Despite the diminutive stature that their name suggests, minigames have been a popular component of gaming for decades. Whether as hidden bonuses tucked deep within a game’s depths, or an open opportunity used to round out a greater experience, minigames can add up to far more than the sum of their parts. With games always getting bigger the opportunities for these additions keep expanding and nowhere is this as true as with the world of VR.
Using the example of bingo slots as a base-line, we want to explore how and when VR minigames, or other games within games, might be implemented in the future. Why is it we believe improved minigame inclusion is such a likely path, and which avenues might be the easiest to travel?
There are three main reasons we’ve turned to slots as an example on this front. The first is that slot games have broad appeal, and are well understood. As some of the most intuitive games around, these make perfect fits as smaller additions to the main game. Second is the fact that slots do not have high requirements, as they are easily able to run from some of today’s most humble devices. As VR games require more power than traditional screen games, this, again, marks a good fit.
Finally, there is the aspect of VR control and display. Despite having come a long way, both of these aspects of VR can be inhibiting, with low resolutions and poor haptic feedback being especially limiting. As slot games are easily controlled and don’t require high resolutions, these issues are effectively mitigated.
Direct Gaming Inclusion
A huge part of the appeal of virtual reality gaming comes from how engrossing they are as an experience. Rather than looking at the world through a window, we become part of the world, as an intrinsic entity. The problem with this is the disparity that exists between this realism, the opportunities a game presents, and the level of feasible interaction.
In VR, processing limitations mean that we can’t interactive as freely as we would like, even if a game’s tools suggest otherwise. Due to these admittedly diminishing limitations, smaller levels of interaction like slot games or other minigames are enormously important inclusions in VR. The term living and breathing world is entirely cliché in games media today, but with possibilities to play a real game within a game, like slots, the term begins to move from platitude into appreciable reality.
Indirect VR Involvement
A more likely form of initial minigame involvement on this front might not come from within the games themselves but in external processes. In the above example, minigames would need to be placed only in areas that make gaming sense. However, allowing something like a browser popup within VR, a more consistent new world of opportunities could be opened.
Consider the latest bingo slots like Cleopatra Gold and Gems Gone Wild. These already play perfectly from browsers, for long play sessions, or smaller outings. Imagine if, in a long loading screen or a scene transition in another game, you could simply play slots rather than sit idle. In games like space or transportation sims, this could add a lot to the experience, and without the safety issues which prevent us from this pursuit in real life.
Ultimately, the expansion of opportunities within VR gaming is just a matter of time. True, these games are already often vast, but improving computing power and VR devices coming in the near future will continue to raise possibilities to yet unexplored new heights. Whether within the games themselves or as a side partially separated from the main experience, additions like bingo slots hold considerable potential. Make no mistake, this is more a matter of when than of if.