Why do People Gamble?

Why do People Gamble?

slot machines

Casino slot machines

There’s a fundamental thing in human beings, that comes from life as cavemen, that matching patterns and recognising patterns is one of the most pleasing things that people could do at a subconscious level. The random outcomes that come from slot machines absolutely play to that.

When talking about slot machines, or online games, there are definite things that make people want to gamble and risk their money. When a game designer can tap into these urges and know why someone will gamble, they will make a successful game.

When you see the symbols fall into place and create a combination, there is a certain charge you get from that. That feeling really can’t be replaced with anything else. The gaming industry has really exploded in terms of innovation. We’ve got more processor power, we’ve got these beautiful touch screens that allow the high-res graphics, and the animations. All these sort of things come together and allow us to start doing things that we couldn’t even imagine.

Rules or random?

phone roulette

Interactive games on phones

One of the things that really sets apart slot machine design is the fact that, by and large, our games really can’t be rules based. They’re all about random outcomes. Purely random outcomes so as to make it exciting for the player. Quite often, what we’ll do is present to ourselves the idea, concept or illusion that we are being skillful, by creating a lot of interactions, yet this mind trick that we are playing does not actually change how the game will end up finishing.

To take an example, the game Betty Boop – you hit the lovemeter, which is just like an old arcade style game, you place your your hands on the screen, and then it will start to tell you how far you are. So the fact that players are able to interact at that level, and it just heightens the fun. This sort of feedback factor is truly something that really marks out where slot machine designs are going.

Know your audience

A very insightful machine is a type that plays to the superstitious nature of its players, especially within the Asian market. For example you’ll often see people touching the screen every time before they hit the button. The fact that we now have touch screens means that we can build these little Easter eggs in. People start to you know, build relationships up with their favorite games, and they come back and play them again again.

phone casino

Casino games on phones are carefully designed

Having those nice little surprises, or that little secret that they know about that no one else does, really pleases them and gives them a bit of fun. It’s a common theme in gaming too. To play to mythologies, legends,  or ancient cultures is a standard theme of many phone, online and casino games.

There is a particular game that plays on the idea of a real Chinese goddess. They use lot of different symbols so that you have to know really key intrinsic values; the peach, the crane, and the fish were all parts of the story and the game tries to play on that.

Eye on the prize

Game designers will normally try and have eyes in their games. They do this because eyes are very arresting and if the designer can get some connection with the people playing as they are walking past, you can get them to gravitate to that particular game. Then, they will try it out and see if they like it!

One of the really interesting things that game designers have been able to do in the last little while is a curved LCD screen. One of the first things that was deployed is one particular video game is that it looks like a traditional mechanical real game, even to the point that there’s actually a wobble. In the reels, as they spin, designers have included animations jumping off and all sorts of different changes within the reels.

casino slot machines

Brightly coloured slot machines

How to make people gamble

Designing for slot machines is an extremely unique kind of field. Designers work on the web, for companies like Apple, or developing apps. They to the job is to understand why people gamble and to work on those areas.

There a certain depth and challenge of innovating and incrementing within gambling games. But, as you get deeper and deeper into it you might just be able to realise how many different aspects are going on; how many different areas need to be mastered, and how well those making the games need to know you, the audience audience and how they want to play and interact in a way that will keep them spending money.

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