U.S. Patent no. 9,861,896: Method and system for an integrated platform wide party system within a multiplayer gaming environment
Issued January 9, 2018 to Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC
Priority Date September 4, 2008
U.S. Patent No. 9,861,896 (the ‘896 Patent) relates to multiplayer video games. The invention provides a system for platform wide party multiplayer gaming. Players may be grouped together into one or more parties. This party system allows for messaging between players across their respective consoles. Event notifications can be shared between the consoles as well. Even while playing a different game a player may be able to receive notifications from other party members playing other video games. This increased functionality and accessibility allows for greater connectivity and communication between players. This invention attempts to bridge the gap between multiplayer game parties and the inter-connectivity created by modern social media groups.
A method and system for a platform wide party system that may be deployed in a multiplayer gaming environment. Players may associate themselves with one or more parties, wherein players within a party may choose to automatically exchange messages associated with changes in state of the players in a gaming environment. The party system exposes an API providing a plurality of function calls that may be integrated seamlessly with game play. A first player may indicate desired notification events to be received from a second player associated with the same party as the first player. Upon detection of a desired notification event on the video game console of the second player, an event notification may be communicated to a video game console of the first player causing an action to be performed on the first player’s video game console. Actions may include event notifications via text and/or sound, which may be displayed to the first player while engaged in any game session and without requiring the first player to exit the current game session.
1. A method for providing party services in a multiplayer gaming environment comprising at least one first player and a second player, wherein the at least one first player is respectively associated with a first video game console and the second player is associated with a second video game console, the method comprising: receiving party association information, wherein the party association information indicates a party relationship between the at least one first player and the second player; receiving recipient event information indicating an association of each of at least one first player and each of at least one desired notification event, wherein each of the at least one desired notification event pertains to a session behavior of the second player; and in response to detecting that an event has occurred with respect to the second player: determining whether the event is a desired notification event of the at least one desired notification event of an associated first player using the recipient event information; and when the event is a desired notification event of the associated first player, alerting the associated first player of the event while the associated first player is in a first game session and without cancelling or exiting the first game session and wherein the second player is in a second game session that is different from the first game session; wherein the at least one desired notification event is requested via an application programming interface (API) that is configured to provide a plurality of function calls that are integrated with game play of the first and second video game consoles; and wherein an event table is used to identify recipients who have subscribed to notification events, the event table stored at least on the second video game console and accessed by an party event handler of the second video game console to determine the at least one desired notification event.