US20070060270A1 - Gaming display device - Google Patents

Gaming display device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070060270A1
US20070060270A1 US11530748 US53074806A US2007060270A1 US 20070060270 A1 US20070060270 A1 US 20070060270A1 US 11530748 US11530748 US 11530748 US 53074806 A US53074806 A US 53074806A US 2007060270 A1 US2007060270 A1 US 2007060270A1
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Prior art keywords
object
objects
game
symbol
display
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11530748
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Jerald Seelig
Lawrence Henshaw
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ATLANTIC CITY COIN and SLOT COMPANY Inc
Atlantic City Coin and Slot Service Co Inc
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Atlantic City Coin and Slot Service Co Inc
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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
    • G07F17/3202Hardware aspects of a gaming system, e.g. components, construction, architecture thereof
    • G07F17/3204Player-machine interfaces
    • G07F17/3211Display means
    • 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
    • G07F17/3213Details of moving display elements, e.g. spinning reels, tumbling members

Abstract

In certain embodiments, the present invention relates to a gaming device including a game apparatus that is adapted to allow a player to play a game. The game apparatus includes a game display that is mounted in association with the game device. The game display includes a pair of objects. A positioning mechanism is connected with at least one of the objects. The positioning mechanism moves the objects such that, in combination, the objects display a symbol. A controller is in communication with the positioning mechanism.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to gaming display devices. More specifically, the gaming display device includes at least one object that can be moved to form a symbol that indicates a game outcome.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Gaming Devices
  • Gaming devices are well known in the art and a large variety of gaming devices have been developed. In general, gaming devices allow users or players to play a game. In many casino-type gaming devices, the outcome of the game depends, at least in part, on a randomly generated event. For example, a gaming device may use a random number generator to generate a random or pseudo-random number. The random number may then be compared to a predefined table to determine the outcome of the event. If the random number falls within a certain range of numbers on the table, the player may win a predefined prize. The table may also contain display information that allows the gaming device to generate a display that corresponds to the outcome of the game. The gaming device may present the outcome of the game on a large variety of display devices, such as mechanical spinning reels or video screens.
  • Bonus Prizes
  • Some gaming devices award bonuses in addition to prizes that are awarded in the primary game. A bonus can be defined as an additional prize that is awarded to the player when a predefined event occurs. An example of a bonus game can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,848,932 issued to Adams. One of the gaming devices described in this document comprises three spinning reels and a spinning wheel bonus display. When predetermined indicia are displayed on the spinning reels of the primary game, the wheel can be activated to indicate a bonus prize. The bonus prize is awarded in addition to any prizes awarded in the primary game.
  • Generally, bonus prizes are offered in such games in order to increase the excitement and enjoyment experienced by players. This attracts more players to the game and encourages players to play longer. When gaming devices attract more players and the players play longer, they tend to be more commercially successful relative to other gaming devices.
  • Display Devices
  • In addition, highly visible display devices are utilized on gaming devices in order to attract players. Once players are attracted to the gaming device, they tend to play longer because the display device enhances the stimulation and excitement experienced by players. It is, therefore, desirable for gaming devices to incorporate highly visible display devices.
  • The applicants believe that display devices tend to be more successful if they are a derivation of a well-known game or theme. They are more successful because players tend to be drawn to games that they instantly recognize. Many players are reluctant to try completely new games because they must spend time to learn the new game. It is, therefore, desirable to provide display devices that are based on well-known games or themes.
  • The applicants also believe that display devices tend to be more successful if they utilize physical objects rather than simulations. Although video devices and electronic signs can be used for display devices, players are more attracted to display devices that utilize physical objects. Physical objects can be even more effective display devices if they are moveable and they are used in combination with lights and sounds. It is important to minimize the amount of occupied space because a smaller gaming device generally corresponds to an overall lower cost.
  • Pattern Displays
  • Various devices have been developed for displaying patterns. U.S. Pat. No. 2,493,238 to Eddy discloses a Kaleidoscopic Image Projector with Masking Device. U.S. Pat. No. 3,080,474 to Allen discloses a Luminous Display Device. U.S. Pat. No. 5,258,895 to Bosse discloses a Moire Light Assembly and U.S. Pat. No. 5,586,089 to McGarvey discloses a Rotational Moire Timepiece. While these devices are able to display random patterns, they are not able to be controlled such that a desired symbol can be displayed. Further, the prior art pattern display devices are not suitable for use with a gaming apparatus.
  • SUMMARY OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
  • Advantages of One or More Embodiments of the Present Invention
  • The various embodiments of the present invention may, but do not necessarily, achieve one or more of the following advantages:
  • the ability to provide game players with a more exciting and desirable gaming experience;
  • the ability to attract more patrons to play a game;
  • provide greater revenues for gaming operators;
  • provide a gaming device that utilizes a visually appealing and highly visible display device;
  • provide a gaming device that may convey a game outcome by moving one or more objects to form a symbol;
  • provide a gaming device that may combine patterns to indicate a game outcome;
  • provide a gaming device that uses a partial symbol formed on several objects to form a whole symbol that indicates a game outcome.
  • provide a gaming device that can generate an entertaining presentation to a game player.
  • provide a gaming device that uses jumbled balls.
  • These and other advantages may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification, claims, and abstract.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ONE EMBODIMENT OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • In certain embodiments, the present invention relates to a gaming device including a game apparatus that is adapted to allow a player to play a game. The game apparatus includes a game display that is mounted in association with the game device. The game display includes a first object and a second object juxtaposed to and overlapping the first object. At least one of the objects has a partially transparent portion. A positioning mechanism is connected with at least one of the objects. The positioning mechanism moves at least one of the objects wherein, in combination, the first and second objects display a symbol.
  • In other embodiments, the present invention relates to a gaming method. According to the method, a player is allowed to place a wager and play a game of chance. A game outcome is determined and a first object having a first symbol portion and a second object having a second symbol portion are provided. The first and second objects are arranged in an overlapping manner such that the first and second symbol portions form a whole symbol. The whole symbol indicates a game outcome. A prize can be awarded.
  • The above description sets forth, rather broadly, a summary of one embodiment of the present invention so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and contributions of the present invention to the art may be better appreciated. Some of the embodiments of the present invention may not include all of the features or characteristics listed in the above summary. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described below and will form the subject matter of claims. In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or as illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is substantially a front view of an embodiment of a gaming device of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is substantially a perspective view of the bonus game of FIG. 1 with a part of the housing removed showing the display device.
  • FIG. 3 is substantially a top view of FIG. 1 with the top of the housing removed showing the display device.
  • FIG. 4 is substantially a schematic diagram of the gaming device of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 5A is substantially a front view of an object.
  • FIG. 5B is substantially a front view of another object.
  • FIG. 5C is substantially an example of a whole symbol formed by the objects as viewed by a game player.
  • FIG. 5D is substantially an example of another whole symbol formed by the objects as viewed by a game player.
  • FIG. 5E is substantially an example of yet another whole symbol formed by the objects as viewed by a game player.
  • FIG. 5F is substantially an example of an additional whole symbol formed by the objects as viewed by a game player.
  • FIG. 5G is substantially a front view of an object with apertures.
  • FIG. 5H is substantially a front view of another object with apertures.
  • FIG. 5I is substantially a perspective view of another embodiment of partial symbols mounted on an object.
  • FIG. 5J is substantially an example of a whole symbol formed by the objects of FIG. 5I as viewed by a game player.
  • FIG. 6 is substantially a flow chart of one of the possible game plays on the gaming device of FIG. 1.
  • DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • In the following detailed description of the embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part of this application. The drawings show, by way of illustration, specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made with out departing from the scope of the present invention.
  • In the Detailed Description below, the applicants utilize various spatially orienting terms such as “upper,” “lower,” “horizontal,” and “vertical.” It is to be understood that these terms are used for ease of description of the embodiments with respect to the drawings but are not necessarily in themselves limiting or requiring of an orientation as thereby described in the following Detailed Description.
  • As seen in FIG. 1, one embodiment disclosed herein comprises a gaming device, generally indicated by reference number 100. Gaming device 100 comprises a bonus game display device 200 and a game apparatus 120. Display device 200 may comprise a jumbled ball display 210 and a prize display 220.
  • Game Apparatus
  • With continuing reference to FIG. 1, game apparatus 120 may be any of a large number of devices that are adapted to allow players to play a game. For example, game apparatus 120 may utilize reel displays, such as spinning reels 122-124 or a video display (not shown), to display outcomes of the game. Means may also be provided for accepting wagers, such as a coin slot 121 or card reader 125, and for awarding prizes, such as a coin dispenser 127. A handle 126 and button 128 are provided for activating game apparatus 120 to begin a game. In at least one embodiment, game apparatus 120 may be an S Plus model gaming device manufactured by International Game Technology in Reno, Nevada.
  • Game apparatus 120 is preferably controlled by an electronic controller 182 (see FIG. 4) that utilizes a random number generator. The random number generator produces a random or pseudo random number for each game. The outcome of the game may be determined by comparing the random number to a table of outcomes stored in a memory and accessed by controller 182. A number of different tables of outcomes may be used and different tables may be used for different games. The tables can be designed so that different prizes have different probabilities of being awarded. Such design techniques are well known in gaming. Examples of such designs are shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,448,419, issued to Telnaes, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,456,465, issued to Durham. Controller 182 causes spinning reels 122-124 or the video display to show the outcome of the game that corresponds to the outcome of the random number generator. It is recognized that game apparatus 120 may operate in many other ways and still achieve the objects of the present invention.
  • Game apparatus 120 may also be capable of producing a bonus-activating event. This event may be many different types of events. For example, a bonus-activating event may comprise displaying a particular symbol, such as a “bonus” symbol, or combination of symbols, such as three “7” symbols, on reels 122-124. If the game being played is poker based, a bonus-activating event may be an occurrence of a certain hand, such as a royal flush Furthermore, a bonus-activating event may occur when a player accumulates a number of symbols or game outcomes over a number of separate game plays. For example, a bonus-activating event may occur when the player receives three “bonus” symbols during a period of time. The bonus-activating event may be based on an external event. For example, a bonus-activating event may occur when a group of players obtain a certain result.
  • Bonus Game Display
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-4 bonus game display device 200 is adapted to display at least one symbol that is related to a game. Bonus game display device 200 may further comprise a jumbled ball display 210.
  • Bonus game display device 200 can have a housing 203. A transparent front cover 204 and sides 205 and 206 can cover housing 203. A game player would view bonus game display 200 through transparent front cover 204. Housing 203 can have a back wall 202, a cavity 207, a bottom surface 208 and a top surface 209. Bottom surface 208 has bottom portions 208A and 208B. Jumbled ball display 210 and prize display 220 are mounted within cavity 207.
  • Jumbled ball display 210 comprises a plurality of display balls 211 that are contained by a container 216 formed by bottom surface portion 208A, wall 212, front cover 204 and sides 205 and 205. Front cover 204 is at least partially transparent allowing players to view display balls 211 inside of the container 216. Front cover 204 can be made of a transparent material, such as plastic or glass. Container 216 can have many different shapes other than rectangular such as a sphere, cube, cylinder or triangular.
  • Although display balls 211 are preferably similar to Keno balls, many other types of balls may be used. For example, display balls 211 may be ping-pong balls or rubber balls. Bottom portion 208A can have several holes or openings 213. Holes or openings 213 can be covered with a screen or can be made smaller in diameter than display balls 211 so that display balls 211 do not enter openings 213. A fan 214 (FIG. 2) can be mounted below bottom portion 208A in cavity 207. Fan 214 can be connected to openings 213 by a duct 215 (FIG. 2). Fan 214 is in communication with controller 176 through an electrical cable 456. When fan 214 is operating, display balls 211 are agitated or jumbled within container 216 by a stream of air exiting openings 213. A mechanical mixing device (not shown) can also cause agitation of the display balls. The forced air stream causes the balls to bounce and ricochet off of the walls of the container.
  • Display Balls 211 preferably have an indicia or symbol 211A thereon that indicate possible prizes that bonus game device 200 can award.
  • The purpose of jumbled ball display 210 is to attract and entertain players. When display balls 211 are agitated, they produce a vivid display that attracts the attention of people nearby and provides an exciting display for players playing gaming device 100.
  • A prize display 220 can be mounted inside cavity 207. Prize display 220 comprises a pair of objects or elements 222 and 240 and a positioning mechanism 270
  • Objects 222 and 240 (see FIG. 2) can have a variety of shapes. In FIGS. 1 and 2, objects 222 and 240 are shown as circular plates or discs. Alternatively, objects 222 and 240 could be square, triangular or polygonal. Objects 222 and 240 can also be three dimensional nested shapes such as spheres, squares or ellipses. Objects 222 and 240 can be formed from a variety of materials such as plastic or glass. Objects 222 and 240 can be formed out of a material that is transparent or partially transparent, such as LEXAN or acrylic. Object 222 has sides or surfaces 223 and 224 (FIG. 3). Object 240 has sides or surfaces 242 and 243 (FIG. 3).
  • A pattern or partial symbol 226 (see FIG. 5A) can be mounted on side 223, side 224 or on both sides. A pattern or partial symbol 244 (see FIG. 5B) can be mounted on side 242, side 243 or on both sides. Patterns 226 and 244 (see FIGS. 5A and 5B) when viewed together by a game player form recognizable indicia or symbols that can indicate a game outcome.
  • Objects 222 and 240 may be spaced apart by shaft 246. Shaft 246 has ends 247 and 248. Object 222 is mounted on shaft end 248. Objects 222 and 240 are adjacent or juxtaposed to each other with sides 224 and 242 facing each other. Objects 222 and 240 are separated by a gap 241.
  • A positioning apparatus or mechanism 270 can move objects 222 and 240. In one embodiment both objects 222 and 240 can be rotated or moved. Objects 222 and 240 can rotate at the same speed or at different speeds. Objects 222 and 240 can be rotated either clockwise, counter-clockwise or in both directions.
  • In another embodiment, object 240 can be fixed and remain stationary and object 222 is rotated. In another embodiment, object 222 can be fixed and remain stationary and object 240 is rotated.
  • Positioning mechanism 270 can be mounted in cavity 207 behind wall 212. Positioning mechanism 270 can be mounted to a frame 272 that is mounted to wall 202. Wall 212 separates the display balls 211 form positioning mechanism 270.
  • Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, positioning mechanism 270 comprises a stepper motor 250 for rotating object 222 and a stepper motor 252 for rotating object 240. Stepper motors 250 and 252 are shown mounted to frame 272. Stepper motor 252 can be connected to gear 255 by shaft 254. Gear 255 has teeth 256. Another gear 258 is attached to object 240 on side 243. Gear 258 has teeth 259. Teeth 256 and 258 are engaged such that rotation of gear 255 causes gear 258 to rotate and object 240 to rotate. Therefore, stepper motor 252 can control the angular position of object 240 through gear 255 and gear 258.
  • Stepper motor 250 can be connected to object 222 by shaft 246. Shaft 246 passes through an aperture (not shown) in gear 258 and object 240 to connect with object 222. Shaft end 247 is connected with stepper motor 250 and shaft end 248 is connected to object 222. Therefore, stepper motor 250 can control the rotational position of object 222. Stepper motors 250 and 252 are in communication with controller 176 through electrical cables 450. Thus, controller 176 can control the rotary position of objects 222 and 240.
  • One or more mirrors 245 can be mounted around objects 222 and 240. Mirrors 245 can reflect the images generated by the rotating patterns and enhance the kaleidoscopic effect of display 220 when viewed by a game player.
  • Objects 222 and 240 can be illuminated by lights in order to enhance the images formed by objects 222 and 240. Lights 260 can be mounted in front of side 223 of object 222. Lights 260 are in communication with controller 176 through electrical cables 454. Thus, controller 176 can control the operation of lights 260. Lights 262 can be mounted in back of side 243 of object 240. Lights 262 are in communication with controller 176 through electrical cables 452. Thus, controller 176 can control the operation of lights 262. Lights 260 and 262 can be a wide variety of light emitting devices. For example, lights 260 and 262 can be incandescent lights, fluorescent lights or light emitting diodes (LED). Lights 260 and 262 can be white or may be a variety of colors.
  • Turning now to FIG. 4, bonus game display 200 comprises a controller 176 that is adapted to control the operation of gaming device 100. Controller 176 may be one or more computers or processor boards. For example, in the presently implemented embodiment, controller 176 may be a single processor or processor board. Furthermore, it is also recognized that controller 176 and controller 182 may be combined in a single processor or processor board.
  • Controller 176 is adapted to detect when a bonus activating event occurs in game apparatus 120. This may be accomplished by primary game apparatus controller 182 transmitting a signal to bonus game controller 176 that a bonus event has occurred. For example, controller 182 may determine the outcome of each game and when a bonus-activating outcome occurs, it transmits a signal to controller 176. Alternatively, controller 176 may periodically interrogate controller 182. In another embodiment, one or more sensors may be provided for determining if a bonus activating event has occurred. For example, sensors 184-186 may sense the positions of reels 122-124. When reels 122-124 are in a bonus activating position, controller 176 would sense this position and begin a bonus sequence (described below). Sensors may also be provided external to gaming device 100 to detect external bonus-activating events.
  • Controller 182 may also transmit a variety of information to controller 176. For example, controller 182 may signal when coins or currency have been inserted, when a game starts, when an error has occurred, and when a sensor detects tampering.
  • When controller 176 detects a bonus-activating event, it may begin a bonus sequence by activating display 110. Display 110 may comprise many different kinds of display devices, such as video screens, lights, light emitting diodes, etc. Display 110 may comprise its own controller that is adapted to generate a variety of displays.
  • Display 110 may indicate that a player has qualified for a bonus round and prompt the player to perform an action. In an embodiment, the player is prompted to activate the bonus sequence by pressing input device 90. Input device 90 may be a simple button, a keyboard, or a touch screen display. In the embodiment in which the player must accumulate a number of bonus symbols to qualify for a bonus, display 110 may indicate the number of symbols the player has received.
  • When controller 176 detects input device 90 being activated, the controller would activate jumbled ball display 210. Alternatively, the fan 214 may begin automatically to agitate display balls 211 and input device 90 may be used to initiate the display sequence. In another embodiment, controller 176 may wait a predetermined time period for the player to activate input device 90. If the player does not activate input device 90 in that time period, controller 176 would automatically activate jumbled ball display 210 and initiate the display sequence. In yet another embodiment, controller 176 automatically initiates the display sequence in a predetermined time period, independent from input device 90, and input device 90 is only used to activate the jumbled ball display 210. Of course, no input device may be used and controller 176 may automatically activate and begin the display sequence.
  • Controller 176 next activates positioning mechanism 270. Positioning mechanism 270 is adapted to move or rotate objects 222 and 240 in order to form a symbol that indicates a game outcome or prize. Positioning mechanism 270 may utilize a large variety of devices to achieve its purpose.
  • Controller 176 instructs stepper motor 250 to move object 222 such that pattern 226 (FIG. 5A) is rotated at a pre-defined rate or speed. At the same time, controller 176 instructs stepper motor 252 to move object 240 such that pattern 244 (FIG. 5B) is rotated at a pre-defined rate or speed. Controller 176 can also control lights 260 and 262 in a pre-determined manner.
  • A game player viewing display 220 through cover 204, in other words, looking at surface 223 would see that rotating patterns 226 and 244 together in combination have formed an indicia, composite image, integrated image, or whole symbol 402 (see FIG. 5C). Whole symbol 402 can be a wide variety of symbols or indicia. For example, in FIG. 5C, whole symbol 402 is shown as a number 8. As seen in FIG. 5D, whole symbol 402 may be formed from two or more partial symbols 404 and 405. Partial symbols 404 and 405 may have no recognizable meaning when they are separated. However, when partial symbols 404 and 405 are properly positioned or aligned, they form whole symbol 402, which may have a recognizable meaning. For example, whole symbol 402 can indicate a prize to be awarded by gaming apparatus 100. Whole symbol 402 could be formed in any portion of display 220 and a plurality of whole symbols 402 could be formed and displayed simultaneously. In one embodiment, a plurality of whole symbols 402 are formed near the periphery of display 220, such as standard clock face positions.
  • The angular position of object 222 can be monitored using a sensor 264. The angular position of object 240 can be monitored using a sensor 266. Sensors 264 and 266 are in communication with controller 176. Sensor 264 and 266 may use a variety of sensors such as infrared source and detector or may comprise portions with different reflective characteristics, such as physical holes or gaps or absorbent paint lines. Alternatively, an optical flag configuration similar to that described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,911,449, issued to Bertram, may be used.
  • To display a whole symbol 402, controller 176 performs a routine to determine which symbol will be displayed. This may be performed by a number of methods that are well known in the art.
  • In one embodiment, however, whole symbol 402 is randomly selected. Controller 176 generates a random number and then compares the random number to a pay table similar to that described for game apparatus 120 or as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,874, issued to Adams. A simple pay table may appear as follows:
    TABLE 1
    Random Number Whole Symbol Number Amount Paid
    0.00 to 0.50 3 $3.00
    0.51 to 0.75 8 $8.00
    0.76 to 0.95 9 ×2
    0.96 to 1.00 88 $1,000.00
  • For example, if the random number generator produced 0.65, whole symbol number 8 would be formed by objects 222 and 240 and $8.00 would be awarded to the player. If the random number generator produced 0.80, whole symbol number 9 would be displayed. Whole symbol number 9 is a multiplier that multiplies some amount produced by game apparatus 120. Gaming apparatus 120, for instance, may award $20 and the multiplier would multiply this by two, awarding the player $40.
  • This embodiment is not necessarily limited to the example pay table shown. A greater number of whole symbols may be used. Furthermore, different kinds of prizes, besides monetary prizes, may be awarded. For example, the prizes may be goods, services, or additional games. The goods and services may be awarded in the form of physical objects, tickets, vouchers, coupons, etc. Additional games may be presented in the form of tickets, such as scratch off lottery tickets. In the embodiments in which tickets, vouchers, and coupons are used, the objects are dispensed using an internally or externally mounted dispenser 111. Such dispensers are well known in the art.
  • Once controller 176 determines the whole symbol 402 to be displayed and the prize to be awarded, the controller activates positioning mechanism 270. Positioning mechanism 270 is adapted to move objects 222 and 240 such that patterns 226 and 244 combine and interfere with each other to produce at least one composite whole image 402 that indicates a prize.
  • The formation of whole image 402 utilizes a concept similar to the moire effect of overlapping repetitive lines. A moire pattern is produced by transparently superposing two or more patterns composed of one or more groups of alternating open and non-open or opaque areas. When these patterns are shifted in and out of registration or alignment, light interference or cancellation patterns are formed, which produces an optical illusion or a virtual image of new shapes or symbols.
  • When the individual patterns 226 and 244 are displaced, the composite or whole image 402 changes. Production of a composite moire image requires a sufficient quantity of open and opaque areas, as well as generally equidistant spacing of these areas. Moire patterns exhibit different characteristics depending on the type of movement of the patterns. Various patterns can be used, for example, pattern 226 is shown as equidistant staggered axially centered concentric circles. Pattern 244 is shown as a series of curved radial lines extending outwardly from the center. Patterns 226 and 244 when rotated, with the center point being the center of rotation, can produce an entertaining presentation such as a flashing, scintillating image. Patterns 226 and 244 when rotated can also produce a whole symbol 402.
  • The present invention also uses a concept similar to a Kaleidoscope. A Kaleidoscope typically uses a series of mirrors mounted on the inside of cylinder to produce multiple images of a rotating image that is placed at one end of the cylinder. In an embodiment of the present invention, mirrors 245 (FIG. 2) can be mounted adjacent to objects 222 and 240 to produce additional visual effects. Alternatively, mirrors 245 may be omitted.
  • The present invention uses patterns that are rotated to produce a composite whole symbol image that indicates a game outcome. The whole symbol is dependent upon each individual pattern design and the speed of rotation of the objects.
  • The angular position of each object 222 and 240 is stored in memory in controller 176. Sensors 264 and 266 may communicate the speed of rotation and position of objects 222 and 240 to controller 176. After whole symbol or image 402 has been shown to the game player, controller 176 may cause display 110 to display the prize, if any, that the player has won. Other effects may also be presented, such as pre-recorded sound from speakers. If the actual prize is money, the amount of the prize may be added to the player's credit meter or the prize may be dispensed from dispenser 111 or coin dispenser 127.
  • After a prize has been awarded, controller 176 can move objects 222 and 240 to a position where a whole symbol 402 is not displayed. Alternatively, controller 176 may stop objects 222 and 240. Fan 214 can also be turned off stopping the jumbling of display balls 211. Alternatively, objects 222 and 240 can move such that an entertaining presentation is shown. For example an entertaining presentation of cancellation patterns can be shown on display 220 during an attract mode of gaming apparatus 100.
  • The primary display of a gaming device may be replaced with bonus game display 200. In other words, game apparatus 120 may be entirely replaced with bonus game display device 200.
  • Referring to FIG. 5E, another whole symbol 406 is shown formed by display 220 when viewing object 222. Whole symbol 406 is shown as the number “3”. In this embodiment, whole symbol 406 is formed in a 12 o'clock position and other symbols are simultaneously formed in other positions. However, it is understood that whole symbol 406 could be formed in any angular position by simply positioning the partial symbols in the selected angular position. Also in this embodiment, an indicator 407 is provided that is configured to indicate which of the plurality of symbols is selected. This embodiment allows the player to see other possible symbols that may be selected. Indicator 407 may be a static indicator or it may be a moveable mechanical indicator that is capable of moving to another position Alternatively a plurality of static indicators may be provided and one or more indicators may be activated (e.g., lighted), to indicate the selected symbols or symbols.
  • Referring to FIG. 5F, another whole symbol 408 is shown formed by display 220 when viewing object 222. Whole symbol 408 is shown as the word “WIN”.
  • While numbers and words were shown for the whole images, other types of images can also be shown, such as physical objects, cartoons and animated moving images. The effect of illusion of animated motion, in which lifelike virtual images move at various speeds can also be presented on display 220.
  • Turning now to FIGS. 5G and 5H, another embodiment of objects 222 and 240 are shown. Object 222 is shown with several apertures 420. Object 240 is shown with several apertures 422. Apertures 420 can be combined with pattern 226 on object 222. Apertures 422 can be combined with pattern 244 on object 240. The use of apertures 420 and 422 allows for different and additional whole symbols or images to be formed when objects 222 and 240 are rotated. Apertures 420 and 422 can be front lit or back lit by lights 260 and 262 to produce additional visual effects.
  • Referring to FIGS. 5I and 5J, another embodiment of objects 222 and 240 are shown. In FIG. 5I, partial symbols 442 can be located near an outer edge 444 of object 222. Partial symbols 446 can be located near an outer edge 448 of object 240. Symbols 442 may be arranged similar to the numbers on a clock. When objects 222 and 240 are rotated into a desired position by the controller and properly illuminated, a whole symbol 450 can be formed and viewed by the superposition of the overlapping partial symbols 442 and 446 as shown in FIG. 5J. In this manner, a wide variety of symbols may be displayed by objects 222 and 240.
  • Referring now to FIG. 6, a flowchart of a game play 320 using gaming device 100 is shown. At step 322, a player preferably initiates game play 320 by placing a wager on the gaming device 120. The wager may be in form of cash or credit from actual domestic or foreign currency, vouchers, coupons, tickets, electronic cards, and other sources or forms of wagers known in the art. Once the player initiates game play 320, the player may play a base game on the gaming apparatus at step 324. At step 326, the controller (not shown) detects the occurrence of a bonus-activating event. If the controller does not detect a bonus-activating event, then the controller notifies the player of the game outcome from the base game at step 328. The player may place a wager again and repeat steps 322 and 324 to continue playing a game on the gaming apparatus.
  • If the controller detects a bonus-activating event, the controller determines a game outcome at step 330. Next, the controller turns on fan 214 causing the jumbling of the display balls at step 331. The controller instructs the stepper motors to move the objects at step 332 to display an entertaining presentation Next, the controller instructs the stepper motors to display a whole symbol that indicates a prize at step 334.
  • Any prizes are awarded at step 338. The objects are stopped at step 340 and the movement of the display balls are stopped at step 342. The steps shown in the flowchart do not necessarily imply that the steps have to take place in a particular order. The order of steps may be varied; some steps may be eliminated; and, some steps may be replaced with other steps. Such variations still fall within the scope of the invention.
  • It can thus be seen that the embodiments can solve one or more problems associated with the prior art or provide advantages over prior art devices. There are other features and advantages of one or more the various embodiments. They should be apparent to those skilled in the art based on the disclosure above.
  • Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the present embodiments of this invention. This specification above, for instance, makes reference to bonus games and prizes. However, the present invention is not thereby intended to be limited to providing bonus prizes. Rather it is intended that the present invention can, in certain embodiments, be used independently as a stand-alone game without necessarily including bonusing. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the claims as issued and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.
  • CONCLUSION
  • Accordingly, one embodiment of the present invention provides a gaming device including at least one moveable object that may be positioned such that a whole symbol is formed that indicates a game outcome. Gaming devices according to the present invention may provide exciting and attractive game displays to game players and may provide a number of game play possibilities for game designers.
  • Although the description above contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the present embodiments of this invention. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents rather than by the examples given.

Claims (27)

  1. 1. A gaming device comprising:
    (A) a game apparatus, the game apparatus being adapted to allow a player to play a game and to award a prize;
    (B) a game display mounted in association with the game apparatus, the game display including:
    (a) a first object having at least a partially transparent portion;
    (b) a second object juxtaposed to and overlapping the first object; and
    (c) at least one positioning mechanism coupled to the either the first or second object, the positioning mechanism being configured to position one of the objects relative to the other object wherein, in combination, the first and second objects display a symbol.
  2. 2. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the second object comprises a partially transparent portion.
  3. 3. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the first object comprises a first pattern and the second object comprises a second pattern.
  4. 4. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein one of the first or second objects comprise at least one aperture.
  5. 5. The gaming device of claim 3, wherein the first and second patterns in combination form the symbol.
  6. 6. The gaming device of claim 1, wherein the first object comprises at least one aperture and the second object comprises at least one aperture.
  7. 7. The gaming device of claim 1, further comprising a light source positioned to illuminate at least one of the objects.
  8. 8. The gaming device of claim 1, further comprising a mirror positioned in proximity to at least one of the objects.
  9. 9. A gaming display device comprising:
    a) a first object and a second object, the first and second objects positioned in an overlapping relationship to each other, at least one of the first or second objects being partially transparent;
    b) a first symbol portion located on the first object and a second symbol portion located on the second object; and
    c) a positioning mechanism connected to at least one of the objects, the positioning mechanism being adapted to move at least one of the objects wherein, in combination, the first and second symbol portions together form at least one whole symbol.
  10. 10. The gaming display device of claim 9, wherein at least one object is rotated by the positioning mechanism.
  11. 11. The gaming display device of claim 9, wherein at least one sensor is positioned adjacent at least one of the objects and is adapted to detect the position of the objects.
  12. 12. The gaming display device of claim 9, wherein the positioning mechanism comprises at least one stepper motor.
  13. 13. The gaming device of claim 9, further comprising a mirror positioned in proximity to at least one of the objects.
  14. 14. A method of playing a game by a game player, but not necessarily in the order shown, comprising:
    a) providing a first and second object adjacent to each other, the first object having a first pattern and at least a partially transparent portion and the second object having a second pattern, the first and second objects being positioned wherein a player may see through the at least partially transparent portion of the first object and see at least a portion of the second pattern of the second portion;
    b) moving the first or the second object; and
    c) displaying a symbol to the player, the symbol comprising at least a portion of the first pattern and the at least a portion of the second pattern.
  15. 15. The method of claim 14, further comprising jumbling a plurality of display balls in front of the objects.
  16. 16. The method of claim 14, further comprising displaying an entertaining presentation using the objects.
  17. 17. The method of claim 14, further comprising illuminating the objects.
  18. 18. The method of claim 14, wherein the symbol relates to the game.
  19. 19. The method of claim 14, wherein the symbol indicates a game outcome.
  20. 20. A method of playing a game by a game player, but not necessarily in the order shown, comprising:
    a) determining a game outcome;
    b) providing a first object having a first symbol portion;
    c) providing a second object having a second symbol portion; and
    d) arranging the first and second objects in an overlapping relationship such that the first and second symbol portions form a whole symbol, the whole symbol indicating the game outcome.
  21. 21. The method of claim 20, further comprising jumbling a plurality of display balls.
  22. 22. The method of claim 20, further comprising providing a plurality of apertures in the objects.
  23. 23. The method of claim 20 wherein at least one of the objects is partially transparent.
  24. 24. A gaming device comprising:
    (A) gaming means for allowing a player to play a game;
    (B) object means mounted in association with the gaming means for mounting of at least one indicia thereon, the object means having at least a transparent portion;
    (C) positioning means connected with the object means for moving the object means in an overlapping manner; and
    (D) controller means for causing the positioning means to move the object means such that the indicia forms at least one symbol.
  25. 25. The gaming device of claim 24, wherein the symbol forms an entertaining display.
  26. 26. The gaming device of claim 24, further comprising mirror means positioned in proximity to the object means.
  27. 27. A gaming method comprising, but not necessarily in the order shown:
    (A) allowing a player to place a wager and play a game of chance;
    (B) determining a game outcome, the game outcome comprising a prize qualifying event, if the game outcome comprises the prize qualifying event then; and
    (C) moving at least two objects each having a pattern, at least one of the objects being arranged in front of the other object and at least one of the objects being partially transparent such that the patterns, when viewed by the player, form at least one symbol that indicates the game outcome.
US11530748 2005-09-12 2006-09-11 Gaming display device Abandoned US20070060270A1 (en)

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