Slot machine technology has changed immeasurably since the first gambling machine was developed in the USA during the late 19th century.
Advancements in graphics and animations have taken slots to a completely different level and gamification – the process of adding more game-like features to gambling – is the key to this.
Gamification is the concept of adding typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity such as competition with other players, points scoring or levelling up.
In the days before online gambling, slots were simply about winning money, but the internet has completely changed the way people perceive the genre.
Slots are now about the game we play to win the jackpot, with slots developers more and more gaming features to encourage engagement and increase a user’s enjoyment of playing.
The slots at the online casino at Sun Bets are now closer to video games than ever before, with the lines between gambling and gaming becoming increasingly difficult to dissect.
Visual rewards, levelling up and mini-games are just some of the features on the new breed of video slots.
Sounds, lights and animations greet every win, making players feel good about their success. These types of visual rewards keep players engaged with the game as people associate the sounds and animations with winning.
Levelling up has become increasingly popular in video slots, with an increasing number of games containing features that resemble the same kind of journey experienced in a video game.
However, with slots having the added advantage of the ultimate reward of a cash jackpot on offer, the rush is even greater than you would feel whilst gaming.
Players now expect slots to provide with another form of entertainment besides the base game and new video slots have certainly been inspired by video game technology in this respect.
Swedish slots specialist Quickspin have a great example of this concept with their Achievements Engine feature.
Players are rewarded with Quickspin tokens for completing achievements structured over four levels. They can cash in their tokens to trigger the game’s bonus feature, which can be free spins, respins or side games.
These developments have moved slots play onto a completely new level, with games featuring just a simple start button and no additional features consigned to the memory banks.
Veteran game designer Tim Ryan has years of experience in the industry and he insists that developers face a continual battle to ensure their games are both financially and visually appealing to players.
“There is a saying in slot development: ‘The art is what attracts the players, but it is the math that keeps them – it was told to me on my first day on the new job, and it’s something I told every new hire or candidate afterward,” he told the Gamasutra website.
“Like a storefront with a bad sign or a book with a bad cover, a very good math model can suffer if the art does not attract new customers. Yet what theme attracts one person may be entirely different than what attracts another.
“Don’t ever rely on a single theme to determine the viability of a math model, and don’t underestimate the value of art to create a hit.”
Gamification has completely revolutionised the slots industry, offering players a user-friendly experience. Online casinos have quickly latched onto the fact that if people enjoy their gambling they are more likely to return to their sites and play again.
Developers will continue to look for innovative ways to entice people to play on their machines, meaning video slots will continue to edge even closer to video games in the future.
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