Title:
Method of altering the playing experience of a game and board games providing such an experience
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of altering the playing experience of a board game and a board game providing such an experience are provided.



Inventors:
Imai, Stuart (Redondo Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/144147
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
06/03/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/260, 273/287
International Classes:
A63F3/00; A63F3/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP (Glendale, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A method for altering the playing experience of a board game, said board game having a playing surface having a first location, a second location, and a third location, wherein all three locations are located on the same plane, wherein movement paths are defined between any two of said location, wherein a game piece is moved between said locations along said movement paths, wherein the first location is spaced from the second location by a first predefined distance, wherein the second location is spaced from the third location by a second predefined distance, wherein the first location is spaced from the second location by a third distance, the method comprising changing at least one of said distances.

2. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising changing another of said distances.

3. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising changing all three distances.

4. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein at least two of said locations are formed on the same plane, the method further comprises moving at least one of said two locations at a location not in the same plane as the other of said two locations.

5. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein at least two of said locations are formed on the same plane, the method further comprises moving at least one of said two locations at location not in the same plane.

6. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein all three locations are on the same plane, the method comprising moving at least one of said locations out of said plane.

7. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising forming an object between two of said locations.

8. The method as recited in claim 7 wherein the object is placed along a movement path.

9. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising altering the game board playing surface to be non-planar.

10. The method as recited in claim 1 further comprising blocking a player's view of one of said locations as viewed by the player from said player's playing position.

11. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein the board game is selected from the group of board games consisting of Bagh Chal, chess and checkers.

12. A method for altering the playing experience of a board game, said board game having a playing surface having a first location, a second location, and a third location, wherein movement paths are defined between any two of said location, wherein a game piece is moved between said locations along said movement paths, the method further comprising blocking a player's view of one of said locations as viewed by the player from said player's playing position.

13. The method as recited in claim 12 wherein the board game is selected from the group of games consisting of Bagh Chal, chess and checkers.

14. A board game comprising: a game board having a playing surface comprising, a first location, a second location offset from the first location by a first distance, and a third location offset from the second location by a second distance and offset from the first location by a third distance, wherein said three distances are not equal to one another, wherein movement paths are defined along any two of said locations and wherein said three locations do not lie on the same plane; and at least one game piece for movement along the movement paths between said locations.

15. The board game a recited in claim 14 further comprising an object on said game board between any two of said locations.

16. The board game as recited in claim 15 wherein the object is located along a movement path.

17. The board game as recited in claim 15 wherein the object blocks a player's view of one of said two of said locations as viewed by the player from said player's playing position.

18. The board game as recited in claim 15 wherein the object is selected from the group of objects consisting of trees, buildings, tunnels, towers, caves, rocks, bridges and combinations thereof.

19. The board game as recited in claim 14 wherein the playing surface defines a non-planar terrain and wherein the locations are defined on the non-planar terrain.

20. The board game as recited in claim 19 wherein the terrain is based on a movie, television show, comics, books, and video games.

21. The board game as recited in claim 14 wherein one of said locations blocks a player's view of another of said locations as viewed by the player from said player's playing position.

22. The board game as recited in claim 21 wherein the board game is selected from the group of games consisting of Bagh Chal, chess and checkers.

23. A board game comprising: a game board having a playing surface comprising, a first location, a second location offset from the first location, and a third location offset from the second location and from the first location, wherein movement paths are defined along any two of said locations and wherein a player's view of one of said locations as viewed by the player from said player's playing position is blocked; and at least one game piece for movement along the movement paths between said locations.

24. The board game as recited in claim 23 further comprising an object on the game board, wherein the object blocks said player's view of one of said locations.

25. The board game as recited in claim 23 wherein said player's view of one of said locations is blocked by another one of said locations.

26. The board game as recited in claim 23 wherein the board game is selected from the group of games consisting of Bagh Chal, chess and checkers.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is based upon and claim priority on U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/577,222, filed on Jun. 4, 2004, the contents of which are fully incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a method of altering the playing experience of a board game and to board games providing such an experience.

Board games, as for example Bagh Chal, chess and checkers are typically played on a two-dimensional surface. The experience provided by these games is typically the same every time they are being played. The strategy of these games is not affected by the shape or terrain of the game board on which they are played.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A method of altering the playing experience of a board game is provided by altering the playing surface of the game to a three-dimensional surface. In an exemplary embodiment, the method includes changing the distances between movements of game pieces. In another exemplary embodiment, the method includes placing visual and/or physical obstructions between the available movement of the game pieces. In yet another exemplary embodiment, the game pieces are moved from one location to another, and the method further includes varying the height level of each location.

In another exemplary embodiment a method is provided for altering the playing experience of an existing board game. The method includes changing the playing surface of the game from a flat surface to a three-dimensional surface. In another exemplary embodiment the method includes changing the distance between movements of the game pieces in comparison to the existing game. In another exemplary embodiment, the method includes placing visual and/or obstructions between the available movement of the game pieces. In yet another exemplary embodiment, the game pieces are moved from one location to another, and the method further includes varying the height level of each location.

In yet a further exemplary embodiment, a game played on a three-dimensional surface is provided. The surface has various height levels to accommodate the game pieces. The game board provides locations on to which the game pieces are moved. In an exemplary embodiment, these locations are at various height levels. Furthermore, in another exemplary embodiment, the distance between such locations is varied. In yet a further exemplary embodiment, obstructions are provided between such locations. Tunnels, trees, caves, bridges, structures, buildings, rocks, vertical props, debris and other features or combinations thereof may be provided on the game board.

In a further exemplary embodiment, a method for altering the playing experience of a board game is provided wherein the board game has a playing surface having a first location, a second location, and a third location, wherein all three locations are on the same plane, wherein movement paths are defined between any two of the location, wherein a game piece is moved between the locations along the movement paths, wherein the first location is spaced from the second location by a first predefined distance, wherein the second location is spaced from the third location by a second predefined distance, wherein the first location is spaced from the second location by a third distance, the method including changing at least one of the distances. In another exemplary embodiment, the method includes changing another of the distances. The method may also include changing all three distances. In another exemplary embodiment at least two of the locations are formed on the same plane, and the method further includes moving at least one of the two locations at a location not in the same plane as the other of the two locations. In yet a further exemplary embodiment, two of the locations are formed on the same plane, and the method further includes moving at least one of the two locations at location not in the same plane. In another exemplary embodiment all three locations are on the same plane, and the method includes moving at least one of the locations out of the plane. In an alternate exemplary embodiment, the method further includes forming an object between two of the locations. The object may be formed along a movement path. In another alternate exemplary embodiment, the method includes altering the game board playing surface to be non-planar. In yet a further alternate exemplary embodiment, the method further includes blocking a player's view of one of the locations as viewed by the player from the player's playing position.

In another exemplary embodiment, a method is provided for altering the playing experience of a board game which has a playing surface having a first location, a second location, and a third location, wherein movement paths are defined between any two of the location, wherein a game piece is moved between the locations along the movement paths. The method includes blocking a player's view of one of the locations as viewed by the player from the player's playing position.

In yet another exemplary embodiment a board game is provided. The board game includes a game board playing surface including a first location, a second location offset from the first location by a first distance, and a third location offset from the second location by a second distance and offset from the first location by a third distance, wherein the three distances are not equal to one another, wherein movement paths are defined along any two of the locations and wherein the three locations do not lie on the same plane. The game also includes at least one game piece for movement along the movement paths between the locations. In an exemplary embodiment, the game includes an object extending from the game board between any two of the locations. The object may be located along a movement path. The object may also block a player's view of one of the two of the locations as viewed by the player from the player's playing position. In an exemplary embodiment the object may be selected from the group of objects consisting trees, buildings, tunnels, towers, caves, rocks, bridges and combinations thereof. In another exemplary embodiment, the playing surface forms a non-planar terrain and wherein the locations are formed on the non-planar terrain. The terrain may be based on a movie, television show, comics, books, and video games. In yet a further exemplary embodiment, one of the locations blocks a player's view of another of the locations as viewed by the player from the player's playing position.

In a further exemplary embodiment, a board game is provided having game board having a playing surface including a first location, a second location offset from the first location, and a third location offset from the second location and from the first location, wherein movement paths are defined along any two of the locations and wherein a player's view of one of the locations as viewed by the player from the player's playing position is blocked. The game also includes at least one game piece for movement along the movement paths between the locations. In one exemplary embodiment, the player's view may be blocked by an object. In another exemplary embodiment, the player's view may be blocked by one of the locations.

In any of the aforementioned method and board game embodiments, the board game may be a game such as Bagh Chal, chess or checkers.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a grid pattern of a conventional Bagh Chal game board.

FIG. 2 is an exemplary embodiment game board of the present invention having a stretched out grid pattern.

FIG. 3 is a top view of an exemplary embodiment game board with some exemplary embodiment game pieces of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top view of another exemplary embodiment game board with some exemplary embodiment game pieces of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the exemplary embodiment game board with game pieces shown in FIG. 3, as viewed by a player from the player's playing position.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the exemplary embodiment game board with game pieces shown in FIG. 4, as viewed by a player from the player's playing position.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of two sets of exemplary embodiment game pieces.

FIG. 8 is a partial top view of an exemplary embodiment game board of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a top view of an exemplary embodiment game board of the present invention having a stretched out grid pattern and some exemplary embodiment game pieces.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the exemplary embodiment game board with game pieces shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment game board after being molded and with some trees mounted on the board.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the game board depicted in FIG. 11 after being trimmed and painted to simulate a desired environment.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another exemplary embodiment game board with some exemplary embodiment game pieces of the present invention

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides for a method of altering the playing experience of a board game by altering the geometry of the game board and a three-dimensional game board, i.e., a game board having a three-dimensional geometry. Although, the present invention can be achieved by varying various board games, for descriptive purposes the present invention will be described by altering a Bagh Chal game, which is a game frequently played in Nepal. Bagh Chal is played as follows:

Player One has four game pieces. Player Two has twenty game pieces that are different in shape or color than the Player One pieces. The playing surface consists of a symmetrical grid 10 (referred to herein as the “Grid”) as shown in FIG. 1 (Image 2). The grid consists of twenty-five locations or points 12 with movement lines 14 that connect and intersect at each one of these twenty-five points. For convenience these points are referred to herein as “Intersections”. The game piece movement for Player One and Player Two is along these movement lines from Intersection to Intersection.

The players take turns, moving or placing one Game Piece per turn. Player One's turn is always first and he places all four of his Game Pieces on each corner 11 of the Grid. This sets up the game and begins the play pattern. Player Two moves second by placing one of his Game Pieces onto any open Intersection.

The third move is by Player One and his Game Piece is moved over to an open, adjacent Intersection along a movement line or it can jump an adjacent Game Piece of Player Two along a line. Subsequent turns are similar with each Player alternating turns. Player One's Game Pieces move around the Grid as Player Two continues to place his twenty Game Pieces on open Intersections one at a time.

During each move, each Player can only move to an open, adjacent Intersection, with the exception that Player One's Game Pieces can jump over Player Two's Game Pieces, only if there is an open Intersection inline beyond his opponent's Game Piece. This jumping move is similar to jumping opponents' game pieces in the game of Checkers.

As described, the game is typically broken down into two segments. The first segment is the initial setting up of Player One's four Game Pieces. During this segment, Player Two alternates turns with Player One and Player Two places a Game. Piece, one at a time, on any open Intersection during each one of his turns.

Player Two cannot move any of his Game Pieces once they have been placed on the board, until all of his twenty Game Pieces have been placed on Intersections of the Grid. As Player Two places his twenty Game Pieces on the Grid, his Game Pieces can be captured and removed from the Grid by Player One at any time.

The second segment of the game begins after Player Two has placed all of his twenty Game Pieces onto the game board. Once all of Player Two's Game Pieces are on the Grid, he can now move one Game Piece on the Grid, per turn, along a segment of line, to an available and adjacent Intersection on the Grid.

Player Two cannot jump a Game Piece of Player One at any time. Moreover, Player Two's Game Pieces cannot jump over its own Game Pieces and can only move to an open, adjacent Intersection. Player Two can surround Player One's Game Pieces at any time of the game.

Player One can only jump over a single Game Piece of Player Two and cannot jump over multiple Game Pieces. Moreover, Player One can jump and capture Player Two's Game Pieces at any time in the game. When a Game Piece is captured, it is removed off the Grid.

Player One (with the four Game Pieces) must jump (much like Checkers) and capture five of Player Two's Game Pieces in order to win. It is possible for Player One to continue to jump and capture Player Two's remaining Game Pieces left on the Grid, however, it is just a formality and the game cannot be won if Player Two has lost five Game Pieces.

Player Two (with his sixteen to twenty Game Pieces remaining on the playing surface) must strategically move his Game Pieces, so there are no remaining Intersections left open for any of Player One's Game Pieces to land on, thus, surrounding Player One's Game Pieces. If Player Two can completely surround all four of Player One's Game Pieces, the game is won by Player Two.

In one embodiment, as the game comes to a close, players cannot repeat a prior move and move back and forth along the same movement line as this would more than likely end the game in a stalemate and/or simply draw out the game. For Example, a player should not repeatedly move his game piece on successive moves back and forth between the same two Intersections.

To change the effect of the game as well as to provide an illusion that may affect the game strategy, applicant has altered the playing Grid to a stretched out grid and/or to a grid formed on a three-dimensional, i.e., a non-planar, terrain. The grid formed on a three dimensional terrain or a stretched out grid is referred to herein for convenience as the “Terrain”.

In a first exemplary embodiment, the Terrain is formed by “stretching” the grid as shown in FIG. 2 (Image 3) forming an exemplary embodiment Terrain 20. The Intersections or locations, in an exemplary embodiment, may be better defined by “Markers”. The Markers are formed at the intersection of movement lines (or movement paths) 21. In another exemplary embodiment, the grid is stretched and altered such that it is no longer symmetric about a central axis, as for example, central axis 24 shown in FIG. 2.

In the regular symmetric Grid there are five distinct Intersections, i.e., there are five Intersections each of which is defined by a distinct set of lines oriented at distinct angles around the Intersections. For example Intersections 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 shown in FIG. 1, are the distinct Intersections of the Grid 10 shown in FIG. 1, i.e., every other Intersection on the Grid 10 is the same as one of the five distinct Intersections. With the stretched out grid 20 shown in FIG. 2, there are ten distinct Markers. These are Markers 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 35 and 37. With the aforementioned exemplary embodiments, the visual geometry is completely distorted from that of a square based grid. The stretched-out grid provides a much different effect. Some Markers 22 are now placed farther apart from other Markers, giving the feeling or illusion that such Markers are now more or less vulnerable, or farther or closer away from being captured or surrounded (compare FIG. 1 to FIG. 2).

In another exemplary embodiment, a new level of strategic play pattern and an unexpected new element of deception is created by placing the Markers at different and varying elevations rather than simple intersections on a flat playing board as for example shown in FIGS. 3-6 (Images 6, 7, 9, and 10, respectively) forming a three-dimensional terrain 23. In exemplary embodiments, the three-dimensional terrain may maintain a square symmetrical grid or a stretched out grid. In a further exemplary embodiment, a stronger element of deception and illusion is provided by elevating the Markers to various heights and integrating them into an asymmetrical and multi-level uneven three-dimensional sculpted terrain, as for example shown in FIGS. 3-6. The three-dimensional terrains may include other terrain features, i.e., objects, incorporated between the Markers or above or below the Markers. For example, the terrain may include, among other things, tunnels (FIG. 5), trees (FIG. 6), towers (FIG. 13), caves, bridges, structures, buildings, rocks, vertical props, debris and other objects or combinations thereof. The three-dimensional terrains may be based on movies, television shows, comics, books, video games or other entertainments themes or environments. Similarly, the Game Pieces may be characters of such movies, television shows, comics, books, video games or other entertainments themes or environments. It should be noted that proper permissions and licenses may be needed before forming any game board or game piece based on copyrighted environments or characters, respectively. Two sets 40 and 50 or exemplary game pieces are shown in FIG. 7 (Image 1). Each set consists of the game pieces 42, 52 for Player One and the game pieces 44, 54 for Player Two. Other exemplary game pieces 62, 64 are shown in FIG. 13. The Markers 22 themselves may have various designs. For example, each Marker may have designs that indicated the potential game piece movement paths from the Marker, as for example shown in FIG. 8 (Image 4).

The effect of the three-dimensional terrain on a player may be ascertained by looking at FIGS. 9 and 10 (Images 5 and 7) which shows a partial set of Game Pieces 42, 44 on a flat grid and comparing it with FIGS. 3-6 which show a partial set of Game Pieces 42, 44 on a three-dimensional terrain. FIGS. 3, 4 and 9 depict top views of three different terrains, while FIGS. 5, 6 and 10, depict perspective views corresponding to the top views shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 9, respectively. In each of FIGS. 3-6, 9 and 10, the Game Pieces are placed in the identical locations, yet the locations and the potential movements for the Game Pieces in FIGS. 3-6 on the three-dimensional terrain look a lot different from those in FIGS. 9 and 10 on the flat terrain. Moreover, some of the Game Pieces are not visible in some views. For example, on FIGS. 5 and 6 only two of the three Game Pieces 44 are visible and on FIG. 5 one Game Piece 42 is only partially visible.

Another three-dimensional terrain 60 is shown in FIG. 13. It becomes apparent that in FIGS. 3-6, and 13, the three-dimensional terrains make it considerably more difficult for a player to discern where the other player's Game Pieces are and more importantly, which direction the lines connecting Marker to Marker are going. This illusion creates a false effect and distraction as some of the connecting lines from Marker to Marker, are now vertical and/or on undulating surfaces, rather than on a flat plane and clearly visible.

The elevated Markers help provide a misconception and false sense of security. Some of the Markers placed at the highest elevations give the player a sense of power and protection, however some of these Markers at the highest elevations may only have four directions in which to move, leading to the deception. For example, a player may think his/her Game Piece is out of harms-way, because it is obstructed by trees, mountains or structures.

With the inventive Terrains, the location of a Game Piece will seem more or less vulnerable depending on where it is placed on the Terrain, even though the grid in plan view may be straightforward. For example, some Game Pieces may be blocked completely from the opponent's view, allowing the other player to capture or surround more Game Pieces. Trees, structures, tunnels, bridges buildings, rocks, vertical props and debris as well as the varying distance between Markers all add to create a confusing and distracting environment, altering the game play pattern from a typical flat, non-sculpted playing surface or grid to a playing surface that is multi-tiered and has multiple levels of deception. For example, the variable distance between one player's Game Piece and another player's Game Piece, may provide the illusion that the game pieces are spaced apart by more than one Marker.

The exemplary embodiment, three-dimensional game boards may be formed by molding using well known techniques. For example, FIG. 11 depicts an exemplary embodiment game board after being removed from a mold and incorporating some trees. FIG. 12 depicts the game board shown in FIG. 11 after it has been trimmed and painted.

As can be seen, the present invention provides a method for providing a distraction or illusion when playing a board game like Bagh Chal, chess, checkers, etc., which affects a player's thinking and strategy, as well as game and/or game board providing such a distraction or illusion. For example an exemplary embodiment game board used for chess or checkers may be formed such that a Marker is used for each chess or checkers game board square. Markers representing adjacent squares may be interconnected by movement lines 21. By stretching out the chess or checkers board so as to be non-symmetric along at least one axis and/or by forming such game board surface on a three-dimensional terrain with or without obstructions, and/or by using Markers interconnected by movement lines instead of adjacent squares, a distraction or illusion is created effecting a player's thinking and strategy when playing such game.





 
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