It was not so long ago that slot games were mechanical contraptions, operating exclusively via a lever, and displaying symbols on physical, turning reels. Such games had very little in the way of special effects and engaging spectacle, and more than anything would perhaps get grinding in their constantly repeating tunes. They were still, however, very popular.
Slot games have come a long way since then, first going entirely digital, and more recently becoming amazing displays of artwork and interactive music. In fact, some modern slot games can all but blow minds with how impressive they are, using professional grade animations, and design choices that were not even imagined in the early days of slot games.
Let’s take a look at how slot games have evolved over the years.
Earliest Slot Games
It may not seem like it, but mechanical slot games were astonishingly complicated devices. The earliest versions especially, which were designed to function like a recognisable game of poker. This meant that the game had to have five reels, and over fifty different card symbols. Making this setup work was not easy, and the creation of such a game took a great deal of time and effort. So complicated were the games, in fact, that there was no room to create an automatic payout system. The owner of the establishment had to manually give out prizes.
Time progressed and the slot game design was simplified, allowing an automatic payout system to be integrated. It was at this times that slot game popularity took off, and virtually every establishment, from barbershop to bar, had at least one game for guests to play. The games were all still, at this point, entirely mechanical, without any digital components at all.
Advancing Slot Games
With the first games making an appearance in the early 1900s, it was not until the 1970s and 1980s that slot games finally went digital. There was some speculation as to whether players would enjoy digital games, since the tradition had always been for such game to operate via a lever, and work on distinct clanking mechanics. In fact, so spectacular were the creators of digital slot games that a lever mechanism was included on the first games, even though it was not at all required.
Players quickly grew accustomed to the new digital setup, however, and the electronic versions of slot games were extremely popular. Players were dazzled by the digital displays, and many wanted to play them simply for the novelty of experiencing evolving technology. Old mechanical machines were soon moved out of casinos, and digital version moved in.
Advanced Digital Slot Games
Although digital slot games now existed, they were still extremely limited in their functionality. An early slot game hardly had as much power as a modern calculator or washing machine, and so the displays were not yet especially impressive. Digital technology advanced in leaps and bounds, however, and as the available technology evolved, so too did slot games. It was not long before advanced animation and image technology began to be used, and so slot games became ever more impressive.
And it was not just the visual aspect of the games that improved. A landmark game, Queen of the Nile, introduced the concept of multiple, adjustable betting lines, and started a revolution of slot game design. Up until that point slot games had used only simple betting line systems, partially because of the mechanics involved. With a more flexible platform, however, multiple betting lines became a possibility, and so changed the face of slot games forever.
The Modern Revolution
Today thousands of slot games are available online, with each having the freedom of astonishingly powerful hardware. A modern smartphone is many times more powerful than an early digital slot game, giving game designers enormous freedom. High definition graphics and animations are now possible, making the potential almost unlimited to create a slot game that is all but a work of art.
The same is true for slots game soundtracks that are often overlooked. Interactive music that changes as the player progresses in the game is now possible, creating an enchanting experience that can all but bring tears to the eyes of players. Again, something that was not possible with technology just a few years ago.
This combination of advanced graphics and soundtracks are a product of decades of evolution, and modern slot game players live in a veritable golden era that players from just a few years ago would stare at in envy.
Slot Games Future
It is no secret that online casinos are gearing up to go into virtual reality, which is about as science fiction as one could hope for. Modern online slot games are already impressive, but the added angle and potential of VR is mind blowing. Imagine playing a slot game while in orbit around the earth in a space station, or how about playing in a bubble under the ocean, surrounded by sea creatures. It is possible in VR, and something we will be experiencing soon.