U.S. Patent no. 10,252,163: Music video game with user directed sound generation

Issued April 9, 2019 to Activision Publishing, Inc.
Priority Date July 14, 2008

U.S. Patent No. 10,252,163 (the ‘163 Patent) relates to a music based video game with a guitar shaped controller. The invention allows players to generate music during free play as well as during songs. It is also possible for for multiple players to collaborate in music generation. The invention also includes a visual interface for recommending note, chords, beat, and vocal sequences in a musical video game.

Music video games have become increasingly popular, however merely playing along with a song that offers only a predetermined musical output does not fully simulate the music experience. More experienced musicians may improvise notes and do not merely play songs created by others. Creating their own song or embellishing the works of others is also part of the musical experience. The ‘163 patent offers a way to solve this problem. The invention features the visual interface for recommending notes in the game, the display, as well as the guitar shaped video game controller.

A music based video game provides a user directed sound generation feature. In some embodiments, the user is provided a video game controller simulating a musical instrument, which the user may operate similarly to its real musical instrument counterpart. A free play feature is provided for users to operate the video game controller, where a processor of a video game console receives input signals from the video game controller and outputs audio samples based on the received input signals. During the free play feature, multiple suggestions as to how to operate the video game controller are simultaneously provided to give users some guidance as to what to play using the video game controller.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method for generating audio samples in a music based video game, comprising: determining a tilt angle of the video game controller based on an angle of a neck of the video game controller with a stationary reference axis; and selecting a tilt region associated with a one of a plurality of predefined angle ranges into which the tilt angle falls; and determining status of a plurality of input devices of the video game controller; selecting an audio sample based on the tilt angle of the video game controller and the status of the plurality of input devices, with the audio sample being of a single note audio sample for a first tilt region of the plurality of tilt regions, a single chord audio sample for a second tilt region of the plurality of tilt regions, and a prerecorded sequence of audio samples for a third tilt region of the plurality of tilt regions; and commanding an output of the selected audio sample.