U.S. Patent no. 9,656,170: Game apparatus

Issued May 23, 2017 to Kabushiki Kaisha Square Enix
Priority Date June 27, 2013

U.S. Patent No. 9,656,170 (the ‘170 Patent) relates to progression in a video game where a player character fights a virtual battle with a powerful enemy character. The current invention attempts to solve issues in role-playing video games associated with these character progression battles. The ‘170 Patent attempts to increase the realism and engagement with the game by increasing the variation in results of these battles. Reproducing the same actions will not necessarily reach the same result every time. This increases the difficulty and tension of the battle as the player struggles to overcome the enemy. A player may interact with an in-game object during this battle and it could have an effect on the player’s chances of winning the battle. For example, in a battle with an enemy dragon a player could drag a nearby chain to interact with the monster that would allow for an improved chance at victory. This chance at victory can be expressed using a gauge that displays on the screen which changes throughout the battle depending on the character’s actions. The game apparatus and controlling computer system would work together to increase realism and engagement with games thereby improving the end product overall.

The present invention provides a game apparatus in which the variation width of a computation result in a battle between a player character and an enemy character is increased, and a difference in result can be brought about even with the same attack by a player’s operation, and furthermore, a player can play a game while he/she feels the sense of realism and tension where he/she manipulates the character that is difficult to manipulate as intended. A chain used by a main character to manipulate a dragon is displayed on a display screen. A player manipulates the dragon by loosening or tightening the chain by performing an operation on a touch panel. The control level of the dragon is represented by an uncontrollability parameter. A status such as the offensive power of the dragon changes according to the uncontrollability parameter.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A game apparatus for progressing a game in which a player character does a virtual battle with an enemy character, the player character being a subject for operation performed by a player, the game apparatus comprising: a display; an input for receiving an operating instruction performed by the player; a processor; and a memory including a set of instructions that, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to perform operations including: determining a predetermined threshold, according to an item owned or carried by the player character or by a second player character being a companion of the player character; changing a parameter of the player character, according to the operating instruction received by the input from the player; specifying a status of the player character, based on a magnitude relation between the parameter changed by the changing and the predetermined threshold determined by the determining; and progressing the game according to the status of the player character specified by the specifying, wherein the player character controls a model character during the virtual battle with the enemy character, and the operating instruction manipulates the model character by the player character.