Patent number 8747211 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention is directed to wagering games, gaming machines and networked gaming systems and methods and, more particularly, to wagering games, gaming machine and networked gaming systems and methods including multiple-progressive wheel games.
"Reel gaming machines with static reel symbols are known. Current reel games use either mechanical reels or show a video representation reels. Various modifications have been made over the years to create additional interest in standard reel games. An example improvement can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,731,313 to Kaminkow, where a player can make manual requests to change reel symbols. Another is U.S. Pat. No. 6,702,675 to Poole, which discloses animal animations on reel symbols.
"In the prior art, various types of gaming machines have been developed with different features to captivate and maintain player interest. In general, a gaming machine allows a player to play a game in exchange for a wager. Depending on the outcome of the game, the player may be entitled to an award which is paid to the player by the gaming machine, normally in the form of currency or game credits. Gaming machines may include flashing displays, lighted displays, or sound effects to capture a player's interest in a gaming device.
"Another important feature of maintaining player interest in a gaming machine includes providing the player with many opportunities to win awards, such as cash or prizes. For example, in some slot machines, the display windows show more than one adjacent symbol on each reel, thereby allowing for multiple-line betting. Some gaming machines offer a player the opportunity to win millions of dollars by providing progressive jackpots. Additionally, feature games of various types have been employed to reward players above the amounts normally awarded on a standard game pay schedule. Generally, such feature games are triggered by predetermined events such as one or more appearances of certain combinations of indicia in a primary game. In order to stimulate interest, feature games are typically set to occur at a gaming machine on a statistical cycle based upon the number of primary game plays.
"While gaming machines including feature games have been very successful, there remains a need for games that provide a player with enhanced excitement and increased opportunity of winning."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Presently disclosed is a novel and non-obvious embedded reel game. The game comprises a reel game which is typically a 5 reel, 20 payline game, but the present invention can be implemented using any number of reels or paylines, from 1 to any number that is comfortable to players. Included on the reels is at least one, and preferably one per reel, special symbols which appear to be, or visually corresponds to, a miniature reel machine. One embodiment has three miniature reels therein. When the miniature reels are in the right position (a win event in the main game), the miniature reel game symbol animates and plays a complete, standalone game of its own. This includes having its own paytable and, where applicable, its own progressive. These miniature reel games may be unique to the game, or may be miniature representations of actual full-size reel games. If the miniature game is a small version of a full-size game, the full-size game's paytable will be used. The player is awarded any winnings from the spin of the miniature reel game, after which the main game continues.
"The bonus games disclosed herein may be configured for use with reel games having as few as a single reel. The paytables in such a game would be configured to trigger bonus rounds more frequently than is typical in multi-reel games, allowing quick repetitive play and frequent bonus game play. This provides additional pleasure to players wanting the visual enjoyment of the miniature reel game presented in this disclosure.
"Another embodiment of the present inventive concept involves having 'telescoping' embedded miniature reel games. Upon a first bonus game trigger, the embedded miniature reel games are triggered. Each embedded miniature reel game will have, on its reels, symbols corresponding to its own embedded reel games. Because it would be too difficult to see more than one level of embedded reels, a faux magnifying glass effect would be used in the area of the miniature embedded reel game. When the first level embedded reel game is played, it is enlarged as if looking through a magnifying glass placed over a portion of the main display screen. This allows the second-level embedded miniature reel games to be visible inside the first level embedded miniature reel game. If a win event occurs in the first level embedded miniature reel game that triggers its own embedded miniature reel games (the second level games), these second level games are animated and played. If the second level reel games have embedded reel games, these will be further magnified until a maximum level of embedded game is reached.
"Telescoping embedded games need not be represented as miniature games; other visual representations could be used.
"Embedded reel games may be shown using bonus game symbols that, when triggered, are associated with an embedded reel game, or may be a picture of the embedded reel game itself. The embedded reel games, when triggered, may be shown as a direct animation of the bonus game symbol, as an overlay animation of the bonus game symbol, or may be shown in a different section of the screen. If used with mechanical reels, the embedded games would be shown on a separate video display. The embedded games may be miniature reel games or may be shown as substantially the same size as the main game. 'Embedded' refers to the concept of triggering a bonus reel game from inside a main reel game, and bringing the triggered reel game to life while allowing most of the primary game to remain visible (how much depends on how big the embedded reel games are made by game designers). In one embodiment, the embedded reel games are genuinely miniature, being 1/10 or less the size of the main game. This greatly enhances the 'cute' effect of the embedded bonus game. Any reduced size may be used for effect, of course. Generally anything less than 1/2 the size of the primary game is considered substantially smaller than the primary game and will create at least some of the desirable 'cute' effect.
"Each embedded reel game may be associated with a progressive jackpot. One embodiment has each embedded game associated with the same progressive game as the main game. Alternatively, each embedded game may have its own progressive jackpot.
"In yet another embodiment, each embedded game is associated with a jackpot contributed to by other embedded games, the other embedded games being all embedded games in a bank, or, other embedded games in a wide area progressive.
"In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, a game device includes at least one processor, interfaces coupling the processor to a player input device and a display, a connection coupling the at least one processor to an external network and at least one memory device storing a commercial operating system and software under control of the processor for displaying a game on the display. The game includes a first game having a set of game plays, at least one of the game plays occurring after activation of the player input device by a player, and a second game including a plurality of second game plays, the second game plays occurring after a triggering event of the first game. The game further includes at least one wheel capable of indicating awards which may be won as a result of the second game plays, at least one of the awards comprising one of a set of progressive awards; w herein each second game play is visually_associated with a different aspect of the triggering event and wherein indicia on the wheel have been configured according to the different aspect of the triggering event; and one of the set of progressive awards winnable only on its respective associated second game play. The entire set of progressive awards may be won as the result of the triggering event.
"Features and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate by way of example, the features of the various embodiments."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Vallejo, John; Mitchell, Michael;
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