Title:
Itinerary fulfillment travel game and method of play
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is an entertaining, enlightening, and educational travel related game, and method of play, in which players compete to fulfill predetermined itineraries. Each player's itinerary is determined prior to the beginning of the game by the random distribution of itinerary cards, which relate directly, on a one to one basis, to travel destinations located on the game pathway. Distinct playing pieces are provided to represent each player's “family”, as well as tokens that represent each player's travel allowance, and a die to determine the extent of movement. The path also contains several spaces relating to instruction cards that may advance or impede the player's collection of the said itinerary. The winner is the first player to successfully visit all the travel destinations on his or her individual itinerary and then return all of his or her “family members” back to his or her home position.



Inventors:
Smith, Mark Alan (Harvest, AL, US)
Application Number:
12/463649
Publication Date:
11/11/2010
Filing Date:
05/11/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WONG, JEFFREY KEITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark Alan Smith (Harvest, AL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A game, comprising: a path divided into a plurality of spaces and a portion of the pathway spaces exhibit itinerary identifiers and a combination of the said spaces exhibiting itinerary identifiers creates an itinerary.

2. The game of claim 1, wherein the different identifiers identify geographical locations, objects, persons, or characters.

3. The game of claim 2, wherein the subject of the game may be changed.

4. The game of claim 1, wherein at least one space exhibiting itinerary identifiers has a corresponding itinerary card.

5. The game of claim 1, further comprised of one or more markers for marking each of the different identifiers on the pathway.

6. The game of claim 1, wherein the path further comprises spaces identifying instruction cards.

7. The game of claim 6, wherein there is at least one set of positive-based instruction cards and at least one set of negative-based instruction cards.

8. The game of claim 1, wherein the path further comprises spaces not related to an itinerary or instructions.

9. The game of claim 1, wherein at least one player has a home position.

10. An electronic game, comprising: a path divided into a plurality of spaces and a portion of the pathway spaces exhibit itinerary identifiers and a combination of said spaces creates an itinerary; logic configured to display the pathway and other game components to a display device; and the logic further configured to receive data indicative to the set up and play of the game from a user.

11. The game of claim 10, wherein the logic is configured to generate one or more computer-generated players, and to control the computer-generated player's decisions and game piece movements, and to execute the user's game piece movements and decisions based on the user's input.

12. The game of claim 10, wherein the different identifiers identify geographical locations, objects, persons, or characters.

13. The game of claim 12, wherein the subject of the game may be changed.

14. The game of claim 10, wherein at least one space exhibiting itinerary identifiers relates to a corresponding itinerary card.

15. The game of claim 10, further comprised of one or more markers for marking each of the different identifiers on the pathway.

16. The game of claim 10, wherein the path further comprises spaces relating to instruction cards.

17. The game of claim 16, wherein there is at least one set of positive-based instruction cards and at least one set of negative-based instruction cards.

18. The game of claim 10, wherein the path further comprises spaces not related to an itinerary or instructions.

19. The game of claim 10, wherein at least one player has a home position.

20. A method of play comprising: receiving an itinerary identifying one or more itinerary spaces on a playing path by the distribution of itinerary cards; and traversing the path until one or more of the spaces identified have been landed on.

21. The method of play of claim 20, wherein funds are used to pay a fee for landing on a space with an itinerary identifier.

22. The method of play of claim 20, further comprising the step of landing on instruction spaces correlating to one set of positive-based instruction cards, and a second distinctly separate set of negative-based instruction cards.

23. The method of play of claim 22, wherein both the positive-based and negative-based instruction cards may advance or impede the player's progress.

24. The method of play of claim 20, wherein each player's home position is the player's starting and ending position.

25. The method of play of claim 20, further comprising the step of moving one or more game pieces to an ending position to complete a game.

26. The method of play of claim 20, wherein one or more markers are used in conjunction with the different itinerary identifiers to identify a player's itinerary on the pathway.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to games and method of play, in particular games with a travel theme and method of play. Even more specifically, the present disclosure relates to games with a travel theme wherein the main objective of the game is the fulfillment of an itinerary.

BACKGROUND

Games have been developed that pertain to almost every aspect of life, and have endless objectives, strategies, and devices for play. Many of the most successful games combine real life scenarios with methods of play that give each participant an exciting experience and an equal chance of winning. Many games incorporate pathways representing part of a person's journey through life. Game pieces are often used to represent the various players and track their movements about a game pathway. Chance devices such as dice are also utilized to determine extent of travel and can replicate life's unpredictable nature. Pathway spaces relating to instruction cards may sometimes be used to present pitfalls or advantages that can change the course or perceived success of the journey. Even play money and bank accounts can be established in order to replicate the pain and pleasures of real life personal finance. All of these game aspects combine to allow a player to use with and strategy to compete against his or her human, or even computer based, counterparts creating an exciting experience.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates to itinerary based travel and combines the exciting aspects of getting to visit new places with the “real life issues” that must be dealt with when traveling, while also overcoming many of the shortfalls of prior travel related games.

The present disclosure can be embodied in a game and method of play comprising a game surface, or an electronic representation thereof, with at least one path containing a plurality of spaces, wherein at least two players, each represented by at least one distinct game piece, take turns entering a game piece onto the said playing path or paths via at least one starting point, and in turn move their pieces about the said path or paths a number of spaces determined by at least one random number generating device, while attempting to land on a specific set of spaces, each relating to a specific place, object, person, character, or the like, which comprise the players' individual itineraries, which are determined prior to the start of the game by the random distribution of itinerary cards, which correspond directly to the individual destination spaces on the pathway and are indicated by the placement of itinerary markers, while also attempting to land on, or avoid landing on, certain pre-marked spaces, which correspond to at least one set of instruction cards, which may either advance or delay the completion of the players' objectives, all while attempting to manage their travel allowances, wherein upon completing their individual itineraries, the players then attempt to be the first to move their said playing pieces about the said path or paths to at least one ending point, therein being the first player to complete the game.

There are many aspects which set the current disclosure apart from prior travel related games. As detailed in the present disclosure each player receives a random travel itinerary, prior to the start of the game, created by shuffling and distributing itinerary cards that correlate, on a one to one basis, to the destination spaces on the game pathway. This process of generating an itinerary eliminates the need for numerous lists, which greatly reduces the chance of repeating the same itinerary in future games. The current disclosure incorporates two sets of instruction cards, one set with instructions that have a positive spin and one set with more negative instructions, however, the current disclosure is played in such a way that drawing a card from either set could have unexpected positive or negative effects. Unlike most geography related games the present disclosure does not incorporate into the design a map of a country or region, allowing the theme of the game to be changed without changing the layout. This allows the game to accommodate any theme from small town points of interest, to worldwide travel, or even space travel without restricting movement from one travel sight to another. This format also allows the theme of the game to include subjects not directly related to a place, such as persons or cartoon characters. Also, since the present disclosure incorporates a single rate of payment for each sight visited, the financial portion of the game is simplified compared to the task of keeping track of various monetary units or bank accounts found in some other travel related games.

The simple nature of the design of the present disclosure also allows the game to be played by a greater range of people than most travel games. The present disclosure can easily be played by persons with limited travel knowledge or by those who have never even traveled before without placing them at a disadvantage. Variations can even be adapted for non-reading players without diverging from the overall play of the game. Also, a player's success in the game is not necessarily relative to whether he or she has played before. Since the information about each destination visited is presented in a purely educational form, new players have just as much of a chance to win as those who have played many times before. The method of play of the present disclosure also does not rely too heavily on luck, but rather incorporates an equal balance of chance and strategy, which adds to the games overall appeal.

The purpose of the present disclosure is to provide a new and exciting game, which may embody various forms including a traditional board game, an electronic handheld game, a computer game, a television game, or any other interactive game, in which the object of the game is a race to complete a predetermined itinerary, which can focus on any place, such as a theme park, region, such as North America, city, such as New York, country, such as Italy, galaxy, such as the Milky Way, or system, such as a nuclear power plant, any object or set of objects, such as the oceans of the world or lost treasures of the Atlantic, group or groups of people, such as country music singers, characters, such as those in movies or cartoons, or any other type of category, allowing the said game to embody an infinite number of themes familiar to all peoples regardless of background, age, or culture.

It is believed by the inventor that the combination of aspects particular to the present disclosure creates a new, entertaining, enlightening and highly marketable game, for a large variety of players, which can accommodate any collection of items that may form an itinerary.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 through FIG. 6, illustrate an embodiment of the board game version of the present disclosure. FIG. 7 and FIG. 8 illustrate embodiments of a computer system and a hand held electronic system respectively, which represent various systems which may be used to implement the electronic version of the present disclosure. FIG. 9 through FIG. 11, are flow charts showing an embodiment of the major steps of the game, in particular, the game set up and game play of the present disclosure. FIG. 12 through FIG. 16, are flow charts showing an embodiment of a game system and game logic of an electronic or computer version of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 illustrates the structure of a game board in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure including a pressed fiberboard core, a protective binding, an adhesively attached illustrative sheet, and a foldable joint, as well as illustrating a set of itinerary marker holes.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a game board and its illustrative sheet in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 3 is front and back plan views of an exemplary itinerary card for use with the game board of FIG. 2, including a descriptive example of the educational information an itinerary card may incorporate.

FIG. 4 is front and back plan views of exemplary positive based and negative based instruction cards for use with the game board of FIG. 2, including descriptive examples of the instructional information an instruction card may incorporate.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a random number generating device, a travel allowance token, a generic player game piece, and a peg style itinerary marker that may be used with the game board depicted in FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the game set up including the game board and illustrative sheet depicted in FIG. 2, each player's game pieces, travel allowance tokens, sets of distributed itinerary cards, and itinerary markers, as well as sets of positive and negative based instruction cards, and a die, each item in its respective starting position in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a computer system displaying an electronic version of the game board depicted in FIG. 2 in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a handheld electronic game system displaying an electronic version of the game board depicted in FIG. 2 in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 9 is a flow chart illustrating the game's major steps, in particular, game start, game set up, game play and game end.

FIG. 10 is a flow chart illustrating exemplary steps of the game set up of the game board depicted in FIG. 2.

FIG. 11 is a flow chart illustrating exemplary steps of the method of game play of the game board depicted in FIG. 2.

FIG. 12 is a block diagram of an example of a computer system in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

FIG. 13 is a flow chart of exemplary architecture and functionality of the game logic depicted in FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a flow chart of exemplary architecture and functionality of the game logic depicted in FIG. 12 related to game start up.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart of exemplary architecture and functionality of the game logic depicted in FIG. 12 related to game set up.

FIG. 16 is a flow chart of exemplary architecture and functionality of the game logic depicted in FIG. 12 related to game play.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

The following details an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure as illustrated in FIG. 1 through FIG. 16 of the drawings. The various forms of the terms “player” or “players” and “his or her”, referred to throughout the present disclosure, may refer to a human player, or, a computer or otherwise electronically generated player. Also, the various forms of the terms describing the game such as “game board”, “game pathway”, or “game piece” may refer to a physical embodiment of the game related item, or the electronic representation of a physical embodiment of the game related item.

FIG. 1 through FIG. 6, illustrate an exemplary embodiment of the board game version of the present disclosure.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game board 1 of the present disclosure, generally comprising, a pressed fiber board structure 1a, wrapped in a protective binding 1b, faced with an adhesively attached illustrative sheet 1c, having at least one foldable joint 1d for ease of storage, and including a series of itinerary marker holes 1e which are located in a radial fashion around the game board 1, next to or within each travel itinerary space 3a (FIG. 2). Other types of game board constructions may be used in other embodiments of the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the game board 1 of the present disclosure, including the protective binding 1b and the illustrative sheet 1c. The illustrative sheet 1c of the game board 1 comprises four home position areas 5. The four home position areas 5 serve as starting and ending points for the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 5). Note that game board 1 has four home position areas 5, however additional or fewer home position areas 5 or different starting or ending positions may be used in other embodiments of the game board 1.

In one embodiment, the home position areas 5 are distinguishable from each other by a distinct feature or features such as color, shape, texture, size, symbol, or other identifying feature. As an example, the home position areas 5 may be red, blue, green, and yellow. The home position areas 5 further include at least one game piece placement area 4 indicating a location on which each player can place his/her game pieces 15 (FIG. 5). Game board 1 comprises three game piece placement areas 4 for each home position area 5, however additional or fewer piece placement areas 4 may be used in other embodiments of the game board 1.

The illustrative sheet 1c additionally includes travel allowance placement areas 8a and 8b for each home position 5. The travel allowance areas 8a and 8b indicate locations on which the player's travel allowance may be placed. The game board 1 comprises six travel allowance areas 8a and 8b. However, additional or fewer travel allowance areas 8a and 8b are possible in other embodiments.

The illustrative sheet 1c further includes, at least one game pathway 2. The game pathway 2 is a circular configuration divided into a plurality of equal travel pathway spaces 3. Game board 1 comprises thirty-six pathway spaces 3, however in another embodiment a different number of pathway spaces of equal or varying size and configuration may be used. In one embodiment, the thirty-six pathway spaces comprise four free spaces 3b, twenty-four travel itinerary spaces 3a, four instruction spaces 6a, and four distinctly separate instruction spaces 6b.

In one embodiment, the free spaces 3b are the first space directly adjacent to each of the players' home positions areas 5. When a free space 3b is landed on during play, no action is taken by the player. In one embodiment, the free spaces 3b may have distinct features which distinguish each free space 3b from each of the other free spaces 3b and/or the other various travel pathway spaces 3.

In one embodiment, the travel itinerary spaces 3a include pictures or illustrations of, and/or names of, the various places, objects, persons, characters, etc. which are to be “visited” by the players during the course of the game. Note that the term visited refers to the act of a player moving his/her game piece 15 (FIG. 5) to an itinerary space 3a.

In addition, the travel itinerary spaces 3a are associated with a series of itinerary marker holes 1e. On game board 1, the itinerary holes 1e are located in a radial fashion around the game board 1 next to or within each travel itinerary space 3a. The itinerary holes 1e each accept a peg style itinerary marker 16 (FIG. 5). Such a marker 16 is used to keep track of a player's individual itinerary, however in another embodiment a different method of indicating the players' itineraries may be used. In one embodiment each player's itinerary markers are relatable to that of their individual game pieces. As an example each player's itinerary markers may be like colored to that of their individual game pieces.

The instruction spaces 6a relate to a set of positive based instruction cards 11 (FIG. 4). These instruction cards 11 (FIG. 4) relate to, and may be placed in the instruction card placement area 7a. In one embodiment, the instruction card placement area 7a, the corresponding instruction cards 11 (FIG. 4), and the corresponding instruction spaces 6a, may have a particular title, design, and/or color indicating their relationship to each other. In one embodiment, the instruction card 11 is constructed of card stock material.

The instruction spaces 6b relate to a set of negative based instruction cards 12 (FIG. 4). These instruction cards 12 (FIG. 4) relate to, and may be placed in the instruction card placement area 7b. In one embodiment, the instruction card placement area 7b, the corresponding instruction cards 12 (FIG. 4), and the corresponding instruction spaces 6b, may have a particular title, design, and/or color indicating their relationship to each other. In one embodiment, the instruction card 12 is constructed of card stock material.

As an example, the game board 1 comprises circle symbols and triangle symbols on the instruction spaces 6a, 6b, respectively. The circle symbols on instruction spaces 6a correspond to the circle symbol in instruction card placement area 7a. Accordingly, the circle symbol in the instruction card placement area 7a corresponds to the circle symbol on the positive-based instruction cards 11. Therefore, when the player lands on the instruction space 6a, the player selects a positive-based instruction card 11 from the instruction card placement area 7a. In the same way, the triangle symbols on instruction spaces 6b correspond to the triangle symbol in instruction card placement area 7b. Accordingly, the triangle symbol in the instruction card placement area 7b corresponds to the triangle symbol on the negative-based instruction cards 12. Therefore, when a player lands on the instruction space 6b, the player selects a negative-based instruction card 12 from the instruction card placement area 7b. Note that the circle symbols and triangle symbols are used for exemplary purposes only. Other symbols, titles and/or colors may be used to associate the instruction spaces 6 with the instruction card placement areas 7 and the instruction cards 11 and 12.

Shown in FIG. 3 is an example of an itinerary card 10 from a set of itinerary cards (not shown). Each itinerary card 10 illustrates a single itinerary item, relating, on a one to one basis, to the travel itinerary spaces 3a on the game pathway 2. Each player's itinerary, which is the itinerary spaces 3a to which a player is required to travel during the course of the game, is created by the random distribution of these itinerary cards 10. The itinerary card 10 comprises a card front 10a and a card back 10b. In one embodiment, the itinerary card 10 is constructed of card stock material.

In one embodiment, each itinerary card front 10a includes a depiction and/or name of an individual place, object, person, character, or other itinerary theme. The depictions an/or name is similar to and easily relatable to those which are featured on the individual travel itinerary spaces 3a.

In one embodiment, the itinerary card back 10b includes educational information about the featured place, object, person, character, or the like, that appears on the card front 10a. In one embodiment, the itinerary card back 10a is designed in the form of a cancelled post card with the aforementioned educational information listed in the general area normally reserved on a standard postcard for correspondence.

Shown in FIG. 4 is an example of a single positive-based instruction card 11 from a set (not shown) of positive-based instruction cards. The positive-based instruction card 11 comprises an instruction card front 11a and an instruction card back 11b. In one embodiment, the positive-based instruction cards 11 are constructed of card stock material.

In one embodiment, the positive-based instruction card front 11a has distinct features, such as a particular title, design, and/or color, corresponding to the positive-based instruction spaces 6a. In the example provided, the positive-based instruction spaces 6a are marked with a circle symbol and the positive-based instruction cards 11 are marked by a corresponding circle symbol.

In one embodiment, each instruction card back 11b has instructions with a positive spin. The instruction card back 11b includes instructions for the player relating individually to each of the travel itinerary spaces 3a. For example, a positive-based instruction card back 11b may read “Free trip to the Colosseum.” The instruction card back 11b may also include instructions not directly relating to an individual travel itinerary space 3a. As an example, a positive-based instruction card back 11b not related to a particular travel itinerary space 3a may read “Early flight, move ahead 3 spaces”.

Also shown in FIG. 4 is an example of a single negative-based instruction card 12 from a set (not shown) of negative-based instruction cards. The negative-based instruction card 12 comprises an instruction card front 12a and an instruction card back 12b. In one embodiment, the negative-based instruction cards 12 are constructed of card stock material.

In one embodiment, the negative-based instruction card front 12a has distinct features, such as a particular title, design, and/or color, corresponding to the negative-based instruction spaces 6b. In the example provided, the negative-based instruction spaces 6b are marked with a triangle symbol and the negative-based instruction cards 12 are marked by a corresponding triangle symbol.

In one embodiment, each instruction card back 12b has instructions with a negative spin. The instruction card back 12b includes instructions for the player relating individually to each of the travel itinerary spaces 3a. For example, a negative-based instruction card back 12b may read “Visit the Great Wall of China, pay one token.” The instruction card back 12b may also include instructions not directly relating to an individual travel itinerary space 3a. As an example, a negative-based instruction card back 12b not related to a particular travel itinerary space 3a may read “Lost luggage, move back 3 spaces”.

Shown in FIG. 5 are illustrated examples of a random number generating device 13, a travel allowance token 14, a generic game piece 15, and an itinerary marker 16. Each of these is used during play in one embodiment of the present disclosure.

In one embodiment, the random number generating device is a standard six-sided die 13. However, a number of other methods including spinners, or die with more or fewer sides, or any other random number or color generating device or combination of devices may be used to determine the extent of movement of a player's game piece or pieces.

The travel allowance token 14 is used to create and keep track of a player's travel allowance. In one embodiment, each player is initially given three single value travel allowance tokens 14 and three double value travel allowance tokens 14, distinguishable from each other by shape, color, indicia, or other. As one example, the single value travel allowance tokens 14 may be light colored and double value travel allowance tokens 14 may be dark colored. The tokens 14 may be constructed of wood, plastic, or other suitable material and having a token style shape, however, a number of other devices including play money, or poker chips, or items of a different shape, color, or design may be used to achieve the same purpose.

The game piece 15 illustrated is used to mark a player's movement along the game pathway 2. In one embodiment, each player is given three like-colored game pieces, which are distinct in color from the other players' game pieces. However, any number of game pieces may be used and may have any distinct shape, color, design or other unique feature that distinguishes them from the other players' game pieces. The game piece 15 may be constructed of wood, plastic, cardboard, or any other type of suitable material.

The itinerary marker 16 is a peg style marker, which is used to keep track of a player's individual itinerary. In this regard, the player places the itinerary markers 16 in the itinerary marker holes 1e (FIG. 2), which correspond to his or her travel itinerary spaces 3a. In one embodiment, each individual player's peg style itinerary markers 16 would be like-colored to that of the player's main game pieces 15. In addition, the itinerary markers 16 maybe constructed of wood, plastic, or any other suitable material. Furthermore, another distinct shape or other feature or material may be used or a different marking and/or tracking method may be used to mark a players itinerary for the game play.

FIG. 6 illustrates initial game setup of the game board 1. In this regard, each player's game pieces 15 and travel allowance tokens 14 are placed on the game board 1. In addition, the set of itinerary cards (not shown) are shuffled and dealt to the players. The itinerary cards 10 each player receives become that individual player's itinerary and are placed next to the game board 1 outside the player's home space. Each player's itinerary markers 16 are placed in the itinerary marker holes 1e (FIG. 1), which correspond to his or her individual itinerary cards 10. The set of shuffled positive-based instruction cards 11 and the set of shuffled negative-based instruction cards 12 are placed on the game board 1. Furthermore, the die 13 is placed on the game board 1.

Referencing FIG. 6 in regards to game set up and method of play according to the current disclosure, players (not shown) begin by laying the game board 1 flat on a suitable surface and then place their individual game pieces 15 on the game piece placement areas 4 (FIG. 2) within their home positions 5. One single value travel allowance token 14 should be placed on each of the travel allowance areas 8a (FIG. 2), and one double value allowance token 14 should be placed on each of the travel allowance areas 8b (FIG. 2). Each set of instruction cards 11, 12 are shuffled and placed in the appropriate instruction card placement areas 7a, 7b (FIG. 2). The itinerary cards 10 are shuffled and equally distributed to each of the players. These itinerary cards 10 become the players' individual itineraries. Peg style itinerary markers 22 are placed next to each of the players' travel itinerary spaces 3a corresponding to their particular itineraries.

Game play may begin by rolling the die 13 in order to determine who goes first. The player rolling the highest number may start his or her turn by rolling the die 13 again and moving the indicated number of travel pathway spaces 3. Play begins by counting the free space 3b adjacent to his or her home position 5 and moving counterclockwise thereafter. Depending on which travel pathway space 3 a player lands on, one of the following actions might be taken:

If a player lands on a free space 3b, no action is taken.

If a player lands on a travel itinerary space 3a the player pays a visitation fee for visiting that particular space. However, if the landed on space is already occupied by one of the players other game pieces 15, the player is considered to be “staying with a family member,” and therefore no fee is due. The visitation fee for landing on a travel itinerary space 3a should be one single value travel allowance token 14 or the exchange of one double value travel allowance token 14 for a previously used single value travel allowance token 14.

If a player lands on a travel itinerary space 3a which is part of the player's individual itinerary, the visitation fee is paid. In addition, the corresponding peg style itinerary marker 22 is removed, and the player flips the corresponding itinerary card 10 over revealing the postcard side 10b. The player may then read aloud the educational information detailed thereon, thereby completing that portion of the player's itinerary.

If a player lands on a positive-based instruction card space 6a, the player draws a positive-based instruction card 11 from the top of the positive-based instruction card pile and follows the instructions on the card back 11b (FIG. 4). If the drawn positive-based instruction card 11 instructs the player to move to another space 3, the player moves the game piece 15 that landed on the instruction card space 6a to the instructed space 3 and continues play in the same manner as if the player had landed on the space 3 via a roll of the die 13. However, if instructed to move to an itinerary space 3a the player does not need to pay a visitation fee. If the card instructs the player to move to another positive based instruction card space 6a, the player moves to the indicated instruction space 6a, draws another instruction card 11, and continues play accordingly.

If a player lands on a negative-based instruction card space 6b a player should draw a negative-based instruction card 12 from the top of the negative-based instruction card 12 pile and follow the instructions on the back of the card. If the drawn negative-based instruction card 12 instructs the player to move to another space 3, the player moves the same game piece 15 that landed on the instruction card space 6b to the instructed space 3 and continues play in the same manner as if the player had landed on the space 3 via a roll of the die 13, including paying a visitation fee if instructed to land on an itinerary space 3a. If the card instructs the player to move to another negative-based instruction card space 6b, the player moves to the indicated instruction space 6b, draws another instruction card 12, and continues play accordingly.

In the event a player lands on a travel itinerary space 3a that has a visitation fee, and the player is already out of travel allowance tokens 14, the player's game piece 15 that landed on the travel itinerary space 3a returns to the home position. When this happens, the player's travel allowance 14 is completely refilled.

Continuing to take turns rolling the die 13, each player traverses the game pathway 2, while attempting to land on each of the itinerary spaces 3a on his or her individual travel itinerary. Meanwhile, each player makes decisions on which game piece 15 to move on each turn, whether or not to land on the instruction card spaces 6, and whether to use up his or her travel allowance tokens 8 or try to save them by utilizing free spaces 3b and spaces already occupied by his or her own game pieces. In the event a player runs out of travel allowance tokens 14, the player also determines which game piece 15 he or she prefers to move on his or her next turn, considering that which ever game piece 15 the player moves may end up being sent home 5.

Once a player has visited all of the travel itinerary spaces 3a on his or her travel itinerary the player makes sure all his or her game pieces 15 are moved out of his or her home position 5 before beginning to move any game pieces 15 into his or her home position 5. A player does not need an exact numbered roll to move the game piece 15 into his or her home position 5. A player completes the game by first visiting all of the itinerary spaces 3a comprising that player's individual itinerary, secondly, by making sure all of the player's game pieces 15 are moved out of the his or her home position 5, and lastly, by moving all of his or her playing pieces back into the player's home position 5.

FIG. 7 and FIG. 8 illustrate embodiments of a computer system 100 and a hand held electronic system 101, which represent typical electronic systems, which may be used to implement the electronic version of the present disclosure, including systems such as video game, television game, or computer network game systems.

FIG. 7 illustrates an example of a computer system 100 in which the electronic version of the current disclosure may be implemented, and is illustrated to represent exemplary computer systems in general.

FIG. 8 illustrates an example of a hand held game unit 101 in which the electronic version of the current disclosure may be implemented, and is illustrated to represent electronic game systems in general including electronic video game systems, which may incorporate a screen or utilize a physical or wireless connection to an external video screen such as a television.

FIGS. 9, 10, and 11, are flow charts of a game set up and method of play in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The game set up and method of play may pertain to a board game version, a computer version, handheld electronic version, or other version of the game of the present disclosure. Many of the steps in FIGS. 9, 10, and 11 may be completed by a human player or by the computer logic of an electronic version of the present disclosure.

FIG. 9 is a flow chart of the major steps of the game of the present disclosure including the game start in step 103. Step 103 includes actions taken by a player such as opening a game box, inserting a game disk, clicking on a computer game icon, and/or switching on an electronic handheld or video game unit. After the game is started in step 103, the game is set up in step 104, which is further broken down in FIG. 10. After the game is set up in step 104, players play the game in step 120, which is further broken down in FIG. 11. FIG. 9 concludes with game end in step 150, which may be initiated by a winner being determined, and which may be accomplished manually in the case of a board game, or electronically by a player, or automatically by a computer logic system.

Step 104 is further described with reference to FIG. 10. A human player initiates game set up start in step 105. If the game is computer-based, the game set up may comprise several informational inputs from the player. In step 106, the player indicates the desired itinerary theme. A player may choose the itinerary theme by selecting from a set of itinerary themes. As an example, for the game board 1, there may be a set of interchangeable game pathways 2 and corresponding itinerary cards 10. As another example, the game pathway 2 may be electronic, and a player may choose an option which electronically changes the pathway 2 to reflect a different itinerary theme. Note that itinerary themes may include a wide variety of topics, such as major vacation sights of a country, the all time most popular country music stars, the planets of a certain solar system, the players of a certain sports team, or any other set of items which could form an itinerary.

The player then indicates the number and type of players in step 107. For example, the player may desire to play one or more human players against one or more computer players, or two or more human players against each other, and also possibly enter a unique name indication for each. Players may also have the option of choosing generic or custom game pieces, as indicated in step 108. Along with a myriad of generic game piece shapes, custom game pieces may take the form of people such as a typical family including father, mother, and child shaped pieces, or different characters such as those found in a cartoon or theme park, or a number of other custom forms.

Game pieces 15 (FIG. 5) are placed in their home position areas 5 (FIG. 2), as indicated in step 109. Each player's travel allowance, represented by step 110 is allocated. Note that the travel allowance may take the form of tokens or an electronic bank account. The various instruction cards 11, 12 (FIG. 5) are shuffled and placed, and the itinerary cards 10 (FIG. 5) are shuffled and distributed to each player, as indicated in steps 111-112, respectively. Itinerary markers 16 (FIG. 5) are then placed to indicate the relationship of each player's itinerary to their individual itinerary cards 10 (FIG. 5) as indicated in step 113. The first player is then determined, as indicated in step 114. Game set up end 115 is followed by game play, FIG. 9 step 120.

FIG. 11 illustrates a flowchart of game play broken down from FIG. 9 into a series of steps beginning with a player or computer logic initiating game play in step 121, and continuing with actions by the first human or computer generated player as indicated in step 122. To start the game, the player may use a random number generating device such as a die 13 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 123, to determine the extent of movement, and move a game piece 15 (FIG. 6) the indicated number of spaces on the game pathway 2 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 124. The player then takes different actions depending on whether he or she lands on a free space 3b (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 125, an instruction space 6a, 6b (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 126, or an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 127.

Referring to step 125, if a player lands on a free space 3b (FIG. 6), no action should be taken by the player. Game play would then continue on to the next player as indicated in step 122.

If a player lands on an instruction space 3a (FIG. 6), as indicated in step 126, the player selects an instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) based upon one of two distinct types of instruction spaces 6a, 6b (FIG. 6). If the player lands on a positive based instruction space 6a (FIG. 6) in step 129, the player draws a positive-based instruction card 11 (FIG. 4) in step 130. If the player lands on a negative-based instruction space 6b (FIG. 6), the player draws a negative-based instruction card 12 (FIG. 4) in step 131. The directions on the back of the drawn instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) may instruct a player to move his or her game piece as indicated in step 133 to another space by directly indicating the space to move to, thus leading the player to step 124. The card may also instruct the player to roll the die 13 (FIG. 6) again as indicated in step 134, in which case the player would roll the die 13 (FIG. 6) in step 135 and then move his or her game piece 15 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 124. The directions on the back of the instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) may also instruct the player to gain or loose part of the player's travel allowance or for the player to stay put as indicated in step 132 in which case play would then advance to the next player in step 122.

If the player lands on an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6), as indicated in step 127, and arrives at the itinerary space 3a(FIG. 6) via the instructions on a positive-based instruction card 11 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 136, no visitation fee is due. Also, if that space is already occupied by one of that player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 137, no visitation fee is due. When no visitation fees are due in steps 136 and 137, play advances to step 142. If the itinerary space 6a (FIG. 6) a player lands on is not reached via a positive-based instruction card 11 (FIG. 6) and the arrived at space is not already occupied by one of that player's other game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) then the player determines if he or she has funds to pay a visitation fee as indicated in step 138. If funds are available then the player pays a visitation fee in step 141 and play advances to step 142. If the player is required to pay a fee and has no travel allowance funds left, that game piece 15 (FIG. 6) is returned to its home position area 5 (FIG. 6) in step 139. Anytime a player's game piece is sent home, step 139, the player's travel allowance is refilled as indicated in step 140, and play advances to the next player in step 122.

At step 142, if the landed on itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) is not part of the player's itinerary, play advances to the next player in step 122. If the landed on itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) is part of the player's itinerary, then the player's corresponding itinerary marker 16 (FIG. 6) should be removed in step 143, the corresponding itinerary card 10 (FIG. 6) should be flipped over, and the educational information displayed on the back of the card should be read in step 145. Play then advances to the next player in step 122. Once a player has completed his or her itinerary and all the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) have been moved out of his or her home position area 5 (FIG. 6), the player may begin to move his or her game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) back into the player's home position area 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 128. At the end of a player's turn, if the player has game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) that he or she has not yet moved to the player's home position area 5 (FIG. 6) then play advances to the next player, as indicated in step 122. Following a player's turn, if the player has moved all his or her game pieces into the player's home position area in step 128, then the player may be considered the winner, thus completing the game indicated in step 146.

FIG. 12 through FIG. 16, illustrate another embodiment of the game system and game logic of an electronic or computer version of the present disclosure.

FIG. 12 is a block diagram illustrating an example of a computer system 200, which may be used to implement the game of the present disclosure, however, computer systems vary greatly and another system acceptable for implementing the current disclosure may have a different arrangement than that illustrated and may or may not include all or any of the illustrated components. The exemplified computer system 200 is shown comprising various areas for processing, temporary memory storage, communication, interfacing with other computer systems and hardware, graphics acceleration, permanent memory storage, as well as areas for informational input and output and computer start up instructions. The various areas may relate to each other via various bridges and buses, in various configurations, used to assist in the transfer of information from one area to another.

The computer system 200 may comprise one or more processors, exemplified by processor 201, used to process information. The system 200 may also comprise one or more dynamic storage devices such as RAM (Random Access Memory) 202 in which information relating to current systems, programs, and data may be stored for execution by the processor 201, as well as one or more caches used to enhance the productivity of the processor, exemplified by the level 2 cache 203.

The computer system 200 may also comprise various interfaces such as a LAN (Local Area Network) 204 interface used to communicate with other computer systems, which would facilitate computer network play, or a SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) 205 interface or a USB (Universal Serial Bus) 206 interface, used to communicate with peripheral hardware such as disk drives, printers, and scanners. An AGP (Accelerated Graphics Card) 207 card may also be utilized to enhance the quality of the graphic displays.

Computer system 200 may further comprise one or more storage devices such as a magnetic disk or optical disk and its corresponding disk drive 208, and a hard disk 209 for storing static information and instructions for the processor 201.

In one embodiment game logic 215 may be stored on the hard disk. In another embodiment game logic may be stored on a magnetic or optical disk and accessed via the ROM drive 208. In another embodiment game logic 215 may be accessed via the Internet. Game logic 215 is hardware, software, or a combination thereof for playing the game described in the present disclosure.

The computer system 200 may further comprise a display device 210, such as a cathode ray tube (CRT) or liquid crystal display (LCD), or other display device for conveying information to a computer user. An input device, which may include alphanumeric and/or other keys, referred to as the keyboard 211 may be used for communicating information and command selections to the processor 201. The computer system 200 may additionally comprise a user input device for cursor control 212, such as a mouse, stylus, or cursor direction keys, for communicating directional information and command selections to the processor 201, and for controlling cursor movement on the display 210. An audio device 213, such as a speaker or speakers and/or microphone input, may be utilized for audio interfacing with the computer system 200. Furthermore the computer system 200 may comprise a BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) 214 to run the initial computer start up program and one or more buses used to facilitate communication between components 215.

Note that any or all of the components of system 200 and associated hardware may be used in the present disclosure and that other configurations of a computer system suitable for implementing the current disclosure may include some, all, or none of the illustrated devices.

FIG. 13 through FIG. 16, are flow charts of exemplary architecture and functionality of the game logic 215 depicted in FIG. 12.

FIG. 13 represents steps that may be performed by the game logic 215 of a computer or other electronic system related to the implementation of an electronic version of the present disclosure. The major steps executed by the game logic 215 begin with start 301 which represents the initial information received by the game logic 215 following a human player turning on a game system such as those represented in FIG. 7 and FIG. 8, or inserting a disk or game cartridge into the system, or any other method used to begin the initial system startup program. The major steps executed by the game logic 215 continue with game startup 320, game setup 340, game play 360, and system end 399. Thus, the game logic 215 performs game startup in step 320. In step 340, the game logic 215 performs game setup, and in step 360, the game logic 215 performs operations related to game play.

FIG. 14 is a flow chart depicting exemplary architecture and functionality of the game startup indicated in step 320 (FIG. 13). The game logic 215 displays a game icon as indicated in step 322 to the display 210 (FIG. 12). The game logic 215 then receives a prompt as indicated in step 323 by a human player indicating his or her desire to begin a game, which ends game startup as indicated in step 324.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart depicting exemplary architecture and functionality of the game logic 215 for game setup as indicated in step 340 (FIG. 13), in which the game logic may begin with game setup start as indicated in step 341 by displaying an initial game setup screen as indicated in step 342 by prompting a human player to input data relative to the number of players as indicated in step 343. Once the data concerning the number of players is received in step 344 the game logic 215 prompts a human player to input how many of the players are human and how many are computer generated in step 345. Once this data is received in step 346 the game logic 215 displays a selection of available itinerary themes in step 347 and receives data related to the player's choice in step 348. The game logic 215 electronically shuffles the instruction cards 11, 12 (FIG. 6) in step 353, and the itinerary cards 10 (FIG. 6) in step 354. Game logic then arranges the game board 1 (FIG. 6) into its starting configuration by placing the cards 10, 11, 12 (FIG. 6), game pieces 15 (FIG. 6), and player's allowances 14 (FIG. 6) into their respective positions as indicated in step 355, ending game setup as indicated in step 356.

FIG. 16 is a flow chart depicting exemplary architecture and functionality of the game logic 215 during game play. Game play is broken down beginning with game play start as indicated in step 361, followed by game logic 215 displaying a setup game board as indicated in step 362 showing the various players' game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) and allowances 14 (FIG. 6), as well as the sets of instruction cards 11, 12 (FIG. 6), all in their respective places. The game logic 215 then randomly distributes itinerary cards 10 (FIG. 6) to each player and displays them as the players' itineraries as indicated in step 363. The game logic 215 may also mark each player's itinerary on the board by displaying itinerary markers 16 (FIG. 6) next to or within each player's itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 364, or by another method such as highlighting each player's itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) with the color of their game pieces 15 (FIG. 6).

Game logic 215 may then randomly select a player to go first as indicated in step 365 and display a random number generating device such as a die 13 (FIG. 6) and prompt the first player to interact with it as indicated in step 366. The game logic 215 may then display the number indicated by the random number generating device as indicated by step 367 and prompt the player to choose a game piece 15 (FIG. 6) to be moved 368. Before a player's game piece 15 (FIG. 6) can be moved the game logic 215 determines to which spaces 3 (FIG. 6) the player is eligible to move. If the player has not yet moved all of his or her game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) out of the player's home position area 5 (FIG. 2) as indicated in step 369, or if the player has moved all of his or her game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) out of the player's home position area 5 (FIG. 2) as indicated in step 369 but has not yet visited all the itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) which correspond to his or her itinerary as indicated in step 370, then game logic 215 may not move a player's game piece 15 (FIG. 6) into player's home position 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 371.

If the player has moved all of his or her game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) out of the player's home position 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 369, and has visited all the itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) which correspond to his or her itinerary as indicated in step 370, then game logic 215 may allow the player's game piece 15 (FIG. 6) to enter the player's home position 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 394. Game logic 215 should then check to see if all the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) are moved into his or her home position 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 395. If all the player's game pieces have not been moved into his or her home position 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 395, then play advances to the next player as indicated in step 365. If all the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) have been moved into his or her home space 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 395 then that player should be declared the winner and game play ends as indicated in step 396.

If all of the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) have not been moved out of his or her home position as indicated in step 369, or if all the player's itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) have not yet been visited as indicated in step 370, unless directed to move a game piece 15 (FIG. 6) to a player's home position 5 (FIG. 6) by an instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6), the game logic 215 only moves a player to a pathway space 3 (FIG. 6), such as a free space 3b (FIG. 6), an instruction space, or an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6), and not into a player's home position area 5 (FIG. 6). Once a player has observed each space to which he or she is eligible to move, the player may indicate the piece he or she desires to move, and the game logic 215 would receive the indication and move the player's game piece as indicated in step 372 to the decided on space.

If the player decides to move one of his or her game pieces 15 (FIG. 6), which lands on a free space 3b (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 373, then game logic 215 would indicate that play advances to the next player as indicated in step 365. If the player decides to move one of his or her game pieces 15 (FIG. 6), which lands on a positive or negative based instruction space 6a, 6b (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 374, then game logic 215 would display a corresponding instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) and it's relative information as indicated in step 375. Game logic 215 should display the instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) until prompted by the player to hide the instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 376 and then stop displaying the instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 377. If the instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) directed the player to move as indicated in step 378 then game logic 215 would move the game piece 15 (FIG. 6) to the specified space as indicated in step 372. The instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) may also instruct the player to gain or lose part of his or her travel allowance as indicated in step 379, in which case the game logic 215 would adjust the player's travel allowance as indicated in step 380. The instruction card 11, 12 (FIG. 6) may also direct the player to simply end his or her turn, in which case the game logic 215 would simply advance play to the next player as indicated in step 365.

The player may also land on an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) in which case a visitation fee may be due. When a player lands on an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) the game logic 215 first determines if one of the player's other game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) are already occupying that particular space as indicated in step 381. If the arrived at itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) is, at that moment, occupied by one of the player's other game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) then no visitation fee is due, the player's turn is over, and game logic 215 advances play to the next player as indicated in step 365.

If the arrived at itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) is not currently occupied by one of the player's other game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) then game logic 215 determines if the player arrived at the landed on space via the instructions on a positive based instruction card 11 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 382.

If the player arrived at an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6), which is not occupied by one of the player's other game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 381 and the player did not arrive at the itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) via the directions on a positive based instruction card 11 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 382, then game logic 215 should check the player's travel allowance as indicated in step 383. If the player has no travel allowance left to pay the required visitation fee then game logic 215 moves the player's game piece 15 (FIG. 6) back to the player's home position 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 384 and refills the player's travel allowance as indicated in step 385. If the player does have travel allowance left then game logic 215 should deduct a visitation fee as indicated in step 386 and check to see if the landed on itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) is on the player's unvisited itinerary as indicated in step 387.

If the player arrived at an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6), which is not occupied by one of the player's other game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 381 and the player arrived at the itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) via the directions on a positive based itinerary card 11 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 382, then no visitation fee is due and game logic 215 should check to see if the landed on itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) is on the players itinerary as indicated in step 387.

If the landed on itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) is not part of the player's unvisited itinerary then game logic 215 may advance play to the next player as indicated in step 365. If the itinerary space is part of the player's unvisited itinerary then the game logic 215 should unmark that itinerary space as indicated in step 388, display the corresponding itinerary card 10 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 389 and related educational information as indicated in step 390, and wait for a prompt from the player to stop displaying the card and related information as indicated in step 391. Game logic 215 should also record the itinerary space as visited and record the displayed card as visited as indicated in step 392.

After each time the game logic 215 records an itinerary space 3a (FIG. 6) as visited as indicated in step 392, the game logic 215 checks to see if all the itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) on the player's itinerary have been visited as indicated in step 393. If all the itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) on a player's itinerary have not been visited then game logic 215 advances play to the next player as indicated in step 365. If all the itinerary spaces 3a (FIG. 6) on a player's itinerary have been visited as indicated in step 393 then game logic 215 allows home position 5 (FIG. 6) entry as indicated in step 394.

Each time a player moves a game piece into their home space game logic checks to see if all the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) have been moved into the player's home position area 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 395. If all the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) have not been moved into his or her home position 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 395 then the game logic 215 advances play to the next player as indicated in step 365. If all the player's game pieces 15 (FIG. 6) have been moved into his or her home space 5 (FIG. 6) as indicated in step 395 then that player is declared the winner and game play ends as indicated in step 396. At that point game logic 215 may display a game end screen comprising an inquiry as to whether to start a new game or shut down the system as indicated in step 399 (FIG. 13), thus completing an embodiment of the steps of the game logic 215.

The present disclosure has been detailed in terms of various embodiments, however, it is not intended that this disclosure be limited to these embodiments. The present disclosure may, for example, be modified in a way such as utilizing interchangeable itineraries by changing out the entire pathway or by changing out the individual spaces within the pathway allowing a person to purchase a single game and multiple itinerary themes. Also, in the case of a board game, the itinerary markers could be magnetically attachable to the game board instead of using the aforementioned peg and hole arrangement, or, in the case of an electronic version, the itinerary spaces may be marked by highlighting them with the color of the players' chosen game pieces. Individual players' game pieces could also be more representative of a particular culture by making them in the form of parents and children wearing clothing or other adornments or attributes which relate to that culture. Computer systems, which may be used to implement the game of the present disclosure, vary greatly and another system acceptable for implementing the current disclosure may have a different arrangement than that illustrated and may or may not include all or any of the components illustrated herein and the game would also likely undergo some visual modifications when rendered in an electronic or computer game format. Also the various forms of the terms “player” or “players” and “his or her”, referred to throughout the specifications of the present disclosure, may refer to a human player, or, a computer or otherwise electronically generated player. Although not necessarily described herein, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the above mentioned and numerous other modifications may be made to the game without departing from the overall spirit and method of play of the present disclosure, which is defined by the included claims.