By taking a look at some of the latest video slots on the market, it is easy to see that their modern graphics, advanced animations and various special features make them look more like video games rather than the boring old games on machines in casinos. Slots developers are always looking to improve and make their games more entertaining but at the same time maintain the repetitive nature of the idea so the gamification of online slots has reached a new peak in recent years.
Every major release demands a lot of attention and there are even short trailers made available before the official launch in order to get the players excited about the slots game. And to be fair, it all works as customers have shown a lot more interest as the titles became more complex and the gamification only seems to be getting warmed up, with the trend expected to continue for years to come.
As a result, modern video slots have a lot of things in common to popular games and the use of Candy Crush as an example is the perfect fit. Candy Crush is a game on Facebook where players must meet certain goals by creating combinations of different candy symbols in order to advance to the next level. Given the fact that it has over 100 million monthly users, it is safe to say that a lot of people are already familiar with the game, or at least more than those who know about NetEnt’s recent progressive slot Cosmic Fortune.
Visual Rewards For Meeting Goals
There are several behavioral characteristics found in both online slots and video games and arguably the most common one is represented by audio and visual rewards. Most games come with a series of goals, or challenges, and the player must use the available resources to meet them through the gameplay. When goals are met, they are often times celebrated with special sounds and animations in order to congratulate the player. These have actually been found to stimulate several pleasure receptors in the brain and offer a real sense of achievement.
Video games use them for leveling up, finishing a mission, buying new items and so on. For video slots, the famous sound involving coins dropping is the perfect example. Players can quickly learn new sounds and associate those to the symbols forming a winning combination.
The sounds and the animations are nice but getting financial rewards is even better. Slots create their gameplay around this and make every win count even more, while games can use various in-game currencies to reward their players. These tokens can then be used to buy items and power-ups that will help for the future levels and so the wheel keeps spinning.
The rewards available and our way of thinking have also created a “near-miss” concept, which is another behavioral characteristic found between the two categories. Players will always have the tendency to look at past failures and establish less importance to them with the idea that they got close, even if the results are actually the same. For example, in a 3-reel slot machine, getting two similar symbols and a different one is considered a near miss and is thus evaluated as a less important loss despite the fact that the same amount of money would have been lost if all the three symbols were different. The concept is also commonly found in games like roulette, where a bet placed on 38 for example, would be a near-miss if the result was 37.
Video games, especially does that incorporate random chance in their gameplay, are not that different. If we use the Candy Crush example, getting close to the required number of points in order to advance to the next level before running out of moves should not be different than not getting any points if the results are the same – we can’t advance and we have to play again.
A Progression System
It is hard to talk about video games without mentioning a progression system, usually based on leveling up. This is incorporated in most popular titles and there can be various power-ups available along the way, like the special candy in Candy Crush or the mushroom/flower in classic Mario.
Video slots have been incorporating more similar progression systems in their gameplay recently and a good example would be the Aliens slot machine. This game is played in three locations and in order to advance, players must collect items by hitting winning combinations. The battle against the alien queen requires bullets and grenades, collected in the same way, and it makes for a very interesting session.