In the business of video games, intellectual property is critical to success, and Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks are the bricks with which your IP portfolio is built. The Patent Arcade is the web’s primary resource for video game IP law, news, cases, and commentary.

U.S. Patent No. 8,869,044: Relocating a user's online presence across virtual rooms, servers, and worlds based on locations of friends and characters


Issued October 21, 2014 to Disney Enterprises Inc.
Filed/Priority to October 27, 2011




Overview:

U.S. Patent No. 8,869,044 (the ‘044 patent) relates to teleporting to another player in an online multiplayer game. The ‘044 patent details allowing an online presence to jump from one virtual environment to another, by targeting the location of a second user’s online presence and checking if there is capacity for that presence in the new virtual space. The ‘044 patent may be familiar as implemented in the now dormant game, Club Penguin, and was likely what allowed users to teleport to their friends.  Minecraft has a similar feature within a single world, but this Disney patent can jump users between worlds.

 

Abstract:

Techniques are disclosed that allow a user to efficiently move their online presence from a current location in a virtual world to a target location near a friend or character. The target location may be in another instance of the virtual world or in another virtual world. Further, the movement of the user—referred to as a jump—may be in response to a request from the user to jump their online presence to the target location of a friend or character. In the other direction, a user can send a “jump to me” request to their friends.

 

Illustrative Claim:

  1. A computer-implemented method, comprising: determining, by operation of one or more processors, an online presence of a first user in a first virtual environment; identifying an online presence of at least a second user in a second virtual environment; determining whether a precondition for jumping the first user is satisfied, the precondition specifying at least one of a capacity limit or one or more requirements for entry into a virtual room, virtual world instance, or virtual world in which the online presence of the second user is located; and if the precondition is satisfied, reserving a position for the first user in the second virtual environment and presenting an indication to the first user that a jump is available, wherein the jump is invoked to move the online presence of the first user from a current location within the first virtual environment to a target location in the second virtual environment, and wherein the online presence of the second user is at the target location in the second virtual environment, and wherein: the first virtual environment comprises a first room in a virtual world and the second virtual environment comprises a second room in the virtual world, the first virtual environment comprises a first instance of a virtual world, the second virtual environment comprises a second instance of the virtual world, and the first instance of the virtual world and the second instance of the virtual world share a common authentication system such that the second instance of the virtual world validates authentication credentials associated with the first user as part of the lump without requiring the first user to present authentication credentials to the second instance of the virtual world, or the first virtual environment comprises a first virtual world, the second virtual environment comprises a second virtual world, and the first virtual world and the second virtual world share a common authentication system such that the second virtual world validates authentication credentials associated with the first user as part of the lump, without requiring the first user to present authentication credentials to the second virtual world.

U.S. Patent No. 10,650,563: Tongue position tracking for facial animation


Issued May 12, 2020, to Binary VR, Inc. (assigned to Epic Games, Inc.)
Filed/Priority to July 26, 2018


So many jokes.... so little time.  Say ahhhh.......



Overview:

U.S. Patent No. 10,650,563 (the ‘563 patent) relates to adjustment of a 3D representation of a face based on images of a face, determining the length of a tongue. The ‘563 patent details receiving several images of a face containing a mouth, at least one of which shows the tongue extended out of the mouth and, from that, creating a digital representation where the tongue is a part of the face of the representation. Values and length are assigned to the tongue based on the amount of time the tongue sticks out of the mouth, the minimum being fully inside the mouth and the maximum being fully extended out of the mouth. The ‘563 patent could allow players in VR environments to have advanced facial representations, allowing them to even stick out their tongue in VR, potentially even directionally.

 

Abstract:

A method is provided that includes receiving, from a camera, a plurality of images representing a portion of a face containing a mouth. One or more images of the plurality of images depict a tongue extended out of the mouth. The method also includes determining, based on the plurality of images, an amount of time for which the tongue has been extended out of the mouth. The method additionally includes determining, based on the amount of time, a tongue length for a digital representation of the tongue. The digital representation of the tongue forms part of a digital representation of the face. The method further includes adjusting the digital representation of the face to have the digital representation of the tongue extend out of the mouth with the determined tongue length. The method yet further includes providing instructions to display the adjusted digital representation of the face.

 

Illustrative Claim:

  1. A method comprising: receiving, by a processor and from a camera, a plurality of images representing a portion of a face containing a mouth, wherein one or more images of the plurality of images depict a tongue extended out of the mouth; determining, by the processor, based on the plurality of images, an amount of time for which the tongue has been extended out of the mouth; determining, by the processor based on the amount of time for which the tongue has been extended out of the mouth, a tongue length for a digital representation of the tongue, wherein the digital representation of the tongue forms part of a digital representation of the face, and wherein the tongue length is proportional to the amount of time; adjusting, by the processor, the digital representation of the face to have the digital representation of the tongue extend out of the mouth with the determined tongue length; and providing, by the processor, instructions to display the digital representation of the face adjusted to have the digital representation of the tongue extend out of the mouth with the determined tongue length.

U.S. Patent No. 9,744,461: System and method for object weakpoint generation


Issued August 29, 2017, to Epic Games, Inc.
Filed: June 15, 2016 (claiming priority to June 3, 2014)


Ever wonder where you should hit something in game for maximum effect?  This patent could help.



Overview:

U.S. Patent No. 9,744,461 (the ‘461 patent) relates to dynamic generation of weak points and strong points on video game objects. The ‘461 patent details identifying, from the game camera, several points on the surface of a game object that a player is interacting with, comparing them, and finding the best point by distance and generating a strong point or a weak point at that point. The best point is selected through factors like least distance from the player and distance from the previous point. The strong or weak point is in relation to the object being struck by the player, resulting in non-destructive effect (like adding hit points or a buff to the object) or a destructive effect.

The ‘461 patent could allow for more varied resource gathering for players in games with lots of resource gathering, rather than hitting the same point over and over. This patent can also likely be seen exemplified in the popular game Fortnite, where a “Weakpoint Vision” upgrade provides players with an indicator which moves as the player hits the resource to be gathered. If the player hits the object on the indicator, quicker resource gathering is possible.

 

Abstract:

Systems and methods are provided for dynamic calculation of weakpoints in objects during gameplay. A player strikes an object and a weakpoint appears somewhere on the surface of the object. If the player strikes that weakpoint, the weakpoint disappears, and the amount of damage imparted to the object is some multiple (or factor) of the normal damage imparted. The player's camera position and direction is used to find points on the surface of the object that was struck. The position and direction of the player's camera is used to ensure that the player will be able to see any weakpoint that might be created. The points on the object are recorded. The recorded points are compared against each other and the best point is chosen based on certain criteria.

 

Illustrative Claims:

  1. A computer implemented method for dynamically generating a strongpoint on an object surface during computer gameplay, comprising: receiving, by at least one computer processor, a camera position and a direction of a player in a computer game based on a player interaction with an object; identifying, by the at least one computer processor, a plurality of points on a surface of the object based on information from the camera position towards the object; comparing, by the at least one computer processor, each of the plurality of points against one another; determining, by the at least one computer processor, a best point from the comparing, wherein the best point is chosen based on at least one of distance from a center of the player's screen, distance from any previous strongpoints, and direction of a normal of the surface struck by a physic trace; and generating, by the at least one computer processor, a strongpoint on the surface of the object based on the best point, wherein the strongpoint, when struck by the player, results in a non-destructive effect to the object.



  1. A computer implemented method for dynamically generating a weakpoint on an object surface during computer gameplay, comprising: receiving, by at least one computer processor, a calculation request for a weakpoint based on interaction by a player with an object during a computer game; determining, based on a profile associated with the player, by the at least one computer processor, one or more of a weakpoint, a weakpoint location, weakpoint number, and weakpoint chaining based on at least one of: a level associated with the player, a use of cheat codes by the player, and an assessment of the player's history with a genre or type associated with the computer game; calculating the weakpoint based on the determining.


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