Developments in slots have accelerated greatly in recent years, with advancements in graphics and animations taking them to a whole new level.
Gamification – the process of adding more game-like features to gambling – is the driving force behind this.
In simple terms, this could be adding levels, mini-games or mascots who help you throughout the game play.
Read on to find out more about how online video slots are becoming more like video games.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the concept of adding typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity. This may include competition with other players, points scoring or levelling up.
Historically slots were about solely about winning money, but they have now become about the game we play to get there.
Slots developers have gradually added extra gaming features to encourage engagement and increase a user’s enjoyment of playing.
Modern video slots are now closer to video games than ever before, with the lines between gambling and gaming becoming increasingly blurred.
What are the features?
Visual rewards, levelling up and mini games are just some of the features on the new breed of video slots.
Wins are greeted with sounds and lights designed to make you feel good about your success – after all, everyone likes to be praised from time-to-time. Visual rewards keep players engaged with the game as we associate the sounds and animations with winning.
Levelling up is becoming increasingly prevalent in video slots, with more and more games incorporating features that resemble the same kind of journey experienced in a video game, but with the ultimate reward of a cash jackpot at the end.
We now expect our slots to provide us with another form of entertainment besides the base game and new video slots have taken their inspiration from video games in this respect.
Swedish slots specialist Quickspin’s innovative new Achievements Engine is a great example of this concept.
Its engine rewards players with Quickspin tokens for completing achievements structured over four levels. Players cash in their tokens to trigger the game’s bonus feature, which can be free spins, respins or side games.
What do the experts say?
Slots have progressed rapidly in recent times, with games featuring just a simple spin button now but a distant memory.
Veteran game designer Tim Ryan told the Gamasutra website that developers must ensure their games are visually and financially 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 said.
“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 revolutionised the slots industry, providing players with a far more user-friendly experience than ever before.
The more enjoyable the gambling, the more likely it is that you’ll play again and become a loyal customer.
Video slots will continue to edge closer to video games in the future as developers look for innovative ways to entice people to play on their machines.