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. 10,864,434: Simulation of multiple connected bodies for real-time application


Issued December 15, 2020, to Square Enix Ltd
Filed/Priority to February 27, 2018



Overview:


U.S. Patent No. 10,864,434 (the ‘434 patent) relates to simulating the movement of multiple, connected bodies in a video game in real-time. The ‘434 patent details a method of simulating the movement of connected bodies by receiving constraints associated with the physical properties of three or more bodies connected by a chord and running them through a loop of instructions for predicting the bodies' movements.


The state of the bodies including: position, linear velocity, angular velocity, mass, inertia tensor, and orientation of the bodies is received. External force or impulse parameters are also received, the external force parameters being indicative of external forces applied to the connected bodies at a current time step, and the external impulse parameters indicative of external impulses applied to the bodies. The tension experienced in the cord at the current time step based on the external force, impulse parameters, and a generated Jacobian matrix is determined and the state of the bodies for a next time step is updated based on that determination. Representations of the bodies and the cord at the next step are sent for display on a display device at the next time step based on the updated step. The ‘434 patent is a loop of instructions which could lower computing resources for real-time application of the movement of multiple bodies in a video game.


 


Abstract:


Embodiments relate to simulating the movements of three or more bodies connected on a cord for use in real-time videogame applications. The state of the bodies such as position, velocity, and orientation of the bodies connected by a cord are determined in single pass without iteration. For a given time step and the state of the bodies in the time step, the Jacobian matrix for the connected bodies is calculated. The, the tension in the cord is calculated based on the Jacobian matrix. From the tension, the state of the bodies for the next time step is obtained.


 


Illustrative Claim:



  1. A method of simulating movements of connected bodies, comprising: (a) receiving constraint parameters describing constraints associated with physical properties of three or more bodies connected by a cord, wherein the constraint parameters include a mass of the cord that is greater than zero; (b) receiving a state of the bodies including at least one of a position, linear velocity, angular velocity, mass, inertia tensor, and orientation of the bodies at a current time step; (c) receiving external force parameters or external impulse parameters, the external force parameters indicative of external forces applied to the connected bodies at the current time step, the external impulse parameters indicative of external impulses applied to the connected bodies at the current time step; (d) determining a Jacobian matrix for the connected bodies based on the constraint parameters and the state of the bodies for the current time step; (e) determining a tension experienced in the cord at the current time step based on the external force parameters or the external impulse parameters at the current time step and the Jacobian matrix; (f) updating the state of the bodies for a next time step subsequent to the current time step based on the determined tension at the current time step; and (g) sending for display, on a display device, representations of the bodies and the cord at the next time step based on the updated state, wherein each of steps (c) through (f) are performed only once for the current time step.


U.S. Patent No. 10,546,406: User Generated Character Animation


Issued January 28, 2020, to Activision Publishing Inc.
Filed/Priority to May 9, 2016



Overview:


U.S. Patent No. 10,546,406 (the ‘406 patent) relates to using player-made virtual characters, objects, or scenes in game animations. The ‘406 patent details a method of supplying video animation by first obtaining several poses of a virtual character from an image. The user provides several drawings, each showing the virtual character in the different poses. Several user-drawn poses of a virtual character and user-defined labels describing the drawings are extracted. Each of the drawings is the classified by the labels and ordered in a predefined animation sequence. Finally, the ‘406 patent displays an animation of the virtual character made out of the user’s drawings.


The ‘406 patent might be familiar as partially implemented in Skylanders: Imaginators, which encourages imagination in character creation for the game. The user creation abilities were ultimately limited to ensure child-appropriate content in the game, but there are some games that offer a mechanic similar to the ‘406 patent, such as Drawn to Life.


 


Abstract:


Images of user drawn virtual characters, virtual objects, or virtual scenes may be used in providing display of animations. The animations may be displayed over other images or in a virtual world of video game play.


 


Illustrative Claim:



  1. A method of providing a video animation, comprising: obtaining information of a plurality of poses of a virtual character by receiving an image of a scene taken by an imaging device; processing the image to extract: a plurality of user drawn visual representations of the virtual character from the image, and a plurality of user defined labels for the plurality of user drawn visual representations, wherein each of the plurality of user drawn visual representations shows the virtual character in one of the plurality of poses, and wherein each of the plurality of user defined labels is descriptive of one of the plurality of user drawn visual representations; classifying each of the plurality of user drawn visual representations using the extracted plurality of user defined labels; ordering, by a processor, at least some of the extracted plurality of user drawn visual representations in a predefined animation sequence of user drawn visual representations based on the classified plurality of user drawn visual representations; and displaying an animation of the virtual character on a display device, wherein the animation of the virtual character includes a display of the virtual character in the predefined animation sequence of user drawn visual representations.


U.S. Patent No. 10,714,111: Enhanced adaptive audio rendering techniques


Issued July 14, 2020, to Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC
Filed: January 16, 2019 (claiming priority to March 30, 2016)



Overview:


U.S. Patent No. 10,714,111 (the ‘111 patent) relates to enabling a system to select and use audio spatialization technology with an application programming interface (API). The ‘111 patent details a computing device which receives contextual data concerning how many audio objects the encoder communicating with the computing device is capable of handling, selects a spatialization technology for that number of audio objects, which causes the encoder to generate and communicate an output signal to one or more speakers. The computing device, with the ‘111 patent, potentially can handle spatial audio from several programs at once. The ‘111 patent could simplify spatial audio for video games, among other things, especially in instances where multiple applications are running spatial audio through multiple channels.


 


Abstract:


The techniques disclosed herein provide application programming interfaces (APIs) for enabling a system to select a spatialization technology. The APIs also enable a system to balance resources by allocating audio objects to a number of applications executing on a computer system. The system coordinates the audio objects between applications and each application can control the number of objects they individually generate. In some configurations, the system can also fold audio objects across different applications. Different spatialization technologies can be selected based on an analysis of contextual data and policy data. For instance, when a new headphone system is plugged in, the system may switch from Dolby Atmos to the Microsoft HoloLens HRTF spatialization technology. The system can dynamically control a number of generated audio objects and dynamically change a utilized spatialization technology based on changes to a computing environment.


 


Illustrative Claim:



  1. A computing device, comprising: a processor; a computer-readable storage medium in communication with the processor, the computer-readable storage medium having computer-executable instructions stored thereupon which, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to: receive contextual data indicating a number of audio objects associated with capabilities of an encoder in communication with the computing device; select a spatialization technology from a plurality of spatialization technologies, wherein individual spatialization technologies of the plurality of spatialization technologies are each associated with a threshold number of audio objects, wherein the selected spatialization technology is associated with the threshold number of objects that correlates with the number of audio objects associated with capabilities of the encoder; cause the encoder to generate a rendered output signal based on an input signal comprising object-based audio and channel-based audio processed by the selected spatialization technology; and cause a communication of the rendered output signal from the encoder to one or more speakers of an endpoint device.



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