U.S. Patent no. 9,533,229: Custom reward for viral help in game
Issued January 3, 2017 to Zynga Inc.
Priority Date June 29, 2012
U.S. Patent No. 9,533,229 (the ‘229 Patent) relates to creating custom rewards in a video game. In many games players are presented with tasks to complete. In such tasks the player may need to collect certain items to complete the request. In order to complete these tasks players may request help from other players. In return, the second player helping the first may be rewarded with the same item in return. However, if the second player does not need that specific item then a new system needs to be created that properly incentivizes this behavior. The ‘229 Patent describes a method where a petition for help from a player is detected. The second player is sent a notification of this request and upon performing the appropriate action then both players are rewarded with items they need to advance their respective games. This item could be rewarded via an in-game wishlist created by the player or by the system simply detecting which items are needed by the player to further progress in the game. This system provides incentives to players beyond simply being a good friend to the first player in need and properly rewards them for such behavior.
Methods, systems, and computer programs are presented for executing a game. One method includes an operation for detecting a petition for help from a first player to a second player to obtain a first game asset for the first player. The petition is sent to the second player notifying the second player that a game asset needed by the second player would be awarded to the second player for helping the first player. Further, the method includes operations for detecting that the second player has performed a game operation to help the first player based on the petition, and for determining a second game asset that the second player needs for making progress in the game in response to the game operation to help. After the determination, the second game asset is awarded to the second player.
1. A processor-implemented method for executing a game, the method comprising: obtaining, from a social network of a first player, a list of friends of the first player utilizing an application programming interface (API) to access the social network; receiving, from the first player, a selection of a second player from the list of friends; receiving, from the first player, a command to send a request via the social network to the selected second player, the request being a petition for help in the game to obtain a first game asset for the first player; sending the petition to be posted in the social network of the second player to notify the second player that an unspecified game asset is to be awarded to the second player for helping the first player; detecting, by the processor executing the game, that the second player has performed a game operation to help the first player based on the petition; selecting, according to selection rules by a game wish manager, a second game asset from a wish list of the second player to be the unspecified game asset, the wish list including game assets pre-identified by the second player, the wish list managed by the game wish manager and stored on a wish list database; and awarding the second game asset to the second player in the game as determined by the game wish manager to enable completion of an incomplete quest, wherein operations of the method are executed by a processor.