U.S. Patent no. 9,597,601: Method for displaying chat window applied to network game
Issued March 21, 2017 to Kabushiki Kaisha Square Enix
Priority Date March 19, 2003
U.S. Patent No. 9,597,601 (the ‘601 Patent) relates to displaying chat messages in a video game. In multiplayer networked video games multiple players can work together to complete goals. It becomes necessary for the player to be able to view their character, others’ characters, as well as messages sent between players and messages from the game itself. Depending on how many messages are being exchanged between players the size of the chat display window may change. If there are not very many important messages or messages relating to gameplay, then the window will reduce in size. However, during periods of frequent messaging and a large volume of messages the chat window will expand as to allow for more efficient communication and message comprehension. This system will allow for more efficient messaging in games that blends messaging with the game experience without becoming too intrusive or disruptive to the flow of gameplay.
Players input their messages in their video game apparatuses and the messages are once collected at a server apparatus, thereafter they are distributed to all video game apparatuses from the game server apparatus. In a display screen of each video game apparatus, a chat window is displayed in order to display messages exchanged between the players on a game screen including a field and characters of the game. The chat window is sequentially enlarged up to a preset maximum number of lines when a new message is received from the game server apparatus. The chat window is sequentially reduced to the preset minimum number of lines when a predetermined time passes without any reception of new message or when the player performs a specific operation.
1. A video game apparatus connected, via a network, to a server apparatus, the server apparatus being connected to at least one other video game apparatus via the network, the video game apparatus comprising: a receiver that receives a message distributed from the server apparatus via the network; a provider that provides a chat window for displaying the message on a display screen in a case where the receiver receives the message; and a display device that displays a video game on the display screen and the message received by the receiver in the chat window, wherein when the video game apparatus receives a message from the at least one other video game apparatus via the server apparatus in a state that the chat window is not provided, the chat window is provided in an area of the display screen, wherein the chat window is deleted, and is not provided in the area of the display screen until the video game apparatus receives a message from the server apparatus, and wherein an oldest message may be selectively retained in the chat window instead of being deleted by chat window reduction processing, the chat window reduction processing sequentially deleting the oldest messages from the chat window when the oldest message is not a specific message identified with high importance, the chat window reduction processing deleting the second oldest message from the chat window when the oldest message is a specific message identified with high importance.