U.S. Patent No. 11,007,439: Respawn systems and methods in video games
Issued May 18, 2021, to Electronic Arts Inc.
Filed/Priority to July 31, 2019
This Electronic Arts patent appears to relate to the respawn mechanic in Apex Legends.
U.S. Patent No. 11,007,439 (the ‘439 patent) relates to a respawn system in a multiplayer video game where defeated players generate a respawn activation item and can be respawned by teammates using that item. The ‘439 patent details a method of respawning in multiplayer game where when a first player is preliminarily defeated, the graphical representation of their virtual character is removed, generating a respawn activation item that a second player on the same team can acquire. More particularly, game players start the game in a normal state, can be reduced to an incapacitated state, and then further reduced either by time or damage to a preliminarily defeated state. When the first player is preliminarily defeated an inventory container with the respawn activation item is generated, which other players including teammates can use to access the preliminarily defeated player’s items. In response to a team member using the respawn activation item at a respawn location, the first player’s virtual character is respawned.
The’439 patent may be familiar as implemented in the game Apex Legends, allowing teams to continue playing together via this respawn mechanic, even after a player is defeated.
In a video game, a player’s character can start in a normal state, receive first damage, and change to an incapacitated state. The player’s character can be revived from the incapacitated state back to the normal state. The player’s character can be changed from the incapacitated state to a preliminarily defeated state, and in response, a player respawn activation item can be generated. The player respawn activation item can be used by the player’s teammates to respawn the player’s character at one or more respawn locations.
- A method, implemented by one or more processors, comprising: executing an instance of a multiplayer gameplay session within a virtual environment of an online video game application, wherein the virtual environment is presented on client computing platforms associated with users, and in-game virtual characters are provided to users to enable interaction of the users with the virtual environment and other virtual characters, wherein the users control the in-game virtual characters interacting within the virtual environment during the multiplayer gameplay session via commands received over a network from the client computing platforms associated with the users; changing a first virtual character from a normal state to a preliminarily defeated state at a first location in the virtual environment, wherein the first virtual character is controlled by first user inputs provided by a first player on a first team; despawning the first virtual character within the virtual environment at the first location, wherein a graphical representation of the first virtual character is removed from virtual environment; generating a respawn activation item for the first virtual character; receiving second user inputs from a second player on the first team controlling a second virtual character to acquire the respawn activation item; receiving third user inputs causing a member of the first team to use the respawn activation item at a respawn location different from the first location; and in response to using the respawn activation item at the respawn location, respawning the first virtual character at the respawn location in the normal state, wherein the graphical representation of the first virtual character is generated within the virtual environment.