Scheduled to hit casino floors in Spring and Summer 2013, MONOPOLY Prime Reel Estate® slots take full advantage of the visually stunning Gamefield xD™ cabinet from WMS. The new cabinet pushes the boundaries and allows gameplay to stretch onward and upward while creating opportunities for unprecedented player interaction.
We sat down with the game’s Lead Producer, CastleKing777, and Game Designer, KirkKirk, to learn a more about this exciting evolution of MONOPOLY slots.
KirkKirk: Can you describe the WILD Multiplier Feature?
The WILD Multiplier Feature may be triggered on any spin and simply adds a win multiplier to each win, based upon the number of WILD symbols visible on the reels. For example, if three WILD symbols land on the reels, all wins for that spin will be multiplied by 3x. There can be up to 7 WILD symbols on a single spin, awarding up ...
Now available on casino floors, the My Poker® series combines player-popular Video Poker themes and pay tables with optional feature bet games and a whole new level of personalization and comfort.
The result is a video poker experience that Poker Players of all types are sure to enjoy! We sat down with PokerAce777, the designer behind these exciting Video Poker experiences, to learn what makes My Poker games a Royal Flush.
What should players know about the My Poker series that makes the games compelling alternatives to currently available Video Poker products?
The My Poker series offers a slight twist on traditional Video Poker that sets it apart from any other Poker product in the industry. It offers the familiar pay tables that players know and love, and combines them with the comfort of an all-new cabinet and a slew of personalization options to ...
Another installment of THE GODFATHER® slots is live on casino floors, this time as a 3-reel adventure, packed with six different bonus rounds starring the characters, sights, and sounds from the classic cinema trilogy.
We sat down with the sound composer behind THE GODFATHER 3-Reel slots for a behind-the-scenes look at the music in the game.
As Lead Composer on this game, can you describe what makes the audio in this game so special?
In today’s age, people recording songs will bring in the guitarist one day, the violinist the next, and they lay the tracks one over the other. For this game, we wanted to get the feeling and vibe from the THE GODFATHER films, so we recorded the musicians playing together in one room at the same time - just as would have been done in 1972 for the original score. We ...
The most customizable slot adventure in history is ready to take flight, so we sat down with the creative mind behind Super Team® slots to get a behind-the-scenes look at a game he says is over 15 years in the making.
The Super Team slot seems to be a very large slot game – how many total bonus and feature rounds exist?
It seems like a lot, but there are just two parts of Super Team: Heroes and Bonus Games. Heroes do special things to the reels, like adding wilds in different ways, giving multipliers, or even awarding progressives. Bonus Games play out full special bonuses with your Personal Hero as the star. There are three different Bonus Games, and 15 different Heroes, and they all combine in a lot of different ways. So in one way there are two things that happen, and ...
We couldn’t bring the classic film Gone With the Wind to the modern slot floor without the perfect graphic package. To help celebrate our first game under this iconic brand, we sat down with the game’s Lead Artist ClippetyClop for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of the art for the game.
How does a Lead Artist collaborate with the Game Designer to create the visual style of a game?
With the Designer in Vegas, and myself in Sydney [Australia], there were plenty of phone calls and emails where we would go over the smallest details – everything from the color of a certain object to the whole sequence of how a feature would play out. There is a big visual mishmash of both of our ideas in this game.
How long did you work on the game?
The art work ran from May ...
To celebrate the nationwide roll-out of BATTLESHIP™ Team Compete to Win slots, we sat down with the game designers behind our latest competitive team slot experience to find out more about the making of the game.
One WMS Facebook fan asks: How long did it take to create this game, from initial concept approval to the first units going live?
This game was huge – the Community Gaming®, Team Compete to Win, Sensory Immersion, Experience Design and other technologies combined for the first time, plus two Video Reel and two Mechanical Transmissive Reels® technology base themes that could also run as standalone games for our international customers. From start to finish, it took about 18 months.
How many people worked on this game, beginning to end?
This is difficult to quantify, since so many people had their hands in some aspect of the BATTLESHIP ...
The Wizard of Oz is one of our favorite movies, and we’re always excited to start a new slot game based on it. We enjoy making The Wizard of Oz games as much as you enjoy playing them!
When we began the Journey to Oz™ game, we knew the base themes (the King of the Forest™ and Wild Poppies™ games) would be 1024 way with the potential for some pretty big payoffs. Quite a few times we won jackpots over $1,200 while playing in our lab. That would be fake money, Mr. IRS (alas).
Connecting a bank of these base games would be a collaborative Big Event® bonus, where every eligible player shares the total won (multiplied by their individual multiplier). Each player would also take turns picking, and that picking would affect the outcome of the bonus for all players.
This is used to great effect in the Dorothy™ ...
The Game Designer behind the new CLUE slot adventure, scheduled to hit casino floors nationwide in March 2012, took a moment out of his busy schedule to answer some player questions submitted through Twitter® (@WMSGamingNews using tag #CLUEslots) and the WMS Facebook® page.
How did graphics and game play from the various versions of the CLUE board game influence the final appearance of the slot machine?
Well, we looked at all the different versions of the game. We liked the 1970 version, which used photographs and felt very sophisticated and complex, while still at the same time quite funny. So we cast our own actors and had our own photo shoots for production. Combining these pictures with the 3D mansion environment was tricky, but we think it paid off. The CLUE slot machine has the appearance of a large, wealthy mansion and still maintains ...
Everyone to Battlestations!
Like I’ve said before, the idea for a game sometimes centers around one single idea and all the other elements in the game flow from there. With the new Star Trek Battlestations game, we started with the “call to battle” that would announce the community bonus every few minutes.
It’s such an iconic moment in the original Star Trek series – everyone running to their stations, Spock and Sulu checking instruments on the control panels, Uhura communicating that she’s “got Starfleet on the com”, and Capt. Kirk gripping the arms of the captain’s chair, steeling himself for the imminent battle. I knew that image would be a big focal point of the game.
I really liked the idea of creating a game where players know that a bonus is about to hit and are able to prepare for it in some ...
Designing sounds for Attack From Mars™/Revenge From Mars™ (Part 2 of 2)
Did you know that the Attack From Mars slot machine can be played as Revenge From Mars – and vice versa? Just in case you want to switch things up and play the part of the Martians going after the humans, all you have to do is press CHANGE GAME and you’ll gain access to two more big bonuses.
Last time in part 1, our sound designer spoke about singing chickens and shooting tractors in the “Duck, It’s Chicken!” bonus. In part 2, we continue peeking behind the curtain as he explains all the inner workings of the “There Goes the Universe!” bonus.
We hope you have as much fun playing as we did creating the game!
There Goes The Universe! Bonus
MUSIC: I’m pretty sure this one bonus contains more music ...
Designing sounds for Attack From Mars™/Revenge From Mars™ (Part 1 of 2)
We’re such fans of alien invasions that we made it into a pinball game.
“An Unstoppable Earnings Invasion” was the slogan for our successful Attack From Mars pinball game in the mid-‘90s, and in the same spirit of campiness, we’ve resurrected the theme in the form of a slot machine.
In pinball, we aimed to provide entertainment above bumpers hitting a steel ball.
With slots, we set a similar goal: rise above the play of a standard 5-reel game and immerse you into the story and characters.
Sound is an important part of that. Just a few years ago, sound in a slot game was bells and whistles… literally. Now it’s ballooned to sound effects, hundreds of lines of dialogue, and orchestral scores and songs.
We asked our Attack From Mars™/Revenge From ...
WMS has released over 40 versions of Monopoly, each one with its own unique spin. It’s hard to believe that we’ve done so many… I’ve personally designed ten! In another life, I used to write trivia questions. So to honor Monopoly Bonus City, our latest Monopoly game to hit the floors, I thought it might be fun to have a little Monopoly retrospective quiz.
Here are twenty pictures of Mr. Monopoly as he appears in twenty different games from more than a decade. Can you match the game title to the screen shot? Go ahead and put your guesses into comments. Partial credit will be awarded. And bonus credit to anyone who shares a story of a favorite game or a great Monopoly win!
--Game Designer Chunkysevens
P.S. If you’re stuck, all of the game titles are roughly in chronological order....
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
If you’re doing a Godfather game, this has got to be a part of it, right? That’s what I kept thinking when I first knew I was going to be designing a game based on The Godfather.
That’s kind of how we approach licenses – you know, what would I expect from this brand, and how can we meet (or go beyond) those expectations? With Monopoly, you want something to do with Mr. Monopoly, the board, properties, etc. Wizard of Oz has the gathering of the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion. The Lord of the Rings has the epic journey across Middle-earth, The Price is Right has all the different games and the showcases, and I just kept thinking that The Godfather had to have an offer you can’t refuse.
Which led ...
Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at WMS to all of you!
(Except the pigs, they’re just hoping the turkey doesn’t run out.)
Each character in the picture refers to a WMS game. See if you can name all 16! (Extra credit if you know the names of the pigs.)
Before I worked at WMS, I used to visit Las Vegas every couple of months, and every time I’d set foot in a casino, I couldn’t stop smiling. Slot machines everywhere, the constant hum of excitement, all that possibility. I had a similar reaction when I interviewed with WMS. I was shown perks like the fitness center and the basketball court and free sodas, but for an avid slot player like me, they had me at “freeplay.” Come with me, I’ll take you on a tour myself.
This is the main building of our technology campus in Chicago, Illinois. Headquarters is about 45 minutes north, where we also house the factory to build our slot machines. The technology campus is where we think up ideas that eventually turn into games.
The campus currently comprises three buildings, with two more under ...
Cast your minds way, way back to the late 1990s. Slot machines were limited to 3-reel mechanical spinner games.
In 1997, in a post-pinball converted warehouse in Chicago, Illinois, WMS employees were busy creating a slot game that they found interactive, fun, and ultimately something they would want to play themselves.
The concept was deceptively simple -- 3 scattered symbols trigger the bonus, choose 1 of 5 fishermen (or woman), get an award for catching a fish. The bigger the fish, the bigger the award.
But through that simple design, Reel 'em In! would introduce many firsts to the industry and later be the go-to theme whenever WMS launched new technology.
It was the first to use a touch screen.
It was the first to take advantage of original digital music (in stereo sound) and voices. An in-house ...
Today’s post is a little behind the scenes peek at some art that never made it out into a game you may know and love, Lucky Penny. This game is very close to my heart and required the most work I can remember from art, design, engineering and math. While I was not the designer on this game, I was the mathematician and was very closely involved with other aspects of the game as well.
When we first began Lucky Penny, our artist started sketching penguins. Here's a few of the first iterations:
While I love the baby penguin above, we knew we needed a character that could perform a variety of tasks and wear a variety of costumes. This meant he had to have a relatively simple shape and be the cutest thing ...
WMS designer the_new_girl visits the Player's Life blog to discuss the experience of designing her first slot experience.
When I was an undergraduate majoring in mathematics, I thought I had two options for jobs when I finished:
A few years into graduate school, I found a job here at WMS. My title was “Mathematician.” I was not teaching or an actuary. I was creating fun, innovative, challenging math models for slot machines. I got to work on some really exciting games as a mathematician, such as Lucky Penny, Goldfish 2, and some Money Burst themes.
Now, four years later, I’ve moved from the math side of things to designing complete games. I am a game designer.
As a newbie in the design world, I’ve got fellow designer KirkKirk ...
WMS designer MrMonopoly visits the Player's Life blog to answer the question: after creating the most ambitious game in WMS history, what do you do for an encore?
Most players — and all of the designers at WMS — have a favorite Monopoly Slot game. Given its long history of success, it’s hard not to find at least one Monopoly game that you cherish above all others.
The slot player in me still loves the original Once Around: the simplicity of the game, and the way it made me feel that I was really playing Monopoly, capturing the experience perfectly. A close second, however, would have to be the first Monopoly Big Event game, which debuted just a few years ago. Even though it was a 180-degree turn from the original Once Around game in terms of depth and ...
Today’s blogger, designer KirkKirk , writes about the process of bringing The Lord of the Rings to the casino and the interactive world.
It’s taken two years to create The Lord of the Rings slot machine with this new online feature — two years since my original pitch for the game, 18 months since the full team got started, 12 months of the nitty-gritty design work and six months of polishing the final touches.
With every game, the trick is to coordinate the efforts of all the groups involved: art, sound, math, hardware, manufacturing, networking, etc. This time around, we added a big new dimension — a casino-to-online link where the player can play casual games online at home to make progress in the casino game, unlocking new bonuses to play in the casino. This isn’t just new to ...
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