U.S. Patent No. 9,409,083: Spawning new timelines during game session replay

Issued August 9, 2017, to Amazon Technologies, Inc.
Priority date: June 27, 2014


Traditionally, to restart a multiplayer session requires that all the players begin anew. For co-op multiplayer games, restarting means starting from a point designated by the level designers. Restarting from a designated point can become frustrating when fighting a challenging boss. U.S. Patent No. 9,409,083 (the ‘083 Patent) describes an alternative method. Every gaming session is recorded by a game using the ‘083 Patent system. If the players were to die, the game would use the record to show the players a replay of their last session. The players can watch the replay and see the exact moment where things went wrong. Players can then decide to “step in” and start a new session from that point, creating a new timeline or universe that diverges from the original game session. The new (altered) gaming session will create a new record from which players can repeat the process.

A game system in which game sessions involving one or more players may be recorded and saved as game records. A previously recorded game session may be selected and replayed. However, in addition to providing a static replay of the game session, the game system may allow one or more players to step into and assume control of respective game characters at any point during the replay of the game session. When a player steps into and takes control of game a character during the playback, a new timeline is spawned from the original timeline with potentially different outcomes, and a new game record corresponding to the new timeline is generated and stored.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A system, comprising; one or more computing devices configured to implement a game system configured to: store game records comprising previously played game sessions, each game session involving one or more game characters acting within a game universe along a game session timeline; receive selection input from one of one or more client devices, said selection input selecting one of the stored game records for playback; begin playback of the game session as recorded in the selected game record to at least one client device; receive game input from a game client instance on one of the one or more client devices, said game input causing an action by one of the one or more game characters within the game universe; and in response to said game input, spawn a new game session timeline from the game session timeline as recorded in the selected game record and generate a new game record for the new game session timeline.