Attendees peruse the latest products at Global Gaming Expo 2010, held in November at the Las Vegas Convention Center.



AC COIN's Bubble Up game



When slot machine manufacturers displayed their latest and greatest products at the Global Gaming Expo in November at the Las Vegas Convention Center, it was partly about pulling out all the stops and showing off what all the technological innovations of the last few years can do.

Bally Technologies, which introduced its U-Spin touch-screen wheels in 2009, gave us new wrinkles on that feature, along with introducing the iDeck, which turns the button panel into an extra video screen with bonus features all its own. WMS Gaming, a leader in innovations with its Sensory Immersion, Transmissive Reels and Community Gaming features, talked up its Players Life program for making slot play an interactive, all-day experience beyond the confines of casinos.

International Game Technology, which in 2009 introduced its Center Stage platform with its 109-inch screen overhead, brought out an action-packed thriller in The Dark Knight. And Aruze Gaming drew big crowds all week with visitors eager to try out the Reel Feel technology behind the fishing game, Paradise Fishing.    

There was a show-stopper, it seems, at every booth. But innovation also means finding new wrinkles, new ways to grab a piece of an established product category. At Atronic/Spielo, where the community game Deal or No Deal Join ’N’ Play was itself an attention grabber, product manager Mike Brennan said, “Can we put out six best-in-class community games? No, but we can put out one. We feel like we really hit it out of the park.”

Aristocrat Technologies, with a broad base of games creating a stir at its booth, talked up its entry into the multiplay category, with more than one set of reels on the screen. Mega Play goes about it a little differently than other multiplay systems, with games that start with two sets of reels then expand to three and four as the player collects bonus symbols, and others that contract from four sets of reels to one filling the screen during bonus spins. “We’re really focusing on that multiplay category,” said Dallas Orchard, vice president of gaming operations at Aristocrat. “We really think we can be leaders in that category throughout the next year, and performance of our MegaPay games has been sensational.”

And up-and-coming Incredible Technologies, which made a splash in 2009 by showing its Magic Touch slots that enable guests to choose their volatility not just on bonus rounds, but on the base games, deepened its offerings with a line of more traditional video slots. “What you’re seeing here is our attempt to be where all the other large manufacturers are, to have a deeper catalog,” said President and CEO Elaine Hodgson. “One of the things casinos want to see is ‘Are you going to be around? What do you have next?  We want to see more.’ We’ve worked very hard to develop a deeper catalog and show we’re in this to stay.”

From around the world, manufacturers came to show they’re in this game, ready to expand their footprint on casino floors:



AC Coin:

Every game at the AC Coin booth included a Quick Hit feature, guaranteeing that everyone who sits down to play will get to experience the fun of a bonus event.

“All the games here are on a quick hit math model,” said director of sales Nat Holt. “Doing the games that way in today’s economy provides the player the ability to have less of a max bet, less money out of their pocket, but still have a good gaming experience. They still can put $20 in a game and sit and play and have a great experience.”

That doesn’t mean that every bonus event is going to be a big winner, or even cover the size of the wager. In Bubble Up, a five-reel mechanical game with a bonus feature played in the top box, players must make a maximum bet of 125 credits to be eligible for the top-box bonus. The Bubble Up feature, which occurs an average of once per eight plays, a lighted grid in the top box blinks out the light on one credit value at a time. The last rectangle remaining lit gives you your bonus. If the last remaining is 60 credits, for example, it doesn’t pay for your bet, but the event happens frequently enough that there’s always the chance a big one is just around the corner. And about once every 54 spins, there’s a second part layered onto the bonus, with the player getting a multiplier along with the credits grid.

“We have our standalone Quick Hit, we have a Double Play Quick Hit. We have our Big Roller Quick Hit. We have our climber series where we have Visitors From an Udder World. And then we have our three-station advanced video community. And all these have a quick hit math model.”

In the latest in A.C. Coin’s Climber Series, Visitors From an Udder World, the Quick Hit feature is a step toward the main bonus that comes when a cow completes its rise up a beam to a space ship. When the cow reaches the ship, you’ll hear a big Moooooo!!! - along with an alien voice telling you, “You’ve made it to the top.”




Ainsworth Game Technology's Lights, Camera, Action

AINSWORTH GAME TECHNOLOGY



AMERICAN GAMING SYSTEMS



A strong competitor in Oklahoma and other Indian gaming markets that is looking to expand its range, AGS showed a line of video slots that included the red-hot themes Devil’s Hot 7s and Ms. Hot Devil’s 7s. AGS also displayed Boogie Ball, a new game from Olaf Vancura, who rolled out many an innovation in his days at Mikohn Gaming. Boogie Ball features a white-handed blue orb of a lead character, Oogie, with a top box feature that includes balls dropping down a Pachinko-style board.

AGS is among the companies bidding for a piece of the potential video gaming market in Illinois bars and restaurants with its Illinois Jackpot series of multigame machines, complete with an Illinois Jackpot Players Club loyalty program.



Aristocrat's Tarzan game

ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES



New play dynamics include, but are no means restricted to, Mega Pay.

“Last year, the theme of our booth was Building for the Future. This year it’s Are You Ready? We feel like we’ve really taken the next step as a company.”

The first Mega Pay games, More Hearts and More Chilli, start with two sets of reels. When the player has collected enough hearts or peppers, the view expands to three sets, and the fifth reel is wild on each set. Collect more bonus symbols, and a fourth screen pops up, this time the fourth AND fifth reels are wild, meaning any three of a kind connection on the first three reels becomes a big five of a kind pay.

The next Mega Pay games in line, Gazillions and Fortune Fantasy, start the player off with four sets of five spinning reels. But this time, when one set goes into a free-spin bonus event, it takes over the screen so there is only one set of reels on display.

Another new play dynamic is called Remix, which shuffles reels or symbols around to create new combinations. “Remix is made up of two games. One is Don Quixote, one is Dragon Emperor,” Orchard said. “On Don Quixote, symbols shuffle around the screen, and fall back into different positions. A windmill on the third reel brings additional respins. Dragon Emperor is a Reel Power version. Instead of symbols shuffling, the reels shuffle.”

A year ago, in its back room off the main floor, Aristocrat showed Rockin’ Olives, a stylish rock and roll game featuring the art of Michael Godard. This year, Rockin’ Olives was on the main floor along with the next in the series of Godard-licensed games, Monster Boogie, newly approved by GLI.

Tarzan, in full vine-swinging glory on Aristocrat’s Verve hd cabinet, is a feature-rich wide-area progressive that can draw on a century of entertainment history under a license from the Edgar Rice Burroughs family. The classic American heroes Pecos Bill, Annie Oakley and Paul Bunyan come to life in the Reel Tall Tales series, with a 32-inch top box in portrait mode. And Mission Impossible, featuring many of the characters from the movie, marks Aristocrat’s entry into episodic, save-your-place gaming.

“This is our third product on Verve, scheduled for a June 2011 release,” Orchard said, and the first game inthe Adventure series. It’s episodic, remembers the player when the players log on. Players continue to unlock bonus features, and there are  community features as well. The fourth movie is scheduled to come to market in late 2011, so we’re releasing in Q2 .”



Aruze Gaming's Paradise Fishing game

ARUZE GAMING



Throughout the expo, crowds gathered around Paradise Fishing, eager to try the Reel Feel technology. With six machines under three 60-inch high definition LCD games showing scenes from the deep sea or coral reef, the game looks beautiful. The community style bonuses - trying to catch the most fish, or the biggest fish, or some combination thereof - are reminiscent of WMS’ Reel ’Em In: Compete to Win. But the hook here is the controller using Aruze’s Reel Feel technology. Grab hold, and raise or lower your worm. And when that marlin strikes, you can really feel it. The fish struggles and fights while you try to land it - and sometimes it gets away.

An elaborate top box bonus adds interest to another new Aruze game, Oiran:

Top of Japanese Geisha. The main bonus is a journey through a traditional Japanese village, with a chance to get to the big prize, the geisha palace. Along the way, you can get sidetracked, perhaps even robbed by a “Sneaky Guy,” ending the bonus event.

“Players have the opportunity to experience a story,” said Steve Walther, vice president of marketing at Aruze Gaming America. “The story of Oiran is a journey through a traditional Japanese village on the path to get from the start though to the geisha palace to spend time with one of top of Japanese geisha.”

With its stepper products, Aruze really stepped into the fast lane. Reels go on hyperdrive, spinning up to 200 revolutions per minute, or slow down to build anticipation depending on what’s already on the reels. “The seven-color LED lights behind the reels really lights up and makes them very fancy,” Walther said in showing off the games. “Beyond the stepper product, it’s an interactive video product as well with action on a touch screen top box.”



Atronic/Spielo Deal or No Deal Join 'N' Play game

ATRONIC/SPIELO

The big excitement was around Deal or No Deal Join ’N’ Play, with Howie Mandel on hand to join in the fun for the first time in Atronic’s series of games based on the hit TV game show. It’s a community-style game, with five 45-inch LCD screens overhead for the big suitcase bonus event. The base game features 243 ways to win, and has three mystery bonuses for the individual player. As they play, customers collect suitcases, with 18 cases bringing eligibility for the community bonus. The more the player bets from a minimum of 50 cents to a maximum of $2.50, the more reels are activated with qualifier cases. A sixth reel can multiply cases collected on any spin.

“What we’re trying to do with the community game is not give a lot of those win-below-bets,” Brennan said. “We want the excitement of those 
five of a kind wins. Just from a base game perspective, there are not a lot of dribble pays. The hit frequency is 
a little less but you’re getting some substantial wins.

“It’s an 11-minute timed event community bonus, and it’s designed to be an inclusive event. Almost everyone will qualify who’s playing at a decent pace. Once you’re eligible, you do not have to play any more to remain eligible. However we have put enough incentive in the game to encourage people to chase that higher multiplier.”

And, said Brennan, it’s a game of firsts. “It’s our first with Howard Mandel, our first community game, our first product on our new slant top, our first using our own controller [the Game Boss]. It’s a lot of firsts that t, we would call a best in class product.”

On the systems side, Spielo emphasized its Intelligen server-based central system, with much excitement that the system was selected for the new, booming market in Italy.

“I would say the Intelligen system is probably our strongest product right now in government sponsored lottery market,” said Cindy Hovey, Spielo’s director of product management. “It’s the first central system that actually uses G2S in the distributed market.



Bally Technologies' Betty Boop's Love Meter

BALLY TECHNOLOGIES



With about 135 unique new game titles and seemingly almost as many ways to play, there was a lot of excitement around the Bally booth. Laura Olson-Reyes, Bally’s director of corporate communications,  especially wanted to call attention to the new iDeck button panel with its suite of U-Win bonus applications.

“The iDeck is our multitouch, fully programmable, interactive button deck,” she explained. “Essentially, we got rid of the traditional button deck and we have the iDeck, which is fully interactive, fully touch screen and it has multitouch capability. It’s very, very rugged and durable and that is available on all of our new Pro Series Alpha 2 cabinets. What’s neat about it from a player standpoint is that we can buld game features and interactive bonuses and different interactive events right into the iDeck.

“We have a whole suite of interactive bonuses built into the iDeck called the U-Win, where players can spin a virtual wheel, touch or select items, rub lamps  or all sorts of different interaction.”

Only one button remains on the panel - Bally developer figured players would still like to push a physical button to start the reels spinning. The iDeck has its own bonus features, played strictly on the panel, but can be integrated into regular gameplay. Betty Boop’s Love Meter does just that. In the main bonus event, the panel no longer displays buttons. Instead, the outlines of hands appear. You place your hands on the panel, and colors change, a la the mood rings of the 1970s. In the top box, meanwhile, the Love Meter rises from lovable to romantic to sexy to wild to smokin’ and beyond. The higher the meter rises, the hotter your bonus.

G2E 2009 brought Bally’s U-Spin technology, where the player touches a wheel on the screen to drag it either direction, fast or slow, then let it fly to spin the wheel. In some versions, a top box wheel mirrors the spin on the screen. The first U-Spin game in release, Cash Spin, has more than 1,200 units in the field since it’s April rollout.

At G2E 2010, Bally showed several takes on what U-Spin can do, including a choose-your-volatility game called Hot Pick. Players can touch a single bar for the lowest volatility, or wild symbol for the highest, or any of four symbols in between for six possible volatility levels. The bonus amounts on the U-Spin wheel change as the player changes the volatility level.

“If players want a lot of time on device and frequent small wins, they can choose that, or if they like to bet more for the opportunity for bigger wins, they have the opportunity to choose that too,” Olson-Reyes said.

Games were show in several iterations of Bally’s Alpha 2 Pro Series cabinet, with uprights, slants, and an unusual design called the “Hammerhead.” That one features a top box with a 32-inch display laid horizontally on top. One Hammerhead game is Golden Pharaoh, featuring a “Directional Wild.” When a compass-like wild symbol turns up on the video reels, a pointer rotates around the symbol. When it stops, it indicates 
a direction, and all symbols in the 
indicated path turn wild, leading to extra wins.



Cadillac Jack's Odyssey game

CADILLAC JACK



A real eye-catcher at Cadillac Jack, a Class II force that also hits Class III markets, was The Odyssey, with multiple bonuses including both pick’em and free spin events. There’s much attention to detail on the game in Cadillac Jack’s dual-screen Genesis cabinet, with reel symbols relating to Odysseus epic journey home from Troy.

The Charybdis bonus uses the dual screens to terrific effect, with the top box giving a long view of Odysseus ship swirling around a whirlpool, while on the main screen the player gets a close-up view of the ship bow, touching the screen to try to guide the ship across.

“It’s really a feature-rich package, and that’s one of the things we’re really proud of at the show,” said director of game development Jared Torres. “The Genesis cabinet has high resolution, one of the highest that I know of in our industry at 1680 x 1050. Effectively, we’ve incorporated the top screens into the bonus. When you go into the Sirens bonus, the Sirens are at the top enticing the player. In the Cyclops bonus, which is one of the coolest, the Cyclops is imposing over the screen, and he reaches down and changes symbols to wilds.”

Cadillac Jack also introduced a line of 100-line video slots, with two-stack wild symbols instead of full column stacks, bringing greater volatility. Also new was Mega Strike, a five-level progressive, with Sparky, a lighted match character, as mascot for fiery-themed play.



INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES



A new line of traditional-type video slots includes five-reel, 40-line games such as Tiki Party, where players collect volcano symbols to trigger a Fire and Ash Bonus, and Chopper Cash, with its Bike Build Bonus event. They’re forced bet games - players must wager on all pay lines - but there are options to bet one, three of five credits per line. There’s a nice attention to detail. In the 40-line forced bet Bases Loaded, with a Seventh Inning Stretch bonus event, symbols include baseball icons from singles through grand slams, and the wild symbol, naturally enough, is a Wild Pitch.

Three-line video games including Wild West 7s and Jewel Heist are configured for 25 pay lines, again with an all-line forced bet, though the player can choose to bet one, four or eight credits per line.

A year ago, customers asked Incredible about dual-screen cabinets. This year, the company showed its new Breeze Upright and Breeze-75 HD slant-top dual screen cabinets, along with a new bartop unit.

That doesn’t mean a change of emphasis from the innovative Magic Touch games in which the player can choose Win Often” (low volatility), “Win Steady” (medium volatility) and “Win Big” (high volatility) while keeping the same game theme and graphics. Choose-your-volatility games including Cars, Pinup Girls and Money remain a major part of the niche Incredible is trying to carve.

“In our first year, we showcased the ability to come up with innovative ideas and exciting new ideas and push the industry forward,” said marketing manager Dan Schrementi. This year also showcasing that we understand trending, what’s hot, what’s necessary for success.”



INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY



Many of the biggest, flashiest, most attention-grabbing games are shared-revenue products, but IGT public relations representative Jaclyn March wanted to point out that licensed theming extends to for-sale games, too. In its new Player Affinity Series, IGT goes to the big top with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. There are two versions, one with five video reels in a four-deep configuration, one with a hexagon-type layout for 720 ways to win. The 3-D circus symbols realty pop out at you while on video a real Ringling Brothers ringmaster guides you through the game.

Among the revenue-sharers, everyone seeming wanted to have a go at The Dark Knight, based on the Batman movies with plenty of film clips and animation. It’s the latest offering on IGT’s Center Stage platform, with a 108-inch screen commanding attention over the bank of games. It’s a progressive, community-style game with multiple bonus events. There’s an element of competition in the Battle for Gotham City bonus. You can choose whether to be Batman on his Batcycle or Joker in his truck labeled “Slaughter is the Best Medicine” in a chase through the streets with bumps, sparks and crashes along the way.

“It brings in a lot of clips, a lot of people from the movie, so it brings that familiarity with it,” said public relations representative Shelle Murach. “It has great sound and great action on it as well.”

When you qualify for the bonus event, you don’t have to go right away.

“Let’s say you’re playing with friends, and you want to wait for your good friend Shelle here to get into the bonus too so you can get compete against each other,” March said. “Or you can choose to do it now.”

IGT made the most of film licenses with plenty of clips and movie-related bonuses on Ghostbusters and Hangover. Ghostbusters uses the Slimer character as a host for the game, jumping from the individual screen to the overhead display to show which bonus event is about to take place. When he pops up on your screen, don’t ignore him - he’ll command attention with a little dance until you finally touch him to launch him into the top box.

Hangover, based on the hit comedy, is a multilevel progressive, with levels named after movie characters Alan, Phil, Stu and Doug. Movie scenes help introduce the bonus events. In Stu’s Game, movie dentist Stu notices he’s missing a tooth. Then the player starts selecting teeth on a grid to collect bonuses.

“It’s very, very fun,” March said. “You’ve got all the characters from the movie. You’ve got all this iconic stuff from the movie the tiger, the chicken, the tooth which is kind of gross. And you’ve got a lot of music. It’s probably hitting a different demographic that wouldn’t usually sit down at a slot, younger and more male. My dad loves this movie. He’s in his late 60s and I would think he would come and play this game if he saw this when he was walking by in a casino.”

As usual, IGT showed a full line of video poker games. One was a different take on the popular Wheel Poker games, this one called Build a Wheel. Build a Wheel. At the start of play, only two slices on the wheel are filled in with bonus amounts, with six left blank. Each time the player is dealt three of a kind or better, it fills in another slice on the wheel. When all slices are filled, it spins for bonus credits. Alternatively, all spaces will fill for an immediate bonus spin whenever the player is dealt a full house or better.



Konami Gaming's Rock Around the Clock

KONAMI GAMING



Top Track is a four-level progressive, community-style game Grand Prix racing bonus game. As you play, you’re awarded drivers in the game - bigger bettors will accumulate more drivers. Then in the bonus event, the winning driver brings the biggest bonus, but everyone gets a consolation price.

Rock Around the Clock, available on both the five-reel Advantage 5 and three-reel Advantage Revolution cabinets, was due for a launch at 10 Station Casinos properties the week after G2E. The games are standalone progressives with clock-faced characters Rockin’ Rick, Cha-Ching Chad and Rollin’ Robby guiding players through to the free spin bonuses. In the Advantage 5 themes Rock All Day, and Party All Night, there’s a video clock in the top box that can strike “Bonus Time” for a progressive round. On Advantage Revolution, the bonus clock is mounted above the top box for the themes Rhythm ’N’ Riches and Shakes ’N’ Spins.

 Konami had big success last year with the rollout of its Podium cabinet, and this time showed new games Pharoah’s Wish and Pirate’s Jackpot on Podium.

“We have a new operating system coming out called KP3 that will be available in the new Podiium slants.as well as the Podium uprights,” said Leah Steinhardt, marketing manager at Konami. “That launches in March. The graphics are outstanding. With the 3-D, this is a software solution so there is no eyestrain, you don’t have to be a certain distance from the game. We’re having skill-based launched on KP3, with a Podium with flippers on side to appeal to the younger market.”



Multimedia Games' TournEvent

MULTIMEDIA GAMES

In 2009, Multimedia Games tweaked 
its TournEvent system, adding a video camera in each unit to capture images of contestants as they play and show them on a screen over the bank of machines. At G2E 2010, Multimedia tweaked once more.

“Last year we observed that people were hitting the buttons fast, but they were looking around at the overhead sign, at people in the audience and stuff. We wanted to focus more on the game,” vice president of product management Brad Johnson said. “So now as they’re playing the game and the reels are spinning, these balloons blow up and rise on the screen. Touch it and it pops, and they get a bonus for it. So now they’re hitting the button with one hand, hitting balloons with the other, so they’re more into the tournament.

“At the same time, we have a panel next to the main screen it that does picture in picture.  Instead of having to look up, they can see their face right there. We’re also showing what place they’re in, which we didn’t do last year, and we’re showing their points, so they don’t have to look at the top box. We have them more excited about playing in the tournament, instead of just seeing their picture up there. Now we’ve taken it that next step.”

Multimedia also displayed video slots with a new take on game play with Side Action Dice and Side Action Poker. For a 25-cent side bet, players get a poker hand or a roll of dice on a panel next to the main video reels. It’s akin to a multiplay game, only with different games instead of each set of reels being the same basic game.

“We’re starting to try to create families of games based on niches we see in the industry,” Johnson said. “We’re taking a standard and adding something unique to it so a director says, ‘That’s interesting. I’m not seeing that type of product from any other manufacturer, so let’s put it on the floor and see how it does.”



NOVOMATIC



Austrian Gaming Industries occupies an unusual place in the casino industry as both supplier of games and operator of European casinos. Among its solutions for offering a wide variety of play is to take the multi-game format slot manufacturers have used for years and applying it to its line of linked electronic table games. In banks of machines at G2E, players could touch the screen to choose among sic bo, blackjack, baccarat, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker and two roulette games.

The server-based Novo Unity II platform can link any number of units. In a test run switching from sic bo to Flying Roulette, players could look to the wall for video of a physical roulette wheel, or watch the wheel on their own screens. The Novo Unity II link enables the casino to place units in different areas of the floor, while running off the same spin of the roulette wheel or shake of the sic bo dice.

On the slot side, Novomatic showed its line of slant-top cabinets, with the single-screen SL1 for linked games. Also available are the two-screen SL2 and three-screen SL3. All are stylish, modern and comfortable. On the multi-screen versions, the player can even take advantage of Flip Screen, and choose which screen to make the main game display.

On the Super V+ Gaminator upright cabinet, the Ultimate 10 multigame package featured multilane video slots on the new Coolfire 1+ platform. Coolfire 1+ includes many of the games developed for the advanced Coolfire 2 platform, but adapts the technology to bring high-resolution games at a lower price point.



VIDEO GAMING TECHNOLOGIES



A leader in Class II games, VGT boasted 29 new game themes, crossing categories with five-reel video, three-reel mechanical and five-reel mechanical games. Every game featured VGT’s Red Zone bonus game. At random times, the screen turns red, and when it does every spin is a winner. It’s a formula that has been successful for VGT as players anticipate their winners once the screen goes red.

Five-reel games at low denominations are an important part of the mix, but VGT also goes the high-denom route with some of its three-reel mechanicals. OK K.O. - for Oklahoma Knockout - Wild Tiger and Leap of Faith are all three-reel, single-pay line games designed for $10 play.

VGT also is anticipating entering the Illinois video gaming market when procedures for bars, restaurants and service clubs are finalized. One corner of the booth featured multigame units called Vegas Jackpot, displayed with the heading “Vegas Comes to Illinois.” Bearing in mind proposed restrictions both on bet size and top payoff amount, Vegas Jackpot units included 25-cent video poker games with adjusted pay tables, along with 20, 15, 9 and 8-line slot games for low denomination play.



WMS Gaming's MetaScreen

WMS GAMING



In 2009, WMS showed its Lord of the Rings game in its Inner Sanctum, away from the main crush of visitors. This time, Lord of the Rings, already in the field, was in the main booth, and WMS was eager to point out that it’s just a start of its Players Life interactions. Lord of the Rings is an Adaptive Gaming quest as players collect miles on their journey, unlocking new graphics and bonus themes along the way. As in the first Adaptive Gaming venture, Star Trek, players create identities and can log back in to pick up where they left off next time they play.

Through Players Life (www.playerslife.com), they can continue the journey at home, playing casual games with a chance to unlock the next set of bonus events once they are back in the casino. Keeping slot players connected to the gaming experience and creating a sense of community through Players Life is something WMS built into every game displayed in this year’s Inner Sanctum, including Alice, Clue, Battleship and a real show-stopper, Aladdin. You’ll believe you can really fly that magic carpet in this Sensory Immersion game.

“With Players Life, we’re really taking it to the next level,” said Allon Englman, vice president of game design at WMS. “Every one of the the games in here has some kind of Player’s Life tie-in, whether its achievement points, which can be used to buy virtual assets in the games, to leader boards, to a constant win-stream to people you know, to people you’ve friended. It’s a completely new way of bringing a whole new aspect to the floor.”

 In the main booth, a big emphasis was placed on WMS’ new Portal Applications, enabling the layering of bonus and progressive packages onto any base game. Ultra Hit Progressive layers a mystery bonus onto the base games, with initial themes including Piggy Bankin and Jackpot Explosion. In the Winner’s Share application, a random secondary event allows one player at the bank to play a round worth anywhere from 1 percent to 200 percent of the progressive jackpot. At G2E, Winner’s Share debuted with PengWins, a physics-based event across the Transmissive screen on mechanical slots in which penguins careen from cliff to ice floe to walrus, picking up bonuses until they stop.

MetaScreen, a Portal Application that is designed for competitive slot play, debuted with Pirate Battle, with some players on the bank grouped as the Red Team, exchanging cannon fire with the Blue Team. And the fourth Portal Application, Mega Multiplier, powered by a real-time physics engine, allows players to shoot an animated pinball into the top box for a chance to multiply credits up to 100 times.

“These applications can run on top of any of our base games,” Englman said. It could be GPlus Deluxe; it could be mechanical Flexibility come out of the different applications. Price Is Right isn’t using that technology, so we had to develop Price Is Right base games. That costs a lot of time and development. Now we can do applications that can sit above any of our base games. It’s really to increase our efficiency, and it allows our players to enjoy a lot of different experiences, because the base game feels different every time you play the game.” SlotManager