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Publication numberUS20050026703 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/877,998
Publication dateFeb 3, 2005
Filing dateJun 29, 2004
Priority dateJul 1, 2003
Publication number10877998, 877998, US 2005/0026703 A1, US 2005/026703 A1, US 20050026703 A1, US 20050026703A1, US 2005026703 A1, US 2005026703A1, US-A1-20050026703, US-A1-2005026703, US2005/0026703A1, US2005/026703A1, US20050026703 A1, US20050026703A1, US2005026703 A1, US2005026703A1
InventorsTakashi Fukawa
Original AssigneeNamco Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Position detection system, game machine, program, and information storage medium
US 20050026703 A1
Abstract
A position detection system includes a position detection section which detects irradiation positions of gun controllers GC1 and GC2 based on images from an imaging device, and a determination section which determines that which of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 irradiates which of the detected irradiation positions. The gun controller GC1 emits a beam in a first emission pattern, and the gun controller GC2 emits a beam in a second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern. The determination section determines that the irradiation position is the irradiation position of the gun controller GC1 when the irradiation pattern formed at the irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a first irradiation pattern, and determines that the irradiation position is the irradiation position of the gun controller GC2 when the irradiation pattern is a second irradiation pattern.
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Claims(20)
1. A position detection system which detects a plurality of irradiation positions of beams emitted from a plurality of beam emission controllers on a screen based on images from an imaging device which images the screen, the position detection system comprising:
a position detection section which detects the plurality of irradiation positions of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers on the screen based on the images from the imaging device, the plurality of irradiation positions including a first irradiation position and a second irradiation position; and
a determination section which determines which of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers irradiates which of the detected irradiation positions,
wherein a first beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers emits a beam in a first emission pattern,
wherein a second beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers emits a beam in a second emission pattern which is different from the first emission pattern, and
wherein the determination section determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the first beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the first irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a first irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the first emission pattern and, determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the second beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the second irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a second irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the second emission pattern.
2. The position detection system as defined in claim 1,
wherein the first emission pattern is a pattern in which an emission and non-emission of a beam are repeated after an initial emission of the beam,
wherein the second emission pattern is a pattern in which an emission and non-emission of a beam are repeated after an initial emission of the beam in a pattern differing from the first emission pattern, and
wherein the position detection section determines coordinates of the first and second irradiation positions based on light-on patterns formed on the images by the beams emitted in the initial emission in the first and second emission patterns, respectively.
3. The position detection system as defined in claim 2,
wherein the determination section determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by the beam from the first beam emission controller when a light-on/light-off pattern formed by the beam emitted after the initial emission on the first irradiation position is the first irradiation pattern, and determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by the beam from the second beam emission controller when a light-on/light-off pattern formed by the beam emitted after the initial emission on the second irradiation position is the second irradiation pattern.
4. The position detection system as defined in claim 1,
wherein the position detection section and the determination section perform position detection processing and determination processing, respectively, based on the images imaged in an imaging frame interval TI which is shorter than a processing frame interval TP.
5. A game machine comprising:
the position detection system as defined in claim 1;
the plurality of beam emission controllers;
a camera including the imaging device;
a game processing section which performs game processing based on an irradiation position detected by the position detection system; and
an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on a screen based on a processing result of the game processing section.
6. A game machine comprising:
the position detection system as defined in claim 2;
the plurality of beam emission controllers;
a camera including the imaging device;
a game processing section which performs game processing based on an irradiation position detected by the position detection system; and
an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on a screen based on a processing result of the game processing section.
7. A game machine comprising:
the position detection system as defined in claim 3;
the plurality of beam emission controllers;
a camera including the imaging device;
a game processing section which performs game processing based on an irradiation position detected by the position detection system; and
an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on a screen based on a processing result of the game processing section.
8. A game machine comprising:
the position detection system as defined in claim 4;
the plurality of beam emission controllers;
a camera including the imaging device;
a game processing section which performs game processing based on an irradiation position detected by the position detection system; and
an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on a screen based on a processing result of the game processing section.
9. The game machine as defined in claim 5, comprising:
a pattern setting section which sets the first emission pattern to the first beam emission controller and sets the second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern to the second beam emission controller.
10. The game machine as defined in claim 6, comprising:
a pattern setting section which sets the first emission pattern to the first beam emission controller and sets the second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern to the second beam emission controller.
11. The game machine as defined in claim 7, comprising:
a pattern setting section which sets the first emission pattern to the first beam emission controller and sets the second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern to the second beam emission controller.
12. The game machine as defined in claim 8, comprising:
a pattern setting section which sets the first emission pattern to the first beam emission controller and sets the second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern to the second beam emission controller.
13. The game machine as defined in claim 5,
wherein the position detection section and the determination section of the position detection system are provided in the camera.
14. The game machine as defined in claim 6,
wherein the position detection section and the determination section of the position detection system are provided in the camera.
15. The game machine as defined in claim 7,
wherein the position detection section and the determination section of the position detection system are provided in the camera.
16. A program for a game machine which includes a position detection system which detects a plurality of irradiation positions of beams emitted from a plurality of beam emission controllers on a screen based on images from an imaging device which images the screen, the program causing a computer to function as:
a pattern setting section which sets a first emission pattern to a first beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers and sets a second emission pattern, which is different from the first emission pattern, to a second beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers;
a game processing section which performs game processing based on the irradiation positions detected by the position detection system; and
an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on the screen based on a processing result of the game processing section,
wherein the first beam emission controller emits a beam in the first emission pattern set by the pattern setting section, and the second beam emission controller emits a beam in the second emission pattern set by the pattern setting section,
wherein a position detection section included in the position detection system detects the plurality of irradiation positions of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers on the screen based on the images from the imaging device, the plurality of irradiation positions including a first irradiation position and a second irradiation position,
wherein the determination section included in the position detection system determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the first beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the first irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a first irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the first emission pattern and, determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the second beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the second irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a second irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the second emission pattern, and
wherein the game processing section performs the game processing based on coordinates of the irradiation positions detected by the position detection section and a determination result of the determination section.
17. The program as defined in claim 16,
wherein the first emission pattern is a pattern in which an emission and non-emission of a beam are repeated after an initial emission of the beam,
wherein the second emission pattern is a pattern in which an emission and non-emission of a beam are repeated after an initial emission of the beam in a pattern differing from the first emission pattern, and
wherein the position detection section determines coordinates of the first and second irradiation positions based on light-on patterns formed on the images by the beams emitted in the initial emission in the first and second emission patterns, respectively.
18. The program as defined in claim 17,
wherein the determination section determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by the beam from the first beam emission controller when a light-on/light-off pattern formed by the beam emitted after the initial emission on the first irradiation position is the first irradiation pattern, and determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by the beam from the second beam emission controller when a light-on/light-off pattern formed by the beam emitted after the initial emission on the second irradiation position is the second irradiation pattern.
19. The program as defined in claim 16
wherein the position detection section and the determination section perform position detection processing and determination processing, respectively, based on the images imaged in an imaging frame interval TI which is shorter than a processing frame interval TP.
20. A computer-readable information storage medium which stores the program defined in claim 16.
Description

Japanese Patent Application No. 2003-270167, filed on Jul. 1, 2003, is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a position detection system, a game machine, a program, and an information storage medium.

A shooting game machine which enables a player to enjoy simulated shooting using a gun controller has been known (Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No. 5-322487).

In this game machine, a game image displayed on a screen is imaged by a camera. The irradiation position of a beam (laser beam) emitted from the gun controller (beam emission controller in a broad sense) is detected based on the image from the camera. The game machine determines that a bullet of the player has hit a target when the irradiation position coincides with the target, and adds a point to the game result of the player.

However, in the case where a plurality of players play this game machine, it is impossible to determine which irradiation position on the image is irradiated by a beam emitted from the gun controller of which player.

As a method to solve this problem, a gun controller for a first player (1P) and a gun controller for a second player (2P) may be provided with a different muzzle shape (beam emission port in a broad sense) so that the projection patterns (shape of light-on projection pattern) differ on the screen, and the first player 1P and the second player 2P may be distinguished based on the projection patterns. In this method, the muzzle of the gun controller for the first player 1P is formed in the shape of a triangle, and the muzzle of the gun controller for the second player 2P is formed in the shape of a quadrilateral, for example. The projection position is determined to have been formed by the first player 1P when the projection pattern is triangular, and the projection position is determined to have been formed by the second player 2P when the projection pattern is quadrilateral.

However, according to this method, the gun controller with a triangular muzzle can be used only for the first player 1P, and the gun controller with a quadrilateral muzzle can be used only for the second player 2P. Therefore, in the case where a gun controller possessed by a player is a gun controller for the first player 1P and a gun controller possessed by a friend of the player is also a gun controller for the first player 1P, the player cannot play a multi-player game with the friend, whereby convenience to the user is impaired. Moreover, since the gun controllers for the first player 1P and the second player 2P must be individually manufactured, the manufacturing cost of the gun controller is increased.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the present invention relates to a position detection system which detects a plurality of irradiation positions of beams emitted from a plurality of beam emission controllers on a screen based on images from an imaging device which images the screen, the position detection system comprising:

a position detection section which detects the plurality of irradiation positions of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers on the screen based on the images from the imaging device, the plurality of irradiation positions including a first irradiation position and a second irradiation position; and

a determination section which determines which of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers irradiates which of the detected irradiation positions,

wherein a first beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers emits a beam in a first emission pattern,

wherein a second beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers emits a beam in a second emission pattern which is different from the first emission pattern, and

wherein the determination section determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the first beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the first irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a first irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the first emission pattern and, determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the second beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the second irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a second irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the second emission pattern.

Another aspect of the present invention relates to a program for a game machine which includes a position detection system which detects a plurality of irradiation positions of beams emitted from a plurality of beam emission controllers on a screen based on images from an imaging device which images the screen, the program causing a computer to function as:

a pattern setting section which sets a first emission pattern to a first beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers and sets a second emission pattern, which is different from the first emission pattern, to a second beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers;

a game processing section which performs game processing based on the irradiation positions detected by the position detection system; and

an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on the screen based on a processing result of the game processing section,

wherein the first beam emission controller emits a beam in the first emission pattern set by the pattern setting section, and the second beam emission controller emits a beam in the second emission pattern set by the pattern setting section,

wherein a position detection section included in the position detection system detects the plurality of irradiation positions of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers on the screen based on the images from the imaging device, the plurality of irradiation positions including a first irradiation position and a second irradiation position,

wherein the determination section included in the position detection system determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the first beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the first irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a first irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the first emission pattern and, determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the second beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the second irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a second irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the second emission pattern, and

wherein the game processing section performs the game processing based on coordinates of the irradiation positions detected by the position detection section and a determination result of the determination section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is an example of a position detection system and a game machine.

FIG. 2 is an example of a functional block diagram of a position detection system and a game machine.

FIGS. 3A and 3B are illustrative of a technique according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B are timing waveform diagrams illustrating an operation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a timing waveform diagram illustrating an operation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a timing waveform diagram illustrating an operation according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, and 7C are illustrative of an irradiation pattern.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart of detailed processing according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is another flowchart of detailed processing according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is still another flowchart of detailed processing according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT

Embodiments of the present invention will be described below.

One embodiment of the present invention provides a position detection system which detects a plurality of irradiation positions of beams emitted from a plurality of beam emission controllers on a screen based on images from an imaging device which images the screen, the position detection system comprising:

a position detection section which detects the plurality of irradiation positions of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers on the screen based on the images from the imaging device, the plurality of irradiation positions including a first irradiation position and a second irradiation position; and

a determination section which determines which of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers irradiates which of the detected irradiation positions,

wherein a first beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers emits a beam in a first emission pattern,

wherein a second beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers emits a beam in a second emission pattern which is different from the first emission pattern, and

wherein the determination section determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the first beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the first irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a first irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the first emission pattern and, determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the second beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the second irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a second irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the second emission pattern.

In the embodiment of the present invention, the first and second beam emission controllers respectively emit beams in the first and second emission patterns which differ from each other. The irradiation positions of the beams from the first and second beam emission controllers are detected based on the images in a plurality of frames from the imaging device. In the case where the irradiation pattern (light-on/light-off pattern) formed at the first irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is the first irradiation pattern formed by the first emission pattern, the first irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of the beam from the first beam emission controller. In the case where the irradiation pattern (light-on/light-off pattern) formed at the second irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is the second irradiation pattern formed by the second emission pattern, the second irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of the beam from the second beam emission controller. Therefore, which of the beams from the beam emission controllers irradiates which of the irradiation positions can be determined without changing the shape of the muzzle of the first and second beam emission controllers. This improves convenience to the user.

With this position detection system, the first emission pattern may be a pattern in which an emission and non-emission of a beam are repeated after an initial emission of the beam, the second emission pattern may be a pattern in which an emission and non-emission of a beam are repeated after an initial emission of the beam in a pattern differing from the first emission pattern, and the position detection section may determine coordinates of the first and second irradiation positions based on light-on patterns formed on the images by the beams emitted in the initial emission in the first and second emission patterns, respectively.

This enables the coordinates of the first and second irradiation positions to be specified based on the light-on patterns formed by the beams emitted at the initial emission before performing the processing of determining which beam irradiation position is the irradiation position of which beam emission controller.

With this position detection system, the determination section may determine that the first irradiation position is irradiated by the beam from the first beam emission controller when a light-on/light-off pattern formed by the beam emitted after the initial emission on the first irradiation position is the first irradiation pattern, and may determine that the second irradiation position is irradiated by the beam from the second beam emission controller when a light-on/light-off pattern formed by the beam emitted after the initial emission on the second irradiation position is the second irradiation pattern.

This enables which of the beams from the beam emission controllers irradiates which of the irradiation positions to be determined merely by determining the irradiation patterns at the first and second irradiation positions after the coordinates of the first and second irradiation positions are specified. This enables the processing to be simplified.

With this position detection system, the position detection section and the determination section may perform position detection processing and determination processing, respectively, based on the images imaged in an imaging frame interval TI which is shorter than a processing frame interval TP.

This reduces the delay time until the position detection processing and the determination processing are completed after the beam is emitted, whereby irradiation position detection with a reduced sensible delay can be realized.

A game machine according to another embodiment of the present invention includes:

any of the above position detection systems;

the plurality of beam emission controllers;

a camera including the imaging device;

a game processing section which performs game processing based on an irradiation position detected by the position detection system; and

an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on a screen based on a processing result of the game processing section.

According to this game machine, a game suitable for multi-player play can be provided.

This game machine may include a pattern setting section which sets the first emission pattern to the first beam emission controller and sets the second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern to the second beam emission controller.

According to this feature, beam emission controllers having the same hardware configuration can be used as the beam emission controllers for the first and second players.

With this game machine, the position detection section and the determination section of the position detection system may be provided in the camera.

This may eliminate the need to transmit the images data to the game processing section, whereby processing load or the like of the game machine due to communications can be reduced.

A further embodiment of the present invention provides a program for a game machine which includes a position detection system which detects a plurality of irradiation positions of beams emitted from a plurality of beam emission controllers on a screen based on images from an imaging device which images the screen, the program causing a computer to function as:

a pattern setting section which sets a first emission pattern to a first beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers and sets a second emission pattern, which is different from the first emission pattern, to a second beam emission controller among the plurality of beam emission controllers;

a game processing section which performs game processing based on the irradiation positions detected by the position detection system; and

an image generation section which generates an image to be displayed on the screen based on a processing result of the game processing section,

wherein the first beam emission controller emits a beam in the first emission pattern set by the pattern setting section, and the second beam emission controller emits a beam in the second emission pattern set by the pattern setting section,

wherein a position detection section included in the position detection system detects the plurality of irradiation positions of the beams emitted from the plurality of beam emission controllers on the screen based on the images from the imaging device, the plurality of irradiation positions including a first irradiation position and a second irradiation position,

wherein the determination section included in the position detection system determines that the first irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the first beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the first irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a first irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the first emission pattern and, determines that the second irradiation position is irradiated by a beam from the second beam emission controller when an irradiation pattern formed at the second irradiation position in the images of a plurality of frames is a second irradiation pattern formed by a beam emitted in the second emission pattern, and

wherein the game processing section performs the game processing based on coordinates of the irradiation positions detected by the position detection section and a determination result of the determination section.

A still further embodiment of the present invention provides an information storage medium which stores the above program.

Embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail below. Note that the embodiments described hereunder do not in any way limit the scope of the invention defined by the claims laid out herein. Note also that all of the elements of these embodiments should not be taken as essential requirements to the present invention.

1. Configuration

FIG. 1 shows an example of a position detection system of the present embodiment and a game machine (image generation device) which includes the position detection system.

As shown in FIG. 1, a first player (hereinafter may be called 1P) is holding a gun controller GC1 (first beam emission controller in a broad sense; the same definition applies to other description) aimed toward a screen 10, and shooting a beam (laser or infrared radiation) from the gun controller GC1 aiming at a target TG1. The irradiation position (impact position) of the beam from the gun controller GC1 is denoted by IP1. A second player (hereinafter may be called 2P) is holding a gun controller GC2 (second beam emission controller in a broad sense; the same definition applies to other description) aimed toward the screen 10, and shooting a beam from the gun controller GC2 aiming at a target TG2. The irradiation position of the beam from the gun controller GC2 is denoted by IP2.

A camera CM including an imaging device IMD such as a CCD camera images the screen 10 on which an image is displayed. The irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 are detected based on the image from the camera CM, and the coordinates of the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 are determined. Game processing is performed based on the determined coordinates of the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2. Specifically, game processing such as processing of checking whether or not beams (bullets) have hit the targets TG1 and TG2, adding a point to the game result of the player when the beam hits the target, and reproducing a motion when the beam hits the target is performed. A game image corresponding to the game processing is displayed on the screen 10.

FIG. 2 shows an example of a functional block diagram of the game machine and the position detection system. A configuration in which some of the constituent elements shown in FIG. 2 are omitted may be employed.

The gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (beam emission controllers) respectively include beam emission devices RS1 and RS2 such as a laser and a lens, triggers 14-1 and 14-2 (beam emission instruction sections in a broad sense) for allowing a player to issue beam emission instructions, and control sections 20-1 and 20-2 (control circuits in a narrow sense) which perform control processing of the gun controllers. A configuration in which some of these sections are omitted may be employed.

When the players pull the triggers 14-1 and 14-2 (beam emission instructions are issued), the beam emission devices RS1 and RS2 emit beams (laser) under the control of the control sections 20-1 and 20-2, respectively. In this case, the beam emission pattern (pattern in which beam emission/non-emission occurs a given number of times) is set (stored) in registers 22-1 and 22-2 (memories).

In the present embodiment, the gun controller GC1 emits a beam in a first emission pattern and the gun controller GC2 emits a beam in a second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern by setting different emission patterns in the registers 22-1 and 22-2. If the number of beam emissions/non-emissions is denoted by N, the beam is emitted at the initial emission (first time) of the first and second emission patterns. However, beam emission timing and beam non-emission timing differ at the second to N-th timings (second to N-th times).

The camera CM includes the imaging device IMD such as a CCD camera or a CMOS camera, and a control section 40 (control circuit in a narrow sense). As shown in FIG. 1, the camera CM is installed at a position at which the screen 10 of a display section 190 is within the imaging range.

The imaging device IMD is a device which images the screen on which a game image is displayed as described with reference to FIG. 1. The control section 40 performs control processing such as issuance of imaging instructions, image capture processing, irradiation position detection processing, discrimination processing of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (players 1P and 2P), or data transmission processing. The control section 40 includes a position detection section 42 and a determination section 44.

The position detection section 42 detects the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 of the beams emitted from the beam emission controllers GC1 and GC2 on the screen 10 based on the images from the imaging device IMD. In more detail, out-of-band information included in the image on the screen 10 is removed by using a filter which selectively allows light at the band of the beam (laser light) and its peripheral band so that only the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 are selectively imaged. The position detection section 42 determines the coordinates of the detected irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 (impact positions) (X and Y coordinates when the horizontal direction of the screen is the X axis and the vertical direction is the Y axis). The details of the irradiation position detection processing are disclosed in Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No. 5-322487.

The determination section 44 determines which of the beams from the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 irradiates which of the detected irradiation positions IP1 and IP2.

In more detail, when the irradiation pattern consisting of a light-on/light-off sequence (pattern in which light-on/light-off occurs in the given number N) formed at the irradiation position IP1 across images in a plurality of frames (in images of a plurality of frames) imaged by the camera CM is a first irradiation pattern formed by the beam emitted in the first emission pattern (pattern set in the register 22-1), the determination section 44 determines that the irradiation position IP1 is the irradiation position of the beam from the gun controller GC1. On the other hand, when the irradiation pattern consisting of a light-on/light-off sequence formed at the irradiation position IP2 across images in a plurality of frames (in images of a plurality of frames) is a second irradiation pattern formed by the beam emitted in the second emission pattern (pattern set in the register 22-2), the determination section 44 determines that the irradiation position IP2 is the irradiation position of the beam from the gun controller GC2. The projection patterns (circular, triangular, or quadrilateral, for example) of the irradiation patterns on the image in each frame are the same for the gun controllers GC1 and GC2.

This enables easily determine which of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 irradiates which of the detected irradiation positions IP1 and IP2. The coordinate data of the irradiation positions and the distinction data of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (data for distinguishing which of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 irradiates the irradiation position) are transmitted to a processing section 100 (main device of game machine) from the camera CM. This enables game processing such as a hit check to be performed by using the coordinates of the detected irradiation positions IP1 and IP2.

The processing of the position detection section 42 and the determination section 44 may be realized by using a hardware circuit, or may be realized by using a program which operates on a processor (CPU).

A storage section 170 provides a work area for the processing section 100, a communication section 196, and the like. The function of the storage section 170 may be realized by a RAM or the like.

An information storage medium 180 (computer-readable medium) stores a program or data. The function of the information storage medium 180 may be realized by hardware such as an optical disk (CD or DVD), hard disk, or memory (ROM). The processing section 100 performs various types of processing of the present embodiment based on the program (data) stored in the information storage medium 180. Specifically, a program for allowing a computer to function as each section of the present embodiment (program for allowing a computer to execute processing of each section) is stored in the information storage medium 180.

A display section 190 outputs an image generated by the present embodiment. The function of the display section 190 may be realized by a CRT, projection display, LCD, or the like. A sound output section 192 outputs sound generated by the present embodiment. The function of the sound output section 192 may be realized by a speaker, headphone, or the like.

A portable information storage device 194 (memory card or portable game machine) stores a player's personal data, saved game data, or the like. The communication section 196 performs various types of control for communicating with the outside (host device or other image generation system). The function of the communication section 196 may be realized by hardware such as a processor or communication ASIC, or by a program.

The program (data) for allowing a computer to function as each section of the present embodiment may be distributed to the information storage medium 180 (storage section 170) from an information storage medium of a host device (server) through a network and the communication section 196. Use of the information storage medium of the host device (server) is included within the scope of the present invention.

The processing section 100 (processor) performs game processing, image generation processing, or sound generation processing based on data from the gun controllers GC1 and GC2, data from the camera CM, program, and the like.

The processing section 100 includes a game processing section 110, a pattern setting section 112, an image generation section 130, and a sound generation section 130. Some of these sections may be omitted. The function of the processing section 100 may be realized by hardware such as various processors (CPU or DSP) or ASIC (gate array), or by a program. The irradiation position detection processing and the determination processing may be performed by the processing section 100. In this case, the processing section 100 includes the position detection section 42 and the determination section 44.

The game processing section 110 performs game processing such as processing of starting a game when game start conditions are satisfied, processing of proceeding with a game, processing of disposing an object such as a character or a map, processing of displaying an object, processing of computing a game result, or processing of terminating a game when game finish conditions are satisfied.

In more detail, the game processing section 110 performs a hit check between a shot (beam) and a target based on the determined coordinates of the irradiation position. When the game processing section 110 determines that the shot hits the target, the game processing section 110 adds a point to the game result of the player. The game processing section 110 performs processing of reproducing a motion of the target when the shot hits the target. When the irradiation positions of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 coincide, a point is added to the results of the players 1P and 2P.

The pattern setting section 112 performs processing of setting the first emission pattern to the gun controller GC1 and setting the second emission pattern differing from the first emission pattern to the gun controller GC2. In more detail, the pattern setting section 112 sets the first emission pattern for the player 1P in the register 22-1 of the gun controller GC1 when the gun controller GC1 is connected with a connection terminal (terminal of main device) for the player 1P (first player). For example, the pattern setting section 112 transmits data of the first emission pattern to the gun controller GC1, and writes the data in the register 22-1 of the gun controller GC1. The pattern setting section 112 sets the second emission pattern for the player 2P in the register 22-2 of the gun controller GC2 when the gun controller GC2 is connected with a connection terminal for the player 2P (second player). For example, the pattern setting section 112 transmits data of the second emission pattern to the gun controller GC2, and writes the data in the register 22-2 of the gun controller GC2.

The image generation section 120 performs drawing processing based on the results for various types of processing (game processing) performed by the processing section 100. The image generation section 120 generates an image and outputs the image to the display section 190. In the case of generating a three-dimensional image, geometrical processing such as coordinate transformation, clipping processing, or perspective transformation is performed, and primitive surface data is created based on the processing result. An image of an object (one or more primitive surfaces) after the geometrical processing is drawn in a drawing buffer (frame buffer) based on the primitive surface data (drawing data). This allows an image viewed from a virtual camera (given viewpoint) to be generated in an object space.

The sound generation section 130 performs sound processing based on the results for various types of processing performed by the processing section 100. The sound generation section 130 generates game sound such as background music, effect sound, or voice, and outputs the generated sound to the sound output section 192.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the case where two players play the game as an example. However, the present invention can be applied to the case where three or more players play the game. FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the case where the beam emission controller is the gun controller as an example. However, the present invention can be applied to the case where the beam emission controller has a different shape or feature (rifle or sword beam emission controller, for example).

2. Method of Present Embodiment

A method of the present embodiment is described below with reference to the drawings.

2.1 Irradiation Pattern

In the present embodiment, which of the beams from the gun controllers (beam emission devices) irradiates each of the irradiation positions is determined based on the difference in irradiation pattern consisting of a light-on/light-off sequence which occurs at the irradiation position at a given interval of time. Specifically, the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 are distinguished based on irradiation pulses in a given unit time.

As shown in FIG. 3A, in the case where the irradiation pattern formed across images in three frames (N frames in a broad sense; the same definition applies to other description) is a first irradiation pattern (pattern 110) consisting of a light-on, light-on, and light-off sequence, the irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of the gun controller GC1 for the player 1P. In the case where the irradiation pattern formed across images in three frames is a second irradiation pattern (pattern 101) consisting of a light-on, light-off, and light-on sequence, the irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of the gun controller GC2 for the player 2P.

In the case where the number of players is three or more, the irradiation position is determined as shown in FIG. 3B, for example. Specifically, the irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of the gun controller GC1 (player 1P) in the case of an irradiation pattern (1100) consisting of a light-on, light-on, light-off, and light-off sequence, the irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of the gun controller GC2 (player 2P) in the case of an irradiation pattern (1011) consisting of a light-on, light-off, light-on, and light-on sequence, the irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of a gun controller GC3 (player 3P) in the case of an irradiation pattern (1010) consisting of a light-on, light-off, light-on, and light-off sequence, and the irradiation position is determined to be the irradiation position of a gun controller GC4 (player 4P) in the case of an irradiation pattern (1001) consisting of a light-on, light-off, light-off, and light-on sequence.

As shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B, it is preferable that the irradiation pattern be a pattern in which light-on occurs at the initial emission and light-on/light-off occurs at the subsequent emission. In other words, it is preferable that the emission pattern of the beam from the gun controller which forms the irradiation pattern be a pattern in which the beam is emitted at the initial emission and the beam is emitted/terminated at the subsequent emission. For example, the first irradiation pattern (first emission pattern) of the gun controller GC1 and the second irradiation pattern of the gun controller GC2 (second emission pattern) are common in that light-on (emission) occurs at the initial emission, but differ in a pattern consisting of light-on/light-off (emission/non-emission) which occurs at the subsequent emission. In the present embodiment, the coordinates of the irradiation positions are determined based on the light-on irradiation patterns at the initial emission, and the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (players 1P and 2P) are distinguished based on the irradiation patterns at the subsequent emission.

2.2 Operation

A specific operation of the present embodiment is described below using timing waveform diagrams shown in FIGS. 4A to 6.

FIGS. 4A to 5 are timing waveform diagrams in the case where the position detection processing and the determination processing are performed based on images IM1, IM2, IM3, . . . imaged by the camera CM (IMD) at an imaging frame interval TI which is the same as a processing frame interval TP.

The processing frame interval TP is an interval of time ({fraction (1/30)} or {fraction (1/60)} sec, for example) at which processing of generating a game image in one frame and game processing for the game image generation are performed. The processing frame interval TP is specified by using a vertical synchronization signal used for displaying an image on the screen. The imaging frame interval TI is an interval of time (scan frame interval) at which the camera CM images an image in one frame.

In FIG. 4A, the triggers 14-1 and 14-2 of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 of the players 1P and 2P are respectively pulled at timings A1 and A2. The beam emission devices RS1 and RS2 respectively emit beams at timings A3 and A4. An image imaged at this time becomes an image IM1 denoted by A5. As shown in FIG. 7A, light-on patterns formed by beam emissions denoted by A3 and A4 in FIG. 4A is formed at the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 on the image IM1.

The irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 shown in FIG. 7A are detected in the subsequent processing frame (program frame) based on the irradiation patterns formed on the image IM1 as denoted by A6, and the X and Y coordinates of the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 are determined. In this processing frame, a beam is emitted from the gun controller GC1 and a beam is not emitted from the gun controller GC2, as denoted by A7 and A8 shown in FIG. 4A. As a result, a light-on pattern is formed at the irradiation position IP1 and a light-off pattern of the gun controller GC2 is formed at the irradiation position IP2 on an image IM2 denoted by A9, as shown in FIG. 7B.

In the subsequent processing frame, the determination processing of distinguishing the gun controller GC1 (1P) based on the irradiation pattern formed on the image IM2 is performed, as denoted by A10. Specifically, the light-on pattern is formed at the irradiation position IP1 and the light-off pattern is formed at the irradiation position IP2 on the image IM2, as shown in FIG. 7B. Therefore, the irradiation position IP1 is determined to be the irradiation position of the gun controller GC1 for the player 1P. In this processing frame, a beam is not emitted from the gun controller GC1 and a beam is emitted from the gun controller GC2, as denoted by A11 and A12 shown in FIG. 4A. As a result, a light-off pattern is formed at the irradiation position IP1 and a light-on pattern is formed at the irradiation position IP2 on an image IM3 denoted by A13, as shown in FIG. 7C.

In the subsequent processing frame, the determination processing of distinguishing the gun controller GC2 (2P) based on the irradiation pattern formed on the image IM3 is performed, as denoted by A14. Specifically, the light-off pattern is formed at the irradiation position IP1 and the light-on pattern is formed at the irradiation position IP2 on the image IM3, as shown in FIG. 7C. Therefore, the irradiation position IP2 is determined to be the irradiation position of the gun controller GC2 for the player 2P. Then, post-processing as another processing is performed.

In FIG. 4B, the triggers of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 are input in the latter half of the processing frame, as denoted by B1 and B2. The gun controllers GC1 and GC2 emit beams in the subsequent processing frame, as denoted by B3 and B4. In this case, the position detection/position determination processing, the GC1 determination processing, and the GC2 determination processing are delayed for one processing frame interval TP in comparison with FIG. 4A, as denoted by B5, B6, and B7.

In FIG. 5, the trigger input of the gun controller GC1 and the trigger input of the gun controller GC2 do not occur within the single processing frame. The trigger input of the gun controller GC2 occurs in the processing frame subsequent to the frame in which the trigger input of the gun controller GC1 occurs, as denoted by C1 and C2. In this case, the gun controller GC1 emits a beam in a pattern consisting of emission, emission, and non-emission at timings denoted by C3, C4, and C5. The gun controller GC2 emits a beam in a pattern consisting of emission, non-emission, and emission at timings denoted by C6, C7, and C8. The position detection/position determination processing, the GC1 determination processing, and the GC2 determination processing are performed at timings denoted by C9, C10, and C11.

In FIGS. 4A to 5, the irradiation position detection/determination processing is performed in the first processing frame, and the discrimination processing of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (players 1P and 2P) is performed in the second and third processing frames subsequent to the first frame. In the case where images are imaged at the imaging frame interval TI which is the same as the processing frame interval TP and the position detection processing and the determination processing are performed based on the images (program processing synchronous operation), the position detection section 42 and the determination section 44 shown in FIG. 2 may be provided in the processing section 100 of the main device of the game machine. The position detection processing and the determination processing can be realized by program processing.

FIG. 6 is a timing waveform diagram in the case where the position detection processing and the determination processing are performed based on the images IM1, IM2, IM3, . . . imaged at the imaging frame interval TI which is shorter than the processing frame interval TP. In FIG. 6, images are imaged at the imaging frame interval TI which is of the processing frame interval TP, and the position detection (determination) processing and the GC1 and GC2 determination processing are performed based on the obtained images.

In more detail, the triggers of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 are input at timings D1 and D2 in FIG. 6. The gun controller GC1 emits a beam in a pattern consisting of emission, emission, and non-emission at timings denoted by D3, D4, and D5. The gun controller GC2 emits a beam in a pattern consisting of emission, non-emission, and emission at timings denoted by D6, D7, and D8.

As denoted by D9 in FIG. 6, the position detection/position determination processing of the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 are performed based on the light-on patterns at the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 formed on the image IM1 by the emission patterns denoted by D3 and D6.

The determination processing of distinguishing the gun controller GC1 (player 1P) based on the light-on/light-off patterns formed at the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 on the image IM2 by the emission patterns denoted by D4 and D7 is performed, as denoted by D10.

The determination processing of distinguishing the gun controller GC2 (player 2P) based on the light-off/light-on patterns formed at the irradiation positions IP1 and IP2 on the image IM3 by the emission patterns denoted by D5 and D8 is performed, as denoted by D11.

As described above, the irradiation position detection/determination processing and the determination processing of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (players 1P and 2P) are performed within one processing frame in FIG. 6. In the case where the images are imaged at the imaging frame interval TI which is shorter than the processing frame interval TP and the position detection processing and the determination processing are performed based on the obtained images (program processing asynchronous operation), the position detection section 42 and the determination section 44 shown in FIG. 2 are preferably provided in the camera CM. According to the method shown in FIG. 6, the delay time until the position detection processing and the determination processing are completed after the trigger input has occurred can be reduced in comparison with the methods shown in FIGS. 4A to 5. Therefore, the player is rarely aware of the delay of the position detection processing and the determination processing, whereby a smooth game development can be realized.

3. Processing of Present Embodiment

A detailed processing example of the present embodiment is described below using flowcharts shown in FIGS. 8 to 10.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing processing of the gun controller.

Whether or not a trigger input (beam emission instruction in a broad sense) has occurred is determined (step S1). When the trigger input has occurred, a trigger input flag which shows that the trigger has been input is stored in the register (memory) (step S2). The trigger input detection processing is thus completed, and the processing transitions to beam emission processing (irradiation processing).

In the beam emission processing, whether or not the trigger input flag has been stored is determined (step S3). When the trigger input flag has been stored, processing of emitting a beam based on the emission pattern set in the register (22-1 and 22-2 in FIG. 2) is performed (step S4). When the trigger input flag has not been stored, the emission processing is not performed.

Whether or not N times (N is an integer of two or more) of beam emissions/non-emissions have been completed is determined (step S5). When N times of emissions/non-emissions have been completed, the trigger input flag stored in the register (memory) is cleared (step S6). Specifically, whether or not the entire emission pattern has been completed is determined, and the trigger input flag is cleared when the entire emission pattern has been completed. In FIG. 3A, the trigger input flag is cleared when N=3 times of emissions (light-on)/non-emissions (light-off) have been completed. In FIG. 3B, the trigger input flag is cleared when N=4 times of emissions/non-emissions have been completed. The beam emission/non-emission processing in the number designated by the emission pattern can be realized in this manner.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing processing of the camera.

The detection processing of the irradiation position is performed based on images imaged by the imaging device (step S11). This processing may be realized by the above-described filter processing or the like.

Whether or not the irradiation position has been detected is determined (step S12). When the irradiation position has been detected, whether or not irradiation (beam emission) at the irradiation position is the first irradiation is determined (step S13). When the irradiation is the first irradiation, the coordinates of the irradiation position are determined and stored in the register (memory) (step S14; see D9 in FIG. 6). An initial value is set to a counter value of a counter (counter included in the control section 40) (step S15). The irradiation pattern (light-on/light-off pattern) is stored while being associated with the counter value of the counter (step S16). Count processing of the counter (decrement or increment of the counter value) is performed (step S17). When it is determined that the irradiation position has not been detected or the irradiation position is not the first irradiation in the step S12 or S13, the processing transitions to the processing in the step S16 without performing the processing in the steps S14 and S15.

Whether or not the counter value of the counter has become zero (final value) is determined (step S18). When the counter value has become zero, the determination processing of distinguishing the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (players 1P and 2P) is performed (step S19; see D10 and D11 in FIG. 6). For example, the counter value becomes zero in FIG. 3A when the count processing is performed three times, and the counter value becomes zero in FIG. 3B when the count processing is performed four times, whereby the determination processing of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 is performed. When the determination processing is completed, the distinction data of the gun controllers GC1 and GC2 (players 1P and 2P) and the irradiation position data are transmitted to the main device (processing section 100) of the game machine (step S20). For example, data in a format in which the coordinates of the irradiation position of the gun controller GC1 are (X1, Y1) and the coordinates of the irradiation position of the gun controller GC2 are (X2, Y2) is transmitted.

FIG. 10 is a flowchart of processing of the main device (98 in FIG. 1, processing section 100 in FIG. 2).

Which of the connection terminal for the player 1P (E1 in FIG. 1) or the connection terminal for the player 2P (E2 in FIG. 1) the gun controllers has been connected with is determined (step S21). When the gun controller has been connected with the connection terminal for the player 1P, data of the emission pattern for the player 1P (gun controller GC1) (D3, D4, and D5 in FIG. 6) is transmitted and set in the register of the gun controller (step S22). When the gun controller has been connected with the connection terminal for the player 2P, data of the emission pattern for the player 2P (gun controller GC2) (D6, D7, and D8 in FIG. 6) is transmitted and set in the register of the gun controller (step S23). The processing then transitions to other game processing (hit check processing, image generation processing, or the like) (step S24).

The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment. Various modifications and variations are possible.

The terms (gun controller, trigger input, 1P, 2P, and the like) cited in the description in the specification or the drawings as the terms in a broad sense or in a similar sense (beam emission controller, beam emission instruction, first player, second player, and the like) may be replaced by the terms in a broad sense or in a similar sense in another description in the specification or the drawings.

The invention according to the dependent claim may have a configuration in which a part of the constituent elements of the claim on which the invention is dependent is omitted. It is possible to allow the feature of the invention according to one independent claim to depend on another independent claim.

The present invention may be applied to various games (shooting game, robot fighting game, sport game, role playing game, and the like).

The present invention may be applied to various game machines such as an arcade game machine, consumer game machine, large-scale attraction device in which a number of players participate, simulator, and personal computer.

Referenced by
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US7756327Jul 24, 2003Jul 13, 2010Olympus CorporationImage processing system having multiple imaging modes
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/51
International ClassificationA63B67/00, F41G3/26
Cooperative ClassificationA63F13/04, A63F2300/8076
European ClassificationA63F13/04
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