Title:
GAME PROGRAM, GAME DEVICE, AND GAME METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In a present invention, a display position of a second circular mark is set by a CPU based on the character property data K of a game character, and the second circular mark is displayed on the display position of the second circular mark on the touch panel monitor. Then, when a stylus is positioned in a portion on the monitor on which a first circular mark is displayed, a moving start command is received by a control unit. Next, when the stylus is positioned in a portion on the monitor on which the second circular mark is displayed by sliding the stylus on the monitor and then the stylus is positioned in a portion on the monitor on which a third circular mark is displayed by sliding the stylus on the monitor, an object release command is issued by the control unit to move the object.



Inventors:
Nakasaka, Noboru (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
12/031170
Publication Date:
07/17/2008
Filing Date:
02/14/2008
Assignee:
KONAMI DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT CO., LTD. (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F13/00; A63F13/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GRAY, BRANDON RAMON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GLOBAL IP COUNSELORS, LLP (1233 20TH STREET, NW, SUITE 700, WASHINGTON, DC, 20036-2680, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A computer readable medium storing a computer game program for moving an object on a contact input type monitor, the computer game program comprising: code for recognizing where an input position is, the input position at which an instruction means touches the contact input type monitor; code for displaying a first region, a second region, and a third region on the contact input type monitor, the first region for starting inputting a command to move the object, the second region for representing a characteristic of a game character, and the third region for inputting the command to start moving the object from the game character to the third region; code for recognizing where the first region is, the second region is, and the third region is, in the contact input type monitor, the second region being decided where to be on the basis of the characteristic of the game character; code for moving the third region; code for starting moving the object, if the input position is within the third region after being within the second region after being within the first region, while the input position is consecutively recognized; and code for displaying the object that moves from the game character to the third region.

2. The computer readable medium according to claim 1, wherein the third region is moved by using the instruction means or an instruction button.

3. The computer readable medium according to claim 1, the computer game program further comprising code for setting a first object property of the object on the basis of where the input position is within the second region, if the input position is within the second region, while the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized.

4. The computer readable medium according to claim 1, the computer game program further comprising code for calculating elapsed time between when the input position is within the first region and when the input position is within the third region, if the input position moves to the third region after being within the second region after being within the first region, while the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized, code for setting a second object property of the object on the basis of the elapsed time, and code for displaying the object that moves from the game character to the third region on the contact input type monitor, based on the second object property.

5. The computer readable medium according to claim 1, the computer game program further comprising code for setting bounds of the second region based on the characteristic of the game character.

6. The computer readable medium according to claim 1, the computer game program further comprising code for recognizing a permissible-time in which the input position moves to the third region after being within the second region after being within the first region, and code for displaying a first indicator on the contact input type monitor to indicate the permissible-time, and code for displaying a second indicator on the contact input type monitor to indicate between when the input position is within the first region and when the input position is within the third region, if the input position moves to the third region after being within the second region after being within the first region, while the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized.

7. A computer game device having a contact input type monitor, the computer game devise comprising: an input position recognition means for recognizing where an input position is on the contact input type monitor; a region display means for displaying a first region, a second region, and a third region, the first region for starting inputting a command to move an object, the second region for representing a characteristic of a game character, the third region for inputting the command to start moving the object from a game character to the third region; a region recognition means for recognizing where the first region is, the second region is, and the third region is, in the contact input type monitor, the second region being decided where to be on the basis of the characteristic of the game character; a third region moving means for moving the third region; a movement start means for starting moving the object, if the input position is within the third region after being within the second region after being within the first region, while the input position is consecutively recognized; and an object display means for displaying the object that moves from the character to the third region.

8. A method for moving an object in a computer game on a contact input type monitor, the method comprising: recognizing where an input position is, the input position at which an instruction means touches the contact input type monitor; displaying a first region, a second region, and a third region on the contact input type monitor, the first region for starting inputting a command to move the object, the second region for representing a characteristic of a game character, and the third region for inputting the command to start moving the object from the game character to the third region; recognizing where the first region is, the second region is, and the third region is, in the contact input type monitor, the second region being decided where to be on the basis of the characteristic of the game character; moving the third region; starting moving the object, if the input position is within the third region after being within the second region after being within the first region, while the input position is consecutively recognized; and displaying the object that moves from the game character to the third region.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO THE RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Japanese Patent Application No. 2005-263791 and International Pant Application No. PCT/JP2006/312509. The entire disclosure of Japanese Patent Application No. 2005-263791 and International Pant Application No. PCT/JP2006/312509 is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The preset invention relates to a game program, particularly to a game program for causing a computer to execute a game in which an object is moved from a character to a target position on a screen displayed on a touch panel type monitor. Furthermore, the present invention relates to a game device for executing a game to be realized by the game program, and a video game method by which a computer is capable of controlling the game realized by the game program.

2. Background Art

A variety of video games have been proposed in the past. The video games are configured to be executed on the game devices. For example, a general game device (or a game console) has a monitor, a core unit that is manufactured separately from the monitor, and an input unit such as a controller, which is manufactured separately from the core unit. A plurality of input buttons are arranged on the controller. Also, a portable game device (or a portable game console) has a core unit, a liquid crystal display monitor (hereinafter called “LCD monitor”) provided on approximately the central portion of the core unit, and an input unit such as a plurality of input buttons, which is arranged on both sides of the LCD monitor. This type of game device is configured such that a player can instruct a character displayed on the monitor to execute a variety of commands by controlling the input unit.

As one of the plurality of video games that have been proposed in the past, a game has been known in which an object is moved from a character to a target position on a screen displayed on a monitor. This type of game, such as a baseball game, is configured such that a ball is allowed to be released from a pitcher character to a pitching course on a screen displayed on a monitor. JIKKYOU PAWAFURU PURO YAKYU 11, Official Guide Complete Edition, Japan, Konami Media Entertainment, Sep. 16, 2004, discloses such game, as an example. For the purpose of causing the pitcher character to release a ball in the baseball game, first of all, the pitcher character is instructed to release a game player's desired pitch by controlling a direction instruction button. Next, the pitcher character is caused to start a pitching motion by controlling a predetermined button such as an X-marked button. Here, when the X-marked button is consecutively controlled (i.e., repeatedly hit), the velocity of a ball released from the pitcher character is increased. Next, after the pitcher character is caused to start a pitching motion, the pitcher character is instructed a pitching course by consecutively controlling the direction instruction button. Accordingly, it is possible to cause the pitcher character to release a ball with the instructed pitch to the instructed pitching course.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The conventional baseball game is configured to make it possible to cause a pitcher character to release a ball to a desired pitching course on a screen displayed on a monitor by controlling an input button. In this type of baseball game, it is necessary to control a direction instruction button and an X-marked button a plurality of times for the purpose of causing a pitcher character to release a ball to a desired pitching course. Especially, it is necessary to repeatedly control the X-marked button and the direction instruction button in a short period of time since the pitcher character is caused to start a pitching motion until the pitcher character is caused to release a ball. Because of this, unless a game player does not quickly decide the ball velocity and the pitching course, the player runs out of time for controlling the X-marked button and the direction instruction button. Thus, a problem that the game player cannot completely instruct the desired ball velocity and pitching course by controlling the X-marked button and the direction instruction button arises. On the other hand, repeatedly controlling the X-marked button and the direction instruction button during the pitching motion of a pitcher character is classified as a system of controlling that is irrelevant to the pitch of the pitcher character. Accordingly, a problem that a game player cannot have an operational feeling of controlling the pitcher character arises.

An object of the present invention is to make it possible to readily instruct a character to execute a command.

Another object of the present invention is to make it possible to have an better operational feeling of controlling a character.

A game program according to a first aspect of the present invention is a game program for causing a computer to execute the following functions, the computer which is capable of executing a game that an object is moved from a character to a target position on a screen displayed on a contact input type monitor.

(1) An input position recognition function for causing a control unit to recognize the coordinate data of an input position on the contact input type monitor that corresponds to a first input signal from the contact input type monitor, based on the first input signal.

(2) A region display command issue function for causing the control unit to issue a region display command for displaying a first region for starting an input for moving the object, a second region for expressing a character property of the character, and a third region for inputting a movement start command for starting movement of the object from the character to the target position, on the contact input type monitor.

(3) A region recognition function for causing the control unit to recognize the coordinate data within the display bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the display bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the display bounds of the third region.

(4) A third region movement command issue function for causing the control unit to issue a third region movement command for moving the third region on the touch input type monitor while the third region is displayed on the touch input monitor based on either of the first input signal and a second input signal from an input unit.

(5) A position data judgment function for causing the control unit to judge if the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, respectively, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit.

(6) A movement start command issue function for causing the control unit to receive the input for moving the object in case that the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the control unit, and for causing the control unit to issue the movement start command in case that the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit.

(7) An object display command issue function for causing the control unit to issue an object display command for displaying the object that moves from the character to the target position on the contact input type monitor.

In this game program, the input position recognition function causes the control unit to recognize the coordinate data of an input position on the contact input type monitor, which corresponds to a first input signal from the contact input type monitor, based on the first input signal. The region display command issue function causes the control unit to issue the region display command for displaying the first region for starting the input for moving the object, the second region for expressing the character property of the character, and the third region for inputting the movement start command for starting movement of the object from the character to the target position, on the contact input type monitor. Here, the region display command includes the second region position setting command for setting the display position of the second region based on the character property of the character, and the second region display command for displaying the second region on the display position of the second region on the contact input type monitor. The region recognition function causes the control unit to recognize the coordinate data within the display bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the display bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the display bounds of the third region. The third region movement command issue function causes the control unit to issue the third region movement command for moving the third region displayed on the contact input type monitor based on either of the first input signal or the second input signal from the input unit, while the third region is displayed on the contact input type monitor. The position data judgment function causes the control unit to judge if the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, respectively, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit. The movement start command issue function causes the control unit to receive the input for moving the object in case that the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the control unit, and causes the control unit to issue the movement start command in case that the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region by the control unit, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit. The object display command issue function causes the control unit to issue the object display command for displaying the object that moves from the character to the target position on the contact input type monitor.

In this case, the input for moving the object is received by the control unit when the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the control unit while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit. Then, the movement start command is issued by the control unit when the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, respectively, by the control unit, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit. Next, the object display command for displaying the object that moves from the character to the target position on the contact input type monitor is issued by the control unit. Because of this, it is possible to start movement of the object that moves from the character to the target position and it is also possible to display the object on the contact input type monitor while the object is moved.

For example, the following situation will be herein considered. In a baseball game, a round-shaped first region is displayed in the vicinity of a pitcher character, and a round-shaped second region is displayed between the pitcher character and a home plate, and a round-shaped third region is displayed above the home plate. In this case, when a stylus is positioned on a portion of the monitor on which the first region is displayed, start of an input for moving a ball is allowed to be received by the control unit. Next, when the stylus is moved to and positioned on a portion on the monitor on which the second region is displayed by sliding the stylus on the monitor, and then the stylus is moved to and positioned on a portion on the monitor on which the third region is displayed by further sliding the stylus on the monitor, a movement start command of the object (e.g., a ball releasing command) is issued by the control unit.

As described above, according to the present invention, it is possible to start an input for moving an object and to input a movement start command of the object only by sliding an instruction means (e.g., a stylus or a finger) on a touch panel monitor. Accordingly, it becomes possible for a game player to readily instruct a character to execute a command.

On the other hand, the region display command that the region display command issue function causes the control unit to issue includes the second region position setting command for setting the display position of the second region based on the character property of the character, and the second region display command for displaying the second region on the display position of the second region on the contact input type monitor. Accordingly, it is possible to set the display position of the second region based on the character property of the character, and it is also possible to display the second region on the set display position of the second region on the contact input type monitor.

For example, in a baseball game, when the region display command is issued by the control unit, the display position of the second region is set by the control unit based on the character property (e.g., the pitching form data and the dominant arm data of a pitcher character), and the second region is displayed on the display position of the second region on the contact input type monitor by the second region display command. More specifically, when the pitcher character is an overhand pitcher, the second region is displayed above the first region. Also, when the pitcher character is an underhand pitcher, the second region is displayed below the first region. In addition, when the pitcher character is a right-handed pitcher, the second region is displayed on the left of the first region. Also, when the pitcher character is a left-handed pitcher, the second region is displayed on the right of the first region.

Thus, according to the present invention, it is possible to change the display position of the second region according to the character property. Also, it is possible to make an operation of the instruction means (e.g., a stylus or a finger) on the touch panel monitor similar to movement of a character (e.g., a pitching motion of a pitcher character) by sliding the instruction means on the touch panel monitor such that it sequentially passes a first region, a second region whose display position is changed according to a character property, and a third region in this order. Accordingly, it is possible for a game player to have an operational feeling that he/she operates the character.

A game program according to a second aspect is the game program according to a first aspect for causing the computer to execute the following functions.

(8) A first setting function for causing the control unit to set a first object property of the object in case that the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region by the control unit while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit depending on the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region to which the coordinate data of the input position corresponds.

In the game program, the first setting function causes the control unit to set the first object property of the object in case that the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region by the control unit while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit, depending on the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region to which the coordinate data of the input position corresponds.

In this case, the first object property of the object is set by the control unit when the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region by the control unit while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit, depending on the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region to which the coordinate data of the input position corresponds.

For example, in a baseball game, if a stylus is positioned in a portion on a touch panel monitor on which a first region is displayed, a portion on the touch panel monitor on which a second region is displayed, and a portion on the touch panel monitor on which a third region is displayed while the stylus is slid on the touch panel monitor, a first object property of an object (e.g., a ball-power property) is set by the control unit when the stylus is positioned on a portion on the touch panel monitor on which the second region is displayed depending on the position of the stylus within the second region.

Thus, according to the present invention, it is possible to set a first object property of an object (e.g., a ball-power property) only by sliding the instruction means (e.g., a stylus or a finger) from the first region to the third region on the touch panel monitor. Accordingly, it becomes possible for a game player to readily instruct an input of a property of an object.

A game program according to a third aspect is the game program according to one of a first aspect and a second aspect for causing the computer to execute the following functions.

(9) A judgment time calculation function for causing the control unit to calculate elapsed time required to judge that the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds from the first region to third region, in case that the control unit judges that the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit.

(10) A second setting function for causing the control unit to set a second object property of the object depending on the elapsed time.

In the game program, the judgment time calculation function causes the control unit to calculate the elapsed time required to judge that the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds from the first region to third region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region in case that the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data in the bounds of the first to third regions by the control unit while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit.

The second setting function causes the control unit to set the second object property of the object depending on the elapsed time.

In this case, the elapsed time required to judge that the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds from the first region to third region. Then, the second object property of the object is set by the control unit depending on the elapsed time.

For example, in a baseball game, if a stylus is positioned in a portion on a touch panel monitor on which a first region is displayed, a portion on the touch panel monitor on which a second region is displayed, and a portion on the touch panel monitor on which a third region is displayed while the stylus is slid on the touch panel monitor, the elapsed time since the stylus is positioned on the portion on the touch panel monitor on which the first region is displayed until the stylus is positioned on the portion on the touch panel monitor on which the third region is displayed is calculated. Next, the second object property of the object (e.g., a ball-velocity property) is set by the control unit according to the above described time.

Thus, according to the present invention, it is possible to set the second object property of the object (e.g., a ball-velocity property) only by sliding the instruction means (e.g., a stylus or a finger) from the first region to the third region on the touch panel monitor. Accordingly, it becomes possible for a game player to readily instruct an input of a property of an object.

A game program according to a fourth aspect is the game program according to one of a first aspect to a third aspect, and the region display command includes a second region bounds setting command for setting display bounds of the second region based on the character property of the character, and a second region display command for displaying the second region on the contact input type monitor.

In this case, the region display command includes the second region bounds setting command and the second region display command. Therefore, when the region display command is issued by the control unit, the control unit is caused to set the display bounds of the second region by the second region bounds setting command based on the character property of the character, and the second region is displayed within the display bounds on the contact input type monitor by the second region display command.

For example, in a baseball game, when the region display command is issued by the control unit, the display bounds of the second region is set by the control unit based on a character property (e.g., the ability data and the condition data of a character) and the second region is displayed within the display bounds on the contact input type monitor by the second region display command. More specifically, when the ability of the pitcher character is set to be high, the display bound of the second region is accordingly displayed in a large size. On the other hand, when the ability of the pitcher character is set to be low, the display bound of the second region is accordingly displayed in a small size. In addition, when the condition of the pitcher character is set to be good, the display bound of the second region is accordingly displayed in a large size. On the other hand, when the condition of the pitcher character is set to be bad, the display bound of the second region is accordingly displayed in a small size.

Thus, according to the present invention, it is possible to change the display bounds of the second region according to a character property. Accordingly, it is possible for a game player to have an operational feeling in accordance with the character properties.

A game program according to a fifth aspect is the game program according to one of a first aspect to a fourth aspect for causing the computer to execute the following functions.

(11) A judgment time recognition function for causing the control unit to recognize a permissible-time that is allowed for causing the control unit to judge if the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions.

(12) A first indicator display function for causing the control unit to issue a first indicator display command, which displays a first indicator for indicating the permissible-time recognized by the control unit, on the contact input type monitor.

(13) A second indicator display function for causing the control unit to issue a second indicator display command for displaying a second indicator, which indicates the elapsed real-time since the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within one of the bounds of the first to third regions until the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data of all of the bounds of the first to third regions, on the contact input type monitor.

According to the game program, in the judgment time recognition function, the permissible-time for causing the control unit to judge if the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions is recognized by the control unit. In the first indicator display function, the first indicator display command for displaying the first indicator for displaying the permissible-time recognized by the control unit on the contact input type monitor is issued by the control unit. In the second indicator display function, the second indicator display command for displaying the second indicator for indicating the real-time since the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within one of the bounds of the first to third regions until the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within all of the bounds of the first to third regions on the contact input type monitor is issued by the control unit.

In this case, the first indicator for indicating the permissible-time recognized by the control unit is displayed on the contact input type monitor.

In addition, the second indicator for indicating the real-time is displayed on the contact input type monitor. As described above, according to the present invention, the first time-indicator for indicating the permissible-time and the second time-indicator for indicating the real-time are configured to be displayed on the contact input type monitor. Accordingly, it is possible for a game player to slide an instruction means (e.g., a stylus or a finger) on the touch panel monitor such that the instruction means is passed through the first region, the second region, and the third region within the permissible-time while he/she looks at the first time indicator as a guide and compares the first time indicator with the second time indicator.

A game device according to a sixth aspect is a game device being capable of executing a game that an object is moved from a character to a target position on a screen displayed on a contact input type monitor. The game device includes an input position recognition means for causing a control unit to recognize the coordinate data of an input position on the contact input type monitor that corresponds to a first input signal from the contact input type monitor based on the first input signal, a region display command issue means for causing the control unit to issue a region display command for displaying a first region for starting an input for moving the object, a second region for expressing a character property of the character, and a third region for inputting a movement start command for starting movement of the object from the character to the target position, on the contact input type monitor, a region recognition means for causing the control unit to recognize the coordinate data within the display bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the display bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the display bounds of the third region, a third region movement command issue means for causing the control unit to issue a third region movement command for moving the third region on the touch input type monitor while the third region is displayed on the touch input monitor based on either of the first input signal and a second input signal from an input unit, a position data judgment means for causing the control unit to judge if the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, respectively, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit, a movement start command issue means for causing the control unit to receive the input for moving the object when the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the control unit and for causing the control unit to issue the movement start command when the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit, and an object display command issue function for causing the control unit to issue an object display command for displaying the object that moves from the character to the target position on the contact input type monitor. In the game device, the region display command includes a second region position setting command for setting a display position of the second region based on the character property of the character, and a second region display command for displaying the second region in the display position of the second region on the contact input type monitor.

A game method according to a seventh aspect is a game method for causing a computer to execute a game that an object is moved from a character to a target position on a screen displayed on a contact input type monitor. The game method includes an input position recognition step for causing a control unit to recognize the coordinate data of an input position on the contact input type monitor, which corresponds to a first input signal from the contact input type monitor, based on the first input signal from the contact input type monitor, a region display command issue step for causing the control unit to issue a region display command for displaying a first region for starting an input for moving the object, a second region for expressing a character property of the character, and a third region for inputting a movement start command for starting movement of the object from the character to the target position, on the contact input type monitor, a region recognition step for causing the control unit to recognize the coordinate data within the display bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the display bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the display bounds of the third region, a third region movement command issue step for causing the control unit to issue a third region movement command for moving the third region on the touch input type monitor while the third region is displayed on the touch input monitor based on either of the first input signal and a second input signal from an input unit, a position data judgment step for causing the control unit to judge if the coordinate data of the input position corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, respectively, while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit, a movement start command issue step for causing the control unit to receive the input for moving the object when the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the control unit and for causing the control unit to issue the movement start command when the coordinate data of the input position is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region while the coordinate data of the input position on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the control unit, and an object display command issue step for causing the control unit to issue an object display command for displaying the object that moves from the character to the target position on the contact input type monitor. In the game method, the region display command includes a second region position setting command for setting a display position of the second region based on the character property of the character, and a second region display command for displaying the second region in the display position of the second region on the contact input type monitor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to the attached drawings which form a part of this original disclosure:

FIG. 1 is an outline view of a portable game console as an example of a computer to which a game program according to the present invention is allowed to be applied.

FIG. 2 is a control block diagram for illustrating contents of controlling the portable game console.

FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram for illustrating a variety of means that functions in a baseball game.

FIG. 4 is a screen shot displayed when a pitcher character is instructed to execute an order of a pitch.

FIG. 5 is a screen shot for illustrating first to third regions displayed on a monitor (an overarm pitch: before movement of the third region).

FIG. 6 is a screen shot for illustrating the first to third regions displayed on the monitor (an overarm pitch: after movement of the third region).

FIG. 7 is a screen shot for illustrating the first to third regions displayed on the monitor (an underarm pitch: after movement of the third region).

FIG. 8 is a screen shot for illustrating a permissible-time gauge and a real-time gauge.

FIG. 9 is a table for illustrating correspondence relation between coordinate correction numeric value and character property data of a pitcher character.

FIG. 10 is a table for illustrating correspondence relation between the shortest-distance data and the ball-power property data of a ball.

FIG. 11 is a table for illustrating correspondence relation between the real-time data and the ball-velocity property data.

FIG. 13 is a flowchart for explaining a pitching input system in the present baseball game.

FIG. 13 is a flowchart for explaining a pitching input system in the present baseball game.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Configuration of Game Device

Selected embodiments of the present invention will now be explained with reference to the drawings. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure that the following descriptions of the embodiments of the present invention are provided for illustration only and not for the purpose of limiting the invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

FIG. 1 is an outline view of a portable game console 1 as an example of a computer to which a game program in accordance with the present invention is allowed to be applied. Also, FIG. 2 is a control block diagram as an example of the portable game console 1.

As shown in FIG. 1, the portable game console 1 mainly includes a core unit 2, a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor unit 3, an input unit 4, a cartridge slot 5, and a communication unit 23. The core unit 2 includes a top chassis 2a and a bottom chassis 2b. The top chassis 2a and the bottom chassis 2b are openably/closably connected to each other. The LCD monitor unit 3 is made up of a first LCD monitor provided in the top chassis 2a (i.e., a top LCD monitor 3a) and a second LCD monitor provided in the bottom chassis 2b (i.e., a bottom LCD monitor 3b). Here, for example, the top LCD monitor 3a is a non-contact input type monitor (i.e., a non-touch panel type monitor), and the bottom LCD monitor 3b is a contact input type monitor (i.e., a touch panel type monitor). The non-touch panel type monitor is made up of a LCD panel, and the touch panel type monitor is made up of a LCD panel and a touch panel. In the touch panel type monitor, a screen surface of the LCD panel and a data input surface of the touch panel are integrally formed to be laminated one above the other. The input unit 4 is made up of a cross-shape direction instruction button (instruction button) 4a, a select button 4b, a start button 4c, instruction buttons 4d, a power button 4e, a L button 4f, and a R button 4g. Here, the cross-shape direction instruction button 4a is arranged in the central portion of the left side of the bottom chassis 2b. The select button 4b and the start button 4c are arranged right and left in the upper portion of the left side of the bottom chassis 2b. The instruction buttons 4d are arranged in the central portion of the right side of the bottom chassis 2b. The power button 4e is arranged in the upper portion of the right side of the bottom chassis 2b. The L button 4f and the R button 4g are respectively arranged in the right and left corners of the bottom chassis 2b. The cartridge slot 5 is provided in the bottom portion of the bottom chassis 2b. For example, the cartridge slot 5 is configured such that a video game cartridge is allowed to be attached thereto. The communication unit 23 is incorporated in the core unit 2 (e.g., the top chassis 2a). The communication unit 23 is provided with functions, such as the local wireless network function and the internet connection function with the wireless LAN. Note that the game console 1 is provided with a volume adjustment button, an earphone jack, and the like. However, explanation of these members will be hereinafter omitted.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the portable game console 1 includes a control unit (i.e., a control device 10) in its inside. The control device 10 includes a central processing unit (CPU) 11 in which a micro processor is used, a read only memory (ROM) 12 functioning as a main storage device, a random access memory (RAM) 13, an image processing circuit 14, and a sound processing circuit 15. These devices/units are connected to each other through a bus 16.

The CPU 11 interprets a command from a game program and performs a variety of data processing and data control. The ROM 12 stores a program necessary for the basic control (e.g., activation control) of the game console 1, and the like. The RAM 13 secures a work area with respect to the CPU 11. The image processing circuit 14 controls the LCD monitor unit 3 depending on a drawing instruction from the CPU 11, and displays a predetermined image on at least either of the top LCD monitor 3a and the bottom LCD monitor 3b. Also, the image processing circuit 14 includes a touch input detection circuit 14a. When an instruction means (e.g., a stylus and a finger) is directly contacted with the touch panel, the coordinate data of the contact position is provided from the touch input detection circuit 14a to the CPU 11, and the contact position is recognized by the CPU 11. Also, when the instruction means is directly contacted with the touch panel in a position of an object displayed on the LCD panel, the coordinate data of the object is provided from the touch input detection circuit 14a to the CPU 11, and then the object is recognized by the CPU. The sound processing circuit 15 generates an analogue audio signal depending on a sound producing instruction by the CPU 11, and then outputs the signal to a speaker 22. The communication control circuit 20 and a communication interface 21 are included in the communication unit 23. They are used for wirelessly connecting the game console 1 to other game console(s) and the like. The communication control unit 20 and the communication interface 21 are connected to the CPU 11 through the bus 16. In response to a command from the CPU 11, the communication control circuit 20 and the communication interface 21 control and transmit a connection signal for connecting the game console 1 to the internet with the local wireless network or the wireless LAN.

The external storage device 17, which is provided separately from the control unit 10, is connected to the bus 16. For example, a game cartridge detachably/reattachably attached to the core unit 2 (e.g., the bottom chassis 2b) is classified as the external storage device 17. A ROM 18 functioning as a storage medium and a memory 19 functioning as a rewritable user memory are provided in the inside of the external storage device 17. A game program for causing the game console 1 to function as a computer and a variety of data necessary for executing the game program are preliminarily stored in the ROM 18. The variety of data include a variety of image data and the like. A rewritable memory (e.g., a flash memory) is used as the memory 19. The game save data and the like are stored in the memory 19 as needed, Note that not only a semiconductor storage device but also a variety of storage medium (e.g., a magnetic storage media, an optical storage media, and a magneto-optical storage media) may be used as the storage media of the external storage device 17. Also, note that an interface circuit is provided between the bus 16 and each of the elements as needed. However, illustration of these elements is hereinafter omitted.

In the game console 1 with the above described configuration, a game program stored in the ROM 18 of the external storage device 17 is loaded, and the loaded game program is executed by the CPU 11. Accordingly, a game player can play various genres of games on the LCD monitor unit 3. Also, the game console 1 is connected to the wireless network through the communication control unit 20 and/or connected to other game console(s) through a communication cable and the like. Accordingly, it is possible to perform data transfer between the game console 1 and other game console(s) and play a versus-type game.

Explanation of Various Means in the Game Device]

A baseball game is an example of the games executed in the game console 1. The game console 1 is configured to make it possible to cause a pitcher character 70 (game character) to throw a ball on a screen displayed on the contact input type monitor (i.e., the bottom LCD monitor 3b of the LCD monitor unit 3).

FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram for illustrating a variety of functions of a pitching input system that plays a main role in the present invention. Here, the variety of functions (means) of the pitching input system are performed in a baseball game to be described, for instance.

A character display means 50 has a function of causing the control unit to issue a character display command for displaying the pitcher character 70 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. In the character display means 50, a character display command for displaying the pitcher character 70 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is issued by the control unit.

In this means, a character display command is issued by the CPU 11. When the character display command is issued by the CPU 1, the following process is performed. First, when the game program is loaded, the pitcher image data corresponding to the pitcher character 70 is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, the position coordinate data for displaying the pitcher image data on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. Here, the pitcher image data and the position coordinate date are recognized by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11). Then, the pitcher image data stored in the RAM 13 is provided to the bottom LCD monitor 3b through the image processing circuit 14, based on the instruction by the CPU 11. Next, the pitcher image data is displayed in a predetermined position of the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the position coordinate data.

An input position recognition means 51 has a function of causing the control unit to recognize the coordinate data of an input position 1001 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b that corresponds to a first input signal from the bottom LCD monitor 3b, based on the first input signal. In the input position recognition means 51, based on the first input signal from the bottom LCD monitor 3b, the coordinate data of the input position 1001 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b that corresponds to the first input signal is recognized by the control unit.

In this means, when an instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus and a finger) was contacted with the bottom LCD monitor 3b, an input signal from the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b is issued to and recognized by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11). Accordingly, a contact position in which the instruction means 100 is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b is recognized by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11). Specifically, the position coordinate data, which indicates a position in which the instruction means 100 is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b, is provided from the touch input detection circuit 14a to the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11), and is recognized by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11).

A region display command issue means (region display means) 52 has a function of causing the control unit to issue a region display command for displaying a first region, a second region, and a third region on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. Here, the first region is a region in which an input for moving a ball is started. The second region is a region for expressing a character property (characteristic) of the pitcher character 70. The third region is a region through which a movement start command for starting movement of a ball from the pitcher character 70 to a target position (e.g., pitching course) is inputted. In the region display command issue means 52, the region display command for displaying the first region in which an input of moving a ball is started, the second region for expressing a character property of the pitcher character 70, and the third region through which a movement start command for starting movement of a ball from the pitcher character 70 to a target position (e.g., pitching course) is inputted, on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, is issued by the control unit. The region display command includes a second region position setting command and a second region display command. Here, the second region position setting command is a command for setting a display position of a second region based on a character property of the pitcher character 70. The second region display command is a command for displaying the second region in the display position of the second region on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. Also, the region display command includes a second region bounds setting command and a second region display command. Here, the second region bounds setting command is a command for setting display bounds of a second region based on a character property of the pitcher character 70. The second region display command is a command for displaying the second region in the display bounds of the second region on the bottom LCD monitor 3b.

In this means, a region display command is issued by the CPU 11. When the region display command is issued by the CPU 1, the following process is performed. First, when the game program is loaded, the first region image data, the second region image data, and the third region image data are provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and are stored in the RAM 13. Here, the first region image data corresponds to a first region in which an input for moving a ball is started. The second region image data corresponds to a second region for expressing a character property of the pitcher character 70. The third region image data corresponds to a third region through which a movement start command for starting movement of a ball from the pitcher character 70 to a pitching course is inputted. The first region image data, the second region image data, and the third region image data, respectively, include region bounds data for demarcating a display bound (i.e., size) of each region. Especially, the second region bounds data included in the second region image data is corrected by the control device 10 (e.g., CPU 11) based on a character property data K of the pitcher character 70, which is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13). Here, the character property data K of the pitcher character 70 (e.g., ability data and condition data of a character) is referred by the CPU 11, and the second region bounds data of the second region image data is corrected by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11). For example, when the value of the ability data and the condition data of the pitcher character 70 is large, the second region bounds data is corrected for displaying the second region image data on the bottom LCD monitor 3b in a large size. On the other hand, when the value of the ability data and the condition data of the pitcher character 70 is small, the second region bounds data is corrected for displaying the second region image data on the bottom LCD monitor 3b in a small size.

Then, the position coordinate data for displaying the first and third region image data on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. In addition, the initial position coordinate data for the second region image data is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. The initial position coordinate data is corrected by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11) based on the character property data K of the pitcher character 70, which is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13). Here, the character property of the pitcher character 70, such as the pitching form data and the dominant arm data of the pitcher character 70, is referred by the CPU 11, and the initial position coordinate data is calculated by adding the coordinate correction value to at least either of the position coordinate data of the pitcher image data and the position coordinate data of the first region image data (e.g., by adding the coordinate correction value to the position coordinate data of the first region image data) based on the position coordinate data of the pitcher image data and the position coordinate data of the first region image data. Note that when the game program is loaded, a corresponding table indicating the correspondence relation between the coordinate correction value and the character property data K of the pitcher character 70 is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, the initial position coordinate data is corrected based on the correspondence table stored in the RAM 13. The above described corrected initial position coordinate data is stored in the RAM 13 as the position coordinate data for displaying the second region image data on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. At this time, the first to third region image data and the position coordinate data thereof are recognized by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11).

Then, the first and third region image data stored in the RAM 13 is provided to the bottom LCD monitor 3b through the image processing circuit 14 based on the instruction by the CPU 11. Next, the first and third region image data are displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the respective position coordinate data. Also, as to the second region image data stored in the RAM 13, first, the corrected second region bounds data is referred by the CPU 11, and then the second region image data is provided to the bottom LCD monitor 3b through the image processing circuit 14 based on the instruction by the CPU 11. Next, the second region image data is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the second region bounds data and the position coordinate data.

A region recognition means 53 has a function of causing the control unit to recognize the coordinate data within the display bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the display bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the display bounds of the third region. In the region recognition means 53, the coordinate data within the display bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the display bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the display bounds of the third region are recognized by the control unit.

In this means, when the first to third region image data are displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, a plurality of coordinate data included in each of the first to third region image data displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b are recognized by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11).

A third region movement command issue means (third region moving means) 54 has a function of causing the control unit to issue a third region movement command for moving the third region on the bottom LCD monitor 3b while it is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on either of the first input signal and the second input signal outputted from the input unit.

In the third region movement command issue means 54, the third region movement command for moving the third region on the bottom LCD monitor 3b while it is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on either of the first input signal and the second input signal outputted from the input unit is issued by the control unit.

In this means, the third region movement command is issued by the CPU 11. When the third region movement command is issued by the CPU 11, the following process is performed. When the third region is moved on the bottom LCD monitor 3b while it is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the first input signal, a condition whether the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region is judged by the CPU 11. Then, a condition whether the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region is judged by the CPU 11. Next, when the coordinate data of the input position 101 is judged to correspond to the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region by the CPU 11, a condition whether the coordinate data of the input position 101 changed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is judged by the CPU 11. Here, when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have changed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b by the CPU 11, the amount of change of the coordinate data of the input position 101 is calculated and recognized by the CPU 11. Then, the third region image data displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is moved by the CPU 11 depending on the amount of change of the coordinate data of the input position 101. In other words, when a position of the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) is moved on the bottom LCD monitor 3b while it is contacted with the bounds of the display region of the third region on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, the third region image data is moved on the bottom LCD monitor 3b according to the amount of movement of the stylus.

On the other hand, when the third region is moved on the bottom LCD monitor 3b while it is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the second input signal outputted from the input unit, the second input signal from the input unit is recognized by the CPU 11, and the amount of movement of the third region image data on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, which corresponds to the second input signal, is recognized by the CPU 11. Then, the third region image data displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is moved by the CPU 11 based on the amount of movement. Note that the amount of movement corresponding to the second input signal is preliminarily set in the game program. In other words, when the input unit such as the direction instruction button is controlled, the third region image data is moved on the bottom LCD monitor 3b depending on how many times the direction instruction button is pressed.

A position data judgment means (position judgment means) 55 has a function of causing the control unit to judge a condition whether the coordinate data of an input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, respectively, while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the control unit. In the position data judgment means 55, the condition whether the coordinate data of an input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region, respectively, while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the control unit, is judged by the control unit.

In this means, while the contact position coordinate data, which indicates a position that the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b, consecutively changes, the condition whether the contact position coordinate data corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region recognized by the CPU 11, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region recognized by the CPU 11, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region recognized by the CPU 11 is judged by the CPU 11.

Here, first, the condition whether the contact position coordinate data, which indicates a position that a stylus is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b, corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region recognized by the CPU 11 is judged by the CPU 11. Next, while the consecutive change of the contact position coordinate data indicating a position in which a stylus is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b is recognized by the CPU 11, the condition whether the contact position coordinate data corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region recognized by the CPU 11 is judged by the CPU 11. Finally, while the consecutive change of the coordinate data indicating a position in which a stylus is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b is recognized by the CPU 11, the condition whether the contact position coordinate data corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region recognized by the CPU 11 is judged by the CPU 11.

A movement start command issue means (movement start means) 56 has a function of causing the control unit to receive an input for moving a ball when the coordinate data of an input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the control unit, and a function of causing the control unit to issue a movement start command when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region by the control unit, while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the control unit. In the movement start command issue means 56, start of an input for moving a ball is recognized by the control unit when the coordinate data of an input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the control unit, and a movement start command is issued by the control unit when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region by the control unit, while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the control unit.

In this means, while the contact position coordinate data, which indicates a position that the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b, consecutively changes, start of an input of ball movement is recognized by the CPU 11 when the contact position coordinate data was judged by the CPU 11 that it corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region recognized by the CPU 11, and a movement start command is issued by the CPU 11 when the contact position coordinate data was judged by the CPU 11 that it corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region recognized by the CPU 11, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region recognized by the CPU 11, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region recognized by the CPU 11.

For example, when the contact position coordinate data, which indicates a position that the stylus is contacted with the bottom LCD monitor 3b, was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region by the CPU 11, start of an input for moving a ball is recognized by the CPU 11. Then, in a first setting means 57 to be described, a first property (first object property) of a ball (e.g., a ball-power property) is set by the CPU 11 when the contact position coordinate data was judged by the CPU 11 that it corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region recognized by the CPU 11 while the consecutive change of the contact position coordinate data was recognized by the CPU 11. Next, in a judgment time calculation means 58 and a second setting means 59, a second property (second object property) of a ball (e.g., a ball-velocity property) is set by the CPU 11 and a movement start command is issued by the CPU 11 when the contact position coordinate data was judged by the CPU 11 that it corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region recognized by the CPU 11 while the consecutive change of the contact position coordinate data was recognized by the CPU 11. Here, when the movement start command is issued by the CPU 11, a ball display command issue means (object display means) 60 to be described is performed.

The first setting means 57 has a function of causing the CPU 11 to set the first property of a ball depending on the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region to which the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponded, when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region by the CPU 11 while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the CPU 11. In the first setting means 57, the first property of a ball is set by the CPU 11 depending on the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region to which the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponded, when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region by the CPU 11 while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the contact input type monitor is consecutively recognized by the CPU 11.

In this means, the first property of an object (e.g., a ball-power property) is set by the CPU 11 depending on the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region to which the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponded, when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region by the CPU 11 while the contact position coordinate data indicating a position in which the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the CPU 11.

For example, when the contact position coordinate data sequentially corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region in this order while the contact position coordinate data is consecutively recognized by the CPU 11, if the contact position coordinate data corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region to which the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponded is recognized by the CPU 11. Then, an extent how the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region recognized by the CPU 11 is different from the central coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, that is, the shortest passing distance is calculated by the CPU 11. Next, a ball-power property data B1 of a ball is set by the CPU 11 depending on the shortest passing distance data L. The correspondence relation between the shortest passing distance data L and the ball-power property data B1 is preliminarily made in the game program. Here, when the game program is loaded, a correspondence table indicating the correspondence between the shortest passing distance data L and the ball-power property data B1 of a ball is provided to the control device 10 (e.g, the RAM 13) from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, a ball-power corresponding to the shortest passing distance is selected by the CPU 11 based on the correspondence table stored in the RAM 13.

The judgment time calculation means 58 has a function of causing the control unit to calculate the elapsed time required to judge that the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds from the first region to third region, when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region by the control unit while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the control unit. In the judgment time calculation means 58, the elapsed time required to judge that the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data within the bounds from the first region to third region is calculated by the control unit, when the coordinate data of the input position 101 was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bound of the third region by the control unit while the coordinate data of the input position 101 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the control unit.

In this means, the elapsed time when the CPU 11 judges that the contact position coordinate data corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions is calculated by the CPU 11, when the contact position coordinate data was judged to have corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region by the CPU 11 while the contact position coordinate data indicating a position in which the stylus is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b is consecutively recognized by the CPU 11.

For example, when the contact position coordinate data sequentially corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region in this order while the contact position coordinate data is consecutively recognized by the CPU 11, the elapsed real-time when the contact position coordinate data firstly corresponded to the coordinate data within the first region, and secondly corresponded to the coordinate data within the second region, and finally corresponded to the coordinate data within the third region, is calculated by the CPU 11.

The second setting means 59 has a function of causing the control unit to set a second property of a ball depending on the elapsed real-time when the control unit judges that the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions. In the second setting means 59, the second property of a ball is set by the control unit depending on the elapsed real-time when the control unit judges that the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions.

In this means, the second property of a ball (e.g., a ball-velocity property) is set by the CPU 11 depending on the elapsed real-time when the CPU 11 judges that the contact position coordinate data indicating a position in which the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) is contacted with the touch panel of the bottom LCD monitor 3b corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions.

For example, when the contact position coordinate data sequentially corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first region, the coordinate data within the bounds of the second region, and the coordinate data within the bounds of the third region in this order while the contact position coordinate data is consecutively recognized by the CPU 11, the second property of a ball (e.g., the ball-velocity property data B2) is set by the CPU 11 depending on the real-time data calculated in the judgment time calculation means 58. The correspondence relation between the real-time data and the ball-velocity property data B2 is preliminarily made in the game program. Here, when the game program is loaded, a correspondence table indicating the correspondence between the real-time data and the ball-velocity property data B2 is provided to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13) from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, a ball-velocity corresponding to the real-time is selected by the CPU 11 based on the correspondence table stored in the RAM 13.

A ball display command issue means 60 has a function of causing the control unit to issue a ball display command for displaying a ball that moves from the pitcher character 70 to a pitching course on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. In addition, the ball display command issue function has a function of causing the control unit to issue a ball display command for displaying a ball that moves from the pitcher character 70 to a pitching course on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the second property. In the ball display command issue means 60, a ball display command for displaying a ball that moves from the pitcher character 70 to a pitching course on the bottom LCD monitor based on the second property is issued by the control unit.

In this means, based on the ball-velocity property data B2, a ball display command for displaying a ball character, which moves from the pitcher character 70 to a pitching course, on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, is issued by the CPU 11. When the ball display command is issued by the CPU 11, the following process is performed. First, when the game program is loaded, the ball image data corresponding to a ball is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, the moving-image coordinate data for displaying the ball image data on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is calculated by the CPU 11 based on the ball-velocity property data B2. Here, the ball image data and the coordinate data are recognized by the control device 10 (e.g., the CPU 11). Then, the ball image data stored in the RAM 13 is provided to the bottom LCD monitor 3b through the image processing circuit 14 based on the instruction by the CPU 11. Next, the ball image data is consecutively displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b as a moving image based on the calculated moving-image coordinate data.

A judgment time recognition means 61 has a function of causing the control unit to recognize a permissible-time that is allowed for the control unit to judge that the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions. In the judgment time recognition means 61, the permissible-time, which is allowed for the control unit to judge that the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions, is recognized by the control unit.

In this means, the permissible-time, which is allowed for the control unit to judge that the contact position coordinate data corresponded to the coordinate data within the bounds of the first to third regions, is recognized by the CPU 11. The permissible-time data is preliminarily set in the game program. Here, when the game program is loaded, the permissible-time data is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, the permissible-time data stored in the RAM 13 is recognized by the CPU 11.

A first indicator display means 62 has a function of causing the control unit to issue a first indicator display command for displaying a first time-indicator (first indicator) indicating a permissible-time recognized by the control unit on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. In the first indicator display means 62, a first indicator display command for displaying a first time-indicator, which indicates a permissible-time recognized by the control unit, on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, is issued by the control unit.

In this means, the first indicator display command for displaying the first time-indicator, which indicates the permissible-time recognized by the CPU 11, on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, is issued by the CPU 11. When the first indicator display command is issued by the CPU 11, the following process is performed. For example, in a case that the first time-indicator is a bar-type indicator, when the game program is loaded, a rectangular-shaped image data is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, in response to the instruction by the CPU 11, the rectangular-shaped image data stored in the RAM 13 is consecutively provided to the bottom LCD monitor 3b through the image processing circuit 14 based on the permissible-time data. Accordingly, the rectangular-shaped image data is consecutively displayed as an expanding and contracting moving image in a predetermined position on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. Note that when the permissible-time is 5 seconds, the time interval at which the rectangular-shaped image data stored in the RAM 13 is consecutively provided to the bottom LCD monitor 3b is configured to be the time obtained by dividing the permissible-time by 10 (i.e., 0.5 seconds).

A second indicator display means 63 has a function of causing the control unit to issue a second indicator display command for displaying a second time-indicator on the contact input type monitor. Here, the second time-indicator indicates the elapsed real-time since the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data within one of the bounds of the first to third regions until it corresponds to the coordinate data within all the bounds in the first to third regions. In the second indicator display means 63, the second indicator display command for displaying the second time-indicator for indicating the elapsed real-time since the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data within one of the bounds of the first to third regions until it corresponds to the coordinate data within all the bounds of the first to third regions on the contact input type monitor.

In this means, the second indicator display command for displaying the second time-indicator for indicating the elapsed real-time when the CPU 11 judges that the coordinate data of an input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data in the bounds of the first to third regions, that is, for displaying the second time-indicator for indicating the elapsed real-time since the coordinate data of the input position 101 corresponds to the coordinate data within one of the bounds of the first to third regions until it corresponds to the coordinate data within all the bounds in the first to third regions, on the contact input type monitor, is issued by the CPU 11. When the second indicator display command is issued by the CPU 11, the following process is performed. For example, in a case that the first time-indicator is a bar-type indicator, when the game program is loaded, a rectangular-shaped image data is provided from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to the control device 10 (e.g., the RAM 13), and is stored in the RAM 13. Then, in response to the instruction by the CPU 11, the rectangular-shaped image data stored in the RAM 13 is consecutively provided to the bottom LCD monitor 3b through the image processing circuit 14 depending on the real-time. Accordingly, the rectangular-shaped image data is consecutively displayed as a moving image extending in one direction in a predetermined position on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. In other words, the elapsed time when the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) is contacted with the first to third regions is consecutively displayed as a moving image extending in one direction on the bottom LCD monitor 3b.

Summary of Pitching Input System in Baseball Game

Next, the content of a pitching input system, for example, in a baseball game, will be hereinafter specifically explained. The pitching input system is a system for moving a ball character from the pitcher character 70 to a pitching course on a screen displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. The pitching input system is mainly realized by the above described variety of functions or means.

FIG. 4 is a screen shot displayed when a command of a pitch is instructed to the pitcher character 70. The screen shot is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b.

The pitcher character 70 is displayed on the center upper portion of the bottom LCD monitor 3b, and a batter character 71 is displayed on the left lower portion of the bottom LCD monitor 3b. A strike zone 72 is displayed with a rectangular-shaped solid-line on the center lower portion of the bottom LCD monitor 3b, that is, on the right of the batter character 71. The strike zone 72 is an area to be judged as “strike” by the CPU 11. In addition, a plurality of pitches that the pitcher character 70 is allowed to throw, that is, stuffs of the pitcher character 70, are displayed with a plurality of arrow marks on the solid line illustrating the strike zone 72. As illustrated in FIG. 4, for example, an arrow mark illustrating a straight fastball 72a is displayed on the top side of the strike zone 72, and an arrow mark illustrating a forkball 72b is displayed on the bottom side of the strike zone 72. In addition, an arrow mark 72c illustrating a slider is displayed on the right side of the strike zone 72, and an arrow mark 72d illustrating a curveball is displayed on the lower right angle of the strike zone 72. In other words, each of the plurality of pitches that the pitcher character 70 is allowed to throw is corresponded to each of the plurality of arrow marks 72a, 72b, 72c, and 72d, by the CPU 11. A pitch of the pitcher character 70 in throwing a ball is configured to be selected by contacting the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) with one of the plurality of arrow marks 72a, 72b, 72c, and 72d. In other words, it is configured that contacting the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) with one of the plurality of arrow marks 72a, 72b, 72c, and 72d makes it possible to cause the CPU 11 to recognize the pitch data corresponding to the arrow mark with which the stylus is contacted. Thus, a command of a pitch is allowed to be instructed to the pitcher character 70.

FIGS. 5 to 7 illustrate screen shots displayed when a command for moving a ball is instructed to the pitcher character 70. The screens are configured to be displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b when the above described command of a pitch is instructed to the pitcher character 70.

As illustrated in FIGS. 5 to 7, a first region (e.g., a first circular mark 80) is displayed on the right of the pitcher character 70 displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. In addition, a second region (e.g., a second circular mark 81) is displayed on the left of the pitcher character 70, and a third region (e.g., a third circular mark 82) is displayed on the right of the butter character 71.

Here, the display position of the second circular mark 81 is set by the CPU 11 based on the character property data K of the pitcher character 70 (e.g., the pitching form data or the dominant arm data of the pitcher character 70). For example, when the pitcher character 70 is a right-handed overhand pitcher, the second circular mark 81 is displayed above the first circular mark 80 on the left of the pitcher character 70 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b (see FIG. 6). Also, when the pitcher character 70 is a left-handed overhand pitcher, the second circular mark 81 is displayed above the first circular mark 80 on the right of the pitcher character 70 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b (not illustrated in the figure). For example, when the pitcher character 70 is a right-handed underhand pitcher, the second circular mark 81 is displayed below the first circular mark 80 on the left of the pitcher character 70 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b (see FIG. 7). Also, when the pitcher character 70 is a left-handed underhand pitcher, the second circular mark 81 is displayed below the first circular mark 80 on the right of the pitcher character 70 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b (not illustrated in the figure). Thus, the display position of the second circular mark 81 to be displayed on the bottom LCD 3b is set by the CPU 11 based on a correspondence table (see FIG. 9) that indicates correspondence between the coordinate correction value and the character property data K of the pitcher character 70.

First, when the stylus is positioned within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 and is then slid on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, the third circular mark 82 displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b is moved according to the amount of movement of the stylus. In other words, the third circular mark 82 is moved on the bottom LCD monitor 3b while it follows the contact position of the stylus with the monitor. Then, when the stylus is removed away from the bottom LCD monitor 3b, the position of the third circular mark 82 after movement, that is, the pitching course, is recognized by the CPU 11. Thus, it is possible to set the pitching course to be a desired position by moving the third circular mark 82.

Accordingly, a first indicator (e.g., a horizontally-long permissible-time gauge 83) is displayed on the lower portion on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. The permissible-time gauge 83 is an indicator for reporting the permissible-time that is allowed to slide the stylus from the first circular mark 80 to the third circular mark 82. The permissible-time gauge 83 is configured to start extending from the left edge toward the right edge when it was displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, and is also configured to reach the right edge when the permissible-time was elapsed. Then, when the gauge reaches the right edge, it is configured to extend again from the left edge toward the right edge. Thus, the permissible-time gauge 83 is configured to repeatedly extend from the left edge toward the right edge. The permissible-time gauge 83 makes it possible for a game player to see and confirm the permissible-time that is allowed to slide the stylus from the first region to the third region. Also, a second indicator (e.g., a horizontally long real-time gauge 84) is displayed in a lower portion of the bottom LCD monitor 3b (e.g., below the permissible-time gauge 83). The permissible-time gauge 84 is an indicator for reporting the real-time when the stylus is slid from the first circular mark 80 to the third circular mark 82.

Next, when the stylus is positioned within the bounds of the first circular mark 80, a pitching start command is inputted. In other words, a pitching start command for causing the pitcher character 70 to start pitching is recognized by the CPU 11. Then, the time when the pitching start command was recognized by the CPU 11 is recognized by the CPU 11 as the time data “T=0” to be the reference point of the real-time data T. Here, the real-time gauge 84 starts extending from the left edge toward the right edge when the stylus was positioned within the bounds of the first circular mark 80, that is, when the value of the real-time data T equals zero (T=0). Then, when the stylus was positioned within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 as described below, movement of the gauge is configured to be stopped.

Next, while the stylus is contacted with the bottom LCD monitor 3b, it is slid from the first circular mark 80 to the second circular mark 81, and thus it is passed through the inside of the second circular mark 81. Accordingly, a plurality of coordinate data within the bounds of the second circular mark 81 through which the stylus is passed are recognized by the CPU 11. Here, distance between each of the plurality of coordinate data within the bounds of the second circular mark 81 through which the stylus is passed and the central coordinate data of the second circular mark 81 is calculated by the CPU 11, and the shortest distance data L of the distance data indicating a plurality of distance calculated by the CPU 11 is recognized by the CPU 11. Accordingly, a correspondence table (see FIG. 10) indicating the correspondence between the shortest distance data L and the ball-power property data B1 of a ball is referenced by the CPU 11, and the ball-power data corresponding to the shortest distance data L is recognized by the CPU 11 based on the correspondence table. The ball-power data indicates that the greater the value, the greater the power. Here, the ball-power is configured to be large when the value of the shortest distance data L is small. Here, in FIG. 10, the radius of the second circular mark is configured to be R.

Next, while the stylus is contacted with the bottom LCD monitor 3b, it is slid from the second circular mark 81 to the third circular mark 82, and then it is positioned in or passed through the inside of the third circular mark 82. Accordingly, the coordinate data within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 in which the stylus is initially positioned is recognized by the CPU 11. Here, the elapsed real-time when the stylus is moved from the first circular mark 80 and is then passed through the second circular mark 81 and finally positioned in the third circular mark 82 is calculated by the CPU 11, and the real-time data T is stored in the RAM 13. Then, a correspondence table (see FIG. 1) indicating the correspondence between the real-time data T and the ball-velocity property data B2 is referenced by the CPU 11, and the ball-velocity data corresponding to the real-time data T is recognized by the CPU 11 based on the correspondence table. The ball-velocity data indicates that the greater the value, the greater the velocity. Here, the ball-velocity is configured to be greater when the value of the real-time data T is small. Here, in FIG. 11, the maximum of the real-time data T, that is, the permissible-time data, is set to be 5 seconds.

Also, when the coordinate data within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 in which the stylus was initially positioned was recognized by the CPU 1, movement of the gauge is stopped as described above. Thus, it is possible for a game player to grasp the elapsed real-time when the stylus is slid from the first circular mark 80 to the third circular mark 82. Note that the permissible-time gauge 83 displayed above the real-time gauge 84 repeatedly extends and contracts from the left edge toward the right edge, and thus it is possible to slide the stylus from the first circular mark 80 to the third circular mark 82 within the permissible-time by reference to the permissible-time gauge 83.

Finally, when the coordinate data within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 in which the stylus is positioned is recognized by the CPU 11, a ball is released from the pitcher character 70 and the ball released from the pitcher character 70 is displayed as a ball character on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. The ball character moving toward a pitching course is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the ball-velocity data recognized by the CPU 11. Here, the ball character moving toward a pitching course is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b while it changes and moves in accordance with the pitch data recognized by the CPU 11.

For example, when the value of the ball-velocity data is large, the moving velocity of the ball character moving toward the pitching course is controlled to be faster than the reference velocity by the CPU 11. On the other hand, when the value of the ball-velocity is small, the moving velocity of the ball character moving toward the pitching course is controlled to be slower than the reference velocity by the CPU 11. Note that the reference velocity data is preliminarily set in the game program, and is outputted from the external storage device 17 (e.g., the ROM 18) to and is then stored in the RAM 13 when the game program is loaded. The reference velocity data is referenced by the CPU 11, and the ball-velocity data is calculated by the CPU 11 by adding/subtracting the correction velocity data corresponding to the value of the ball-velocity data to/from the reference velocity data.

Note that when the ball released from the pitcher character 70 is displayed as the ball character on the bottom LCD monitor 3b, the ball character moving toward the pitching course may be configured to be displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the ball-power data recognized by the CPU 11. For example, when the value of the ball-power data is large, the ball character moving toward the pitching course may be configured to be displayed in a small size. On the other hand, when the value of the ball-power data is small, the ball character moving toward the pitching course may be configured to be displayed in a large size.

Here, the ball-power data recognized by the CPU 11 is used when the thrown ball is hit back by the batter character 71. For example, when the value of the ball-power data is large, distance of the ball that is hit back by the batter character 71 is configured to be short by the control of the CPU 11. In addition, when the value of the ball-power data is small, distance of the ball that is hit back by the batter character 71 is configured to be long by the control of the CPU 11.

Process Flow of Pitching Input System in Baseball Game

A process flow of the pitching input system in the baseball game of the present embodiment will be explained with reference to a flowchart illustrated in FIG. 12.

First, a pitcher character 70 and a batter character 71 are displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b (Step S1). Here, a strike zone 72 is displayed with a rectangular-shaped solid-line, and a plurality of arrow marks corresponding to stuffs of the pitcher character 70 are displayed on the solid line showing the strike zone 72 (Step S2). When one of the plurality of arrow marks is selected by a stylus in this state, the pitch data corresponding to the arrow mark on which the stylus is touched is recognized by the CPU 11, and the pitch is selected (Step S3).

Accordingly, display positions of a first circular mark 80 and a third circular mark 82 are recognized by the CPU 11 (Step S4). Then, a first correspondence table indicating correspondence between the character property data K of the pitcher character 70 and the coordinate correction value is referenced by the CPU 11 (Step S5), and the coordinate correction value corresponding to the character property data K of the pitcher character 70 (e.g., the pitching form data and the dominant arm data of the pitcher character 70) is recognized by the CPU 11 (Step S6). Then, with the coordinate correction value, the display position of the second circular mark 81 is set and recognized by the CPU 11 (Step S7). Next, the first to third circular marks 80, 81 and 82 are displayed on the display positions of the first to third circular marks 80, 81 and 82 on the bottom LCD monitor 3b (Step S8).

Next, when the stylus is positioned on the third circular mark 82 and is then slid, the third circular mark 82 is moved on the bottom LCD monitor 3b depending on the amount of movement of the stylus (Step S9). Then, when the stylus is removed away from the bottom LCD monitor 3b, the position of the third circular mark 82 after movement, that is, the pitching course is recognized and determined by the CPU 11 (Step S10). Accordingly, a permissible-time gauge 83 is displayed in a lower portion on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. Here, the permissible-time gauge 83 starts extending from the left edge toward the right edge, and then repeatedly extends and contracts from the left edge toward the right edge. Then, a real-time gauge 84 is displayed below the permissible-time gauge 83 in a lower portion of the bottom LCD monitor 3b (Step S11).

Next, a condition whether the stylus was positioned on the first circular mark 80 is judged by the CPU 11 (Step S12). Then, when the stylus is judged to have been positioned on the first circular mark 80 by the CPU 11 (Yes in Step S12), a pitching start command for causing the pitcher character 70 to start pitching is recognized by the CPU 11 (Step S13). Here, the time when the pitching start command was recognized by the CPU 11 is recognized by the CPU 11 as the time data “T=0” to be the reference point of the real-time data T (Step S14). Then, the real-time gauge 84 displayed to be aligned below the permissible-time gauge 83 starts extending from the left edge toward the right edge (Step S15).

Next, while the stylus is contacted with the bottom LCD monitor 3b, a condition whether the stylus was positioned on the second circular mark 81 is judged by the CPU 11 (Step S116). When the stylus is judged to have been positioned on the second circular mark 81 by the CPU 11 (Yes in Step S16), distance between each of a plurality of coordinate data within the bounds of the second circular mark 81 on which the stylus was positioned and the central coordinate data of the second circular mark 81 is calculated by the CPU 11, and the shortest distance data L is recognized by the CPU 11 (Step S117). Accordingly, a second correspondence table indicating the correspondence between the shortest distance data L and the ball-power property data B1 of a ball is referenced by the CPU 11 (Step S18), and the ball-power data corresponding to the shortest distance data L is recognized and determined by the CPU 11 based on the correspondence table (Step S19).

Next, while the stylus is contacted with the bottom LCD monitor 3b, a condition whether the stylus was positioned on the third circular mark 82 is judged by the CPU 11 (Step S20). When the stylus is judged to have been positioned on the third circular mark 82 by the CPU 11 (Yes in Step S20), the coordinate data within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 on which the stylus was initially positioned is recognized by the CPU 11. Here, the real-time is calculated by the CPU 11, and the real-time data T is stored in the RAM 13 (Step S21). Then, a third correspondence table indicating correspondence between the real-time data T and the ball-velocity property data B2 is referenced by the CPU 11 (Step S22), and the ball-velocity data corresponding to the real-time data T is recognized and determined by the CPU 11 based on the correspondence table (Step S23). Then, when the coordinate data within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 was recognized by the CPU 11, movement of the real-time gauge 84 is stopped (Step S24).

Finally, when the coordinate data within the bounds of the third circular mark 82 on which the stylus was positioned is recognized by the CPU 11, a ball is released from the pitcher character 70 and the ball character is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b. Then, the ball character that moves to a pitching course is displayed on the bottom LCD monitor 3b based on the ball-velocity data recognized by the CPU 11 (Step S25).

Other Embodiments

(a) In the above described embodiment, a case is described in which the portable game console 1 is used as an example of a computer to which a game program is allowed to be applied. However, the computer (e.g., game device) having a touch panel monitor is not limited to the above described embodiment, and may be applied to a game device with which a monitor is separately provided, a monitor-integrated arcade game device, a personal computer or a workstation which functions as a game device when a game program is executed therein, and the like, as well.

(b) In the above described embodiment, a case that a baseball game is used is explained. However, a game applied to the present invention may be any type of game, as long as it is a game in which an object is moved from a character to a target position on a screen displayed on a contact input type monitor.

(c) The present invention includes a program to execute the above described type of game, a program method for executing the game, and a computer-readable recording medium in which the program is recorded. For example, a computer-readable flexible disk, a semiconductor memory, a CD-ROM, a DVD, a MO, a ROM cassette, and the like may be suggested as the recording medium other than the cartridge.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

According to the present invention, it is possible to perform starting of an input for moving an object and an input of a movement start command of the object only by sliding an instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) on a touch panel monitor. Accordingly, it becomes possible for a game player to readily instruct a character to execute a command. In addition, according to the present invention, it is possible to change a display position of a second region according to a character property. Also, it is possible to make an operation of the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) on the touch panel monitor similar to movement of a character by sliding the instruction means 100 on the touch panel monitor such that it sequentially passes a first region, a second region whose display position is changed according to a character property, and a third region in this order. Accordingly, it is possible for a game player to have an operational feeling that he/she operates the character.

Also, according to the present invention, it is possible to set a first object property of an object only by sliding the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) from the first region to the third region on the touch panel monitor. Accordingly, it becomes possible for a game player to readily instruct an input of a property of an object.

Also, according to the present invention, it is possible to set a second object property of an object only by sliding the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) from the first region to the third region on the touch panel monitor. Accordingly, it becomes possible for a game player to readily instruct an input of a property of an object.

Also, according to the present invention, it is possible to change the display bounds of a second region according to a character property. Accordingly, it is possible for a game player to have an operational feeling in accordance with the character properties.

Furthermore, according to the present invention, a first time indicator indicating the permissible-time and a second time indicator indicating the real-time are configured to be displayed on the touch input monitor. Accordingly, it is possible for a game player to slide the instruction means 100 (e.g., a stylus or a finger) on the touch panel monitor such that the instruction means 100 is passed through the first region, the second region, and the third region within the permissible-time while he/she looks at the first time indicator as a guide and compares the first time indicator with the second time indicator.

The terms of degree such as “substantially”, “about” and “approximately” as used herein mean a reasonable amount of deviation of the modified term such that the end result is not significantly changed. These terms should be construed as including a deviation of at least ±5% of the modified term if this deviation would not negate the meaning of the word it modifies.

While only selected embodiments have been chosen to illustrate the present invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure that various changes and modifications can be made herein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Furthermore, the foregoing descriptions of the embodiments according to the present invention are provided for illustration only, and not for the purpose of limiting the invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

The term “configured” as used herein to describe a component, section or part of a device includes hardware and/or software that is constructed and/or programmed to carry out the desired function.

Moreover, terms that are expressed as “means-plus function” in the claims should include any structure that can be utilized to carry out the function of that part of the present invention.