow chart depicting a preferred flow into a mobile game as part of tournament play.
  • FIG. 7 of the drawings is a flow chart depicteing a preferred flow out of a mobile game as part of tournament play.
  • FIG. 8 of the drawings depicts a method to minimize this type of unwelcomed behavior on the system.
  • FIG. 9 of the drawings depicts one approach to software development tools.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • While the present disclosure may be embodied in many different forms, the drawings and discussion are presented with the understanding that the present disclosure is an exemplification of the principles of one or more inventions and is not intended to limit any one of the inventions to the embodiments illustrated.
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of one potential embodiment of a system. In accordance with the present disclosure, the system is preferably carrier, platform and device agnostic. For example, the technology platform may be J2ME, DoJa, BREW, Symbian Windows Mobile, Palm OS, WIPI, Infusio ExEn or any other technology platform. For purposes of this disclosure, the present invention has been generally described in accordance with features and interfaces that are optimized for a cellular phone utilizing a J2ME platform, although one skilled in the art would understand that all such features and interfaces may also be used and adapted for any other platform and/or device.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the system includes a plurality of mobile phones 110 deployed by a plurality of wireless carriers 150 wherein each of the wireless carriers are operably connected to the tournament server 200. Mobile phones 110 may be selected from radiotelephones, mobile telephones, cellular telephones, smartphones, wireless-enabled PDAs, wireless-enabled portable computers, network-enabled devices such as PCs, TV set top boxes and other similar devices.
  • Tournament server 200 may include functions performed in serial or in parallel on the same computer or across a local or wide area network distributed on a plurality of computers, where the computer may be controlled by the Linux operating system. It is contemplated, however, that the system would work equally well using a Macintosh® operating system or even another operating system such as Windows®, Windows CE, Unix, or a Java® based operating system, to name a few. Some details of a preferred tournament server 200 are shown in FIG. 1 a it being understood that server has further aspects not shown to avoid obscuring the invention. As shown, tournament server 200 includes a user data base, tournaments data base and a promotions database. Tournament server also includes raffle engine 210, web interface 230, SMS messenger 240 and security module 290.
  • The prize award fulfillment module 220 generally issues fulfillment orders, which are acted upon resulting in a selected prize being sent to a physical address associated with the winning user. The prize award fulfillment module 220 may also be responsible for collecting the physical addresses (i.e. 123 Main Street, Anywhere, Anyplace USA 12345) associated with a winning user. These physical addresses may be obtained via the network from the wireless carriers 150 or (as is more likely) it may be obtained on-the-fly when a user wins a tournament. This physical address may be input via the mobile phone 110 especially where that mobile is a smart phone with a full QWERTY keyboard making text entry easy. It is expected, however, that most physical addresses will be input via a web interface 230 to the tournament server 200 using the user's personal computer and a standard Internet browser connection to the web interface 230. Once the physical address is obtained for a user that physical address 265 is stored in the data record associated with the user. In one embodiment of tournament server 200, an SMS messenger module 240 may be used by the prize award fulfillment module 220 to inform the user that they won a tournament or a periodic raffle. In a prefered embodiment, this SMS notice would also include the current address stored for the user and a request for confirmation (via reply SMS message) that the address is correct. Once confirmed, the prize is automatically sent to the user's physical address by prize award fulfillment module 220.
  • Web interface 230 may also include an XML interface that allows third parties to access tournament information (e.g. leader boards, recent winners, upcoming tournaments, upcoming prizes, game titles, descriptions, supported tournament types, screenshots and thumbnails) in real time. This information may be useful to the wireless carriers 150 in promotion of the tournament games. This information may also be used by the users to keep track of tournaments they are participating in, thus encouraging the users to become more involved in the tournaments.
  • FIGS. 2 a and 2 b of the drawings are screens shots shown on a mobile telephone display as the user enters into a mobile game that has been enabled for tournament play. In particular, FIG. 2 a shows the first two entries of a mobile game menu are preferably “PLAY TOURNAMENT” and “HELP TOURNAMENT.” These two entries have been added to a previously existing game, such as Tetris® or as depicted, Cubis® (a three-dimensional version of Tetris®). If the “PLAY TOURNAMENT” entry is selected, the menu depicted in FIG. 2 b is displayed with the tournament options: head-to-head or high score play, along with a prize information and score option.
  • FIG. 3 depicts the flow for user selection of “Prizes Info” and “Scores.” In particular, when the user selects “Prize Info” from the menu of FIG. 2 b, the mobile phone makes a call to the tournament server 200 via the wireless carrier 150 requesting a first prize information screen displaying a series of server driven promotional screens, with marketing/promotional messages about upcoming prizes, tournaments, announcements and tips. That first prize information screen is displayed on the mobile phone display once the download is complete. Three exemplary prize information screens are shown in FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C. With simple configuration in the tournament server 200, the number of screens can be expanded and reduced on the fly, with each screen containing its own unique texts and banner ads. In the prefered embodiment, the head-to-head and high score prize screens promote the current prizes for the then active tournaments.
  • When the user selects “Scores” from the menu depicted in FIG. 2 b, as indicated in FIG. 3, subsequent menus are displayed to select between head-to-head and high score scoring and then current ranking, recent matches, current tournaments and global ranking. Once the user has selected the choices between the two screens, the software on the mobile phone makes a call to the tournament server 200 requesting the user requested information.
  • When the user selects either head-to-head or high score play, the software checks whether the mobile device user has already been registered with the tournament server 200. If the user has not been registered, a new account registration process is initated. FIG. 5 is a flow chart depicting a preferred method of enrolling a new user into the tournament server 200. Note that if the mobile device memory loses registration, tournament server 200 may use the phone number to automatically re-register the device.
  • In a preferred embodiment, tournament server 200 may optionally check whether a user name associated with the mobile phone 110 has been previously stored in user database 151 associated with wireless carrier 150. If such a wireless-carrier community user name 155 exists in database 151, that wireless-carrier community user name 155 is registered on tournament server 200 with padding to ensure the tournament user name 255 is unique within user database 201 of tournament server 200. So, for example under this optional functionality, if wireless carrier database 155 for the wireless carrier Verizon has a user name John_Doe that name would be saved in the user database 201 of tournament server 200 as Verizon's_John_Doe, John_Doe@Verizon, vzwJohn_Doe, etc. As would be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art, the particular content of the padding is largely irrelevant so long as the padding is unique for each wireless carrier 150 that is associated with a tournament server 200. If wireless carrier user database 151 has a wireless-carrier community password 156 associated with wireless-carrier community user name 155 that password would be saved as tournament password 256 in association with tournament user name 255. After they have been registered and saved in the tournament server 200, tournament user name 255 and tournament password 256 are saved within the memory of mobile phone 110. By automatically adopting a padded-version of the user's wireless-carrier community user name 155 and (where available) wireless-carrier community password 156, convenience is offered to the user making it more likely the user will enroll with the tournament server and, thus, purchase tournament enabled mobile games.
  • If the user has not been registered and no wireless-carrier community user name 155 exists in database 151 of wireless carrier 150 or in an embodiment that does not check against the wireless-carrier database 151, a new account registration process is initated directly between the mobile phone 110 and the tournament server 200 via the wireless carrier 150. As shown in FIG. 5, the user is asked to input a user name via the display and keypad of the mobile phone 150. Upon completing the input, the user would select “NEXT” or other appropriate input, which would transmit the proposed user name to tournament server 200. The proposed user name is checked against all other user names stored in tournament database 201. In an embodiment that facilitates wholesale input of wireless-carrier community user names, the proposed user name would also be checked to ensure that it did not include the padding scheme adopted by tournament server 200. If the proposed user name is acceptable it is stored in tournament database 201 and an acceptance message is sent via wireless carrier 150 to mobile phone 110, such that the proposed user name is stored in the memory of the mobile phone 110. Then, as shown in FIG. 5, the user inputs password the display and keypad of the mobile phone 150. Upon completing the input, the user would select “NEXT” or other appropriate input, which would transmit the password to tournament server 200 along with the selected user name that was just stored in the mobile phone. Alternately, in a preferred embodiment a numeric password or PIN is automatically assigned after the user inputs the user name.
  • Preferably, an account is registered once and the user name becomes available for all future games installed on the same mobile phone 110, such that the user does not need to remember his user name and/or password to log in. In a prefered embodiment, after initial registration, log-in is transparent to the user.
  • FIG. 6 of the drawings is a flow chart depicting a preferred flow into a mobile game as part of tournament play. As shown in FIG. 6, the tournament server 200 provides seeds to the mobile phones 110 such that every participant in a given game of a given tournament is given the exact same starting conditions, level layouts, time limits, sequences of randomized elements (e.g. cards in a card game, blocks in a puzzle game, enemy artificial intelligence decisions, etc.). In a high-score tournament all players will receive the same sequence of seeds over the course of the tournament (ie all players will receive seed “A” in their first game of the tournament, then seed “B”, etc.) Still, this does not mean that every player will have the exact same experience. Player decisions will inevitably impact how the game unfolds. However, if two players were to play the exact same way, their games should play out exactly the same—randomized elements should not have any impact.
  • When the user starts a “Head-to-Head” match or a “High Score” game, he may navigate through a number of screens. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6 there are three screens presented, but this number could be anywhere between 0 and n. The first screen is a “welcome message” reminds the user of his user name and pin, and in a preferred embodiment states the user's current “frequent player points” balance. The frequent player points encouraged the user to play more frequently and in multiple games, in order to obtain more frequent player points towards winning the opportunity for more prizes. The system may also push a messaage down to mobile phone 110 with an indication of the user's frequent player points.
  • In FIG. 6, the second screen may be a disclaimer screen (not shown), which explains legal rules regarding the tournament. As shown in FIG. 6, the third screen may be a dynamic number of screens that display tournament instructions. The tournament instruction screens may explain to the user the prize available to the winner of the tournament (depicted in FIG. 6), where to check standings and claim prizes, and advises about the availability of additional features, such as SMS notifications. In a preferred embodiment, after the static screen that welcome the user and provide tournament status but before the start of game play, a dynamic number of promotional screens may be shown on the mobile device. These promotional screens will be served up by tournament server 200 from its database of promotional objects. In one embodiment, the number of promotional screens served up depends on the total number of promotional objects in tournament server 200. It is also contemplated that the promotions may be served up dynamically based on pre-selected criteria (e.g. the user's cell phone number, the user's wireless carrier, the user's past and present tournament game selections, the user's past prize selection and/or prize viewing history).
  • It should be understood from the present disclosure that promotional screens may be dynamically placed through the display flow. The total number of screens needs to be managed, however, to avoid user disatisfaction with the gaming experience due to over-commercialization. As depicted in FIG. 1, each promotion stored on the tournament server 200 can have an image (or banner) and body text associated with it. In a preferred embodiment, each promotion may be given a value, which may be used to determine the frequency that the particular promotion is displayed. By way of example, a promotion rated ten would be essentially five times more likely to appear than a promotion rated a two. Further, the advertising module would tie into user profiles, demographics and behavioral stats to deliver a highly targeted means of advertising to advertisers.
  • The advertising module of the tournament server 200 may keep track of the advertisements that have been dynamically served to users, including the identity of the users and/or the number of times and positioning of the advertisement. Integration of an advertising server into Play For Prizes to dynamically serve and keep track of advertisements served to users in game is contemplated.
  • Tournament game play consists of one or multiple levels, playing similarly to the single player version. However, Tournament Game Play levels are fully initialized by the server based on server-provided seeding instructions, guaranteeing that users that compete directly against each other, experience the exact same initial conditions and sequence of events. The outcome of game play is exclusively based on the user's skill and game play decisions made during the game.
  • FIG. 7 of the drawings is a flow chart depicteing a preferred flow out of a mobile game as part of tournament play. As shown in FIG. 7, upon completing game play, the game connects to the tournament server 200 to transmit the results from the game played on the mobile phone 110. The server 200 reconciles the result and resolves the winner. In head-to-head, the match result is usually transmitted back to the mobile device 110, however, where the score of the competing player is still unknown (i.e. the direct competing user has not yet been selected or not yet completed his game). This might be displayed as, for example:
  • Match Result:
  • You won the match!
  • <USER>: 123456
  • <OPP>: 123455
  • -OR-
      • Still waiting for your opponent to finish.
      • Check later in My Scores to view the final result of your match.
  • Then, the mobile game proceeds to display the user's current ranking, as well as the top 10 ranked players in both head-to-head and progressive (or high-score tournaments). The ranking screen may look something like this:
  • Your Ranking
  • Tetris® High Score
  • ending Mar. 19, 2008 at 9:40 PM
  • Last Score: 3390
  • Last Rank: 15 out of 3000
  • Your Best: 4010
  • Your Rank: 15 out of 3000
  • Standings:
  • 1. JOHN_DOE
      • Best: 3825
      • Avg: 3700
  • Tetris® High Score
  • ending Mar. 19, 2008 at 9:40 PM
  • Win/Loss Ratio: 40-5
  • Standings:
  • 1. JOHN DOE
      • Win/Loss Ratio: 50-0
  • The overall flow, as well as any screen, can be leveraged to display dynamic banner ads, promoting upcoming prizes and tournaments, different games, publisher or carrier promotions and other calls-to-action, before asking the user whether he wishes to play another tournament game, additional prize promotions screens may be displayed. The system also may push a message down to mobile phone 110 that says something like “your current win/loss ratio ranks you [ranked number], you would need five more wins to move up in the tournament standings.
  • Returning to FIG. 1A, it is depicted that the tournament server may calculate and track a user's frequent player points 260. For instance, the tournament server 200 may credit the user with a pre-determined number of points for every game played, a pre-determined number of point for tournament participation, and may, in a preferred embodiment also assign points for winning games. It is contemplated that the pre-determined number of points assigned to different games and different tournament types could be different. It is also contemplated that the number of points assigned to each game and tournament may be displayed in association with each tournament or in association with the dynamic advertising to encourage users to play certain games and in certain tournaments over other games and tournaments by increasing the points awarded for those games and tournaments. The frequent player points would then be redeemable for entries into a periodic prize raffle. In some jurisdictions, an embodiment of the frequent player point program that awards points based in any part on playing a game for pay may be deemed illegal. In those jurisdictions as well as in other jurisdictions (due to other laws or merely because the wireless carriers prefer to offer it), users may also make as many “free” entries as they would like into the period prize raffle by sending entries to a designated address via regular mail, such as by post card. When the company running the tournament server 200 receives regular mail raffle entries 160 they are entered into the raffle engine 210 via a user interface (not shown as such interfaces are well known in the art). In this manner, both electronic entries via user redemption of frequent player points 260 and regular mail entries may be treated identically by the raffle engine 210. Raffle engine 210 conducts the random selection of one or more winners on a periodic basis and communicates the identity of the winner and the prize won to the prize award fulfillment module 220.
  • The tournament server is entirely carrier, language and territory independent. Still, for all users competing against one another, the same prizes may be offered to all users. This is accomplished by abstracting all language into a localization table, and having the tournament server 200 decide which localized text string to send back to the mobile device 110, based on locale, territory or carrier. This allows users in multiple countries to play against each other in the same games, in the same tournaments, for the same prizes, while receiving all server originated content in their local language, including prize descriptions and prize values (e.g. a given prize may be presented as a “EUR 50 Amazon Gift Certificate” in Germany, and that same prize is presented to a user in the United Kingdom as a “GBP 30 Amazon Gift Certificate”).
  • In theory, two players conspiring can try to cheat the platform by competing in Head-to-Head tournaments and playing so many games in a row, that they are all but guaranteed to be matched up against each other repeatedly. One player can choose to lose on purpose (send a very low or zero score), which will result in a very high number of wins for the other person. Since the outcome of Head-to-Head tournaments is based on Win-Loss ratio, this could theoretically be a way to affect the outcome.
  • FIG. 8 of the drawings depicts a method to minimize this type of unwelcomed behavior on the system. As shown, for a preferred embodiment, if a user sends X predetermined number of scores to tournament server 200 within Y predetermined minutes, tournament server 200 will not distribute another seed to that user for a predetermined period (e.g. 24 hours) and a text message notifying the user that they have been banned is sent preferrably using SMS messaging. In a preferred embodiment, the SMS message may also notify the user of a “three strikes then you're out” policy, meaning that when a user is banned for the third time for attempting this behavior, the user is banned permanently. Alternatively, the user may be banned from head-to-head tournaments, as this type of fraud is not possible in high score tournaments.
  • A software development kit or other software tools are available to enable mobile games for skill-based tournament play. The software development kit includes a client-server compliance module 900 that forces the integration of the interfaces and methods of the tournament system, but does not actually connect to the tournament server 200 platform. In this manner, developers may design their mobile game interface 901 to the tournament play without impacting the server and more importantly without complete knowledge of the workings of the tournament server 200. In deployment the client-server compliance module 900 is replaced by a production carrier module that actually connects the tournament functionality to the mobile phone 110. FIG. 9 of the drawings depicts this one approach to software development tools.
  • In particular, the developer integrates the client-server compliance module 900, a tournament-to-client event handler 910, a client-to-tournament event handler 920 into the code for the preexisting mobile game interface 901. Using the event structure associated with the tournament-to-client event structure 910, the developer encodes a tournament menu into the prexisting mobile game interface 901. The pre-existing mobile game initiates the client-server compliance module 900, upon which the tournament-to-client event handler 910 dynamically feeds the tournament menu configurations into the existing preexisting mobile game interface menu structure. In this manner, the look and feel of the Preexisting Mobile Game interface 901 is retained. Also, by using the user inteface of the mobile phone the additional coding requires less space.
  • Each resulting menu option is further configured to send a designated command signal to the client-to-tournament event handler 920. Some designated command signals are sent with constants, other designated command signals are sent with the current value of a variable and still other designated command signals are sent with constants and variables. In addition, the preexisting mobile game interface 901 generates major game events that should be transmitted to the tournament server 200 for processing. One example, would be the transmission of end of game message, the user's final score and other statistics from that game that needs to be transmitted to the tournament via the client-to-tournament event handler 920. Other commands that the client may want to notify the tournament server include: start game, pause, resume, cancel game, client process destroyed.
  • The developer must also designate modules that should be listening for commands and data from the tournament-to-client event handler 910. For instance, when tournament server 200 send the seed to the client to ensure appropriate tournament play, the seed is handheld by tournament-to-client event handler 910 and destined for the main engine of the the preexisting mobile game interface 901. Similarly, when the tournament server sends winnings or rankings information that information routed by the tournament-to-client event handler 910 to the mobile phone display module.
  • Once the client coding is finished, the client-server compliance module 900 works with the additional code to provide proof-of-function. Essentially, client-server compliance module 900 takes over control from the preexisting mobile game interface 901 on the menu level, and receives and sends state changes between the game and the tournament portion of the game. If the client-side works with the client-server compliance module 900 it is very highly likely that the client will work with the tournament server once the client-server compliance module 900 is replaced with a production carrier module (not shown).
  • Methods or processes in accordance with the various embodiments of the invention may be implemented by computer readable instructions stored in any media that is readable and executable by a computer system. A machine-readable medium having stored thereon instructions, which when executed by a set of processors, may cause the set of processors to perform the methods of the invention. A machine-readable medium may include any mechanism for storing or transmitting information in a form readable by a machine (e.g., a computer). A machine-readable medium may include read only memory (ROM); random access memory (RAM); magnetic disk storage media; optical storage media; flash memory devices; electrical, optical, acoustical or other form of propagated signals (e.g., carrier waves, infrared signals, digital signals, etc.).
  • The foregoing description and drawings merely explain and illustrate the invention and the invention is not limited thereto. While the specification in this invention is described in relation to certain implementation or embodiments, many details are set forth for the purpose of illustration. Thus, the foregoing merely illustrates the principles of the invention. For example, the invention may have other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristic. The described arrangements are illustrative and not restrictive. To those skilled in the art, the invention is susceptible to additional implementations or embodiments and certain of these details described in this application may be varied considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention. It will thus be appreciated that those skilled in the art will be able to devise various arrangements which, although not explicitly described or shown herein, embody the principles of the invention and, thus, within its scope and spirit.

Claims (31)

  1. 1. A system for managing an electronic gaming tournament between a plurality of users comprising:
    a user database operably associated with a server containing information related to each of the plurality of users, the information related to each user including a user name, a password, and tournament involvement with scoring data;
    a central pseudo-random number generator operably associated with the server providing server-side generated pseudo-random numbers;
    a tournament database operably associated with the server containing information related to an electronic gaming tournament including a tournament ID, a tournament type, a tournament ending time, a plurality of tournament participants selected from the user database, a plurality of the server-side generated pseudo-random numbers generated by the central pseudo-random number generator, a plurality of results associated with each of the tournament participants, and a prize schedule containing a list of prizes per tournament;
    a skill-based electronic game operably deployed on a plurality of client devices, the skill-based electronic game having at least one of a plurality of starting conditions, a behavior or an appearance determined by one or more pseudo-random equations, at least one of the one or more pseudo-random equations being seeded by at least a selected one of the server-side generated pseudo-random numbers, the skill-based electronic game providing a skill-based score;
    a client-server communication module being deployed on each of the plurality of client devices operably disposed between each of the skill-based electronic game and the server, each client-server communication module providing a tournament menu to the skill-based electronic game so as to provide user-selectable access to ongoing tournaments found in the tournament database, each client-server communication module receiving the tournament ID associated with a user-selected ongoing tournament, the client-server communication module further providing at least one of the server-side generated pseudo-random numbers associated with the user-selected ongoing tournament and communicating the skill-based score to the server along with the tournament ID and the user name associated with the skill-based score; and
    a prize fulfillment module operably associated with the server for distributing the prize indicated in the tournament database to the user among the tournament participants who is determined to have won each tournament as of the tournament ending time.
  2. 2. The system according to claim 1 wherein each client device comprises a mobile device selected from the group comprising a handheld video game system, a mobile phone, a wireless-enabled personal computer and a personal digital assistant (PDA).
  3. 3. The system according to claim 2 wherein the skill-based electronic game with client-server communication module is distributed to one of the plurality of client devices via a wireless communication link for installation in the client device.
  4. 4. The system according to claim 1 wherein the client device comprises a game console.
  5. 5. The system according to claim 1 wherein the client device comprises a television set-top box.
  6. 6. The system according to claim 1 wherein at least some of the plurality of client devices are operably connected to the server via a first wireless carrier, the first wireless carrier having a user database containing a plurality of first wireless-carrier community user names, each first wireless-carrier community user name corresponding to a first wireless-carrier community user, the system further comprising a process operably associated with the server that receives the first wireless-carrier community user names from the first wireless carrier, pads each of the first wireless-carrier community user names with a text string pre-determined for the first wireless carrier users, and stores the text padded first wireless-carrier community user names in the user database as the user name.
  7. 7. The system according to claim 1 wherein the information contained in the user database further includes a physical address, and wherein the prize fulfillment module issues a fulfillment order that, when acted upon, results in the prize indicated in the tournament database being sent to the physical address of the user among the tournament participants who is determined to have won each tournament as of the tournament ending time.
  8. 8. The system according to claim 7 further comprising an SMS messenger operably associated with the server and operably connected to a wireless carriers, wherein the prize fulfillment module further issues an SMS message to the user among the tournament participants who is determined to have won each tournament as of the tournament ending time to confirm the physical address of the user for shipping of the prize indicated in the tournament database and wherein the prize fulfillment module further acts upon a return SMS message from the user regarding the correctness of the physical address.
  9. 9. The system according to claim 1 further comprising a display screen process operably associated with the server that pushes down to each of the plurality of client devices via the client-server communication module one or more screens configured to display information on a display of the client device.
  10. 10. The system according to claim 9 wherein the display screen process determines dynamically the number of screens to be pushed down to the client devices wherein the displayed information includes information that is selected from the group comprising user information, legal disclaimer information, prize information, tournament information, and promotional information.
  11. 11. The system according to claim 9 wherein the display information includes a graphical banner.
  12. 12. The system according to claim 9 wherein the display screen process has a language localization table, and the user database further includes information regarding which localized text string to send back to the client device associated with each user.
  13. 13. The system according to claim 1 further comprising a process associated with the server that detects user fraud in a tournament and precludes the sending of the server-side generated pseudo-random number to each user who participated in the fraud.
  14. 14. The system according to claim 13 wherein the user fraud process sends an SMS message to each user who participated in the fraud informing them of detection.
  15. 15. The system according to claim 14 wherein the preclusion of sending of the server-side generated pseudo-random number is only for a limited amount of time and the SMS message includes information regarding the limited amount of time.
  16. 16. The system according to claim 14 wherein the preclusion of sending of the server-side generated pseudo-random number is only for head-to-head tournaments and the SMS message includes this information.
  17. 17. The system according to claim 13 wherein the user fraud prevention process determines whether a user has sent a first predetermined number of scores to the server within a first predetermined of minutes.
  18. 18. The system according to claim 1 wherein the user database further stores a frequent player point value for each of the plurality of users, the system further comprising a frequent player point process operably associated with the server that credits the users with a pre-determined number of points for using the system.
  19. 19. The system according to claim 18 wherein the frequent player point process credits each user with frequent player points for every skill-based electronic game played, for tournament participation, and for winning games.
  20. 20. The system according to claim 18 further comprising a raffle process operably associated with the server that accepts users as raffle participants upon deducting a pre-determined number of the frequent player point from the frequent player point value stored for the user, the raffle process randomly selecting one of the raffle participants to receive a pre-determined prize.
  21. 21. The system according to claim 20 wherein the raffle process further comprises means for entry of raffle participants independent of the user database and data contained in the user database.
  22. 22. The system according to claim 1 further including a XML interface operably connected between the tournament database and the Internet toward allowing third parties to access information related to the electronic gaming tournaments.
  23. 23. The system according to claim 1 further including a compliance module deployable on the client device for the development of a tournament interface for the skill-based electronic game deployed on the client device, the compliance module providing a simulated tournament menu to the skill-based electronic game and simulated connections to the server so as to provide user-selectable access to a simulated tournament, the compliance module further providing a compliance module-generated pseudo-random number to the skill-based electronic game.
  24. 24. A software development kit for use in facilitating the development of software applications for a skill-based electronic gaming tournament between a plurality of users, the software development kit comprising:
    a compliance module operably connected to a preexisting mobile game interface, the compliance module providing a simulated tournament menu having a plurality of configurations to a skill-based electronic game and simulated connections to a tournament server so as to provide user-selectable access to a simulated tournament, the compliance module further providing a compliance module-generated pseudo-random number to the skill-based electronic game, wherein the compliance module comprises:
    a tournament-to-client event handler for integrating signals from the tournament server to the preexisting mobile game interface; and
    a client-to-tournament event handler for integrating signals from the preexisting mobile game interface to the tournament server.
  25. 25. The software development kit according to claim 24 wherein the tournament-to-client event handler dynamically feeds tournament menu configurations into the preexisting mobile game interface.
  26. 26. The software development kit according to claim 24 wherein the compliance module is replaced by a production carrier module to connect the tournament server to the preexisting game interface.
  27. 27. The software development kit according to claim 24 wherein the signals handled by the tournament-to-client event handler comprise commands and data relating to seed information, winnings information or rankings information.
  28. 28. The software development kit according to claim 24 wherein the signals handled by the client-to-tournament event handler comprise commands, wherein the commands are selected from the group comprising end game, final score, start game, resume, cancel game, and client process destroyed.
  29. 29. The software development kit according to claim 24 wherein the signals handled by the client-to-tournament event handler comprise commands that reflect user selected actions in the simulated tournament menu, wherein at least one of said commands is selected from the group comprising menu selected, back, text input and submit.
  30. 30. The software development kit according to claim 24 wherein the compliance module provides proof-of-function.
  31. 31. The software development kit according to claim 30 wherein the compliance module provides proof-of-function by taking over control from the preexisting mobile game interface, and receiving and sending state changes between a playing portion of the skill-based electronic game and a tournament portion of the skill-based electronic game.
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