Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20070099709 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/265,189
Publication dateMay 3, 2007
Filing dateNov 3, 2005
Priority dateNov 3, 2005
Publication number11265189, 265189, US 2007/0099709 A1, US 2007/099709 A1, US 20070099709 A1, US 20070099709A1, US 2007099709 A1, US 2007099709A1, US-A1-20070099709, US-A1-2007099709, US2007/0099709A1, US2007/099709A1, US20070099709 A1, US20070099709A1, US2007099709 A1, US2007099709A1
InventorsKazuo Okada
Original AssigneeAruze Gaming America, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game-machine terminal apparatus, game machine, and game method
US 20070099709 A1
Abstract
A the terminal apparatuses includes: a display unit for screen-displaying various image data; a game process unit for executing a game process for displaying game data on the display unit and performing a game so as to acquire a game value; an image process unit for executing an image process for screen-displaying image data different from the game on the display unit; a game manipulation unit with which a player is allowed to perform a game input based on the game data displayed on the display unit; and a game value storage unit for storing image watching item data associated with an image watching item, in a case where the game process unit executes a game process for acquiring the image watching item during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit, wherein the image process unit is allowed to screen-display the image data on the display unit based on the image watching item data stored in the game value storage unit.
Images(26)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(11)
1. A game-machine terminal apparatus comprising:
a display unit for screen-displaying various image data;
a game process unit for executing a game process for displaying game data on the display unit and performing a game during which a game value is acquirable;
an image process unit for executing an image process for screen-displaying image data different from the game on the display unit;
a process selection unit for selecting the game process of the game process unit and the image process of the image process unit;
a game manipulation unit with which a player is allowed to perform a game input based on the game data displayed on the display unit; and
a storage unit for storing image watching item data associated with an image watching item, in a case where the game process unit executes a game process for acquiring the image watching item during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit,
wherein the image process unit is allowed to screen-display the image data on the display unit based on the image watching item data stored in the storage unit.
2. A game-machine terminal apparatus comprising:
a display unit for screen-displaying various image data;
a game process unit for executing a game process for displaying game data on the display unit and performing a game during which a game value is acquirable;
an image process unit for executing an image process for screen-displaying image data different from the game on the display unit;
a process selection unit for selecting the game process of the game process unit and the image process of the image process unit;
a game manipulation unit with which a player is allowed to perform a game input based on the game data displayed on the display unit; and
a storage unit for storing point data associated with a point in a case where the game process unit executes a game process for acquiring the point during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit,
wherein the image process unit is allowed to screen-display the image data on the display unit based on the point data stored in the storage unit.
3. The game-machine terminal apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
a game counter for counting a game time in which the game process is continuously executed; and
a rest alarm unit for outputting rest data in a case where the game time is a predetermined time.
4. The game-machine terminal apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the rest alarm unit outputs the rest data to the display unit and displays, through the screen display of the display unit, rest image data for urging the player to take a rest.
5. The game-machine terminal apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the game process unit uses as the game value an acquired point represented by numerals and an acquired item represented by designs, and displays the game value data of the acquired point and the acquired item on the display unit.
6. The game-machine terminal apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the process selection unit selects the image process of the image process unit by a pushing manipulation on a display region of the game value data displayed on the display unit.
7. The game-machine terminal apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
a program display unit for list-displaying a plurality of program data as image process execution objects on the display unit in a case where the image process is selected by the process selection unit; and
a program selection unit for enabling the player to select one of a plurality of the list-displayed program data and causing the image process unit to execute the image process corresponding to the selected program data.
8. The game-machine terminal apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
a food display unit for list-displaying a plurality of food data on the display unit in a case where the image process is selected by the process selection unit; and
a food selection unit for enabling the player to select one of a plurality of the list-displayed food data and placing an order of a food corresponding to the selected food data.
9. A game machine comprising:
a plurality of game-machine terminal apparatuses according to claim 1; and
a game-machine main body which can communicate data with the game-machine terminal apparatuses and manages operations of the game-machine terminal apparatuses in order that the game processes executed in the respective game-machine terminal apparatuses can be interlocked over all the game-machine terminal apparatuses.
10. The game machine according to claim 9, wherein the game-machine main body comprises a main display unit for screen-displaying operational states of all the game-machine terminal apparatuses at a position which can be seen from all the game-machine terminal apparatuses.
11. A game method comprising:
a game process step of screen-displaying game data and performing a game during which a game value is acquirable;
an image process step of screen-displaying image data different from the game;
a process selection step of selecting the game process step and the image process step; and
an image process selection step of screen-displaying the image data based on image watching item data associated with an image watching item acquired during the performing of the game.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a game-machine terminal apparatus for plural-participant type game machine in which plural players participate, a game machine, and a game method.

2. Description of Related Art

Conventionally, a plural-participant type game machine (generally, referred to as a mass game machine) in which plural players participate has been known. A horse race game machine may be exemplified as the mass game machine. The horse race game machine includes a game-machine main body provided with a large-sized main display unit and a plurality of game-machine terminal apparatuses which are disposed in the game-machine main body and provided with a sub display unit. The game-machine main body and the game-machine terminal apparatuses are connected to each other via communication cables, and information required for the game can be transmitted and received through the communication cables. In addition, each of the game-machine terminal apparatuses includes a seat on which a player sits. The seats are disposed so that the players face the main display unit.

The mass game machine having the aforementioned construction displays racing horses and odds thereof on the main display unit and the sub display unit. When the players sitting on the game-machine terminal apparatus select racing horses and bet medals by performing several manipulations while seeing the sub display unit, the horse race starts on the main display unit, and the medals are paid to the players according to a result of the horse race (for example, see Japanese Unexamined Publication Application Heisei 8-206355).

However, since many games performed in the mass game machine are performed as such a game theme as a horse race, it is considered that the players perform the game in a long time. For this reason, the seats on which the players sit are designed so that the players are not tired from sitting in a long time. However, sometimes, if the players perform the game in a long time, the players want to make refreshment. In this case, the players may refresh themselves with a method of temporarily stopping the game and taking a rest, but a method of making a restoration in a shorter time than the aforementioned method is preferred in that the player can be returned to the game quickly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is contrived in order to solve the aforementioned problems, and an advantage of the present invention is to provide a game-machine terminal apparatus, a game machine, and a game method capable of making refreshment in a shorter time than a method of temporarily stopping a game and taking a rest.

In an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a game-machine terminal apparatus comprising: a display unit for screen-displaying various image data; a game process unit for executing a game process for displaying game data on the display unit and performing a game during which a game value is acquirable; an image process unit for executing an image process for screen-displaying image data different from the game on the display unit; a process selection unit for selecting the game process of the game process unit and the image process of the image process unit; a game manipulation unit with which a player is allowed to perform a game input based on the game data displayed on the display unit; and a storage unit for storing image watching item data associated with an image watching item, in a case where the game process unit executes a game process for acquiring the image watching item during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit, wherein the image process unit is allowed to screen-display the image data on the display unit based on the image watching item data stored in the storage unit.

According to the construction, by selecting the image process with the process selection unit, it is possible to screen-display on the display unit the image data different from the game data screen-displayed by the game process unit. By doing so, for example, in a case where the player performing the game in a long time wants to make refreshment, the player sees the image different from the game, so that the player may be able to make refreshment in a shorter time than a conventional method of temporarily stopping the game and taking a rest. In addition, since the image may be able to be seen based on the image watching item acquired during the performing of the game, it is possible to further increase pleasure of the game.

In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a game-machine terminal apparatus comprising: a display unit for screen-displaying various image data; a game process unit for executing a game process for displaying game data on the display unit and performing a game during which a game value is acquirable; an image process unit for executing an image process for screen-displaying image data different from the game on the display unit; a process selection unit for selecting the game process of the game process unit and the image process of the image process unit; a game manipulation unit with which a player is allowed to perform a game input based on the game data displayed on the display unit; and a storage unit for storing point data associated with a point in a case where the game process unit executes a game process for acquiring the point during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit, wherein the image process unit is allowed to screen-display the image data on the display unit based on the point data stored in the storage unit.

According to the construction, by selecting the image process with the process selection unit, it is possible to screen-display on the display unit the image data different from the game data screen-displayed by the game process unit. By doing so, for example, in a case where the player performing the game in a long time wants to make refreshment, the player sees the image different from the game, so that the player may be able to make refreshment in a shorter time than a conventional method of temporarily stopping the game and taking a rest. In addition, since the image may be able to be seen based on the point acquired during the performing of the game, it is possible to further increase pleasure of the game.

In addition, the game-machine terminal apparatus may further comprises a game counter for counting a game time in which the game process is continuously executed and a rest alarm unit for outputting rest data in a case where the game time is a predetermined time. According to the construction, it may be possible to urge the player to take a rest before the player is severely tired.

In addition, in the game-machine terminal apparatus, the rest alarm unit outputs the rest data to the display unit and displays, through the screen display of the display unit, rest image data for urging the player to take a rest.

In addition, in the game-machine terminal apparatus, the game process unit may use as the game value an acquired point represented by numerals and an acquired item represented by designs, and display the game value data of the acquired point and the acquired item on the display unit. According to the construction, it may be possible to easily perceive the game value acquired during the performing the game by seeing the screen display.

In addition, in the game-machine terminal apparatus, the process selection unit may select the image process of the image process unit by a pushing manipulation on a display region of the game value data displayed on the display unit. According to the construction, since the image process can be selected by the pushing manipulation on the display region of the game value data, it may be possible to intuitively know that the image can be seen by using the game value.

In addition, the game-machine terminal apparatus may further comprise a program display unit for list-displaying a plurality of program data as image process execution objects on the display unit in a case where the image process is selected by the process selection unit, and a program selection unit for enabling the player to select one of a plurality of the list-displayed program data and causing the image process unit to execute the image process corresponding to the selected program data. According to the construction, since a probability that the program suitable for preference of the player can be seen is high, it may be possible to restore the player from fatigue in a short time.

In addition, the game-machine terminal apparatus may further comprise a food display unit for list-displaying a plurality of food data on the display unit in a case where the image process is selected by the process selection unit and a food selection unit for enabling the player to select one of a plurality of the list-displayed food data and placing an order of a food corresponding to the selected food data. According to the construction, since an order of a food can be placed, it may be possible to restore the player from fatigue in a short time.

In still another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a game machine comprising: a plurality of game-machine terminal apparatuses having the aforementioned construction; and a game-machine main body which can communicate data with the game-machine terminal apparatuses and manages operations of the game-machine terminal apparatuses in order that the game processes executed in the respective game-machine terminal apparatuses can be interlocked over all the game-machine terminal apparatuses. According to the construction, since the game process may be able to be performed with a plurality of the game-machine terminal apparatuses interlocked, it is possible to perform the game while specific game-machine terminal apparatuses cooperate with or compete against each other.

In addition, in the game machine, the game-machine main body may comprise a main display unit for screen-displaying operational states of all the game-machine terminal apparatuses at a position which can be seen from all the game-machine terminal apparatuses. According to the construction, in a case where the game process is performed with the plurality of the game-machine terminal apparatuses interlocked, it may be possible to check the operational states of other game-machine terminal apparatuses by using the main display unit.

In further still another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a game process step of screen-displaying game data and performing a game during which a game value is acquirable; an image process step of screen-displaying image data different from the game; a process selection step of selecting the game process step and the image process step; and an image process selection step of screen-displaying the image data based on image watching item data associated with an image watching item acquired during the performing of the game.

According to the construction, for example, in a case where the player performing the game in a long time wants to make refreshment, the player sees the image different from the game, so that the player may be able to make refreshment in a shorter time than a conventional method of temporarily stopping the game and taking a rest. In addition, since the image can be seen based on the image watching item acquired during the performing of the game, it may be possible to further increase pleasure of the game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other end further objects, features and advantages of the invention will appear more fully from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an outward appearance of a game machine;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an outward appearance of a terminal apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a partial enlarged perspective view showing a running member of the terminal apparatus;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a seat mode of a seat of the terminal apparatus;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a bed mode of the seat of the terminal apparatus;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing a state of a sub monitor of the terminal apparatus, which is ejected from a receiving space thereof;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view showing a state of the sub monitor of the terminal apparatus, of which a display screen faces a player;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view showing a state of the sub monitor of the terminal apparatus, of which position is adjusted;

FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing a whole construction of a game machine;

FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing a construction of a main control unit in a main body of the game machine;

FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing a construction of a sub control unit of the game machine;

FIG. 12 is a block diagram of a terminal apparatus;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view showing an outward appearance of a game machine;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view showing an outward appearance of a game machine;

FIG. 15 is a flowchart of players in a game program;

FIG. 16 is a flowchart of a selection process routine;

FIG. 17 is a flowchart of a first selection process routine;

FIG. 18 is a flowchart of an image display process routine;

FIG. 19 is a flowchart of a rest process routine;

FIG. 20 is a flowchart of a second selection process routine;

FIG. 21 is a view for explaining a game screen;

FIG. 22 is a view for explaining a selection screen;

FIG. 23 is a view for explaining a meal selection screen;

FIG. 24 is a view for explaining a beverage selection screen;

FIG. 25 is a view for explaining an image screen;

FIG. 26 is a view for explaining a game screen; and

FIG. 27 is a view for explaining a rest alarm screen.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

(Whole Construction of Game Machine)

Now, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 27.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an outward appearance of a game machine 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The game machine 1 is a plural-participant type mass game machine and includes a plurality of terminal apparatuses 30 (game-machine terminal apparatuses) in which players perform a game and a game-machine main body 20 which can communicate data with the terminal apparatuses 30 and manages operations of the terminal apparatuses 30 in order that the game processes executed in the respective game-machine terminal apparatuses 30 can be interlocked over all the game-machine terminal apparatuses 30.

The game-machine main body 20 includes a flat-shaped floor member 2 having a rectangular shape in a plan view, a main display unit 22 disposed along one side of the floor member 2, and speaker devices 23 disposed at four corners of the floor member 2, and a main control unit 80 for controlling the main display unit 22 and the speaker devices 23.

A play area 21 having a rectangular shape is defined on an upper surface of the floor member 2. The play area 21 is divided into a plurality of sub areas. More specifically, the play area 21 is divided into a city area 212A, an ocean area 212B, and a forest area 212C. In addition, IC tags 211 in a grid pattern are buried in the floor member 2. The IC tags 211 store position information in the play area 21 and informs the terminal apparatuses 30 of the position information as a current position.

The main display unit 22 is a large-sized projector apparatus for displaying an image based on image data output from the main control unit 80. The main display unit 22 is disposed at a position which can be seen from all the terminal apparatuses 30 to screen-display operational states of the all the terminal apparatuses 30. By doing so, when a game process is performed with a plurality of the terminal apparatuses 30 interlocked, each of the terminal apparatuses 30 can check the operational states of the other terminal apparatuses 30 by using the main display unit 22. In addition, the main display unit 22 is not limited thereto, but a large-sized monitor may be employed.

The main control unit 80 can communicate with the terminal apparatuses 30 via a wireless LAN in a bi-directional manner. The main control unit 80 executes a predetermined game program and communicates with the terminal apparatuses 30 in the bi-directional manner, and comes to provide a common cyber space to the players of the terminal apparatuses 30.

The terminal apparatuses 30 are put to be able to move on the floor member 2. In addition, before the starting of the game, the terminal apparatuses 30 are disposed to face the main display unit 22. When the game starts, according to the instruction of the main control unit 80 or by manipulation of the player, the terminal apparatuses 30 move on the play area 21.

(Mechanical Construction of Terminal Apparatuses 30)

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an outward appearance of the terminal apparatus 30. The terminal apparatus 30 includes a seat 31 on which the player sit and a running member 32 for moving the terminal apparatus 30. FIG. 3 is a partial enlarged perspective view showing the running member 32. The running member 32 has four running tires 321, a driving control device 322 for rotating the running tires 321, a direction control device 323 for controlling directions of the running tires 321, and a rechargeable battery (not shown) for supplying a power to the driving control device 322 and the direction control device 323. In addition, an IC tag sensing unit 324 is disposed at a lower portion of the driving control device 322. The IC tag sensing unit 324 senses IC tags 211 buried in the play area 21. In addition, the rechargeable battery may be charged by using an external power supply. In addition, the rechargeable battery may be charged with a magnetically induced electromotive force due to a magnetic field generated by a magnetic field generating device built in the floor member 2.

In addition, as shown in 2, the seat 31 has a seat main body 50, a side unit 60 disposed along one side of the seat main body 50, and a seat shell 70 which surrounds three sides of the seat main body 50 excluding the other side of the seat main body 50. The seat 31 is designed to adjust modes between a seat mode shown in FIG. 4 and a bed mode shown in FIG. 5 in multiple steps.

The seat main body 50 includes a flat-shaped base portion 51, a sitting portion 52 disposed on the base portion 51, a back rest 53 attached to the sitting portion 52 in an angle-changeable manner, a head rest 54 disposed at the top of the back rest 53, and a pair of side arms 55 disposed on both seat surfaces of the sitting portion 52 and at both sides of the back rest 53.

The sitting portion 52 moves forward and backward on the base portion 51 by the player manipulating an input manipulation unit 72. By sliding the sitting portion 52 forward, the seat main body 50 changes from the seat mode shown in FIG. 4 to the bed mode shown in FIG. 5, and then a bed is formed thereby. The sitting portion 52 has a leg rest 521 disposed at the front side thereof and a foot rest 522 received in the distal end portion of the leg rest 521. If the sitting portion 52 slides forward, the leg rest 521 pivots upward according to the sliding of the sitting portion 52, so that the leg rest 521 constitutes a seat surface which is continuous with a seat surface of the sitting portion 52. At the same time, the foot rest 522 protrudes from the leg rest 521, so that the foot rest 522 constitutes a seat surface which is continuous with the leg rest 521.

In addition to the forward and backward movement on the base portion 51 of the sitting portion 52, the back rest 53 is designed to bend backward. When the seat main body 50 is in the bed mode, front portions of the side arms 55 slightly pivot upward. Bags into which air can be injected are built in the seat surface of the sitting portion 52, a lower portion (which contacts the waist of the player) of the back rest 53, and the head rest 54. If the air is injected to the bags by using an air pump, surfaces thereof rise up so as to support the body of the user (player) in correspondence to the unevenness of the surface of the body of the player.

A sub display unit 61 including a liquid crystal display panel is accommodated in the side unit 60. The sub display unit 61 includes a first supporting arm 611 supported at the side unit 60, a second supporting arm 612 attached at a distal end of the first supporting arm 611, a rectangular-flat-shaped sub monitor 613 attached at a distal end of the second supporting arm 612 to perform liquid crystal display, and a touch panel 76 disposed on a screen of the sub monitor 613.

The first supporting arm 611 is designed to freely extend in a vertical direction of the side unit 60. The second supporting arm 612 is designed to freely extend and allowed to be fixed at an arbitrary angle in an axial direction of the first supporting arm 611. By doing so, the sub monitor 613 can be fixed at an arbitrary angle in the axial direction of the second supporting arm 612. In addition, a sub monitor receiving space 62 extending in the vertical direction is disposed to the sub unit 60. The sub monitor receiving space 62 is formed to receive the aforementioned first supporting arm 611, second supporting arm 612, and sub monitor 613. By doing so, the sub monitor 613 can be taken out from the sub monitor receiving space 62 in only the case where the sub monitor 613 is needed.

Now, a sequence of operations of taking out the sub monitor 613 from the sub monitor receiving space 62 by the player will be described with reference to FIGS. 6 to 8. Firstly, as shown in FIG. 6, the player slides the sub monitor 613 upward from the sub monitor receiving space 62 in a state of sitting on the seat main body 50 and extends the first supporting arm 611 and the second supporting arm 612. Next, as shown in FIG. 7, by twisting the sub monitor 613, the display screen of the sub monitor 613 is allowed to face the player. Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 8, by adjusting a relative angle between the first supporting arm 611 and the second supporting arm 612 and a relative angle between the second supporting arm 612 and the sub monitor 613, the sub monitor 613 is located in a viewing line of the player.

As shown in FIG. 2, a small-sized CCD camera 614 is built in the sub monitor 613. The CCD camera 614 is used to make avatar in a game field. In addition, by manipulating of the later-described input manipulation unit 72, an image picked up with the CCD camera 614 is always displayed on the sub display unit 61 of the terminal apparatus 30. By doing so, since the player can look at a face of the player, it is possible to increase pleasure. In addition, the picked-up image may be displayed on the entire surface or a portion of the surface of the screen of the sub monitor 613.

In addition, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, a sub control unit 90 connected to the main control unit 80 via a wireless LAN and a plurality of board accommodating slots 97 constituting the sub control unit 90 are provided in the side unit 60. According to an instruction of the main control unit 80, the sub control unit 90 controls the sub display unit 61 and the running member 32 and, at the same time, transmits a signal input form the later-described input manipulation unit 72 to the main control unit 80.

A cover portion 971 is provided at the top portions of the board accommodating slots 97 in a freely covered and uncovered manner. As shown in FIG. 2, by uncovering the cover portion 971 and inserting the terminal control board 972 from an upper portion of the board accommodating slot 97, the terminal control board 972 can be mounted in the board accommodating slots.

A rear side of the seat shell 70 extends upward to support the back rest 53 and the head rest 54. In addition, speakers 75 and light-sparkling display units 325 are disposed at both sides of the head rest 54 in the seat shell 70. A rear portion of a side surface of the seat shell 70 extends upward and is designed to prevent other players from viewing the player sit on the seat main body 50.

A table 71 is attached at an upper portion of the seat shell 70 from the one side surface to the front surface of the seat main body 50. When the seat main body 50 is in the bed mode, a space under the table 71 receives the leg rest 521 and the foot rest 522.

The light-sparkling display unit 325 is disposed at a distal end of a supporting member provided on the side surface of the seat shell 70. The light-sparkling display unit 325 is disposed at the highest position of the terminal apparatus 30, that is, a position which can be seen from external positions of the terminal apparatus 30. By doing so, a playeroom manager can see the light-sparkling display unit 325 at an arbitrary position outside the play area 21.

Thee types of LED chips emitting red, blue, and green light are included in the light-sparkling display unit 325. A reflecting frame is disposed around these LED chips. By doing so, the light-sparkling display unit 325 can sparkle in six light-sparkling patterns of, for example, violet, yellow, white, green, blue, and red by mixing the red, blue, and green light emitting from the LED chips by using the reflecting frame.

The input manipulation unit 72 provided with a keyboard or a jog dial is disposed on the table 71 in a vicinity of the side arm 55, that is, at a position in which the player in the state of sitting on the seat main body 50 can perform manipulation. A coin inserting slot 721, a start button, and a card slot 721 into which a credit card or a membership card is inserted are provided to the input manipulation unit 72.

In addition, as shown in FIG. 4, a medal paying opening 731 through medals are paid from a medal storage portion 73 disposed within the side unit 60 and a medal receiving portion 732 for receives the paid medals are provided under the table 71 at the front portion of the side arms 55. A holder (not shown) for mounting the medal receiving device 733 is provided to the medal receiving portion 732.

(Electrical Construction of Game Machine)

FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing a whole construction of the game machine 1. In the game machine 1, the main control unit 80 of the game-machine main body 20 has a wireless communication unit 83, and the sub control unit 90 of the terminal apparatuses 30 has a wireless communication unit 93. The wireless communication units 83 and 93 can be connected with each other via a wireless LAN, so that sound data, character data can be transmitted and received between the main control unit 80 and the sub control unit 90.

(Electrical Construction of Main Control Unit 80)

FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing a construction of the main control unit 80. The main control unit 80 includes a CPU 81, a memory 82, a wireless communication unit 83, a database 84, and a managing display unit 87.

The wireless communication unit 83 includes a transceiving circuit unit (RF) 85 for transmitting and receiving signals to and from the sub control unit 90 and a base band process unit 86 for converting an RF (Radio Frequency) signal received from the transceiving circuit unit 85 to a base band signal and converting to-be-transmitted base band signal to an RF signal.

The database 84 is a circuit board including a storage unit for storing game programs or a storage medium (for example, a hard disc or a ROM cassette) for storing the game programs. More specifically, the main control unit 80 is provided with a slot which the circuit board or the storage medium is detachable to. By attaching and detaching the circuit board or the storage medium, the game program stored in the database 84 can be suitably replaced with other game programs to be executed. In addition, the replacement of the game program is not limited to the usage of the hardware, but game program software can be directly replaced by downloading through a communication line.

The CPU 81 transmits and receives data from and to the sub control units 90 of the terminal apparatuses 30 through the wireless communication unit 83 by using the flowing process sequence. More specifically, when transmitting the data to the sub control unit 90 of the terminal apparatus 30, the CPU 91 converts the data into packet data. At this time, an IP address of a specific terminal apparatus 30, that is, a transmitting destination is added to the packet data. In addition, if receiving the data from the sub control unit 90, the CPU 91 identifies the terminal apparatus 30, that is, a transmitting source, based on the IP address added to the packet data.

In addition, the CPU 81 executes the game program to perform various processes. Namely, the CPU 81 reads the game program stored in the database 84 into the memory 82 and performs the game according to the game program.

More specifically, the CPU 81 receives data including later-described game-input data from a plurality of terminal apparatuses 30 and generates single game data according to the game program based on the received data. Next, the CPU 81 generates image data common to all the terminal apparatuses 30 based on the generated single game data and output the image data to the terminal apparatuses 30.

Here, the single game data includes data of a plurality of manipulating characters which can be operated according to the game-input data of the plurality of the terminal apparatuses 30 and position data of the plurality of manipulating characters in a single game field generated according to the game program.

If receiving a plurality of the game data from the plurality of the terminal apparatuses 30, the CPU 81 identifies a terminal apparatus 30 which transmits the game-input data based on the IP address and operates the manipulating character of the specific terminal apparatus 30 according to the associated game-input data. In addition, in a case where the position data of the specific one of the plurality of the terminal apparatuses 30 satisfies a predetermined condition, the CPU 81 transmits movement signal data for indicating the position of the terminal apparatus 30 to the terminal apparatus 30.

In addition, during the performing of the game, the CPU 81 extracts information (that is, information indicating events occurring in the game field) indicating a game program or a situation corresponding to the time axis in the game field at that time from the database 84 according to a request from the terminal apparatuses 30 and transmits the information to the terminal apparatuses 30, that is, requesting sources, through the wireless LAN. In addition, the CPU 81 receives information indicating manipulation results of the players to the terminal apparatuses 30 and stores the information in the memory 82.

The CPU 81 performs the game based on the information indicating the manipulation results of the player stored in the memory 82 and stores performing results of the game program in the database 84.

Here, the information indicating the manipulation result of the player are, for example, a result of selection form the selection items represented to the player through the terminal apparatuses 30 and a result of character manipulation of the player for the character displayed to the player in the course of the game program. Namely, the information indicating the manipulation result of the player is information transmitted from the terminal apparatus as the result of the player manipulating the terminal apparatus 30 thereof. In addition, other players are allowed to check the current game performing situation (for example, high score information) stored in the database 84.

The managing display unit 87 is a liquid crystal display apparatus having a liquid crystal panel and a display control unit for performing display control for the liquid crystal panel. On the managing display unit 87, order contents from the players manipulating the terminal apparatuses 30 and light-sparkling patterns of the light-sparkling display unit 325 corresponding to the order contents are displayed. The playeroom manager provides a game service according to the order contents and the light-sparkling patterns displayed on the managing display unit 87.

(Electrical Construction of Sub Control Unit 90)

FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing a construction of the sub control unit 90. The sub control unit 90 includes a CPU 91, a memory 92, a wireless communication unit 93, and an input/output unit 94. The input/output unit 94 is connected as an interface to the speakers 75 and the light-sparkling display unit 325. Namely, the input/output unit 94 outputs a sound signal to the speaker 75, so that sound associated with the game can be output from the speaker 75, and the input/output unit 94 outputs a light-sparkling signal to the light-sparkling display unit 325, so that the LEDs can be sparkled in a predetermined light-sparkling pattern.

The wireless communication unit 93 includes a transceiving circuit unit (RF) 95 for transmitting and receiving signals to and from the main control unit 80 and a base band process unit 96 for converting an RF (Radio Frequency) signal received from the transceiving circuit unit 95 to a base band signal and converting to-be-transmitted base band signal to an RF signal.

In addition, the memory 92 stores programs or the like used for various control and the game. In addition, the CPU 91 performs later-described various processes by executing the programs stored in the memory 92.

More specifically, in a case where the data is transmitted to the main control unit 80, a process for dividing the data into packet data is performed. At this time, the IP address of the terminal apparatus 30, that is, a transmission source is added to the packet data as an identifier for identifying the terminal apparatus 30. In addition, in a case where the data is received from the data main control unit 80, if the IP address added to the packet data is equal to the IP address of the associated terminal apparatus 30, the packet data is received, and if not equal, the packet data is discarded.

In addition, according to input signals from the input manipulation unit 72, the CCD camera 614, and the IC tag sensing unit 324, a process for controlling the sub display unit 61, the driving control device 322, and the direction control device 323 is performed. In addition, if movement signal data specifying a position of the terminal apparatus 30 is received from the main control unit 80, a process for checking the position of the terminal apparatus 30 on the play area 21 based on current position data from the IC tag sensing unit 324 and moving the terminal apparatus 30 to the position specified by the movement signal data by controlling the driving control device 322 and the direction control device 323 of the running member 32 is performed.

In addition, if game-input data is input by manipulation of the input manipulation unit 72 or the touch panel 76, a process for driving the driving control device 322 and the direction control device 323 of the running member 32 according to the game-input data is performed.

In addition, if information indicating the game program or the situation corresponding to the time axis in the game field is received from the main control unit 80, a process for storing the information on the game program transmitted from the main control unit 80 in a memory 82, displaying a variety of events occurring in the game field according to the game program on the sub display unit 61, and outputting effect sound from the speaker 75 is performed. When receiving light-sparkling mode data transmitted from the main control apparatus 80, a process for turning on the light-sparkling display unit 325 with a light-sparkling mode corresponding to the light-sparkling data is performed.

Like this, by performing various processes, while seeing the game contents (for example, image information, text letter information, or the like) displayed on the sub display units 61, the players using the terminal apparatuses 30 manipulates the input manipulation unit 72 or the touch panel 76, so that the player can take part in performing the game or move the terminal apparatus 30 to the specified position on the play area 21 by manipulating characters displayed on the main display unit 22 or selecting choices by using text letters.

(Process Blocks of the Terminal Apparatus 30)

In addition, the sub control unit 90 having the aforementioned construction enables the players to watch a movie and television or place an order of meal or food during a pause of the game by the CPU 91 executing a selection process routine as shown in FIG. 16. Namely, as shown in FIG. 12, the terminal apparatuses 30 have a construction of executing a selection process routine for a process block having various process functions.

More specifically, the terminal apparatuses 30 includes a display unit 100 for screen-displaying various information, a game process unit 116 for executing a game process for displaying game data on the display unit 100 and performing a game during which a game value (an acquired point, an acquired item, or the like) is acquirable, an image process unit 122 for executing an image process for screen-displaying image data (movie information, television information, or the like) different from the game on the display unit 100, a game manipulation unit 115 with which a player is allowed to perform a game input based on the game data displayed on the display unit 10, and a game value storage unit 111 (a storage unit) for storing image watching item data associated with an image watching item, in a case where the game process unit 116 executes a game process for acquiring the image watching item during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit 115, wherein the image process unit 122 is allowed to screen-display the image data on the display unit based on the image watching item data stored in the game value storage unit 111. In addition, the terminal apparatus 30 includes a game value storage unit 111 for storing point data associated with a point, in a case where the game process unit 116 executes a game process for acquiring the point during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit 115.

By doing so, in the terminal apparatus 30, by selecting the image process with the process selection unit 124, it is possible to screen-display on the display unit 100 the image data different from the game data screen-displayed by the game process unit 116. By doing so, for example, in a case where the player performing the game in a long time wants to make refreshment, the player sees the image different from the game, so that the player may be able to make refreshment in a shorter time than a conventional method of temporarily stopping the game and taking a rest. In addition, since the image can be seen based on the image watching item or the point acquired during the performing of the game, a fee required for seeing the image can be paid with the game value acquired during the performing of the game, so that it may be possible to further increase pleasure of the game.

Now, the construction will be described in detail. The display unit 100 is constructed with the sub display unit 61 shown in FIG. 2. The display unit 100 can switch the display screen among the game screen, the selection screen, the image screen, and the like. These display screens include a point display region 101 a for displaying the acquired point, an item display region 101 b for displaying acquired items, a game screen region 102 for displaying the game, a rest alarm screen region 103 for displaying rest information, an image display screen region 104 for displaying image data, and a selection screen region 105 for displaying selection information such as a movie and television. Detailed contents of the display screen of the display unit 100 will be described later.

The game process unit 116 facilitates the performing of the game based on the intention of the player according to a game manipulation instruction signal from the game manipulation unit 115. The game manipulation unit 115 is constructed with the input manipulation unit 72 and the touch panel 76.

The process selection unit 124 is constructed with the game selection unit 120, the image selection unit 125, and the input receiving unit 121. The game selection unit 120 is constructed with the game screen region 102 and a predetermined portion of the touch panel 76 corresponding to the game screen region 102 excluding the display regions 101 a, 101 b, and 103 for the acquired point, the acquired item, or the like. Namely, if the game screen displayed on the game screen region 102 is pushed through the touch panel 76, the game instruction signal is output from the game selection unit 120 to the input receiving unit 121. In addition, the image selection unit 125 is constructed with the display regions 101 a, 101 b, and 103 for the acquired point, the acquired item, or the like and a predetermined portion of the touch panel 76 corresponding to the display regions 101 a, 101 b, and 103. Namely, if the acquired point displayed on the point display region 101 a is pushed through the touch panel 76, the watching instruction signal is output from the image selection unit 125 to the input receiving unit 121.

In addition, the game value storage unit 111 is constructed with the memory 92 shown in FIG. 11. In addition, the game value storage unit 111 (memory 92) may be a detachable memory chard which can be attached and detached freely. Here, “image watching item” may be an item dedicated for watching the image or all the item acquired during the performing of the game. For example, in the game screen of FIG. 21, in a case where two “apples” and one “grape” are displayed, only the “apple” may be the “image watching item”, or both of the “apple” and the “grape” may be the “image watching item”.

By using the input receiving unit 121, the game instruction signal and the watching instruction signal can be input. If the game instruction signal is input, the process of the game process unit 116 is executed, and a process instruction signal is output to stop the process of the image process unit 122. On the other hand, if the watching instruction signal is input, the process of the game process unit 116 is stopped, and a process instruction signal is output to perform the process of the image process unit 122.

The payment unit 112 has a function of storing game value data acquired or spent during the performing of the game in the game value storage unit 111. More specifically, if the game value is acquired, the game value data corresponding to the acquired game value is added to the game value storage unit 111, and if the game value is paid, the game value data corresponding to the payment is subtracted from the game value storage unit 111. In addition, the payment unit 112 has a function of paying coins or coupon in addition to the function of paying the fee required for the image process with the game value acquired during the performing of the game. By doing so, in a case where the acquired game value is insufficient, the payment unit 112 can pay the insufficient portion with the coins or coupon. In addition, a coin inserting portion 113 and a coupon inputting portion 114 are provided to the input manipulation unit 72 of FIG. 2, so that a coin inserting signal or a coupon inputting portion 114 is output to the payment unit 112 if the coins or coupons are used.

The terminal apparatus 30 also has a game time counter unit 117 for counting game time of the subsequently-performed game processes and a rest alarm unit 118 for outputting rest data when the game time is a predetermined time. By doing so, the terminal apparatus 30 may be able to urge the player to take a rest before the player is severely tired. The rest alarm unit 118 has a function of outputting the rest data to the display unit 100, and displays, through the screen display of the display unit 100, rest image data for urging the player to take a rest. By doing so, even in a noisy environment, since the rest alarm is given by using the screen for displaying the game, it may be possible for the player to accurately alarm the rest.

The terminal apparatuses 30 also has a payment control unit 119 for instructing the payment unit 112 not to charge the fee required for the image process of the image process unit under the condition the rest alarm in the rest alarm unit 118. By doing so, if the game is continuously performed over a predetermined time, the player can take a rest while seeing the image free of charge in the terminal apparatus 30, so that it may be possible to give a motive of performing the game continuously to the player.

The game process unit 116 has a function of using as the game value an acquired point represented by numerals and an acquired item represented by designs, and displaying the game value data of the acquired point and the acquired item on the display unit 100. More specifically, the acquired point is displayed on the point display region 101 a, and the acquired item is displayed on the item display region 101 b. By doing so, in the terminal apparatus 30, it may be possible to easily perceive the game value acquired during the performing the game by seeing the screen display.

The process selection unit 124 has a function of selecting the image process of the image process unit 122 by a pushing manipulation on a display region of the game value data displayed on the display unit 100. For example, in a case where the acquired point displayed on the point display region 101 a is pushed through the touch panel 76, the image process is selected. By doing so, in the terminal apparatus 30, since the image process can be selected by the pushing manipulation on the display region of the game value data, it may be possible to intuitively know that the image can be seen by using the game value.

The payment unit 112 has a function of changing the fee required for the image process according to the performing time of the image process. By doing so, in the terminal apparatuses 30, it may be possible to stop seeing the image in a short time and return to the game.

In addition, in the terminal apparatus 30, the image process unit 122 has a function of a program display unit for list-displaying a plurality of program data (a plurality of image titles or television programs) as image process execution objects on the display unit 100 in a case where the image process is selected by the process selection unit 124 and a content selection unit 123 has a function of a program selection unit for enabling the player to select one of a plurality of the list-displayed program data and causing the image process unit 122 to execute the image process corresponding to the selected program data. By doing so, since the terminal apparatus 30 has a probability that the program suitable for preference of the player can be seen is high, it may be possible to restore the player from fatigue in a short time.

In addition, in the terminal apparatus 30, the image process unit 122 has a function of a food display unit for list-displaying a plurality of food data (beverages or foods) on the display unit 100 in a case where the image process is selected by the process selection unit 124 and the content selection unit 123 for enabling the player to select one of a plurality of the list-displayed food data and placing an order of a food corresponding to the selected food data. By doing so, in the terminal apparatus 30, since an order of a food can be placed, it may be possible to restore the player from fatigue in a short time.

(Screen Display)

Now, the screen display of the sub display unit 61 will be described.

FIG. 21 is a view of a game screen showing an on-game state. The game screen has a game screen region 102 over the entire screen, and the game is performed while the characters or the like move in the game screen region 102. In the game screen region 102, the point display region 101 a and the item display region 101 b are provided, and acquired point or the acquired item is displayed on the regions 101 a and 101 b. In addition, in the game screen region 102, an avatar display region 130 is provided. The avatar display region 130 displays an avatar made by the player. In addition, the display screen displays the point display region 101 a and the selection screen of FIG. 22 through the touch panel 76, if when the item display region 101 a is pushed.

FIG. 22 shows a state changed from the game screen to the selection screen. The selection screen has a selection screen region 105 formed over the entire screen. In the selection screen region 105, a plurality of selection buttons 131 are provided in matrix, and text letter information of “please select” is displayed. On the selection buttons 131, information representing selection contents such as television, movie, meal, beverage, and the like are displayed. More specifically, in case of the movie, a title or a scene of the movie is displayed. In addition, if pushed, the selection button 131 is enlarged in a larger size than a normal size. By doing so, the selection button 131 can inform the player of the success of selection. In addition, in the selection screen region 105, the avatar display region 130, the point display region 101 a, and a return button 132 are provided. On the return button 132, text letter information of “return” is displayed, and the player can return to the just-before operation by using the button.

FIG. 23 shows a state of the meal selection screen. The meal selection screen is displayed when the selection button 131 of “meal” in the selection screen of FIG. 22 is pushed. The selection screen has a meal selection region 136. In the meal selection region 136, meal images are displayed as a meal menu, and an order can be placed by pushing the images.

FIG. 24 shows a state of a beverage selection screen. The beverage selection screen is displayed when the selection button 131 of “beverage” in the selection screen of FIG. 22 is pushed. The selection screen has a beverage selection region 137. In beverage selection region 137, beverage images are displayed as a meal menu, and an order can be placed by pushing the images.

FIG. 25 shows a state of the image screen. The image screen is displayed when the selection button 131 of, for example, “movie 6” in the selection screen of FIG. 22 is pushed. The image screen has an image display screen region 104. The image display screen region 104 occupies most portions of the screen, and in a lower portion of the image display screen region 104, the avatar display region 130, the point display region 101 a, the return button 132, the end button 133, watch 134, and a proceeding adjust button 135 are disposed. The end button 133 is used to forcibly stop playing the movie or television. The watch 134 has a shape of a sandglass watch and is used to inform the player of the playing time of the movie or television. The proceeding adjust button 135 is used to change the playing position of the movie or television and has functions of fast winding and rewinding.

FIG. 26 shows a state of the game screen changed from the image screen to the game screen. In addition, this game screen shows a state after seeing a movie of 200 points and eating a food of 100 point by using the acquired item.

FIG. 27 shows a state of the rest alarm screen when the game is performed in a predetermined time. In the rest alarm screen, the rest alarm screen region 103 is provided within the game screen region 102, a text letter information of “Do you take a rest?” is displayed in the rest alarm screen region 103.

(Summary of the Game)

Now, a summary of the game according to the execution of the game program will be described. The game is a role-playing game which is performed all the time in an independent time axis by using a cyber game field as a stage. In the cyber game field, there is a plurality of streets, and guilds are formed thereto. The player, as an adventurous person, visits a plurality of the streets and has a mission to clear a large number of events (quests) occurring in the guilds by manipulating the avatar.

On the other hand, in the game field, a plurality of grand events (macro quest) occurs, and a main stream of a story proceeds. The players solve the aforementioned events (quest) and, sometimes, the players are involved in the grand events (macro quests), so that the players cooperate with each other, fight against each other or compete against each other in order to solve the grand events (macro quest).

More specifically, as shown in FIG. 13, six terminal apparatuses 30A to 30F are disposed on the play area 21. Among them, the players of the terminal apparatuses 30A, 30B, and 30E constitute one party, and the players of the terminal apparatuses 30C, 30D, and 30F constitute another party. In addition, the players of the terminal apparatuses 30A to 30D are involved in the macro quest in a city area 212A, so that the parties dispose to face each other. On the contrary, since the player of the terminal apparatuses 30E and 30F are located in an ocean area 212B and a forest area 212C, respectively, the players are not involved in the macro quests and watch the fighting of the players of the terminal apparatuses 30A to 30D.

In addition, the player involved in the macro quest selects whether or not the player asks colleague players for help in order to clear the macro quest. In a case where help is selected, a mail requesting for help is transmitted to the colleague players, and information on the request for help is displayed on the sub display units 61 of the terminal apparatuses 30 of the associated players. In addition, the player urges the colleague players to select whether or not to help the player. In a case where the colleague player agrees to help the player, a result of the selection is transmitted to the player asking for the help, and information that the colleague player takes part is displayed on the sub display unit 61. In addition, a situation that newly participating colleague players gather is displayed on the main display unit 22.

Next, as shown in FIG. 14, the terminal apparatuses 30 of the newly participating colleague players move into the previous city area 212A of the main display unit 22 to be disposed to approach and face the terminal apparatuses 30 of the competing players. Next, the players of the terminal apparatuses 30A, 30B, and 30E and the players of the terminal apparatuses 30C and 30D compete against in the city area 212A.

In addition, in the game, the stream of the game field changes by the players manipulating (game playing) the terminal apparatuses 30. A history of the game field is made by accumulation of game plays (adventures) of the individual players. Like this, the game is a role-playing game in which a stream of the history of the cyber space can be experienced by all the players. In addition, in the game field, the history is accumulated in the time axis which cannot be stopped individually. Therefore, characters occurring in the game field are not eternal beings but beings that grow old like living things in the real space.

In addition, in the game, a name of such an actively participating player that solves the events in the macro quest, or defeats other players is recorded in a history annals stored in the database 84. By doing so, the player who actively participates in the macro quest can remain as a famous player in the history.

In addition, in the game, as shown in FIG. 15, an event history annals process, a guild process, an occupied product process, a shop process, a status process, and a party process can be executed for each of the players.

If the player selects the “event history annals”, the event history annals are read out from the database 84 of the main control unit 80, and the event history annals process is executed to display the event history annals on the sub display unit 61.

In the event history annals, a date when the quest is solved in the game field and a quest name of the quest are listed. In addition, if the player selects the quest name (event name), details of the selected event are displayed. Here, in a case where a winner is a player of firstly solving an event (quest), the details of the event are a list of the player who solves the event (quest) firstly, and in a case where a winner is a party which has a largest number of colleague players of solving the associated event (quest), the details of the event is a list of the party.

If the player selects “guild”, the guild process is executed to display the guild screen on the sub display unit 61. In the guild screen, the player can see a list of quest that the player can challenge to or select other villages where the player can go in the game field.

If the player selects the “quest” in the guild screen, a list of selectable quests is displayed on the sub display unit 61. If the player selects a desired quest in the list, the selected quest is executed.

If the player selects the “go to another street” in the guild screen, a list of selectable streets as a moving destination is displayed on the sub display unit 61. If the player selects a desired street in the list, the player moves into the selected street. If the player moves into another street in the game field, the terminal apparatuses, 30 of the players move to the sub area 212 corresponding to the street of the moving destination. In addition, the player can select a menu of “guild”, “occupied product”, “shop”, and the like in the street of the moving destination.

If the player selects the “occupied product”, the occupied product process is executed to display an occupied product (list) screen for weapons, tools, boots, and the like is displayed on the sub display unit 61. If the player selects a specific occupied product in the occupied product (list) screen, a plurality of items included in the selected occupied product is displayed on sub display unit 61. The player can select desired items among the items and be equipped with or removes the selected items.

If the player selects the “shop”, the shop process is executed to display the shop screen on the sub display unit 61. The shop screen is a screen where the player exchanges occupied items or obtains information from a shop owner, and the player can select one of “listening to a story” or “exchanging”.

If the player selects the “exchanging” in the shop screen, a list of products is displayed on the sub display unit 61. The player can select a desired item in the list of products.

If the player selects the desired item, the selected desired item and the occupied items of the players intending to exchange are displayed. If the player selects to-be-exchanged one among the occupied items, the occupied item of the player and a value thereof are displayed on the sub display unit 61. If the player selects a desired exchanged one among the displayed occupied items, and if the player selects the “execution” in a state that the to-be-exchanged occupied item is prepared, exchange between the desired item and the to-be-exchanged occupied item is executed.

On the other hand, if the player selects the “listening to a story” in the shop screen, a story of the field is displayed on the sub display unit 61. The player can obtain information of the game field from the “story of the field” displayed on the screen.

If the player selects the “status”, the status process is executed to display a status screen on the sub display unit 61. The status screen shows a result of activities or occupied products of the player in the game field. More specifically, the status screen shows names, nicknames, reputation, physical strengths, intellectual powers, the number of defeated monsters, the number of cleared quest, and the number of helping players. If the player selects one of the aforementioned listed ones, a rank of the listed one is displayed on the sub display unit 61.

If the player selects the “party”, the party process is executed to display names of colleague players (in a case where there are colleague players), “sending a mail”, “reading a mail”, and “exchanging a item”, “looking up a status”, and the like on the sub display unit 61. If the player selects one of the aforementioned listed ones, the player can transmit and receive the mail from and to the colleague players, exchange the item with the collogue players, or look up the status of the colleague players.

(Operations of Game Machine 1)

Now, operations of the game machine 1 having the aforementioned construction will be described. As shown in FIG. 1, the players firstly select favorite ones among the terminal apparatuses 30 disposed on the play areas 21 and sit on the seats 31 of the selected terminal apparatuses 30. Next, as shown in FIG. 2, a coin is inserted into the coin inserting slot of the input manipulation unit 72 and a start switch is pushed. Therefore, locking of the sub monitor 613 and the seat 31 of the game machine are released. After that, the sub monitor 613 is taken out from the sub monitor receiving space 62 of the side unit 60 and a mode of the seat 31 is adjusted.

Next, the game is performed. More specifically, if the game starts, an avatar is made as an incarnation of the player. Namely, an avatar making screen is displayed on the sub display unit 61. After that, the face of the player is picked up with the CCD camera 614, and if personal information and a name to be used in the game filed are input, the avatar is generated according to the information and registered in the database 84 of the main control unit 80.

Next, the game data is screen-displayed, a game process step for performing the game capable of acquiring the game value starts. More specifically, as shown in FIG. 1, the terminal apparatuses 30 of the players are disposed at initial positions on the play area 21. Namely, the street of the game field may be surrounded with an ocean or a forest or a street of a big city. Although the play area 21 are constructed with a plurality of the sub area 212 such as a city area 212A, an ocean area 212B, and a forest area 212C as described above, these sub areas 212 are designed as a cyber space corresponding to the environment of the street of the game field.

At the time of the game starting, the streets where the individual players are located are defined in the game field, and then, the terminal apparatuses 30 of the players move to the sub areas 212 corresponding to the streets where the players are located. Otherwise, by the players manipulating the input manipulation units 72, the terminal apparatuses of the players may move, and the streets where the players are located in the game field may be defined according to the movement of the terminal apparatuses. After that, the game proceeds in the independent time axis while macro quests in which a plurality of the player participates or macro quests in which a single player participates are generated. If the game process step ends, the sub monitor 613 is received, and at the same time, the mode of the seat 31 returns to a seat mode.

In addition to the game process step, the game machine 1 includes an image process step for screen-displaying image data different from the game, a process selection step for selecting the game process step and the image process step, and an image process selection step for screen-displaying the image data based on the image watching item data associated with the image watching item acquired during the performing of the game. In addition, the image process selection step has a function as a payment step for paying a fee required for the screen display of the image data in the image process step with the game value acquired during the performing of the game.

(Operation of Game Machine 1: Selection Process)

Now, details of the image process step, the process selection step, and the image process selection step will be described. During the game, the selection process is executed. Namely, as shown in FIG. 16, it is determined whether or not the game time exceeds a predetermined time (S1), and if the game time exceeds the predetermined time (YES in S1), a later-described rest process is executed in order to urge the player to take a rest (S20). On the other hand, if the game time does not exceed the predetermined time (NO in S1), it is determined whether or not the selection button of the input manipulation unit 72 is pushed (S2).

In a case where the selection button is pushed (YES in S2), the game is temporarily stopped (S14). Next, the acquired point acquired during the performing of the game is read and output (S15), and lottery candidate data corresponding to the acquired point are extracted. Here, the “lottery candidate data” are data including detailed contents such as televisions, movies, meals, and the beverages and prices (points) associated with the contents, and for example, in case of the beverage, the data are a cup of coffee of 100 points or a cup of tea of 50 points. Next, lottery candidate data below the acquired point is extracted from the lottery candidate data designated with prices (S16).

After that, the selection screen of FIG. 22 is displayed (S17), and a first selection process for selecting movies, meals, or the like by using the selection screen is executed (S18). Next, it is determined whether or not the selection is completed (S19), selection is completed (YES in S19), the step S11 is executed. On the other hand, if the selection is not completed (NO in S19), the display is changed over the game screen display of FIG. 26 (S21).

In the step S2, if the selection button is not pushed (NO in S2), it is determined whether or not the point display region 101 a for displaying the acquired point is pushed as shown in FIG. 21. (S3). If the point display region 101 a is pushed (YES in S3), the aforementioned step S14 is executed, similar to the case where the selection button is pushed. On the other hand, if the point display region 101 a is not pushed (NO in S3), it is subsequently determined whether or not the item display region 101 b for displaying the acquired item is pushed (S4). If the item display region 101 b is not pushed (NO in S4), the routine ends, and the subsequent selection process starts.

If the item display region 101 b is pushed (YES in S4), the game is temporarily stopped (S5). Next, the lottery candidate data corresponding to the acquired item is extracted. Namely, the lottery candidate data below the point corresponding to the value of the acquired item is extracted from the lottery candidate data designated with various prices (S6). After that, the selection screen of FIG. 22 is displayed (S7), the first selection process for selecting movies, meals, or the like by using the selection screen is executed (S8).

Next, it is determined whether or not the selection is completed (S9), and if the selection is not completed (NO in S19), the step S21 is executed. On the other hand, if the selection is completed (YES in S19), the acquired item is removed from the screen and the memory (S10), and it is determined whether or not the selection is a movie or television (S11). If the selection is not the movie or television (S11, NO), the display is changed over the game screen display of FIG. 26 (S21). On the other hand, if the selection is the movie or television (YES in S11), the image screen of FIG. 25 is displayed (S12). After the later-described image display process is executed (S13), the display is changed over the game screen display of FIG. 26 (S21). After that, the game starts again (S23), the routine ends.

(Operation of Game Machine 1: First Selection Process)

In the selection process, if the first selection processes of the steps S8 and S18 are executed, a reception of the pushing manipulation is performed by using the selection screen of FIG. 23, as shown in FIG. 17. The push signal from the touch panel 76 is input, and a display region corresponding to a coordinate position indicated with the push signal is identified (A1). If the pushing manipulation is performed, it is determined whether or not the pushing manipulation corresponds to the movie selection (A2). If the movie is selected (YES in A2), the movie point, that is, the price designated to the movie is subtracted from the acquired point (A3). After that, the playing of the selected movie is requested to the main control unit 80 (A4), and the routine ends.

If a movie is not selected, (NO in A2), it is subsequently determined whether or not a television is selected (A5). If the television is selected (YES in A5), the television point, that is, the price designated to the television is subtracted from the acquired point (A6). After that, the playing of the selected television is requested to the main control unit 80 (A7), and the routine ends.

If a television is not selected (NO in A5), it is subsequently determined whether or not a meal is selected (A8). If the meal is selected (YES in A8), the meal selection screen of FIG. 23 is displayed (A9). Next, the meal selection process is executed by using meal selection screen. Namely, by pushing an icon for a favorite meal in a meal menu displayed on the meal selection region 136, an order of the meal is placed to the main control unit 80. In addition, the meal point, that is, the price designated to the meal is subtracted from acquired point (A10). After that, if the meal selection process is completed, the routine ends.

In addition, in the selection screen of FIG. 22, if a meal is not selected (NO in A5), it is subsequently determined whether or not a beverage is selected (A11). If the beverage is selected (YES in A11), the beverage selection screen of FIG. 24 is displayed (A12). Next, the beverage selection process is executed by using the beverage selection screen. Namely, by pushing an icon for a favorite beverage in a beverage menu displayed on the beverage selection region 137, an order of the beverage is placed to the main control unit 80. In addition, the beverage point, that is, the price designated to the beverage is subtracted from acquired point (A13). After that, if the beverage selection process is completed, the routine ends.

In addition, in the selection screen of FIG. 22, if a beverage is not selected (NO in A11), return is subsequently selected. Namely, it is determined whether or not the return button 132 is pushed (A14). If the return is selected (YES in A14), the routine ends. If the return is not selected (NO in A14), the pushing manipulation is determined to be invalid, and the steps are executed again from the step A1.

(Operation of Game Machine 1: Image Display Process)

In the selection process, the image display process of the step S13 is executed; the image data is received and displayed on the image display screen region 104 of FIG. 25 as shown in FIG. 18 (B1). Next, the counting of the playing time starts (B2), the playing time is displayed by using the watch 134 (B3). After that, the acquired point is displayed on the point display region 101 a (B4), and it is determined whether or not the player takes a rest (B5). If the player takes a rest (YES in B5), it is subsequently determined whether or not the image reproducing position is manipulated (B8). On the other hand, if the player does not take a rest (NO in B5), it is determined whether or not a unit time elapses (B6). If the unit time does not elapse (NO in B6), it is subsequently determined whether or not the image reproducing position is manipulated (B8).

If the unit time elapses (YES in B6), the spent point is subtracted from the acquired point (B7). In addition, the spent point is a value obtained by dividing a multiplied value of the movie point designated to the movie and the all the playing time by the unit time. By doing so, it is possible to check a state of increase in the acquired point every a predetermined time. After that, it is determined whether or not the image reproducing position is manipulated by the proceeding adjust button 135 (B8). If the image reproducing position is manipulated (YES in B8), transmission of the image data from the image reproducing point is requested to the main control unit 80. By doing so, it is possible to watch the movie by fast winding or by omitting the previously watching portion (B14). After that, the steps are executed again from the step B3.

If the image reproducing position is not manipulated (NO in B8), it is subsequently determined whether or not the end button 133 is pushed (B9). If the pushing manipulation is not performed (NO in B9), it is subsequently determined whether or not the acquired point is below “0” (B10). If the acquired point is not below “0” (NO in B10), it is subsequently determined whether or not the image playing ends (B11). If the image playing does not end (NO in B11), the steps are executed again from the step B3.

On the other hand, if the end button is pushed (YES in B9), if the acquired point is below “0” (YES in B10), or if the image playing ends (YES in B11), the counting of the playing time stops, and at the same time, is reset (B12). Next, at the same of the reset of the game time, the counting starts again (B13), and after that, the routine ends. In addition, if a pushing manipulation is performed on the point display region 101 a during the image playing, it is preferable that the meal selection region 136 of FIG. 23 or the beverage selection region 137 of FIG. 24 occurs in order to place an order of a meal or a beverage.

(Operation of Game Machine 1: Rest Process)

In the selection process, the rest process of the step S20 is executed, the game is temporarily stopped as shown in FIG. 19(C1). The rest image data of FIG. 27 is displayed on the rest alarm screen region 103 (C2), and rest is selected. Namely, if the rest alarm screen region 103 is pushed, the player intends to take a rest, if the game screen region 102 is not pushed, the player does not intends to take a rest (C3). If the rest is selected (YES in C3), the selection screen of FIG. 23 is displayed (C4), and a second selection process is executed (C5). After that, the routine ends. On the other hand, if the rest is not selected (C3, NO), the display in the rest alarm screen region 103 is removed. In addition, at the same time of the reset of the game time, the counting of the game time starts (C6). After that, the routine ends.

(Operation of Game Machine 1: Second Selection Process)

In the rest process, if the second selection process in the step C5 is executed, the watching of the movie and the placing of an order of the meal is available free of charge. Namely, as shown in FIG. 20, the reception of the pushing manipulation is firstly performed by using the selection screen of FIG. 23. More specifically, the push signal from the touch panel 76 is input, and a display region corresponding to a coordinate position indicated with the push signal is identified (D1). If the pushing manipulation is performed, it is determined whether or not the pushing manipulation corresponds to the movie selection (D2). If the movie is selected (YES in D2), the playing of the selected movie is requested to the main control unit 80 (D3), and the routine ends.

If a movie is not selected, (NO in D2), a television is subsequently selected (D4). If the television is selected (YES in D4), the playing of the selected television is requested to the main control unit 80 (D5), and the routine ends.

If a television is not selected (NO in D4), a meal is subsequently selected (D6). If the meal is selected (YES in D6), the meal selection screen of FIG. 23 is displayed (D7). Next, the meal selection process is executed by using meal selection screen. Namely, by pushing an icon for a favorite meal in a meal menu displayed on the meal selection region 136, an order of the meal is placed to the main control unit 80. In addition, the meal point is not subtracted from acquired point (D8). After that, if the meal selection process is completed, the routine ends.

In addition, in the selection screen of FIG. 23, if a meal is not selected (NO in D6), a beverage is subsequently selected (D9). If the beverage is selected (YES in D9), the beverage selection screen of FIG. 24 is displayed (D10) Next, the beverage selection process is executed by using the beverage selection screen. Namely, by pushing an icon for a favorite beverage in a beverage menu displayed on the beverage selection region 137, an order of the beverage is placed to the main control unit 80 (D11). After that, if the beverage selection process is completed, the routine ends.

In addition, in the selection screen of FIG. 23, if a beverage is not selected (NO in D9), return is subsequently selected. Namely, it is determined whether or not the return button 132 is pushed (D12). If the return is selected (YES in D12), the routine ends. If the return is not selected (NO in D12), the pushing manipulation is determined to be invalid, and the steps are executed again from the step D1.

Summary of the Embodiments of the Invention

Like this, as shown in FIG. 12, the terminal apparatuses 30 according to the embodiment includes a display unit 100 for screen-displaying various information, a game process unit 116 for executing a game process for displaying game data on the display unit 100 and performing a game during which a game value (an acquired point, an acquired item, or the like) is acquirable, an image process unit 122 for executing an image process for screen-displaying image data (movie information, television information, or the like) different from the game on the display unit 100, a game manipulation unit 115 with which a player is allowed to perform a game input based on the game data displayed on the display unit 100, and a game value storage unit 111 (a storage unit) for storing image watching item data associated with an image watching item, in a case where the game process unit 116 executes a game process for acquiring the image watching item during the performing of the game in accordance with a game input of the game manipulation unit 115, wherein the image process unit 122 is allowed to screen-display the image data on the display unit based on the image watching item data stored in the game value storage unit 111.

According to the construction, in the terminal apparatus 30, by selecting the image process with the process selection unit 124, it is possible to screen-display on the display unit 110 the image data different from the game data screen-displayed by the game process unit 116. By doing so, for example, in a case where the player performing the game in a long time wants to make refreshment, the player sees the image different from the game, so that the player may be able to make refreshment in a shorter time than a conventional method of temporarily stopping the game and taking a rest. In addition, since the image can be seen based on the image watching item or the point acquired during the performing of the game, a fee required for seeing the image can be paid with the game value acquired during the performing of the game, so that it may be possible to further increase pleasure of the game.

In the game machine 1 according to the embodiment includes a plurality of terminal apparatuses 30 having the aforementioned construction; and a game-machine main body 20 which can communicates data with the terminal apparatuses 30 and manages operations of the terminal apparatuses 30 in order that the game processes executed in the respective game-machine terminal apparatuses 30 can be interlocked over all the game-machine terminal apparatuses 30. According to the construction, since the game process can be performed with a plurality of the terminal apparatuses 30 interlocked, it may be possible to perform the game while specific terminal apparatuses 30 cooperate with or compete against each other.

In addition, the game method according to the embodiment includes a game process step of screen-displaying game data on the display unit and performing a game during which a game value is acquirable; an image process step of screen-displaying image data different from the game; a process selection step of selecting the game process step and the image process step; and an image process selection step of screen-displaying the image data based on image watching item data associated with an image watching item acquired during the performing of the game.

According to the construction, for example, in a case where the player performing the game in a long time wants to make refreshment, the player sees the image different from the game, so that the player may be able to make refreshment in a shorter time than a conventional method of temporarily stopping the game and taking a rest. In addition, since the image can be seen based on the image watching item acquired during the performing of the game, a fee required for seeing the image can be paid with the game value acquired during the performing of the game, so that it may be possible to further increase pleasure of the game.

Modified Examples of the Embodiments

Although the embodiments of the present invention are described, the present invention is not limited thereto. For example, although the cases where an order of a meal or a beverage is placed by a pushing manipulation using the touch panel 76 are described in the embodiments, the order may be placed by using switches (not shown) in the input manipulation unit 72. In addition, although the lottery candidate data for the movie or the like designated with the prices below the acquired point is extracted and displayed in the embodiments, all the lottery candidate data may be screen-displayed and the insufficient portion of the acquired point may be paid with coins or coupons.

While this invention has been described in conjunction with the specific embodiments outlined above, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the preferred embodiments of the invention as set forth above are intended to be illustrative, not limiting. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8052508 *Dec 29, 2008Nov 8, 2011Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
US8052509 *Dec 29, 2008Nov 8, 2011Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
US8052510 *Dec 29, 2008Nov 8, 2011Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
US8192264 *Dec 29, 2008Jun 5, 2012Aruze Gaming America, Inc.Horse race gaming machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/46
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationA63F13/08, A63F2300/8017, A63F2300/406, A63F13/12
European ClassificationA63F13/08, A63F13/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 13, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OKADA, KAZUO;REEL/FRAME:017671/0398
Effective date: 20060303