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Patent Application Titled "Gaming Machine and Methods of Allowing a Player to Play Gaming Machines Having Replacement Symbols" Published Online

August 28, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Rucker, Keith (Las Vegas, NV); Suda, Satoshi (Henderson, NV), filed on February 4, 2013, was made available online on August 14, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Konami Gaming, Inc.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Gaming machines, such as slot machines, are a cornerstone of the gaming industry. At least some known gaming machines include a video display device to display a reel game that includes a plurality of reels, wherein each reel includes a reel strip including a plurality of symbols. During game play, the gaming machine accepts a wager from a player, the player selects one or more paylines, the gaming machine spins the reels, and sequentially stops each reel to display the generated combination of symbols on the reels. The gaming machine then awards the player an award based on the combination of symbols orientated along the selected payline.

"At least some known gaming machines display reels having one or more wild symbols that may represent any other symbol in a symbol combination. When the wild symbol appears in a combination, at least some known gaming machines will substitute the wild symbol with another symbol to produce a winning combination on the corresponding payline. In known gaming machines, because the wild symbol may represent any other symbol, the wild symbol appears infrequently in the reel strip. Over time, during game play, the player may become frustrated because the wild symbol does not regularly appear in the game outcome. Accordingly, new features are necessary to appeal to player interest and enhance excitement in order to entice longer play and increased profitability. The present invention is directed to satisfying these needs."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In one aspect of the present invention, a method of allowing a player to play a gaming machine is provided. The method includes the steps of displaying, on a display device, a game including a plurality of reels being displayed in a display area, wherein each reel has a plurality of symbols positions and at least one of the reels having a run of consecutive special symbol positions. Each consecutive special symbol position is populated with a first special symbol. The method includes randomly generating a first outcome, displaying the generated first game outcome in the display area, and responsively awarding a first award to the player based on the first game outcome. The method also includes detecting if a triggering condition occurs in the first game outcome, wherein the triggering condition is defined as at least a portion of the run of consecutive special symbol positions appearing on the at least one of the reels appearing in the first outcome, and responsively replacing the first special symbol in the run of consecutive special symbol positions with a second special symbol to generate a second outcome of the game and awarding a second award to the player based on the second outcome.

"In another aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine is provided. The gaming machine includes a display device for displaying a game, a user input device configured to generate a signal indicative of a player's selection input, and a controller coupled to the display device and the user input device for displaying the game including a plurality of reels being displayed in a display area. Each reel has a plurality of symbols positions and at least one of the reels having a run of consecutive special symbol positions. Each consecutive special symbol position is populated with a first special symbol. The controller randomly generates a first outcome and displays the generated first game outcome in the display area. The controller responsively awards a first award to the player based on the first game outcome and detects if a triggering condition occurs in the first game outcome. The triggering condition is defined as at least a portion of the run of consecutive special symbol positions appearing on the at least one of the reels appearing in the first outcome. The controller responsively replaces the first special symbol in the run of consecutive special symbol positions with a second special symbol to generate a second outcome of the game and awarding a second award to the player based on the second outcome.

"In yet another aspect of the present invention, a system is provided. The system includes a plurality of gaming devices and a system controller that is coupled to each gaming device. Each gaming device includes a user input device for accepting a player's selection input and a display device. The system controller for displaying a game on at least one gaming device, wherein the game includes a plurality of reels being displayed in a display area. Each reel has a plurality of symbols positions and at least one of the reels having a run of consecutive special symbol positions. Each consecutive special symbol position is populated with a first special symbol. The system controller randomly generates a first outcome and displays the generated first game outcome in the display area. The system controller responsively awards a first award to the player based on the first game outcome and detects if a triggering condition occurs in the first game outcome. The triggering condition is defined as at least a portion of the run of consecutive special symbol positions appearing on the at least one of the reels appearing in the first outcome. The system controller responsively replaces the first special symbol in the run of consecutive special symbol positions with a second special symbol to generate a second outcome of the game and awarding a second award to the player based on the second outcome.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"Other advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

"FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary gaming machine of the present invention;

"FIG. 2 is a schematic representation of the gaming machine shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 3 is a first graphical display of a video slot game including a plurality of slot reels, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 4 is a schematic representation of a portion of the gaming machine shown in FIG. 1 including the slot game of FIG. 3 illustrating a plurality of slot reels, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 5 is a second graphical display of the slot game of FIG. 3, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 is a third graphical display of the slot game of FIG. 3, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 7 is a schematic representation of a reel strip that may be used with at least one slot reel of the video slot game shown in FIGS. 3-6, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 8 is another schematic representation of the reel strip shown in FIG. 7, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is another schematic representation of the reel strip shown in FIG. 7, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 10 is a schematic view of an exemplary gaming system of the present invention; and

"FIG. 11 is a flowchart of an exemplary method of allowing a player to play a gaming machine, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

"Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings."

For more information, see this patent application: Rucker, Keith; Suda, Satoshi. Gaming Machine and Methods of Allowing a Player to Play Gaming Machines Having Replacement Symbols. Filed February 4, 2013 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=2547&p=51&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Konami Gaming Inc.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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