Title:
Labyrinth game using parallel correlation for the movement of tracers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system and method of parallel correlation of tracers to enhance challenge of mastering a labyrinth or maze, where from one side the tracers are restricted in their movement by the pathway of the labyrinth; and from the other side—by the conditions of the their mutual correlation. Utilization of this method in labyrinth games makes the labyrinths more difficult and exciting.



Inventors:
Ignatiev, Alexander (Anchorage, AK, US)
Application Number:
09/902927
Publication Date:
01/23/2003
Filing Date:
07/10/2001
Assignee:
IGNATIEV ALEXANDER
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/00; A63F7/04; (IPC1-7): A63F9/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael Tavella (Anchorage, AK, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A labyrinth game comprising: a) a labyrinth pathway having a General Direction of the Labyrinth (GDL), having a beginning and an end; b) a plurality of tracers aligned with and in communication with said labyrinth pathway; and c) a means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway, wherein said means for securing said tracers includes a plurality of tracer planes, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being perpendicular to the GDL, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being held in fixed positions relative to each of said plurality of tracer planes and in alignment with the direction of the GDL, such that said fixed positions remain constant between the plurality of tracer planes along the direction of the GDL.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway further include a means for moving each of said plurality of tracers in a direction perpendicular to said GDL.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein each of said plurality of tracers moves independently of the others in said plurality of tracer planes.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway comprise at least one bridge installed on said labyrinth.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway comprises a bridge having a plurality of parallel tracks, wherein each of said parallel tracks holds at least one tracer.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein said plurality of parallel tracks are formed such that each of said parallel tracks is at a fixed spacing with respect to an adjacent parallel track.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway comprises a set of computer instructions that create a set of boundary conditions whereby said boundary conditions create a plurality of tracer planes, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being perpendicular to the GDL, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being held in fixed positions relative to each of said plurality of tracer planes and in alignment with the direction of the GDL, such that said fixed positions remain constant between the plurality of tracer planes along the direction of the GDL.

8. A labyrinth game comprising: a) a first labyrinth pathway having a first General Direction of a Labyrinth (first GDL), having a beginning and an end and a second General Direction of a Labyrinth (second GDL), having a beginning and an end and further having an angular orientation with respect to said first General Direction of the Labyrinth; b) a plurality of tracers aligned with and in communication with said labyrinth pathway; and c) a means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway, wherein said means for securing said tracers includes a plurality of tracer planes, and further having a first operative state whereby said plurality of tracer planes being perpendicular to the first GDL, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being held in fixed positions relative to each of said plurality of tracer planes and in alignment with the direction of the first GDL, such that said fixed positions remain constant between the plurality of tracer planes along the direction of the first GDL; and a second operative state whereby said plurality of tracer planes being perpendicular to the second GDL, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being held in fixed positions relative to each of said plurality of tracer planes and in alignment with the direction of the second GDL, such that said fixed positions remain constant between the plurality of tracer planes along the direction of the second GDL.

9. A method of solving a labyrinth game having a labyrinth pathway having a General Direction of the Labyrinth (GDL), having a beginning and an end; a plurality of tracers aligned with and in communication with said labyrinth pathway; and a means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway, wherein said means for securing said tracers includes a plurality of tracer planes, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being perpendicular to the GDL, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being held in fixed positions relative to each of said plurality of tracer planes and in alignment with the direction of the GDL, such that said fixed positions remain constant between the plurality of tracer planes along the direction of the GDL, comprising the steps of: a) aligning the plurality of tracers to the labyrinth pathway; b) moving the means for securing said tracers along the GDL until the direction of labyrinth pathway prevents further movement along the GDL; c) relocating the plurality of tracers along the labyrinth pathway until the tracers are aligned with the labyrinth pathway such that movement along the GDL is permitted; d) moving the means for securing said tracers along the GDL until the direction of labyrinth pathway prevents further movement along the GDL; and e) repeating steps a-d until the labyrinth game is solved.

10. The method of solving a labyrinth game having a first labyrinth pathway having a first General Direction of a Labyrinth (first GDL), having a beginning and an end, and a second General Direction of a Labyrinth (second GDL), having a beginning and an end and further having an angular orientation with respect to said first General Direction of the Labyrinth; a plurality of tracers aligned with and in communication with said labyrinth pathway; and a means for securing said tracers in said labyrinth pathway, wherein said means for securing said tracers includes a plurality of tracer planes, and further having a first operative state whereby said plurality of tracer planes being perpendicular to the first GDL, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being held in fixed positions relative to each of said plurality of tracer planes and in alignment with the direction of the first GDL, such that said fixed positions are equal between the plurality of tracer planes along the direction of the first GDL; and a second operative state whereby said plurality of tracer planes being perpendicular to the second GDL, and further whereby said plurality of tracer planes being held in fixed positions relative to each of said plurality of tracer planes and in alignment with the direction of the second GDL, such that said fixed positions remain constant between the plurality of tracer planes along the direction of the second GDL comprising the steps of: a) aligning the plurality of tracers to the labyrinth pathway; b) moving the means for securing said tracers along the first GDL until a player decides to move the tracers along the second GDL; c) reorienting the means for securing said tracers along the second GDL; d) moving the means for securing said tracers along the second GDL until a player decides to move the tracers along the first GDL; e) reorienting the moving the means for securing said tracers along the first GDL; f) moving the means for securing said tracers along the first GDL until a player decides to move the tracers along the second GDL; and g) repeating steps b-f until the labyrinth game is solved.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] This invention relates to an amusement devices, and more particularly to a labyrinth or maze puzzle-games.

[0005] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0006] The prior art is shown in the following U.S. Patents: U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,884,912, 5,732,945, 5,560,606, 5,509,656, 5,441,260, 5,281,039, 4,974,848, 4,805,910, 4,738,451, 4,667,960, 4,545,577, 4,340,217, 4,065,132, 3,819,187, 3,594,005, 3,820,793 2,541,411, 1,071,874.

[0007] A review of those patents, and the art in general, shows that all labyrinth games may be divided on three major categories:

[0008] First—labyrinth games with a single tracer;

[0009] Second—labyrinth games with several tracers that are not correlated with each other;

[0010] Third—labyrinth games with a set of tracers that are correlated to each other.

[0011] Because of their nature, the two first categories are not relevant to the current application.

[0012] The third category of the labyrinth games can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 1,071,874 by L. S. Burbank and U.S. Pat. No. 5,884,912 by A. G. Ignatiev.

[0013] The device, described in the U.S. Pat. No. 1,071,874 by L. S. Burbank, is a circular labyrinth game with a group of four tracers that are correlated to each other. The type of correlation of the tracers, used in that game, may be described as a “polar” type. This device has rigid bounds between tracers when they move across the General Direction of the Labyrinth (GDL), as described below. However, in the direction along the GDL, the tracers move independently from each other.

[0014] One problem with the Burbank's system in patent U.S. Pat. No. 1,071,874 is that it does not allow the solution of several of different shaped labyrinths simultaneously because of wrong orientation of the planes of the tracers toward the GDL. Burbank's method of tracer correlation also does not allow the solution of labyrinths with several tracers placed in the same pathway.

[0015] The device described in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,884,912 by A. G. Ignatiev is a labyrinth game with an impression of maze on a surface of a cylinder. In this game a method, named “Parallel Correlation of the Tracers” (PCT) has been implemented. Here, in contrast to the Burbank patent, the device uses rigid bounds between tracers when they move along the GDL, and allows independent movement of the tracers when they move across the GDL.

[0016] The PCT method is not limited by shape of an object, or by the shape of a labyrinth itself, especially when it is implemented in computer games.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0017] In the current application, a very specific type of the correlation of the tracers for a labyrinth game and a method of correct orientation of tracers toward the GDL are disclosed.

[0018] Some essential terms are now defined:

[0019] PCT method—the method of organization of a group of tracers in a labyrinth game. The method provides simultaneous movement of the whole group of tracers in a pathway of a labyrinth when they move parallel to the GDL, and allows the tracers to move independently from each other when the movement of the tracers is perpendicular to the GDL.

[0020] A Tracer—a means to navigate a labyrinth. A tracer can be a physical element or can be represented by software in a computer game.

[0021] GDL—The General Direction of the Labyrinth. Every labyrinth game has a GDL. The GLD represents the general direction of the maze from a beginning point to an end point. A GDL may have a vertical orientation, a horizontal orientation, or a combination of both orientations.

[0022] The Plane of a Tracer—a plane perpendicular to the GDL within which any individual tracer can be moved independently from the rest of the group of tracers.

[0023] To apply the PCT method successfully, two conditions must be realized: First—the tracers must have mutual correlation as it is described; Second—the planes of the tracers must be oriented correctly toward General Direction of the Labyrinth. Otherwise, the game may not have a positive solution, as it has happened in the case with the Burbank device.

[0024] The PCT method, submitted in current application allows a user to solve a labyrinth with a group of correlated tracers placed in the same pathway. It also allows solutions for several different shape labyrinths by passing a group of correlated tracers through the labyrinths simultaneously from start to finish.

[0025] The implementation of the PCT method significantly increases the challenge of solving labyrinth games. This method is equally applicable to two or three-dimensional labyrinths made in hard form or in computer software.

[0026] The level of complexity of the game can be adjusted by changing number of tracers involved into the game. The more tracers in the labyrinth—the harder is the game to solve.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0027] FIG. 1a is a detail view of a labyrinth game with a single maze having a vertical GDL.

[0028] FIG. 1b is a detail view of a labyrinth game with a single maze having a horizontal GDL.

[0029] FIG. 1c is a detail view of a labyrinth game with a single maze having both vertical and horizontal GDLs.

[0030] FIG. 1d is a detail view of a labyrinth game where vertical and horizontal GDLs are substituted with a resultant GDL.

[0031] FIG. 2 is a detail view of the implementation of the PCT method applied to several labyrinths to be solved simultaneously (a multiple maze).

[0032] FIG. 3a is a perspective view of a labyrinth game with a cylinder-alike shape.

[0033] FIG. 3b is a perspective view of a labyrinth game with a square plate-alike shape.

[0034] FIG. 3c is a perspective view of a labyrinth game with a prism-alike shape.

[0035] FIG. 3d is a perspective view of a labyrinth game with a disk-alike shape.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0036] The following is a list of the reference characters used in this description:

[0037] A and B—the ends of a maze of a labyrinth;

[0038] 1 to 6—names of the tracers;

[0039] 10—a object with an impression of a maze of a labyrinth on its surface;

[0040] 11—a maze;

[0041] 12—tracers;

[0042] 13—bridges;

[0043] 14—the planes of the tracers, a set of parallel planes within which the tracers are allowed to move.

[0044] 15—the planes of the tracers, a set of intersected planes within which the tracers are allowed to move.

[0045] 21, 22, 23—mazes of a labyrinth game with multiple maze;

[0046] h—the distance between parallel planes of the tracers 14;

[0047] ω—the angle between the intersecting planes of the tracers.

[0048] Referring now to FIG. 1, The objective of the invention is to make solving labyrinth games more challenging by navigating set of several tracers that are correlated to each other.

[0049] The PCT method is equally applicable to a two or three-dimensional labyrinth games realized in hard or software.

[0050] The system of a labyrinth game with the PCT is comprised of: a pathway of a labyrinth 11 (FIG. 3) or 21, 22, and 23 of FIG. 2; a set of tracers 12, placed on the pathway(s) of the labyrinth 11; and a set of bridges 13.

[0051] The bridges 13 have a number of purposes. First, they are used to keep the tracers 12 within the pathway of the labyrinth 11. Second, they are also used to keep each tracer within its plane 14, or 15. Third, to keep planes of the tracers parallel to each other. Fourth, to keep distance (h or ω) between parallel planes constant (although not necessarily equal). Fifth, to orient parallel planes perpendicular to the GDL.

[0052] In computer versions of the labyrinth game with the PCT, the bridges may be substituted by preprogramming conditions.

[0053] To apply the PCT method correctly, it is very important to know the orientation of the General Direction of the Labyrinth (GDL).

[0054] Every labyrinth, whether two or three-dimensional, has its GDL which is defined by positions of its ends (A and B). For a labyrinths, having one end on left side and the other end on right side, GDL will be horizontal, X-GDL (FIG. 1b). For a labyrinth, having one end on the top and other end on the bottom, GDL will be vertical Y-GDL (FIG. 1a). For a labyrinth with one end on the top or bottom and the other end on right or left side will have two GDLs: X-GDL and Y-GDL (FIG. 1c). Two such GDLs may be substituted with a resultant single XY-GDL (FIG. 1d), which is oriented diagonally to X and Y coordinate axies. Finally, three-dimensional labyrinths may have a Z-GDL, oriented perpendicular to both X-GDL and Y-GDL. Three GDLs may be substituted with a single resultant XYZ-GDL oriented diagonally to all three coordinate axies.

[0055] Once the GDL is defined, the planes of the tracers 14 or 15, and therefore, the bridges 13, must be oriented perpendicular to it.

[0056] A labyrinth game with more than one GDL may be certainly realized in a computer game, although it can be hard to realize it in hardware. Typically, therefore, games performed in hardware have a single GDL.

[0057] Labyrinth games made in hardware form are shown on FIG. 3 a, b, c. All of them have a single GDL. A labyrinth game with a disk shape has a single circular GDL (FIG. 3d).

[0058] As the game is played, each tracer is moved across the GDL until it aligns with a portion of the labyrinth, which is parallel to the GDL. When all of the tracers are positioned in labyrinth paths that move along the GDL, the entire set of tracers may be moved by moving the bridges along the GDL until the next lateral movement path is reached. At that point, the tracers can be moved again to the next lateral movement. These movements are repeated until the game is solved.

[0059] In the case of the multiple GDL games, the tracers may be moved along either GDL as desired. Thus, a player may move along a vertical GDL in one movement and then switch to a horizontal GDL in the next movement and then the player can switch back again as needed to solve the labyrinth. The only requirement is that the bridges, or the planes of the tracers, must move consistent with the GDL selected.

[0060] The present disclosure should not be construed in any limited sense other than that limited by the scope of the claims having regard to the teachings herein and the prior art being apparent with the preferred form of the invention disclosed herein and which reveals details of structure of a preferred form necessary for a better understanding of the invention and may be subject to change by skilled persons within the scope of the invention without departing from the concept thereof.





 
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