U.S. Patent No. 6,699,127: Real-time replay system for video game
Issued March 2, 2004, to Nintendo of America, Inc.
Filed: September 27, 2000 (claiming priority to June 20, 2000)
U.S. Patent No. 6,699,127 (the ‘127 patent) relates to a real-time replay system for a video game which allows players to instantly replay gameplay. The ‘127 patent details a method of replaying gameplay by recording keyframes corresponding to gameplay conditions to allow a player to “wind back” gameplay and watch it back or take over control of gameplay from a particular moment. The player is also enabled to freeze the replay at any time and change at least one camera characteristic, like changing the perspective.
The ‘127 patent appears to be for an instant replay system in the N64 Tony Hawk Pro Skater games, but its unclear whether the ability to control the character in the replay ever made it into the game. A similar replay system is now used in modern Mario Kart games. Other games, such as Microsoft’s Forza racing franchise, offer a “rewind” capability where a user can rewind the game to replay from a previous point in time in order to improve their game results (e.g., if you crash, you can rewind and then continue driving from a point when you still had control of your car).
A system and method for enabling real-time replay for videogames, wherein the player can selectively rewind the videogame to previously played points in the game in order to replay portions of the game during real-time. Inline keyframes are periodically recorded, together with the controller information, so that upon selecting the replay option, the game can be rewound to the nearest keyframe. Once rewound, the game is restored based on the keyframe and is then played back from the keyframe using the stored controller information. At any point during playback, the player can take-over the action and use the actual game controller to begin actual play of the game from that point in the playback sequence. The player can also change cameras and speed for the playback in real-time at any time during the playback.
- A method of providing real-time replay during gameplay in an interactive video game system, comprising: starting real-time gameplay; recording an inline keyframe at predetermined time intervals during gameplay; recording controller input from a user during gameplay; upon selection by the user of a predetemined controller input prior to the end of a game: backing-up the gameplay a set period of gameplay time from the current gameplay condition to a previous gameplay condition; using a recorded inline keyframe generally corresponding to the previous gameplay condition and the recorded controller inputs to generate and display at least a partial real-time replay of the game from the previous gameplay condition to the current gameplay condition; and enabling the user to take over the replay to begin real-time gameplay at any time during the replay and from a point in the replay where the user has taken over the replay by supplying controller input, wherein the recordings of inline keyframes and recording of controller inputs is performed based on an internal logic rate of the video game system; and further including enabling the replay to be frozen at any time during the replay and allowing the user to change at least one of camera characteristic and playback speed for the replay while the replay is frozen, and further including recording any changes to the camera characteristic or playback speed in an array of random keyframe buffers together with information that determines on which frame of the replay the recorded changes are to take effect.