The patent's assignee for patent number 8814657 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Gaming machines, such as slot machines, video poker machines and the like, have been a cornerstone of the gaming industry for several years. Generally, the popularity of such machines with players is dependent on the likelihood (or perceived likelihood) of winning money at the machine and the intrinsic entertainment value of the machine relative to other available gaming options. Where the available gaming options include a number of competing machines and the expectation of winning at each machine is roughly the same (or believed to be the same), players are likely to be attracted to the most entertaining and exciting machines. Shrewd operators consequently strive to employ the most entertaining and exciting machines, features, and enhancements available because such machines attract frequent play and hence increase profitability to the operator. Therefore, there is a continuing need for gaming machine manufacturers to continuously develop new games and improved gaming enhancements that will attract frequent play through enhanced entertainment value to the player.
"One concept that has been successfully employed to enhance the entertainment value of a game is the concept of a 'secondary' or 'bonus' game that may be played in conjunction with a 'basic' game. The bonus game may comprise any type of game, either similar to or completely different from the basic game, which is entered upon the occurrence of a selected event or outcome in the basic game. Generally, bonus games provide a greater expectation of winning than the basic game and may also be accompanied with more attractive or unusual video displays and/or audio. Bonus games may additionally award players with 'progressive jackpot' awards that are funded, at least in part, by a percentage of coin-in from the gaming machine or a plurality of participating gaming machines. Because the bonus game concept offers tremendous advantages in player appeal and excitement relative to other known games, and because such games are attractive to both players and operators, there is a continuing need to develop gaming machines with new types of bonus games to satisfy the demands of players and operators.
"When playing a slots gaming machine, the player spins the reels and, after the reels have stopped spinning, the player views a randomly selected outcome that may include a gaming rule change. For example, after the reels have stopped spinning the player may be notified that, in addition to achieving a particular symbol combination, all the cherry symbols are being upgraded to wild symbols. One problem associated with indicating the gaming rule change after the reels have stopped spinning is that it fails to create a sense of anticipation and excitement for the player. Another problem associated with current gaming rule changes is that they are dependent on the randomly selected outcome. In other words, referring to the above example, all the cherry symbols are upgraded to wild symbols only if a particular combination of cherries is achieved (e.g., one cherry symbol lands in each reel).
"Thus, a need exists for a gaming machine in which gaming rule changes are presented prior to indicating a completed reel spin. Another need exists for determining a rule change independently of a randomly selected outcome. The present invention is directed to satisfying one or more of these needs and solving other problems."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to one aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine for playing a wagering game includes a display and a controller. The display displays a plurality of spinning reels that stop to indicate a randomly selected outcome of a plurality of outcomes in response to accepting a wager input from a player. The controller is in communication with the display and is operative to conduct the wagering game in accordance with a basic set of gaming rules. The controller is further operative to cause a modification to a gaming rule of the basic set of gaming rules and to indicate the modification to the player.
"According to another aspect of the invention, a method of playing a wagering game includes receiving a wager input from a player for playing the wagering game and selecting a randomly selected outcome of a plurality of outcomes. The method further includes moving and stopping a plurality of reels to indicate the randomly selected outcome and conducting the wagering game in accordance with a basic set of gaming rules. Prior to stopping all of the plurality of reels, a modification is indicated to at least one gaming rule of the basic set of gaming rules.
"According to yet another aspect of the invention, a method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine includes receiving a wager input from a player for conducting the wagering game and selecting a randomly selected outcome of a plurality of outcomes, the randomly selected outcome being selected in accordance with one or more basic rules of the wagering game. The method further includes displaying symbols arranged in a symbol array to indicate the randomly selected outcome and determining a modification to at least one of the basic rules. A representation of the modification is indicated before all the symbols of the symbol array are displayed, and an award is awarded in accordance with the modification.
"According to yet another aspect of the invention, a computer readable storage medium is encoded with instructions for directing a gaming system to perform the above methods.
"Additional aspects of the invention will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the detailed description of various embodiments, which is made with reference to the drawings, a brief description of which is provided below."
For additional information on this patent, see: Englman, Allon G.; Jaffe, Joel R.; Hornik, Jeremy M.; Pacey, Larry J.. Wagering Game with Rule Set Altered Prior to Completion of Reel Spin. U.S. Patent Number 8814657, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Entertainment,
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