The Art of Slot Machines

Written by:
Published on:
The Art of Slot Machines

With approximately 197,144 slot machines in Las Vegas alone, it’s no wonder that artists have started to recognise these games as a digital platform for their work. One such artist is marine muralist Robert Wyland.

Wyland’s massive murals of marine animals can be seen across San Diego County, including locations such as the Del Mar Fairgrounds and the Plunge at Belmont Park. His artwork will be featuring on the first IGT Wyland slot machine, helping to raise funds for the Wyland Foundation, which promotes awareness of the importance of clean oceans across education.

However, Wyland is not the only one who recognises the potential impact that these machines could have on the world of art. “When you look at it, you have to realise that not only is the machine designed by somebody, you had to have somebody do all of the art – the belly plate and the top plate and all of that,” said Mark Hall-Patton, the Clark County Museums Administrator.

Even early art machines boasted little design flares, such as “detailed little gold flourishes here and there,” notes Hall-Patton, adding: “it was industrial art and everything was supposed to look the same, but of course, they hand-detailed it so it’s not going to be.”

With the advancement of technology and the rise of online casino sites more opportunities are presenting themselves for budding designers such as Wyland who managed to get his uniquely designed slot game onto “If you look at how the technology has evolved, it certainly has gotten more interesting, more high-tech if you will,” said Vice President of product management at International Game Technology, Joe Sigrist.

Both online and offline slot machines now sport a massive variety of artwork and themes, ranging from famous cartoons, recent film releases and iconic brands. Sigrist added that not only is finding the right branding for the machine important, but “at some point you’ve got to decide what you want in imagery. The art is really important.

“How the imagery is represented on the game – the colours, the graphics – is important to the experience. And obviously, you want to connote fun, you want to connote winnings, you want to connote the brand that’s being supported.”

The appearance and theme of a slot machine is hugely important in attracting customers. According to Mike Mitchell, the Vice President of game development at Bally Technologies, there are “certain themes that resonate with players over others, and the key is that we do a good job of marrying what players are looking for with what we advertise.”

The execution of these images can now be more intricate and vivid than ever before thanks to the high-resolution video panels and computer screens that are now available to display the gameplay. Whether or not players really focus on this detail is still up for debate. However, Bally Technologies’ Trask believes that players do appreciate good artwork.

“When you walk through a casino and there are 500 games, you look for something that looks interesting,” he said. “A player either looks for a game they like or for something that’s appealing visually. And from there, it’s got to be a great gaming experience so they keep coming back.”

Whatever extent artwork plays in attracting slot machines players, Wyland is sure to have success with his first IGT release. Sigrist notes, “historically, games that connote water, whether it be underwater or kind of seashore games, do very well. I think people are attracted to the colour blue and to the effects of water, which is a very pleasing experience.” 

Gambling News