Title:
Gaming machine, gaming system and storage medium therefor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There are provided a gaming machine, a storage medium, and a holding body which can arouse a player's desire for collecting the storage medium, enable a continuing game and relieve the player of carrying or saving data. The gaming machine is capable of performing the game by utilizing a storage medium and a holding body. The gaming machine comprises character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage medium, identification information reading means for reading the identification information, and character information generating means for generating character information.



Inventors:
Nagano, Hiroyuki (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
11/234318
Publication Date:
03/30/2006
Filing Date:
09/26/2005
Assignee:
Aruze Corporation (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HSU, RYAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing a rewritable storage medium storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body capable of receiving the storage medium, the gaming machine comprising: character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage medium; identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in the holding body from the holding body; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least character corresponding to the identification information and character construction information read by the character construction information reading means; game control means for executing a game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; and character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed by the game control means.

2. A storage medium utilized by the gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the storage medium stores in a rewritable way the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character.

3. A holding body utilized by the gaming machine of claim 1, wherein the holding body having the identification information comprises at least one holding part-for receiving the storage medium.

4. A gaming system comprising: a gaming machine provided with storage medium identification information reading means for reading storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium from the storage medium utilized in a game and identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in a holding body from the holding body into which the storage medium can be inserted; and a server provided with storage means for storing character basic information including at least character specific information for specifying one character corresponding to the identification information stored in the holding body and character construction information constituting character information of the one character; character construction information extracting means for extracting the character construction information from the storage means based on the storage medium identification information read by the storage medium identification information reading means; character basic information extracting means for extracting character basic information from the storage means based on the identification information read by the identification information reading means; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on the character construction information extracted by the character construction information extracting means and the character basic information extracted by the character basic information extracting means; game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; and character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored by the storage means based on a result of the game executed by the game control means.

5. The gaming machine according to claim 1, further comprising determination means for determining whether the character basic information and the character construction information satisfy a predetermined condition or not, wherein the character information is generated based on a determination result by the determination means.

6. The gaming machine according to claim 1, further comprising task setting means for setting a task for the one character to fulfill in the game, wherein the character construction information reading means read the character construction information upon fulfillment of at least the task set by the task setting means.

7. The gaming machine according to claim 6, wherein the task setting means sets a new task upon fulfillment of the previously set task; and wherein the character construction information reading means reads the character construction information from the storage medium during a period from when the task having been set by the task setting means is fulfilled to when the task setting means sets the new task.

8. The gaming machine according to claim 6, further comprising: notification image display means for displaying a notification image to notify start of reading of the character construction information by the character construction information reading means; storage means for storing notification image data for the notification image; and notification image display control means for having the notification image display means display the notification image based on the notification image data by extracting the notification image data from the storage means upon fulfillment of the task having been set by the task setting means.

9. The gaming machine according to claim 1, wherein the character construction information comprises a variable value to vary in accordance with an instruction by a player or a game status, wherein the game control means conducts a variable process of the variable value, the gaming machine further comprising: character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium based on a result of the variable process conducted by the game control means, wherein the character construction information reading means reads the character construction information from the storage medium at a predetermined timing during a period that the game is being performed; wherein the character information generating means generates the character information upon reading of the character construction information from the storage medium by the character construction information reading means.

10. The gaming machine according to claim 9, wherein the character construction information reading means reads the character construction information from the storage medium when the variable value included in the character information reaches at least a predetermined value as a result of the variable process by the game control means.

11. The gaming machine according to claim 9, further comprising: notification image display means for displaying a notification image to notify start of reading of the character construction information by the character construction information reading means; storage means for storing notification image data for the notification image; and notification image display control means for having the notification image display means display the notification image based on the notification image data by extracting the notification image data from the storage means when the variable value included in the character information reaches at least a predetermined value as a result of the variable process by the game control means.

12. A storage medium utilized by the gaming machine of claim 9, wherein the storage medium stores in a rewritable way the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character and including the variable value to vary in accordance with the instruction by the player or the game status.

13. A gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing rewritable storage media storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body comprising a plurality of holding parts capable of receiving the storage media, the gaming machine comprising: input means for inputting a predetermined instruction responsive to an operation of a player; character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage media; identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in the holding body from the holding body; confirmation image display means for displaying a confirmation image showing a number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and character construction information read by the character construction information reading means when the input means inputs an instruction to generate the character information during a period of displaying the confirmation image on the confirmation image display means; game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means.

14. The gaming machine according to claim 13, wherein the character construction information reading means read the character construction information again from the storage media held by the holding body when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted by the input means during the period of displaying the confirmation image on the confirmation display means; and wherein the confirmation image display means displays the confirmation image indicating the number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means.

15. A control program executing a game in a gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing rewritable storage media storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body comprising a plurality of holding parts capable of receiving the storage media, the gaming machine comprising: character information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage media; identification information reading means for reading from the holding body identification information being stored in the holding body; confirmation image display means for displaying a confirmation image indicating a number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and character construction information read by the character construction information reading means when the input means inputs an instruction to generate the character information during a period of displaying the confirmation image on the confirmation image display means; game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means.

16. A control method for executing a game in a gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing rewritable storage media storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body comprising a plurality of holding parts capable of receiving the storage media, the control method comprising: reading the character construction information from the storage media; reading from the holding body identification information being stored in the holding body; displaying a confirmation image indicating a number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information; generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information when input means of the gaming machine inputs an instruction to generate the character information during a period of displaying the confirmation image in the step of displaying the confirmation image; executing the game based on the character information generated in the step of generating the character information.

17. A gaming machine comprising: character construction information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means; game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; reading determination means for determining whether the identification information stored in the storage medium is read at a predetermined timing or not; identification information reading means for reading the identification information stored in the storage medium based on a result of determination by the reading determination means; determining means for determining whether the identification information being read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means or not; and character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information having been stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed by the game control means upon determining identity of the current and previous identification information by the determining means.

18. A control program executing a game in a gaming machine, wherein the gaming machine comprises: character information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means; game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; reading determination means for determining whether the identification information stored in the storage medium is read at a predetermined timing or not; identification information reading means for reading the identification information stored in the storage medium based on a result of determination by the reading determination means; determining means for determining whether the identification information being read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means or not; and character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information having been stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed by the game control means upon determining identity of the current and previous identification information by the determining means.

19. A game control method comprising: reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character; generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information; executing the game based on the character information generated in the step of generating the character information; determining whether the identification information stored in the storage medium is read at a predetermined timing or not; reading the identification information stored in the storage medium based on a result of determination in the step of determining whether the identification information is read at the predetermined timing; determining whether the identification information being read in the step of reading the identification information is identical to identification information having been read previously in the step of reading the identification information or not; and rewriting the character construction information having been stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed in the step of controlling the game upon determining identity of the current and previous identification information in the step of determining whether the identification information is identical or not.

20. A gaming machine comprising: input means for inputting a predetermined instruction in accordance with an operation by a player; character information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means; game control means for executing a game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; character construction information renewal means for renewing the character construction information included by the character information based on a result of the game executed by the game control means; notification image display means for displaying a notification image indicating that the character construction information satisfies a predetermined condition when the character construction information having been renewed by the character construction information renewal means satisfies the predetermined condition; identification information reading means for reading from the storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium when at least an instruction concerning rewriting of the character construction information by the input means during a period of displaying the notification image by the notification image display means; character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium such that the character construction information is renewed by the character construction information renewal means when the identification information read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means; and change demanding image display means for displaying a change demanding image of urging of storage medium change upon rewriting of the character construction information by the character construction information rewriting means, wherein the character construction information reading means reads the character construction information again from the storage medium when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted during a period of displaying a change demanding image on the change demanding image display means; and wherein the character information generating means generates the character information when the character construction information is read by the character construction information reading means again.

21. A control program executing a game in a gaming machine, wherein the gaming machine comprises: character information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character; character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means; game control means for executing a game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; character construction information renewal means for renewing the character construction information included by the character information based on a result of the game executed by the game control means; notification image display means for displaying a notification image indicating that the character construction information satisfies a predetermined condition when the character construction information having been renewed by the character construction information renewal means satisfies the predetermined condition; identification information reading means for reading from the storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium when at least an instruction concerning rewriting of the character construction information by the input means of the gaming machine during a period of displaying the notification image by the notification image display means; character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium such that the character construction information is renewed by the character construction information renewal means when the identification information read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means; and change demanding image display means for displaying a change demanding image to urge a player to change the storage medium upon rewriting of the character construction information by the character construction information rewriting means, wherein the program makes the character construction information reading means read the character construction information again from the storage medium when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted during a period of displaying a change demanding image on the change demanding image display means; and wherein the program makes the character information generating means generate the character information when the character construction information is read by the character construction information reading means again.

22. A game control method comprising: reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character; generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information; executing a game based on the character information generated in the step of generating the character information; renewing the character construction information included by the character information based on a result of the game executed in the step of executing the game; displaying a notification image indicating that the character construction information satisfies a predetermined condition when the character construction information having been renewed in the step of renewing the character construction information satisfies the predetermined condition; reading from the storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium when at least an instruction concerning rewriting of the character construction information by the input means of the gaming machine during a period of displaying the notification image by the notification image display means; rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium such that the character construction information is renewed in the step of renewing the character construction information when the identification information read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously in the step of reading the identification information; displaying a change demanding image of urging of storage medium change upon rewriting of the character construction information in the step of rewriting the character construction information; reading the character construction information again from the storage medium when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted during a period of displaying a change demanding image in displaying the change demanding image; and generating the character information when the character construction information is read in the step of reading the character construction information again.

23. A gaming machine capable of performing a game based on character information, the gaming machine comprising: a holding body for receiving a storage medium storing character construction information constituting the character information; a reading part for reading character basic information stored by the holding body or the storage medium and the character construction information stored by the storage medium; a display device for displaying the game performed in accordance with the character information generated based on the read character basic information and the read character construction information; and an input part for accepting input by an operation of a player, wherein the character construction information is changed based on a result by the operation of the player at a predetermined stage of the game and the changed character construction information is rewritten in the storage medium received by the holding body.

24. The gaming machine according to claim 28, wherein the character basic information includes character identification information; and wherein the character construction information is changed when the character identification is unchanged before and after obtaining the result by the operation of the player; and wherein the changed character construction information is rewritten in the storage medium received by the holding part.

25. The gaming machine according to claim 23, wherein the holding body comprises a plurality of holding parts capable of individually receiving the storage medium, and wherein the display device displays an image indicating that the character construction information is read from storage media and how many storage media are read for the stored character construction information.

26. The gaming machine according to claims 23, wherein the display device displays an image for demanding change of the storage medium upon rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium.

27. A gaming system comprising: a gaming machine provided with a reading part for reading storage medium identification information stored in a storage medium utilized in a game and identification information stored in a holding body capable of receiving the storage medium; and a server provided with a storage device for storing character basic information including character specific information for specifying one character corresponding to the identification information stored in the holding body and character construction information constituting character information of the one character, wherein character basic information is extracted from the storage device based on the read storage medium identification information; wherein the character basic information is extracted from the storage device based on the read identification information; wherein the game is executed based on the character information of the one character generated in accordance with the character construction information and the character basic information; and wherein the character construction information stored in the storage device is rewritten based on a result of the executed game.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based upon and claims the benefits of priorities from Japanese Patent Application Nos. 2004-282192, 2004-286922, 2004-286923, 2004-295903, 2004-304576, 2004-304577 and 2004-310171 filed on Sep. 28, 2004; Sep. 30, 2004; Sep. 30, 2004; Oct. 8, 2004; Oct. 19, 2004; Oct. 19, 2004; and Oct. 25, 2004; respectively, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a gaming machine, a storage medium used in the gaming machine, a computer program used in the gaming machine, a holding body used with the gaming machine, a gaming system comprising the gaming machine and servers and a game control method executed with the gaming machine.

RELATED ART

Trading cards, figures, etc., usually depict athletes, characters of animation films and so on and are collected by fans. In recent years, games using such trading cards, figures and so on have been provided and become quite popular among a variety of people at a wide range of ages. This is probably because such games have bilateral aspects, namely, fun to collect trading cards, figures, etc., and fun to play the games themselves. In these days, these trading cards and figures are provided with data storage capability to store data of characters appearing in the games so that gaming machines can provide video games to proceed in accordance with the data read from the storage media installed in such trading cards and figures. Such gaming machines are now popular and widely spread.

By way of example, there is provided a gaming machine in which a plurality of players put robot components such as weapon into their own robot main bodies to assemble their own robots, connect their own robots to a gaming machine, and join the game with their individual ability values of their virtual robots in the game, which are determined by the robot main bodies and robot components thereof, so that the players can play a combat game by having their virtual robots fight against other robots in the game JP-A-9-47575 and JP-B-UM-3054694).

In such a gaming machine, the robot main bodies and the robot components have capabilities or functions as a storage medium. In other words, ability values of the robots (or virtual robots) in the game and information on the robot components attachable to the robot main bodies are stored in advance in nonvolatile memories disposed inside the robot main bodies. When identification information designated to respective robot components attached to the robot main bodies is read by the robot main bodies, the ability values of the robots corresponding to the identification information are read from the nonvolatile memories and transmitted to the gaming machine.

According to the gaming machines disclosed in JP-A-9-47575 and JP-B-UM-3054694, it is possible for a player himself to compose his own robot in the game since the ability values of the robot in the game is determined by a combination of the robot main body and robot components, which are actually put to the robot main body by the player's hands. Thus, the game utilizing such a robot in the game can be provided. Further, by collecting many kinds of robot main bodies and robot components, the player can compose various types of robots with different ability values.

However, according to the gaming machines disclosed in JP-A-9-47575 and JP-B-UM-3054694, since ability values of the robot and information on the robot components attachable to the robot main body are in advance stored in a nonvolatile memory inside the robot main body, the number of types of robots which can be composed by combining robot main bodies with robot components is limited. Therefore, a variety of strategic features may not be achieved so that it is difficult to arouse a player's desire for collection of the robot main bodies and robot components.

Further, since the ability values of the robot and information on the robot component attachable to the robot main body are in advance stored in the nonvolatile memory inside the robot main body, it is difficult to improve the robot beyond the range having been set at the time of originally introducing the robot or provide a new type of robot different than the robot having been expected at the time of introduction. Therefore, it is not sufficient to provide the game continuing for a long period of time, i.e., the continuity of the game may not be provided.

Since a beginner who starts to play such a game can compose various kinds of robots by purchasing many kinds of robot main bodies and robot components and a player can compose his favorite types of robots such that the player can play the game with such advantages, the provider of the game might not have a very good strategy in providing the game.

Further, if many robot main bodies and robot components are collected, they will occupy big space so that it is bothersome to keep them and carry them. Therefore, it is difficult for a plurality of players to individually bring their robot main bodies and robot components to play a competitive game among themselves.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the present invention, it is possible to provide a strategic game which can sufficiently arouse a player's desire for collecting storage media as a collection target and to ensure continuity of the game. It is also possible to provide a gaming machine, a storage medium used in the gaming machine, a holding body used in the gaming machine and a gaming system equipped with the gaming machine and a server which may alleviate bothersome storage and carriage of data carrier thereof.

In order to attain the above-described objects, according to the present invention, the following is provided.

(1) A gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing a rewritable storage medium storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body capable of receiving the storage medium, the gaming machine comprising:

    • character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage medium;
    • identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in the holding body from the holding body;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least character corresponding to the identification information and character construction information read by the character construction information reading means;
    • game control means for executing a game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; and
    • character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed by the game control means.

According to the gaming machine described in (1), on the basis of the character construction information read from a storage medium (for example, disk with built-in IC chip and the like) received by a holding body (for example, character-depicting figure and the like) and the character basic information corresponding to identification information read from the holding body, the character information of one character is generated to execute a game according to the generated character information. Therefore, a player can change a combination of a holding body with a storage medium mounted to the holding body, thereby creating a plurality of types of characters having different character information to play the game by using the thus created characters. Further, the character construction information stored in the storage medium is rewritable or changeable according to the result of the game. Thus, the player plays the game and his game result is reflected on the character construction information stored in the storage medium. And the storage medium used in the game becomes a new storage medium storing different character construction information.

As explained above, according to the gaming machine described in (1), after playing a game, new data stored by the storage medium is created such that the result of the game is reflected on the new data. Thus, it is possible to increase the types of game data stored in storage media usable in the game. Therefore, the holding body can be combined in various ways with storage media mounted to the holding body, thereby providing a highly strategic game. Further, game results of the player can be reflected on the game data stored by the storage medium to create the most favorite character to the player such that the player may have more strong desire to collect more and more storage media for his collection.

Further, for example, a new type of character construction information is stored in a storage medium, which can increase the number of types of game data usable in the game stored by storage media. Therefore, after the gaming machine becomes commercially useable in the market, a storage medium storing new character construction information can be put into the market at an appropriate timing as the provider of the gaming machine wishes, thereby gradually changing the game to more sophisticated and intricate one so as to ensure continuity of the game.

Further, since storage media are received by the holding body, for example, it is possible to prevent the storage media from scattering or missing although a plurality of storage media are used to play the game or the storage media used in the game are frequently changed. Also, even when many storage media are collected, they can be received by the holding body, thereby reducing bulkiness, or can be used in the game or stored and carried as they are.

In the present specification, “character basic information” is information including at least information for specifying the character concerned (character specific information in the present specification). The character basic information may include ability values of the character and information for configuring the appearance of the character and information hardly changed during the game play. For example, the identification information or number of the storage medium such as electromagnetic disk and so on may be included.

Also, “character construction information” is information for constituting the character information. The character information includes, for example, ability values of a character and information for constructing the appearance of the character. The character construction information may include mainly information that may be effective directly or indirectly to the game results.

Further, “character information” is information concerning one character, which is generated on the basis of character basic information and the character construction information. The character information includes, for example, character specific information, ability values of the character and information for constructing the appearance of the character. A method for generating the character information on the basis of the character basic information and the character construction information is not limited, but may include, for example, a method for generating the character information in combination of the character basic information with the character construction information and a method for generating the character information by calculating values such as ability values contained respectively in the character basic information and the character construction information.

The following is also provided.

(2) A storage medium utilized by the gaming machine as described in (1), wherein the storage medium stores in a rewritable way the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character.

According to the storage medium as described in (2), it is possible to store in a rewritable way the character construction information for constructing character information of one character and to rewrite the character construction information according to the result of the game. Therefore, the player plays the game so as to reflect the game results of the player on the character construction information stored by the storage medium. The storage medium used in the game can become a new storage medium storing different character construction information.

As explained above, since more and more storage media storing a variety of information usable in the game can be made, the holding body can be combined in various ways with storage media mounted to the holding body, thus making the game highly strategic.

Further, game results of the player can be reflected on the information stored by the above storage medium to create the most favorite character to the player such that the player is urged to collect the storage media.

For example, a new type of character construction information is stored in a storage medium, which can increase the types of storage media usable in the game. Therefore, after starting a commercial operation of the gaming machine in the market, a storage medium which stores new character construction information can be placed in the market at an appropriate timing as the provider of the gaming machine wishes, thereby gradually changing the game to more sophisticated and intricate one so as to ensure continuity of the game. An increase in the number of types of storage media usable in the game can give the player a wider selection range of storage media usable in the game, thereby providing a highly strategic game.

Further, since storage media are received by the holding body, for example, it is possible to prevent the storage media from scattering or missing although a plurality of storage media are used to play the game or the storage media used in the game are frequently changed. In addition, even when many storage media are collected, they can be received by the holding body, thereby reducing bulkiness, or can be used in the game or stored and carried as they are received by the holding body.

The shape of the above storage medium is not limited to a certain shape, but it is preferable to form the storage medium in a coin shape or a card shape. The storage medium is shaped in such a shape that it is not bulky even if a large number of storage media are collected and the shape is not easy to be broken and have advantages in storage and carrying.

The following is further provided.

(3) A holding body utilized by the gaming machine as described in (1), wherein the holding body having the identification information comprises at least one holding part-for receiving the storage medium.

According to the holding body as described in (3), there is provided the holding body with one or more holding parts to receive the above storage medium. The player is able to change character information by changing the holding body according to the progress of the game, thereby playing a highly strategic game. Further, even when many storage media are collected, they can be received by the holding body so that bulkiness of the storage media can be prevented and they are easily stored or carried to reduce inconvenience related thereto.

Further, the following is provided.

(4) A gaming system comprising:

    • a gaming machine provided with storage medium identification information reading means for reading storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium from the storage medium utilized in a game and identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in a holding body from the holding body into which the storage medium can be inserted; and
    • a server provided with storage means for storing character basic information including at least character specific information for specifying one character corresponding to the identification information stored in the holding body and character construction information constituting character information of the one character;
    • character construction information extracting means for extracting the character construction information from the storage means based on the storage medium identification information read by the storage medium identification information reading means;
    • character basic information extracting means for extracting character basic information from the storage means based on the identification information read by the identification information reading means;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on the character construction information extracted by the character construction information extracting means and the character basic information extracted by the character basic information extracting means;
    • game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means; and
    • character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored by the storage means based on a result of the game executed by the game control means.

According to the gaming system as described in (4), on the basis of character basic information extracted from the storage means in association with storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium and character construction information extracted from storage means in association with identification information stored in a holding body, character information of one character is generated and a game is performed according to the above character information. Therefore, a player can change a combination of the holding body and the storage medium to be attached to the holding body so as to compose a plurality of kinds of characters with different character information so that the player can play the game by utilizing these generated characters. Further, the character construction information corresponding to the storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium is stored in the storage means of a server. The character construction information, which is not something unchangeable that cannot be rewritten, can be rewritten according to the result of the game. Thus, after the player plays games, the results of his own games are reflected on the character construction information corresponding to the storage medium identification information of the storage medium.

As explained above, according to the gaming system as described in (4), after the game is played, the character construction information corresponding to the storage medium identification information of the storage medium used in the game can be rewritten and stored such that the number of types of storage media having different character information which are usable in the game is increased. As a result, the holding body can be combined in various ways with storage media attached to the holding body so that the player may play a highly strategic game with a variety of character information. Further, the results of the player's own games can be reflected on the character information stored in the storage medium to generate the most favorite character of the player's, thereby strongly arousing the player's desire for collecting storage media as a collection target.

In the above gaming system of (4), the character construction information extracting means, the character basic information extracting means, the character information generating means, the game control means and the character construction information rewriting means may be provided either to the gaming machine or to the server. It is, however, preferable that the game control means is provided to the gaming machine.

In the system according to (4), it is configured that the server stores the character basic information which may have only a little changes according to the game results so that traffic in the communications line is low and the character construction information, and that the gaming machine stores programs, image data and so on which are necessary for performing the game, and that the storage medium has identification information (storage medium identification information) of the storage medium. Therefore, it is not necessary to transfer the programs, image data, etc., which are a big burden (a large volume of data) to the communications, between the server and the gaming machine so that it is possible to smoothly conduct processes related to progress of the game.

As explained so far, there may be provided a strategic game which can sufficiently arouse the player's desire for collecting storage media as a collection target and to ensure continuity of the game. There are also provided a gaming machine, a storage medium used in the gaming machine and a holding body used in the gaming machine enabling to reduce bothersome burden to store and carry data carriers,

The following is also provided.

(5) A gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing a rewritable storage medium storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body capable of receiving the storage medium, the gaming machine comprising:

    • character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage medium;
    • identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in the holding body from the holding body;
    • determination means for determining whether the character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means satisfy a predetermined condition or not;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character from the character construction information and the character basic information based on a determination result by the determination means; and
    • game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (5), based on the determination whether the character construction information read from the storage medium (for example, a disk with built-in IC chip) installed in the holding body (for example, a figure showing appearance of the character) and the character basic information corresponding to the identification information read from the holding body satisfy a predetermined condition or not, the character information is generated from both character construction information and character basic information. The game is performed based on the generated character information such that the player is required to choose the holding body and the storage medium as they will satisfy the predetermined condition. As a result, whether to win or lose the game may not depend only on the kinds of the holding body and the storage medium, but also on the decision by the player if the combination satisfies the predetermined condition or not. Therefore, the player can play a highly strategic game, in which the player chooses the holding body and the storage medium in considering whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not.

Since the character information is generated based on the determination whether the character basic information corresponding to the identification information stored in the holding body and the character construction information stored in the storage medium satisfy the predetermined condition or not, a beginner or the like who plays the game for the first time cannot compose various characters and favorite characters of his own unless the predetermined condition is satisfied even if, for example, the beginner can collect many kinds of holding bodies and storage media by purchasing any available holding bodies and storage media. It is, therefore, required to collect holding bodies and storage media in accordance with such predetermined condition. In this way, there is provided a highly strategic game in association with game contents and fun to collect holding bodies and storage media.

Also, since the character information generated from the information stored in selected holding body and storage medium may vary depending on the predetermined condition, the player could be urged to collect many holding bodies and storage media for selection targets.

Since the game can be changed gradually to more sophisticated and complicated one by making more and more holding bodies and storage media satisfy the predetermined condition (for example, their levels may reach the predetermined ones) as the game proceeds, the continuity of the game may be ensured.

Further, since the storage media are held by the holding body, it can be prevented that the storage media are spread and missing even if, for example, a plurality of storage media are used or storage media to be used in the game are often required to change. Also, even if many storage media are collected, they might not be so bulky when they are installed into the holding body. The player may use the holding body with the storage media in the game, or store or carry the same.

The following is also provided.

(6) A storage medium utilized by the gaming machine as described in (5), wherein the storage medium stores in a rewritable way the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character.

According to the storage medium as described in (6), since the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character can be stored in a rewritable manner and the character construction information can be rewritten in accordance with the game result, the storage medium having used in the game will become a new storage medium having new information and many kinds of storage media will be able to be used in the game. As a result, there can be provided a highly strategic game, in which storage media and holding bodies are selected from many kinds of storage media and holding bodies in considering if the predetermined condition is satisfied or not.

Also, since the character information generated from information stored in the selected storage media may vary depending on the predetermined condition, the player is required to select storage media suitable for the predetermined condition among many kinds of storage media. Therefore, the player may be urged to collect many storage media as selection targets.

Also, since it is possible to change the game gradually to more sophisticated and complicated one by making more and more kinds of holding bodies and storage media useable according to, for example, the game situations and game progress.

Further, since the storage media are attached to the holding body, it can be prevented that the storage media are scattered or missing, even if, for example, a plurality of storage media are used in the game or the storage media used in the game are required to be changed. Even if many storage media are collected, it is unlikely that they become bulky once they are attached to or installed in the holding body and they can be used in the game and stored or carried as they are.

As the shape of the storage medium, it is preferable to be a coin-like shape or card-like shape although it is not limited to these. This is because it is unlikely that they will be bulky or be broken even if many storage media are collected such that they are advantageous in storage and portability.

The following is also provided.

(7) A holding body utilized by the gaming machine as described in (5), wherein the holding body having the identification information comprises at least one holding part for receiving the storage medium.

According to the holding body as described in (7), the character information is generated based on the determination whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not since the identification information is stored therein. As a result, since the game is performed based on the character information, the player is required to select holding bodies and storage media as the predetermined condition is satisfied. As a result, whether to win or lose the game depends only on the kind of the holding body and the storage medium, but also on the player's decision of selection to cause whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not. Therefore, the player can play a highly strategic game, in which the player selects the holding body and storage medium in considering whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not. Further, since one or more holding bodies, to which the storage medium can be attached, are provided, the player can change the character information by changing the holing bodies as the game proceeds so that he can enjoy a highly strategic game. Also, even if so many storage media are collected, they can be attached to the holding body so'that the volume of the holding body and storage media is not so bulky and that bothersome concerns of storage and portability can be eliminated.

According to the present invention, there can be provided a highly strategic game, which can urge the player to collect storage media as the target of collection. And the continuity of the game can be ensured. Further, there are provided a gaming machine, a storage medium used with the gaming machine, and a holding body, which can alleviate bothersome storage and portability.

Further, the following is provided.

(8) A gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing a rewritable storage medium storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body capable of receiving the storage medium, the gaming machine comprising:

    • task setting means for setting a task for the one character to fulfill in the game;
    • character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage medium upon fulfillment of at least the task set by the task setting means;
    • identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in the holding body from the holding body;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and the character construction information, upon reading of the character construction information by the character construction information reading means;
    • game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (8), upon completion of the task to be fulfilled, which is set by the task setting means, the character construction information is read by the character construction information reading means and new character information can be generated from the character construction information having been read by the character construction reading means. As a result, since it is possible to generate the character information after completion of the task to be fulfilled, it is possible to provide an opportunity to change the storage medium as appropriate according to the contents of the next task to be set for the player. Further, since the period for reading the storage medium is only after completion of the task set by the task setting means, breakdown of the reading means caused by repeated reading more times than necessary or reading errors caused by accidental movement of the storage medium can be prevented.

Also, since there is provided an opportunity to re-generate the character information whenever the task to be fulfilled that is set for the player is achieved, the player can generate different character information having different ability values as the task to be fulfilled having been set for him is completed. Therefore, he would not be tired of the game and the continuity of the game can be ensured.

Also, since the character information is re-generated whenever the task to be fulfilled that is set for the player is achieved, the player could have more desire to collect more holding bodies and storage media as selection targets.

The following is also provided.

(9) The gaming machine according to (8),

    • wherein the task setting means sets a new task upon fulfillment of the previously set task; and
    • wherein the character construction information reading means reads the character construction information from the storage medium during a period from when the task having been set by the task setting means is fulfilled to when the task setting means sets the new task.

According to the gaming machine as described in (9), within a period from when the task to be fulfilled that has been set by the task setting means beforehand is achieved to when a new task to be fulfilled is set, the character construction information is read from the storage medium and new character information can be generated from the character construction information having been read by the character construction information reading means. As a result, since the character information can be re-generated within a period from when the task to be fulfilled that has been set previously by the task setting means is achieved to when a new task to be fulfilled is set, it is possible to provide a highly strategic game, in which the storage medium can be changed in accordance with the contents of the task to be fulfilled that is set for the player. Further, since the period for reading the storage medium is within the period from when the previous task set by the task setting means is achieved to when a new task is set, it is prevented that the machine breaks down because the storage medium is read too many times or that reading errors occur because the storage medium is moved accidentally.

Also, since the character information can be re-generated within a period from when the task to be fulfilled that has been set previously by the task setting means is achieved to when a new task to be fulfilled is set, the player would not be tired of the game and the continuity of the game can be ensured.

Also, since the character information can be re-generated within a period from when the task to be fulfilled that has been set previously by the task setting means is achieved to when a new task to be fulfilled is set, the player could have more desire to collect more holding bodies and storage media as selection targets.

Further, since the storage medium is attached to the holding body, it is prevented that a plurality of storage media are scattered or some of them are missing even if, for example, many storage media are used in the game or the storage media used in the game are required to be changed so many times. Also, even if so many storage media are collected, they can be attached to the holding body so that the volume of the holding body and storage media is not so bulky and that bothersome concerns of storage and portability can be eliminated.

The following is also provided.

(10) The gaming machine according to (8) or (9), further comprising:

    • notification image display means for displaying a notification image to notify start of reading of the character construction information by the character construction information reading means;
    • storage means for storing notification image data for the notification image; and
    • notification image display control means for having the notification image display means display the notification image based on the notification image data by extracting the notification image data from the storage means upon fulfillment of the task having been set by the task setting means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (10), since the notification image is displayed on the notification image display means upon fulfillment of the task set by the task setting means, it is possible to notify clearly an opportunity to re-generate new character information. As a result, it is possible to provide a highly strategic game, in which an opportunity to change the storage medium aggressively in accordance with the contents of the task to be fulfilled that is set for the player. Further, since the notification image is displayed on the notification image display means, it can be prevented that reading errors occur because the storage medium is moved accidentally during reading.

Also since it becomes possible to notify to the player clearly an opportunity to re-generate new character information, the player can generate the character information with different ability values aggressively for each task to be fulfilled that is set. Therefore, the player would not be tired of the game and the continuity of the game is ensured.

Also, since it becomes possible to notify to the player clearly an opportunity to re-generate new character information, it is possible to provide the player with an opportunity to generate aggressively character information with different ability values whenever the player completes the task to be fulfilled that is set for him. Therefore, the player could feel a strong desire to collect many holding bodies and storage media as selection targets.

The following is also provided.

(11) A storage medium utilized by the gaming machine of any one from (8) to (10), wherein the storage medium stores in a rewritable way the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character.

According to the storage medium as described in (11), the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character can be stored in a rewritable way and the character construction information can be rewritten according to a game result. Therefore, the storage medium used in the game could become a new storage medium in which different character construction information is stored and many kinds of storage media can be used in the game. As a result, whenever the player completes the task to be fulfilled that has been set previously, it is possible to provide a game, in which the player can change the character information by selecting one or more storage media as appropriate from various kinds of storage media.

Also, since the player is provided with an opportunity to re-generate the character information whenever he completes the task to be fulfilled, he can select storage media whenever he completes the task to be fulfilled that has been set. Therefore, the player could be strongly urged to collect storage media as selection targets.

Also, since the player is provided with an opportunity to re-generate the character information by utilizing one or more storage media selected appropriately from a variety of kinds of storage media whenever he completes the task to be fulfilled, he can generate character information having different ability values for each task to be fulfilled that is set for him so that he would not be tired of the game and the continuity of the game can be ensured.

Further, since the storage medium is attached to the holding body, it is prevented that a plurality of storage media are scattered or some of them are missing even if, for example, many storage media are used in the game or the storage media used in the game are required to be changed so many times. Also, even if so many storage media are collected, they can be attached to the holding body so that the volume of the holding body and storage media is not so bulky and that bothersome concerns of storage and portability can be eliminated.

Here, although the shape of the storage medium is not limited in particular, it is preferable that the shape is a coin-like shape or a card-like shape. Even if so many storage media are collected, the storage media are in such a shape that the volume of the storage media is not so much and that the storage media are hardly broken. Therefore, the storage media have advantages in storage and portability.

The following is also provided.

(12) A holding body utilized by the gaming machine of any one from (8) to (10), wherein the holding body having the identification information comprises at least one holding part for receiving the storage medium.

According to the holding body as described in (12), since one or more holding parts in which the storage media are held are provided, the player can change the character information by changing storage media as the game proceeds such that he can play a highly strategic game. Further, even if so many storage media are collected, the volume of the storage media and the holding body is not so much that they can be stored and carried without difficulties once the storage media are attached to or installed in the holding body. Therefore, the bothersome concerns can be eliminated.

According to the present invention, it is possible to provide a highly strategic game, in which the player can have an enough desired to collect storage media as collection targets and ensure the continuity of the game. Further, there may be provided a gaming machine, a storage medium used with the gaming machine, a holding body used with the gaming machine which can eliminate bothersome concerns about storage and portability of the data carrier.

The following is provided.

(13) A gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing a rewritable storage medium storing character construction information constituting character information of one character, the character construction information including a variable value to vary in accordance with an instruction by a player or a game status, and a holding body capable of receiving the storage medium, the gaming machine comprising:

    • character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage medium at a predetermined timing during a period that the game is being performed;
    • identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in the holding body from the holding body;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and character construction information read by the character construction information reading means, upon reading of the character construction information from the storage medium by the character construction information reading means;
    • game control means for executing a game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means and conducting a variable process of the variable value included in the character information in accordance with the instruction by the player or a game status; and
    • character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium based on a result of the variable process conducted by the game control means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (13), the variable value (for example, the number of bullets for a gun used by the character) included by the character information is variably processed according to gaming situations or instructions inputted by the player, and the variably processed variable values are written in the storage medium. Then, since the character construction information is read from another storage medium by the character construction information reading means, for example, by physically replacing the storage medium installed in the holding body with the other storage medium, the variable value included by the character information can be renewed to a variable value stored in the other storage medium after the exchange of the storage media. As a result, there can be provided a highly strategic game having new and dynamic features such as a game, in which the number of bullets for the gun as a variable value to be decreased while the game is being performed can be increased by reloading the gun with physical exchange of the storage media as the game proceeds.

Also, since it is possible to renew or rewrite the variable value included in the character information after the storage medium attached to the holding body is physically replaced with the other storage medium, it is also possible to generate the character information including a different variable value during the game play such that the player would not be tired of the game and the continuity of the game can be ensured.

Also, since the variable value included in the character information is variably processed according to the game situations or the instructions inputted by the player and the variably-processed variable value is written in the storage medium by the character construction information rewriting means, the storage medium having been used in the game becomes a new storage medium storing the character information including the variably-processed variable value and thus the number of kinds of storage media useable in the game is increased. As a result, since the player can exchange the storage medium being used in the game with another storage medium being selected from a variety of kinds of storage media storing the character information including different variable value, it is also possible to invoke strongly his desire to collect many storage media as selection targets.

In the present specification, the “variable value” is a numerical value that is included by the character information of one character appearing in the game and that is changed (increased or decreased) according to the game situations and the instructions inputted by the player. The variable value may include a variable value affecting indirectly continuation (or termination) of the game and a variable value affecting directly the continuation (or termination) of the game. Here, the variable value affecting indirectly the continuation (or termination) of the game is a numerical value that varies so as to change the game situation or the like and such changes affect the continuation (or termination) of the game although it is not determined directly whether the game should be continued (or terminated) by the numerical value itself. As examples of the variable value indirectly affecting the continuation (or termination) of the game, the number of bullets for the gun the character uses, defensive value assigned to the protector the character wears and so on can be referred to. On the other hand, the variable value directly affecting the continuity (or termination) of the game can be a numerical value that determines whether the game to be terminated or not, for example, it may be a numerical value that makes the game terminated if the numerical value becomes a predetermined value. By way of example, a value of vital force of the character or the like may be referred to as the variable value directly affecting the continuation (or termination) of the game. It should be understood that the variable value in the present invention is not limited to the above and may include a numerical value that does not affect the continuation (or termination) of the game.

According to the present invention, the following is also provided.

(14) The gaming machine according to (13), wherein the character construction information reading means reads the character construction information from the storage medium when the variable value included in the character information reaches at least a predetermined value as a result of the variable process by the game control means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (13), since the character construction information is read from the storage medium as triggered by a condition that the variable value included by the character information reaches the predetermined value, it is possible to provide a highly strategic and complicated game, in which there is provided a limited opportunity to renew the variable value into a new one by exchanging physically the storage media wherein the variable value may vary during the game play.

In the present invention, the following is also provided.

(15) The gaming machine according to (13) or (14), further comprising: notificatio means;

    • storage means for storing notification image data for the notification image; and
    • notification image display control means for having the notification image display means display the notification image based on the notification image data by extracting the notification image data from the storage means when the variable value included in the character information reaches at least a predetermined value as a result of the variable process by the game control means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (15), since the notification image for notifying starting of reading the character construction information is displayed on the notification image display means as triggered by a condition that the variable value included by the character information reaches the predetermined value based on the result of process in a varying manner by the game control means, it is possible to notify clearly the opportunity to replace the storage medium in use with another storage medium. As a result, it is possible to provide a highly strategic game, in which the opportunity to exchange the storage media is provided to the player, who may aggressively make such exchanges, as triggered by a condition that the variable value reaches the predetermined value. Further, since the notification image is displayed on the notification display means, it is possible to prevent reading errors from occurring wherein the reading errors are caused by accidental movement of the storage medium in the middle of reading.

Also, the notification image to notify the commencement of reading the character construction information is displayed on the notification image display means for the player as triggered by a condition that the variable value included by the character information reaches the predetermined value during the game play, it is possible for the player to generate aggressively character information including a different variable value so that the player may not be tired of the game and that the continuity of the game is ensured.

Also, since it is possible to make a clear notification of the opportunity to replace the storage medium in use with the other storage medium, the opportunity to generate positively character information having a different variable value is given to the player as triggered by a condition that the variable value reaches the predetermined value that is included by the character information during the game play.

The following is also provided.

(16) A storage medium utilized by the gaming machine of any one from (13) to (15), wherein the storage medium stores in a rewritable way the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character and including the variable value to vary in accordance with the instruction by the player or the game status.

According to the storage medium as described in (16), it is possible to store in a rewritable manner the character construction information constituting the character information of the one character and including the variable value changeable in responsive to the game situations or the instructions inputted by the player and the variably-processed variable value is rewritten by the character construction information rewriting means in responsive to the game situations or the instructions inputted by the player. And, since the character construction information is read from the other storage medium by physically replacing the storage medium attached to the holding body with the other storage medium, it is possible to change the variable value included by the character information into a variable value stored in the other storage medium after the exchange of the storage media. As a result, it is possible to provide a highly strategic game having new and dynamic features such as exchanging the storage media during the game play.

Further, since the storage medium stores the character construction information including the variable value in a rewritable manner, the variable value can be changed by another rewriting means.

Also since it is possible to change the variable value included by the character information after exchange of the storage media by replacing physically the storage medium attached to the holding body with another storage medium, it is also possible to generate character information including a different variable value during the game play so that the player is not tired of the game and that the continuity of the game is ensured.

Further, in the present invention, the following is provided.

(17) A holding body utilized by the gaming machine of any one from (13) to (15), wherein the holding body having the identification information comprises at least one holding part for receiving the storage medium.

According to the holding body as described in (17), since one or more holding parts, to which the storage medium is attached, are provided to the holding body, the player can change the character information by replacing the holding body as the game proceeds such that the player can play a highly strategic game. Further,

The inventors conceived a gaming device, in which a game can be performed by utilizing a rewritable storage medium storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body comprising a plurality of holding parts to which the storage medium can be attached. The character construction information stored in the plurality of storage media and identification information contained by the holding body are read through non-contact communications. The character information is generated from the read character construction information and character basic information corresponding to the read identification information. The game proceeds with the gaming device based on the character information. According to the gaming device, since the character construction information can be rewritten based on the game status, it is possible to make a variety of combinations of storage media and holding bodies so as to enhance strategic features of the game and ensure the continuity of the game.

However, since the gaming device is configured that the character construction information is read from a plurality of storage media through non-contact communications, it is possible to have a situation that the character construction information cannot be read. In such a situation, the player may not be able to take necessary processes immediately to continue to play the game if the player cannot identify the storage medium, from which the character information cannot be read accurately, among the plurality of storage media.

According to the present invention, there are provided a gaming device, a program executed in the gaming device, and a game control method performed in the gaming device, in which the player can continue to play the game by taking necessary processes immediately if the character construction information cannot be read from a plurality of storage media.

The following is provided.

(18) A gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing rewritable storage media storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body comprising a plurality of holding parts capable of receiving the storage media, the gaming machine comprising:

    • input means for inputting a predetermined instruction responsive to an operation of a player;
    • character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage media;
    • identification information reading means for reading identification information stored in the holding body from the holding body;
    • confirmation image display means for displaying a confirmation image showing a number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and character construction information read by the character construction information reading means when the input means inputs an instruction to generate the character information during a period of displaying the confirmation image on the confirmation image display means;
    • game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (18), since the confirmation image indicating the number of the storage media from which the character construction information is read by the character construction information reading means is displayed, the player can compare the number of storage media attached to the holding body with the number of storage media shown in the confirmation image to judge whether the character construction information is read accurately from the plurality of storage media or not. And after the player judges that the character construction information is accurately read, the player input his instruction to generate the character information by the input means so that the character information is generated and the game is executed. Also, if the player compares the number of the storage media attached to the holding body with the number of storage media shown in the confirmation image and judges the character construction information is not read accurately from the plurality of storage media, he can take processes such as replacement of storage media or the like to continue to play the game.

The following is also provided.

(19) The gaming machine according to (18),

    • wherein the character construction information reading means read the character construction information again from the storage media held by the holding body when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted by the input means during the period of displaying the confirmation image on the confirmation display means; and
    • wherein the confirmation image display means displays the confirmation image indicating the number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means.

According, to the gaming machine as described in (19), if the player judges that the character construction information is not accurately read from the plurality of storage media while the confirmation image is displayed and if the player takes processes such as exchange of storage media and input his instruction to read the character construction information by the input means, the character construction information is read again from the storage media attached to the holding body and a confirmation image indicating the number of storage media from which the character construction information is read is displayed again. Therefore, the player can check whether the character construction information is read accurately from the plurality of storage media or not by the confirmation image after taking processes such as replacement of storage media. Therefore, the player can grasp the result of taking the processes such as replacement of storage media on the confirmation image and can continue to play the game more smoothly.

According to the present invention, the following is also provided.

(20) A control program executing a game in a gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing rewritable storage media storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body comprising a plurality of holding parts capable of receiving the storage media, the gaming machine comprising:

    • character information reading means for reading the character construction information from the storage media;
    • identification information reading means for reading from the holding body identification information being stored in the holding body;
    • confirmation image display means for displaying a confirmation image indicating a number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and character construction information read by the character construction information reading means when the input means inputs an instruction to generate the character information during a period of displaying the confirmation image on the confirmation image display means;
    • game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means.

According to the control program as described in (20), since the confirmation image indicating the number of storage media from which the character construction information is read by the character construction information reading means, the player can judge whether the character construction information is read accurately from the plurality of storage media or not by comparing the number of storage media attached to the holding body with the number of storage media indicated on the confirmation image. Then, after judging that the character construction information is accurately read, an instruction to generate the character information is inputted by the input means so that the character information is generated and the game is executed. And if the player judges that the character construction information is not accurately read from the plurality of storage media by comparing the number of storage media attached to the holding body with the number of storage media indicated in the confirmation image, the player can continue to play the game after taking processes such as replacement of storage media.

(21) A control method for executing a game in a gaming machine capable of performing a game by utilizing rewritable storage media storing character construction information constituting character information of one character and a holding body comprising a plurality of holding parts capable of receiving the storage media, the control method comprising:

    • reading the character construction information from the storage media;
    • reading from the holding body identification information being stored in the holding body;
    • displaying a confirmation image indicating a number of the storage media held by the holding body in accordance with the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information;
    • generating the character information of the one character based on character basic information including character specific information for specifying at least the one character corresponding to the identification information and the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information when input means of the gaming machine inputs an instruction to generate the character information during a period of displaying the confirmation image in the step of displaying the confirmation image;
    • executing the game based on the character information generated in the step of generating the character information.

According to the control method as described in (21), since the number of storage media from which the character construction information is read in the character construction information reading step, the player can judge whether the character construction information is accurately read from the plurality of storage media or not by comparing the number of storage media attached to the holding body with the number of storage media indicated in the confirmation image. Then, after it is judged that the character constitution information is accurately read, an instruction to generate character information is inputted by the input means so that the character information is generated and the game is executed. And, if it is judged that the character construction information is not read accurately from the plurality of storage media by comparing the number of storage media attached to the holding body with the number of storage media indicated in the confirmation image, the player can take processes such as replacement of storage media and continue to play the game.

According to the present invention, there are provided a gaming machine, a program executed in the gaming machine, a game control method executed in the gaming machine, in which the player can continue to play the game after taking necessary processes if the character construction information cannot be read from the plurality of storage media.

Since this gaming machine is configured that the character construction information is read from the plurality of storage media through non-contact communications and that the character construction information is rewritten based on the game status, the game may be played illegally or improperly with storage media being replaced during the game play. For example, after making the gaming machine read character construction information from one storage medium storing character construction information with which the player can play the game too much advantageously, the gaming machine may be made to rewrite the character construction information in another storage medium by replacing the one storage medium with the other storage medium.

There are provided a gaming machine, a program executed in the gaming machine, and a game control method executed in the gaming machine, in which it can be prevented that the game is played illegally or improperly by exchanging storage media during the game play.

The following is provided.

(22) A gaming machine comprising:

    • character construction information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means;
    • game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means;
    • reading determination means for determining whether the identification information stored in the storage medium is read at a predetermined timing or not;
    • identification information reading means for reading the identification information stored in the storage medium based on a result of determination by the reading determination means;
    • determining means for determining whether the identification information being read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means or not; and
    • character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information having been stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed by the game control means upon determining identity of the current and previous identification information by the determining means.

According to the gaming machine as described in (22), since the character construction information is rewritten over character construction information previously stored therein only if identification information, which is read from the storage medium based on the determination whether reading is to be conducted at a predetermined timing, matches with identification information having been read previously, the character construction information cannot be rewritten although the player tries to continue to play the game illegally or improperly by replacing the storage media since the identification information does not match the previously-read identification information. Therefore, it can be prevented that the game is played with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly during the game play.

Further, the following is provided.

(23) A control program executing a game in a gaming machine, wherein the gaming machine comprises:

    • character information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means;
    • game control means for executing the game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means;
    • reading determination means for determining whether the identification information stored in the storage medium is read at a predetermined timing or not;
    • identification information reading means for reading the identification information stored in the storage medium based on a result of determination by the reading determination means;
    • determining means for determining whether the identification information being read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means or not; and
    • character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information having been stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed by the game control means upon determining identity of the current and previous identification information by the determining means.

According to the control program as described in (23), since the character construction information stored in the storage medium is rewritten if the identification information that is read from the storage medium based on the determination whether reading is to be conducted at a predetermined timing matches with the identification information that has been read previously, the character construction information is not rewritten even although the player tries to continue to play the game with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly because both identification information does not match. Therefore, it can be prevented that the game is played with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly during the game play.

(24) A game control method comprising:

    • reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character;
    • generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information;
    • executing the game based on the character information generated in the step of generating the character information;
    • determining whether the identification information stored in the storage medium is read at a predetermined timing or not;
    • reading the identification information stored in the storage medium based on a result of determination in the step of determining whether the identification information is read at the predetermined timing;
    • determining whether the identification information being read in the step of reading the identification information is identical to identification information having been read previously in the step of reading the identification information or not; and
    • rewriting the character construction information having been stored in the storage medium based on a result of the game executed in the step of controlling the game upon determining identity of the current and previous identification information in the step of determining whether the identification information is identical or not.

According to the game control method as described in (24), since the character construction information stored in the storage medium is rewritten if the identification information that is read from the storage medium based on the determination whether reading is to be conducted at a predetermined timing matches with the identification information that has been read previously, the character construction information is not rewritten even although the player tries to continue to play the game with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly because both identification information does not match. Therefore, it can be prevented that the game is played with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly during the game play.

According to the present invention, there are provided a gaming machine, a program executed in the gaming machine, and a game control method executed in the gaming machine, in which it can be prevented that the game is played illegally or improperly by exchanging storage media during the game play.

Here, it is possible to prevent the game from being played illegally or improperly by fixing uniformly the predetermined timing when the storage media can be exchanged during the game play. However, if the timing for exchange of the storage media is fixed uniformly, it may impair the strategic feature of the game.

There are provided a gaming machine, a program executed in the gaming machine, and a game control method executed in the gaming machine, in which it can be prevented that the game is played with storage media exchanged illegally or improperly during the game play and the strategic feature of the game are enhanced.

The following is provided.

(25) A gaming machine comprising:

    • input means for inputting a predetermined instruction in accordance with an operation by a player;
    • character information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means;
    • game control means for executing a game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means;
    • character construction information renewal means for renewing the character construction information included by the character information based on a result of the game executed by the game control means;
    • notification image display means for displaying a notification image indicating that the character construction information satisfies a predetermined condition when the character construction information having been renewed by the character construction information renewal means satisfies the predetermined condition;
    • identification information reading means for reading from the storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium when at least an instruction concerning rewriting of the character construction information by the input means during a period of displaying the notification image by the notification image display means;
    • character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium such that the character construction information is renewed by the character construction information renewal means when the identification information read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means; and
    • change demanding image display means for displaying a change demanding image of urging of storage medium change upon rewriting of the character construction information by the character construction information rewriting means, wherein the character construction information reading means reads the character construction information again from the storage medium when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted during a period of displaying a change demanding image on the change demanding image display means; and
    • wherein the character information generating means generates the character information when the character construction information is read by the character construction information reading means again.

According to the gaming machine as described in (25), the identification information is read from the storage medium if the player inputs the instruction about rewriting of the character construction information as the notification image is displayed upon satisfaction of the predetermined condition while the character construction information is renewed during the game play. Then, if the read identification information matches with identification information having been read previously, the character construction information stored in the storage medium is changed to the renewed character construction information. Therefore, even though the player tries to continue to play the game by replacing the storage medium illegally or improperly, the character construction information is not rewritten unless the identification information matches such that it can be prevented that the game is played with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly.

Then, when the change demanding image is displayed, the player exchanges the storage media and inputs an instruction to read the character construction information such that the character construction information is read from the replaced storage medium and character information is generated based on the read character construction information. In this way, since the character construction information is read when the player inputs an instruction to demand reading of the character construction information, the player can decides the timing when the character construction information is read, in other words, when the player can change the storage media. Therefore, it is possible to provide a highly strategic game, in which the player can decide the timing for exchange of the storage medium according to the degree of the renewal of the character construction information.

According to the present invention, the following is also provided.

  • (26) A control program executing a game in a gaming machine, wherein the gaming machine comprises:
    • character information reading means for reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character;
    • character information generating means for generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read by the character construction information reading means;
    • game control means for executing a game based on the character information generated by the character information generating means;
    • character construction information renewal means for renewing the character construction information included by the character information based on a result of the game executed by the game control means;
    • notification image display means for displaying a notification image indicating that the character construction information satisfies a predetermined condition when the character construction information having been renewed by the character construction information renewal means satisfies the predetermined condition;
    • identification information reading means for reading from the storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium when at least an instruction concerning rewriting of the character construction information by the input means of the gaming machine during a period of displaying the notification image by the notification image display means;
    • character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium such that the character construction information is renewed by the character construction information renewal means when the identification information read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously by the identification information reading means; and
    • change demanding image display means for displaying a change demanding image to urge a player to change the storage medium upon rewriting of the character construction information by the character construction information rewriting means,
    • wherein the program makes the character construction information reading means read the character construction information again from the storage medium when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted during a period of displaying a change demanding image on the change demanding image display means; and
    • wherein the program makes the character information generating means generate the character information when the character construction information is read by the character construction information reading means again.

According to the control program as describe in (26), if the notification image is displayed as the predetermined condition is satisfied by renewing the character construction information during the game play, the identification information is read from the storage medium. Then, if the read identification information matches with identification information having been read previously, the character construction information stored in the storage medium is changed to the renewed character construction information. Therefore, since the character construction information is not changed unless the identification information matches even though the player tries to continue to play the game with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly, it is possible to prevent the game from being played with the storage media exchanged during the game play illegally or improperly.

Then, when the change demanding image is displayed, the player exchanges the storage media and inputs an instruction to read the character construction information such that the character construction information is read from the replaced storage medium and character information is generated based on the read character construction information. In this way, since the character construction information is read when the player inputs an instruction to demand reading of the character construction information, the player can decides the timing when the character construction information is read, in other words, when the player can change the storage media. Therefore, it is possible to provide a highly strategic game, in which the player can decide the timing for exchange of the storage medium according to the degree of the renewal of the character construction information.

(27) A game control method comprising:

    • reading character construction information from a rewritable storage medium storing the character construction information constituting character information of one character;
    • generating the character information of the one character based on at least the character construction information read in the step of reading the character construction information;
    • executing a game based on the character information generated in the step of generating the character information;
    • renewing the character construction information included by the character information based on a result of the game executed in the step of executing the game;
    • displaying a notification image indicating that the character construction information satisfies a predetermined condition when the character construction information having been renewed in the step of renewing the character construction information satisfies the predetermined condition;
    • reading from the storage medium identification information stored in the storage medium when at least an instruction concerning rewriting of the character construction information by the input means of the gaming machine during a period of displaying the notification image by the notification image display means;
    • rewriting the character construction information stored in the storage medium such that the character construction information is renewed in the step of renewing the character construction information when the identification information read by the identification information reading means is identical to identification information having been read previously in the step of reading the identification information;
    • displaying a change demanding image of urging of storage medium change upon rewriting of the character construction information in the step of rewriting the character construction information;
    • reading the character construction information again from the storage medium when an instruction to read the character construction information is inputted during a period of displaying a change demanding image in displaying the change demanding image; and
    • generating the character information when the character construction information is read in the step of reading the character construction information again.

According to the game control method as describe in (27), if the notification image is displayed as the predetermined condition is satisfied by renewing the character construction information during the game play, the identification information is read from the storage medium. Then, if the read identification information matches with identification information having been read previously, the character construction information stored in the storage medium is changed to the renewed character construction information. Therefore, since the character construction information is not changed unless the identification information matches even though the player tries to continue to play the game with the storage media exchanged illegally or improperly, it is possible to prevent the game from being played with the storage media exchanged during the game play illegally or improperly.

According to the present invention, there are provided a gaming machine, a program executed in the gaming machine, and a game control method executed in the gaming machine, in which the strategic feature of the game can be enhanced and it can be prevented that the game is played illegally or improperly by exchanging storage media during the game play.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a gaming system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing eight gaming machines and a card dispenser arranged in one shop.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view showing an appearance of the gaming machine.

FIG. 3B illustrates a cross sectional view of the authentication unit.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating a hardware configuration of the gaming machine.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing one example of an interior configuration of the image control circuit.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing a hardware configuration of a shop server.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram showing a hardware configuration of a center server.

FIG. 8A is an exploded front view of the holding body (attachment) in the gaming system, and FIG. 8B is a perspective view of the storage medium (disk with built-in IC chip) in the gaming system.

FIG. 9 is a flow chart showing generally processes carried out with the gaming machine 1.

FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed at the step S3 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a drawing showing one example of a dungeon selection screen.

FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIGS. 13A and 13B are drawings showing examples of character information generating tables.

FIG. 14 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed in the step S14 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed in the step S15 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 16 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed in the step S18 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 17 is a sequence chart showing an operation sequence conducted among a gaming machine, a shop server and a center server group.

FIG. 18 is a drawing illustrating the labyrinth image.

FIG. 19 is a drawing illustrating another labyrinth image.

FIG. 20 is a drawing illustrating a combat selection image.

FIG. 21A is a drawing showing one example of a combat image displayed on a main display 11 of the gaming machine 1 and FIG. 21B is a drawing showing one example of another combat image including a notification image 96 displayed on the main display 11 of the gaming machine 1.

FIGS. 22A, 22B and 22C are perspective views of holding bodies (attachments) according to other examples.

FIGS. 23A and 23B are perspective views of holding bodies (attachments) according to other examples.

FIG. 24 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10 executed in the gaming machine 1 according to Embodiment 2.

FIG. 25 is a flow chart showing another type of the subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIGS. 26A and 26B are drawings showing examples of character information generating tables.

FIGS. 27A and 27B are drawings showing examples of other character information generating tables.

FIG. 28 is a flow chart showing another type of the subroutine to be executed at the step S3 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 29 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 28.

FIG. 30 is a drawing showing a notification image.

FIGS. 31A and 31B are drawings showing examples of character information generating tables.

FIGS. 32A and 32B are drawings showing examples of character information generating tables.

FIG. 33 is a flow chart showing another type of the subroutine to be executed in the step S18 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 34A is a drawing showing an example of the combat image displayed on the main display 11 of the gaming machine 1 and FIG. 34B is a drawing showing an example of the combat image including the notification image 96 displayed on the main display 11 of the gaming machine 1.

FIG. 35 is a flow chart showing another type of the subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIGS. 36A and 36B are drawings showing examples of confirmation images.

FIG. 37 is a flow chart showing a subroutine of reading determination process to be executed with the gaming machine 1.

FIGS. 38A and 38B are drawings showing examples of character information generating tables.

FIG. 39 is a flow chart showing another type of the subroutine to be executed in the step S18 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 40 is a flow chart showing a subroutine to be executed in the step S122 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 39.

FIG. 41A is a drawing showing an example of a combat image displayed on a sub-display 12 of the gaming machine 1 and FIG. 41B is a drawing showing an example of the combat image including a notification image 96 displayed on the sub-display 12 of the gaming machine 1.

FIG. 42A is a drawing showing an example of a pre-disk-change image displayed on the sub-display 12 of the gaming machine 1 and FIG. 42B is a drawing showing an example of the combat image including an error image 192 displayed on the sub-display 12 of the gaming machine 1.

FIG. 43 is a drawing showing an example of the combat image including a disk change order image displayed on the sub-display 12 of the gaming machine 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Embodiment 1

(Whole Configuration of Gaming System)

FIG. 1 is a system block diagram of the gaming system 100 according to embodiment 1 of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a plurality of gaming machines 1 and a card dispenser 6.

The gaming system 100 is provided with three shop servers 2, one of which is provided in a game shop A and two of which are provided in a game shop B, respectively, a plurality of gaming machines 1 (8 machines in the present embodiment) connected communicably through the shop servers 2 and dedicated lines 3, a card dispenser 6, a dispenser 8, shop routers 7 provided in the game shops A and B, communication lines 4a and a center server group 5 connected to the shop servers 2 via Internet 4.

In each of the game shops A and B, the shop server 2, the gaming machines 1 and the card dispenser 6 are connected by the dedicated line 3 to form an in-shop LAN (Local Area Network), and the in-shop LAN is connected with Internet 4 via the shop router 7.

(Configuration of Gaming Machine)

FIG. 3B is a perspective view showing an appearance of the gaming machine 1. In the gaming machine 1, a player can play a game by himself or herself, or play the game with another player who operates another gaming machine 1.

The game played with the gaming machine 1 is a game (hereinafter referred to as “labyrinth competitive game”), in which a character of the player can combat with other characters for sacred gems owned by the other characters (player characters that act based on selections made by respective other players and non-player characters that act as instructed by the gaming machine) than the character of the player while the character moves in a labyrinth along the route selected by the player, and knock down the final character after collecting all the sacred gems. The labyrinth competitive game is designed in such a way that the scores of each character (referred to as “LIFE” in the present embodiment) are increased or decreased according to the combat result and progress of the game (or game status) and that the character having lost all scores is to be a loser.

In the labyrinth competitive game, ability values of the character will be determined by a disk with built-in IC chip used by the player and an attachment to which the disk with built-in IC chip can be attached. Further, information stored in the disk with built-in IC chip is rewritten according to the result of the combat. In other words, it is designed that the game results of the player are reflected on the information stored in the disk with built-in IC chip. In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the disk with built-in IC chip is used as a storage medium according to the present invention. However, it is not limited to such a case. Further, in the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where an attachment is used as a holding body according to the present invention. However, it is not limited to such a case.

As shown in FIG. 3B, the gaming machine 1 is provided with a main display 11 comprising a liquid crystal display on the front face of a cabinet 10 and also provided with a sub display 12 comprising another liquid crystal display on the upper part of the main display 11. Speakers 13 for outputting sound to be used for effects of the game are disposed on both right and left sides of the gaming machine.

The sub display 12 can be utilized as notification image display means.

The sub display 12 can also be utilized as notification image display means and change demanding image display means.

The main display 11 is designed so as to display a game image depending on each stage of the game (for example, labyrinth image 160 and the like in FIG. 19). The sub display 12 is designed in such a way that an image at a specific stage of the game (for example, combat image 92 in FIG. 21A) is displayed.

The sub display 12 can be designed to display an image at a specific stage of the game (for example, a combat image 92 in FIG. 21A and a notification image 95 to notify starting of reading the disk information in FIG. 30).

The sub display 12 as confirmation image display means is designed to display an image at a specific stage of the game (for example, confirmation images 190 in FIGS. 36A and 36B). The confirmation image display means is not limited to the sub display 12, but may be the main display 11 or other display means provided to the gaming machine 1.

The sub display 12 as notification image display means and change demanding image display means can display an image at a specific stage of the game (for example, a combat image 92 and a notification image 96 in FIGS. 41A and 41B, and change demanding image 194 in FIG. 43). The notification image means and the change demanding image display means are not limited to the sub display 12, but may be the main display 11 or other display means provided to the gaming machine 1.

Further, the gaming machine 1 is provided with an operation panel 14 below the main display 11. It is also provided with an authentication unit 15 on the left side of the operation panel 14, and a coin insertion slot 16 for inserting coins necessary for operating the gaming machine (playing media such as coins and playing medals) and a card slot 18 for inserting an ID card on the right side, in addition to an operation unit 19 provided with operation buttons and the like.

The authentication unit 15 is provided with an attachment mounting part 15a and a reading part 15b fixed on the surface of the operation panel 14. The attachment mounting part 15a is provided with a deep circular recess having a corresponding shape of a base 41 of the attachment 40 (referring to FIG. 8A). The recess is so shaped as to receive the base 41. A reading part 15b is disposed in the recess of the attachment mounting part 15a and provided with an IC chip reader/writer 352 (referring to FIG. 3B), and the IC chip reader/writer 352 is designed to read stored information from an IC chip 42 for attachment (referring to FIG. 8A) built in the attachment 40 and a disk with built-in IC chip 45 (referring to FIG. 8B) inserted into the slot 43 of the attachment 40. The authentication unit 15 is provided with LED, and designed to radiate light to the attachment 40 while the attachment 40 and disk with built-in IC chip 45 (hereinafter referred to as disk) are read.

As shown in FIG. 3B, the authentication unit 15 is provided with an IC chip reader (circuit substrate) 352 for reading, a guide member 353 located above the IC chip reader 352 and having a guide hole 354 communicating with a cylindrical recess (hole) 355f, a support frame 355 for holding the guide member 353 laterally and from below, and a base 356 facing the support frame 355 via the IC chip reader 352 and attaching the support frame 355 holding the IC chip reader 352 and the guide member 353 to the operation panel 14.

The IC chip reader/writer 352 constituting the reading part 15b is a non-contact type IC chip reader/writer and can read and write information stored in an IC chip, for example, by RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system. The RFID system is a system carrying out short-distance communications for reading and writing data stored in a semiconductor memory in a non-contact way by induction field or electric wave. This technology is a publicly-known conventional technology and disclosed in JP-A-8-21875. Therefore, explanation will be omitted here.

In the present embodiment, a plurality of IC chips are read and written by one IC chip reader/writer 352. In the above-described RFID system, one reader/writer is able to adopt an anti-collision function capable of reading a plurality of IC chips. The anti-collision function includes FIFO (first-in first-out) type, multi access type and selective type, communicating with a plurality of IC chips sequentially. The FIFO type is a system in which communications are made sequentially in relation to IC chips coming into a communicable region of an antenna, the multi access type is a system in which communication can be made with all IC chips when a plurality of IC chips are available at the same time in a communicable region of an antenna, and the selective type is a system in which communication can be made with a specific IC chip, among a plurality of IC chips at a communicable region. Adoption of the above-mentioned systems makes it possible to read and write a plurality of IC chips by one IC chip reader/writer.

The authentication unit 15 provided with a reading part 15b functions as character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from a disk (or a storage medium) and also functions as identification information reading means for reading the attachment ID (or identification information) assigned to the attachment from an attachment (or a holding body). In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the authentication unit 15 provided with the reading part 15b functions as character construction information reading means and also functions as identification information reading means. Alternatively, a plurality of reading parts 15b may be separately provided, each of which is allowed to function as character construction information reading means or identification information reading means. Further, reading and writing of IC chips should not be limited to a non-contact type, but may include a contact type. The reader/writer is not limited to the IC chip reader/writer, but other devices may be utilized as appropriate for a reading object.

The authentication unit 15 provided with a reading part 15b functions as character construction information reading means for reading the character construction information from a disk (or a storage medium) and also functions as identification information reading means for reading the disk ID (or identification information) assigned to the disk from the disk (or storage medium).

To each gaming machine 1 constituting the gaming system 100, a specific machine ID is assigned. The machine ID is composed of a server ID specific to each shop server 2 and ID specific to each gaming machine 1, and, for example, the machine ID may be given by A01, A02, A03, . . . in the case of each gaming machine 1 set in the shop A.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing mainly inside configuration of the gaming machine 1. The gaming machine 1 is provided with a plurality of configuration elements including a micro computer 31 as a main element.

The micro computer 31 is provided with a main CPU (Central Processing Unit) 32, a RAM (Random Access Memory) 33 and a ROM (Read Only Memory) 34. The main CPU 32 operates according to the program stored in the ROM 34 and inputs signals via I/O port 39 from each configuration element provided on the operation panel 14, a touch panel 11a and the like, while the main CPU 32 inputs and outputs signals from and to other configuration elements, so that the main CPU 32 controls a systematic operation of the gaming machine 1. Data and programs (application data and game data in the present embodiment, which will be explained later) used when the main CPU 32 operates are stored in the RAM 33. Control programs to be executed by the main CPU 32 and permanent data are stored in the ROM 34.

The ROM 34 in particular can store lottery tables to be used for a lottery to determine whether the disk ID is to be read or not, which will be described later.

Further, the gaming machine 1 is provided with a random number generator 35, a sampling circuit 36, a clock pulse generating circuit 37 and a frequency divider 38. The random number generator 35 operates according to the instructions of the main CPU 32 to generate random numbers in a certain range. The sampling circuit 36 extracts any given random numbers from the random numbers generated by the random number generator 35 according to the instructions of the main CPU 32, and inputs the thus extracted random numbers to the main CPU 32. The clock pulse generating circuit 37 generates a reference clock for operating the main CPU 32, and the frequency divider 38 inputs, to the main CPU 32, signals obtained by dividing the reference clock by a constant cycle.

Further, the gaming machine 1 is provided with a touch panel 11a, a coin sensor 16a, a card reader 18a, a communication controller 21 and a communication processor 22. The gaming machine 1 is also provided with a sound control circuit 72 and an image control circuit 71, which can function as the notification image display control means.

The gaming machine 1 can also comprise an internal clock (not shown).

The touch panel 11a, which can operate as input means, is provided so as to cover a display screen of the main display 11, detect a position of the site touched by a finger of a player and input, to the main CPU 32, position signals corresponding to the detected site. The player uses the touch panel Ha to perform input operation for deciding the motion of his character. For example, the touch panel 11a is coated with an electrically conductive substance on the surface of a rectangular transparent board, applies voltage from electrodes disposed on the circumference of the transparent board and detects a slight change in electric current generated by contact with the finger of the player to locate a site touched by the finger of the player.

The coin sensor 16a detects a coin inserted through the coin insertion slot 16 and outputs, to the main CPU 32, detection signals corresponding to the detection. The card reader 18a reads the card information such as a player ID stored in the ID card 17 inserted into the card slot 18 and inputs the thus read card information into the main CPU 32.

Here, the internal clock that can be provided to the gaming machine 1 is referred to at a predetermined timing (for example, once in 1/50 second) by the main CPU 32. The main CPU 32 conducts various processes based on the referred time.

The communication controller 21 operates according to the instructions of the main CPU 32 to control connection with or disconnection from a line communicating with the shop server 2. The communication processor 22 operates according to the instructions of the communication controller 21 to send and receive data via the dedicated line 3.

The image control circuit 71, which can function as notification image display control means, controls displaying images respectively on the main display 11 and the sub display 12, thereby displaying various images such as images indicating characters on the main display 11 and the sub display 12.

As shown in FIG. 5, the image control circuit 71 is provided with an image control CPU 71a, a work RAM 71b, a program ROM 71c, an image ROM 71d, a video RAM 71e and a VDP (Video Display Processor) 71f. The image control CPU 71a determines images displayed on the main display 11 and the sub display 12 according to an image control program previously stored in the program ROM 71c (regarding displays on the main display 11 and the sub display 12) on the basis of parameters set by the microcomputer 31. The work RAM 71b is configured as temporary storage means for the image control CPU 71a to execute the image control program.

The program ROM 71c stores the image control program, various selection tables and the like. The image ROM 71d stores dot data for forming images. The video RAM 71e is configured as temporary storage means for forming images by the VDP 71f. The VDP 71f has a control RAM 71g, forming images according to displayed contents of the main display 11 and the sub display 12 determined by the image control CPU 71a, and outputting the thus formed each image to the main display 11 and the sub display 12.

Here, the image ROM 71d may function as storage means for storing notification image data constituting a notification image to start reading of the disk information by the authentication unit 15.

The image ROM 71d may store dot data forming images such as a notification image 96, a change demanding image 194 and so on.

A sound control circuit 72 inputs, into speakers 13, audio signals for outputting sounds from the speakers 13. For example, sounds are outputted from the speakers 13 in order to make the player exited by the game at an appropriate time after start of the game.

(Configuration of Shop Server, Card Dispenser and Shop Router)

As shown in FIG. 6, the shop server 2 is provided with CPU 201, ROM 202, RAM 203, communication processor 204, communication controller 205 and data storage part 206 storing application data. Then, the CPU 201 operates while reading and writing data in the RAM 203 according to programs stored in the ROM 202. The communication controller 205 allows the communication processor 204 to operate according to the instructions of the CPU 201. The shop server 2 then sends and receives data to and from each gaming machine 1 installed in the game shops A and B through the dedicated line 3, sends application data to each gaming machine 1 (downloading), and relays data sent and received between the individual gaming machines 1 and the center server group 5. The application data include various data used in executing the labyrinth competitive game played in the gaming machine 1 (image data and the like for the game) and board data (setting programs for allowing operation buttons provided to the operation unit 19 to adapt themselves to the labyrinth competitive game).

The card dispenser 6 comprises an operation part at which the player inputs personal information and card issuing means. The card issuing means issues an ID card 17 storing the card information including a player ID specific to each player by a predetermined input operation at the operation part.

The shop router 7 connects in-shop LANs formed respectively in the game shops A and B with LANs formed at the center server group 5 via the communication line 4a and the Internet 4.

A dispenser 8 is a device for dispensing a disk with built-in IC chip and an attachment. The disk with built-in IC chip and the attachment are housed in the dispenser 8. When a player inserts the ID card 17 into the dispenser 8, the dispenser 8 reads a player ID from the ID card 17 and gains access to a database server 103 to be explained later to obtain character basic information corresponding to the player ID from the database server 103. The dispenser 8 provides the disk with built-in IC chip and the attachment as an item to be dispensed according to the progress of a game on the basis of the above character basic information. A player can select his or her favorite one from a disk with built-in IC chip and an attachment as an item to be dispensed and puts a coin into the dispenser 8, thereby obtaining the disk with built-in IC chip or the attachment.

(Configuration of Center Server Group)

The center server group 5 is provided with a plurality of gaming servers (two gaming servers 101 and 102 in FIG. 1) set corresponding to each game and the data base server 103, and each gaming server is connected via the dedicated line 104 to form a LAN, which is then connected via a router (not shown) to the Internet 4.

The gaming server 101 is set for executing a labyrinth competitive game, and as shown in FIG. 7, provided with CPU 301, ROM 302, RAM 303, communication processor 304, communication controller 305 and data storage part 306. In the gaming server 101, the CPU 301 operates while reading and writing data in the RAM 303 according to programs stored in the ROM 302, and the communication controller 305 allows the communication processor 304 to operate according to the instructions of the CPU 301.

The gaming server 101 sends and receives data to and from each shop server 2 via the Internet 4. Then, the gaming server 101 receives entry data to be mentioned later which is sent from each gaming machine 1, accepts participation (entry) of a player in the labyrinth competitive game, renews the participation data of the players, determines an opponent player, and sends the result to the data base server 103.

The gaming server 102 is set for executing another game and configured in the same way as the gaming server 101, though they are different in data thereof and programs stored therein.

The data base server 103 stores information about CPU 401, ROM 402, RAM 403, communication processor 404, communication controller 405 and data storage part 406. Then, in the data base server 103, the CPU 401 operates while reading and writing data in the RAM 403 according to the program stored in the ROM 402. The communication controller 405 allows the communication processor 404 to operate according to the instructions of the CPU 401, and the database server 103 sends and receives data to and from each shop server 2 via the Internet 4.

The data storage part 406 stores a player ID, a password used to authenticate the player, an ID management file, character basic information, game type and game data. The player ID is the data read from the ID card 17 and transmitted by the gaming machine 1. The character basic information in the present embodiment may be information showing character ability values such as vital force, attack force and defense force of each character corresponding to an attachment, attribute number indicating a level, attribution (occupation in this embodiment), and the number of slots of the attachment to be explained later.

The ID management file includes a player ID and an attachment ID to be explained later in association with each other, and also includes the attachment ID and the character in association with each other. Game data include data showing histories of the labyrinth competitive game for each player. The game data are transmitted from the database server 103 to the gaming machine 1 and used in the labyrinth competitive game.

(Configuration of Attachment and Disk with Built-In IC Chip)

FIG. 8A is an exploded front view showing the configuration of the attachment 40. The attachment 40 is composed of a base 41 and a main body 44.

The base 41 is provided in a size corresponding to a recess 55f of the attachment mounting part 15a of the gaming machine 1, and shaped in a deep circular shape. A projection 41b is formed on the top face of the base 41. Further, a circular recess is formed at the bottom of the base 41, and an IC chip 42 for attachment is inserted and fixed into the above recess. The IC chip 42 for the attachment 42 stores an attachment ID corresponding to the attachment 40 in a non-rewritable way. The attachment ID may be referred to as the identification information according to this embodiment of the present invention.

Further, in this embodiment, the IC chip 42 for the attachment 40 stores only the attachment ID corresponding to the attachment 40. However, it may store other data. In this embodiment, it is not possible to rewrite the information stored in the IC chip 42 for the attachment 40, and it should be understood that it is not limited to this, but the content of the information may be rewritten according to the result of the game.

The attachment main body 44 has a semi-ellipsoidal shape. A recess 44a corresponding to the projection 41b is formed at the bottom of the attachment main body 44, and two slots 43 to which the disk 45 is attachable are formed on the circumference of the attachment main body 44. The slots 43 may be referred to as holding parts according to the present invention.

In this embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the attachment 40 has two slots 43. However, it should be understood that it is not limited to the slot 43, and the number of holding parts of the holding body is not limited to two as shown in FIG. 8A.

A player attaches the disk 45 to the slot 43 of the attachment 40, sets the attachment 40 to the authentication unit 15 for allowing the game to proceed by having the gaming machine 1 read the information in the attachment 40.

The attachment 40 is available from the dispenser 8. When the player buys an attachment, the player decides which character the attachment is used for. Then, the thus decided information is sent to the database server 103, the attachment ID of the attachment is associated with the character the player decides and is stored in the ID management file in association with the character. As explained so far, one attachment corresponds to one character, and the player can obtain and own a plurality of attachments corresponding to the one character from the dispenser 8. Then, for example, the player can obtain an attachment having intricate and various functions, thereby changing ability values of the character in various ways.

As explained above, if an attachment according to the present invention is used, the attachment may have one or more slots 43 to which the disk 45 can be attached and the player can change the character information by changing the attachment 40 as the game proceeds. Further, the player can change the character information by replacing the attachment in use with an attachment having various and complicated functions so that the player can play a highly strategic game. Further, since one or more slots 43 to which the disk 45 can be attached are provided, even if a large number of disks 45 are collected, the disks 45 can be attached to the attachment 40 so as to reduce bulkiness, and they can be stored or carried easily to eliminate inconvenience.

Further, a design and/or data corresponding to the attachment are provided on the surface of the attachment 40 (not illustrated), thereby making it possible for the player to identify each attachment by such design and/or data. The gaming machine 1 can identify each attachment by referring to each attachment ID. This attachment ID is unique for each attachment and differs from those of different attachments 40, thereby prohibiting double registration of the same attachment in the gaming system 100.

FIG. 8B is a perspective view showing the construction of the disk 45. The disk 45 is shaped in a thick circular form and composed of a disk main body 47 and an IC chip 46 for disk.

The disk main body 47 is provided in a size corresponding to the slot 43 of the attachment 40, and shaped in a thick circular form. A circular recess is formed at the bottom of the disk main body 47 and an IC chip 46 for disk is put and fixed into the above recess. The disk main body 47 can also be composed of the IC chip 46 for disk buried and fixed on the open end portion.

Further, a design and data corresponding to the information (hereinafter referred to as disk information) of items (weapons protective gear and the like) stored in the disk 45 are provided on the surface of the disk main body 47 (not illustrated). Disks indicting the same item are slightly changed in color or given an ID to show a uniqueness of these disks, thereby promoting the player' desire for collection. In addition, disk information corresponds to the character construction information according to the present invention.

The IC chip 46 for disk is connected to an antenna coil (not illustrated) equipped in the disk 45. The antenna coil receives a signal in combination of electric power sent from an IC chip reader/writer of the authentication unit 15 with information including command data. Then, the antenna coil converts the received signal to electric power for activating the IC chip 46 for disk and at the same time extracts information (command data) from the signal. Then, the disk information is transmitted from the IC chip 46 for disk to the authentication unit 15 according to the command data.

The IC chip 46 for disk may store, as disk information, values (ability values) and the like for changing the disk ID and character basic information, a level fixedly set previously to each disk, and an attribute number and the like fixedly set previously to each disk. However, it should be understood that it is not limited to these. The disk information is rewritable by the authentication unit 15, which is character construction information rewriting means, and able to store predetermined ability values of the disk information which are allowed to change according to a result of the combat process to be explained later.

In another embodiment, the weapon the character uses may be a gun and the IC chip for disk 46 for disk may store the number of bullets remaining in the gun as disk information. The number of bullets remaining in the gun may correspond to a variable value according to the present invention. The number of bullets remaining in the gun is decreased as the character uses the gun in the combat, but it may be ruled that a predetermined number of bullets can be added to the number of bullets remaining in the gun by inserting coins in the dispenser 8 or the like. Here, the variable value is not limited to the number of bullets remaining in the gun, but could be anything as long as it is a value to vary (increase or decrease) in the game. For example, the variable value may stand for the defense force of the protective gear the character wears and the variable value may be decreased when the character is attacked by other characters or the like.

Here, the disk ID may be included in the identification information of the present invention. The disk ID that is read in a lottery process to be explained later may be compared to the disk ID having been read previously by the authentication unit 15. The disk ID having been read previously by the authentication unit 15 may be the later one of the disk ID having been read in the character generation process and the disk ID having been read in the lottery process. And if the disk IDs match, the disk information stored in the disk 45 may be renewed (or changed) to new disk information.

The disk information can be rewritable by the authentication unit 15, which may operate as character construction information rewriting means, and a predetermined ability value of the disk information can be changed and stored. The disk ID may be included in the identification information according to the present invention. The disk ID being read in a disk change process to be explained later is compared to the disk ID having been read before that by the authentication unit 15. The disk ID having been read before that by the authentication unit 15 is the later one of the disk ID having been read in the character generation process or the disk ID having been read in the combat process. And if the disk IDs match, the disk information stored in the disk 45 is renewed (or changed) to new disk information.

The disk 45 can be obtained from the dispenser 8 or the like. The player can obtain the disk 45 and attach it to the attachment 40 for use so that it is possible to change the character information in the game. Further, for example, it may be ruled that the player may not use the disk 45 unless the character reaches a predetermined level, which is set for each kind of disk 45.

In the present embodiment, the IC chip 42 for attachment and the IC chip 46 for disk may be of either contact type or non-contact type. As shown in the present embodiment, in a case where a plurality of IC chips are read, it is preferable to employ the IC chips of non-contact type since the above-mentioned anti-collision function allows one reader/writer to read the plurality of IC chips. Therefore, a non-contact type is preferable.

And the medium for storing the identification information kept by the holding body may not be limited to the IC chip, but may include a bar code and a magnetic stripe. The medium may be anything as long as the identification information kept by the holding body can be read by the character construction information reading means. In this instance, the character construction information reading means is selected and set as appropriate such that it can recognize the above identification information. Further, the medium for storing the identification information kept by the holding body may not be necessarily rewritable.

In addition, a medium for storing the character construction information stored in the storage medium may not be limited to the IC chip, but may include anything as long as the character construction information is stored in a rewritable way.

In the present embodiment, the IC chip 42 for attachment and the IC chip 46 for disk are respectively to be read and written by the authentication unit 15. A buffer (for example, RAM and nonvolatile memory) may be provided to the attachment such that information of or for the disk may be sent or received via the attachment along with information of the attachment when the information is sent or received between the IC chip for disk and the gaming machine 1.

(Description of Operation of Gaming Machine)

Then, an explanation will be made for the operation description of the above-configured gaming machine 1 in reference to the flow charts shown in FIGS. 9, 10, 12 and 14-16. In the following description, by way of example, individual players use four gaming machines among eight gaming machines 1 installed in the shop A to play the same labyrinth competitive game.

FIG. 9 is a flow chart showing operation procedures for the game from the start (or beginning) to the end in each gaming machine 1. In the following description, the operational procedures will be explained with one of the gaming machines 1 used by four players.

The gaming machine 1 sends a download request for application data to the shop server 2 when the power source is switched on (step S100 to be explained later), whereas in response to the download request by the shop server 2, the application data are sent to the gaming machine 1 having sent the download request (refer to FIG. 17).

Upon receipt of the application data, the gaming machine 1 allows the RAM 33 to store the application data. Then, in the gaming machine 1, when the main CPU 32 reads the application data, the application program runs and allows the labyrinth competitive game to proceed according to the input operation by the player. Each gaming machine 1 is designed to synchronize with each other via the shop server 2 and the center server group 5, thereby displaying game images on the main display 11.

In the step S61, the main CPU 32 conducts a message output process, instructing the image control circuit 71 to display predetermined messages on the main display 11 (request to insert coins, request to insert a ID card and request to input a password).

Then, in the step S62, processes such as insertion of coins by the player, insertion of the ID card and input of the password are conducted. In order to start the game, the player inserts coins from a coin insertion slot 6, inserts the ID card 17 into the card slot 18, and inputs the password by using the operation unit 19. Then, a detection signal of the thus inserted coin is inputted from the coin sensor 16a to the main CPU 32, and the card information stored in the ID card 17 is inputted from the card reader 18a. Further, the password is inputted from the operation unit 19. After all information is inputted, the program shits to the step S63.

In the step S63, the main CPU 32 instructs the communication controller 21, thereby operating the communication processor 22 to send the read card information and the inputted password to the center server group 5 via the shop server 2. The center server group 5 uses the received card information and password to conduct an authentication process in which the player is identified as whether or not the player is the holder of the ID card, and sends a response signal indicating the authentication result to the gaming machine 1.

Then, in the step S64, the main CPU 32 waits until the response signal is received from the center server group 5, moves the process to the step S68 on receipt of the response signal, sends entry data to the center server group 5 via the shop server 2 and then moves the process to the step S65.

The center server group 5, which has received the entry data, renews participation information of the player, determines an opponent player (four players in this embodiment), extracts game data of each opponent player and sends the thus extracted game data to the gaming machine 1 via the shop server 2.

Then, in the step S65, upon receipt of the game data from the center server group 5 via the shop server 2, the main CPU conducts the game process to be explained later (step S3) to display game results (achievement, level, etc.) (step S6). Then, in the step S7, in order to renew the game data stored in the database server 103, the main CPU conducts a post process, in which the game data showing game results are sent to the center server group 5, and completes the process.

(Game Process 1)

FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S3 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 9. In the step S12, a process of dungeon selection is conducted. In this process, the player selects the dungeon to be used in the labyrinth competitive game.

FIG. 11 is a drawing showing one example of a screen for selecting the dungeon. Above the screen, a message image 93 of accepting selection of the dungeon, or “select dungeon” is displayed. Below the message image 93, displayed is a selection image 94 (four options in the present embodiment) indicating the names of the dungeons to be selected. The player selects the dungeon to be used in the labyrinth competitive game in the selection image 94. After completion of the process of the step S12, the process is moved to the step S10.

In the step S10, the gaming machine 1 reads information from the attachment 40 and the disk 45 that are installed to the authentication unit 15 by the player and generates the character information on the basis of a result of determination whether the thus read information (for example, attribute number and level) satisfies a predetermined condition or not. The character information is information generated by the character basic information and the disk information based on the result of the determination, the details of which will be explained later. The main CPU 32 executes the game on the basis of the thus generated character information. In this instance, the main CPU 32 functions as the game control means which executes the game on the basis of the character information.

Also, the steps S12 to S21 as shown in FIG. 10 may correspond to the game control steps.

Then, in the step S13, a priority holder establishing process is conducted. The main CPU 32 appoints any one of the players (four players in the present embodiment) participating in the labyrinth competitive game as the first player (first sliding priority holder) who can conduct a labyrinth slide to be explained later. Each player will be appointed as the sliding priority holder by turns.

Then, in the step S14, a sliding process is conducted, in which a wall constructing the labyrinth is slid and shifted, the details of which will be explained later. Further, according to the instructions by the player, a shift phase process (step S15) is conducted, in which the character 161 (referring to FIG. 19) within the labyrinth is shifted.

Then, in the step S16, the main CPU 32 determines whether a combat is started or not. In the case of occurrence of the combat (step S16: YES), the process is moved to the step S17. The combat may occur when a plurality of characters are available in an attack range in the labyrinth. On the other hand, if no combat occurs (step S16: NO), the process is moved to the step S20.

In the step S17, a combat selection phase process is conducted. In this embodiment, the main CPU 32 instructs the image control circuit 71 to display a combat selection image 170 (the priority display part 170a is provided and characters are disposed in the labyrinth) on the main display 11, as shown in FIG. 20. In reference to the combat selection image 170, each player (four players in this embodiment) selects an opponent to be attacked.

Then, in the step S18, a combat process is conducted. The main CPU 32 determines whether each character wins or loses the combat on the basis of the ability values of respective character information generated from the character basic information and the disk information and on the basis of whether the disk is changed or not and how quickly the disk is changed, the details of which will be explained later. In this example, the combat image showing how the characters 99a and 98a fight with each other is displayed on the sub display 12, as shown in FIG. 21A.

Then, in the step S19, a combat completion and score calculation process is conducted. In this example, addition to or subtraction from LIFE is conducted according to the result of the combat process in the step S18 (the combat winning or losing result and the type of the opponent character) such that each character may get or lose a sacred gem.

Then, in the step S11, a process is conducted, in which the disk information of the disk (item) used in the combat is rewritten. In this instance, the predetermined ability values of the disk information are changed and stored according to the result of the combat process in the step S18. For example, if the item is a weapon, a predetermined value is added to or subtracted from the values of attack force according to the result of the combat process and the calculated values of attack force are stored. For example, if the result of the combat process is “win”, the values of attack force are increased by “one” and stored accordingly. Further, if the item is a protective gear, for example, a predetermined value is added to or subtracted from the values of defense force according to the result of the combat process and the calculated values of defense force are stored. In this instance, the authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information rewriting means which rewrites the disk information stored in the disk 45 on the basis of the game result. The disk 45 in which the disk information has been rewritten accordingly becomes a new disk provided with new information, and when the next combat is conducted, the rewritten value (disk information) is used to generate the character information.

As explained so far, since the disk 45 is able to store the disk information in a rewritable way, and the disk information can be rewritten according to the result of the game, the player plays the game and the disk 45 that stores the disk information reflecting the result of the game is made, thereby making it possible to increase the number of various types of disks 45 usable in the game. As a result, the attachment 40 can be combined in various ways with the disks 45 to be attached to the attachment 40, thereby making it possible to play the highly strategic game. Further, the player's own game results can be reflected on the disk information of the disk 45, thereby enabling to compose the player's most favorite character and to strongly arouse the player's desire for collecting the disks 45 as collection targets.

In the step S16, where no combat occurs (step S16: NO), or after the process in the step S11 is completed, in the step S20, the main CPU 32 determines whether a clear condition for clearing the dungeon is satisfied or not. When it is determined that the condition is satisfied, the process is moved to the step S21. On the other hand, when it is determined that the condition is not satisfied, the process returns to the step S10. Then, the player again generates the character information to conduct another combat.

In the step S21, the main CPU 32 determines whether the condition for completing the game is met or not. When the condition is met (when LIFE is below zero or the player inputs completion of the game), the main CPU 32 completes the game process. When the condition is not met, the process is returned to the step S12 to repeat the above processes. Regarding the player whose character has LIFE below zero, the player's labyrinth competitive game is over such that the main CPU 32 generates another character to participate in the combat in replacement of the player of below-zero-LIFE. The player whose character has LIFE of zero or below zero (not illustrated) can insert coins into the gaming machine 1 to recover LIFE to a predetermined amount, thereby resuming the labyrinth competitive game.

(Character Generation Process 1)

FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing the subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10. In the first place, in the step S101, the main CPU 32 outputs a demanding message to set the disk 45 and the attachment 40 on the authentication unit 15. For example, a message that “Attach disk to attachment and set it to authentication unit” is outputted on the sub display 12.

Then, the process is moved to the step S102, and the disk information is read from the IC chip 46 of the disk 45 set as described before. The authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information reading means which reads the disk information from the disk 45. Further, the attachment ID is read from the IC chip 42 of the attachment 40. The authentication unit 15 functions as the identification information reading means for reading the attachment ID kept by the attachment 40. The main CPU 32 returns the process to the step S102 if reading of disk information and attachment ID is in progress (step S102: NO), and on the other hand, the main CPU 32 moves the process to the step S103, if it is determined that the reading is completed (step S102: YES).

Also, the step S102 may correspond to a character construction information reading step, in which the disk information is read from the IC chip 46 of the disk 45. Here, the disk ID included in the disk information read in the step S102 may be stored in the RAM 33 and compared to the disk ID read in a lottery process (referring to step S132 in FIG. 37 if a subroutine of a reading determination process, to be mentioned later, is included). Then, it may be determined whether both disk IDs match or not.

The disk ID included in the disk information read in the step S102 may be stored in the RAM 33 and compared to the disk ID read in a lottery process (referring to step S132 in FIG. 40 if a subroutine of a reading determination process, to be mentioned later, is included). Then, it may be determined whether both disk IDs match or not.

In the step S103, the main CPU sends the thus read attachment ID to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S10. The center server group 5 sends to the gaming machine 1 the character basic information corresponding to the received attachment ID, by referring to the ID management file of the storage part 406 kept in the database server 103.

In the step S104, the gaming machine 1 receives the character basic information corresponding to the sent attachment ID via the shop server 2. Then, in the step S105, the information of the number of the slots of the attachment 40 included in the character basic information is compared with the number of disks read in the step S102. If the number of disks is larger than the number of the slots (step S105: NO), an error message is outputted (step S107) and the main CPU returns the process to the step S101, and the disk information and the attachment ID are again read. On the other hand, when the number of disks is equal to or smaller than the number of the slots (step S105: YES), the received character basic information and the disk 45 read in the step S102 are referred to generate the character information (step S106), thereby completing the present subroutine. In this instance, the main CPU 32 functions as the character information generating means, which generates the character information of one character on the basis of the character basic information and disk information. And the step S106 may correspond to a generation step to generate the character information based on the received character basic information and the disk read in the step S102.

Here, generation of the character information may be carried out at every completion of one combat. However, once the character information is generated, the character information cannot be reestablished until the one combat is completed. Thus, the reestablishment can be made if the predetermined condition is met, thereby enabling a game to be more strategic.

FIGS. 13A and 13B are drawings showing examples of character information generating tables.

In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the number of slots of the attachment 40 is two. In the step S102, when disk information of the disk 45 is read, the content is stored in RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. An item of the disk (referred to as “disk 1”) having been read first indicates, for example, a shot gun, and the disk information covers “disk ID [4000b], attack force [20] and slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 13B). Further, an item of the disk (referred to as “disk 2”) having been read next indicates, for example, flak suit, and the disk information covers “disk ID [6000e], defense force [20], slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 13A).

The disk ID is identification information for discriminating the disk 45. Vital force, attack force and defense force in the disk information are values which affect character basic information when generating the character information. Further, the slot number of the disk information is the number of the slots in use when the disks are used.

FIGS. 32A and 32B are drawings showing other examples of character information generating tables.

In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the number of slots of the attachment 40 is two. In the step S102, when disk information of the disk 45 is read, the content is stored in RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. An item of the disk (referred to as “disk 1”) having been read first indicates, for example, a shot gun, and the disk information covers “disk ID [4000b], attack force [20], slot number [1], and remaining bullet number [10]” (referring to FIG. 32A). Further, an item of the disk (referred to as “disk 2”) having been read next indicates, for example, flak suit, and the disk information covers “disk ID [6000e], defense force [20], slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 32B).

Further, the remaining bullet number of the disk information is the number of the bullets remaining in the gun the character uses. The remaining bullet number is decreased as the character uses the gun.

FIGS. 38A and 38B are drawings showing other examples of character information generating tables.

An item of the disk (referred to as “disk 1”) having been read first indicates, for example, a shot gun, and the disk information covers “disk ID [4000b], attack force [20], slot number [1], and remaining bullet number [10]” (referring to FIG. 38A). Further, an item of the disk (referred to as “disk 2”) having been read next indicates, for example, flak suit, and the disk information covers “disk ID [6000e], defense force [20], slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 38B).

With reference to the character information generating tables shown in FIGS. 13A and 13B, an explanation will be made concretely for the processes illustrated in FIG. 12. When the attachment ID “1002” read in the step S102 in FIG. 12 is sent to the center server group 5 (step S103), the character basic information of “level [20], vital force [200], attack force [200], defense force [200] and slot number [2]” corresponding to the attachment ID “1002” is extracted from the ID management file of the storage part 406 in the database server 103 and sent to the gaming machine 1 (referring to FIG. 13A).

The level is a level of the character corresponding to the attachment ID, and the vital force, the attack force and the defense force in the character basic information are ability values which are fundamental to the character. Further, the slot number in the character basic information is the slot number of the attachment 40.

Then, in the step S105, since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES), the character information is generated from the disk information of the above two disks 45 and the character basic information. To be more specific, the ability values (vital force, attack force and defense force) of the information of the two disks (disk 1 and disk 2) are added to the character basic information to generate character information of “vital force [200], attack force [220] and defense force [220]” (step S106).

Further, for example, as shown in FIG. 13B, the slot number of the attachment 40 is “two” and the disk number of the disk 45 read is “three”. Since the disk number is larger than the slot number (step S105: NO), no character information is generated, and again, the disk information and the attachment ID are to be read.

In other examples as shown in FIG. 32A, since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES) in the step S105, the character information is generated from the disk information of the above two disks 45 and the character basic information.

To be more specific, the ability values (vital force, attack force and defense force) of the information of the two disks (disk 1 and disk 2) are added to the character basic information to generate character information of “vital force [200], attack force [220], defense force [220] and remaining bullet number [10]” (step S106).

Further, for example, as shown in FIG. 32B, the slot number of the attachment 40 is “two” and the disk number of the disk 45 read is “three”. Since the disk number is larger than the slot number (step S105: NO), no character information is generated, and again, the disk information and the attachment ID are to be read.

In other examples as shown in FIG. 38A, since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES) in the step S105, the character information is generated from the disk information of the above two disks 45 and the character basic information.

To be more specific, the ability values (vital force, attack force and defense force) of the information of the two disks (disk 1 and disk 2) are added to the character basic information to generate character information of “vital force [200], attack force [220], defense force [220] and remaining bullet number [10]” (step S106).

Further, for example, as shown in FIG. 38B, the slot number of the attachment 40 is “two” and the disk number of the disk 45 read is “three”. Since the disk number is larger than the slot number (step S105: NO), no character information is generated, and again, the disk information and the attachment ID are to be read.

(Character Generation Process 2)

FIG. 25 is a flow chart showing the subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10. In the first place, in the step S101, the main CPU 32 outputs a demanding message to set the disk 45 and the attachment 40 on the authentication unit 15. For example, a message “Attach disk to attachment and set it to authentication unit” is outputted on the sub display 12.

Then, the process is moved to the step S102, and the disk information is read from the IC chip 46 of the disk 45 set as described before. The authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information reading means which reads the disk information from the disk 45. Further, the attachment ID is read from the IC chip 42 of the attachment 40. The authentication unit 15 functions as the identification information reading means for reading the attachment ID kept by the attachment 40. The main CPU 32 returns the process to the step S102 if reading of disk information and attachment ID is in progress (step S102: NO), and on the other hand, the main CPU 32 moves the process to the step S103, if it is determined that the reading is completed (step S102: YES).

In the step S103, the main CPU sends the thus read attachment ID to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S10. The center server group 5 sends to the gaming machine 1 the character basic information corresponding to the received attachment ID, by referring to the ID management file of the storage part 406 kept in the database server 103.

In the step S104, the gaming machine 1 receives the character basic information corresponding to the sent attachment ID via the shop server 2. Then, in the step S105, the information of the number of the slots of the attachment 40 included in the character basic information is compared with the number of disks read in the step S102. If the number of disks is larger than the number of the slots (step S105: NO), an error message is outputted (step S107) and the main CPU returns the process to the step S101, and the disk information and the attachment ID are again read. On the other hand, when the number of disks is equal to or smaller than the number of the slots (step S105: YES), the process is moved to the step S108.

In step S108, the main CPU 32 determines whether the attribute number included in the character basic information having been received is the same as the attribute number included in the disk information of the disk 45 having been read or not. Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the determination means for determining whether the attribute number of the character included in the character basic information is the same as the attribute number included in the disk information of the disk 45 having been read or not (or the predetermined condition is satisfied or not). When it is determined that both attribute numbers are the same (step S108: YES), the main CPU move the process to the step S109. When it is determined they are not the same (step S108: NO), the process is moved to the step S106.

In the step S109, the main CPU 32 determines whether the level of the character included in the character basic information having been received is equal to or higher than the level included in the disk information of the disk 45 having been read or not. Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the determination means for determining whether the level of the character included in the received character basic information is equal to or higher than the level of the disk information of the read disk 45 or not (the predetermined condition is satisfied or not).

When the level of the character is equal to or higher than the level of the disk 45 (step S109: YES), the process is moved to the step S110a and a disk available flag to show the disk 45 is available is set. Then the process is moved to the step S106. On the other hand, when he level of the character is lower than the level of the disk 45 (step S109: NO), the process is moved to the step S106.

Here, in the step S102, if a plurality of disks are read, the above steps from S108 to S110a are conducted for each disk 45.

In step S106, the main CPU 32 causes the character information to be generated (step S106) from the character basic information having been received and the disk information of the disk 45 to which the disk available flag is set. Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the character information generating means for generating the character information of one character based on the received character basic information and the disk information of the disk 45 to which the disk available flang is set. After the process in the step S106, the main CPU 32 clears the disk available flag (step S111) and terminates the subroutine.

Here, generation of the character information may be carried out at every completion of one combat. However, once the character information is generated, the character information cannot be reestablished until the one combat is completed. Thus, the reestablishment can be made if the predetermined condition is met, thereby enabling a game to be more strategic.

In this embodiment, it is explained how the determination whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not is made according to the present invention, by taking an example of the attribute number and level included in the disk information and the character basic information, but it is not limited to this example. For example, the character information may be generated form the disk information of the disk 45 when other information included in the disk information and the character basic information satisfies the predetermined condition.

Further, in this embodiment, in order to determine whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not, information (values) included the disk information and the character basic information is compared to determine which is the larger, but it is not limited to this way.

FIGS. 26A and 26B are drawings showing other examples of character information generating tables.

In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the number of slots of the attachment 40 is two. In the step S102, when disk information of the disk 45 is read, the content is stored in RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. An item of the disk (referred to as “disk 1”) having been read first indicates, for example, a shot gun, and the disk information covers “disk ID [4000b], attribute number [1], level [1], attack force [20], slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 26A). Further, an item of the disk (referred to as “disk 2”) having been read next indicates, for example, a flak suit, and the disk information covers “disk ID [6000e], attribute number [1], level [5], defense force [20], slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 26A).

The disk ID is identification information for discriminating the disk 45. Vital force, attack force and defense force in the disk information are values which affect character basic information when generating the character information. Further, the slot number of the disk information is the number of the slots in use when the disks are used. Also, the attribute number of the disk information is a comparison target of the attribute number of the character basic information, and a number representing the character attribution for which the disk is useable. Here, in FIGS. 26A, 26B, 27A and 27B, the attribution (occupation) is listed in the next column of the attribute number column so that it is easy to understand the attribute number. Also, the level in the disk information is a level of the character necessary for using the disk.

With reference to the character information generating tables shown in FIGS. 26A and 26B, an explanation will be made concretely for the processes illustrated in FIG. 25. When the attachment ID “1002” read in the step S102 in FIG. 25 is sent to the center server group 5 (step S103), the character basic information of “attribute number [1], level [20], vital force [200], attack force [200], defense force [200] and slot number [2]” corresponding to the attachment ID “1002” is extracted from the ID management file of the storage part 406 in the database server 103 and sent to the gaming machine 1 (referring to FIG. 26A).

The attribute number in the character basic information is a numeric value representing the character attribution (occupation). The level in the character basic information is a level value of the character corresponding to the attachment ID. The vital force, the attack force and the defense force in the character basic information are the ability values which are fundamental to the character. Further, the slot number in the character basic information is the slot number of the attachment 40.

And since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES) in the step S105, it is determined about the attribute number and the level next.

With regard to “disk 1”, since the attribute number “1” included in the received character basic information and the attribute number “1” included in the disk information having been read from the “disk 1” are the same in the step S108, and since the character level “20” included in the received character basic information is larger than the level “1” included in the disk information of the “disk 1” in the step S109, a disk available flag is set for the “disk 1”.

With regard to “disk 2”, since the attribute number “1” included in the received character basic information and the attribute number “1” included in the disk information having been read from the “disk 2” are the same in the step S108, and since the character level “20” included in the received character basic information is larger than the level “5” included in the disk information of the “disk 2” in the step S109, a disk available flag is set for the “disk 2”.

Thus, the character information is generated from the received character basic information and the disk information from the “disk 1” and the “disk 2” to which the disk available flags are set. More specifically, the ability values (vital force, attack force and defense force) of the disk information of the “disk 1” and the “disk 2” are added to the character basic information and the character information (“the vital force [200], the attack force [220] and the defense force [220]”) is generated.

Here, as shown in FIG. 26B, for example, in a case where the slot number of the attachment is “2” and the disk number of the disk 45 is “3” such that the disk number is larger than the slot number (step S105: NO), the character information will not be generated and the disk information and the attachment ID are read.

Next, with reference to the character information generating tables shown in FIGS. 27A and 27B, an explanation of another example will be made concretely for the processes illustrated in FIG. 25.

When the attachment ID “1002” read in the step S102 in FIG. 25 is sent to the center server group 5 (step S103), the character basic information of “attribute number [1], level [20], vital force [200], attack force [200], defense force [200] and slot number [2]” corresponding to the attachment ID “1002” is extracted from the ID management file of the storage part 406 in the database server 103 and sent to the gaming machine 1 (referring to FIG. 27A).

And since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES) in the step S105, it is determined about the attribute number and the level next.

With regard to “disk 1”, since the attribute number included in the received character basic information is “1” whereas the attribute number included in the disk information having been read from the “disk 1” is “2” such that they are not the same. A disk available flag will not be set.

With regard to “disk 2”, since the attribute number “1” included in the received character basic information and the attribute number “1” included in the read disk information are the same in the step S108, and since the character level “20” included in the received character basic information is larger than the level “5” included in the read disk information in the step S109, a disk available flag is set. And in step S106, the character information will be generated from the received character basic information and the disk information of the “disk 2” for which the disk available flag is set. More specifically, the ability values (vital force, attach force and defense force) of the disk information of the “disk 2” are added to the character information (“the vital force [200], the attack force [220] and the defense force [220]”) is generated.

Also, in FIG. 27B, when the attachment ID “1002” read in the step S102 in FIG. 25 is sent to the center server group 5 (step S103), the character basic information of “attribute number [1], level [20], vital force [200], attack force [200], defense force [200] and slot number [2]” corresponding to the attachment ID “1002” is extracted from the ID management file of the storage part 406 in the database server 103 and sent to the gaming machine 1.

And since the total number of the slots for the read disks 45, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES) in the step S105, next it is determined about the attribute number and the level.

With regard to “disk 1”, since the attribute number “1” included in the received character basic information and the attribute number “1” included in the disk information having been read from the “disk 1” are the same. However, the character level “20” is smaller than the level “30” included in the read disk information such that a disk available flag will not be set.

With regard to “disk 2”, since the attribute number “1” included in the received character basic information and the attribute number “1” included in the read disk information are the same in the step S108, and since the character level “20” included in the received character basic information is larger than the level “5” included in the read disk information in the step S109, a disk available flag is set. And in step S106, the character information will be generated from the received character basic information and the disk information of the “disk 2” for which the disk available flag is set. More specifically, the ability values (vital force, attach force and defense force) of the disk information of the “disk 2” are added to the character information (“the vital force [200], the attack force [220] and the defense force [220]”) is generated.

(Game Process 2)

FIG. 28 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S3 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 9.

In the step S12, a process of dungeon selection is conducted. In this process, the player selects the dungeon to be used in the labyrinth competitive game.

FIG. 11 is a drawing showing one example of a screen for selecting the dungeon. Above the screen, a message image 93 of accepting selection of the dungeon, or “select dungeon” is displayed. Below the message image 93, displayed is a selection image 94 (four options in the present embodiment) indicating the names of the dungeons to be selected. The player selects the dungeon to be used in the labyrinth competitive game in the selection image 94. After completion of the process of the step S12, the process is moved to the step S10.

In the step S10, the gaming machine 1 reads information from the attachment 40 and the disk 45 that are installed to the authentication unit 15 by the player and generates the character information on the basis of the thus read information. The character information is information generated by the character basic information and the disk information, the details of which will be explained later. The main CPU 32 executes the game on the basis of the thus generated character information. In this instance, the main CPU 32 functions as the game control means which executes the game on the basis of the character information.

Next, in the step S22, a setting process of the selected dungeon is conducted. The main CPU 32 sets the dungeon the player has selected as the dungeon to be cleared (the task to be fulfilled). Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the task setting means. Next, in the step 23, the main CPU 32 starts the set dungeon and shifts the process to the step S13.

In the present invention, the “task to be fulfilled” is the task the character must fulfill in the game so that the next task is to be set. The task may include a condition to be set before the task is fulfilled.

In this embodiment, it is explained that the task to be fulfilled is to clear the dungeon, but it is not limited to this. For example, the task may be to win one combat, to get a particular gem, or the like.

In the step S13, a priority holder establishing process is conducted. The main CPU 32 appoints any one of the players (four players in the present embodiment) participating in the labyrinth competitive game as the first player (first sliding priority holder) who can conduct a labyrinth slide to be explained later. Each player will be appointed as the sliding priority holder by turns.

Then, in the step S14, a sliding process is conducted, in which a wall constructing the labyrinth is slid and shifted, the details of which will be explained later. Further, according to the instructions by the player, a shift phase process (step S15) is conducted, in which the character 161 (referring to FIG. 20) within the labyrinth is shifted.

Then, in the step S16, the main CPU 32 determines whether a combat is started or not. In the case of occurrence of the combat (step S16: YES), the process is moved to the step S17. The combat may occur when a plurality of characters are available in an attack range in the labyrinth. On the other hand, if no combat occurs (step S16: NO), the process is moved to the step S20.

In the step S17, a combat selection phase process is conducted. In this embodiment, the main CPU 32 instructs the image control circuit 71 to display a combat selection image 170 (the priority display part 170a is provided and characters are disposed in the labyrinth) on the main display 11, as shown in FIG. 20. In reference to the combat selection image 170, each player (four players in this embodiment) selects an opponent to be attacked.

Then, in the step S18, a combat process is conducted. The main CPU 32 determines whether each character wins or loses the combat on the basis of the ability values of respective character information generated from the character basic information and the disk information and on the basis of whether the disk is changed or not and how quickly the disk is changed, the details of which will be explained later. In this example, the combat image showing how the characters 99a and 98a fight with each other is displayed on the sub display 12, as shown in FIG. 21A.

Then, in the step S19, a combat completion and score calculation process is conducted. In this example, addition to or subtraction from LIFE is conducted according to the result of the combat process in the step S18 (the combat winning or losing result and the type of the opponent character) such that each character may get or lose a sacred gem.

Then, in the step S11, a process is conducted, in which the disk information of the disk (item) used in the combat is rewritten. In this instance, the predetermined ability values of the disk information are changed and stored according to the result of the combat process in the step S18. For example, if the item is a weapon, a predetermined value is added to or subtracted from the values of attack force according to the result of the combat process and the calculated values of attack force are stored. For example, if the result of the combat process is “win”, the values of attack force are increased by “one” and stored accordingly. Further, if the item is a protective gear, for example, a predetermined value is added to or subtracted from the values of defense force according to the result of the combat process and the calculated values of defense force are stored. In this instance, the authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information rewriting means which rewrites the disk information stored in the disk 45 on the basis of the game result. The disk 45 in which the disk information has been rewritten accordingly becomes a new disk provided with new information, and when the next combat is conducted, the rewritten value (disk information) is used to generate the character information.

As explained so far, since the disk 45 is able to store the disk information in a rewritable way, and the disk information can be rewritten according to the result of the game, the player plays the game and the disk 45 that stores the disk information reflecting the result of the game is made, thereby making it possible to increase the number of various types of disks 45 usable in the game. As a result, the attachment 40 can be combined in various ways with the disks 45 to be attached to the attachment 40, thereby making it possible to play the highly strategic game. Further, the player's own game results can be reflected on the disk information of the disk 45, thereby enabling to compose the player's most favorite character and to strongly arouse the player's desire for collecting the disks 45 as collection targets.

In the step S16, where no combat occurs (step S16: NO), or after the process in the step S11 is completed, in the step S20, the main CPU 32 determines whether a clear condition for clearing the dungeon is satisfied or not (whether the task to be fulfilled is fulfilled). When it is determined that the condition is satisfied, the process is moved to the step S21. On the other hand, when it is determined that the condition is not satisfied, the process returns to the step S10. Then, the character generating process is again conducted and the dungeon setting process (a new setting process) is conducted.

In the step S21, the main CPU 32 determines whether the condition for completing the game is met or not. When the condition is met (when LIFE is below zero or the player inputs completion of the game), the main CPU 32 completes the game process. When the condition is not met, the process is returned to the step S12 to repeat the above processes. Regarding the player whose character has LIFE below zero, the player's labyrinth competitive game is over such that the main CPU 32 generates another character to participate in the combat in replacement of the player of below-zero-LIFE. The player whose character has LIFE of zero or below zero (not illustrated) can insert coins into the gaming machine 1 to recover LIFE to a predetermined amount, thereby resuming the labyrinth competitive game.

(Character Generation Process 3)

FIG. 29 is a flow chart showing the subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 28.

In the first place, in the step S101, the main CPU 32 transmits to the image control circuit 71 an instruction to display a demanding message to set the disk 45 and the attachment 40 on the authentication unit 15. Then, for example, a message “Attach disk to attachment and set it to authentication unit” is displayed on the sub display 12.

Then, a notification image display process is conducted in the step S109. The main CPU 32 transmits to the image control circuit 71 an instruction to display a notification image 95 to notify the commencement (or start) of reading. In the image control display circuit 71, notification image data are extracted from the image ROM 71d and a display control of the extracted notification image data is conducted. Here, the image control circuit 71 functions as the notification image display control means. On the sub display 12, for example, a notification image 95 is displayed as shown in FIG. 30.

Then, the process is moved to the step S102, and the disk information is read from the IC chip 46 of the disk 45 set as described before. The authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information reading means which reads the disk information from the disk 45. Further, the attachment ID is read from the IC chip 42 of the attachment 40. The authentication unit 15 functions as the identification information reading means for reading the attachment ID kept by the attachment 40. The main CPU 32 returns the process to the step S102 if reading of disk information and attachment ID is in progress (step S102: NO), and on the other hand, the main CPU 32 moves the process to the step S110b, if it is determined that the reading is completed (step S102: YES).

In the step S110b, a notification image display cancel process is conducted. The main CPU 32 transmits an instruction to cancel displaying the notification image 95 to the image control circuit 71. In the image control circuit 71, it is cancelled to display the notification image 95.

Next, in the step S103, the main CPU sends the thus read attachment ID to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S10. The center server group 5 sends to the gaming machine 1 the character basic information corresponding to the received attachment ID, by referring to the ID management file of the storage part 406 kept in the database server 103.

In the step S104, the gaming machine 1 receives the character basic information corresponding to the sent attachment ID via the shop server 2. Then, in the step S105, the information of the number of the slots of the attachment 40 included in the character basic information is compared with the number of disks read in the step S102. If the number of disks is larger than the number of the slots (step S105: NO), an error message is outputted (step S107) and the main CPU returns the process to the step S101, and the disk information and the attachment ID are again read. On the other hand, when the number of disks is equal to or smaller than the number of the slots (step S105: YES), the received character basic information and the disk 45 read in the step S102 are referred to generate the character information (step S106), thereby completing the present subroutine. In this instance, the main CPU 32 functions as the character information generating means, which generates the character information of one character on the basis of the character basic information and disk information.

Here, generation of the character information may be carried out at every completion of one combat. However, once the character information is generated, the character information cannot be reestablished until the one combat is completed. Thus, the reestablishment can be made if the predetermined condition is met, thereby enabling a game to be more strategic.

FIGS. 31A and 31B are drawings showing other examples of character information generating tables.

In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the number of slots of the attachment 40 is two. In the step S102, when disk information of the disk 45 is read, the content is stored in RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. An item of the disk (referred to as “disk 1”) having been read first indicates, for example, a shot gun, and the disk information covers “disk ID [4000b], attack force [20], slot number [1]”. Further, an item of the disk (referred to as “disk 2”) having been read next indicates, for example, a flak suit, and the disk information covers “disk ID [6000e], defense force [20], slot number [1]“(referring to FIG. 31A).

The disk ID is identification information for discriminating the disk 45. Vital force, attack force and defense force in the disk information are values which affect character basic information when generating the character information. Further, the slot number of the disk information is the number of the slots in use when the disks are used.

With reference to the character information generating tables shown in FIGS. 31A and 31B, an explanation will be made concretely for the processes illustrated in FIG. 25. When the attachment ID “1002” read in the step S102 in FIG. 25 is sent to the center server group 5 (step S103), the character basic information of “level [20], vital force [200], attack force [200], defense force [200] and slot number [2]” corresponding to the attachment ID “1002” is extracted from the ID management file of the storage part 406 in the database server 103 and sent to the gaming machine 1 (referring to FIG. 31A).

The level in the character basic information is a level value of the character corresponding to the attachment ID. The vital force, the attack force and the defense force in the character basic information are the ability values which are fundamental to the character. Further, the slot number in the character basic information is the slot number of the attachment 40.

And since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES) in the step S105, the character information will be generated from the character basic information and the disk information of the two disks 45.

To be more specific, the ability values (vital force, attack force and defense force) of the information of the two disks (disk 1 and disk 2) are added to the character basic information to generate character information of “vital force [200], attack force [220] and defense force [220]” (step S106).

Further, for example, as shown in FIG. 31B, the slot number of the attachment 40 is “two” and the disk number of the disk 45 read is “3”. Since the disk number is larger than the slot number (step S105: NO), no character information is generated, and again, the disk information and the attachment ID are to be read.

(Character Generation Process 4)

FIG. 12 is a flow chart showing the subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

In the first place, in the step S101, the main CPU 32 outputs a demanding message to set the disk 45 and the attachment 40 on the authentication unit 15. For example, a message that “Attach disk to attachment and set it to authentication unit” is outputted on the sub display 12.

Then, the process is moved to the step S102, and the disk information is read from the IC chip 46 of the disk 45 set as described before. The authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information reading means which reads the disk information from the disk 45. Further, the attachment ID is read from the IC chip 42 of the attachment 40. The authentication unit 15 functions as the identification information reading means for reading the attachment ID kept by the attachment 40. The main CPU 32 returns the process to the step S102 if reading of disk information and attachment ID is in progress (step S102: NO), and on the other hand, the main CPU 32 moves the process to the step S103, if it is determined that the reading is completed (step S102: YES).

In the step S103, the main CPU sends the thus read attachment ID to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S10. The center server group 5 sends to the gaming machine 1 the character basic information corresponding to the received attachment ID, by referring to the ID management file of the storage part 406 kept in the database server 103.

In the step S104, the gaming machine 1 receives the character basic information corresponding to the sent attachment ID via the shop server 2. Then, in the step S105, the information of the number of the slots of the attachment 40 included in the character basic information is compared with the number of disks read in the step S102. If the number of disks is larger than the number of the slots (step S105: NO), an error message is outputted (step S107) and the main CPU returns the process to the step S101, and the disk information and the attachment ID are again read. On the other hand, when the number of disks is equal to or smaller than the number of the slots (step S105: YES), the received character basic information and the disk 45 read in the step S102 are referred to generate the character information (step S106), thereby completing the present subroutine. In this instance, the main CPU 32 functions as the character information generating means, which generates the character information of one character on the basis of the character basic information and disk information.

Here, generation of the character information may be carried out at every completion of one combat. However, once the character information is generated, the character information cannot be reestablished until the one combat is completed. Thus, the reestablishment can be made if the predetermined condition is met, thereby enabling a game to be more strategic.

FIGS. 32A and 32B are drawings showing examples of character information generating tables.

In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the number of slots of the attachment 40 is two. In the step S102, when disk information of the disk 45 is read, the content is stored in RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. An item of the disk (referred to as “disk 1”) having been read first indicates, for example, a shot gun, and the disk information covers “disk ID [4000b], attack force [20], slot number [1] and remaining bullet number [10]”. Further, an item of the disk (referred to as “disk 2”) having been read next indicates, for example, flak suit, and the disk information covers “disk ID [6000e], defense force [20], slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 32A).

The disk ID is identification information for discriminating the disk 45. Vital force, attack force and defense force in the disk information are values which affect character basic information when generating the character information. Further, the slot number of the disk information is the number of the slots in use when the disks are used. Further, the remaining bullet number of the disk information is the number of the bullets remaining in the gun the character uses. The remaining bullet number is decreased as the character uses the gun.

With reference to the character information generating tables shown in FIGS. 32A and 32B, an explanation will be made concretely for the processes illustrated in FIG. 12. When the attachment ID “1002” read in the step S102 in FIG. 12 is sent to the center server group 5 (step S103), the character basic information of “level [20], vital force [200], attack force [200], defense force [200] and slot number [2]” corresponding to the attachment ID “1002” is extracted from the ID management file of the storage part 406 in the database server 103 and sent to the gaming machine 1 (referring to FIG. 32A).

Then, in the step S105, since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES), the character information is generated from the disk information of the above two disks 45 and the character basic information. To be more specific, the ability values (vital force, attack force and defense force) of the information of the two disks (disk 1 and disk 2) are added to the character basic information to generate character information of “vital force [200], attack force [220], defense force [220] and remaining bullet number [10]” (step S106).

Further, for example, as shown in FIG. 32B, the slot number of the attachment 40 is “two” and the disk number of the disk 45 read is “three”. Since the disk number is larger than the slot number (step S105: NO), no character information is generated, and again, the disk information and the attachment ID are to be read.

(Character Generation Process 5)

FIG. 35 is a flow chart showing the subroutine to be executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

In the first place, in the step S101, the main CPU 32 outputs a demanding message to set the disk 45 and the attachment 40 on the authentication unit 15. For example, a message that “Attach disk to attachment and set it to authentication unit” is outputted on the sub display 12.

Then, the process is moved to the step S102, and the disk information is read from the IC chip 46 of the disk 45 set as described before. The authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information reading means which reads the disk information from the disk 45. The step S102 may include a character construction reading step of reading the disk information from the disk 45. Further, the attachment ID is read from the IC chip 42 of the attachment 40. The authentication unit 15 functions as the identification information reading means for reading the attachment ID kept by the attachment 40. The step S102 may include an identification information reading step of reading the attachment ID from the attachment 40.

The main CPU 32 returns the process to the step S102 if reading of disk information and attachment ID is in progress (step S102: NO), and on the other hand, the main CPU 32 moves the process to the step S108, if it is determined that the reading is completed (step S102: YES).

In step S108, the main CPU 32 transmits an instruction to display a confirmation image 190 (see FIG. 36A) to the image control circuit 71. The step S108 may correspond to a confirmation image display step of displaying the confirmation image 190. In the image control circuit 71, the image data about the confirmation image are extracted from the image ROM 71 and a display control of the extracted image data is conducted. On the sub display 12, for example, as shown in FIG. 36A, a number image 193 to indicate the disk number is displayed in the center of screen, while the confirmation image 190 including a reading start button image 191 to input an generation start instruction of the character information, re-reading button image 192 to re-read the character information from the disk 45 is displayed in the lower part of the screen. The player is supposed to operate either reading start button image 191 or re-reading button image 192 on the touch panel 11a.

Next, in the step S109, the main CPU 32 determines whether the player inputs an instruction via the touch panel 11a or not. If it is determined that the instruction is inputted, the process is moved to the step S110, and on the other hand, if it is determined that no instruction is inputted, the process is returned to the step S109.

In the step S110c, the main CPU 32 determines whether the instruction input is the character generating instruction input or not. If it is the character generating instruction input, that is, if the reading start button image 191 in FIG. 36A is operated via the touch panel 11a (step S110c: YES), the process is moved to the step S103. On the other hand, if it is not the character generating instruction input, that is, if the re-reading button image 192 in FIG. 36A is operated via the touch panel 11a (step S110c: NO), the process is moved to the step S101 and the disk information and the attachment ID will be read again.

In the step S103, the main CPU sends the thus read attachment ID to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S10. The center server group 5 sends to the gaming machine 1 the character basic information corresponding to the received attachment ID, by referring to the ID management file of the storage part 406 kept in the database server 103.

In the step S104, the gaming machine 1 receives the character basic information corresponding to the sent attachment ID via the shop server 2. Then, in the step S105, the information of the number of the slots of the attachment 40 included in the character basic information is compared with the number of disks read in the step S102. If the number of disks is larger than the number of the slots (step S105: NO), an error message is outputted (step S107) and the main CPU returns the process to the step S101, and the disk information and the attachment ID are again read. On the other hand, when the number of disks is equal to or smaller than the number of the slots (step S105: YES), the received character basic information and the disk 45 read in the step S102 are referred to generate the character information (step S106), thereby completing the present subroutine. In this instance, the main CPU 32 functions as the character information generating means, which generates the character information of one character on the basis of the character basic information and disk information. And the step S106 may correspond to a generation step to generate the character information based on the received character basic information and the disk read in the step S102.

Here, generation of the character information may be carried out at every completion of one combat. However, once the character information is generated, the character information cannot be reestablished until the one combat is completed. Thus, the reestablishment can be made if the predetermined condition is met, thereby enabling a game to be more strategic.

FIG. 36B is a drawing showing another example of the confirmation image 190 and the image indicates that the number of the disks 45 read by the gaming machine 1 is one (“1”). In the step S108 of FIG. 35, if such a confirmation image 190 is displayed although the number of the disks 45 attached to the attachment 40 is two (“2”), it is indicated that the disk information of the disk 45 (item) which is not displayed on the sub display 12 as an item name image 194 is not read.

FIGS. 31A and 31B are drawings showing other examples of character information generating tables.

In the present embodiment, an explanation will be made for a case where the number of slots of the attachment 40 is two. In the step S102, when disk information of the disk 45 is read, the content is stored in RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. An item of the disk (referred to as “disk 1”) having been read first indicates, for example, a shot gun, and the disk information covers “disk ID [4000b], attack force [20] and slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 13B). Further, an item of the disk (referred to as “disk 2”) having been read next indicates, for example, flak suit, and the disk information covers “disk ID [6000e], defense force [20], slot number [1]” (referring to FIG. 36A).

The disk ID is identification information for discriminating the disk 45. Vital force, attack force and defense force in the disk information are values which affect character basic information when generating the character information. Further, the slot number of the disk information is the number of the slots in use when the disks are used.

With reference to the character information generating tables shown in FIGS. 31A and 31B, an explanation will be made concretely for the processes illustrated in FIG. 35. When the attachment ID “1002” read in the step S102 in FIG. 12 is sent to the center server group 5 (step S103), the character basic information of “level [20], vital force [200], attack force [200], defense force [200] and slot number [2]” corresponding to the attachment ID “1002” is extracted from the ID management file of the storage part 406 in the database server 103 and sent to the gaming machine 1 (referring to FIG. 31A).

Then, in the step S105, since the total number of the slots for the disks 45 read, namely, the number of disks (two in this embodiment), is the same as the number of slots in the attachment 40 (two in this embodiment) (step S105: YES), the character information is generated from the disk information of the above two disks 45 and the character basic information.

To be more specific, the ability values (vital force, attack force and defense force) of the information of the two disks (disk 1 and disk 2) are added to the character basic information to generate character information of “vital force [200], attack force [220] and defense force [220]” (step S106).

Further, for example, as shown in FIG. 31B, the slot number of the attachment 40 is two (“2”) and the disk number of the disk 45 read is three (“3”). Since the disk number is larger than the slot number (step S105: NO), no character information is generated, and again, the disk information and the attachment ID are to be read.

(Sliding Phase Process)

FIG. 14 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S14 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

At first, in the step S31, the main CPU 32 instructs the image control circuit 71 to display the labyrinth image 150 as shown in FIG. 18 on the main display 11. The labyrinth image is composed of a priority display part (for players 1, 2, 3 and 4) 150a indicating whether each player has a priority right for a sliding process and what priority order for the attack each player is assigned to, and a labyrinth display part 150b showing the labyrinth image comprising a plurality of walls, in which there are provided a plurality of the character images 151. Further, the labyrinth image further comprises a timer display part 150c for urging each player to conduct an input operation, a LIFE display part 150d and an explanation display part 150e for explaining a method for shifting walls. The timer display part 150c is displayed on the main display 11 by operation of the main CPU 32, and is designed to decrease the number displayed according to the first lapsing time.

Then, in the step S32, the main CPU 32 starts to measure the first elapsing time. The first elapsing time indicates an elapsing time from the time (input starting time) when the player becomes enabled to conduct an input operation to locate a wall to be slid (sliding wall) on the screen at the player's decision to the time when the player actually touches a desired arrow “a” to conduct a progress operation input or a decision operation input.

Then, in the step S33, the main CPU 32 determines whether the sliding wall is decided or not. If it is determined that such a decision is made (step S33: YES), the process is moved to the step S36, and if it is determined such a decision is not made (step S33: NO), the process is moved to the step S37.

In the step S36, the main CPU 32 sets the selected wall as the sliding wall and determines the motion of the character (to slide the wall) and moves the process to the step S39.

When the process is moved from the step S33 to the step S37, it is determined whether the first elapsing time is within a limited period of time for the player's decision of the sliding (15 seconds in the present embodiment) or not. If the first elapsing time is within the limited time for the decision, the process returns to the step S33 (step S37: YES), and if not (step S37: NO), the process is moved to the step S38, and one of the walls is determined to be the sliding wall randomly by using random numbers extracted from the sampling circuit 36.

In the step S39, when the labyrinth image is displayed after the sliding process, the sliding phase is completed.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S15 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

When a shift phase process is started, the main CPU 32 instructs the image control circuit 71 to display a labyrinth image 160 of the shift phase as shown in FIG. 19 on the main display 11 in the step S41. The labyrinth image 160 is provided with each display part (priority display part 160a, labyrinth display part 160b, timer display part 160c and LIFE display part 160d) in the same way as the labyrinth image 150 is provided in FIG. 18. It is also provided with characters 161 disposed in the labyrinth and a shift destination designation display part 160e comprising display images of a designation demanding message of shift destination and a decision button of shift destination.

Then, in the step S42, the main CPU 32 starts to measure the second elapsing time. The second elapsing time indicates an elapsing time from the time (input starting time) when the player becomes enabled to conduct an input operation (designation of shift destination) for designating the shift destination of the player's own character to the time when the player designates the shift destination by touching a shift destination designation display part 160e to conduct an input operation (progress operation input or decision operation input) for the progress of the game.

Then, in the step S43, the main CPU 32 determines whether the shift destination is designated or not. If the shift destination is conducted (step S43: YES), the process is moved to the step S44. If not, (step S43: NO), the process is moved to the step S48.

In the step S44, the main CPU 32 displays an image (not illustrated) in which display color of the floor from the location of the character to the shift destination is changed to clarify the shift destination, and moves the process to the step S45. Then, in the step S45, the main CPU 32 determines whether the player touches the decision button of the shift destination designation display part 160e (shift destination is determined) or not. If the player touches thereon (step S45: YES), the process is moved to the step S49, and if not, (step S45: NO), the process is moved to the step S48.

In the step S48, the main CPU 32 determines whether the second elapsing time is within a limited time for deciding the shift destination (30 seconds in the present embodiment) or not. If the second elapsing time is within the time for deciding the shift destination (step S48: YES), the process returns to the step S43. If not (step S48: NO), the shift phase process is completed (in this instance, the character is not shifted but remains at the original location). Further, in the step S49, the main CPU 32 determines the motion of the character (shift within the labyrinth) according to the determination made in the foregoing steps and causes the image in which the character is shifted to the destination to be displayed. Thus, the shift phase process is completed.

(Combat Process 1)

FIG. 16 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S18 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10. When a combat begins, for example, the combat image 92 as shown in FIG. 21A is displayed, and a remaining bullet number image 97 indicating the number of remaining bullets is displayed on the left side lower part of the screen.

At first, in the step S120, the main CPU 32 determines whether the bullet number is equal to or smaller than a predetermined number (zero in this embodiment) or not. When the bullet number is larger than the predetermined number (step S120: NO), the process is moved to the step S123. On the other hand, when it is equal to or smaller than the predetermined number (step S120: YES), the process is moved to the step S121.

In the step S121, the main CPU 32 conducts a notification image display process. FIG. 21B shows one example of the image displayed in the sub display 12. The notification image 96 stating, “Disk exchange is necessary,” which is displayed on the screen when the bullet number is not exceeding zero (“0”), is displayed above the remaining bullet number image 97 located at the left lower part in the screen. Then, in the step S122, a disk exchange process is conducted. When the disks are exchanged, the bullet number is recovered on the basis of the information of a newly-attached disk 45. In this embodiment, the disks to be exchanged have information about a weapon (gun). But it is not limited to this case according to the present invention. Thus, disks having information about other items (for example, protective gear) may be applied and actually exchanged.

In the step S120, when it is determined that the bullet number is not less than a predetermined number or after the process of the step S122 is conducted, the main CPU 32 determines whether the player has used a gun (step S123) or not. When it is determined that the player has not used the gun (step S123: NO), the process is moved to the step S125. On the other hand, when it is determined that the player has used the gun (step S123: YES), the process is moved to the step S124, the number of bullets used is subtracted the bullet number and the result of such subtraction is stored in the RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. The display of the remaining bullet number image 97 is renewed and the process is moved to the step S125. Alternatively, the bullet number may be stored in the disk 45 and rewritten at a predetermined timing on the basis of the number of used bullets.

In the step S125, the main CPU 32 conducts other combat processes such as shift, defense, and so on, moves the process to the step S126 and determines whether the combat is completed or not. When it is determined that the combat is not completed, the process is returned to the step S120 (step S126: NO), and when it is determined that the combat is ended (step S126: YES), the present subroutine is terminated.

(Combat Process 2)

FIG. 33 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S18 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10. When a combat begins, for example, the combat image 92 as shown in FIG. 34A is displayed, and a remaining bullet number image 97 indicating the number of remaining bullets is displayed on the left side lower part of the screen.

At first, in the step S120, the main CPU 32 determines whether the bullet number is equal to or smaller than a predetermined number (zero in this embodiment) or not. When the bullet number is larger than the predetermined number (step S120: NO), the process is moved to the step S123. On the other hand, when it is equal to or smaller than the predetermined number (step S120: YES), the process is moved to the step S121.

In the step S121, the main CPU conducts a notification display process.

The main CPU 32 transmits an instruction to display the notification image 96 to notify the start of reading to the image control circuit 71. In the image control circuit 71, the notification image data are extracted from the image ROM 71d and the display control of the extracted notification image data is conducted. Here, the image control circuit 71 functions as the notification image display control means. On the sub display 12, for example, the notification image 96, which is displayed when the bullet number is zero (“0”), is displayed above the remaining bullet number image 97 being positioned on the left side at a lower part of screen. Also, the reading start button 96a is displayed on the right side of the remaining bullet number image 97 being positioned on the left side at a lower part of the screen.

Next, in the step S122, the disk exchange process is conducted. The player replace the disk 45 having information that the bullet number is zero (“0”) or lower with another disk 45 when the notification image 96 is displayed.

Next, in the step S127, it is determined whether the player input an instruction of reading request or not. When a demanding instruction to start reading of the disk information corresponding to the reading start button image 96a via the touch panel 11a, the process is moved to the step S128 (step S127: YES). On the other hand, when no demanding instruction to start reading of the disk information is inputted by the player, the program waits until such an instruction is inputted (step S127: NO). Here, when a predetermined time elapses (for example, 30 seconds), instead of the player's input of the reading demanding instruction, the disk information may be started to be read.

Next, in the step S128, a disk information reading process is conducted. The main CPU 32 drives the authentication unit 15 to read the disk information and the disk information is stored in the RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. And the main CPU 32 puts the remaining bullet number included in the disk information stored in the RAM 33 into the remaining bullet number of the character information. For example, if the remaining bullet number included in the disk information of the newly installed disk 45 is five (“5”), the remaining bullet number of the character information after the exchange (restoration) is five (“5”).

Here, in this embodiment, the disk for exchange is a disk about the weapon (gun), but it is not limited to this. For example, disks for exchange about other items (for example, protective gear) may be employed.

In the step S120, when it is determined that the bullet number is not less than a predetermined number or after the process of the step S122 is conducted, the main CPU 32 determines whether the player has used a gun (step S123) or not. When it is determined that the player has not used the gun (step S123: NO), the process is moved to the step S125. On the other hand, when it is determined that the player has used the gun (step S123: YES), the process is moved to the step S124, the number of bullets used is subtracted the bullet number and the result of such subtraction is stored in the RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. The display of the remaining bullet number image 97 is renewed and the process is moved to the step S125. Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the game control means for conducting a variable process of the remaining bullet number.

In this embodiment, the bullet number (variable value) is decreased according to the instruction inputted by the player, but it is not limited to this. The variable value of the present invention may be variable based on the game status. For example, the variable value may be an indicator of the defense force of the protective gear the character wears and the number of the defense force may be decreased as the character is attacked by another character.

In the step S125, the main CPU 32 conducts other combat processes such as shift, defense, and so on, and moves the process to the step S129.

In the step S129, the authentication unit 15 write the remaining bullet number stored in the RAM 33 of the gaming machine onto the disk 45. For example, if the remaining bullet number is zero (“0”) after subtraction of used bullet number, the remaining bullet number of zero (”0”) is written. Here, the authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction rewriting means for rewriting the disk information stored in the disk 45 based on the subtraction of the used bullet number.

Next, in the step S126, it is determined that the combat is ended or not. If it is determined that the combat is not ended yet, the process is returned to the step S120 (step S126: NO). If it is determined that the combat is ended (step S126: YES), the present subroutine is terminated.

Then, an explanation will be made for the operation sequence conducted among the gaming machine, the shop server and the center server group in referrence to FIG. 17.

In the step S100, when the gaming machine 1 sends a download request of application data to the shop server 2 upon turning on the power source, the shop server 2 makes a response to the download request by sending the application data to the gaming machine 1 which has sent the download request (step S250).

On receipt of the application data, the gaming machine 1 stores the application data in the RAM 33 to run the application.

In the step S61, the gaming machine 1 conducts a message output process, and in the step S62, accepting the insertion of coins by the player, insertion of the ID card and input of the password. When the player inserts coins and the ID card and inputs the password, the card information and so on are sent via the shop server to the center server group (step S63).

Then, in the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S301, the thus received card information and the password are used to conduct an authentication process in which the player is identified as whether or not the player is the true holder of the ID card (step S301) and a response signal showing the authentication result is sent to the gaming machine 1 (step S302). In this instance, the database server 103 conducts similar authentication processes for eight gaming machines 1, which are installed in each of the shops A and B.

In the step S64, on receipt of the response signal from the center server group 5, the gaming machine 1 moves the process to the step S68, sends the entry data via the shop server 2 to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S65.

Then, tn the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S303. In the gaming server 101, the entry data from each gaming machine 1 are used to accept entry of the player. Then, in the step S304, the player participation information is renewed to determine an opponent player (step S305). Then, in the step S306, game data of each player as an opponent player are extracted, and the thus extracted game data are sent via the shop server to the gaming machine 1 (step S307).

In the step S65, on receipt of the game data from the center server group via the shop server, the gaming machine 1 conducts the game process (step S3) and displays the game results (achievements, level and the like) when the game process is completed (step S6). Then, in the step S7, a post process is conducted in which the game data showing the game results are sent via the shop server to the center server group and the post process is completed.

Then, in the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S308, and on receipt of game data of each player, the game data are renewed and stored on the basis of the received game data and the process is completed.

[Reading Determination Process]

FIG. 37 shows a flow chart to show the subroutine of a reading determination process executed by the gaming machine 1. The subroutine is a subroutine that can be executed if it is called at a predetermined timing (for example, at a predetermined time (e.g., every even minute) set by the internal clock provided to the gaming machine 1) independently form the game process shown in FIG. 9

First, the main CPU 32 conducts a lottery for determining whether the disk ID is to be read or not (step S130). The main CPU 32 extracts a random number from the sampling circuit 36 and determines whether the disk ID is to be read or not in reference to the lottery table.

Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the reading determination means for determining whether the disk ID is to be read or not. Also, the step S130 may correspond to a reading determination step of determining whether the disk ID is to be read or not.

Here, in this embodiment, the lottery to determine whether the disk ID is to be read or not is conducted by extracting a random number from the sampling circuit 36 and referring to the lottery table stored in the ROM 34, but it is not limited to this.

Next, in the step S131, the main CPU 32 determines whether the lottery is won or not. When the lottery is won (step S131: YES), the process is moved to the step S132, while the present subroutine is terminated when the lottery is not won (step S131: NO).

In step S132, the main CPU 32 drives the authentication unit 15 to read the disk information including the disk ID from the disk 45. Here, the authentication unit 15 functions as the identification information reading means. Also, the step S132 may correspond to an identification information reading step for reading the disk ID from the disk 45.

Next, the main CPU 32 compare the disk ID included in the read disk information with the disk ID included in the disk information having been read previously and determines whether the disk IDs match or not.

In other words, if the lottery is won for the first time after the game start, the current disk ID is compared with the disk ID included in the disk information stored in the RAM 33 after being read in the step S102 (see FIG. 12). If the lottery has been won for once or more after the game start, the current disk ID is compared with the disk ID included in the disk information stored in the RAM 33 and having been read in the step S132 previously and it is determined whether the disk IDs match or not. Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the determination means for determining whether the disk IDs match or not. Also, the step S133 may correspond to a determination step of determining whether the disk IDs match or not.

When the disk IDs do not match (step S133: NO), an error message is outputted (step S135) and the process is moved to the step S132. In this way, unless the disk IDs match, the gaming machine 1 outputs the error message and read the disk information again and determines whether the disk IDs match or not again. Therefore, the game progress is stopped.

On the other hand, when the disk IDs match (step S133: YES), the main CPU 32 drives the authentication unit 15 to rewrite the disk information (step S134). Here, the authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information rewriting means. The step S134 also may correspond to a character construction information rewriting step.

(Combat Process 3)

FIG. 39 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S18 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10. When a combat begins, for example, the combat image 92 as shown in FIG. 41A is displayed, and a remaining bullet number image 97 indicating the number of remaining bullets is displayed on the left side lower part of the screen.

At first, in the step S120, the main CPU 32 determines whether the bullet number is equal to or smaller than a predetermined number (five (“5”) in this embodiment) or not. When the bullet number is larger than the predetermined number (step S120: NO), the process is moved to the step S123. On the other hand, when it is equal to or smaller than the predetermined number (step S120: YES), the process is moved to the step S121.

In the step S121, the main CPU conducts a notification display process. FIG. 41B shows an example of an image displayed on the sub display 12. On the screen, the notification image 96 stating, “Remaining bullet number is getting lower.” is displayed above the remaining bullet number image 97 being positioned at a left lower part when the remaining bullet number is five (“5”) or fewer. A disk change button image 190 is also displayed on the right side of the remaining bullet number image 97. The step S121 may correspond to a notification image display step of displaying the notification image 96 stating, “Remaining bullet number is getting lower.” on the notification image display means.

Next, in the step S122, a disk exchange process is conducted. The gaming machine 1 reads the disk information when the player input an instruction of the disk exchange, the details of which will be described later. The gaming machine 1 rewrites the disk information when the disk ID included the disk information matches with the disk ID having been read before and displays a disk change demanding image. And the player sets a new disk 45 and when the reading demanding instruction input is conducted, the gaming machine 1 reads the disk information of the new disk 45 and generates the character information based on the read disk information. As a result, the remaining bullet number of the character information is restored based on the disk information of the newly attached disk 45. Here, in this embodiment, the exchange disks are disks about the weapon (gun) the character uses, but it is not limited to this. Disks about other items (e.g., protective gear) may be exchanged.

In the step S120, when it is determined that the bullet number is not less than a predetermined number or after the process of the step S122 is conducted, the main CPU 32 determines whether the player has used a gun (step S123) or not. When it is determined that the player has not used the gun (step S123: NO), the process is moved to the step S125. On the other hand, when it is determined that the player has used the gun (step S123: YES), the process is moved to the step S124, the number of bullets used is subtracted from the bullet number and the result of such subtraction is stored in the RAM 33 for renewal.

Here, the main CPU 32 functions as the renewal means for renewing the disk information included in the character information. The step S124 may correspond to a renewal step of renewing the disk information included in the character information. After completion of the step S124, the process is moved to the step S125.

In the step S125, the main CPU 32 conducts other combat processes such as shift, defense, and so on, and moves the process to the step S129.

In the step S129, the main CPU 32 drives the authentication unit 15 to write the remaining bullet number stored in the RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1 onto the disk 45. For example, if the remaining bullet number is zero (“0”) after subtraction of used bullet number, the remaining bullet number of zero (“0”) is written.

Next, in the step S126, it is determined that the combat is ended or not. If it is determined that the combat is not ended yet, the process is returned to the step S120 (step S126: NO). If it is determined that the combat is ended (step S126: YES), the present subroutine is terminated.

(Disk Exchange Process)

FIG. 40 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S122 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 39.

In the step S130, it is determined whether the disk change instruction input is conducted or not. When the disk change instruction input is not conducted (step S130: NO), the present subroutine is terminated. On the other hand, when the disk change instruction input is conducted (step S130: YES), the disk pre-change image (the disk pre-change image 191 in FIG. 42A) is displayed (step S131) and the process is moved to the step S132.

In step S132, the main CPU 32 drives the authentication unit 15 to read the disk information including the disk ID from the disk 45. Here, the authentication unit 15 functions as the identification information reading means. Also, the step S132 may correspond to an identification information reading step for reading the disk ID from the disk 45.

Next, the disk ID included in the read disk information and the disk ID included in the disk information having been read previously are compared and it is determined whether the disk IDs match or not (step S133). In other words, when the disk change is conducted for the first time after the game start, the current disk ID is compared with the disk ID included in the disk information stored in the RAM 33 after being read in the step S102 (see FIG. 12). When the disk change has been conducted for once or more after the game start, the current disk ID is compared with the disk ID included in the disk information stored in the RAM 33 and having been read in the step S138 previously and it is determined whether the disk IDs match or not.

When the disk IDs do not match (step S133: NO), an error message (the error image 192 in FIG. 42B) is outputted (step S135) and the process is returned to the step S132. On the other hand, when the disk IDs match (step S133: YES), the main CPU 32 drives the authentication unit 15 to rewrite the disk information (step S134). Here, the authentication unit 15 functions as the character construction information rewriting means. The step S134 also may correspond to the character construction information rewriting step.

Next, in the step S136, the main CPU 32 sends an instruction to display the disk change demanding image (the disk change demanding image 194 in FIG. 43) to the image control circuit 71. The step 136 may correspond to a change demanding display step of displaying the disk change demanding image on the change demanding image display means.

In the image control circuit 71, the image data regarding the disk change demanding image are extracted from the image ROM 71d, the display control of the extracted image date is conducted. When the disk change demanding image is displayed, the player changes the disks 45.

Next, in the step S137, it is determined whether the reading demanding instruction input for reading the disk information is conducted or not. When the reading demanding instruction input is not conducted (step S137: NO), the process is returned to the step S137. On the other hand, when the reading demanding instruction input is conducted (step S137: YES), the disk 45 is read again (step S138) and the process is moved to the step S139. The step S138 may correspond to construction information re-reading step of reading again the disk information from the disk 45. Here, the disk ID included in the disk information being read in the step S138 is stored in the RAM 33, and is compared with the disk ID read again in the step S132 when the disk change process is conducted again such that it is determined whether they match or not.

In the step S139, the main CPU 32 generates the character information based on the read disk information and terminates the present subroutine. The step S139 may correspond to re-generating step of generating the character information based on the disk information newly read in the step S138.

Here, in this embodiment, the disks for exchange can be set among the same kind of disks (items) or different kinds of disks. Disks can be distinguished, for example, by one alphabet at the rightmost position of the disk ID (see FIGS. 38A and 38B) if the alphabet is the same or not. For example, the disk having “disk ID [400b] and remaining bullet number [0]” and representing a shot gun is exchangeable with the disk having “disk ID [4100b] and remaining bullet number[10]” and representing a shot gun, but not exchangeable with the disk having “disk ID [4200m] and remaining bullet number [10]” and representing a rifle.

The processes having been explained in reference to FIG. 17 is now explained more concretely in reference to the combat images shown in FIGS. 41A, 41B, 42A, 42B, 43 and 22.

When the remaining bullet number becomes lower than the predetermined number, the notification image 96 stating, “Remaining bullet number is getting fewer.” is displayed above the remaining bullet number image 97 being disposed at the left lower part (see FIG. 41B). And a disk change button image 190 is displayed on the right side of the remaining bullet number image 97.

In the step S130, when the player inputs an instruction corresponding to the disk change button image 190 via the touch panel 11a, the disk pre-change image 191 is displayed (FIG. 42A). After this, the player will wait for the disk change demanding image 194 (FIG. 43) to be displayed. When the disk change demanding image 194 is displayed, the player changes the disks 45 and the change completion button image 195 is operated immediately such that the player can start to re-use the gun immediately. That is, the game proceeds during the period from when the disk pre-change image 191 is displayed and to when the disk change demanding image 194.

The gaming machine 1 displays the disk pre-change image 191 and conducts the step S133 and the step S134. Here, in the step S133, if the disk IDs do not match, that is, if the disk 45 is removed from the attachment 40 installed onto the authentication unit 15 before the disk information is rewritten, an error image 192 is displayed (see FIG. 42B).

Here, in this embodiment, if the disk 45 is removed from the attachment 40 installed onto the authentication unit 15 before the disk information is rewritten, the error message is outputted and so as to prevent the player from using the disk 45 illegally or improperly. For example, the authentication unit 15 may be accommodated inside of the gaming machine 1 as the unit 15 holds the attachment 40 along with the attached disks 45 such that the player cannot remove the disk before the disk information is rewritten.

On the other hand, after the disk information is rewritten in the step S134, in the step S136, the disk change demanding image 194 is displayed (see FIG. 43). And the change completion button image 195 is displayed to input an instruction for reading demanding.

When the disk change demanding image 194 is displayed, the player changes the disks 45 and operates the change completion button image 195 via the touch panel 11a after completion of exchange and inputs the instruction to read the disk information. The player can start to re-use the gun sooner if the player operate the change completion button image 195 immediately such that it is more advantageous to the player. By the above display, it is possible to display the images as the game proceeds during the period of exchange such that the quick exchange may be one of the factors to affect the game result, which may make the game have new amusement.

Then, an explanation will be made for the operation sequence conducted among the gaming machine, the shop server and the center server group in referrence to FIG. 17.

In the step S100, when the gaming machine 1 sends a download request of application data to the shop server 2 upon turning on the power source, the shop server 2 makes a response to the download request by sending the application data to the gaming machine 1 which has sent the download request (step S250).

On receipt of the application data, the gaming machine 1 stores the application data in the RAM 33 to run the application.

In the step S61, the gaming machine 1 conducts a message output process, and in the step S62, accepting the insertion of coins by the player, insertion of the ID card and input of the password. When the player inserts coins and the ID card and inputs the password, the card information and so on are sent via the shop server to the center server group (step S63).

Then, in the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S301, the thus received card information and the password are used to conduct an authentication process in which the player is identified as whether or not the player is the true holder of the ID card (step S301) and a response signal showing the authentication result is sent to the gaming machine 1 (step S302). In this instance, the database server 103 conducts similar authentication processes for eight gaming machines 1, which are installed in each of the shops A and B.

In the step S64, on receipt of the response signal from the center server group 5, the gaming machine 1 moves the process to the step S68, sends the entry data via the shop server 2 to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S65.

Then, tn the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S303. In the gaming server 101, the entry data from each gaming machine 1 are used to accept entry of the player. Then, in the step S304, the player participation information is renewed to determine an opponent player (step S305). Then, in the step S306, game data of each player as an opponent player are extracted, and the thus extracted game data are sent via the shop server to the gaming machine 1 (step S307).

In the step S65, on receipt of the game data from the center server group via the shop server, the gaming machine 1 conducts the game process (step S3) and displays the game results (achievements, level and the like) when the game process is completed (step S6). Then, in the step S7, a post process is conducted in which the game data showing the game results are sent via the shop server to the center server group and the post process is completed.

Then, in the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S308, and on receipt of game data of each player, the game data are renewed and stored on the basis of the received game data and the process is completed.

Then, an explanation will be made for the operation sequence conducted among the gaming machine, the shop server and the center server group in referrence to FIG. 17.

In the step S100, when the gaming machine 1 sends a download request of application data to the shop server 2 upon turning on the power source, the shop server 2 makes a response to the download request by sending the application data to the gaming machine 1 which has sent the download request (step S250).

On receipt of the application data, the gaming machine 1 stores the application data in the RAM 33 to run the application.

In the step S61, the gaming machine 1 conducts a message output process, and in the step S62, accepting the insertion of coins by the player, insertion of the ID card and input of the password. When the player inserts coins and the ID card and inputs the password, the card information and so on are sent via the shop server to the center server group (step S63).

Then, in the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S301, the thus received card information and the password are used to conduct an authentication process in which the player is identified as whether or not the player is the true holder of the ID card (step S301) and a response signal showing the authentication result is sent to the gaming machine 1 (step S302). In this instance, the database server 103 conducts similar authentication processes for eight gaming machines 1, which are installed in each of the shops A and B.

In the step S64, on receipt of the response signal from the center server group 5, the gaming machine 1 moves the process to the step S68, sends the entry data via the shop server 2 to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S65.

Then, tn the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S303. In the gaming server 101, the entry data from each gaming machine 1 are used to accept entry of the player. Then, in the step S304, the player participation information is renewed to determine an opponent player (step S305). Then, in the step S306, game data of each player as an opponent player are extracted, and the thus extracted game data are sent via the shop server to the gaming machine 1 (step S307).

In the step S65, on receipt of the game data from the center server group via the shop server, the gaming machine 1 conducts the game process (step S3) and displays the game results (achievements, level and the like) when the game process is completed (step S6). Then, in the step S7, a post process is conducted in which the game data showing the game results are sent via the shop server to the center server group and the post process is completed.

Then, in the center server group 5, the process is moved to the step S308, and on receipt of game data of each player, the game data are renewed and stored on the basis of the received game data and the process is completed.

As explained above, according to the present invention, since on the basis of the disk information read from the disk 45 attached to the attachment 40 and the character basic information corresponding to the attachment ID read from the above attachment 40, the character information of one character is generated and the game is executed based on the above character information, the player can change combinations of attachments 40 and disks 45 attached to the attachments 40 to compose a plurality of types of characters different in the character information, thereby conducting the game by using the thus composed (or created in some sense) characters. Further, the disk information stored in the disk 45 is not unchangeable or not rewritable, but the disk information can be rewritten according to the result of the game. Therefore, when the player conducts the game, the player's own game results are reflected on the disk information stored in the disk 45. Therefore, the storage medium having been used in the game may become a new storage medium in which different character construction information is stored.

Therefore, since a new storage medium on which the results of the game are reflected may be made as the game is played, it may be possible to increase kinds of storage media usable in the game. As a result, the attachment 40 can be combined in various ways with the disk 45 attached to the attachment 40, thereby making it possible to provide a highly strategic game. In addition, since the player's own game results are reflected on the information stored in the disk 45, the player's most favorite characters can be composed so as to strongly arouse the player's desire for collecting such storage media as a collection target.

Further, since the disk 45 is attached to the attachment 40, for example, even though a plurality of disks 45 are used to play the game or the disks 45 used in the game are frequently changed, it is possible to prevent the disks 45 from scattering or missing. Further, even when many disks 45 are collected, they can be attached to the attachment 40, thereby reducing bulkiness, or can be used in the game as they are and stored and carried.

Further, for example, if new type of disk information is stored in the disk 45, types of the disks 45 usable in the game can be increased. Therefore, after starting the commercial operation of the gaming machine 1 in the market, the disk 45 which stores new type of disk information can be put into the market in an appropriate timing when the supplier of the gaming machine wishes, thereby gradually changing the game to more sophisticated and intricate one so as to ensure continuity of the game.

Embodiment 2

In embodiment 1, an explanation is made for a case where the disk information (character construction information) is stored in a rewritable way in the disk 45 (storage medium). However, the disk information may be stored in a rewritable way in the database server 103. In other words, the following configuration may be available.

A gaming system 100 comprising:

    • a gaming machine 1 provided with storage medium identification information reading means (authentication unit 15) for reading a disk ID kept by the disk 45 from a disk 45 used in a game and identification information reading means (authentication unit 15) for reading an attachment ID kept by the attachment 40 from an attachment 40 to which the disk 45 can be attached; and
    • a database server 103 provided with a data storage part 406 which stores the character basic information including at least character specific information for specifying a character corresponding to the attachment ID kept by the attachment 40 and the disk information for constructing the character information on one character, and
    • the gaming system 100 comprising:
    • a character construction information extracting means (CPU 401 which constituting the database server 103) for extracting the disk information from the data storage part 406 on the basis of the disk ID read by the storage medium identification information reading means;
    • a character basic information extracting means (CPU 401 provided to the database server 103) for extracting the character basic information from the data storage part 406 on the basis of the identification information read by the above identification information reading means;
    • a character information generating means (main CPU 32 of the gaming machine 1) for generating the character information of one character on the basis of the disk information extracted by the character construction information extracting means and the character basic information extracted by the character basic information extracting means;
    • a game control means (main CPU 32 of the gaming machine 1) which executes the game on the basis of the character information generated by the character information generating means; and
    • a character construction information rewriting means (CPU 401 of the database server 103) which rewrites the disk information stored in the data storage part 406 on the basis of the result of the game executed by the game control means.

The present embodiment is approximately similar to embodiment 1 in the gaming system configuration (referring to FIG. 1), appearance (referring to FIGS. 2, 3A, 8A and 8B), display of main display 11 and sub display 12 (refer to FIGS. 11, 18, 19, 20, 21A and 21B), table (refer to FIG. 13), and circuit construction (refer to FIGS. 4 through 7), except that the disk information is not stored in the disk 45 as a storage medium but stored in the data storage part 406 equipped by the database server 103.

Further, the present embodiment is approximately similar to embodiment 1 in process (refer to FIG. 9, FIG. 14 through FIG. 17) except that the gaming machine 1 reads the disk ID from the disk 45, the CPU 401 of the center server 103, extracts the disk information corresponding to the disk ID from the storage part 406, and the gaming machine 1 generates character information from the disk information and the character basic information received from the center server 103.

Therefore, an explanation will be omitted, except for the flow chart on circuit configuration of the database server 103, configuration of the disk 45, game process (refer to FIG. 10) and character generating process (refer to FIG. 12). Further, an explanation will be made, with the same symbols given to the configuration elements corresponding to the gaming machine 1 and the center server group 5 described in embodiment 1.

(Configuration of Database Server)

The database server 103 stores information about the CPU 401, the ROM 402, the RAM 403, the communication processor 404, the communication controller 405 and the data storage part 406. Then, in the database server 103, the CPU 401 operates in reading and writing data in the RAM 403 according to the program stored in the ROM 401. The communication controller 405 operates the communication processor 404 according to the instructions of the CPU 401 to send and receive the data via each shop server 2 and the Internet 4.

The data storage part 406 stores the player ID, the password used for authenticating the player, the ID management file, the character basic information, the disk information, the types of games and game data. The player ID is read by the gaming machine 1 from the ID card 17 and sent to the data storage part 406. In this instance, the data storage part 406 functions as storage means for storing the character basic information and the disk information.

In the ID management file, the player ID and the attachment ID to be explained later are stored in association with each other, and the attachment ID and the character are also stored in association with each other. Further, in the ID management file, the disk ID and the disk information are stored in association with each other. The game data include data showing game histories of the labyrinth competitive game by each player. The game data are sent from the database server 103 to the gaming machine 1 and used in the labyrinth competitive game.

(Configuration of Disk with Built-in IC Chip)

The disk 45 is configured approximately similarly to embodiment 1 except that it is different from embodiment 1 in contents stored in an IC chip 46 for disk. Therefore, an explanation will be made only for the IC chip 46 for disk of the disk 45.

The IC chip 46 for disk stores the disk ID of the disk 45. The disk ID is read by the authentication unit 15, which functions as storage medium identification information reading means, and the disk ID is sent to the database server 103. Then, the disk information corresponding to the disk ID is extracted from the data storage part 406 of the database server 103. Then, the thus extracted disk information is sent to the gaming machine 1, and the character information is generated based on the thus sent disk information in the gaming machine 1.

(Game Process)

An explanation will be made for the game process in reference to FIG. 10.

FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S3 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 9. The processes other than the step S11 are approximately similar to those given in embodiment 1, an explanation of which will be omitted here.

After processes of the steps S12 through S19, in the step S11, the disk information of the disk (item) used in the combat is rewritten.

In the step S11, the main CPU 32 sends the result of the combat process at the step S18 to the center server group 5.

The CPU 401 of the database server 103 constituting the center server group 5 changes predetermined ability values of the disk information according to the result of the combat process and allows the values to be stored in the storage part 406. For example, if the item is a weapon, values of attack force are added or subtracted by a predetermined value according to the result of the combat process and stored. In other words, if the result of the combat process is win, for example, values of attack force are added by “one” and stored. Further, if the item is protective gear, for example, values of defense force are added or subtracted by a predetermined value according to the result of the combat process. In this instance, the CPU 401 functions as character construction information rewriting means for rewriting the disk information stored in the storage part 406 on the basis of the result of the game. After completion of the process of the step S11, the step S20 and the step S21 are processed. Where a gaming machine is closed at the step S21 (step S21: YES), the present subroutine is terminated.

FIG. 24 is a flow chart showing the subroutine executed in the step S10 of the flow chart shown in FIG. 10.

At first, in the step S1010, the main CPU 32 outputs a demanding message for setting the disk 45 and the attachment 40 to the authentication unit 15. For example, a message stating “Attach disks to attachment and set assembly to authentication unit” is outputted on the sub display 12.

Then, the process is moved to the step S1020, and the disk ID is read from the IC chip 46 for disk of the thus set disk 45. The authentication unit 15 functions as storage medium identification information reading means which reads the disk ID from the disk 45. Further, the attachment ID is read from the IC chip 42 for attachment of the attachment 40. The authentication unit 15 functions as identification information reading means for reading the attachment ID kept by the attachment 40. The main CPU 32 returns the process to the step S1020 if reading of the disk ID and the attachment ID is in progress (step S1020: NO), and in contrast, moves the process to the step S103, if reading is determined to be completed (step S1020: YES). In the present embodiment, the character construction information extracting means and the character basic information extracting means may be the CPU 401 of the database server 103, but it is not limited to this. For example, the main CPU 32 of the gaming machine 1 may be acceptable as the character construction information extracting means and the character basic information extracting means.

In the step S1030, the main CPU 32 sends the thus read attachment ID and disk ID to the center server group 5, and moves the process to the step S1040. In the database server 103, the CPU 401 extracts the character basic information corresponding to the received attachment ID in reference to the ID management file of the storage part 406. In this instance, the CPU 401 functions as character basic information extracting means. Then, thus extracted character basic information is to be sent to the gaming machine 1. Further, in the database server 103, the CPU 401 extracts the disk information corresponding to the received disk ID in reference to the ID management file of the storage part 406. In this instance, the CPU 401 functions as character construction information extracting means. Then, the thus extracted disk information is to be sent to the gaming machine 1. In this embodiment, the character construction information rewriting means may be the CPU 401 of the database server 103, but it is not limited to this. For example, the main CPU 32 of the gaming machine 1 may be acceptable as the character construction information rewriting means.

In the step S1040, the gaming machine 1 receives the character basic information corresponding to the thus sent attachment ID via the shop server 2. Further, gaming machine 1 receives the disk information corresponding to the thus sent disk ID via the shop server 2.

Then, in the step S1050, the information of the slot number of the attachment 40 contained in the thus received character basic information is compared with the number of disks read in the step S102. Where the number of the disks is larger than the slot number (step S1050: NO), an error message is outputted (step S1070) to return the process to the step S1010, and the disk ID and the attachment ID are again read. On the other hand, when the number of disks is equal to or smaller than the slot number (step S1050: YES), the thus received character basic information and disk information are referred to generate the character information (step S1060), thereby terminating the present subroutine. In this instance, the main CPU 32 functions as character information generating means which generates the character information of one character on the basis of the character basic information and the disk information. In the present embodiment, the character information generating means may be the main CPU 32 of the gaming machine 1, but it is not limited to this. For example, the CPU 401 of the database server 103 may be acceptable as the character information generating means.

In this embodiment, the game control means may be the main CPU 32 of the gaming machine 1, but it is not limited to this. For example, the CPU 401 of the database server 103 may be acceptable as the game control means.

As explained so far, according to the gaming system described in embodiment 2, on the basis of the disk information extracted from the storage part 406 (storage means) based on the disk ID (storage medium identification information) kept by the disk 45 and the character basic information extracted from the storage part 406 based on the attachment ID (identification information) kept by the attachment 40, the character information of one character is generated, and the game is executed according to the above character information. Therefore, the player can change combinations of attachments 40 and disks 45 attached to the attachments 40, thereby creating a plurality of types of characters different in character information and playing the game by using thus created characters. Further, the disk information corresponding to the disk ID kept by the above disk 45 is stored in the storage part 406 of the database server 103. And it may be rewritable according to the result of the game. Therefore, the player plays the game and the player's own game results can be reflected on the disk information corresponding to the disk ID of the above disk 45.

Therefore, according to the gaming system described in embodiment 2, as the game is played, the disk information corresponding to the disk ID of the disk information used in the game is rewritten and stored to increase the types of disks 45 usable in the game. As a result, the attachment 40 can be combined in various ways with the disks 45 attached to the attachment 40, thereby providing a highly strategic game. Further, since the player's own game results are reflected on the disk information stored in the disk 45, the player's most favorite characters can be created so as to strongly arouse the player's desire for collecting storage media as a collection target.

In the present embodiment, the attachment 40 is provided in a semi-ellipsoidal shape, but it is not limited to this. For example, a shape shown in FIGS. 22A, 22B, and 22C may also be acceptable.

FIGS. 22A, 22B, and 22C are respectively perspective views schematically showing examples of holding bodies according to the present invention. FIG. 22A shows a holding body in the shape of an airplane. FIG. 22B shows a holding body in the shape of a combat vehicle. FIG. 22C shows a holding body in the shape of a robot. These holding bodies are provided with holding parts 50a, 51a and 52a, to which a storage medium can be attached.

Then, for example, when the holding body is in the shape of the airplane, a wider moving range can be given to the character; when the holding body is in the shape of the combat vehicle, a greater defense force can be given to the character; and when the holding body is in the shape of the robot, a higher vital force can be given to the character. Therefore, character information can be generated according to the shape of the holding body to be used.

Further, in this embodiment, the holding body is provided in a semi-ellipsoidal shape. However, as shown in FIGS. 23A and 23B, the holding body may be made with a FIG. 49 and a base 48, in which the base 48 is provided with a holding part 48a to which a storage medium is attached.

In the present embodiment, an explanation is made for the gaming machine 1 by which a labyrinth competitive game can be conducted. The present invention may be applicable to a gaming machine by which other image games can be conducted. One example is a gaming machine of a game such as baseball or soccer, when a plurality of players appear, in which a storage medium capable of changing holding bodies (figure shape and the like may be acceptable) corresponding to the players and ability values of the players is used to simulate a team play.

An explanation has been made so far for the embodiments of the present invention, which shall be construed to be only examples, and the present invention shall not be limited thereto. Specific configurations of respective means may be changed in design as appropriate. Further, the effects of the present embodiments cover only optimal effects resulting from the present invention, and the effects of the present invention shall not be limited to those described in the embodiments of the present invention.

As explained above, according to the present invention, based on the determination whether the disk information read from the disk 45 attached to the attachment 40 and the character basic information corresponding to the attachment ID read from the above attachment 40 satisfies the predetermined condition or not, the character information is generated from the information and based on the character information the game is executed. Therefore, the player is required to select the attachment 40 and the disk 45 in considering that the predetermined condition is satisfied. As a result, winning or losing the game is not only affected by the kinds of the attachment 40 and the disk 45, but also by the player's judgment whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not. Therefore, the player can play a highly strategic game so as to select the attachment 40 and the disk 45 in considering whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not.

Since based on determination whether the character basic information corresponding to the attachment ID assigned to the attachment 40 and the disk information stored in the disk 45 satisfy the predetermined condition or not, the character information is generated, a beginner or the like who plays the game for the first time cannot compose various characters and favorite characters of his own unless the predetermined condition is satisfied even if, for example, the beginner can collect many kinds of holding bodies and storage media by purchasing any available holding bodies and storage media. It is required to collect the attachments 40 and the disks 45 and use them so as to satisfy the predetermined condition. Therefore, there is provided a highly strategic game in association with game contents and factors of collection.

Also, since the character information generated from the selected attachment 40 and disk 45 varies in accordance with the predetermined condition, the player is urged to collect many attachments 40 and disks 45 as the selection target.

Also, since the game can be gradually more and more sophisticated as the game proceeds by changing gradually the predetermined condition which many kinds of attachments 40 and disks 45 are required to satisfy, the continuity of the game is ensured.

Further, since the disk 45 is attached to the attachment 40, for example, even if a plurality of disks 45 for the game and often changes of the disks 45 in the game are utilized, it is prevented that the disks are scattered or missing. And so many disks 45 are collected, the bulkiness may be reduced by attaching the disks 45 to the attachment 40 such that the player can use the combined one for the game and store or carry the attachment 40 with the disks 45 attached thereto.

Further, the disk 45 can store the disk information constituting the character information of one character in a rewriteable way, and the disk information can be renewed in accordance with the game results. Therefore, the disk 45 used in the game can become a new disk storing different disk information and the number of kinds of disks 45 useable for the game is increased. As a result, there is provided a highly strategic game is provided where the player is required to select the disk 45 and the attachment 40 in considering whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not.

Also, since the attachment 40 has the attachment ID, when the character basic information corresponding to the attachment ID is received from the database server 103, the gaming machine 1 determines whether the predetermined condition is satisfied by the character basic information or not such that the character information may be generated based on the determination result.

In this way, since the game is played based on the character information, the player is required to select the attachment 40 and disk 45 in considering whether the predetermined condition is satisfied. As a result, winning or losing the game is not affected only by the kinds of the attachment 40 and the disks 45, but also by the player's decision whether the predetermined condition is satisfied. Therefore, a highly strategic game can be played where the player is to select the attachment 40 and the disks 45 in considering whether the predetermined condition is satisfied or not. Further, since the attachment 40 has one or more slot parts to which the disks are attached, the player can change the character information by changing the attachment 40 as the game proceeds. Therefore, the player can play the highly strategic game.

As described above, according to the present invention, upon completion of the task to be fulfilled, which is set by the task setting means, the disk information is read by the authentication unit 15 (character construction information reading means) and the disk information read by the authentication unit 15 may cause new character generation.

As a result, after the task to be fulfilled is completed, since the character information can be generated again and a new task to be fulfilled is set to the player as the contents of the disk 45 can be changed as appropriate such that the strategic game can be provided.

Further, since the period of reading the disk 45 is limited to when the task to be fulfilled that is set by the task setting means is completed, the breakdown of reading means for excessive use or reading errors caused by accidental movement of the disk may be prevented.

Further since the player is given an opportunity to re-generate the character information whenever the task to be fulfilled is completed by the player, the player can generate the character information with different ability values at each time when the task is fulfilled such that the player is not tired of the game and the continuity of the game is ensured.

Also, since the player is given an opportunity to re-generate the character information whenever the task to be fulfilled is completed by the player, the player will be urged to collect more attachments 40 and disks 45 as collection targets.

Also, according to the present invention, new character information can be generated from the disk information read by the authentication unit 15 during the period from when the task is set by the task setting means previously to when a new task is set by the task setting means.

As a result, since the player is given an opportunity to re-generate the character information during the period from when the task is set by the task setting means previously to when a new task is set by the task setting means, the player has an opportunity to change the disk according to the new task set so that the player can play the strategic game.

Also, since the period of reading the disk 45 is limited from when the previous task is set to when a new task is set, the breakdown of reading means for excessive use or reading errors caused by accidental movement of the disk may be prevented.

Further, according to the present invention, since the notification image 95 is displayed on the sub display 12 when task to be fulfilled having been set by the task setting means is completed by the player, it is possible to notify clearly the opportunity to re-generate the character information. As a result, the player may be give an opportunity to change the disk 45 in accordance with new task to be fulfilled such that the player can play the strategic game.

Also, since the notification image 95 is displayed on the sub display 12, reading errors caused by accidental movement of the disk 45 while it is read may be prevented.

Further, according to the disk 45 of the present invention, since the character information of one character can be stored in a rewriteable way, the disk information can be rewritten according to the game result, the disk 45 having used in the game can be a new disk storing different disk information such that the kinds of disks 45 useable for the game will be increased.

As a result, it is possible to provide the player with a strategic game in which one or more disks 45 can be selected and changed among a variety of disks 45 in accordance with the new task to be fulfilled whenever the task is completed.

As described above, according to the present invention, in accordance with the game status or the instruction the player inputs, the remaining bullet number of the gun used by the character that is also included in the character information is variably processed and the variably processed remaining bullet number is written in the disk 45 by the authentication unit 15 (character construction information rewriting means).

As a result, based on the game status or the instruction input by the player, the remaining bullet number, which is changing during the game, is renewed (bullets are loaded) by physically replacing the disks 45 as the game proceeds independently so as to provide a dynamic and new amusement to the strategic game.

Also, since the remaining bullet number, which is included in the character information, can be changed after the disk exchange by physically changing the disk 45 having been attached to the attachment 40 with another disk 45, it is possible to generate the character information with different remaining bullet numbers during the game play so that the player will not be bored and that the continuity of the game can be ensured.

Also, based on the game status or the instruction inputted by the player, since the remaining bullet number being included in the character information is variably processed and the variably processed bullet number is written in the disk 45 by the character construction information rewriting means, the disk 45 having been used in the game may become a new disk 45 storing the disk information including the variably processed bullet number and more and more kinds of disks 45 useable for the game may be produced. As a result, since the player can replace the disk 45 in use for the game with another disk 45 selected among a variety of disks storing the disk information including the variably processed bullet number, the player is urged to collect more an more kinds of disks 45 as selection targets.

Also, according to the present invention, when the bullet number included in the character information becomes the predetermined number, since the disk information can be read from the disk 45, there may be provided a highly strategic game, in which the player has a limited opportunity to renew the variable bullet number by changing the disks 45 physically so as to have a new bullet number during the game play.

Also, according to the present invention, when the bullet number included in the character information becomes the predetermined number after the number is variably processed, the notification image 96 to notify the start of reading the disk information on the sub display 12 so that an opportunity to replace the disk 45 in use with another disk 45 can be clearly notified. As a result, the player can have an opportunity to replace the disks 45 when the bullet number becomes the predetermined number.

Also, since the notification image 96 is displayed on the sub display 12, reading errors caused by accidental movement of the disk during reading may be prevented.

Also, since the notification image 96 to notify the commencement of the reading of the disk 45 is displayed on the sub display 12, the player can aggressively generate the character information with different bullet numbers when the bullet number becomes the predetermined number during the game play. The player will not be bored of the game and the continuity of the game is ensured.

Also, since the opportunity to replace the disk 45 in use with another disk 45 can be clearly notified, the player can have an opportunity aggressively to generate the character information with different bullet numbers when the bullet number included in the character information becomes the predetermined number during the game play. Therefore, the player may have a strong feeling to collect more and more kinds of attachments 40 and disks 45 as selection targets.

In this embodiment, although it has been explained that the disk information (character construction information) is stored in the disk 45 (storage medium) in a rewriteable manner, the center server group 5 may store the disk information in a rewriteable manner.

In this case, the character construction information including the variable value is transmitted from the center server group 5 to the gaming machine 1 at the beginning of the game and it is stored in the RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1. During the game play, the variable values renewed in the game are stored in the RAM 33 of the gaming machine 1 instead for transmitting such data to the center server group 5, and at the end of the game the renewed variable values are transmitted to the center server group 5 and the character construction data stored in the center server group 5 should be preferably renewed. Thus, the amount of data between the center sever group 5 and gaming machines 1 via the shop server 2 is reduced.

As described above, according to the present invention, since the confirmation image 190 including the number image 193 indicating the number of the disks 45 from which the disk information is read by the authentication unit 15 (character construction information reading means) is displayed, the player can judge whether the disk information has been read accurately from a plurality of disks 45 by comparing the number of disks 45 attached to the attachment 40 and the number of disks 45 shown in the confirmation image 190, And after the player judges that the disk information is accurately read, the player can input the instruction to generate the character information via the touch panel 11a and the character information is generated and the game is executed. And the player judges that the disk information is not accurately read from the plurality of disks 45 by comparing the number of disks 45 attached to the attachment 40 and the number of disks 45 shown in the confirmation image 190, the player can change the disks 45 and take other measures to play the game smoothly.

Also, according to the present invention, when the confirmation image 190 is displayed, the player judges that the plurality of disks 45 are not accurately read and takes actions such as replacement of the disks 45 and the like, an instruction to read the disk information via the touch panel 11a, from the disks 45 attached to the attachment 40 the disk information is read again and the confirmation image 190 including the number of disks is displayed again. Therefore, the player can check whether the disk information is read accurately from the disks 45 by taking actions such as exchange of disks 45 in the confirmation image 190. In this way, since it is possible to check if the disk information is accurately read by taking actions such as exchange of disks 45 from the confirmation image 190, the player can play the game smoothly.

As described above, according to the present invention, since the disk information is rewritten over the disk information previously stored in the disk 45 when the disk ID matches with the disk ID having been read previously, the disk information cannot be rewritten although the player tries to continue to play the game illegally or improperly by replacing the disk 45 since the disk ID does not match the previously-read disk ID. Therefore, it can be prevented that the game is played with the disk 45 exchanged illegally or improperly during the game play.

As mentioned above, according to the present invention, when the disk information is renewed and the remaining bullet number becomes the predetermined number or below (the predetermined condition is met), the notification image 96 is displayed and the player inputs the instruction about rewriting the disk information, then the disk ID is read from the disk 45. And when the read disk ID matches the disk ID having been read previously, the disk information stored in the disk 45 is rewritten into the renewed disk information. Therefore, even if the player tries to continue the game by replacing the disk illegally or improperly, the disk information is not rewritten unless the disk IDs match with each other. Therefore, it is prevented the game from being continued by replacing the disk during the game play.

Later, when the disk change demanding image 194 is displayed, the player replaces the disks 45 and inputs the instruction to demand reading of the disk information, the disk information is read from the exchanged disk 45 and the character information is generated based on the read disk information.

In this way, when the player inputs the instruction to demand reading of the disk information, since the disk information is read from the disk 45, the player can control the timing when the disk information is read, that is, when the disks 45 can be exchanged, Therefore, there is provided a highly strategic game in which the player can control the timing to exchange the disks based on the degree of renewal of the disk information.