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How Slot Machines use art in game design

How Slot Machines use art in game design


Slot machines have long improved from the days when all you would see on the reels were clovers, bells, and melons. Nowadays you can expect even the most rudimentary of slots to feature images that compliment the theme. In fact, designing impressive visuals has become almost a requirement for the newer games in order for them to stand out from the ever-increasing pool of games. Using Rainbow Jackpot as an example (that you can see here https://games.paddypower.com/game/rainbow-jackpots-grt) we can illustrate a few of the updates that are needed to help make a game visually engaging.

Reel spinning effects and animations
One of the important things to remember about modern slot machines is that the reel spinning is entirely aesthetic by this point. Even in land casinos, the use of actual reels has all but disappeared to be replaced by visual 3D slots that only give the illusion of spinning while the Random Number Generator decides the outcome. As you can see, Rainbow Jackpots has taken into consideration how the visual animation needs to be eye-catching with a motion blur in order to engage the player while keeping the effects minimized to avoid overwhelming the player. It also features a mascot character who will move across the screen at the bottom, slightly out of sight in order to encourage the player to believe they will intervene soon.

Individual Designs
Rainbow Jackpots may be using a familiar theme with Ireland and Rainbows but the designs deployed are designed to stand out and look different. The leprechaun mascot has a familiar look with just the right amount of detail in order to capture the imagination with some unique focus points, such as his pipe which activates the various bonuses he offers. The reel symbols are fairly standard, 10-ace like playing cards and a shamrock for the Irish connection, but each symbol has a distinctive look and color to be more visually stimulating and easier to connect with results.

The leprechaun also features an animation of rainbows sliding down diagonally, a different direction to the reels to give the feeling of external help. The symbols the leprechaun drops all feature art that share his color scheme to give a clear visual connection from the animated mascot and the benefits gained.

Bonus Game
Bonus games are largely gameplay focused and almost a requirement in the modern slots environment but making them interesting is the difficult part. Rainbow Jackpots chooses pint pulling imagery with a slow build-up as the beer is poured. This delay in the beer being collected is designed to capture the imagination and excitement of the player as it slowly builds up a bonus. The art-style here is naturalistic, like the leprechaun with a detailed backdrop that looks very different from the usual slot screen.

The added details such as improved animations, distinctive characters for mascots and bonuses that look visually distinct and enticing are all key design choices that need to be taken into account when designing a slot game. But what do you think? What other artistic elements need to be taken into consideration to produce a truly first class game?