U.S. Patent No. 8,914,136: Game control program and game device

Issued December 16, 2014, to Sega Corp.
Priority Date January 27, 2009

U.S. Patent No. 8,914,136 (the ‘136 Patent) describes a method for dealing damage in a video game. A health bar is a means to communicate to the player how many hits the game’s character can absorb before losing a life. Once the bar is depleted then the character loses a life. Typically games that use health bars do not distinguish between types of hits or damage. The ‘136 Patent describes a method for using health bars that uses two types of damages: fixed damage and scratch damage. Fixed damage is the traditional damage type, a player who is hit with a fixed damage attack has their health bar drained. Scratch damage does not immediately reduce the health bar like fixed damage. If a player gets hit with scratch damage, then a portion of the health bar turns a shade of red. The portion amount is determined by the amount of scratch damage received. The scratch damage only decreases the health bar after a set time frame has elapsed, giving the player a chance to recover the scratch damage. Scratch damage can be compounded with fixed damage by adding together and immediately applying to the player’s health. The type of health system described in the ‘136 Patent is usually used in fighting games or 3D brawlers.

Damages include ineffective damage (scratch damage) and effective damage (fixed damage). When scratch damage occurs, an amount Ds corresponding to the scratch damage is stored into a memory. When fixed damage occurs, a vitality parameter Lp is decreased by an amount Df corresponding to the fixed damage. Scratch damage decreases over time. If fixed damage Df occurs in the presence of scratch damage, the vitality parameter Lp is decreased by a total amount of the scratch damage and the fixed damage. Such controls on the vitality parameter diversify the game progress.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A game control method for making a computer, having a processor, a memory, and operation input means, perform game processing in which a player character that acts in response to a player operation and an enemy character attack each other, and in which a vitality parameter set for the player character is decreased in accordance with damage given to the player character when the enemy character makes an attack on the player character, the game control method comprising the steps of: setting by the processor the damage as ineffective damage or effective damage based on a value of an attack-power parameter of a weapon used in the attack by the enemy character; storing by the processor an amount of said ineffective damage into the memory when the player character is given the ineffective damage; restoring by the processor the amount of the ineffective damage stored in the memory decreased by a predetermined amount as time elapses after the player character is given the ineffective damage; calculating by the processor, as the player character is given effective damage while the amount of ineffective damage is stored in the memory, a total amount of damage that includes an amount of effective damage based on the effective damage and the amount of ineffective damage in the memory, and decreasing by the processor the vitality parameter of the player character based on the amount of damage; setting the attack-power parameter for the attack, wherein said setting the damage sets the damage as the effective damage or the ineffective damage based on the attack-power parameter; generating by the processor one or more points for the player character for each successful attack on the enemy character by the player character; and changing by the processor, when an accumulation of points reaches a predetermined amount, a state of the player character in which all damage incurred by the player character during a predetermined period of a remainder of a current game is set as ineffective damage regardless of the attack-power parameter value.