Title:
Systems and Methods for Multi-Platform Trading Card Game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A series of trading cards for playing a game comprising a first trading card for a first character comprising a first unique identifier and a first variable rule of play. The series of trading cards also comprises a second trading card for a second character comprising a second unique identifier and a second variable rule of play, wherein the first character is the same as the second character and wherein the second variable rule of play is different than the first variable rule of play.



Inventors:
Robbers, Rob (Solana Beach, CA, US)
Gannon, Bryan (San Diego, CA, US)
Milito, John T. (Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US)
Filzenger, Jeffrey J. (San Diego, CA, US)
Harrill, Player J. (Solana Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/199703
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/27/2008
Assignee:
TC Digital Games, LLC (San Diego, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/11, 273/292
International Classes:
A63F1/00; A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090091081Wagering Method and Apparatus based on a numerical totalApril, 2009Gottlieb
20030168807Methods of playing card gamesSeptember, 2003Jones et al.
20060232006Intelligence jigsaw puzzleOctober, 2006Fang et al.
20040243463Publicity planning packDecember, 2004Wells
20090140492Card reading shoe with card stop feature and systems utilizing the sameJune, 2009Yoseloff et al.
20100059935BETTING GAME EMPLOYING A CYLINDRICAL DIE AND A GAME BOARDMarch, 2010Sok
20090218764BLACKJACK STRATEGYSeptember, 2009Rosenthal
20100072702STRATEGY BOARD GAMES WITH CONCURRENT PLAYMarch, 2010Fowler
20100038851GAMEFebruary, 2010Kenney
20060175759ZardzAugust, 2006Prestwich
20090236801BUSINESS GAME APPARATUSSeptember, 2009Ali Bin



Primary Examiner:
THOMAS, ERIC M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TC Digital Games, LLC (San Diego, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A series of trading cards, comprising creature trading cards comprising: a creature identity; a unique identifier; and a discipline having a variable value associated with the discipline, wherein two creature trading cards having the same creature identity include different unique identifiers and different values associated with the discipline.

2. The series of trading cards of claim 1, wherein a player uses the variable value to make a game state comparison for applying an ability of a creature trading card onto another creature trading card during game play.

3. The series of trading cards of claim 1, wherein the trading cards are configured for playing a trading card game, wherein each creature trading card further comprises: an energy level; an element attack type; an ability; and a mugic value, wherein at least one of the energy level, element attack type, ability and mugic value affects game play.

4. The series of trading cards of claim 3, wherein the energy level of two creature trading cards having the same creature identity included different unique identifiers and different values associated with the energy level.

5. The series of trading cards of claim 3, wherein the unique identifier of a creature trading card is stored in a central database corresponding to the creature identity, discipline, energy level, element attack type, ability and mugic value of the trading card for accessing an electronic version of the trading card for playing the game on an electronic platform.

6. The series of trading cards of claim 3, further comprising attack trading cards comprising: an attack value; an attack ability; a base damage value; an element damage; and a unique identifier, wherein an attack trading card is used in conjunction with a creature trading card during game play to deliver damage to an opposing creature trading card.

7. The series of trading cards of claim 6, wherein the creature trading card is eliminated from game play upon receiving damage at least equal to the energy level from an attack by an opposing creature trading card.

8. The series of trading cards of claim 3, further comprising battlegear trading cards comprising: a battlegear ability; and a unique identifier, wherein a battlegear trading card is used in conjunction with a creature trading card to enhance game play.

9. The series of trading cards of claim 3, further comprising mugic trading cards comprising: a mugic ability; a mugic cost; and a unique identifier, wherein a mugic trading card is used to enhance game play and the mugic cost of the mugic trading card is deducted from the mugic value of the creature trading card.

10. The series of trading cards of claim 3, further comprising location trading cards comprising: an ability; a location card initiative; and a unique identifier, wherein a location trading card is used during game play to determine the location of a battle and determine which one of two creature trading cards will win the initiative to make a first move in the battle.

11. The series of trading cards of claim 1 for playing a trading card game, the game comprising a game component other than a trading card comprising a unique identifier, wherein the game component is used to enhance an action of a creature trading card during game play.

12. The series of trading cards of claim 11, wherein the game component has a utility outside of the trading card game.

13. The series of trading cards of claim 12, wherein the game component comprises at least one of a commercial product, game, apparel, toy, book, comic, pen, animation, video, television show, radio show, advertisement and message on a mobile device.

14. A series of trading cards, comprising creature trading cards comprising: a creature identity; a unique identifier; and an energy level having a variable value, wherein two creature trading cards having the same creature identity include different unique identifiers and different values associated with the discipline.

15. The series of trading cards of claim 14, wherein the trading cards are configured for playing a trading card game, and wherein each creature trading card further comprises: a discipline; an element attack type; an ability; and a mugic value, wherein at least one of the discipline, element attack type, ability and mugic value affects game play.

16. The series of trading cards of claim 15, wherein the discipline has an associated value, and wherein two creature trading cards having the same creature identity included different unique identifiers and different values associated with the discipline.

17. The series of trading cards of claim 15, wherein the unique identifier of a creature trading card is stored in a central database corresponding to the creature identity, discipline, energy level, element attack type, ability and mugic value of the trading card for accessing an electronic version of the trading card for playing the game on an electronic platform.

18. The series of trading cards of claim 15, further comprising attack trading cards comprising: an attack value; an attack ability; a base damage value; an element damage; and a unique identifier, wherein an attack trading card is used in conjunction with a creature trading card during game play to deliver damage to an opposing creature trading card.

19. The series of trading cards of claim 18, wherein the creature trading card is eliminated from game play upon receiving damage at least equal to the energy level from an attack by an opposing creature trading card.

20. The series of trading cards of claim 15, further comprising battlegear trading cards comprising: a battlegear ability; and a unique identifier, wherein a battlegear trading card is used in conjunction with a creature trading card to enhance game play.

21. The series of trading cards of claim 15, further comprising mugic trading cards comprising: a mugic ability; a mugic cost; and a unique identifier, wherein a mugic trading card is used to enhance game play and the mugic cost of the mugic trading card is deducted from the mugic value of the creature trading card.

22. The series of trading cards of claim 15, further comprising location trading cards comprising: an ability; a location card initiative; and a unique identifier, wherein a location trading card is used during game play to determine the location of a battle and determine which one of two creature trading cards will win the initiative to initiate the first battle.

23. The series of trading cards of claim 14 for playing a trading card game, the game comprising a game component other than a trading card comprising a unique identifier, wherein the game component is used to enhance an action of a creature trading card during game play.

24. The series of trading cards of claim 23, wherein the game component has a utility outside of the trading card game.

25. The series of trading cards of claim 24, wherein the game component comprises at least one of a commercial product, game, apparel, toy, book, comic, pen, animation, video, television show, radio show, advertisement and message on a mobile device.

26. A series of trading cards for playing a game comprising: a first trading card for a first character comprising a first unique identifier and a first variable rule of play; and a second trading card for a second character comprising a second unique identifier and a second variable rule of play, wherein the first character is the same as the second character and wherein the second variable rule of play is different than the first variable rule of play.

27. The series of trading cards of claim 26, wherein the first variable rule of play and second variable rule of play comprise at least one of the following: an availability, a tribe, an attack type, an attack value, an energy level, a discipline, a special ability, an enhanced ability value and a card type.

28. The series of trading cards of claim 26, wherein the first trading card is used during a battle with the second trading card, the series of trading cards further comprising: the first variable rule of play comprises an attribute with a first value; and the second variable rule of play comprises the attribute with a second value, and wherein comparison of the first variable rule of play and second variable rule of play determines a game action during the battle.

29. The series of trading cards of claim 28, further comprising: a third trading card for attacking comprising: a third unique identifier; and a third rule of play, wherein the comparison of the first value of the attribute on the first trading card to the second value of the attribute on the second trading card determines that the first trading card attacks the second trading card during the battle according to the third rule of play of the third trading card.

30. The series of trading cards of claim 29, wherein the third rule of play comprises at least one of the following: an attack value, an availability, a type, a base damage value, an element damage value and an ability.

31. The series of trading cards of claim 30, wherein the first trading card further comprises a first game state level and the second trading card comprises a second game state level, and wherein the second game state level is depleted during the battle according to the third rule of play of the third trading card.

32. The series of trading cards of claim 31, wherein the first variable rule of play of the first trading card enhances the damage caused to the second game state level of the second trading card during the battle.

33. The series of trading cards of claim 32, wherein the second variable rule of play of the second trading card diminishes the damage caused to the second game state level of the second trading card during the battle.

34. The series of trading cards of claim 33, wherein the battle is won when damage is caused to one of the first trading card or second trading card equal to the respective one of the first game state levels and second game state levels.

35. The series of trading cards of claim 29, further comprising: a fourth trading card for use in conjunction with the first or second trading cards during the battle, comprising: a fourth unique identifier; and a fourth rule of play, wherein the fourth rule of play is used to enhance the first rule of play of the first trading carding during the battle.

36. The series of trading cards of claim 35, wherein the fourth rule of play comprises at least one of the following: an availability, an enhanced damage ability and a healing ability.

37. The game of claim 27, further comprising: a fifth trading card for initiating a game, comprising: a fifth unique identifier; and a fifth rule of play, wherein the fifth rule of play determines the initial elements of a battle between the first and second trading card.

38. The series of trading cards of claim 37, wherein the fifth rule of play comprises at least one of the following: a location, an availability, an initiative and a type.

39. The series of trading cards of claim 26, wherein an electronic version of the of the first and second trading cards are accessible for playing the game on an electronic platform, and wherein the first variable rule of play and second variable rule of play are implemented in an equivalent manner in the electronic platform and a physical play platform.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/844,884, entitled SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MULTI-PLATFORM TRADING CARD GAME, filed Aug. 24, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/037,062, entitled SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR A GAMING PLATFORM, filed Feb. 25, 2008.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a trading card game. More specifically, the present invention relates to multi-platform trading card game.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

Trading cards, traditionally cardboard or plastic cards depicting graphics, have been developed in many areas throughout multiple industries, such as professional sports and the entertainment industry. Trading cards are, for example, photographic depictions of an athlete with information about the sports figure, and/or a trading card may depict music performers, animated and/or movie characters. Traditionally, trading cards are collected as a hobby, for example, for economic and historic value.

Some of the trading cards available may be used in trading card games where a player, having collected a deck of trading cards, plays against an opponent that has also collected some trading cards. Different strategies are involved in playing such games, which can include, for example, means for eliminating opponents or advancing in a game. Many of the trading card games include a deck of trading cards as the primary medium for playing out the game, and in some trading card games, the ultimate strategy is to trade or collect the trading card.

Trading card games, for example, can depict various creatures or military items, each of which has a predetermined value in a trading card game. Trading card games may involve a hierarchal ranking of members of a typical society, wherein the member is depicted on the trading card and each trading card has a predetermined value in the trading card game. Still other trading card games include playing a “baseball game,” which is played with baseball type player trading cards, a die and a deck of standard playing cards. This game can also include a board game for simulating the game of baseball, wherein baseball trading cards are used for playing pieces.

Some systems disclose electronic trading cards (ETC), or a trading card metaphor, for collecting trading, game playing and creating of digital electronic trading cards for application in consumer digital media. These systems use components designed to generate and accept a shared proprietary electronic trading card format, so that, for example, a card created by a user with a card-making application can be recognized by an electronic trading card album. The ETC format also supports the concepts of scarcity and authenticity within a disassociated computer code segment.

Some trading card game systems use closed-system video games coupled with a card reader that is used for transferring information stored on the card to the video game system's computer. For example, in some systems, trading cards, configured as video sports cards, contain a computer readable memory chip, including read-only memory (ROM), for storing a video of highlight sequences to be played on a display screen. Some trading cards may contain an updatable electronic storage medium that is attached to the trading card and used for storing a unique password. Other trading cards include computer chip elements containing audio data played in response to a user action stimulus, such as squeezing or touching a portion of the trading card.

Some trading card systems provide for trading cards over an electronic network such as the Internet, wherein the paper trading cards and/or playing rights to the trading cards are associated with unique identifiers. The trading card's unique identifiers are registered with game service providers and used for playing an online fantasy sports game.

SUMMARY

The embodiments described herein provide systems and methods for providing game components for playing a trading card game on either a physical play platform and/or an electronic platform. One embodiment includes a method for generating a game component for a trading card game comprising generating a trading card for playing the trading card game in a physical play platform, generating an electronic version of the trading card for playing on a first electronic platform and a second electronic platform and implementing a rule of play for the trading card in substantially the same manner on the physical play platform and on the first and/or second electronic platforms.

Another embodiment includes a system for a trading card game comprising a central database manager configured to store a unique identifier, a rule of play and a trading card graphic, wherein the central database manager is configured to store the trading card graphic and a corresponding electronic version of the trading card. The central database manager is also configured to manage the production of the trading card by assigning the unique identifier and the rule of play to the trading card and causing the trading card to be printed with the trading card graphic and the unique identifier. The trading card is configured for use by an owner for playing the trading card game in a physical play platform. The central database manager is further configured to receive the unique identifier from the owner submitted through a user interface. The user interface is in communication with the central database manager and is configured to be accessed by the owner through multiple electronic platforms. The central database manager is also configured to activate the electronic version of the trading card for use by the owner for playing the trading card game on the multiple electronic platforms. Wherein, the rule of play is implemented in an equivalent manner in the physical play platform and the multiple electronic platforms for playing the trading card game.

According to several embodiments, the system described above may include the central database manager configured to store a plurality of unique identifiers, a plurality of graphics for a plurality of trading cards, corresponding electronic versions of the plurality of trading cards, and a plurality of rules of play. The central database manager may also be configured to manage the production of the plurality of trading cards comprising assigning, to each of the plurality of trading cards, a different one of the plurality of unique identifiers, at least one of the plurality of graphics and at least one of the plurality of rules of play. Additionally, the central database manager may be configured to activate an electronic version of one or more of the plurality of trading cards upon receiving one of the plurality of unique identifiers from an owner. The plurality of trading cards are configured for use by the owner for playing the trading card game on the physical play platform and/or the multiple electronic platforms.

Additionally, the system may provide that the rule of play of the trading card affects another rule of play for another trading card. The rules of play affect game play equivalently when playing the trading card game in either the physical play platform and/or multiple electronic platforms.

In other embodiments the system may comprise a game component related to the trading card. The central database manager may be configured to store a unique identifier and a rule of play for the game component. The central database manager is further configured to manage the production of the game component comprising assigning the unique identifier and the rule of play to the game component, wherein the rule of play of the game component affects the rule of play of one of the plurality of trading cards during game play. In some embodiments, the game component is a game code retrieved from viewing media content.

According to several embodiments the multiple electronic media platforms may include at least two of a personal computer, a mobile telephone, a game console and a handheld gaming device.

Another embodiment includes a method for generating a trading card, including storing, on a central database manager, a unique identifier, a graphic for a first trading card, an electronic version of the trading card and a rule of play. The method further includes managing, at the central database manager, the production of the trading card including assigning the unique identifier and the rule of play to the trading card and causing the trading card to be printed with the graphic and the unique number. The trading card is configured for use by an owner for playing the trading card game in a physical play platform. The method may also include receiving the unique identifier, from the owner, submitted through a user interface, wherein the user interface is in communication with the central database manager and is configured to be accessed by the owner through multiple electronic platforms. The method further includes activating, after receiving the unique identifier, the electronic version of the trading card for use by the owner for playing the trading card game on the multiple electronic platforms, wherein the rule of play is implemented in an equivalent manner in the physical play platform and the multiple electronic platforms during game play.

Another embodiment includes a series of trading cards, comprising creature trading cards comprising a creature identity, a unique identifier and a discipline having a variable value associated with the discipline. In some embodiments, two creature trading cards having the same creature identity include different unique identifiers and different values associated with the discipline.

Another embodiment includes series of trading cards, comprising creature trading cards comprising a creature identity, a unique identifier and an energy level having a variable value. In some embodiments, two creature trading cards having the same creature identity include different unique identifiers and different values associated with the discipline.

Another embodiment includes a series of trading cards for playing a game comprising a first trading card for a first character comprising a first unique identifier and a first variable rule of play. The series of trading cards also comprises a second trading card for a second character comprising a second unique identifier and a second variable rule of play, wherein the first character is the same as the second character and wherein the second variable rule of play is different than the first variable rule of play.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other aspects, features and advantages of the present embodiments will be more apparent from the following more particular description thereof, presented in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a system for a trading card game;

FIG. 2 is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a trading card;

FIG. 3A is a diagram depicting another embodiment of a system for a trading card game;

FIG. 3B is a diagram further depicting another embodiment of FIG. 3A for a system for trading card game;

FIG. 4 is a flow diagram depicting the method of generating a trading card for a trading card game;

FIG. 5 is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a trading card game configuration;

FIG. 6 is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a trading card game configuration;

FIG. 7 is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a trading card;

FIG. 8 is a diagram depicting another embodiment of a trading card;

FIG. 9 is a diagram depicting another embodiment of a trading card;

FIG. 10 is a diagram depicting another embodiment of a trading card;

FIG. 11 is a diagram depicting another embodiment of a trading card;

FIG. 12 is a diagram depicting an electronic version of a trading card game configuration;

FIG. 13 is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a trading card;

FIG. 14 is a flow diagram depicting a method for generating a game component; and

FIG. 15 is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a system for a trading card game.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding components throughout the several views of the drawings. Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions, sizing, and/or relative placement of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of various embodiments. Also, common but well-understood elements that are useful or necessary in a commercially feasible embodiment are often not depicted in order to facilitate a less obstructed view of these various embodiments. It will also be understood that the terms and expressions used herein have the ordinary meaning as is usually accorded to such terms and expressions by those skilled in the corresponding respective areas of inquiry and study except where other specific meanings have otherwise been set forth herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of describing the general principles of the embodiments described herein. The scope of the invention should be determined with reference to the claims. The present embodiments address the problems described in the background while also addressing other additional problems as will be seen from the following detailed description.

The embodiments described herein relate to a trading card game playable on multiple platforms, and a method of generating the trading cards and for playing the trading card game in either a physical play platform and on an electronic platform. None of the previous trading card systems described above provide the ability of the owner of a trading card to choose to play the trading card game in either a physical play format or an interactive electronic format. None of the previous trading card systems disclose a central system that controls the production of the trading card and/or game components in both the physical and electronic formats, which also communicates with a user interface for registering the trading cards and/or playing the trading card game on multiple electronic platforms.

Some of the embodiments described herein allow the player to readily choose between both the physical and electronic interactive formats of game play wherein, for example, the opponents play face-to-face with the physical format of the trading card and/or in an interactive electronic format on multiple electronic platforms.

According to several embodiments, “trading card” refers to a physical or material representation including, for example, cardboard, plastic, cloth, metal or other similar material. Additionally, an electronic version of the trading card is a two or three dimensional graphical version, which is presented by electronic means on a display.

According to several embodiments of the present invention, the trading card game allows two players, or two teams of players, to battle against each other using trading cards implementing rules of play in an attempt to decide a winner. In some embodiments, the trading cards comprise graphics or other identifying means that correspond to a rule of play. By way of example, a player may purchase, collect or trade the trading cards and/or game components in order to construct one or more decks of trading cards. Some players may select to only collect and display his/her trading cards and card portfolio. The decks of trading cards may include unique attributes for use in game play. In some embodiments, some of the trading cards with a particular graphic and/or characteristic are rare to find, and thus, may be more difficult for a player to be able purchase or collect. In some embodiments, the rare trading cards may be more valuable in game play. Additionally and/or alternatively, a particular graphic and/or characteristic of a card may be duplicated in another card in a deck of cards, and, for example, the duplicated cards may correspond to the same rule of play.

Game play may include physical trading cards and/or game components with rules of play effectuated in a physical play platform and/or with an electronic version of the trading cards and/or game component and the equivalent rules of play effectuated electronically. The players directly control and advance the game play in both the physical play platform and/or on the electronic platform in real-time.

Referring first to FIG. 1, a diagram is shown depicting an embodiment of a system for a trading card game. The system 100 comprises a central database manager 102, a first trading card 104, a card owner 106, a first electronic platform 108, a second electronic platform 110, and a user interface 112. According to several embodiments, the first trading card 104 includes a unique identifier 114. The central database manager 102 stores a first rule of play 116 and an electronic version 118 of the first trading card 104. The central database manager 102, for example, is configured to manage the production of the first trading card 104. The central database manager 102 is also coupled to the user interface 112, and the user interface 112 is accessible by the card owner 106 through multiple electronic platforms, for example, the first electronic platform 108 and the second electronic platform 110.

According to several embodiments, the central database manager 102 is a computer and/or server configured to manage the generation of the first trading card 104. The central database manager 102 is configured to electronically store, for example, a particular graphic for producing the first trading card 104. The central database manager 102 manages the production of the first trading card 104 by, for example, having the graphic printed on a piece of material in a physical form. The first trading card 104 is then purchased by the card owner 106.

The card owner 106 is also supplied with the first rule of play 116 that corresponds to the first trading card 104 for playing the trading card game. A rule of play 116, for example, may be rules for selling, collecting, moving a creature, trading, attacking, eliminating, battling, growing and/or nurturing a physical or electronic game component. The rule of play 116 corresponding to the first trading card 104 is implemented by a player during a trading card game, and may be used, for example, to win a battle, eliminate an opponent, increase a score, move a position, etc. Examples of rules of play 116 are further provided below in regards to the description of FIGS. 5-13.

In some embodiments, the central database manager 102 manages the production of a plurality of trading cards in a similar fashion to the first trading card 104. A player, collector, participant, seller, buyer or the like, e.g., the card owner 106, purchases or collects the trading cards to create a deck of cards. A deck of trading cards is used by the card owner 106 for playing the trading card game face-to-face with an opponent. In some embodiments, the deck of cards, having been collected, includes more than one trading card having the same graphic of the first trading card 104, and in other embodiments, the first trading card 104 may be rare, and thus, not duplicated. Although the graphic of the first trading card 104 may be duplicated, the first trading card 104 includes the unique identifier 114 which is not duplicated in other the trading card and/or game component produced from the central database manager 102.

Accordingly, the central database manager 102 is also configured to store the unique identifier 114, the first rule of play 116 and the electronic version 118 corresponding to the first trading card 104. The card owner 106 is then able access the electronic version 118 of the first trading card 104 by registering the unique identifier 114 with an online community and/or network, for example, through a web site browser on a the Internet and/or a software application locally stored on an electronic device. The unique identifier 114 may be in the form of a numeric code, alphanumeric code, bar code, graphical code, magnetic code or the like, and the unique identifier 114 ensures each of the plurality of trading cards and game components are unique.

According to several embodiments, the card owner 106 may access the user interface 112 via one of the multiple electronic platforms, for example, the first electronic platform 108 and/or the second electronic platform 110. The first electronic platform 108 and the second electronic platform 110 both include a display for displaying content to the card owner 106 and an input device for the card owner 106. The input device allows a user to interact or provide input to the electronic platforms. The multiple electronic platforms are, for example, a personal computer, a mobile telephone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a game console or a handheld gaming device.

Additionally, the first and second electronic platforms 108, 110 are configured to access and display the user interface 112 to the card owner 106. In some embodiments, the user interface 112 may display a website to the card owner 106, wherein the first and second electronic platforms 108, 110 are configured to access the website over the Internet. In one embodiment, the first and second electronic platforms 108, 110 are networked together and/or networked to the central database manager 102, and may further be configured to access the central database manager 102 over the Internet and/or a cable, telephone and/or a cellular network. According to several embodiments, the user interface 112 displays a website stored on, and/or served from, the central database manager 102. Furthermore, the user interface 112 may be a software application stored on an electronic platform, and may include multiple formats for working on different types of electronic platforms. In some embodiments, the user interface 112 software application may be stored on the central database manager 102 and, for example, sent to an electronic platform upon request through a website,

Referring next to FIG. 2, shown is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a trading card, for example, the first trading card 104 of FIG. 1. The trading card 104 is depicted with a trading card graphic 202 and the unique identifier 114. According to several embodiments, the central database manager 102 may be configured to store the unique identifier 114 and the trading card graphic 202. The central database manager 102 optionally also determines how many trading cards should be produced with the same trading card graphic 202. This determination may depend on the rule of play for the trading card graphic 202 and the value and/or rarity of the trading card. In this embodiment, the central database manager 102 is configured to manage the production of a predetermined number of trading cards with the same trading card graphic 202, however, the unique identifier 114 will be different for each trading card 104 produced.

Referring next to FIG. 3A, shown is diagram depicting another embodiment of a system for a trading card game. System 300 comprises a central database manager 102, a graphic database for print 302, game component production 304, a graphic database for electronic versions 306, an electronic display device 308, and a card mapping application 310.

According to several embodiments, the central database manager 102 is central to, and coupled with, the card mapping application 310, the graphic database for print 302, the game component production 304, the graphic database for the electronic versions 306 and the electronic display device 308. The graphic database for print 302 is further coupled to the game component production 304. In some embodiments, the graphic database for electronic versions 306 is also coupled to the electronic display device 308.

The game component production referred to in FIG. 3A is the production of both game components and trading cards. Thus, the system described below applies to both producing game components and trading cards, however, the system and method for producing a game component is used as an example. By way of example, in the system 300, the central database manager 102 determines a set of game components and/or trading cards that need to be produced. The game components include an item for purchase that is not necessarily a trading card; however, the game component may have a rule of play for the trading card game. According to several embodiments, the game component may also have a use other than for playing the trading card game.

By way of example, the game component comprises a pen that functions as a writing utensil, as well as bringing the card owner 106 a special power during the trading card game. In other embodiments, the game component, for example, comprises a toy, an item of clothing and/or apparel, a book and/or comic, or a code displayed in media content. According to several embodiments, there may be media content (e.g., a cartoon) which is played on TV or in the movies. The media content displays a code for viewers that may be used to obtain special powers, for example, when playing the electronic version of the trading card game. In some embodiments, the media content may be an animation, video, television show, radio show, advertisement, commercial product, game, apparel, toy, book, comic, pen, or a message on a mobile device.

According to several embodiments, the card mapping application 310 is configured to distribute or map a unique identifier to each game component to be produced. The central database manager 102 may be configured to store the result of the mapping application. For example, every game component and every trading card that is produced is given a unique identifier. The central database manager 102 may store how many trading cards and/or game components of the same type have been produced, and store a list enumerating the assigned unique identifier that was mapped to the produced game component and/or trading card.

The central database manager 102 is configured to communicate with the graphic database for print 302 in order to manage the production of the game component. The graphic database for print 302 is configured to store the game component design, creature graphics and/or creature information, for example, used to print and/or produce the game components. In some embodiments, the graphic database for print 302 and the central database manager 102 provide the necessary information for the game component production 304.

The game component production 304 is configured to update the central database manager 102. An update may include, for example, information regarding which printed or produced game components have been discarded, a distribution status to retail stores and/or a sales status of the game component.

According to several embodiments, the central database manager 102 is also configured to store the unique identifier in connection with the electronic version of the game component. By way of example, the central database manager 102 is configured to store the unique identifier in a database along with a pointer to the electronic version of the game component stored on the graphic database for electronic versions 306. In other embodiments, the central database manager 102 stores a copy of the electronic version of the game component in the database with the assigned unique identifier. In other embodiments, the central database manager 102 sends the assigned unique identifier to the graphic database for electronic versions 306 for storing assigned unique identifier with the electronic version of the game component.

In some embodiments, the unique identifier is the same for the physical trading card and for the electronic version of the game component. However, in some embodiments the unique identifier is not displayed to the user during electronic play even though the unique identifier is associated with the electronic version of the game component. In other embodiments, the unique identifier is encrypted with the electronic version of the game component, and may be displayed similarly to the physical game component, or not displayed at all.

Similarly as to the trading cards, the game components may be activated by the card owner via a user interface (described in more detail below). Once the central database manager 102 has received notification that an electronic version of a game component is being activated, the central database manager 102 verifies if the game component is valid. In some embodiments, the central database manager 102 then accesses the graphic database for electronic version 306 to retrieve the appropriate graphic for displaying the game component on the electronic display device 308. In some embodiments, the central database manager 102 formats the retrieved graphic to be compatible with the type of electronic display 308 on which the game component will be displayed.

Referring next to FIG. 3B, shown is a diagram further depicting another embodiment of a system for a trading card game. In addition to the central database manager 102, the graphic database for a trading card 302, the graphic database for electronic versions 306 and the component mapping application 310, the system 300 also includes the game component 312, the user interface 112, the card owner 106, and an electronic platform 108. As described in reference to FIG. 3A, the central database manager 102 determines what type, and how many, game components need to be produced. The component mapping application 310 assigns a unique identifier to the game component 312 that the central database manager 102 determines needs to be produced.

The central database manager 102 then retrieves a game component 312 graphic from the graphic database for print 302 and sends the graphic and the unique identifier to a game component production for producing the game component 312. The game component 312 also optionally includes a website address printed either on the game component 312, on the packaging of the game component 312 or is otherwise associated with the game component 312. Once the game component 312 is produced with a unique identifier, the game component 312 is then shipped to a retailer for sale. By use of the unique identifier, the central database manager 102 may also be configured to keep track of the status of the game component 312, for example, to determine whether it has been shipped, when it is ready for sale, and/or other distribution steps and/or sale of the game components 312.

In accordance with one embodiment, after the card owner 106 purchases the game component 312, the card owner 106 accesses the user interface 112 to register the game component 312, for example, by accessing the website address provided with the game component 312. The card owner 106 may access the user interface 112 on the electronic platform 108. The electronic platform 108, for example, includes an input interface that allows the card owner 106 to enter the unique identifier and/or owner information for registering the game component 312. Additionally, the electronic platform 108 may be coupled to the central database manager 102 through, for example, a network, and thus, is able to transfer the owner information and unique identifier to the central database manager 102.

Registration of the game component 312, and other owner information provided, may depend on the age of the card owner. By way of example, providing owner information may comprise providing a username, password and an email address. In some embodiments, the requested information may comply, for example, with Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) for users under the age of 13. As to users over the age of 13, registration could also include providing information such as a mobile phone number, ZIP code, favorite movie, etc. In some embodiments, the owner's email address is not displayed to other players.

By way of example, once the card owner 106 has registered the game component 312 on the user interface 112, the user interface 112 sends the registration information to the central database manager 102 through the electronic display device 308 for verification. Accordingly, the central database manager 102 then accesses a database for comparing registration information and unique identifier of the game component 312 to a list of valid game components. In one embodiment, the central database manager 102 compares the unique identifier to a list of game components that have been produced and that have been shipped to retailers, but have not yet been activated by a card owner 106. Once the game component 312 is verified, the central database manager 102 stores the owner information in an owner profile, for example, along with the unique identifier.

Next, the card owner 106 may choose to play the trading card game with the game component 312 in the physical play platform and/or on the electronic display device 308. The card owner 106 accesses the user interface 112 to play the trading card game on the electronic display device 308, and the electronic display device 308 sends the request to the central database manager 102. The central database manager 102 may then retrieve the electronic version of the game component 312 from the graphic database for electronic versions 306. The rule of play for the game component 312 is implemented equivalently, e.g., in substantially the same way, in both the physical play platform and on the electronic display device 308. In other words, the trading card game is generally the same game as to the rules of play regardless of the medium on which the game is being played.

Implementing the rules of play equivalently in the physical play platform and electronic platform does not require that when a player executes a rule of play in the physical platform the same rule of play is automatically executed in the electronic platform. The physical and electronic games are typically played independently of each other. However, the players may choose to currently play the game on more than a single platform, and simultaneously implement the same rule of play in the physical play platform and the multiple electronic platforms.

Additionally, in some embodiments, the game components 312 may be traded, sold and/or collected, for example, by the card owner 106. The game components 312 may also be traded electronically in some embodiments. For example, the user interface accessed over the Internet may comprise a community interface for communicating with other players for trading game components 312 electronically.

Referring next to FIG. 4, shown is a flow diagram depicting a method for providing a trading card game. Method 400 begins with step 402 by generating trading cards available for playing a trading card game on a physical play platform. The method continues in step 404 by generating an electronic version of the trading cards available for playing the trading card game on multiple electronic platforms. Next, in step 406, a rule of play for trading cards is implemented equivalently on the physical play platform and the multiple electronic platforms. Thus, becoming an expert player of the game in the physical play platform translates to the ability to become an expert player of the game in the multiple electronic platforms.

The players of the trading card game are benefited by the ability to play the trading card game equivalently across all platforms, for example, by creating consistency in game play to allow for cross platform battles/play which will be carried out in the same manner on all platforms. This benefit does not limit the “look and feel” of the actual game, for example, because the game experience may be much richer on the web site as compared to mobile device and/or on the physical play platform.

Additionally, providing the multi-platform playing capability allows for providing highly desirable collectable physical cards with decorative art/detailed back stories in addition to elaborate two or three dimensional electronic versions of the trading cards. The multi-platforms and rules of play provide strategic game play at various skill levels from beginners to expert levels. Additionally, the unique online experience which brings the physical play trading card game to an online service, which may, in some embodiments, be offered for free with the purchase of trading cards by utilizing unique identifiers. Furthermore, the online or multiple electronic platforms allows the players to play the game online with the same rules as the offline version while also allowing a card owner to trade the electronic version of the card online within a rich community driven immersive and dynamic environment.

Referring next to FIG. 5, shown is a diagram depicting an embodiment of a trading card game configuration. FIG. 5 depicts one embodiment of a battlemat 501 comprising a position for a first trading card 502, a second trading card 504 and a third trading card 506. The battlemat 501 further comprises positions for attack cards 508, discarded attack cards 510, an instruction guide 514, location cards 516, a legend 518 and an energy score and discipline tracking grid 520.

According to several embodiments, the battlemat 501 is for use by a player and/or a team of players, wherein the player engages an opponent in game play using trading cards and/or game components in a physical play platform and/or an electronic platform. The battlemat 501 is electronically displayed in an equivalent graphical format on an electronic platform for playing the electronic version of the trading card game.

By way of example, a trading card game may comprise two players or two teams of players, each with a set of creature cards, location cards and attack cards and mugic cards. Creature cards, for example, are the characters of the game and/or fantasy world that the creatures live in, which go into battle against each other. Location cards may dictate where the battles take place and may favor one of the creatures in one or more ways. Attack cards, for example, dictate how much damage is done to the opponent's creature during a battle. Mugic cards are a combination of music and magic. Magic, which is similar to a spell, combined with music allows a creature to cast “spells” on any creature, for example, when in battle with other creatures. Additionally, each creature may be equipped with a piece of Battlegear. To begin, each player sets out creature cards in a generally triangular configuration. Next, each player makes a selection of location cards, attack cards and mugic cards. Location cards, attack cards and mugic cards are strategically placed face down in front of the players and the selection of mugic cards are kept in-hand.

Next, the first active player selects three attack cards from the pile in front of him/her and proceeds to strike, e.g., play a series of battles, with his/her opponent's corresponding creature. The series of battles and/or strikes take place pursuant to the “steps” of the game, e.g., the rules of play. The steps, for example, entail dealing the values located on the attack cards to the energy scores of the creature cards. In some embodiments, mugic cards can be dealt at any given time and allow a player to heal an injured creature or apply unexpected additional damage to the opponent's creature. The first player to have all standing creatures eliminated looses the game.

Referring next to FIG. 6, shown is diagram depicting another embodiment of a trading card game configuration. Depicted is one embodiment of a battleboard 600 with the first battlemat 501 of FIG. 5 and a second battlemat 601. The second battlemat 601 includes equivalent positions as those on the first battlemat 501 in FIG. 5: a first trading card 602, a second trading card 604 and a third trading card 606, attack cards 608, discarded attack cards 610, an instruction guide 614, location cards 616, a legend 618 and an energy score and discipline tracking grid 620. Also depicted on the first battlemat 501 is the generally triangular configuration of a battlegrid 522, in which the first, second and third trading cards 502, 504, 506 are placed. The second battlemat 601 has a similar generally triangular configuration of a battlegrid 622, in which the first, second and third trading cards 602, 604 and 606 are placed.

According to several embodiments, the first battlemat 501 and the second battlemat 601 are placed opposite each other for the trading card game, for example, such that the two opposing battlegrids 522, 622 are joined at their bases of the generally triangular configuration to form a battleboard. By way of example, the battlegrids 522 and 622 are configured such that top of the triangle, e.g., the single card, is closest to the player, and the bottom of the triangle, e.g., the row with the most cards, is closest to the opponent and the opposite battlemat.

In some embodiments, the battlegrids 522, 622 are suitable for a three-on-three creature battle or game play. According to several embodiments, the size of the battle may be extended to six-on-six, ten-on-ten, etc., and for example, depends on the number of trading cards each player has in the player's deck. In some embodiments, the first and second battlemat 501, 601 have different configurations, and may also be positioned differently depending on the configuration.

Referring next to FIGS. 7-11, shown are examples of the trading cards used to play a trading card game. According to several embodiments, the trading cards described below are used in playing the trading card game on the battleboard 600 of FIG. 6. Each of the trading cards set forth illustrations and associated indicia about the capabilities of the trading card in the game. The opposite side of the card (not shown) contains the name of the game and trade dress design. Each trading card and/or game component described below may be registered using the unique identifier and used to play an electronic version of the trading card game.

Referring to FIG. 7, depicted is an example of a trading card used to play a trading card game in a physical play format. By way of example, the trading card is a creature card 700. The creature card 700 depicts a creature's tribe symbol 702, a name of the creature 704, a creature availability symbol 706, a creature graphic 708, a creature's element attack type 710, a creature's energy level 712, a unique identifier 714, a card ability 716, a creature's mugic value 718, a creature's discipline 720 and a card type 722. The creature card 700 displays, for example, “Creature” as the card type 722. Other examples of card types are “Attack”, “Battlegear”, “Mugic” and/or “Location”, which will be discussed in further detail below. In some embodiments, there may be additional and/or alternative card types available.

By way of example, during game play, the creature card 700 may have one or more special abilities. For example, a special ability may be at least one of: innate; activated; and triggered. In some embodiments, innate abilities are in effect for game play and the game may require the player to use the innate abilities. Activated abilities, for example, may be optionally used in game play and may have a cost associated when used by a player. The cost may require a player to remove one or more attributes from certain game cards. Additionally and/or alternatively, triggered abilities may be engaged, for example, when a specific condition within game play occurs activating the corresponding triggered ability.

According to several embodiments, the creature card 700 is part of a tribe, and the tribe type is indicated in the creature's tribe symbol 702. By way of example, a tribe is a sub section of how the creatures are divided within the trading card game and/or within the fantasy world that the creatures occupy. Some examples of tribes available for the creature card 700 are Overworld, Underworld, Danian and Mipedian. In other embodiments, additional or different types of tribes may also be available.

In some embodiments, the name of the creature 704 also appears on the creature card 700. The creature graphic 708 is similar to the electronic graphic of the electronic version of the creature card 700 used for playing the trading card game on multiple electronic platforms. According to several embodiments, the creature availability symbol 706 provides that particular creature's availability, for example, as being rare or common. By way of example, some of the trading game cards and game components, regardless of the type, will have virtually unlimited distribution, e.g., rendering them common, while other trading game cards have limited production and distribution, e.g., rendering them rare. This difference in availability of the different trading cards may encourage players to trade for rare cards for game playing as well as collecting purposes. According to some embodiments, rare trading cards may have enhanced monetary, game and collecting value.

According to several embodiments, the creature card 700 comprises one or more creature element attack types 710. By way of example, the creature element attack types 710 allow a player to evaluate what type of attack the creature can play. For example, attack types 710 comprise elements, such as, of fire, air, earth and water in addition to text, base damage and/or all inclusive or any combination thereof. In some embodiments, additional and/or different creature element attack types 710 may be available and displayed on the creature card 700.

The creature's energy level 712 may also be displayed on the creature card 700. The energy level 712 of the creature card 700 may be modified, for example, pursuant to rules of play, by any battlegear, location effects, mugic and/or other game components which may alter the creature's game state. A further description of such modifications during game play is described in further detail below.

The creature card 700 further comprises the unique identifier 714. As described above, each game component and trading card is produced with a unique identifier. The owner of the creature card 700 may register the creature card 700 with the online game community, for example, such that an electronic version of the game can be played with the creature card 700 and/or game component.

Additionally, according to several embodiments, the creature card 700 comprises the creature's mugic value 718 that for example, comprise a numeric value which dictates the creature's mugic for the game. As described above, mugic allows a creature to cast spells on other creatures during the trading card game, and, for example, a player may do so even when the opponent's creature is not in battle.

According to several embodiments, the creature discipline 720 found on the creature card 700 comprises symbols corresponding to a numeric value. Some examples of available creature discipline 720 are: courage, power, wisdom and speed. Each creature discipline 720 has a distributed value per creature which allows players to make game state comparisons for the purpose of applying various affects/abilities of other creatures. For example, if a creature has a higher creature discipline 720 value of wisdom than another creature, then the creature with the higher wisdom value would take the initiative to deal the “first” attack damage during game play. In some embodiments, there may be additional and/or alternative disciplines available and displayed on the creature card 700. By way of example, the creature card 700 may have a series of variable wisdom, power, courage and speed disciplines. Thus, it could be that no two creature cards are exactly alike. Because a series of creature cards may have variable wisdom, power, courage and speed disciplines, it could be that no two games are exactly alike. A further description of how the creature card 700 is used in game play is provided below.

Referring next to FIG. 8, shown is another embodiment of a trading card. FIG. 8 depicts an example of an attack card 800 comprising characteristics that differentiate the attack card, for example, from a creature card 700 of FIG. 7. According to several embodiments, the attack card 800 may comprise an attack value 802, a name 804 of the attack card 800, an availability symbol 806, a card type 806, a base damage value 810, element damage 812, a unique identifier 814 and an ability description 816 of the attack card 800.

The card type 806 indicates that the trading card is an “Attack” type of trading card, which may be used in conjunction with creature cards for playing the trading card game. According to several embodiments, the attack card 800 is also used during game play to strike or to cause damage to the opponent's creature card 700. The availability symbol 806, similar to the availability symbol 706 of the creature card 700, indicates whether the attack card 800 is rare or common. The unique identifier 814 of the attack card 800 identifies the card as unique among all trading cards and game components, and the card ability description 816 provides a description of the ability of the attack card during game play. In some embodiments, the attack value 802 of the attack card 800 may modify a rule of play, for example, of the creature card 700 or other trading cards similar to those described in reference to FIG. 7-10. When using an attack card 800 during a strike, the player uses the base damage value 810 and the element damage 812 for calculating how much damage is dealt to the opponent's creature.

For purposes of game play, for example, a player will use a creature card 700 in combination with an attack card 800 to check or challenge an opposing player or team creature card 700. A check within the game requires a player to utilize an attack card 800 to determine if the creature's discipline 720 of power, wisdom, speed or courage is at least a certain numeric value. A challenge within the game requires a player to compare numeric values of the each opposing creature's discipline 720 to determine which is greater. When a creature card 700 checks or challenges, for example, an attack card 800 may deal extra damage or have another unexpected affect on an opposing player or team. Further examples of the game play with attack and creature cards are provided in more detail below.

Referring next to FIG. 9, shown is another example of a trading card. The trading card of FIG. 9 shows one embodiment of a battlegear card 900. The battlegear card 900 may comprise a card name 904, an availability symbol 906, a battlegear graphic 908, a card type 910, an ability description 912, and a unique identifier 914.

According to several embodiments, the battlegear card 900 may affect a rule of play of the creature card 700 depicted in FIG. 7. By way of example, the battlegear card 900 may represent weapons, armor and/or gear that a creature depicted in the creature card 700 may use to gain an advantage in game play.

Referring next to FIG. 10, shown is another example of a trading card. The trading card of FIG. 10 shows one embodiment of a mugic card 1000. The mugic card 1000 may comprise a mugic card tribe type 1002, a name 1004 of the mugic card 1000, an availability symbol 1006, a mugic card type 1008, a mugic card cost 1012, a mugic card ability description 1010 and a unique identifier 1014.

According to several embodiments, the mugic card 100 may be used strategically during game play to cast spell effects. In some embodiments, one mugic card 1000 may be included for each creature card 700 in a player's deck. By way of example, each creature card 700 has a mugic value 718 for the duration of the game. Once a mugic card 1000 is used in the game play, the mugic value 718 of the creature card 700 reduces in value.

Referring next to FIG. 11, shown is another example of a trading card. The trading card depicted in FIG. 11 shows one embodiment of a location card 1100. The location card 1100 may comprise a location name 1104, a location card availability symbol 1106, a location card ability description 1108, a location card initiative 1110, a card type 1112 and a unique identifier 1114.

According to several embodiments, the location card 1100 is used during the trading card came to determine which creature will win initiative as between two opposing players and/or teams. By way of example, initiative 1110 determines which player goes first during the game play. For example, a player wins a random draw determining him to be the first active player. The first active player flips over a location card 1100 to begin the game. The location card will state an initiative, for example: “Initiative: Courage”. Then, each opposing player will compare the creature discipline 720 value for courage located on his/her battling creature card 700. If the first active player's creature card has a higher creature discipline 720 value of courage as compared to the opponent's Creature card, the first active player initiates the first battle. Accordingly, the random draw, for example, rolling a dice or flipping a coin, would only determine which player gets to flip his/her location card first. The location card will determine where a battle will occur, however, the location card initiative 1110 determines which player deals the first attack damage.

Referring now to FIGS. 6-11, one embodiment of a game between two players will be described herein. By way of example, a game is played between two players by executing, in a series of steps, rules of play with trading cards 502, 504, 506, 602, 604, 606 and a battleboard 600. The opposing players and/or teams place the battlemats 501, 601 such that the bases of the triangular battlegrids 522 directly oppose each other to form the battleboard 600 for a game.

As described in regards to FIGS. 5 and 6, the battlemats 501, 601 have predetermined positions for location cards 516, 616, discarded attack cards 510, 610 and attack cards 508, 608. By way of example, a player or team may use a preconstructed deck of trading cards for a game and/or a plurality of trading cards for a game. It is noted that battlemats 501, 601 are not required to complete a game; however, in some embodiments, the configuration of the battlemats 501, 601 are followed with respect to the predetermined positions for placement of the various trading cards and/or game components.

According to several embodiments, the game begins with each player drawing the top two cards from a deck of cards at the attack card 508 position. These attack cards may then be held in hand, thereby randomly dictating which forms of Attack may be used during a turn. Because the forms of attack are randomly dictated the element of chance is added to game play. Additionally, because players must strategically select which attack cards should be played during a game, the element of strategy is also a big part of game play.

Game play continues with each player placing a creature card 700 in each space of the triangular configuration of the battlegrid 522, 622. By way of example, if the players are engaging a three-on-three card game, a creature card 700 may be placed in the first trading card 502, 602 position closest to the player, and the last two creature cards 700 may be placed closest to the opponent in the second and third trading card 504, 604 and 506, 606 positions. The same configuration may be used for a six-on-six card game where the triangular configuration of the battlegrids 522, 622 may have three rows of cards, a bottom row comprising three cards, a middle row comprising two cards, and a top row comprising a single card. As described above, the battlegrid 522, 622 configurations may be expanded at the start of the game, however, no further creature cards 700 may be added to the battlegrids 522, 622 once the size of the game to be played is determined at the start of a game by the two players and/or teams.

The player taking a turn within game play is called the active player. The first turn by a player may be determined randomly such as through, for example, flipping a coin or rolling a die. Next, a player will execute a turn. Each turn comprises three chronological steps: (1) a location step; (2) an action step; and (3) an end of turn step.

According to several embodiments, during the location step, the active player, for example the first player, may first reveal the location card 1100 in the deck of cards at the location cards 516 position. For example, this location card 1100 may randomly dictate where a battle will take place within a turn. Game play during a turn will take place within the revealed location on the location card 1100, and, for example, the location card 1100 may dictate which creature will have the initiative 1110 in combat. Some locations provided on the card may favor a Creature for being the best in courage, power, wisdom, speed or other discipline. Therefore, for game play purposes, the active player will use his or her own location cards 1100 to provide a location for a turn.

According to several embodiments, during the action step of a turn, four chronological sub-steps of are performed: (i) movement to start battle; (ii) Initiative; (iii) Striking; and (iv) Finishing battle. In some embodiments, during the movement sub-step of an action step, the first player may move at least one creature card 700 on the battlegrid 522 of the battleboard 600 during each turn. Each creature card 700 may be moved by a player one space per turn. A player may not, however, move the creature card 700 into a space already occupied by a creature card 700 of the active player. Accordingly, if the first player, as the active player, moves into a space occupied by an opposing player's creature card 700 in the second player's battlegrid 622, battle between those creatures begin. According to several embodiments, battle may only be activated once per turn.

Next, according to several embodiments, the initiative sub-step of an action step requires the active player and opposing player to determine which creature, of the two battling creatures within a turn, has the initiative 1110. The initiative 1110 may be found on the location card 1100 revealed in the first location step of a turn. As mentioned above, in some embodiments, some locations favor a specific creature for being the best in courage, power, wisdom, speed or other creature discipline 720, while some locations favor a specific creature tribe type 706. Accordingly, the creature discipline 720 values will be compared as between the two battling creatures during a turn and, depending on the attributes contained within the initiative 1110, the highest value will strike first. If a tie occurs such that both battling creatures of opposing players or teams within a turn are the same value, the creature controlled by the active player gets the initiative 1110. In simple form, the initiative 1110 determines which player will strike first during a turn as between the creature controlled by the active player and the creature controlled by the opposing player.

Once the initiative sub-step of the action step has been completed, the creature card 700 with initiative 1110 strikes first. The sub-step of striking may allow a player, either the active player or opposing player depending on which player won the initiative step, to draw the top card from his or her deck of attack cards 800 located at the attack cards 508, 608 position. After drawing an additional attack card 800, the player will then have a total of three attack cards 800 in hand for game play.

By way of example, the player with three attack cards 800 must choose one of the attack cards in hand and play that card. Once the attack card 800 chosen by said player is played, the amount of damage the attack card 800 deals must be determined. This calculation is done using the attack card 800 base damage value 810 and the elemental damage value 812. The attack card 800 comprises the base damage numeric value 810 and the value of the elemental damage 812. The creature cards 700 will deal the base damage numeric value 810 located on the attack card 800. The elemental symbols 710 on the played creature card 700 are then compared to the based damage numeric value 810 on the played attack card 800. For each matching symbol, the corresponding numeric value is applied as elemental damage to determine total damage dealt on a creature. To determine the total damage dealt by the player in the striking step within a turn, the base damage numeric value 810 and the appropriate value of the elemental damage 812 are added together. That total damage dealt is then subtracted from the creature's energy level 712 located on the creature card 700. A creature is defeated during the striking step when said creature card 700 has taken damage equal to or greater than the creature's energy level 712, for example. Accordingly, once a creature's energy level 712 is reduced to zero that creature is eliminated from the game. The creature's energy level 712 of the creature cards 700 may be tracked using the energy score and discipline tracking grid 520, 620 located the battlemats 501, 601.

According to several embodiments, the last sub-step of the action step is finishing combat. In some embodiments, during this sub-step, the non-striking player may strike. The non-striking player, for example, for the reasons stated above regarding initiative 1110, may be the active player or the opposing player. The same steps of the striking sub-step are followed. Accordingly, the opposing players alternate the striking sub-step until a creature is defeated.

Following the last sub-step of the action step is the end of turn step. By way of example, once the active player has moved at least one creature card 700, his or her turn ends. When a turn ends, any damage dealt to the creature's energy level 712 is removed, provided that creature's energy level 712 was not reduced to zero, thus being eliminated from a game. The location card 1100 revealed during the location step of a turn is then placed on the bottom of that player's deck of location cards 1100 corresponding to his or her battlemat 501, 601.

In accordance with one embodiment, a game is completed once the aforementioned steps of executing a turn has reduced the creature's energy level 712 to zero of all creature cards 700 held by an opposing player.

In accordance with further embodiments, additional types of trading cards, such as battlegear cards 900 and mugic cards 1000 are used during the execution of a turn to enhance game play. In some embodiments, the battlegear cards 900 may equip one creature card 700. Some battlegear cards 900 must be revealed at the beginning of game play while others may be placed faced down under a creature card 700 on a player's battlegrid 522, 622. The battlegear cards 900 placed face down have no game effect until being turned facing up, for example, in which case the creature to whom the battlegear is “equipped” becomes engaged for striking with the enhanced game effect.

Mugic cards 1000 are used for enhanced game effects and all of a player's mugic cards 1000 are viewable only by that player during a game. For example, to play a mugic card 1000, the player checks to see if the mugic card 1000 has a tribal affiliation. If it does, then the player removes the mugic counters 718 from a creature card 700 that the player controls of the same tribe 702 equal to the number of mugic symbols 1012 on the card.

In other embodiments of the game, a plurality of players combined with a plurality of trading cards may be joined to form a team, thereby enabling a group of players to battle against another group of players in accordance with the aforementioned method of play wherein each team represents a player.

Referring next to FIG. 12, shown is an electronic representation of the trading card game configuration. Depicted is one embodiment of an electronic version of a battleboard 1200 for playing the above described trading card game in an interactive electronic format on, for example, an electronic platform. The electronic version of the battleboard 1200 comprises a plurality of electronic versions of creature card 1204 trading cards comprising an electronic version of the graphic for the trading cards. Also shown in the electronic version of the battleboard 1200 is the electronic version of an attack card 1206. The electronic version of the battleboard 1200 may further comprise location cards, battlegear cards, mugic cards, etc.; depending on the game play occurring. The electronic versions of the trading cards 1204 each correspond to a rule of play that is implemented on the electronic platform substantially in the same manner as it is on the physical play platform. Accordingly, all steps of the game play, for example, accessing and beginning a game, advancing the steps within executing a turn and using other services associated with the electronic format, will all be effectuated and presented by electronic means.

According to several embodiments, the interactive electronic game component may be available to a player with the purchase of game component. In the above described electronic format, the electronic game components may allow a player to, for example, store trading cards in an online portfolio, trade cards, build battle groups, purchase cards, sell cards, play the game interactively in real-time against other players, and join the online player communities. In addition, a player, collector, participant, seller, buyer or the like, may utilize the electronic format in connection with game play or services associated therewith. For example, the central database manager 102 described in reference to FIG. 1 may comprise, provide, and/or couple to a software interface capable of recognizing unique identifiers associated with purchased game components. The software interface may also be configured to provide special enhanced services beyond game play.

By way of example, a player, collector, participant, seller, buyer or the like, may access the electronic version of the trading card game and components by registering with an online network through a web site on the Internet, and for example, entering the unique identifier from a purchased game component. The unique identifier may be in the form of a numeric code, alphanumeric code, bar code, graphical code or the like, and said identifier will be unique to ensure each of a plurality of game components are unique. The unique identifier will be located on each trading card as shown in FIGS. 7-11, and associated game related goods (not shown). The physical unique identifier will be associated and linked to the electronic unique identifier. The unique identifier may be entered and verified by manually entering the identifier, scanning the identifier with a commercial or freeware scanner and/or a commercial and/or freeware graphical reader.

In some embodiments, upon verification of the identifier by the central database manager, the software interface may activate the electronic versions of the game components or associated goods corresponding to the unique identifier for interactive game play or use of services associated therewith.

In some embodiments, the electronic game components may closely resemble, be equivalent to and/or be identical to the physical game components. In other embodiments, the electronic versions of the game components may be altered and/or advanced due to the capabilities and/or restrictions of the electronic graphical representation. For example, displaying a plurality of trading cards on an electronic platform in an equivalent configuration and electronic version to that of the physical format for playing the trading card game may not require the unique identifier to be displayed in the electronic version.

Referring next to FIG. 13, shown is an embodiment of a trading card. A master key card 1300 is shown as an example of a trading card that is sold with a deck of trading cards. In some embodiments, the master key card 1300 comprises a master unique identifier. The master key card 1300 may, for example, be different from the other trading cards that are used for playing the trading card game. In some embodiments, when individual trading cards are purchased, each individual unique identifier must be registered, verified and activated. In other embodiments, a plurality of unique identifiers may be verified and activated through the use of the master unique identifier 1314 on the master key card 1300. For example, the master key card 1300 could be used to register a plurality of unique identifiers simultaneously as compared to registering each code individually through one of the numerous forms stated above. According to several embodiments, the unique identifiers, regardless of form, may be used in connection with multiple media and/or electronic platforms and readily available electronic devices.

Referring next to FIG. 14, shown is a flow diagram depicting an embodiment of a method for generating a trading card for a trading card game. Method 1400 begins in step 1402 by storing, on a code database manager, a first unique identifier, a first graphic for a first trading card, an electronic version of the first trading card, and a first rule of play. The method 1400 continues in step 1404 by managing, at the code database manager, the production of the first trading card comprising assigning the first unique identifier and the first rule of play to the first trading card. Next, the method continues in step 1406 by causing the first trading card to be printed with the first graphic and the first unique number, wherein the first trading card is configured for use by an owner for playing the trading card game in a physical play format.

The method 1400 continues in step 1408 by receiving the first unique identifier, from the owner, submitted through a user interface, wherein the user interface is in communication with the code database manager and is configured to be accessed by the owner through multiple electronic platforms. The method continues in step 1410 by activating, after receiving the first unique identifier, the electronic version of the first trading card for use by the owner for playing the trading card game on the multiple electronic platforms, wherein the first rule of play is equivalently implemented in each of the physical play format and the multiple electronic platforms for playing the game.

Referring next to FIG. 15, shown is a diagram of a system for implementing a trading card game. The system 1500 comprises a central database manager 102 configured to coupled to modules on a plurality of platforms comprising, for example, an intelligent toy 1504 with USB capabilities or other electronic transfer capabilities, a dual screen handheld module 1506, an interactive television 1508, a movie 1510, a console video game 1512, a trading card game 1514, a mobile device 1516, a book, comic, and/or pen 1518 and apparel 1520.

The modules may be configured to communicate with the central database manager 102 through a multi-system interface. This may comprise allowing the owner to register the unique identifier through the user interface described in reference to FIGS. 1-4. The multi-system interface may comprise a combination of hardware and software components configured to couple and communicate with a variety and/or a plurality of platforms and/or operating systems. Thus, in some embodiments, the interface is generic, and specific system requirements are unnecessary. By way of example, the intelligent toys 1504 and/or apparel 1520 may be configured to communicate the unique identifier via an electronic chip such as a Radio Frequency emitting IC that emits the unique identifier, automatically and/or upon request or initialization.

Additionally, the embodiments described herein with reference to FIGS. 1-15 may be implemented using a computer that includes a central processing unit such as a microprocessor, and a number of other units interconnected, for example, via a system bus. Such a computer may also include, for example, a Random Access Memory (RAM), Read Only Memory (ROM), an I/O adapter for connecting peripheral devices such as, for example, disk storage units and printers to the bus, a user interface adapter for connecting various user interface devices, a communication adapter for connecting the computer to a communication network (e.g., a data processing network) and a display adapter for connecting the bus to a display device.

Additionally, the various embodiments may be implemented on one or more of the following exemplary devices including: a personal computer, a laptop, a tablet PC, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), mobile phones, console games, handheld games and other electronic devices independent of the underlying operating system (e.g., Windows, Linux, MAC, etc.). Additionally, the various embodiments can be implemented using a distributed computing environment or a local computing environment. For example, the embodiment described herein can be implemented as personal computer client software architecture as well as a web-based architecture. In this manner, the user interface can be, for example, an application interface for a software program that is running locally or on a remote computer.

Alternatively, the user interface can be a browser based interface where the computations and method described herein are implemented on a remote computer and provided to a user through the browser application. In accordance with some embodiments, the various aspects described above may be implemented using computer programming or engineering techniques including computer software, firmware, hardware or any combination or subset thereof. Any resulting program, having computer-readable code means, may be embodied or provided within one or more computer-readable media, thereby making a computer program product, i.e., an article of manufacture, according to the invention.

The computer readable media may be, for instance, a fixed (hard) drive, diskette, optical disk, magnetic tape, semiconductor memory such as read-only memory (ROM), etc., or any transmitting/receiving medium such as the Internet or other communication network or link. The article of manufacture containing the computer code may be made and/or used by executing the code directly from one medium, by copying the code from one medium to another medium, or by transmitting the code over a network. In addition, one of ordinary skill in the art of computer science will be able to combine the software created as described with appropriate general purpose or special purpose computer hardware, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) hardware, or other electronic hardware to create a computer system or computer sub-system embodying the various methods of the invention.

While the invention herein disclosed has been described by means of specific embodiments and applications thereof, other modifications, variations, and arrangements of the present invention may be made in accordance with the above teachings other than as specifically described to practice the invention within the spirit and scope defined by the following claims.