US 20050277467 A1
A gaming machine having a main game and a bonus game playable by a player. The bonus game includes an interactive holographic image with different areas on it. The holographic image, for example, can be that of a video screen and the areas can be different symbols on the screen. To play the bonus game the player selects the desired area or symbol and sticks his/her finger in it.
1. A gaming machine comprising:
a main game playable by a player of the gaming machine; and
generating means for generating an interactive holographic image actuable by the player as part of a bonus game following a successful result or outcome in the play of the main game.
2. The gaming machine of
3. The gaming machine of
4. The gaming machine of
5. The gaming machine of
6. The gaming machine of
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9. The gaming machine of
10. A gaming machine comprising:
a main game controlled by the processor and playable by a player at the gaming machine;
an interactive holographic image projector system controlled by the processor; and
the projector system being adapted to project a holographic image including a plurality of image areas, at least one of the areas being selectable and actuable by the player by physically interacting with same as part of a bonus game after the player has achieved a successful result or outcome in the play of the main game.
11. The gaming machine of
12. A gaming machine comprising:
a main game having a first chance outcome and a second chance outcome when played by a player; and
a holographic image which is interactive with the player of the main game after the first chance outcome, but not after the second chance outcome, as part of a bonus game of the gaming machine.
13. The gaming machine of
14. The gaming machine of
15. A method of playing a gaming machine, comprising:
playing a main game of the gaming machine; and
when a winning outcome of the main game is achieved, playing a bonus game associated with the main game by interacting with an interactive holographic image from the gaming machine.
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24. A method of conducting a game of chance on a gaming machine, comprising:
executing a main game for play by a player on the gaming machine;
executing a bonus game for play by the player in the event a winning outcome results when the player is playing the main game;
the executing the bonus game includes projecting an interactive holographic image; and
determining the gaming outcome of the bonus game after the player interacts with the interactive holographic image.
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The popularity of gaming machines, such as slot machines and video poker machines, depends on the likelihood or perceived likelihood of the player winning money at the machine and on the entertainment value of the machine to the player 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 perceived to be relatively the same, players will most likely be attracted to the most entertaining and exciting or different gaming machines.
One concept which has been used to enhance the entertainment value of gaming machines is that of a secondary or bonus game, which 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 of the basic game. Generally, bonus games provide a greater expectation of winning than the basic games and may also be accompanied with additional attractive or unusual video displays and/or audio. Examples of bonus games are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,443,837 (Jaffe, et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,641 (Webb), U.S. Pat. No. 6,375,187 (Baerlocher), U.S. Pat. No. 6,203,492 (Demar, et al.), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,645,074 (Thomas, et al.), and in 2003/083121 (Cole, et al.), 2003/0064797 (Jackson, et al.), 2003/0119576 (McClintic, et al.), 2001/0054794 (Cole), and 2003/0119576 (Cole). (All patents and other publications mentioned anywhere in this disclosure are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.) Accordingly, there is a continuing need to develop gaming machines with new types of bonus games to satisfy the demands of the players due to the popularity of bonus games.
Disclosed herein is a gaming machine having a main game playable by a user. When one or more play outcomes of the main game are achieved, a bonus game is activated. When activated an interactive holographic image is generated in front of the player, preferably at between twelve and eighteen inches away from the player and at eye level. A preferred embodiment of the holographic image is a flat panel screen with a plurality of symbols thereon. As examples only, the symbols can be diamonds, fishermen, frogs or stars. The bonus screen is attained, for example, by matching a certain combination of symbols or numbers determined by the main game.
To play the bonus game, the player selects one (or more) of the holographic symbols and puts his/her finger in it. A redundancy feature can be included whereby the player is asked to confirm or verify that the symbol selected is actually the player's desired symbol. The interactive holographic system of the gaming machine identifies the selected symbol and the play of the bonus game is completed by the machine based on the selected symbol, and the outcome displayed or otherwise revealed to the player. The outcome can be a predetermined bonus prize, such as credits. One less preferred embodiment can have the same outcome no matter which symbol is selected. The player can then continue playing the main game or end his/her gaming play.
When the bonus game is completed, the interactive bonus game holographic image is turned off by the machine. When neither the main game nor the bonus game is being played (or at times when the bonus game is not being played) the hologram projector can project an attract-mode holographic image proximate to the physical gaming machine. This image is preferably not interactive and is designed to entice people to the machine and then to play the machine. In other words, except at the achieved bonus mode, a holographic image can be continuously displayed, preferably above the machine, to act as an “attract mode.” Once the bonus mode is achieved by a player, the attract mode disappears and projection begins as part of bonus play. When the bonus mode is concluded, the display returns to the attract mode. The attract mode can be a large diamond, or any number of objects used to create interest to play the game. The hologram is preferably visible only from the player's angle when in the “play mode” and visible at additional different angles or perspectives when in the “attract mode.”
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to those persons having ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention pertains from the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Referring to the drawings a gaming machine of the present invention is illustrated generally at 100. Machine 100 includes a chassis 110 enclosing or supporting the machine components and a “top box” 120 on top of the chassis 110. The top box 120 can house the holographic components as well as other features of the machine such as speakers and lights.
Mounted in the chassis 110 is a touch screen monitor 130, which has numbers or symbols which the player can select. The monitor 130 can also include a time out show currently being played, and a picture-in-picture ability to select another game while the current game is in the small screen. Buttons 150 or the like allow the player to control the play of the main game on the screen in addition to touch screen functions of the screen. The main game can be a video-style slot machine game, a video poker game or generally any “main game” as would be apparent to those skilled in the art. Instead of being button activated it can be pull-handle, joy stick or key pad activated or controlled. Instead of video screens, different types of display devices such as rotating wheels, liquid crystal displays, flat panel semiconductor display screens, polarized screen displays and holographic screens, such as mentioned in U.S. Pat. No. 5,934,672 (Sines, et al.), can be used.
An advertising panel 160 can be provided on a lower front face of the chassis 110. Currency notes, non-currency notes or coins can be inserted by a player through an opening in the chassis 110 to commence play and validated by a validator in the chassis. Currency notes or non-currency notes, or coins representing the “winnings” of the player can be discharged from the chassis 110 as is known in the art. The chassis 110 can further house or be connected to a printer and a player tracking on-line system.
The interactive bonus holographic image 180 can be a video screen 210 with a plurality of symbols 220, such as stars, diamonds, dollar signs, and animals, thereon. The player P interacts with the image by selecting one of the symbols by putting his/her finger F “in” the selected symbol 220. The selected symbol 220 is noted by the interactive holographic image system of the machine 100, and the (processor controlled) machine plays the bonus round and displays the result to the player, such as on the video screen (or on the holographic image/screen). Other images aside from video screens and symbols can be used as would be apparent to those skilled in art; for example, the video screen can be omitted and the symbols can be “floating” in the air.
Holography is an imaging technique that uses laser light to record the patterns of light waves reflected from an object onto the emulsion of light sensitive film (or glass plates). When that film is developed, and re-exposed to laser light (or normal incandescent light like most holograms today), it re-creates, in space, all the points of light that originally came from the object. The resulting image, either behind or in front of the holographic film, has the dimensions of the original object and looks so real that observers are tempted to reach out and touch it, only to find nothing there but focused light.
Unlike photography or painting, holography can render a subject with complete dimensional fidelity. A hologram creates everything the eyes see, namely, depth, size, shape, texture, and relative position, from many points of view. In fact, the term “hologram” derives from the Greek words, holos, meaning “whole,” and gramma, meaning “message.”
The simplest version of 3-D image technology is based on a system of mirrors and lenses. The object whose image is being projected sits inside a pedestal, which projects the object's light into space above the pedestal, where the image is reformed. This is often a computer generated image, therefore the computer must be integrated into the system. The effect is as if the object itself is hovering above the pedestal's surface. See e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,641 (Webb), U.S. Pat. No. 5,316,303 (Trudeau, et al.), U.S. Pat. No. 4,818,048 (Moss), U.S. Pat. No. 6,339,486 (Popovich), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,512,607 (Windsor, et al.), and US 2003/0220134 (Walker, et al.), JP8155134A (Taito Corp.), and JP6273690A (Dainippon Printing Co., Ltd.).
“Interactive” holography is a technology known in other arts. It is described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,377,238 (McPhetens), U.S. Pat. No. 5,378,888 (Stapperts), U.S. Pat. No. 5,990,990 (Crabtree), U.S. Pat. No. 5,917,490 (Kuzunuki, et al.), and U.S. Pat. No. 6,281,878 (Montellese).
The bonus game “played” on the interactive holographic screen 180 can be rather simple by having the player's participation end after he/she has chosen the symbol 220. The result then can be a multiple, such as ten or fifty times, the point value achieved in the main game depending on the symbol-selected. For example, the bonus game can be a variation of the popular “Go Fish” game, where the player seeks the fish and the fisherman. Alternatively, the bonus game can be more complicated such as by requiring further interaction by the player with the holographic bonus screen 180, or less preferably by transferring further bonus game play to the main game video screen 130.
When the bonus game is not being played or when neither the bonus nor the main game is being played, the holographic unit can project an “attract mode” holographic image 230 proximate to the chassis 110, as shown in
As discussed above, the bonus game interactive holographic image 180 can require multiple interactions from the player. It can also change during bonus game play. A less desired alternative is for the holographic image to include a plurality of images from different holographic projectors. A further alternative of the present invention is to have the entire play of the gaming machine to be through interactive holographic images, both the bonus and main games; or there can be no bonus game, or the main game can employ one or more interactive holographic images and the bonus game can use another system (such as the video screen).
A schematic block diagram of the machine 100 is illustrated in
From the foregoing detailed description, it will be evident that there are a number of changes, adaptations and modifications of the present invention which come within the province of those skilled in the art. The scope of the invention includes any combination of the elements from the different species or embodiments disclosed herein, as well as subassemblies, assemblies, and methods thereof. However, it is intended that all such variations not departing from the spirit of the invention be considered as within the scope thererof.