U.S. Patent No. 8,944,919: Network game system for executing event in network gameIssued February 3, 2015 to Kabushiki Kaisha Square Enix

Summary:

This patent relates to a network game such as an MMORPG in which multiple players participate. When an event occurs in a network game, a movie may be played back to each player’s device so players can watch the movie at the same time. However, there are players with a variety of skills, so it is likely experienced players have already seen such a movie. From the viewpoint of just playing back a movie generally, each player may be allowed to freely skip the movie. When an event such as a battle immediately follows the end of a movie, however, the timing may vary among the players. It is not desirable that while some players are watching a movie, the others may start the battle.

Therefore, this patent was created to reliably restrain players from freely playing an event in a game which should be played together. When the party battles an opponent, the server simultaneously transmits movie playback information to each player’s device. Each of the players can skip the movie, and a screen is displayed on the screen of each player that skipped the movie. When information is received from each player’s device that indicates playback of the movie has ended, the server simultaneously transmits battle start information to each player. Therefore, players can coordinate to take down a boss together.

Abstract:

A network game system includes a server apparatus and a plurality of video game apparatuses connected to the server apparatus. A party includes player characters of a plurality of players. When the party battles with an opponent character, the server apparatus simultaneously transmits movie playback information to each video game apparatus for starting playback of a movie. Each of the players can skip the movie at a desired timing. A screen is displayed on each video game apparatus that has skipped the movie until the battle starts. When information is received from each video game apparatus that indicates playback of the movie has ended, the server apparatus simultaneously transmits battle start information to each video game apparatus.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A network game system including a server apparatus, and a plurality of terminal apparatuses connected to the server apparatus over a network, the server apparatus comprising: an event occurrence information transmitter that transmits event generating information to each of the terminal apparatuses when a predetermined event generation condition for playing an event in a game is met during the game, the terminal apparatuses comprising a party in the game and cooperating to play the event during the game; an end-of-preparation notifying information receiver that receives end-of-preparation notifying information transmitted from each of the terminal apparatuses of the party; and an event start information transmitter that simultaneously transmits event start information to all of the terminal apparatuses of the party on condition that the end-of-preparation notifying information receiver has received the end-of-preparation notifying information from all of the terminal apparatuses of the party, each terminal apparatus of the terminal apparatuses of the party comprising: an event occurrence information receiver that receives the event occurrence information transmitted from the event occurrence information transmitter; an event preparation image display that, upon reception of the event occurrence information at the event occurrence information receiver, displays an event preparation image on a display device included in the terminal apparatus and enables termination of a display of the event preparation image at a desired timing in response to a termination instruction from a player using the terminal apparatus; an end-of-preparation notifying information transmitter that transmits the end-of-preparation notifying information to the server apparatus when the display of the event preparation image is terminated; an event start information receiver that receives the event start information transmitted from the event start information transmitter; a standby processor that executes a predetermined standby process until the event start information receiver receives the event start information after the end-of-preparation notifying information transmitter has transmitted the end-of-preparation notifying information; and an event processor that executes the event during the game when the event start information receiver receives the event start information, wherein the server provides an advantage to a first game apparatus of the party over a second game apparatus of the party when the end-of-preparation notifying information receiver of the server receives the end-of-preparation notifying information from the first game apparatus before the second game apparatus.

Research By: Rachel Johns

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