US 20030064786 A1
A method and device for gaming, in which an primary game is played toward a winning outcome, but including a bonus event triggered by a particular outcome or outcomes. The bonus event is characterized by interrelated visual elements which may be independently manipulable, in which successive identifications of the resulting images on a paytable produce enhanced awards.
1- A gaming device, comprising, in combination:
a display, and
a processor and random number generator operatively intercoupled and operatively coupled to said display, said random number generator providing an outcome to a primary game initiated on said display, said display having at least one outcome triggering a bonus event, said bonus event allowing play of a gaming proposition having a plurality of components wherein said each of said plurality of components are visually interrelated, said plurality of components being combined to produce a bonus outcome for comparison to a paytable for award determination.
2- A method of gaming, the steps including:
presenting a first image which serves as a goal,
presenting a second image constructed as plural segments which change on command by a player,
changing said second image upon command by the player, and
comparing said second image to said first image for correspondence which mandates an award.
 Considering the drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like parts throughout the various drawing figures, reference numeral 10 as shown in FIG. 2 is directed to the device according to the present invention.
 In its essence, the device 10 includes a housing 16 which supports a visual display 2, preferably a video monitor, therewithin. The display 2 may include a window 8 for special messages or for incrementing counting of credits accumulated by the player. The device also includes an LED readout 4 for prompting the player and can provide similar verbiage as the window 8 or in lieu thereof, to stimulate the player. The device includes an inlet 6 for the reception therein for coins, currency or the like to auger in the inception of play. A plurality of decision-making buttons 12 are located on the face of the apparatus 10, preferable below the display 2 and a pull handle 14 can be used to initiate play as an alternative to supplement the decision-making buttons 12. A coin hopper 18 may be included to effectuate an output of an award due the player. The device 10 may have a top portion 32 with a display thereon having a motif correlative with the game to be played and can include a paytable. A plurality of speakers 34 may be included on the device for aural interaction with the player. The apparatus also includes a processor P coordinating all functions and a random number generator G operatively coupled thereto for generating outcomes. A card 9, having a read/write instrumentality 17 thereon, can be read via input 7 as a substitute for or supplement to credit transfers as well as player identification.
 Referring to FIG. 1, the flowchart associated with the apparatus of FIGS. 2 and 3 can be explored. Initially, the player plays the game with a maximum bet or less. Preferably, but optionally, a maximum bet enables the features of the invention. Assume a maximum bet is required. If the player plays with less than a maximum bet, the ultimate outcome is determined by the symbols of the initial outcome. If the player opts to play with a maximum bet, then after the initial outcome is displayed, the player is immediately rewarded if the initial outcome corresponds to a value on an associated paytable. Whether or not the player wins, the initial outcome is compared to a predetemined set of outcomes that trigger a bonus event.
 More specifically, and with reference to FIG. 3 and the flowchart of FIG. 4, greater details with respect to the video display 2 with regard to the bonus event of the preferred embodiment can be explored. The display 2 features a bonus event playfield, depicted in FIG. 3. The bonus event playfield features visually interrelated components 50 that combine to produce a cohesive image 55, shown in FIG. 3 as a picture. Upon entering the bonus event, the components 50 are spun and combined to produce a picture. Preferably, the player has a fixed number of allocated spins 52, which may be randomly generated. The player activates variation of the components 50 by selecting a spin toggle 54. When the player so selects, all components 50 are spun and the total number of allocated spins 52 decrements by one. In an alternative embodiment, the player may choose which of several components 50 to vary to have an increased chance for an award. The orientation of the components 50 is compared to a the image 55 titled “MATCH THIS”. Also, images of components 50 matching those shown in column 56 enable a multiplier to increase the bonus award value 58. As shown, column 56 illustrates 2, 3, 4, and 5 times as a multiplier bonus for matching the depicted component 50. The bonus event ends when the player has exhausted all allocated spins 52. The player is then awarded the number of credits corresponding to the bonus award value 58 displayed. After the end of the bonus event, the player may continue playing the primary game.
 More specifically, FIG. 3A is a schematic example of the FIG. 3 component 50 having upper, medial, and lower portions. The object is to match this with the image to its left (under “MATCH THIS”). The spin toggle 54 enables the components 50 to change, perhaps by simulated rotation as shown by the arrows in FIG. 3A, or perhaps by morphing. The components 50 may all rotate or the player may designate which individual components 50 to rotate, or the device 10 may freeze a component 50 which constitutes a partial match. In the illustration of FIG. 3, neither the upper nor the lower components 50 match the goal.
 Moreover, having thus described the invention, it should be apparent that numerous structural modifications and adaptations may be resorted to without departing from the scope and fair meaning of the instant invention as set forth hereinabove and as described hereinbelow by the claims.
FIG. 1 is a flowchart of the methodology according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a depiction of the apparatus associated therewith.
FIG. 3 is a depiction of a bonus screen according to the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a flowchart of the methodology of the bonus event.
 The following invention is generally related to instrumentalities and methodologies in gaming devices. More specifically, the instant invention is directed to a gaming device having a primary game having not only a winning outcome, but also a triggering outcome for a bonus event. Most specifically, the bonus event allows manipulation of interrelated component inputs a fixed number of times and subsequent comparison to a target, with increasing credit awards for successive matches.
 Most gaming establishments invest a substantial portion of their capital in gaming machines. Gaming machines generally allow a simple and solitary gaming experience. Consequently, it is difficult to retain players at any given machine due to the inevitable ennui that sets in after a few games. Thus, the universe of available machines offers a variety of gaming propositions, from traditional reel games to animated display games. While the primary games are developed to give players more options, the problem of boredom remains from repeatedly playing the same game.
 Bonus games have been developed by some developers, offering a different proposition to avoid the banality of a single game. Many bonus games, however, are intricate, producing winning outcomes for the player only a minimal fraction of the time. Often, they are self-operating, allowing the player to watch as the machine plays the bonus game for awards. The bonus game usually takes a similar form to the primary game, often a simple reel game, rather than utilizing a more visually pleasing stimulus.
 The present invention is distinguishable over the prior art in a multiplicity of ways. For example, the instant invention provides a bonus event that provides cumulative awards based on varying separate but interrelated components for a fixed number of iterations.
 Further, the instant invention utilizes visually interrelated components to provide pleasing visual stimulus to the player.
 Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and novel device and method for gaming, in which a player is offered a secondary gaming proposition for more chances at success.
 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method as characterized above which provides independent variation of components to produce an award.
 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method as characterized above which provides visual stimulus from utilization of interrelated visual elements.
 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a device and method as characterized above that provides an opportunity to achieve cumulative awards based on successive outputs of the bonus event.
 Viewed from a first vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a gaming device, comprising, in combination: a display, and a processor and random number generator operatively intercoupled and operatively coupled to said display, said random number generator providing an outcome to a primary game initiated on said display, said display having at least one outcome triggering a bonus event, said bonus event allowing play of a gaming proposition having a plurality of components wherein said each of said plurality of components are visually interrelated, said plurality of components being combined to produce a bonus outcome for comparison to a paytable for award determination.
 Viewed from a second vantage point, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method of gaming, the steps including: presenting a first image which serves as a goal, presenting a second image constructed as plural segments which change on command by a player, changing said second image upon command by the player, and comparing said second image to said first image for correspondence which mandates an award.
 These and other objects will be made manifest when considering the following detailed specification when taken in conjunction with the appended drawing figures.