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Title:
Golf game system and method thereof
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and method for playing a golf game. A user is allotted with an ability value for the golf game, and a swing gauge for determining a movement direction of a ball is adjusted on the basis of the ability value allotted to the user. The golf game is processed by determining a movement direction of a golf ball on the basis of a signal received according to the user's manipulation of the swing gauge, and moving the ball toward the determined movement direction on the basis of a flight distance according to the ability value and the user's manipulation of the swing gauge. A score is yielded on the basis of a final position of the ball according to a shot played by the user and of the number of strokes taken by the user. A result of the golf game is determined according to the score, and ability points capable of adjusting the ability value according to the result of the golf game are selectively allotted to the user. Accordingly, the user can adjust the ability value which influences the user's rate of winning the golf game using the ability points allotted according to the result of the golf game, thereby enhancing the enjoyment of the golf game.


Inventors:
Cho, Sung Jun (Seoul, KR)
Park, Jin Hong (Seoul, KR)
Lee, Chae Yeong (Seoul, KR)
Kang, In Ho (Seoul, KR)
Application Number:
11/515128
Publication Date:
03/15/2007
Filing Date:
09/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/36; A63B67/02
View Patent Images:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNOBBE MARTENS OLSON & BEAR LLP (2040 MAIN STREET, FOURTEENTH FLOOR, IRVINE, CA, 92614, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of playing a golf game, the method comprising: a) allotting an ability value; b) adjusting an input parameter on the basis of the allotted ability value; c) determining a flight distance and location of a golf ball in response to receiving an input corresponding to the adjusted input parameter; and d) determining a result based on the number of strokes, and selectively allotting ability points capable of adjusting the ability value.

2. The method of claim 1, the method further comprising: e) receiving request to adjust the ability value according to the allotted ability points, and adjusting the ability value in response to the request.

3. The method of claim 1, the method further comprising: e) receiving a request to vary a level for adjusting the ability value according to the allotted ability points, and varying the level; f) allotting an extra ability value corresponding to the varied level; and g) adjusting the ability value based, at least in part, on the extra ability value.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein step d) comprises yielding a score on the basis of at least a final position of the ball and the number of strokes, and determining the result according to the score.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein step d) comprises determining a win or loss of a golf game according to the score, and allotting the ability points based on determining a win or loss.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the input parameter comprises a swing gauge.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the ability value comprises at least one of power for adjusting the flight distance of the ball, swing safety of the shot, swing accuracy of the shot, and crisis management ability.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the ability value is comprised of individually adjustable components.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein the swing safety or the swing accuracy value is decreased when the power or the crisis management ability value is increased, and the swing safety or the swing accuracy value is increased when the power or the crisis management ability value is decreased.

10. The method of claim 6, wherein the swing gauge comprises an impact zone indicating a position for hitting the ball toward a hole, and a scroll bar moving within the swing gauge; moving the swing gauge from a preset start position according to a first manipulation signal, recording a first position of the moving scroll bar according to a second manipulation signal, and recording a second position of the scroll bar on the swing gauge according to a third manipulation signal; and the step c) comprises determining the flight distance of the ball according to the first recorded position of the scroll bar and the ability value, and determining movement direction of the ball according to the second recorded position.

11. The method of claim 7, wherein a movement speed of a scroll bar of the swing gauge is varied according to the swing safety, a width of an impact zone of the swing gauge is varied according to the swing accuracy, and a length of the swing gauge is varied according to the crisis management ability.

12. The method of claim 6, further comprising: providing a plurality of characters each having an ability value, and a plurality of golf clubs each having a request ability value; receiving a selection from the plurality of characters; receiving a selection from the plurality of golf clubs; and adjusting the swing gauge on the basis of an application ability value associated with the golf club, and determining the flight distance and location of the ball based on the application ability value of the golf club and manipulation of the swing gauge.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising: allowing selection of the golf club when the ability value of the character of satisfies the request ability value of the golf club.

14. A system for playing a golf game, comprising: an ability value applier configured to adjust a swing gauge according to an ability value; a shot processor configured to determine a movement direction of a golf ball on the basis of a received signal corresponding to a manipulation of the swing gauge, and moving the ball toward the determined movement direction based on at least a flight distance according to the ability value and the received signal; an evaluator configured to determine a result based on, at least, a final ball position and a number of strokes; a point provider configured to provide ability points based on the determined result; and a determiner configured to adjust the ability value based on, at least, the provided ability points.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein the determiner further comprises: a level adjuster configured to vary a level according to the provided ability points for adjustment of the ability value according to the varied level.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the determiner further comprises: an adjustment value checking module configured to check an adjustment value determined by the level adjuster; and an ability value adjusting module configured to adjust the ability value based on at least the adjustment value.

17. The system of claim 15, wherein: the ability value comprises at least one parameter selected from a power, swing safety, swing accuracy, and crisis management ability; and the determiner varies the parameters of the ability value in opposite directions according to the adjustment value.

18. The system according to claim 14, wherein: the swing gauge comprises an impact zone indicating a region for hitting the ball toward a hole, and a scroll bar moving on the swing gauge; and the ability value applier further comprises: a movement module configured to control movement and stopping of the scroll bar according to a received manipulation signal; a zone adjusting module configured to adjust a width of the impact zone according to the ability value; and a length adjusting module configured to adjust the length of the swing gauge according to the ability value.

19. The system according to claim 15, further comprising a game processing database configured to match and store the ability value, the level, and the ability points.

20. The system according to claim 14, wherein the system is connected to at least one user terminal through a network, and provides a golf game service to the user terminal.

21. The system according to claim 14, wherein the system provides an offline golf game service.

22. A storage medium configured to store instructions that are executed by a computer to perform a method, comprising: a) allotting an ability value; b) adjusting, based on the allotted ability value, an input parameter; c) determining the flight path of a golf ball according to a received input signal corresponding to manipulation of the adjusted parameter; d) yielding a score based at least on a final position of the ball and a number of strokes; and e) determining a result of a golf game according to the score and selectively allotting ability points capable of adjusting the ability value.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of PCT/KR2005/000614, filed Mar. 4, 2005, which claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2004-0014671 filed Mar. 4, 2004. The disclosures of these prior applications are considered part of, and are incorporated by reference herein, the disclosure of this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(a) Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a system and method for playing a game, and more particularly to a system and method for playing a golf game.

(b) Description of the Related Art

With the development and spread of communication networks, the Internet user population has been rapidly increasing, and a variety of web contents such as electronic commercial transactions, portals, games, etc. are being provided in line with the growth of the Internet.

Online games played over the Internet are becoming more popular day by day with a focus on the younger generation. Such online games may include arcade games, role-playing games, strategic simulation games, shooting games, sports games such as car racing games and golf games, adventure games, and so on.

Among these games, the golf game in particular has traditionally been considered as exclusive to the upper class. However, nowadays, the golf game is becoming popular among the lower class due to steady extension. Thus, an increasing number of web sites provide online golf games.

In the conventional online golf game, a golf course is displayed on a two- or three-dimensional screen, a golf club is selected, and power (flight distance), ball direction, ball rotation (hook, slice, etc.), etc., are adjusted to determine the final position of the ball. Recently, golf games are being modeled on actual golf courses, and thus provide users acquainted with the game to feel a sense of intimacy while enabling users unacquainted with but interested in golf to learn about the game (e.g. the position of hazards such as bunkers, how to master the green, etc.)

However, the conventional online golf game has a disadvantage in that it is dependent upon manipulation of keys (or a mouse) alone and is independent of the actual golfing ability of the user, and thus the game can become dull.

In order to enhance the enjoyment of the game, varying a length of a power gauge for regulating a shot has been proposed. This proposal is disclosed in Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2003-71131, in which the length of the power gauge is varied according to turf, weather, number of shots, handicap, bunker, rough, and so on. However, this proposal has the drawback that, while taking into account surrounding circumstances, the game still does not reflect the ability of the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A system for playing a golf game according to the present invention is adapted to reflect the user's ability to play the golf game, aside from the user's skill at key manipulation, thereby further promoting enjoyment of the golf game.

In particular, an ability value of the user can be adjusted according to a level that reflects the ability of the user to accurately move the ball in the golf game.

According to an aspect of the present invention, a method for playing a golf game is provided. The method includes the acts of allotting to a user an ability value, adjusting an input parameter on the basis of the allotted ability value, performing the golf game by determining a flight distance and location of a golf ball in response to receiving the user's input corresponding to the adjusted parameter, and determining a result on the basis of the number of strokes taken by the user and selectively allotting to the user ability points capable of adjusting the ability value. The input parameter can include a swing gauge for adjusting a movement direction and distance of a golf ball on the basis of the ability value allotted to the user. The method can further include the acts of receiving a user request to vary a level for adjusting the ability value of the user according to the allotted ability points, and varying the level, allotting to the user an extra ability value corresponding to the varied level, and adjusting the ability value of the user according to the extra ability value.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a system for playing a golf game is provided. The system includes an ability value applier for adjusting a swing gauge for playing a shot according to an ability value allotted to a user, a shot processor for determining a movement direction of a golf ball on the basis of a signal received according to the user's manipulation of the swing gauge, and moving the ball toward the determined movement direction on the basis of a flight distance according to the ability value and the user's manipulation of the swing gauge, an evaluator for determining a result according to a final position where the ball moves and the number of strokes taken by the user, a point provider for providing the user with ability points depending on the determined result, and an ability value determiner for adjusting the ability value of the user corresponding to the provided ability points.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, a recording medium storing a program is provided. The recording medium storing the program includes a function of allotting to a user an ability value for a golf game, a function of adjusting, based on the allotted ability value, an input parameter for determining a flight path a golf ball, a function of processing the golf game by determining the flight path of the golf ball according to a received input signal corresponding to the user's manipulation of the adjusted parameter, a function of yielding a score on the basis of a final position of the ball according to a shot played by the user and of the number of strokes taken by the user, and a function of determining a result of the golf game according to the score and selectively allotting to the user ability points capable of adjusting the ability value.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a structure of a system for playing a golf game according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a detailed structure of the components shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a swing gauge according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a flowchart of an overall method for a golf game according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are detailed overall flowcharts of a method for a golf game according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 shows a screen for playing a golf game according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 shows a structure of a system for playing a golf game according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, the most exemplary embodiment that can be easily practiced by any person having ordinary knowledge in the technical field to which the present invention belongs will be described in more detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. This invention may, however, be embodied in different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiment set forth herein.

In a system for playing a golf game according to an embodiment of the present invention, an ability value of a user is adjusted and used to play the golf game. Ability points are assigned to the user in order to adjust the user's ability value. A level for adjusting the ability value varies according to the ability points and the ability value may be differentially adjusted with respect to each level. Parameters indicating the ability value may include, but are not limited to, power at determining a flight distance of a golf ball, swing safety and accuracy at determining a direction of hitting the ball, crisis management ability corresponding to coping with difficulty when the ball falls into a hazard such as a bunker, and so forth.

Further, users can vary their own levels according to the ability points, wherein the levels can be divided into, for example, beginner, junior-amateur, amateur, junior-pro, semi-pro, pro, and master. The plurality of levels allows the users to take a more active part in the game in order to challenge the best golfer. These levels may be varied either through a separate test for promotion or according to the ability points of the user.

The ability points may be assigned in various methods, particularly, according to relationships between users in the embodiments of the present invention. For example, when the golf game is played by a plurality of users, a predetermined number of ability points are allotted to the winner of the game. Further, when the golf game is played between a user and the system, a predetermined number of ability points are allotted to the user only if the user wins the game. In addition, the ability points may be differentially allotted according to either a score difference between users or a score of each user after playing the game.

The detailed structure and operation of a system for playing a golf game based on this concept, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, will now be described.

The structure of a system for playing a golf game according to an embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. A system 100 provides a golf game service to users through a network such as the Internet. As shown in FIG. 1, the system 100 is connected to a plurality of user terminals 300 through a network 200 (which can be any of various types of networks such as a telephone network, the Internet, a wireless communication network, etc.)

Each of the user terminals 300 refers to communication equipment capable of providing access to the system 100 through the network 200. For example, the communication equipment may be a wired phone, a mobile communication terminal, a computer, or a television (TV) that can get access to the Internet, and so forth. Therefore, the user can conveniently and rapidly access the system 100 by using at least one of a PC communication network, the Internet, wireless Internet, a telephone network, and so on.

The system 100 that is connected to the user terminals 300 to provide the golf game service to the plurality of users is composed of a database server 10, a processing server 20, and an interface server 30.

The database server 10 includes a user database 11, a character database 12, a golf club database 13, a game processing database 14, and a background database 15.

The user database 11 stores information on users to whom service can be provided through the system 100, according to the present embodiment of the present invention. For example, the information may include a password for login corresponding to identification assigned to the user (a user ID), a resident registration number (or social security number), a user name, a postal address, an e-mail address, a contact (a mobile phone number or land line number, etc.), and so forth.

The character database 12 stores information on numerous groups of characters provided in the system according to the embodiment of the present invention, particularly a feature and an ability value of each member of the respective groups. For example, the information may include a description of the features associated with each member of the respective groups, and a basic ability value of each member. Here, the ability value basically allotted to each character may be different. In other words, a value indicating power, swing safety, swing accuracy, and crisis management ability that are basically allotted to each character may differ from character to character. For instance, a character1 may have the ability value characterized by a long flight distance and poor swing safety or accuracy. A character2 may have the ability value characterized by a short flight distance and good swing safety or accuracy. In this manner, users can enjoy the golf game while taking the role of any of the characters having different abilities.

The golf club database 13 stores information on golf clubs used for the golf game. The golf clubs are sorted into a driver, woods, irons, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, a putter, and so on. In addition, different features, i.e., ability values applied when the golf clubs are actually used, may be stored according to each set consisting of the plurality of golf clubs.

The game processing database 14 stores information allotted while each user plays the game. For example, the information may include a character identification number selected by each user, accumulated ability points, a level, an ability value based on the level, and so on.

The background database 15 stores information on each golf course provided in the golf game service according to the embodiment of the present invention. The information may include data on where a tee, a hole, a green, a fairway, a hazard (e.g. a bunker), a rough, etc. are located, data that establishes a background (trees, stones, water, rocks, etc.), and so forth.

The processing server 20, providing the golf game service to the users on the basis of the information stored in the database server 10, is composed of a user register 21, a point provider 22, a level adjuster 23, an ability value determiner 24, an ability value applier 24, a screen processor 26, a shot processor 27, and an evaluator 28.

The user register 21 not only performs membership registration of numerous users, but also performs authentication of users who are getting access on the basis of the information stored in the user database 11.

The point provider 22 provides users with ability points for increasing levels, and in particular, provides users with a predetermined number of ability points according to the result of a game. The level adjuster 23 increases/decreases the level by being capable of adjusting the ability value of the user on the basis of the ability points of the user, and provides each of the levels with an extra ability value for adjusting the ability value.

The ability value determiner 24 determines the ability value composed of the parameters, such as power, swing safety, swing accuracy, crisis management, etc. These parameters determine distance, direction, etc. of the ball when the character selected by the user plays a shot using the golf club. The ability value determiner 24 also takes into account an ability adjustment value, which the user selects to adjust the ability value, on the basis of his/her own level, the character that the user selects, etc.

FIG. 2 shows detailed structures of the ability value determiner 24, the ability value applier 25, and the shot processor 27 according to the embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIG. 2, the ability value determiner 24 includes an adjustment value checking module 241 for checking an adjustment value selected according to the user's level, a character ability checking module 242 for checking the ability value that is basically allotted to the character selected by the user, and an ability value adjusting module 243 for determining the ability value of the user that is applied when playing a shot according to the adjustment value and the basic ability value of the character. In the embodiment described below, the ability value adjusting module 243 increases or decreases the ability value applied when the corresponding character plays a shot, that is, the value indicating the parameters of power, swing safety, swing accuracy, and crisis management ability, according to the adjustment value input by the user. In particular, when the user increases the power or the crisis management ability, the ability value is adjusted in a direction of decreasing the swing safety and the swing accuracy.

The ability value applier 25 includes a distance adjusting module 251 for determining a flight distance that the ball moves by playing a shot, according to the user's ability value (especially the power) determined by the ability value determiner 24 and the user's manipulation of a swing gauge, a movement module 252 for adjusting a movement speed of the swing gauge (i.e. of a scroll bar moving on the swing gauge) according to the user's ability value (especially, the swing safety), a zone adjusting module 253 for adjusting the width of an impact zone according to the user's ability value (especially the swing accuracy), and a length adjusting module 254 for adjusting the length of the swing gauge according to the user's ability value (especially the crisis management ability).

Here, the swing gauge is for adjusting the distance and direction of the ball shot by the user to thereby determine a position etc. at which the ball stops. For example, the swing gauge may be provided in a band form as illustrated in FIG. 3. FIG. 3 illustrates a swing gauge displayed on a screen according to the embodiment of the present invention.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, a swing gauge g is provided with an impact zone IZ for determining a direction and rotation of the ball traveling in the air based on swing accuracy, wherein the impact zone IZ is on the right side of FIG. 3. The impact zone IZ includes a timing point P indicating a best shot around the middle thereof. A scroll bar B on the gauge g begins to move from a start position S in the direction of the arrow, arrives in the vicinity of the maximum left position T, and then returns to the impact zone IZ. At this time, when a signal caused by user manipulation is input after the scroll bar B begins to move, the position of the scroll bar B is instantaneously recorded. The distance the ball travels by playing a shot (i.e., the flight distance) is determined according to the recorded position of the scroll bar B.

Next, when the user manipulation is carried out while the scroll bar B moves to the maximum left position T and then returns toward the start position S, the scroll bar B is stopped at a certain position. The direction and/or rotation of the traveling ball are determined according to the stop position of the scroll bar B. For example, the scroll bar B begins to move from the start position S according to a first user manipulation. A current position of the scroll bar B (hereinafter, referred to as a “record position”) is recorded according to a second user manipulation, and the scroll bar B is stopped according to a third user manipulation.

Then, the shot is played according to the stop position of the scroll bar B, and thus the ball moves by the flight distance determined according to the record position of the scroll bar B, in a predetermined direction, and is located there. At this time; when the scroll bar B is stopped at the timing point P of the impact zone IZ, this is, for example, the best shot. When the scroll bar is stopped within the impact zone IZ, this is a normal shot. And when the scroll bar is stopped beyond the impact zone IZ, this is a missed shot.

Further, the flight distance according to the ability value allotted to the user may be varied according to the record position of the scroll bar B. For example, when the record position of the scroll bar B is the maximum left position T of the swing gauge in FIG. 3, the flight distance according to the ability value of the user is applied at a rate of 100%. As the record position of the scroll bar B becomes farther removed from the maximum left position T, the rate at which the ability value is applied to determine the flight distance may be reduced. In FIG. 3, at each of positions PL1 to PL4, the rate at which the ability value is applied to determine the flight distance is different, but these positions are not always indicated on the swing gauge.

Further, in order to make the golf game interesting, the user is allowed to more easily stop the scroll bar at a desired position in such a manner that, as the swing safety of the user's ability value parameters becomes higher, a speed at which the scroll bar moves on the swing gauge is decreased. In addition, as the swing accuracy becomes higher, the width of the impact zone of the swing gauge is increased such that the user is allowed to more easily position the scroll bar within the impact zone.

Meanwhile, the screen processor 26 reads and processes the corresponding data from the background database according to the golf course set by selection of the user, to thereby form a course and a background of the game screen, or displays a locus etc. of the movement of the ball or swing gauge according to a signal output from the ability value applier 25 or shot processor 27.

The shot processor 27 includes a manipulation position detecting module 271 for detecting the record and stop positions of the scroll bar of the swing gauge according to the user manipulation signal input through the interface server 30, and a ball positioning module 272 for moving the ball according to the detected positions and the ability value (flight distance) determined by the ability value applier 25. Meanwhile, the screen processor 26 displays, on a screen, the movement locus of the ball according to the ball's position set by the positioning module 272.

Further, the interface server 30 performs a function of permitting the plurality of user terminals 300 to gain access through the network 200 (particularly, the Internet or wireless Internet), a function of translating various information provided through the processing server 20 to be compatible with a communication standard and providing the translated information to the plurality of user terminals 300, and a function of receiving information transmitted from the plurality of user terminals 300 through the network 200 and providing the received information to the processing servers 20 and 40. In particular, the interface server 30 receives a key signal (or mouse manipulation signal) input by user manipulation for the golf game and provides the received signal to the processing sever 20. The interface server 30 may include database interworking equipment (e.g., a common gateway interface (CGI)) for transmitting and receiving information to and from a web server or other systems.

In the above-described system for playing a golf game according to the embodiment of the present invention, the servers 10, 20, and 30 are sorted according to their functions. However, the servers are not restricted to such sorting and may be modified in various ways within the scope of the present invention.

Further, the processing server 20 may selectively include components, if necessary, which each serve as an independent server to process corresponding functions. Further, the processing server 20 and the databases 11 to 15 are not restricted to being sorted as described above.

Hereinafter, an operation of the system for playing a golf game based on this structure in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention will be described.

FIG. 4 schematically shows an overall operation for processing the golf game according to the embodiment of the present invention. Here, processing of the golf game will be described under the assumption that a user is a beginner and thus is not allotted any ability points for increasing a level.

First, as shown in the attached FIG. 4, a user gaining access to the golf game system 100 through the network may play the golf game alone or together with one or more other users. After selecting a kind of the golf game, the user can select a character for the golf game. Further, the user can select any one of numerous golf courses (S10).

When the character is selected, the ability value determiner 24 checks an ability value allotted to the selected character from the character database 11, and then the ability value applier 25 adjusts a swing gauge according to the checked ability value (S15 and S20). In other words, the ability value applier 25 adjusts a movement speed of the scroll bar of the swing gauge according to the swing safety of the ability value parameters, and adjusts the width of an impact zone according to the swing accuracy. Further, the ability value applier 25 adjusts the length of the swing gauge according to the crisis management ability.

Then, when the user manipulates the swing gauge to play a shot, the shot processor 27 processes the golf game by moving the ball in a movement direction determined according to the manipulation of the swing gauge, on the basis of a flight distance according to the manipulation of the swing gauge and the basic ability value of the user (S25). And, the evaluator 28 yields a score of the golf game based on a final position of the ball according to a shot played by the user (S30).

Thereafter, when the game is finished, the evaluator 28 determines win or loss of the game according to the final score of the user, and the point provider 22 selectively endows the user with ability points capable of adjusting the ability value according to the user's win or loss of the golf game (S35, S40, and S45).

The user can request to adjust the level according to the ability points. At such a request, the ability value determiner 24 varies the level for adjusting the ability value of the user, and endows the user with the extra ability value corresponding to the varied level. When the user requests adjustment of the ability value, the ability value determiner 24 varies the ability value of the user based on the extra ability value allotted to the user (S50).

Thereafter, when the user requests a new golf game, the ability value determiner 24 adjusts the swing gauge based on the new ability value to play the golf game (S55), and terminates the golf game when there is no separate request for the golf game (S60).

In this manner, the embodiment of the present invention can adjust the ability value exerting an influence upon a winning average of the golf game on the basis of the ability points allotted according to the result of the golf game, making the golf game more fun.

Next, components of the golf game system on the basis of which the golf game is performed will be described in detail.

FIGS. 5A and 5B are flowcharts showing in detail a method for playing a golf game in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention.

As set forth above, when the user selects the character as well as the golf course, a screen that displays the selected golf course as the background as well as the selected character taking a stance ready to play a shot is provided to the user terminal 300 by the screen processor 26 as shown in FIG. 5A(S100 and S110). FIG. 6 shows the screen in which the character plays a shot.

Meanwhile, the character ability checking module 242 of the ability value determiner 24 checks the basic ability value of the character selected by the user from the character database 12 (S130). For example, the basic ability value allotted to the character may be: 10 for the power, 100 for the swing safety, 100 for the swing accuracy, and 10 for the crisis management ability. In this case, the power and crisis management ability are provided to the minimum extent, and the swing safety and the swing accuracy are provided to a high extent. As a result, a flight distance is short and crisis management ability is low, but the swing gauge moves at a slow speed and the impact zone is wide. Accordingly, even a beginner can play the golf game without difficulty.

Next, the zone adjusting module 253 of the ability value applier 25 adjusts the width of the impact zone according to the swing accuracy basic ability value allotted to the character of the user, and the length adjusting module 254 of the ability value applier 25 adjusts the length of the swing gauge according to the crisis management ability value (S140 and S150).

Then, when the user selects a desired golf club to input a first manipulation signal for a shot, the movement module 252 begins to move a scroll bar of the swing gauge from a start position at a movement speed according to a swing safety value of basic ability value parameter values of the character (S160 and S170). Subsequently, when the user inputs a second manipulation signal, the manipulation position detecting module 271 detects and records a position (record position) of the scroll bar at the exact time when the second manipulation signal is input (S180 and S190). Thus, the distance adjusting module 251 of the ability value applier 25 finally determines the flight distance and the actual movement distance of the ball, according to the record position and the flight distance determined for the user by the ability value determiner 24 (S200). For example, assuming that the flight distance according to the ability value of the user is 100, the flight distance is set to 100 when the record position corresponds to 100%, and is set to 50 when the record position corresponds to 50%.

Next, when the user inputs a third manipulation signal, the moving scroll bar is stopped. The manipulation position detecting module 271 detects a stop position of the scroll bar. The ball positioning module 272 moves the ball by the flight distance determined finally by the distance adjusting module 251, in a direction based on the detected stop position. A movement locus traveled by the ball through the air is displayed by the screen processor 26, and the ball moves the flight distance in the determined direction and then comes to a stop (S210, S220, S230, and S240).

The golf game is processed according to the operation described above. As shown in FIG. 5B, the evaluator 28 keeps score of the golf game (counts the number of strokes the user takes to finish each hole of the golf course), and determines win or loss of the golf game based on the final score when the golf game is finished (S250, S260, and S270).

After the golf game is finished, when the user is determined to be the winner, the point provider 22 provides ability points to the user (S280). The user can increase his/her level through the provided ability points. When a request for level increase is made by the user (or is automatically made), the level adjuster 23 checks the ability points of the user stored in the game processing database 14. If the user has enough ability points to go up in level, the level adjuster 23 increases the level of the user by one level, and provides the extra ability value capable of adjusting the ability value parameters (S290 to S320). Thus, the user can adjust the ability value parameters of his/her own character by selectively allocating the extra ability value provided by the level increase. Meanwhile, in step S310, when the current ability points of the user are not enough to advance to the next level, the level adjuster 23 notifies the user accordingly (S330).

The user can adjust the basic ability value of the character selected using his/her own extra ability value while processing the new golf game, and can separately adjust the parameters constituting the ability value. In other words, the ability value parameters, i.e., power, swing safety, swing accuracy, and crisis management ability, can be independently adjusted. For example, when the user requests an increase of the power parameter of the basic ability value using the extra ability value, the adjustment value checking module 241 of the ability value determiner 24 checks an adjustment value, i.e., a value indicating how much to increase the power, that the user inputs and provides the checked value to the ability value adjusting module 243, and then the ability value adjusting module 243 increases the value of the power according to the adjustment value (S340 and S350). Here, for the fun of the golf game, when a value of the power is increased by a predetermined adjustment value, the ability value adjusting module 243 relatively decreases values of the swing safety and accuracy by a predetermined value. Thereby, as the flight distance becomes longer, the movement speed of the swing gauge is adapted to become faster, and the width of the impact zone is adapted to become narrower. Therefore, after the user increases the flight distance, he/she takes a more active part in the golf game so as to obtain more ability points for enhancing the swing safety and accuracy. Here, the distance adjusting module 251 of the ability value applier 25 determines the flight distance for the user according to the adjusted power value at all times, and then sets, as a finial flight distance to be applied when the ball moves, a percentage (%) of the flight distance determined according to the user's manipulation of the swing gauge.

As set forth above, when the user adjusts the basic ability value of the character by means of the extra ability value allotted by the level increase and then requests a new golf game, the golf game system 100 processes the new golf game as mentioned above on the basis of the newly adjusted ability value of the character (S360 and S370).

Meanwhile, the above-described method for playing the golf game is adapted to adjust the power, swing safety, swing accuracy, and crisis management ability solely on the basis of the ability value differently allotted to each character. Alternatively, the golf game may be played on the basis of a combination of the ability value of the character and an ability value of a golf club, wherein the ability value of the golf club is differently allotted to each of a plurality of golf clubs of the user. In this case, the golf clubs may be sorted into a plurality of sets, and the ability value allotted to golf clubs belonging to each set may be different. For example, an ability value allotted to golf clubs that constitute a set1, including a driver, woods, etc., may be different from that allotted to golf clubs that constitute a set2. Thus, the user can select the golf club set to play the golf game according to the ability value of his/her character. For instance, when the power of the character's ability value parameters is high, a golf club set having more swing safety or accuracy than flight distance can be selected from among a plurality of golf club sets, in order to enhance swing safety or accuracy, and then the golf game is played with the selected golf club set.

To this end, the ability value of the character is set as a basic value capable of selecting a golf club and each golf club is assigned a request ability value that indicates the ability value capable of using that golf club, and an application ability value that exerts a substantial influence on the flight distance, the movement speed of the swing gauge, the width of the impact zone, and so forth, when that club is used. Here, the request ability value and the application ability value are matched, allotted to each of the plurality of golf clubs on the basis of each golf club set, and stored in the golf club database. The ability value determiner 24 compares the ability value of the user's character and the request ability value allotted to the golf club. If the ability value of the character is greater than the request ability value, the ability value determiner 24 permits selection of the golf club. When the corresponding golf club is selected and a shot is played, the ability value applier 25 adjusts the flight distance, the movement speed of the swing gauge, the width of the impact zone, the length of the swing gauge, and so forth, according to the application ability value allotted to the golf club, and the golf game is processed accordingly. Here, when the user advances in level due to accumulation of sufficient ability points, the user can increase his/her choice of available golf clubs by adjusting the ability value of the character using the extra ability value.

According to the embodiment of the present invention, the ability value of the user, which affects movement direction, flight distance, etc., of the ball when the user plays a shot, may be the ability value allotted to the character selected by the user, or may be a separate application ability value allotted to the golf club selected according to the ability value of the user's character.

The above embodiment has been described with reference to a golf game played over a network (the online golf game). However, the system and method for playing a golf game according to the above embodiment of the present invention may be applied to an offline golf game as well. FIG. 7 illustrates the structure of a system for playing an offline golf game according to another embodiment of the present invention.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, a system for playing the offline golf game according to an embodiment of the present invention may include a user interface 30′ for interfacing with a user, a controller 20′ for performing the golf game according to a signal input from the user interface 30′, a memory 10′ for storing a program for the golf game and data related to golf game processing, and a display processor 40 for displaying golf game processing contents on a display device 50 according to control of the controller 20′. Here, the data stored in the database server 10 according to the above-described embodiment may be stored in the memory 10′ as sorted above. The controller 20′ includes a plurality of modules 21′ to 26′ that correspond to the components such as the processing server 20 according to the above-described embodiment, and can process the golf game. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that the system for playing the offline golf game can be embodied to operate in the same manner as in the above-described embodiment, and so a detailed description of the operation of the system for playing the offline golf game will be omitted.

Further, the above-described methods for playing the golf game may be implemented in a form of the program stored in a recording medium that a computer can read. The recording medium may be any kind of medium in which data can be stored and read by a computer, for example, a CD-ROM, magnetic tape, a floppy disc, and so forth, as well as a medium implemented in a form of carrier waves, e.g., transmission over the Internet.

While the present invention has been described with reference to practical and exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but, on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalents included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

According to the embodiments of the present invention as set forth above, the user can adjust the ability value exerting an influence upon the winning average of the golf game using the ability points allotted according to the result of the golf game, thereby enhancing the fun of the golf game.