US20060211494A1 - Gaming terminal with player-customization of display functions - Google Patents

Gaming terminal with player-customization of display functions Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060211494A1
US20060211494A1 US11/378,421 US37842106A US2006211494A1 US 20060211494 A1 US20060211494 A1 US 20060211494A1 US 37842106 A US37842106 A US 37842106A US 2006211494 A1 US2006211494 A1 US 2006211494A1
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player
gaming machine
display
configured
accord
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US11/378,421
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Lisa Helfer
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Bally Gaming Inc
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WMS Gaming Inc
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Priority to US11/378,421 priority patent/US20060211494A1/en
Assigned to WMS GAMING INC. reassignment WMS GAMING INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HELFER, LISA M.
Publication of US20060211494A1 publication Critical patent/US20060211494A1/en
Assigned to BALLY GAMING, INC. reassignment BALLY GAMING, INC. MERGER (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WMS GAMING INC.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/326Game play aspects of gaming systems
    • G07F17/3262Player actions which determine the course of the game, e.g. selecting a prize to be won, outcome to be achieved, game to be played
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F17/00Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services
    • G07F17/32Coin-freed apparatus for hiring articles; Coin-freed facilities or services for games, toys, sports or amusements, e.g. casino games, online gambling or betting
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3211Display means

Abstract

A gaming machine for conducting a wagering game includes a display, a player interface, and a controller operatively associated with the display and the player interface. The controller is configured to permit a player to selectively modify a setting of the display and/or the game graphics. The player interface facilitates the selective modification.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE To RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of the U.S. Provisional Application 60/663,023 filed on Mar. 18, 2005 and entitled “Gaming Terminal With Player-Customization Of Display Functions” and this provisional application is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • COPYRIGHT
  • A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent disclosure, as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to gaming machines, and methods for playing wagering games, and more particularly, to a gaming machine permitting players to customize gaming machine output including display functions such as, but not limited to, display output and game graphics output.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 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.
  • An important distinguishing factor in all wagering games is the visual presentation or aesthetics of both the gaming machine and the wagering game itself. Wagering games use various colors, color combinations, lights, and flashing symbols, with increasing detail and texture to engage the players. However, conventional wagering games geared for the general populace do not accommodate persons with special visual needs or with vision deficiencies such as, but not limited to, color vision deficiencies.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to one aspect of the present invention, a gaming machine for conducting a wagering game includes a display, a player interface, and a controller operatively associated with the display and the player interface. The controller is configured to permit a player to selectively modify a setting of the display and/or the game graphics. The player interface facilitates the selective modification.
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine comprises the steps of providing a controller operatively associated with a setting of a display and/or a game graphics variable and providing a player interface to facilitate a modification of the setting through the controller.
  • 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.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a gaming machine embodying aspects of the present concepts;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a control system suitable for operating a gaming machine embodying aspects of the present concepts;
  • FIG. 3 is a generic wagering game display showing a player customization feature in accord with an aspect of the present concepts.
  • FIG. 4 is an example of a player customization screen in accord with an aspect of the present concepts.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, a gaming machine 10 is used in gaming establishments such as casinos. With regard to the present invention, the gaming machine 10 may be any type of gaming machine and may have varying structures and methods of operation. For example, the gaming machine 10 may be an electromechanical gaming machine configured to play mechanical slots, or it may be an electronic gaming machine configured to play a video casino game, such as blackjack, slots, keno, poker, blackjack, roulette, etc.
  • The gaming machine 10 comprises a housing 12 and includes input devices, including a value input device 18 and a player input device 24. For output the gaming machine 10 includes a primary display 14 for displaying information about the basic wagering game. The primary display 14 can also display information about a bonus wagering game and a progressive wagering game. The gaming machine 10 may also include a secondary display 16 for displaying game events, game outcomes, and/or signage information. While these typical components found in the gaming machine 10 are described below, it should be understood that numerous other elements may exist and may be used in any number of combinations to create various forms of a gaming machine 10.
  • The value input device 18 may be provided in many forms, individually or in combination, and is preferably located on the front of the housing 12. The value input device 18 receives currency and/or credits that are inserted by a player. The value input device 18 may include a coin acceptor 20 for receiving coin currency (see FIG. 1). Alternatively, or in addition, the value input device 18 may include a bill acceptor 22 for receiving paper currency. Furthermore, the value input device 18 may include a ticket reader, or barcode scanner, for reading information stored on a credit ticket, a card, or other tangible portable credit storage device. The credit ticket or card may also authorize access to a central account, which can transfer money to the gaming machine 10.
  • The player input device 24 comprises a plurality of push buttons 26 on a button panel for operating the gaming machine 10. In addition, or alternatively, the player input device 24 may comprise a touch screen 28 mounted by adhesive, tape, or the like over the primary display 14 and/or secondary display 16. The touch screen 28 contains soft touch keys 30 denoted by graphics on the underlying primary display 14 and used to operate the gaming machine 10. The touch screen 28 provides players with an alternative method of input. A player enables a desired function either by touching the touch screen 28 at an appropriate touch key 30 or by pressing an appropriate push button 26 on the button panel. The touch keys 30 may be used to implement the same functions as push buttons 26. Alternatively, the push buttons 26 may provide inputs for one aspect of the operating the game, while the touch keys 30 may allow for input needed for another aspect of the game.
  • The various components of the gaming machine 10 may be connected directly to, or contained within, the housing 12, as seen in FIG. 1, or may be located outboard of the housing 12 and connected to the housing 12 via a variety of different wired or wireless connection methods. Thus, the gaming machine 10 comprises these components whether housed in the housing 12, or outboard of the housing 12 and connected remotely.
  • The operation of the basic wagering game is displayed to the player on the primary display 14. The primary display 14 can also display the bonus game associated with the basic wagering game. The primary display 14 may take the form of a cathode ray tube (CRT), a high resolution LCD, a plasma display, an LED, or any other type of display suitable for use in the gaming machine 10. As shown, the primary display 14 includes the touch screen 28 overlaying the entire monitor (or a portion thereof) to allow players to make game-related selections. Alternatively, the primary display 14 of the gaming machine 10 may include a number of mechanical reels to display the outcome in visual associated to at least one payline 32. In the illustrated embodiment, the gaming machine 10 is an “upright” version in which the primary display 14 is oriented vertically relative to the player. Alternatively, the gaming machine may be a “slant-top” version in which the primary display 14 is slanted at about a thirty-degree angle toward the player of the gaming machine 10.
  • A player begins play of the basic wagering game by making a wager via the value input device 18 of the gaming machine 10. A player can select play by using the player input device 24, via the buttons 26 or the touch screen keys 30. The basic game consists of a plurality of symbols arranged in an array, and includes at least one payline 32 that indicates one or more outcomes of the basic game. Such outcomes are randomly selected in response to the wagering input by the player. At least one of the plurality of randomly-selected outcomes may be a start-bonus outcome, which can include any variations of symbols or symbol combinations triggering a bonus game.
  • In some embodiments, the gaming machine 10 may also include a player information reader 52 that allows for identification of a player by reading a card with information indicating his or her true identity. The player information reader 52 is shown in FIG. 1 as a card reader, but may take on many forms including a ticket reader, bar code scanner, RFID transceiver or computer readable storage medium interface. Currently, identification is generally used by casinos for rewarding certain players with complimentary services or special offers. For example, a player may be enrolled in the gaming establishment's loyalty club and may be awarded certain complimentary services as that player collects points in his or her player-tracking account. The player inserts his or her card into the player information reader 52, which allows the casino's computers to register that player's wagering at the gaming machine 10. The gaming machine 10 may use the secondary display 16 or other dedicated player-tracking display for providing the player with information about his or her account or other player-specific information. Also, in some embodiments, the information reader 52 may be used to restore game assets that the player achieved and saved during a previous game session.
  • Turning now to FIG. 2, the various components of the gaming machine 10 are controlled by a central processing unit (CPU) 34, also referred to herein as a controller or processor (such as a microcontroller or microprocessor). To provide gaming functions, the controller 34 executes one or more game programs stored in a computer readable storage medium, in the form of memory 36. The controller 34 performs the random selection (using a random number generator (RNG)) of an outcome from the plurality of possible outcomes of the wagering game. Alternatively, the random event may be determined at a remote controller. The remote controller may use either an RNG or pooling scheme for its central determination of a game outcome. It should be appreciated that the controller 34 may include one or more microprocessors, including but not limited to a master processor, a slave processor, and a secondary or parallel processor.
  • The controller 34 is also coupled to the system memory 36 and a money/credit detector 38. The system memory 36 may comprise a volatile memory (e.g., a random-access memory (RAM)) and a non-volatile memory (e.g., an EEPROM). The system memory 36 may include multiple RAM and multiple program memories. The money/credit detector 38 signals the processor that money and/or credits have been input via the value input device 18. Preferably, these components are located in the gaming machine 10 housing 12. However, as explained above, these components may be located outboard of the housing 12 and connected to the remainder of the components of the gaming machine 10 via a variety of different wired or wireless connection methods.
  • As seen in FIG. 2, the controller 34 is also connected to, and controls, the primary display 14, the player input device 24, and a payoff mechanism 40. The payoff mechanism 40 is operable in response to instructions from the controller 34 to award a payoff to the player in response to certain winning outcomes that might occur in the basic game or the bonus game(s). The payoff may be provided in the form of points, bills, tickets, coupons, cards, etc. For example, in FIG. 1, the payoff mechanism 40 includes both a ticket printer 42 and a coin outlet 44. However, any of a variety of payoff mechanisms 40 well known in the art may be implemented, including cards, coins, tickets, smartcards, cash, etc. The payoff amounts distributed by the payoff mechanism 40 are determined by one or more pay tables stored in the system memory 36.
  • Communications between the controller 34 and both the peripheral components of the gaming machine 10 and external systems 50 occur through input/output (I/O) circuits 46, 48. More specifically, the controller 34 controls and receives inputs from the peripheral components of the gaming machine 10 through the input/output circuits 46. Further, controller 34 communicates with the external systems 50 via the I/O circuits 48 and a communication path (e.g., serial, parallel, IR, RC, 10bT, etc.). The external systems 50 may include a gaming network, other gaming machines, a gaming server, communications hardware, and/or a variety of other interfaced systems or components. Although I/O circuits 46, 48 are shown as a single block, it should be appreciated that each of the I/O circuits 46, 48 may include a number of different types of I/O circuits.
  • Controller 34, as used herein, comprises any combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware that may be disposed or resident inside and/or outside of the gaming machine 10 that may communicate with and/or control the transfer of data and signals between the gaming machine 10 and a bus, another computer, processor, or device and/or a service and/or a network. The controller 34 may comprise one or more controllers or processors. In FIG. 2, the controller 34 in the gaming machine 10 is depicted as comprising a CPU, but the controller 34 may alternatively comprise a CPU in combination with other components, such as the I/O circuits 46, 48 and the system memory 36.
  • Turning now to FIG. 3, an example of a basic screen for a player customizable gaming machine display 14 is shown. This basic screen represents a generic wagering game having a plurality of pay-lines 300 and reels 310. The present concepts, however, are not limited to any particular wagering game configuration or platform and, instead, apply to any wagering game display or platform. On the primary display 14, or elsewhere on the gaming machine 10, as desired, an input device 320 such as, but not limited to a button, control, key or other control element is provided to permit to the player to initiate the customization of the display and/or game graphics. The controller 34 (FIG. 2) communicates with and/or controls the transfer of data and signals between, inter alia, the gaming machine 10 processor(s), the display 14, and input device(s), and modifies a setting of the display and/or the game graphics responsive to the player's inputs.
  • The term “game graphics,” as used herein, refers without limitation to any instruction, signal, or external input to a display, regardless of source, which produces an output on the display or affects an output of the display and which relates to any aspect of the wagering game. In one aspect, a player's customization input could be used to temporarily change program or executable instruction inputs, such as variable data or pointer data, to the game graphics instructions. In another aspect, a player's customization input could be used to actually modify the game graphics processing by selecting and/or bypass particular program routines or sub-routines. In still another aspect, a player's customization input could be applied to game graphics output signals prior to the input of such signals to a display input and/or within a display processor prior to actual display to convert such signals to conform to player's customization input. Thus, the player's customization input may be applied to any stage, state, or aspect of the game graphics processing or output signal relating thereto.
  • As shown in the example of FIG. 3, an input device 320 is a “customize” button provided at the bottom of a touch-panel keys 30 (e.g., primary display 14). A player may touch or press this button to call up one or more player customization screens, which permit the player to selectively modify a setting of the display and/or the game graphics.
  • FIG. 4 shows one example of a player customization screen on the display 14 presenting various display settings which may be selectively modified by a player including contrast 330, hue/saturation 340, brightness 350, text size 360, and color mode 370 (e.g., color or Black and White). In the screen, the contrast 330 control element is a dial and is set to a low value of about 1.3-1.4 on a scale of 10. Each of the hue/saturation 340 and brightness 350 control elements are slide elements and are also set at a low value of about 2 on a scale of 1-10. The text size 360 control elements, as shown, include selectable numeric elements. In FIG. 4, the numeric elements present three options of progressively larger text sizes. The options could include larger and/or smaller text sizes in any number of and variety of increments. The color mode 370 element, as shown, includes selectable windows or keys comprising text associated with the window or key.
  • FIG. 4 shows one example of a player interface 325 to facilitate the player's modification of the display settings. The player interface 325 may comprise, as shown, a graphical interface such as, but not limited to, a touch screen, which may visually replicate one or more buttons, keys, switches, dials, joysticks, cursor controllers, touch pads, and/or slide elements or may present another graphical representation (e.g., textual queries, arrows, icons, color wheels, color palates, video clips, animated clips, etc.) presenting information about a particular setting and permitting modification thereto. The player interface 325 may also comprise, alternatively or in combination with the graphical interface, one or more physical input devices such as, but not limited to, buttons, keys, switches, dials, joysticks, cursor controllers, touch pads, and/or slide elements to permit a player to make a modification to a displayed setting. These physical input devices may comprise or utilize any of the aforementioned player input devices 24 (e.g., push buttons) in a dual-function or a multi-function capacity or may comprise separate, dedicated player input devices.
  • In accord with aspects of the present concepts, a player with a visual impairment or deficiency will be empowered to tailor the display and/or the game graphics to accommodate such visual impairment or deficiency to permit the player to more easily and fully enjoy the gaming experience.
  • Alternatively, a player without any particular visual impairment may simply prefer to modify the display and/or the game graphics to suit a particular preference. For example, younger players accustomed to selecting personalized “skins,” themes, or user interfaces for handheld and desktop computing devices, such as for digital music plays (e.g., Winamp3 skins) or operating systems (e.g., Windows XP themes/skins), may prefer to similarly customize a gaming machine 10 to suit their preferences. The player could customize the display and/or the game graphics to employ a particular skin, theme, or user interface, selected from a plurality of skins, themes, or user interfaces, for a single gaming session or may alternately elect to save a particular skin, theme, or user interface to a memory device for application to future gaming sessions. The plurality of skins, themes, or user interfaces, made available to the player may be of any shape, color, and configuration, and may represent themes consistent with that of the particular gaming terminal or may represent themes entirely unrelated to the particular gaming terminal (e.g., skins relating to popular culture).
  • As noted above, the display settings which may be selectively modified by a player include, but are not limited to, hue, saturation, brightness, text size (e.g., smaller, larger), magnification, color balance, and/or color mode (e.g., color or Black and White). Color balance describes the relative contributions of the red and blue color components on the display output. Lower numbers indicate a redder (warmer) color balance and higher numbers indicate a bluer (cooler) color balance. For example, a gray hue at 5,000K will have a greater red component than at 9,300K. By way of comparison, the color balance of direct sunshine at noon on a clear day is about 5,500K.
  • An additional screen (not shown) on the display 14 may be presented to permit a player to effect a direct, but temporary, change the game graphics settings, or particular selected game graphics variables thereof, through the player interface 325. For example, instead of attempting to correct a color balance or particular hue settings using the display settings, the player could alternatively change the output of game graphics directly, such as noted above. For example, a game instruction to the display 14 to output a medium saturation red hue could thus be converted into an instruction to output a more highly saturated red hue or, alternatively, could be converted into an instruction to output a medium saturation green or blue hue. A person with a sensitivity to flashing or flickering lights (e.g., a person with photosensitive epilepsy, comprising roughly 2-3% of the epileptic population) may be permitted to turn off or adjust the frequency of a flashing lights variable. Other persons may prefer to slow down or speed up various graphics elements or eliminate them entirely. Although arbitrary limitations could optionally be imposed on the alteration to the game graphics output in this manner, the player may be permitted freedom to adjust the game graphics output to suit his or her preferences. Each of the changes could be advantageously displayed on a refreshed display, or on a sample image, text, or other graphical indicator for the player to accept or decline using an appropriate input (e.g., buttons 380, 385).
  • Player customization of the display 14 of the gaming machine 10 and/or game graphics is of particular benefit to persons with a visually impairment. In one aspect of the present concepts, the player customization may be relatively minor, such as changing a text and/or graphics size to ease eye strain on persons with poor eyesight. Similarly, a magnification feature may be offered to the player including, but not limited to a fixed window magnification, magnification of a portion of or the entire display, or a movable window or magnifying glass that may be controlled by the player. For players with bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses, the display could even be segmented into two or more portions having different characteristics in accord with one aspect of the present concepts. For example, an upper portion of the display may be provided with a first setting, such as a first magnification or a text size setting, different than that of a lower portion of the display, having a second magnification or text size setting. This particular setting could, for example, help players with bifocals to utilize both upper and lower portions of their bifocals and thereby avoid neck bobbing to view the entire display through a single lens portion of the bifocal. To increase the freedom of movement of such arrangement, a head-tilt sensor could be coupled to a transmitter to output a signal to a receiver coupled to controller 34 to provide a control input to the divider between the upper portion of the display so that an upward or downward tilt of the player's head, and consequently an upward or downward movement of the player's bifocal lens-line, could be substantially matched to a movement of the screen divider.
  • More significantly, however, the player customization in accord with aspects of the present concepts also includes marked changes to the display and/or to the game graphics to accommodate other visual impairments including, but not limited to, the various different types and degrees of “color-blindness” or color vision deficiencies which afflicts roughly about 5-8% of the men in the world and about 0.5% of the women.
  • Color vision deficiencies may be categorized as anomalous trichromatism, which includes protanomaly, dueteranomoly, and tritanomoly. Protanomaly, referred to as “red-weakness,” is a displaced sensitivity to red. Whereas a person with normal color vision would see red, or a red component in another color, a protanomalous viewer would perceive a lessened red hue, both in terms of its saturation, or intensity from a gray tone (no saturation) to a pure, vivid color (high saturation), and its brightness, or the relative darkness of the color from black (no brightness) to white (full brightness). To such a protanomalous viewer, red, orange, yellow, yellow-green, and green, appear shifted in hue towards green. For example, whereas a person of normal color vision would see a violet or lavender color, a protanomalous viewer would fail to detect the red component in such color and therefore see only the blue component. Hence, the protanomalous viewer would interpret violet as a shade of blue and might likewise have difficulty distinguishing a red light from a yellow or amber light.
  • Another color vision deficiency is deuteranomaly, the most common color vision deficiency, which comprises a displaced sensitivity toward green. Similar to the protanomaloly, deuteranomalous individuals are poor at distinguishing the hues of red, orange, yellow, and green and would be considered “green weak.” Tritanomoly is a displaced sensitivity to blue.
  • More profound color vision deficiencies (dicromasy) includes protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia. In protanopia, the second most common form of color vision deficiency, the red receptor is missing or abnormal and the blue and green receptors are normal. The brightness of red, orange, and yellow is significantly reduced. This dimming can be severe enough for the protanope to confuse red colors with black or dark gray such that a red light on the display 14 may appear to be black. A protanope would also likely be unable to distinguish between red, orange, yellow, and green and violet, lavender, and purple would be indistinguishable from various shades of blue because of the deficiency or marked degree of red component attenuation. Deuteranopia is akin to protanopia, but the green receptor is missing or abnormal and the blue and red receptors are normal. Similarly, in tritanopia the blue receptor is missing or abnormal and the red and green receptors are normal. Lastly, monochromatism (achromatopsia) occurs when an individual is entirely unable to differentiate colors of equal brightness.
  • Players with dicromasy and achromatopsia may prefer, for example, to reset the display and/or game graphics to a high-resolution gray scale in accord with aspects of the present concepts to optimize the playing experience. Alternatively, in lieu of changes to hue or other related characteristics, an object image may be altered in other ways to make it more visually distinct. For example, the shape and/or size of an object image may be altered to distinguish it from other images or features which might otherwise render the object image difficult to discern. The object image could also be made to blink, flicker, or flash at a predetermined frequency and/or to cyclically shrink and expand within predetermined boundaries.
  • In one aspect, the player's inputs to the gaming machine 10 to customize the display and/or game graphics, may be menu-driven or prompt/inquiry-driven. For example, upon the player's use of an input device to actuate a customization routine, the gaming machine 10 could prompt the user with a general inquiry of “Would you like to customize the screen to correct for a visual deficiency?” with a prompt for a “Yes” or “No” answer. If the answer is yes, the gaming machine 10 could prompt the user to select a visual deficiency from a list of visual deficiencies or, alternatively, lead the player through a series of prompts, such as “Do you wear glasses?” concurrent with the display “Yes” and “No” input buttons. In the latter instance, if a player were to select “Yes,” for example, the gaming machine 10 could then prompt “Do you wear any of the following types of glasses?” and display options such as, but not limited to, “1. Executive Bifocals,” “2. Other Bifocals,” “3. Trifocals.” The gaming terminal 10 could then display “What is the prescription?”, at which point the player would enter the prescription of the lenses. The gaming terminal 10 could then approximate a suitable magnification factor and, displaying a split screen with an upper and lower portion(s) suited for the indicated type and strength of glasses, prompt the player with “How does this look?”. In other words, the gaming terminal 10 could iteratively interact with the player, much as an optometrist or ophthalmologist might with a patient, until the player is satisfied with the settings. A similar approach could be used to accommodate persons with color vision deficiencies.
  • As an expedient to an iterative process and to further simplify the use of the gaming machine 10 by players with visual deficiencies, the gaming machine may be configured to display on the display 14 a plurality of pre-configured display options and/or pre-configured game graphics options for selection by a player using the player interface. Thus, the controller 34 could, upon receipt of a player customization request, present a plurality of pre-configured display options and/or pre-configured game graphics options. The plurality of pre-configured display and/or game graphics options could include separate options, each of which is tailored for a particular one of the aforementioned vision deficiencies or for other vision deficiencies, preferences, and/or environmental factors (e.g., local lighting levels, glare, etc.).
  • The gaming machine 10 may also be configured to permit the player to save the modified setting, or commands associated therewith (i.e., saving an executable code or instruction set), to a memory device resident within (e.g., memory 36 in FIG. 2) or external to the gaming machine. The term memory device generally includes any medium that participates in storing or retaining instructions or data in a form that may be subsequently read and processed by a processor for execution. Such memory device may take many forms, including but not limited to, non-volatile media and volatile media and any optical medium (e.g., optical disks such as CDs, DVDs, etc.) and/or magnetic medium (e.g., magnetic disks, storage devices, floppy disks, hard disks, magnetic tape) and/or semiconductor medium (e.g., a RAM, PROM, EPROM, or FLASH-EPROM memory chip). The memory device could therefore include, for example, magnetic encoding of data onto a player's club card, personal RFID device, or credit card chip. In other words, the player may elect to store his or her personal settings and preferences to a medium, such as a player's club card or a player-tracking account, which would permit application of such personal settings to a future gaming session. For example, a player having a player's club card having his or her personal settings regarding the game graphics stored thereon could insert his or her card at a gaming terminal 10 player identification reader 52. The gaming terminal 10 would identify the player and the player's preferences and automatically, or upon acceptance of an appropriate prompt to the user, configure the game graphics to the player's stored personal settings.
  • In accord with the above concepts, a method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine, can be seen to include the steps of providing a controller operatively associated with a setting a display and/or a game graphics variable (S500) and providing a player interface 325 to facilitate a modification of the setting through the controller (S510). As noted above, the player interface 325 may be a physical interface, including buttons, keys, dials, knobs and the like, and/or a graphical interface, such as a touch-screen. This method may further include any or all of the steps, singly or in combination, of changing the setting in accord with a selection by a player using the player interface (S520), saving the modified setting or commands associated therewith to a memory device (S530), associating the modified setting to a player in a database (S540), displaying on the display one or more pre-configured display option(s) and/or pre-configured game graphics variable option(s) for selection by a player using the player interface 325 (S550).
  • Step S500 may include, for example, operatively associating the controller 34 with a contrast, hue, saturation, brightness, text size, color balance, gray scale and/or color mode of the display and/or the game graphics instructions or variable data. A player input thereto through the player interface is then executed through the controller. As to step S550, the pre-configured display option(s) and/or pre-configured game graphics variable option(s) may optionally include one or more options configured to correct for or accommodate a vision deficiency such as, but not limited to, those noted above.
  • Instructions for directing a device, such as gaming machine 10, to perform method steps in accord with the preceding remarks may be encoded in a computer readable storage medium, which may include any aspect of the memory device discussed above, and may also include transient transmissions or mediums inclusive of carrier waves (electrical, electromagnetic or optical signals that carry digital data streams representing various types of information).
  • Additional aspects of the present concepts include configuring the gaming machine 10 to play a plurality of games thereupon, the games being resident in the controller 34 or accessible thereto, such as through external systems 50. In this aspect of the present concepts, once a player has appropriately configured the display and/or game graphics, or any other variable which might influence the graphical presentation, the player might not want to relocate to other gaming machines or might not want to repeat the customization process. Thus, this option would permit a player to play games typically associated with other gaming terminals on a single gaming terminal.
  • The concepts presented herein are not limited to the display of a wagering game and may find applicability in any display including, but not limited to, secondary wagering game displays 16, television displays, computer displays, and/or heads-up displays.
  • Each of these embodiments and obvious variations thereof is contemplated as falling within the spirit and scope of the claimed invention, which is set forth in the following claims.

Claims (21)

1. A gaming machine comprising:
a display;
a player interface; and
a controller operatively associated with the display and the player interface, the controller configured to permit a player to selectively modify a setting of at least one of the display and a game graphics the player interface facilitating the selective modification.
2. A gaming machine in accord with claim 1, wherein the player interface includes at least one of a physical and a graphical interface.
3. A gaming machine in accord with claim 2, wherein the gaming machine is configured to permit the player to save at least one of the modified setting or commands associated therewith to a memory device.
4. A gaming machine in accord with claim 2, wherein the controller is configured to permit a player to selectively change at least one of a contrast, hue, saturation, brightness, text size, color balance, gray scale and color mode of the display.
5. A gaming machine in accord with claim 4, wherein the gaming machine is configured to display on the display a plurality of pre-configured display options for selection by a player using the player interface.
6. A gaming machine in accord with claim 5, wherein the pre-configured display options include at least one option configured to accommodate a player having color vision deficiency.
7. A gaming machine in accord with claim 2, wherein the controller is configured to permit a player to selectively change at least one of a contrast, hue, saturation, brightness, text size, color balance, gray scale and color mode of the game graphics mode.
8. A gaming machine in accord with claim 7, wherein the gaming machine is configured to display on the display a plurality of pre-configured game graphics options for selection by a player using the controller.
9. A gaming machine in accord with claim 5, wherein the pre-configured game graphics options include at least one option configured to accommodate a player having color vision deficiency.
10. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
receiving a player input to alter a setting of at least one of a display and a game graphics of the wagering game;
altering the setting in response to the received player input.
11. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 10, wherein the receiving step is implemented through a player interface comprising at least one of a physical and a graphical interface.
12. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 11, further comprising the step of saving at least one of the altered setting and commands associated therewith to a memory device.
13. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 11, further comprising:
electronically associating the altered setting to a player in at least one of a database and a memory device.
14. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 11, wherein the receiving step comprises receiving an input to alter a setting of at least one of a contrast, hue, saturation, brightness, text size, color balance, gray scale and color mode of at least one of the display and the game graphics.
15. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 11, further comprising:
displaying at least one of a pre-configured display option and a pre-configured game graphics option for selection by a player through the player interface.
16. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 11, further comprising:
displaying at least one of a plurality of pre-configured display options and a plurality of pre-configured game graphics options for selection by a player through the player interface.
17. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 15, wherein the at least one of a pre-configured display option and a pre-configured game graphics option includes at least one option configured to correct for a color vision deficiency.
18. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 16, wherein the at least one of a plurality of pre-configured display options and a plurality of pre-configured game graphics options includes at least one option configured to correct for a color vision deficiency.
19. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine in accord with claim 11, further comprising:
permitting a player of the wagering game on the gaming machine to select a wagering game to play on the gaming machine from a plurality of wagering games.
20. A computer readable storage medium encoded with instructions for directing a gaming device to perform the method of claim 12.
21. A method of conducting a wagering game on a gaming machine, the method comprising the steps of:
displaying a plurality of settings relating to at least one of a display and a game graphics of the wagering game that are selectively alterable by a player,
receiving from through a player interface a player input to selectively alter at least one of the plurality of settings; and
altering the at least one of the plurality of settings in response to the received player input;
wherein the plurality of settings comprising at least one of a setting for contrast, hue, saturation, brightness, text size, magnification, color balance, gray scale, color mode, image shape, image size, image characteristics, flicker, and graphics speed.
US11/378,421 2005-03-18 2006-03-17 Gaming terminal with player-customization of display functions Abandoned US20060211494A1 (en)

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