Title:
Card-Based Game Machine and Method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A card-based game machine includes a game item card storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value, and a game host unit. The game host unit includes: a game card reader for reading the machine-readable virtual item data; and a processor coupled to the game card reader, and generating a virtual game piece, a virtual item on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data, and a game potency value on the basis of the potency value. The processor changes the game potency value during game play, and updates the machine-readable virtual item data through the game card reader at game completion, such that the potency value reflects the game potency value at game completion. A card-based game method is also disclosed.



Inventors:
Yang, Arden (Rosemead, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/233124
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
09/18/2008
Assignee:
ASTRO CORP. (San-Chung City, TW)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/292
International Classes:
A63F9/24; A63F1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SKAARUP, JASON M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Vedder, Price P. C. (222 N. LASALLE STREET, CHICAGO, IL, 60601, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A card-based game machine, comprising: a game item card storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value; and a game host unit including a game card reader for reading the machine-readable virtual item data on said game item card, and a processor coupled to said game card reader, and executing a game program to generate a virtual game piece to be controlled by a player who is playing a game, a virtual item that is generated on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by said game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece, and a game potency value that is generated on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read by said game card reader and that is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game; wherein said processor changes the game potency value during playing of the game, and updates the machine-readable virtual item data on said game item card through said game card reader after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

2. The card-based game machine of claim 1, wherein said card-based game machine includes a plurality of said game item cards, and said game card reader of said game host unit includes a plurality of insert slots for insertion of said game item cards, respectively.

3. The card-based game machine of claim 1, wherein the machine-readable virtual item data is stored on said game item card using a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, and said game card reader of said game host unit is a RFID reader.

4. The card-based game machine of claim 1, wherein the machine-readable virtual item data is stored on said game item card using magnetic material, and said game card reader of said game host unit is a magnetic card reader.

5. The card-based game machine of claim 1, wherein the game potency value is changed by said processor on the basis of preset tasks associated with manipulation of the virtual item by the player during playing of the game.

6. The card-based game machine of claim 1, wherein the game potency value is changed by said processor in one of a time-based and repetition-based manner associated with the virtual item during playing of the game by the player.

7. The card-based game machine of claim 1, further comprising a game piece card storing machine-readable virtual game piece data, said game card reader reading the machine-readable virtual game piece data stored on said game piece card, said processor executing the game program to generate the virtual game piece on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by said game card reader.

8. A card-based game machine, comprising: a game piece card storing machine-readable virtual game piece data which includes an attribute value; and a game host unit including a game card reader for reading the machine-readable virtual game piece data on said game piece card, and a processor coupled to said game card reader, and executing a game program to generate a virtual game piece on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by said game card reader and that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game, and a game attribute value that is generated on the basis of the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by said game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to set a performance level of the virtual game piece during playing of the game; wherein said processor changes the game attribute value during playing of the game, and updates the machine-readable virtual game piece data on said game piece card through said game card reader after completion of the game, such that the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data reflects the game attribute value at the end of the game.

9. The card-based game machine of claim 8, further comprising a game item card storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value, said game card reader reading the machine-readable virtual item data on said game item card, said processor generating a virtual item on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by said game card reader, and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece.

10. The card-based game machine of claim 9, wherein said processor further generates a game potency value on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read by said game card reader and that is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game, said processor changing the game potency value during playing of the game, and updating the machine-readable virtual item data on said game item card through said game card reader after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

11. The card-based game machine of claim 9, wherein the machine-readable virtual game piece data and the machine-readable virtual item data are stored on said game piece card and said game item card using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and said game card reader of said game host unit is a RFID reader.

12. The card-based game machine of claim 9, wherein the machine-readable virtual game piece data and the machine-readable virtual item data are stored on said game piece card and said game item card using magnetic material, and said game card reader of said game host unit is a magnetic card reader.

13. The card-based game machine of claim 10, wherein at least one of the game attribute value and the game potency value is changed by said processor on the basis of preset tasks associated with manipulation of a corresponding one of the virtual game piece and the virtual item by the player during playing of the game.

14. The card-based game machine of claim 10, wherein at least one of the game attribute value and the game potency value is changed by said processor in one of a time-based and repetition-based manner associated with a corresponding one of the virtual game piece and the virtual item during playing of the game by the player.

15. A card-based game method, comprising: a) providing a game item card storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value, and a game card reader; b) reading the machine-readable virtual item data stored on the game item card using the game card reader; c) executing a game program to generate: a virtual game piece that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game; a virtual item on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece; and a game potency value on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader and that is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game; d) changing the game potency value during playing of the game; and e) updating the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card through the game card reader after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

16. The card-based game method of claim 15, wherein the machine-readable virtual item data is stored on the game item card using a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, and the game card reader is a RFID reader.

17. The card-based game method of claim 15, wherein the machine-readable virtual item data is stored on the game item card using magnetic material, and the game card reader is a magnetic card reader.

18. The card-based game method of claim 15, wherein, in step d), the game potency value is changed on the basis of preset tasks associated with manipulation of the virtual item by the player during playing of the game.

19. The card-based game method of claim 15, wherein, in step d), the game potency value is changed in one of a time-based and repetition-based manner associated with the virtual item during playing of the game by the player.

20. The card-based game method of claim 15, wherein: in step a), a game piece card is further provided that stores machine-readable virtual game piece data; in step b), the machine-readable virtual game piece data stored on the game piece card is read using the game card reader; and in step c), the virtual game piece is generated on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read using the game card reader.

21. A card-based game method, comprising: a) providing a game piece card storing machine-readable virtual game piece data which includes an attribute value, and a game card reader; b) reading the machine-readable virtual game data stored on the game piece card using the game card reader; c) executing a game program to generate: a virtual game piece on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader and that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game; and a game attribute value on the basis of the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to set a performance level of the virtual game piece during playing of the game; d) changing the game attribute value during playing of the game; and e) updating the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card through the game card reader after completion of the game, such that the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data reflects the game attribute value at the end of the game.

22. The card-based game machine of claim 21, wherein: in step a, a game item card is further provided that stores machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value, in step b), the machine-readable virtual item data on said game item card is read using the game card reader, and in step c), the virtual item is generated on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by said game card reader, and is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece.

23. The card-based game machine of claim 22, wherein: in step c), a game potency value is further generated on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read using the game card reader and is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game, in step d), the game potency value is changed during playing of the game, and in step e), the machine-readable virtual item data is updated on the game item card through the game card reader after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

24. The card-based game method of claim 22, wherein the machine-readable virtual game piece data and the machine-readable virtual item data are stored on the game piece card and the game item card using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and the game card reader is a RFID reader.

25. The card-based game method of claim 22, wherein the machine-readable virtual game piece data and the machine-readable virtual item data are stored on the game piece card and the game item card using magnetic material, and the game card reader is a magnetic card reader.

26. The card-based game method of claim 23, wherein, in step d), at least one of the game attribute value and the game potency value is changed on the basis of preset tasks associated with manipulation of a corresponding one of the virtual game piece and the virtual item by the player during playing of the game.

27. The card-based game method of claim 23, wherein, in step d), at least one of the game attribute value and the game potency value is changed in one of a time-based and repetition-based manner associated with a corresponding one of the virtual game piece and the virtual item during playing of the game by the player.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority of Taiwanese Application No. 096150530, filed on Dec. 27, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a card-based game machine and a card-based game method.

2. Description of the Related Art

Conventional card-based game machines, such as the game machine disclosed in Taiwanese Patent No. I234524, generate game pieces on the basis of data read from game cards. However, the conventional card-based game machines are not configured to update the data on the game cards in a manner associated with the use of the game pieces during playing of a game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, an object of this invention is to provide a card-based game machine and a card-based game method that permit updating of data on game cards.

According to one aspect of this invention, the card-based game machine comprises a game item card storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value, and a game host unit. The game host unit includes: a game card reader for reading the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card; and a processor coupled to the game card reader, and executing a game program to generate a virtual game piece to be controlled by a player who is playing a game, a virtual item that is generated on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece, and a game potency value that is generated on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader and that is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game. The processor changes the game potency value during playing of the game, and updates the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card through the game card reader after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

According to another aspect of this invention, the card-based game machine comprises a game piece card storing machine-readable virtual game piece data which includes an attribute value, and a game host unit. The game host unit includes: a game card reader for reading the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card; and a processor coupled to the game card reader, and executing a game program to generate a virtual game piece on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader and that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game, and a game attribute value that is generated on the basis of the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to set a performance level of the virtual game piece during playing of the game. The processor changes the game attribute value during playing of the game, and updates the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card through the game card reader after completion of the game, such that the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data reflects the game attribute value at the end of the game.

According to still another aspect of this invention, the card-based game method comprises: a) providing a game item card storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value, and a game card reader; b) reading the machine-readable virtual item data stored on the game item card using the game card reader; c) executing a game program to generate a virtual game piece that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game, a virtual item on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece, and a game potency value on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader and that is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game; d) changing the game potency value during playing of the game; and e) updating the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card through the game card reader after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

According to yet another aspect of this invention, the card-based game method comprises: a) providing a game piece card storing machine-readable virtual game piece data which includes an attribute value, and a game card reader; b) reading the machine-readable virtual game piece data stored on the game piece card using the game card reader; c) executing a game program to generate a virtual game piece on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader and that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game, and a game attribute value on the basis of the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to set a performance level of the virtual game piece during playing of the game; d) changing the game attribute value during playing of the game; and e) updating the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card through the game card reader after completion of the game, such that the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data reflects the game attribute value at the end of the game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a card-based game machine according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a game host unit of the card-based game machine of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a game item card according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a schematic view of another game item card according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a game card reader according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a game piece card according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a flow chart of a card-based game method according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 6, a card-based game machine according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a game item card 1 storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value, a game piece card 3 storing machine-readable virtual game piece data which includes an attribute value, and a game host unit 2. The game host unit 2, in turn, includes a game card reader 22 and a processor 27.

The game card reader 22 of the game host unit 2 reads the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card 1 and the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card 3.

The processor 27 of the game host unit 2 is coupled to the game card reader 22. The processor 27 executes a game program to generate the following: (i) a virtual game piece on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader 22 and that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game; (ii) a game attribute value that is generated on the basis of the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader 22 and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to set a performance level of the virtual game piece during playing of the game; (iii) a virtual item that is generated on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader 22 and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece; and (iv) a game potency value that is generated on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader 22 and that is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game.

The processor 27 changes the game attribute value during playing of the game, and updates the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card 3 through the game card reader 22 after completion of the game, such that the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data reflects the game attribute value at the end of the game. Furthermore, the processor 27 changes the game potency value during playing of the game, and updates the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card 1 through the game card reader 22 after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, in the preferred embodiment, the game item card 1 includes an image 11 printed thereon of the virtual item that is generated by the processor 27 using the game item card 1. The virtual item generated using the game item card 1 may be an article, such as a dagger, a sword (see FIG. 3), and first-aid dressing, or a power, such as a life-increasing power (see FIG. 4), a creature-summoning power, and an electric-shock power. By using such a virtual item, the ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece is enhanced, as described above. In one embodiment, the card-based game machine of the present invention includes a plurality of the game item cards 1 each storing machine-readable virtual item data which includes a potency value. Hence, in such an embodiment, the ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece is enhanced through use of different virtual items.

Referring to FIG. 6, in the preferred embodiment, the game piece card 3 includes an image 31 printed thereon of the virtual game piece that is generated by the processor 27 using the game piece card 3. As an example, the virtual game piece generated using the game piece card 3 may be a character, such as GuanYu, a main character in the historical novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” as shown in FIG. 6, or may be a vehicle, device, etc., such as a race car. In one embodiment, the card-based game machine of the present invention includes a plurality of the game piece cards 3 each storing machine-readable virtual game piece data which includes an attribute value. Hence, in such an embodiment, the player is able to selectively control a plurality of virtual game pieces.

The game potency value is changed by the processor 27 on the basis of preset tasks associated with manipulation of the virtual item by the player during playing of the game, and similarly, the game attribute value is changed by the processor 27 on the basis of preset tasks associated with manipulation of the virtual game piece by the player during playing of the game. Alternatively, the game potency value is changed by the processor 27 in one of a time-based and repetition-based manner associated with the virtual item during playing of the game by the player, and similarly, the game attribute value is changed by the processor 27 in one of a time-based and repetition-based manner associated with the virtual game piece during playing of the game by the player.

For example, in the case where the virtual item is a sword, the game potency value of the sword may be increased when the player performs control such that a sharpening stone is touched with the sword during playing of the game. On the other hand, the game potency value of the sword may be decreased each time the sword is used to attack another virtual character during playing of the game, or may be decreased after a predetermined time of using the sword. The game potency value of such a virtual item may eventually decrease to zero, in which case the game item card 1 maybe rendered unfit for further use in the game. In such an instance, the game item card 1 may be considered a part of the card-based game machine that may be discarded after depletion of the game potency value thereof.

As an example related to the game attribute value of the virtual game piece, if it is assumed that the virtual game piece is a fictional or historical character, the game attribute value may be increased each time a monster or another virtual character in the game is killed by the virtual game piece. On the other hand, the game attribute value may be decreased each time the virtual game piece suffers a blow from a monster or another virtual character in the game.

It is to be noted that in some embodiments, the card-based game machine may include the game item card 1 and not the game piece card 3, or vice versa. Hence, in such embodiments, the processor 27 of the game host unit 2 generates the virtual item or the virtual game piece utilizing only the game program and not the machine-readable virtual item data or the machine-readable virtual game piece. In other embodiments, the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card 3 does not include an attribute value, such that the machine-readable virtual game piece data is used only to generate the virtual game piece, and there is no game attribute value possessed by the virtual game piece that is derived from an attribute value in the machine-readable virtual game piece data, and hence, no updating of such an attribute value.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, and 5, the game card reader 22 of the game host unit 2 includes a plurality of insert slots 221 for insertion of the game item card(s) 1 and the game piece card(s) 3, respectively.

In one embodiment, the machine-readable virtual item data is stored on the game item card 1 and the machine-readable virtual game piece data is stored on the game piece card 3 using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and the game card reader 22 of the game host unit 2 is a RFID reader. In another embodiment, the machine-readable virtual item data is stored on the game item card 1 and the machine-readable virtual game piece data is stored on the game piece card 3 using magnetic material, and the game card reader 22 of the game host unit 2 is a magnetic card reader.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, in the preferred embodiment, the game host unit 2 includes, in addition to the game card reader 22 and the processor 27 described above, a base 20, a host housing 21 mounted on the base 20 and on or in which the game card reader 22 and the processor 27 are disposed, a control module 23 mounted above the game card reader 22 on the host housing 21, a display 24 mounted above the control module 23 on the host housing 21, a pair of speakers 25 mounted on opposite sides of the display 24 in the host housing 21, and a token-receiving module 26 mounted to the right of the display 24 in the host housing 21. The control module 23, the display 24, the speakers 25, and the token-receiving module 26 are coupled to the processor 27 (as is the game card reader 22 as described above).

The control module 23 includes a joystick and a plurality of buttons that are manipulated by the player to control various aspects of the game in a known manner.

The display 24 may be a liquid crystal display, or a display based on another flat panel display configuration or cathode-ray tube technology.

The speakers 25 emit music and sound effects generated prior to and during playing of the game using the card-based game machine of the present invention.

The token-receiving module 26 includes a token sensor 261 which is formed with a token slot 263, and a token box 262. Before the user has inserted coins (or game tokens) of a predetermined amount through the token slot 263, the processor 27 may perform control such that the card-based game machine is in a stand-by mode, in which, for example, predetermined images are displayed on the display 24 and predetermined sounds are generated through the speakers 25. After the user inserts coins (or game tokens) of the predetermined amount through the token slot 263, the token sensor 261 may output a signal such that the processor 27 executes the game program. The coins (or tokens) inserted by the user enter into and are stored in the token box 262. Such a process may be repeated if needed. For example, the insertion of coins (or game tokens) by the user may be required each time a game stage is completed or after the elapse of a predetermined time interval.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, and 7, a card-based game method according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention will now be described.

First, in step 51, the game item card 1, the game piece card 3, and the game card reader 22 are provided. The game item card 1 stores the machine-readable virtual item data which includes the potency value, and the game piece card 3 stores the machine-readable virtual game piece data which includes the attribute value.

Next, in step 52, the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card 1 and the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card 3 are read using the game card reader 22.

Subsequently, instep 53, the game program is executed to generate the following: (i) a virtual game piece on the basis of the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader 22 and that is to be controlled by a player who is playing a game; (ii) a game attribute value that is generated on the basis of the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data read by the game card reader 22 and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to set a performance level of the virtual game piece; (iii) a virtual item that is generated on the basis of the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader 22 and that is possessed by the virtual game piece to enhance ability of the player playing with the virtual game piece; and (iv) a game potency value that is generated on the basis of the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data read by the game card reader 22 and that is used to control extent of enhancement associated with the virtual item during playing of the game.

Next, in step 54, the game attribute value and the game potency value are changed during playing of the game.

Finally, in step 55, the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card 3 is updated through the game card reader 22 after completion of the game, such that the attribute value contained in the machine-readable virtual game piece data reflects the game attribute value at the end of the game. Also, in step 55, the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card 1 is updated through the game card reader 22 after completion of the game, such that the potency value contained in the machine-readable virtual item data reflects the game potency value at the end of the game.

With the use of the card-based game machine and the card-based game method of the present invention described above, the machine-readable virtual item data on the game item card 1 and the machine-readable virtual game piece data on the game piece card 3 may be updated. As a result, use of the game item card 1 and the game piece card 3 is made more interesting than when no such updating is possible. Furthermore, the value of the game item and game piece cards 1, 3 for resale, trade, and collection purposes may be increased when the player performs well during playing of the game. This further enhances player interest in using the game item card 1 and the game piece card 3.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.