Namco Bandai Patent Details Ghost Tapping Alternate Reality Game

By Spencer . December 1, 2010 . 3:50pm

Namco Bandai, it seems, is working on an alternate reality game. A patent filed in the USPTO details a ghost tapping game played on a device that looks a lot like a Nintendo DS.


Players start by taking a photo of an object, a house in this example. The game adds ghosts to the picture for you to tap for points.


image image


Ghosts can fly out of windows because the game deconstructs the image. Namco Bandai has a system that extracts features and looks for objects with a nested structure (points 20, 22, 24, and 26 in figure 6).


image image image image image image image image


The type of feature image determines what kind of monster pops out. The stereotypical ghost comes out of quadrangular image areas, like rectangular windows. A rabbit-like creature appears if there are elliptical imageareas.




This concept might be tough to flesh out into for a boxed game, but as an alternate reality shooter for DSiWare… or maybe 3DSWare this could be pretty neat.

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  • Icon

    This reminds me of an old Namco arcade game called Golly Ghost. In that, you had an actual diorama of a house with projected ghosts flying around. You would shoot at them. The diorama was mechanical too. Doors would open, a toilet seat would go up and down. It’s pretty neat.

  • Dimentionalist

    Does this “alternate reality” include localized games? Or is this the alternate reality THEY’RE living in?

  • Darkrise

    Really Namco? A ghost tapping alternate reality game? You sure you don’t want to bring something more worthwhile, something to a large fanbase that exists?Something like oh i dunno, maybe TALES OF GRACES F or maybe TALES OF VESPERIA PS3.

    • Dimentionalist

      Someone interviewed a Scamco employee, and asked them what they were doing to stop the boycott from Tales fans, letters, phone calls, and Facebook posts. The response?

      “[The Tales games] aren’t even on our priority list.”

      We <3 you Namco.


      • Darkrise

        How very like them. =P Well whatever, they’re not taking a cent from me anymore. If I had a facebook account I would join in.

      • *facepalm*

      • vadde939

        O_O They seriously said that? Sigh… I don’t even know why I should bother buying anything from those morons anymore.

        • Exkaiser

          Not buying anything is the reason Tales games aren’t a priority, in fact.

          Funny how that works.

          • eh, but they are pretty much getting nice numbers from the narutos/dragonballs they are releasing.

            I do hope they sell majin the forsaken land well… Its the first considerably good and different game they are releasing… I just hope they freaking react, and change the staff there >_>

          • Darkrise

            It’s different alright. That’s as far as I’m going. It just reminds me of… What was that game called again? Tak something? I have no idea but anyways I’m not buying anything from Namco again. And to others like Tsuna who believes that we’ll be getting that Tales of Xellia game or Zestia just because it’s 3D, I highly doubt it. Sure it’s 3D but still not a western rpg to fans and judging from their recent decisions, Namco will just deem fit to not “risk” bring the game over. Even if they do, then I fear that Tales will never be the same as we know it…

          • vadde939

            I always buy Tales games from them every time one is localised. I don’t buy any other Namco games so if they stop localising Tales (like they seem to have done) I stop buying from Namco.

            Funny how that works.

          • Exkaiser

            I was talking about the Tales fandom in general. Oh, sure, everyone says they buy all the games that are localized, except the sales are still pretty terrible except when the game has Symphonia in the title. So, either the Tales base tends to not buy all the games or it’s really much less massive than it thinks. My observations from spending quite a bit of time in the midst of the fandom points to both, really.

            And then this fanbase brags about how they won’t ever buy anything from Namco-Bandai again. They “boycott” the company. Nevermind that most of them already don’t buy the non-Tales games.

            So, hmn, we have a fanbase that is really quite small that doesn’t contribute sales to the company in general and only to one unprofitable franchise Doesn’t sound like they lose much if they cut their losses and avoid selling to this audience. So what if they lose sales from this group? Big deal! It’s not like they were buying anything anyways.

            Funny how that works.

            So you bought all the games that got localized. Good on you. Too bad that there weren’t 200,000 more of you. That’s what it would take for Tales to be a serious consideration for the West. But it’s not what happened, what happened was that one game was a massive success in the West, and then none of the following releases came close to reaching it, not even the direct sequel. Namco Bandai has every reason to assume future installments aren’t going to draw a larger crowd. So what’s the use of worrying about it, especially since localization only gets more expensive?

            Isn’t it sad? Yeah, maybe.

          • Caligula

            Exkaiser’s right. The Tales fanbase deludes itself into thinking it’s much larger than it actually is and that there would be huge sales if Namco just localized already. Except, surprise, they’ve localized already several times now and there are no huge sales. Basically every game except for Symphonia has bombed. After a certain point, any rational company would realize their product is simply not going to sell in that particular market and stop bothering.

            People get mad at Namco for not localizing, but a business that throws away money making things that don’t sell is hardly well-run. You can’t blame Namco for the decisions it’s made; anyone rational would do the same.

      • You’re talking about this: sounds official enough, however, the fact that he won’t even give his last name sounds like this could have been faked. I mean, I can’t imagine a Namco employee trying to promote Enslaved just telling all this to some random guy, but stranger things have happened.

  • Wow, that house looks exactly like the house from Ju-on The Grudge.
    I’ve been waiting for a game like this since DSi announcement. The only thing close to it is GhostWire, but even that is not out yet.

    // Roth

  • Dimentionalist

    Well, in regards to Tales, someone talked to a PR rep at Comic-Con and he said that the Tales series needs to sell 100,000 units in America for the title to be considered a true financial success and a worthwhile endeavor.

    The two most recent Tales games, Vesperia and DotNW, both sold around 150k. Yet Namco sits around denying people.

    Funny how that works.

    • vadde939

      I suppose Namco think that unless it’s a million seller like Symphonia for the gamecube was it isn’t ‘successful’ enough. Either their localisation budgets are way too high or they’re just plain stupid. Maybe both. Even in Japan Tales doesn’t sell like it used to.

      • Darkrise

        Well looking back, ever since they started developing Tales games away from Sony, their sales dropped. I mean most gamers in japan are sony users and the wii, it’s mostly intended for family fun and party games. Namco was dumb enough to develop games other than sony systems except for the psp.

    • Darkrise

      That Is kinda funny. What’s more funny is that the DBZ & Naruto games were successful but they sold under 100k. They don’t want to localize Tales because it’s not successful to them and it sells 100k while they say expect more awsome dbz and naruto games from them eternally yet they sell under 100k. Really funny how that works.

  • MisterFoxInc

    I didn’t know Namco had such a whiney fanbase. Sorry to be an ass about that, but jesus christ, the guys must’ve shot you in the kneecap or something.

    Anyway, depending on what they do with this, this could be even more original and worthwhile than the initial concept presented here makes you believe. It could go ways, although it seems a little gimmicky right now. We’ll have to wait and see.

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