Title:
System for managing divided points in on-line and method thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a system and method for managing divided points on-line. This system manages web points and game points used in a web service and a game service and converts a user's web points into game points for update of the user's game points when the user uses the game service, and includes a user point database, a web server, a game server and a channel server. The user point database stores and manages the web points and game points for each user. The web server provides a user with the web service by referring to the web points stored in the user point database. The game server provides the user with the game service by referring to the game points stored in the user point database. The channel server provides the user with channel-related data for each game, allows the user to play a game through the game server in a specific channel selected by the user, converts the user's web points stored in the user point database into corresponding game points when the user enters the specific channel, and updates the user point database by adding the corresponding game points to the user's game points stored in the user point database.



Inventors:
Yoo, Won-seok (Seoul, KR)
Application Number:
11/607161
Publication Date:
04/05/2007
Filing Date:
12/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F13/33; A63F13/35; A63F13/45; A63F13/85; G07F17/32
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HENRY, THOMAS HAYNES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
H.C. PARK & ASSOCIATES, PLC (1894 PRESTON WHITE DRIVE, RESTON, VA, 20191, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system configured to manage separately stored web points and game points required to use a web service and a game service provided to a plurality of users who access the Internet, comprising: a user point database configured to individually store and manage the web points and game points for each user; a web server configured to provide a user with the web service, wherein the web server is configured to access the web points stored in the user point database; a game server configured to provide the user with the game service, wherein the game server is configured to access the game points stored in the user point database; and a channel server configured to provide the user with channel-related data for each game, the channel server further configured to allow the user to play a game through the game server in a specific channel selected by the user, the channel server further configured to convert the user's web points stored in the user point database into corresponding game points subsequent to the user entering the specific channel, and the channel server further configured to update the user point database by adding the corresponding game points to the user's game points stored in the user point database.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the channel server comprises: a channel display unit configured to display a list of channels related to games to the user and to receive a channel selection input from the user; a game point update unit configured to convert the user's web points stored in the user point database into the corresponding game points subsequent to the user selecting a specific channel through the channel display unit, and to update the user point database by adding the corresponding game points to the game points stored in the user point database; a point converter configured to convert the user's web points stored in the user point database into the corresponding game points under the control of the game point update unit, and to provide the game point update unit with the corresponding game points; and a channel controller configured to control the channel display unit, to allow the user to select the specific channel including a game to be played by the user, and, subsequent to the user selecting the specific channel, to control the game point update unit and the point converter in their conversion of the user's web points into the corresponding game points and their updating of the user point database.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the game point update unit converts the user's web points stored in the web point database to the corresponding game points, and initializes the web points to zero.

4. The system of claim 2, wherein the point controller applies different weights to different games when the web points are converted into the corresponding game points, and wherein the applied weights are stored in the point converter in the form of a separate table for each game.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the game server requests the channel server to update the user's game points following game services of specific rounds being completed by the user, and wherein the channel server converts the user's web points stored in the user point database into the corresponding game points at the request of the game server, and updates the user point database by adding the corresponding game points to the game points stored in the user point database.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein, game points for the user that are pre-stored in the user point database at the time of updating the game points stored in the user point database are added to the corresponding game points by the channel server.

7. The system of claim 2, wherein the user point database includes: a web point database configured to store web points accessed by the web server subsequent to the user using the web service; and a game point database configured to store game points accessed by the game server subsequent to the user using the game service.

8. A method for managing separately stored web points and game points, each respectively required to use a web service and a game service provided to a plurality of users who access the Internet, the method comprising: displaying a list of channels for each game to a user at a request for use of a specific game service from the user; determining the presence of an input from the user for selecting a specific channel from the displayed list of channels; in response to the input from the user for selecting the specific channel, converting the user's web points into corresponding game points and updating the user's game points; and providing the user with the game service using the updated game points.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the response to the input from the user includes: acquiring the user's web points; initializing the user's existing web points; converting the acquired web points into game points corresponding to a specific game selected by the user; and updating the corresponding game points to the user's game points.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein, in the conversion of the acquired web points, predetermined weights stored in the form of a table for each game are accessed in converting the acquired web points into the game points corresponding to the specific game.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein updating the corresponding game points comprises: determining a value of the user's existing game points; and adding the corresponding game points to the user's existing game points and updating the user's game points.

12. The method of claim 8, wherein, after game services of specific rounds are completed, by the user, converting the web points into game points and updating the corresponding game points is performed periodically subsequent to an input from the user to select a channel.

13. A system for managing separately stored and managed points used in two or more different service domains on-line, comprising: a user point database configured to store and manage points used in the two or more different service domains for each user; at least two service servers configured to provide a user with a corresponding service by accessing points stored in the user point database; an update server for converting points used in service domains different from a specific service domain, the total number of differing service domains comprising two or more, wherein the points for the differing domains are converted into corresponding points used in the specific service domain subsequent to the user entering the specific service domain, and updating the points pre-stored for the user in the specific service domain by the converted points.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein, in converting the points used in the service domains different from the specific service domain into the corresponding points used in the specific service domain, the update server applies different weights to the points used in different service domains or different games.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein the service domains include a web service domain and a game service domain, points used in the service domains are web point and game points, and the web points are converted into corresponding game points and are updated subsequent to the user entering the game service domain.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of PCT/KR2005/001460, filed May 18, 2005, which claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2004-0039948 filed Jun. 2, 2004. The disclosures of these prior applications are considered part of, and are incorporated by reference herein, the disclosure of this application.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a system and method for managing points used on-line, and more particularly to a system and method for managing divided points for use in more than two kinds of different domains on-line.

BACKGROUND ART

Recently, with the rapid spread of the Internet all over the world, various kinds of on-line services have been provided through the homogeneous medium called the Internet. These services have been provided to users in different on-line domains, such as web domains, game domains and the like on-line. That is, the users can receive various services in web domains through web pages provided to the users by web servers or game services in various game domains provided to the users by game servers.

To receive services in such web domains (hereinafter, referred to as “web service”), a user accesses a web server providing a relevant service to select a desired web service through a web page provided by the web server. Then, the web server displays a list of various kinds of web services to the user to allow the user to use the selected web service, and, if the user selects one web service from the list of web services, provides the user with the selected specific web service. Through such a web service, the user can purchase or use various kinds of contents.

On the other hand, to receive services in game domains (hereinafter, referred to as “game service”), a user accesses a web server or a channel server providing a game service, and selects a desired game through a web page provided by the web server or the channel server. Then, the web server or the channel server displays a list of channels to the user to allow the user to play the game, and, if the user selects a specific channel, displays a list of game rooms belonging to the selected channel to the user. When the user selects one of the game rooms displayed on his/her computer or establishes a new game room in person, the server displays a game screen to the user to allow the user to play a game with other users in the selected or newly established game room. In addition, the user can play games provided via the Internet through various ways on-line. Users can play various kinds of games through such game services.

The use of services in various domains, such as the web service, the game service and the like, requires points to pay in return. For example, the use of the web service requires web points and the use of the game service requires game points.

Conventionally, even though such web points and game points have been used in different web service and game service domains separately, they have been actually managed and used in a unified manner. Thus, when they are used at nearly the same time, problems such as confusion in managing points or miscalculation of points may arise.

In addition, even through there may be a case that the points are managed and used in the web service domain and the game service domain separately, a problem in that it is difficult to integrally manage the points due to lack of interrelationships between the points may arise.

DISCLOSURE

Technical Problem

It is an object of the present invention to provide a system and method which is capable of integrally managing points used in two or more service domains on-line by updating the points in the different service domains when a service in a specified service domain is used, as well as managing the points separately.

Technical Solution

To achieve the above object, according to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a system for managing divided web points and game points required to use a web service and a game service provided to a plurality of users who access the Internet, comprising a user point database for storing and managing the web points and game points for each user; a web server for providing a user with the web service by referring to the web points stored in the user point database; a game server for providing the user with the game service by referring to the game points stored in the user point database; and a channel server for providing the user with channel-related data for each game, allowing the user to play a game through the game server in a specific channel selected by the user, converting the user's web points stored in the user point database into corresponding game points when the user enters the specific channel, and updating the user point database by adding the corresponding game points to the user's game points stored in the user point database.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for managing divided web points and game points required to use a web service and a game service provided to a plurality of users who access the Internet, the method comprising a) displaying a list of channels for each game to a user at a request for use of a specific game service from the user; b) determining whether or not there is an input from the user for selecting a specific channel among the displayed list of channels; c) when it is determined that there is an input from the user for selecting the specific channel, converting the user's web points into corresponding game points and updating the user's game points; and d) providing the user with the game service using the updated game points.

According to yet another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a system for managing divided points used in two or more different service domains on-line, comprising a user point database for storing and managing points used in the two or more different service domains for each user; at least two service servers for providing a user with a corresponding service by referring to points stored in the user point database; an update server for converting points used in remaining service domains except a specific service domain among the two or more different service domains into corresponding points used in the specific service domain when the user enters the specific service domain, and updating the corresponding points to points pre-stored for the user in the specific service domain.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system for managing divided points on-line according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a detailed block diagram of a user point database shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a detailed block diagram of a channel server shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of a method for managing divided points on-line according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating a process of updating web points to game points shown in FIG. 4.

MODE FOR INVENTION

Hereinafter, a system for managing divided points on-line according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a system for managing divided points on-line according to an embodiment of the present invention.

As shown in FIG. 1, a system for managing divided points on-line includes a web server 100, a channel database 200, a channel server 300, a game database 400, a game server 500, and a user point database 600.

The user point database 100 stores and manages web points for web services and game points for game services for each user.

The web server 200 provides a plurality of user computers 700-1, 700-2, . . . , 700-n, which have accessed the web server 200 via Internet 800, with various game services such as Tetris, man-to-man card playing games, poker, gold wing and the like in association with the game server 500, as well as various web services such as chatting, associations of like-minded persons, shopping malls and the like. Particularly, the web server 200 manages web points that are paid when the users use web services or are charged for use of web services by referring to the user point database 100. A charge of web points as used herein refers to acquisition of points corresponding to the amount of money settled by a user for web services through various settlement means such as cash or credit card and the like. On the other hand, although it is shown in the figure that a plurality of users use computers 700-1, 700-2, . . . , 700-n, terminals other than the computers can access the web server 200 via the Internet 800 to receive the web service or the game services. For example, the users can use mobile communication terminals, Internet-accessible televisions and the like.

The channel database 300 stores game room-related data established in each channel as well as channel-related data for each game.

When the user selects a game through the web server 200, the channel server 400 provides a list of channels related to the selected game, a list of game rooms for each channel, and the like, by referring to the channel database 300. Accordingly, the user can select a channel including the selected game and a specific game room belonging to the selected channel from the channel list and the game room list, respectively, which are provided by the channel server 400. Here, when the user selects the game through the web server 200, the web server 200 executes a user program for the game installed in the user computers 700-1, 700-2, . . . , 700-n, and the executed user program promotes the user computers 700-1, 700-2, . . . , 700-n to access the channel server 400 via the Internet 800.

On the other hand, when the user selects and enters a specific channel, the channel server 400 changes existing game points by converting web points stored in the user point database 100 into corresponding game points and adding the resultant game points to the existing game points. At the same time, the channel server 400 sets the web points stored in the user point database 100 to zero, such that the sum of the web points and game points before the web points are converted into zero game points equal to the sum of the web points and game points after the conversion of web points into zero. That is, when the user enters a specific channel to play a game, all of his web points in the user point database 100 are converted into game points.

Next, the game database 500 stores logic for each game to control to allow a user to play games. Although such a game logic may be located in the game server 600, it is assumed to locate it in the game database 500 to provide various game logics in the embodiment of the present invention.

Next, the game server 600 provides game services selected by the user through the channel server 400. That is, the game server 600 proceeds with a game according to a game logic prescribed for each game by referring to the game database 500. For example, when the user selects a man-to-man card playing game, establishes a specific game room in a specific channel or selects one of established game rooms in a specific channel through the channel server 400 and then two users enter the newly established or selected game room, the game server 600 performs various operations, including game display, game progress, game result settlement and the like, to allow two users to play the man-to-man card playing game. Here, the game logic means rules specified to proceed with a game automatically according to the prescribed rules regarding the game. For example, in a case of a man to man card playing game, there are various rules such as rules for distribution Korean playing cards, rules for processing cards according to the selection of cards to be presented by each use, rules for processing of cards taken by each user, rules for creation and process of missions, rules for achieved situation of various game rules, rules for settlement of scores after ending the game, and the like.

On the other hand, the game server 600 manages variation of game points arising in the course of playing of a game after users receive a game service, by referring to the user point database 100. For example, when a user wins a game, the game server 600 changes the game points by adding newly acquired game points to the existing game points stored in the user point database 100. On the contrary, when the user loses the game, the game server 600 deducts game points to be paid from the game points stored in the user point database 100 and pays the user the resultant game points.

Also, since web points have been already converted into game points and have been updated, the game server 600 can know overall points only by referring to the game points in the user point database 100. However, the web server 200 can know the overall points only in total by referring to all of web points and game points in the user point database 100.

So far, it has been illustrated that a point of time when the web points in the user point database 100 are converted into the game points and are updated is only the time when the user enters a specific channel. However, it should be understood that the scope of the present invention is not restricted to this and that the web points can be converted into game points and can be updated at various points of time. For example, after the web points are once updated in terms of game points when the user enters the specific channel as above, when the user enters a specific game room in the specific channel and plays a game, the web points can be periodically updated in terms of game points after proceeding with several rounds of the game, for example. It will be easily understood by those skilled in the art that such an update of the web points in terms of the game points can be performed at any time, provided that a specific point of time when the update is performed is given to the channel server 400, the game server 600 and the user point database 100.

FIG. 2 is a detailed block diagram of the user point database 100 shown in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIG. 2, the user point database 100 includes a web point database 110 for storing user web points used for a web service and a game point database 120 for storing user game points used for a game service.

The web point database 110, which is referred to by the web server 200, provides web points paid when a user uses the web service, or adds and stores web points charged by a user.

The game point database 120, which is referred to by the game server 600, provides game points paid when a user uses the game service, or adds and stores the game points that are acquired by winning a game.

All web points stored in the web point database 110 are converted into the corresponding game points by the channel server 400, and are added and stored to the game point database 120 when the user enters a specific channel through the channel server 400 for the game service. That is, all the web points in the web point database 110 are converted to become zero (0). Accordingly, when the user uses the game service, the total points for each user depends on only the game points, and thus, the game server 600 provides the game service by referring to the game point database 120 only. However, when the user uses the game service, since the web point database 110 has no web points or has only web points charged through the web server 200 in the course of the game service, the web server 200 takes the sum of web points and game points as the total points for each user by referring to the game point database 120 as well as the web point database 110. However, when the user uses the web service, he can only use web points stored in the web point database 110. Accordingly, while using the game service, the user can charge web points to receive the web service.

FIG. 3 is a detailed block diagram of the channel server 400 shown in FIG. 1.

As shown in FIG. 3, the channel server 400 includes a channel display unit 410, a game room display unit 420, a game point update unit 430, a point converter 440, and a channel controller 450.

The channel display unit 410 displays a list of channels related to a game, which is selected by a user through the web server 200, to the user by referring to the channel database 300, receives a channel selection input from the user, and transmits the selection input to the channel controller 450.

The game room display unit 420 displays to the user a list of game rooms belonging to a channel, which is selected by the user through the channel display unit 410, receives a game room selection input from the user, and transmits the input to the channel controller 450.

When the user selects a specific channel through the channel display unit 410, the game point update unit 430 stores game points, which result from conversion of web points stored in the web point database 110 of the user point database 100, in the game point database 120, and initializes the web points stored in the web point database 110 to zero (0).

The point converter 440 converts the web points stored in the web point database 110 into corresponding game points under the control of the game point update unit 430. In such a case, the game points corresponding to the web points can be differently converted depending on the kind of games, and weights that are referred to at the time of conversion for each game can be stored in the point converter 440 in the form of a separate table or the like.

When the user selects a game through the web server 200, the channel controller 450 controls the channel display unit 410 and the game room display unit 420 to display a list of channels and a list of game rooms to play a game, respectively, to the user, and allows the user to enter a game room of a channel corresponding to a channel and game room selection input received from the user. In addition, when the user selects a channel through the channel display unit 410, the channel controller 450 controls the game point update unit 430 and the point converter 440 to convert the web points in the user point database 100 into the corresponding game points and update the game point database 120 by adding the corresponding game points to the game point database 120.

It has been described in the above example that the channel controller 450 controls the game point update unit 430 and the point converter 440 to convert the web points into the corresponding game points and update the game points only when the user selects and enters a channel. However, the channel controller 450 controls the game point update unit 430 and the point converter 440 converts the web points into the corresponding game points, and update the game points, as described above, provided that it is set to allow the channel server 400 or the game server 600 to perform update of the web points to the game points at other points of time.

Hereinafter, a method for managing divided points on-line according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to FIG. 4.

First, while using various web services such as chatting, associations of like-minded persons, blogs, shopping malls and the like through the web server, users can purchase various contents and articles, as desired, using web points stored in the web point database 110 of the user point database 100. In this case, the web server 200 performs a relevant settlement by deducting web points corresponding to a purchasing amount of money from the web point database 110.

In addition, in a case that the web point database 110 has no web point, namely a zero value, for web services, a user can charge corresponding web points through various settlement methods such as cash, credit card and the like. In this case, the web server 200 stores the charged web points in the web point database 110.

On the other hand, when the user executes a user program provided by the web server 100 using his/her computer 700-1, 700-2, . . . , 700-n for the purpose of using a game service to access the channel server 400 (S100), the channel controller 450 controls the channel display unit 410 to display a list of channels including a game, which is selected by the user, to a user (S110), and receives a channel selection input from the user (S120).

Next, when the channel selection input from the user is received in the channel controller 450, the channel controller 450 controls the game room display unit 420 to display a list of game rooms belonging to the selected channel to the user (S130), and controls the game point update unit 430 to perform update of the web points to the game points (S140).

Such an update of the web points to the game points will be now described with reference to FIG. 5.

First, the game point update unit 430 acquires web points stored in the web point database 110 (S141), and then initializes a user's existing web points stored in the web point database 110 to zero (S142). Thereafter, the point converter 440 is controlled to convert the web points acquired in the step S141 into corresponding game points (S143). Next, the game point update unit 430 sums the game points obtained in the step S143 and game points pre-stored in the game point database 120, and updates the game point database 120 with newly produced game points (S144).

Next, if the web points are converted into game points and are updated in the step S140, the channel server 400 receives a game room selection input from the user (S150). If there is an input from the user for selecting an existing game room or establishing a new game room, the channel server 400 allows the user to enter the selected existing game room or enter a newly established game room (S160), and controls the process of a game to allow the user to play the game using game points stored in the game point database 120 updated in the step S140 (S170).

In this manner, when the user enters a channel to use a game service, the user's web points are converted into the corresponding game points and are updated, allowing the user to play a game using all of the web points and the game points. Accordingly, problems caused by using the web points through the web service when a conventional game service is used can be overcome.

On the other hand, there are no changes regarding the web points and game points stored in the web point database 110 and the game point database 120, respectively, of the user point database 100 after the user ends the use of game service. That is, after the user updates the web points to the game points for the purpose of using the game service, only the game points are changed and stored according to the user's use of game service, and conversion of the stored game points into web points is not performed again.

Accordingly, when the user uses the web service again after ending the use of game service, the web server 200 performs settlement using overall points in the web point database 110 and the game point database 120. Alternatively, it could be also made to allow the web server 200 to use only the web points in the web point database 110. In this case, if no web point exists in the web point database 110, the user should charge web points through separate settlement.

Although the update of the web points used in the web service domain to the game points used in the game service domain has been described in this embodiment, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that the scope of the present invention is not restricted to this and the principle of the present invention is also applicable to points used in two or more different service domains, respectively.

For example, in a case where points are used in three different service domains, when a service in one of the three service domains is to be used, points used in the remaining two service domains can be converted into corresponding points in the specific service domain and can be updated. In this case, the points in the remaining two service domains can be converted with different weights, though a conversion table in the channel server or the like. In addition, points used in two or more service domains should be stored in the user point database 100 for each user and it is natural that all of the points in the remaining two service domains be initialized to zero after the conversion of the points. In addition, it will be easily understood by those skilled in the art that a subject which converts and updates the points used in the remaining service domain into the corresponding points in the specific service domain when the use enters the specific service domain from the two or more service domains, such as, for example, an update server, can be a server and the like which can control for a user to enter the specific service domain, such as the channel server 400 in this embodiment.

Even though the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail, it should be understood that the present invention is not restricted to the above embodiments and may be modified or changed in various forms without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

According to the present invention, the points used in different service domains are managed separately, but, in a specific case, the points are integrally managed to achieve more precise management.

Furthermore, by updating the points in only a case where a user enters a specific service domain, hacking in the specific service domain can be prevented.





 
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