Expo Schmexpo

…and just like that, the 2018 Global Gaming Expo is now behind us.

This year’s approach was more on the utilitarian side than in the past, as we focused primarily on products from the Gamblit slate that are either already available in casinos, or are going to be available very shortly.

The two variants of Pac Man and Deal or No Deal Poker – running on our Model G™ and TriStation™ platforms – were the flagship titles featured front and center, but we brought a total of 25 titles running on those two platforms.

Click the image for more photos from the show!

What I would consider to be the most interesting and innovative addition to the product slate was the introduction of our progressive-enabled titles featuring Skill Jackpots. These work just like traditional progressives and offer ever-growing jackpot prizes of various magnitudes, but instead of relying on pure chance the jackpots are collected using skillful play.

The player has to complete certain game-specific objectives (e.g. “spell six 8-letter words” in Lucky Words) to collect the corresponding jackpot.

It’s a very elegant and intuitive mechanism that infuses games with a whole additional layer of challenging gameplay, and offers attractive prizes that grow proportionally with the difficulty of the challenge.

Several of our games retrofitted with Skill Jackpots are in the later stages of the approval process, and should be available on the floor in the near future.

I will do a separate, more detailes post about this system at a later date.

In the meantime, here’s the obligatory sizzle-reel from this years booth, followed by a little behind-the-scenes peek at a very interesting project that didn’t make the cut:

Unlike in years past with the VR Cube or the giant Pac Man Wall, we didn’t have a flamboyant, crowd-pleasing showpiece spectacle this year.

However, this wasn’t entirely intentional. Originally we were planning to bring a prototype project codenamed “Model V”, but competing priorities kicked in, and some hard choices needed to be made.

The project was basically a from-scratch recreation of our 4-play competitive Grab Poker game on a brand new, ETG-like hardware platform featuring 4 individual player consoles, and a huge central screen. It was in a fairly complete state when it got dropped, and it could have added a high-energy, spectator-friendly competitive experience to the booth.

The video below shows gameplay as well as footage (towards the end) of the whole physical development rig the game was running on. There’s also a photo gallery available.

The real star of the show here is the single Unity client (developed by my Game Studio team), which drives the large 4K screen and the four 1080p player screens at a crisp 60 frames per second. Enjoy!

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