Where to Next for Slots?Marc Armstrong EN
Is there such a thing as a perfected design? When first faced with this question, a person might be tempted to say; no. After all, if there were such a thing as a perfected design, would we really be getting constant toothbrush and shaving razor design updates, each more increasingly alien looking than the last, and somehow always demanding a higher price tag? Of course not. Each design update is obviously absolutely necessary, and not at all the flailing attempts of toothbrush and shaving razor creative teams desperate to keep their funding.
I would personally say that yes, there is such a thing as a design that has more or less been perfected. A hula-hoop, for example, certainly doesn’t need any bells and whistles, unless you’re simply attaching a gimmick, repackaging it, and selling it as something new and revolutionary. Which is to say; designs can be perfect, but it doesn’t mean that it cannot be tweaked for one reason or another.
Slots games have been basically the same since they were invented. Yes, things have shifted and evolved, but the core principle of a slot game is more or less identical. There are reels, they spin, matches are made, and money is paid out. But, slot games also need to stay relevant, which means they are going to evolve.
Technology Leads The Way
The most obvious evolution of slot games has been based around technology, this goes without saying. It was inevitable that slot games were going to make the jump into the digital era, and upon doing so were kept alive. Cogs were replaced with circuits, still images with fancy animated ones, and casino goers continue to flock for their chance to face lady luck.
Digital technology also brought the freedom to tinker with the innards of slot games, introducing more payout lines, expanding reels, and other such interesting innovations. The core of what a slot game was still remained unchanged, but the dressing of the games evolved, to keep being interesting.
But the question is; where to from here? How many more bells and whistles can be attached to slot games to keep them seeming new?
Into the Future
Predicting the future is a staggeringly difficult thing to do. Just look at the multiple early sci-fi predictions of the year 2000, and despair that we are not all wearing identical jumpsuits, which seemed to be the logical outcome of the future. But as far as slot games go, I think there are a few things that can be accurately surmised.
For one thing, I can all but guarantee that the core of what slot games are will still remain unchanged, regardless of how far into the future you go. If slot games are still around in the year 2100, and something tells me they will, I am willing to bet that they will still feature spinning reels and matching symbols. This is the part of the design that has been perfected, and I can’t imagine how a game of chance could be more accurately depicted.
But something is going to have to change to keep them fresh, so what?
A More Social Experience
One thing that has struck me about slots games is that they are an extremely solo experience. When playing a slot game, a person is all but thrust into their own personal little world. This is what is attractive about the games for many people, but I can’t help but think a more social slot game is to be invented.
Roulette and craps are great because of how they involve groups of people, and I wonder if there couldn't be a slot game equivalent. Since the player how no way to influence the outcome of a slot game spin, it makes sense that any number of people could bet on a spin, without having any effect on the game itself. I’m envisioning a much more elaborate slot game setup, flashier and involving more special effects, and groups of players able to watch the game progress for a single player. And, as they prefer, the groups of watching players could place bets on any of the spins.
Have I just struck slot game gold? Perhaps. If this idea happens, someone be sure to send me money for writing about it here.
I think everyone is putting VR into their future predictions at this point, me on a number of occasions, so its hardly worth reiterating at this point that slot games of the future will very likely have a VR component.
Combine VR with my above mentioned idea, however, and now we’re really looking at something new and interesting. An online slot game world where players may login and be transported to a fancy slot game theme park land, placing bets, spinning reels, and perhaps watching fireworks in a fantasy world sky.
Too far? Fair enough. Just remember my money for propagating the idea of social slot games.