Patent number 8619867 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Video games are a popular form of entertainment. Multi-player games, where two or more individuals play simultaneously in a common simulated environment, are becoming increasingly common, especially as more users are able to interact with one another using networks such as the World Wide Web (WWW), which is also referred to as the Internet. Implementing video games in a networked environment poses several challenges.
"In particular, video games, especially those offering high-quality graphics, may produce data streams having a maximum data rate that is a significant fraction of an available data rate communications capacity in a network. The data rate may also vary significantly as a function of time depending on how often a game state for a respective game is modified or updated. This combination of high data rates and time-varying data rates may make cost effective and efficient resource allocation in a networked environment, such as a satellite system, a cable television system or the Internet, challenging. Video-game systems in such network environments may need additional margin, in the form of additional bandwidth overhead as well as hardware and software redundancy, to ensure that performance is not degraded. These systems challenges are compound for multi-player games.
"Encoding of the data streams in a video-game system using an existing encoding approach, such as one of the compression standards developed by the
"There is a need, therefore, for an improved system for implementing video games in networked environments."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "A method and related system of generating a frame of video is disclosed. In the method, a request is received and a frame of video is generated using a plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks. Generating the frame of video includes assigning the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks to respective positions in a grid. The frame of video may be compatible with an MPEG compression standard. The plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks are pre-encoded prior to the request.
"The grid may be a 2-dimensional array. Each element of the grid may reference respective macro-blocks, at least a plurality of which may be pre-encoded.
"The request may initiate a video game. The generating may include comparing a previous state of the grid with a current state of the grid and selectively including in a data stream corresponding to the frame of video intra macro-blocks and predictive macro-blocks in accordance with the comparing. A respective state of the grid may be in accordance with a game state in a video game.
"A respective pre-encoded macro-block may include meta data, which may include a quantization factor. A subset of the plurality of pre-encoded macro-blocks may include un-compressed pixel information.
"In some embodiments, one or more skipped predictive macro-blocks corresponding to regions of the frame of video that are substantially unchanged with respect to a previous frame of video may be selectively included in a data stream corresponding to the frame of video.
"In some embodiments, one or more empty predictive macro-blocks corresponding to regions of the frame of video that are substantially unchanged with respect to a previous frame of video may be selectively included in a data stream corresponding to the frame of video.
"In some embodiments, generating a frame of video includes dynamically generating a plurality of macro-blocks. The dynamically generated plurality of macro-blocks may include a combination of pre-encoded macro-blocks that include un-compressed pixel information and image information corresponding to an object. The combination may include blending at least a portion of the un-compressed pixel information of the pre-encoded macro-blocks and the image information corresponding to the object. The combination may include superposition of the image information corresponding to the object on a region of the frame of video."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Craig, Robert; Mercer,
Keywords for this news article include: Video Game, Electronics,
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