U.S. Patent No. 9,061,205: Music video game with user directed sound generation

Issued June 23, 2015, to Activision Publishing, Inc.
Priority Date July 14, 2008

U.S. Patent No. 9,061,205 (the ‘205 Patent) describes a method to add more variety in a music rhythm game during a free play routine. Music rhythm games like Guitar Hero often feature a free play feature. The ‘205 describes a method where if the player holds the plastic guitar in a certain position during free play, the game will enter into a different mode. Pointing the head of the guitar downward would access a power chord mode. The game would mute the normal audio sample and begin to play a power chord version of the same song. The idea is to recreate the artistic nature that takes place during live performances. A real guitarist can add or subtract elements from a song while playing, and that is the type of freedom the ‘205 Patent aims to give players.

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 of generating audio tracks in a music video game, comprising: receiving a first input signal indicating status of a first plurality of input devices of a video game controller; outputting a polyphonic audio compilation based on the first input signal, the polyphonic audio compilation including at least two audio tracks featuring a sequence of notes or chords of different instruments; receiving a second input signal indicating status of a second plurality of input devices of the video game controller; selecting at least one of the at least two audio tracks based on the second input signal; and muting the at least one of the at least two audio tracks.