Title:
Skill enhanced electronic redemption pinball machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The program, in conjunction with physical modifications to the pinball game, was developed to modify the subject machine to accept US Dollars, with coin acceptance also being possible. A series of timed dollar bill validator or coin mechanism pulses transfers inserted money amounts to a microprocessor that stores the pulses in memory. The program accesses the memory and displays the pulses as “Paid Credits”, a new category. Pulses can be configured to any monetary pulse combination desired, with the most common configuration being $1.00 equal to 20 credits, with each credit having a value of $0.05. The programming, containing two (2) options for the machine operator, permits the owner of the machine to select either (a) the separation of credits that are won from credits that are paid for or (b) the combining the credits that are won along with credits that are paid for in jurisdiction in which the same is legally permissible.



Inventors:
Armstrong, John Marshall (Lexington, SC, US)
Armstrong, John Garrett (Lexington, SC, US)
Application Number:
09/977938
Publication Date:
06/12/2003
Filing Date:
12/12/2001
Assignee:
ARMSTRONG JOHN MARSHALL
ARMSTRONG JOHN GARRETT
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G07F17/38; A63F7/02; (IPC1-7): A63F7/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RADA, ALEX P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Marshall, Armstrong (367 Mill Stream Rd., Lexington, SC, 29072, US)
Claims:
1. What we claim as our invention is the alteration to the electronic redemption pinball machine, separating credits that are won from credit that are paid for.

2. What we claim as our invention is the alteration to the electronic redemption pinball machine in which the program of the machine permits the owner of the machine to select either (a) the separation of credits that are won from credits that are paid for or (b) the combining the credits that are won along with credits that are paid for in jurisdiction in which the same is legally permissible.

3. What we claim as our invention is the alteration to the electronic redemption pinball machine in which the program of the machine permits the owner of the machine to select either (a) the separation of credits that are won from credits that are paid for or (b) the combining the credits that are won along with credits that are paid for in jurisdiction in which the same is legally permissible, along with the installation and coordination of the program to accommodate an electronic flipper assembly to enhance skill, and including the installation of a fabricated metal security box containing a dollar bill validator and electronic printer.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] NOT APPLICABLE.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSOREDRESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] NOT APPLICABLE.

REFERENCE TO MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] NO APPENDIX NECESSARY.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The invention pertains to the field of computer programming contained within existing electronic redemption pinball machines The inventor encountered difficulties in several jurisdictions regarding the legality of operating electronic redemption pinball machines in which the credits “won” by the successful play of the machine are commingled with the credit received when money was deposited into the machine (the “paid” credits). In certain jurisdictions, it is legally preferable to have the “won” credits and “paid” credits separated into distinct classifications so as to not be classified as “free replays”, which, in some jurisdictions, may be illegal to operate.

[0005] Additionally, the inventors, wanting to increase the skill of the game and/or the player's control over the operation of the game, devised a system to utilize an electronic flipper in which the player has the determination as to the pattern of the balls in play.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The invention modifies the electronic redemption pinball machine to separate the “won” credits and “paid” credits into distinct categories, thereby eliminating the “free replay” feature concerns encountered by the inventors in certain jurisdictions. The inventors also enhanced the skill of the game with the installation and coordination of the electronic flipper to enhance the player's control over the outcome of the game, thereby opening the game to new jurisdictions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] No drawings are necessary.

[0008] The following concepts are incorporated in an existing electronic pinball game in order to add new skill features and enhance existing features.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The Program

[0009] The program, in conjunction with physical modifications to the pinball game, was developed to modify the subject machine to accept US Dollars, with coin acceptance also being possible. A series of timed dollar bill validator or coin mechanism pulses transfers inserted money amounts to a microprocessor that stores the pulses in memory. The program accesses the memory and displays the pulses as “Paid Credits”, a new category. Pulses can be configured to any monetary pulse combination desired, with the most common configuration being $1.00 equal to 20 credits, with each credit having a value of $0.05.

[0010] In the first version of the program the play of the machine may only be initiated by using “paid credits”. Another category, labeled “won credits”, was also established to account for any credits won by the player through the play of the machine. Through this process, there is a strict accounting of credits paid and won by the player and limits are placed on what the player can do with each amount. If insufficient “paid credits” remain to begin play, more money must be inserted to begin play, even if sufficient “won credits” are available. “Won credits” must be used to play additional balls within a game prior to being able to use any “paid credits” for this purpose. Remaining “won credits” are electronically transferred to a ticket dispenser or printer at the player's option when play is complete.

[0011] The second version of the program works as described above, but combines both “paid credits” and “won credits” into a new category labeled “credits”. This allows the Machine to start a new game if sufficient “credits” remain, regardless of whether such credits are paid for or have been won. The player has the option of electronically transferring the “credits” to the ticket dispenser or printer when play is complete.

The Machine

[0012] The machine has been adapted to accommodate electro mechanical flippers that players may use to alter the course of the balls on the playfield of the game. The flipper is mounted in the existing playfield of the machine and powered by a separate power supply, with the engagement button being installed at the upper, front, right side of the body of the machine. Additionally, the cabinet of the machine has been altered to include a metal cabinet, mounted to the front of the floor of the machine, next to the machines main door, to house the dollar bill acceptor as well as the printer or ticket dispenser, which have both been wired into the machine's hardware.

The Display

[0013] The “back glass” of the machine has been altered to reflect the two (2) versions of the Program, with the first version having “paid credits” and “won credits” while the second version has only “credits”.