Title:
PLAYBOOK FOR ONLINE GAMING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An online gaming system includes logic to apply a playbook to an active team competition and to score the playbook according to acts of the team competition.



Inventors:
Billmaier, Kristopher C. (Kirkland, WA, US)
Billmaier, James A. (Woodinville, WA, US)
Billmaier, David P. (Woodlinville, WA, US)
Application Number:
12/348874
Publication Date:
07/09/2009
Filing Date:
01/05/2009
Assignee:
YOUBEQB (Bellevue, WA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
SINGAL, ANKUSH K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rowan TELS LLC (Crescent City, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A live game tracking system comprising: a computer system interfaced via a first electrical or optical communication network connection to a live game data center; the live game data center transmitting to the computer system electrical or optical signals representing outcomes of game play; the computer system interfaced via a second electrical or optical communication network connection, which may be the same or different from the first electrical or optical communication network connection, to data processing devices operated by participants in an interactive competition that tracks the live game; the computer system comprising a processor and logic that, when applied to the processor, generates machine control signals to apply machine-formatted data representing playbooks of the participants to the signals representing the outcomes of game play and to accordingly generate one or more machine signals representing playbook scores.

2. The live game tracking system of claim 1, wherein the computer system further comprises: the live game data center communicating to the computer system electrical or optical signals representing circumstances of the live game; and logic to compare machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing game circumstances with the signals from the live game data center representing circumstances of the live game and to apply machine-formatted data comprised by the playbooks representing play calls when the game circumstances and playbook circumstances match.

3. The live game tracking system of claim 1, wherein the computer system further comprises: logic to associate machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing play calls with machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing game circumstances.

4. The live game tracking system of claim 1, further comprising: the live game data center communicating to the computer system electrical or optical signals representing outcomes of plays in the live game; and the computer system comprising logic to compare the electrical or optical signals representing outcomes of plays in the live game with machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing play calls and to increase a playbook score for correct play calls that are successful in the live game.

5. The live game tracking system of claim 4, further comprising: the computer system comprising logic to decrease a playbook score for correct play calls that are not successful in the live game.

6. The live game tracking system of claim 4, further comprising: the computer system comprising logic to decrease a playbook score for incorrect play calls.

7. The live game tracking system of claim 1, further comprising: the computer system comprising logic to associate machine-formatted data representing a hierarchy of game circumstances with machine-formatted data representing a variety of play calls.

8. The live game tracking system of claim 1, further comprising: the computer system comprising logic to compare machine-formatted data representing playbook scores for a variety of participants and to score and rank participants according to their playbook scores.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims priority under 35 USC 119 to U.S. provisional application No. 61/010,059 filed on Friday, Jan. 4, 2008, which is presently pending.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to online gaming.

BACKGROUND

Online gaming is a popular pass-time, but many online gamers don't have hours at a time to spend engaged in intense online interaction. For these more casual gamers, a manner of participating in online games is needed that doesn't involve continuous interaction for long periods of time. This may be especially the case with interactive online sports games.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings, the same reference numbers and acronyms identify elements or acts with the same or similar functionality for ease of understanding and convenience. To easily identify the discussion of any particular element or act, the most significant digit or digits in a reference number refer to the figure number in which that element is first introduced.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of playbook logic.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an embodiment of scoring logic for playbooks and players.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a play scenario hierarchy.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a play tracking system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

References to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” do not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, although they may.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise,” “comprising,” and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in the sense of “including, but not limited to.” Words using the singular or plural number also include the plural or singular number respectively. Additionally, the words “herein,” “above,” “below” and words of similar import, when used in this application, refer to this application as a whole and not to any particular portions of this application. When the claims use the word “or” in reference to a list of two or more items, that word covers all of the following interpretations of the word: any of the items in the list, all of the items in the list and any combination of the items in the list.

“Logic” refers to signals and/or information that may be applied to influence the operation of a device. Software, hardware, and firmware are examples of logic. Hardware logic may be embodied in circuits. In general, logic may comprise combinations of software, hardware, and/or firmware.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that logic may be distributed throughout one or more devices, and/or may be comprised of combinations of instructions in memory, processing capability, circuits, and so on. Therefore, in the interest of clarity and correctness logic may not always be distinctly illustrated in drawings of devices and systems, although it is inherently present therein.

A playbook allows a person wishing to participate in an online sports game to predict the plays of teams prior to an actual team competition (such as a live or simulated game) getting underway.

The playbook may enable the person to anticipate and select plays that a team will execute based on, for example, down, distance, field position, time remaining, and game score (for American football games). The playbook may comprise definitions of play calls for different game situations. A playbook may be “run” against an actual game that occurs involving the associated team, and results may be reported back to the person on a real-time basis.

A single playbook may be applied to multiple teams or a specific playbook may be created and applied to a single team for a single or multiple games.

Disclosed herein are embodiments of a live game tracking system. The system includes a computer system (one or more computers, with supporting hardware) interfaced via a first electrical or optical communication network connection to a live game data center. The live game data center transmits to the computer system electrical or optical signals representing outcomes of game play. The computer system is also interfaced via a second electrical or optical communication network connection, which may be the same or different from the first electrical or optical communication network connection, to data processing devices operated by participants in an interactive competition that tracks the live game. The computer system includes a processor (one or more) and logic that, when applied to the processor, generates machine control signals to apply machine-formatted data representing playbooks of the participants to the signals representing the outcomes of game play and to accordingly generate one or more machine signals representing playbook scores.

The live game data center may communicate to the computer system electrical or optical signals representing circumstances of the live game. The system may include logic to compare machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing game circumstances with the signals from the live game data center representing circumstances of the live game and to apply machine-formatted data comprised by the playbooks representing play calls when the game circumstances and playbook circumstances match. The system may include logic to associate machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing play calls with machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing game circumstances. The live game data center may communicate to the computer system electrical or optical signals representing outcomes of plays in the live game. The system may include logic to compare the electrical or optical signals representing outcomes of plays in the live game with machine-formatted data of the playbooks representing play calls and to increase a playbook score for correct play calls that are successful in the live game.

The computer system may include logic to decrease a playbook score for correct play calls that are not successful in the live game. It may include logic to decrease a playbook score for incorrect play calls. The computer system may include logic to associate machine-formatted data representing a hierarchy of game circumstances with machine-formatted data representing a variety of play calls. The computer system may include logic to compare machine-formatted data representing playbook scores for a variety of participants and to score and rank participants according to their playbook scores.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of playbook logic. A playbook 102 may be defined from scratch, or via customizations 106 a pre-existing template 104. A playbook 102 may comprise ‘play calls’ associated with actual game situations. For example, the play call ‘long pass’ may be associated with the actual game situation ‘fourth and long’.

A playbook 102 may be applied to real-world team competitions (games). The playbook 102 may be associated with a particular team over multiple games. For example, the same playbook may be applied to Team A when they play Team B, and again when they play Team F. The same playbook 102 may be applied to Team E when they play Team A. A person may associate different or the same playbooks to two teams on opposite sides of a competition. For example, a person could associate a first playbook with Team C, and a second with Team D, when Team C plays Team D. In other words, there are many possibilities for how playbooks may be associated with teams.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an embodiment of scoring logic for playbooks and players. The playbook scoring logic 202 receives successful play predictions 204, which are play calls from a person's playbook that were actually carried out in the real game when the situation associated with the play call actually occurred. For example, if a playbook entry specifies “long pass” for the game situation “fourth and long”, and during team play the team with which the playbook is associated actually does throw a long pass on fourth and long, that is a successful play prediction.

A playbook may receive some scoring points for a successful play prediction. More scoring points may be awarded, or the points for the successful prediction more heavily weighted, if the predicted play is also successful. In other words, the play call may only result in points, or may result in more points, if the play is actually successful in the real game.

A playbook score 208, which may be a final score or a running score, may be provided to player scoring logic 202. Multiple playbook scores 208, 210 maybe provided, and a winner selected 212 based on which playbook scored the highest. Thus, the winning person may be the one whose playbook, overall, was overall most successful in predicting successful plays.

In one embodiment, the following categories of situations are available. A person may choose to incorporate as many scenarios as you would like with the minimum being that they must choose at least one play call per down (4 total).

Down (minimum)

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Distance for first down

0-2 yrd

3-5 yrds

6-9 yrds

10+ yrds

Field position

Red Zone: 0-20 yrd lines

Mid-Field: 21-45 yrd lines

Own Territory: 46+ yrd lines

Score

Even

Team losing by less than or equal to 3 pts

Team losing by more than 3 pts

Team winning by 3 points or less

Team winning by more than 3 pts

Time

Two minute warning (on or off)

For each situation, the player will have the following options for play calls:

Run

Pass

Punt

Field Goal

Of course, these are only one possible example of situations and play calls, and many and even infinite variations are potentially possible.

In one embodiment the player may choose to associate play calls with many or as few of these situations as they wish but the minimum selection will be four play calls, one for each down.

In one embodiment, playbook points are awarded or subtracted based on correct play calls and are success-based. For example:

Offense

Correct Run call=total yards gained per run

Correct Pass call=total yards gained per pass

Bonus: Play results in 1st down=+10 pts

Bonus: Play results in Touchdown=+50 pts

Correct Run call resulting in Negative yards=−total negative yards

Correct Pass call resulting in Interception=−20 pts

Correct Play call resulting in Fumble=−20 pts

Sack=−total negative yards (for people who call pass correctly)

Special Teams

Correct Punt call=1 pt for every 5 yards of net dist.

Bonus 5 for inside 20.

Bonus 10 for inside 10

Negative net return=total negative net yards divided by 2

Correct call of Field Goal Made

Under 40 yrds=+10 pts

40-49=+20 pts

50+=+30 pts

Kickoff Return

Total yards/2 on all yards gained past the 20 yrd line

Fumble on Kickoff return=−20

Punt Returns

Total yards gained/2

Fumble on Punt return=−20

Blocked punt=−10 pts

Blocked field goal=−10 pts

Of course, these are only one example of many ways in which points may be awarded.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a play scenario hierarchy. This figure is meant to illustrate that game situations may be refined to more specific situations, and a play call can be associated with one or more game situations at any level. A primary game situation 302 may be further defined to encompass three sub-situations 303-305. Each sub-situation may in turn be further refined to include its own sub-situations. In this example, situation 303 is further refined to include sub-situations 306, 307. Situation 304 has sub-situations 308-310. Situation 305 has a single sub-situation, 311.

During real-world game play (or simulated game play), a play call will be selected if it matches a situation with which it has been associated, or sub-situations of the associated situation. For example, a play call associated with situation 304 will be activated if all the conditions for 304 are met by the actual game situation, and/or the conditions of the sub-situations 308-310 are met.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of an embodiment of a play tracking system. The tracking system 426 may provide running scores for the playbooks of multiple people during the progress of a live actual game (or simulation or replay thereof). A playbook's running score 428 maybe provided to a mobile device 406 or other device of the person who is associated with the playbook (typically the person who created the playbook).

The device 406 may, for example, comprise an antenna 402 (for mobile devices) and communication logic 406 (for communicating with the tracking system 426). The device 406 may further comprise a display 416 for displaying scoring updates 428 and an input system 422 (such as a keyboard or other input system) to enable the person to control the display to some extent and perhaps even provide information to communicate to the tracking system 426.

The device 406 may comprise a memory 404 and logic 414 to receive and display the scoring updates 428. The scoring updates 428 may comprise both a running playbook score and a running score of the person in relation to other people who also have playbooks defined for the ongoing game.

A processor 418 such as a DSP may carry out actions defined by logic of the device 406.

Of course, the actual components found in a particular device will vary according to the application, and may include additional components or components other than or not including those shown here.

In some embodiments players may form leagues. Leagues may comprise a number of players (e.g. six) and may either be auto-formed (similar to league lobby today) or players can choose to create a private league (similar to Fantasy Football). These leagues can be formed on a week to week basis, or can be run throughout the entire season.

Some embodiments may comprise weekly team drafts. Weekly drafts of teams may be held throughout the course of the season. Each week a player league may draft four teams per player. The draft order may be selected at random. For each team that a player drafts, they may create a playbook. Players may use the same playbook for all teams, or create a specific playbook for each one.

In some embodiments, each week a league of teams may compete against one another. Players may choose one of their four drafted teams to play against another player; totaling, for example, five games played per player per week. In one embodiment, a player may use each of their teams no more than twice for a competition. Based on the players total points complied per playbook, a winner may be determined. The overall wins and loss total for each player may determine an overall winner for that week.

In some embodiments, players may have the ability to launch an in-game scoreboard that tracks scores and reports them in real time for each player. This leaderboard may also display a ticker with streaming data for each player or team.

In some embodiments, a player may have the ability to view the status of their league in real time. The player may go to a league lobby page and have the ability once the game is underway to launch a window reflecting their six person league with standings for that league, updating throughout the course of the game. Players may have chat, leaderboard, and real-time ticker abilities through this page.

Those having skill in the art will appreciate that there are various vehicles by which processes and/or systems described herein can be effected (e.g., hardware, software, and/or firmware), and that the preferred vehicle will vary with the context in which the processes are deployed. For example, if an implementer determines that speed and accuracy are paramount, the implementer may opt for a hardware and/or firmware vehicle; alternatively, if flexibility is paramount, the implementer may opt for a solely software implementation; or, yet again alternatively, the implementer may opt for some combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware. Hence, there are several possible vehicles by which the processes described herein may be effected, none of which is inherently superior to the other in that any vehicle to be utilized is a choice dependent upon the context in which the vehicle will be deployed and the specific concerns (e.g., speed, flexibility, or predictability) of the implementer, any of which may vary. Those skilled in the art will recognize that optical aspects of implementations may involve optically-oriented hardware, software, and or firmware.

The foregoing detailed description has set forth various embodiments of the devices and/or processes via the use of block diagrams, flowcharts, and/or examples. Insofar as such block diagrams, flowcharts, and/or examples contain one or more functions and/or operations, it will be understood as notorious by those within the art that each function and/or operation within such block diagrams, flowcharts, or examples can be implemented, individually and/or collectively, by a wide range of hardware, software, firmware, or virtually any combination thereof. Several portions of the subject matter described herein may be implemented via Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), digital signal processors (DSPs), or other integrated formats. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that some aspects of the embodiments disclosed herein, in whole or in part, can be equivalently implemented in standard integrated circuits, as one or more computer programs running on one or more computers (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more computer systems), as one or more programs running on one or more processors (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more microprocessors), as firmware, or as virtually any combination thereof, and that designing the circuitry and/or writing the code for the software and/or firmware would be well within the skill of one of skill in the art in light of this disclosure. In addition, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the mechanisms of the subject matter described herein are capable of being distributed as a program product in a variety of forms, and that an illustrative embodiment of the subject matter described herein applies equally regardless of the particular type of signal bearing media used to actually carry out the distribution. Examples of a signal bearing media include, but are not limited to, the following: recordable type media such as floppy disks, hard disk drives, CD ROMs, digital tape, and computer memory; and transmission type media such as digital and analog communication links using TDM or IP based communication links (e.g., packet links).

In a general sense, those skilled in the art will recognize that the various aspects described herein which can be implemented, individually and/or collectively, by a wide range of hardware, software, firmware, or any combination thereof can be viewed as being composed of various types of “electrical circuitry.” Consequently, as used herein “electrical circuitry” includes, but is not limited to, electrical circuitry having at least one discrete electrical circuit, electrical circuitry having at least one integrated circuit, electrical circuitry having at least one application specific integrated circuit, electrical circuitry forming a general purpose computing device configured by a computer program (e.g., a general purpose computer configured by a computer program which at least partially carries out processes and/or devices described herein, or a microprocessor configured by a computer program which at least partially carries out processes and/or devices described herein), electrical circuitry forming a memory device (e.g., forms of random access memory), and/or electrical circuitry forming a communications device (e.g., a modem, communications switch, or optical-electrical equipment).

Those skilled in the art will recognize that it is common within the art to describe devices and/or processes in the fashion set forth herein, and thereafter use standard engineering practices to integrate such described devices and/or processes into larger systems. That is, at least a portion of the devices and/or processes described herein can be integrated into a network processing system via a reasonable amount of experimentation.

The foregoing described aspects depict different components contained within, or connected with, different other components. It is to be understood that such depicted architectures are merely exemplary, and that in fact many other architectures can be implemented which achieve the same functionality. In a conceptual sense, any arrangement of components to achieve the same functionality is effectively “associated” such that the desired functionality is achieved. Hence, any two components herein combined to achieve a particular functionality can be seen as “associated with” each other such that the desired functionality is achieved, irrespective of architectures or intermedial components. Likewise, any two components so associated can also be viewed as being “operably connected”, or “operably coupled”, to each other to achieve the desired functionality.