21

This reads to me to be more about character alignment than professions and skills. Still, there is prior art. For example, the Mass Effect series allows the player to choose responses that follow one of the three moral paths - paragon ("good"), renegade ("evil"), and neutral. The other characters in the game then take the player character's alignment into ...


9

In StarWars Galaxies, a MMORPG developed by Sony Online Entertainment, originally one could have evolved their avatar during the game play and specialize for different attributes (skills), gaining a profession, further divided into sub-professions. The game also distinguishes among several species that determined abilities. Later on, the game system was ...


7

In the game Ultima Online, launched in 1997, your character has the ability to build reputation titles based on actions taken in the game. Hero titles are achieved by killing various monsters and nefarious titles were earned by killing innocent creatures, NPCs (Non-Player Characters), and in some cases other players in non-PVP realms.


6

The game Deus Ex (Wikipedia) by Eidos Interactive, released in North America on June 26, 2000, had very different results based on player moral decisions in three areas: conversations with other characters; direct actions in the physical world of the game; and choices of specialization area in the attributes of the character's advancement. For instance, in ...


6

The US patents that you mentioned should both be expired. In particular, US5390937 was issued on Feb 21, 1995. At that time, US patents were given patents that lasted 17-years from issue date. The result is that the patent expired on Feb 21, 2012. The second patent (US5649862) issued in 1997 and would have two-years of term remaining except that patent ...


5

In Rozenblat v. Sandia Corp. 69 USPQ2d 1474 (7th Cir 2003), the Seventh Circuit held that an inventor's patent drawings may be protected by copyright. This case is frequently cited when addressing this question and usually has been interpreted to mean only that it is possible for a patent drawing to be protected by copyright. The U.S. Patent and Trademark ...


4

Strategic Simulations, Inc created several games using the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules and world, beginning in 1988 with Pool of Radience. In these games, the player could choose one of 9 "alignments" (ethical systems or orientations) for each of their characters. The game engine took these alignments into consideration when adjudicating ...


4

Fallout also uses a Karma System that affects the game in regards to good or evil choices you make. Karma is the reflection of all good and evil choices you make during the game and how they are perceived by the inhabitants of the wasteland in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout Tactics. Source: http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/...


4

"Black and White" from 2001 required the player to take either a "good" or "evil" role as the deity controlling a creature.


4

The game inFamous includes a "Karma" system that rewards the player with additional power based on adherence to "Good" or "Evil" codes of behavior. From the link: Many powers are acquired over the course of the game; once acquired the player can use ex, awarded for specific actions, stunts and missions, to increase the power's effectiveness. The growth of ...


3

Ridiculous. There have been SDKs for doing in-game advertising for other games since 2005 at least. Double Fusion was one of many companies doing this: http://www.develop-online.net/news/28399/New-Double-Fusion-tech-puts-game-ads-in-existing-titles Adscape and Massive Incorporated created similar SDKs in the same time frame. Here's a huge list of prior ...


3

In the series of Geneforge games by Spiderweb Software, there are multiple ideologies (not just two, and not entirely mutually exclusive) that the player can subscribe to, having in-game effects (generally in how people who follow that ideology treat you). Additionally, it is possible to pretend to follow one ideology in order to gain some advantage, and ...


2

The link you posted is an application. It has not issued and is not enforceable so there is no way you could infringe any of the claims. http://www.google.com/patents/US7887419 That is the issued patent and the claims are much narrower and more specific. If after reading that you are truly concerned about infringement you should contact an attorney.


2

In The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic the player have the option to choose on the light or dark side. Each side has its own morality code and to stay on your choise you must keep its code. This is not just a pointing system becouse there are rewards specifically tailored to the each side, in other to progress on the dark side the player must undergo ...


2

Game patents is an area I've done a fair bit of research on. This should be taken as an informal answer--I've spoken to many patent attorneys on this subject, but I myself am not an attorney. My sense is that most of the current game patents involve technical implementations (devices and software) as opposed to game mechanics (rules of a given game or set ...


2

In patents, "the name of the game is the claim". The images may help you to understand the claims, but (other than for design patents, which all start with a D, like D123456) the only protection that exists is for the precise things claimed. For example, in the '499 patent you cite, to infringe claim 1 you would have to infringe each of the parts of the ...


1

This has been the modus operandi of every flash games web site for many many years, which is where I would look for prior art. Take for example kongregate.com : this is a web site which does not make most (perhaps any?) of the games which it provides; it is not principally in the role of being a game maker. Instead, when you load the web site (thus telling ...


1

OpenFeint did this in 2009. In fact, the OpenFeint logo is being used in Fig 1 of the patent application. Their business model was cross-promotion of games; they were acquired by GREE in April 2011 for ~100 million. So if there was no prior art before June 2011, GREE would have no reason to have acquired the company. Reference: industry press article on ...


1

A patent's coverage is defined by its claims. In particular, it is good to start by focusing on the independent claims (in this case claims 1, 13, 19, 24 and 27). Lets look at claim 1: A method for enabling interaction with a shared game data file using a game device, the method comprising: providing logic to perform one or more actions ...


1

To add more info, in Europe (before the EPO) games are considered non-patentable. Article 52(2) EPC reads: The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1: (a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; (b) aesthetic creations; (c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, ...


1

Games are in quite a grey area. Fundamentally a game is nothing more than a set of rules. While the novelty and non-obviousness of such a set of rules is relatively easy to assess, the difficulty arises in whether the set of rules is an abstract method (and therefore not eligible subject matter). The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled, in In ...


1

This is a complex question because of changes in patent law relating to three significant cases, namely Bilski, Alice, and Mayo. The ultra-short summary is that these cases pertain to the question as to whether a purely abstract idea, such as a set of mental steps, is patent eligible. (This is subject may referred to as "post-Alice", because that was the ...


1

Applifier has done this by linking and promoting newly launched games from already established games. Here applifier is a third party linking the new games and old games developed by different publishers. http://www.bbgsite.com/socialgames/content/2010-09-13/applifier_reaches_55m_users_for_social_game_cross_promotion.shtml http://www.applifier.com/how-it-...


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