Approaching Reality in Online Gambling
Bridging the still-existent gap between our real world and the exciting world of online gambling will involve the use of a number of tools. Fortunately, technology now allows an experience that provides much of the look and feel of gambling in what we call a “brick-and-mortar” casino. Using state-of-the-science graphic technology, companies allow individuals to play their favorite games – slots, roulette, video poker, baccarat – in the comfort of their homes.
This is important to those who cannot travel to a “live” casino at a particular time and to those who do not have such a casino nearby. At Caesar’s, the options include slots such as Hot Shot Blazing 7s, a 5-reel, 20-payline game that has the more-traditional look of slot machines but adds sharp icons and a flaming, in-motion background.
For something slightly different, you may want to try An Evening with Holly Madison and be greeted by a realistic Holly introducing the game. No traditional look here, as icons such as dice, top hats and Mardi-Gras style masks rotate on a black background, accompanied by a short burst of music. The graphics are very good, showing what detailed work can produce.
Table games provide one of the best ways to present realistic action. Again, the sharp graphics, smooth motion of cards being dealt, and nice audio commentary, come close to the feel of sitting in on real Baccarat action. The same can be said for the Blackjack options.
What is being done to take online gambling to yet another level? The use of numerous tools mentioned earlier is the key to continuing advances in the online world. Products such as advanced rendering software combine with creative themes to enhance the player’s experience. The goal is to provide the correct amount of information for the player’s eyes to process in a fraction of a second.
In its current state, software must provide 24 frames per second to create the illusion of reality. As several industry observers have noted, designers are very close to perfection with the available technology. But “perfection” is a relative term in the ever-changing world of online-gambling technology. Software companies continue to experiment and implement visual effects such as motion blur, which does occur in the real world with the human eye.
A Matter of Dimension
One of the key elements in producing the online-gambling experience is depth of field. As many veterans of camera technology know, producing depth of field accurately results in sharp images that are acceptable to the human eye. Producing graphics that are more than acceptable involves having the correct distance between near and far objects, and having them remain in focus.
A related element, dimension, may be one of the most important advancements in computer graphics. The realistic motion of cards and the pleasing appearance of objects on the baccarat table were mentioned earlier. Being able to render the scene with something amazingly close to 3D is what, at Caesar’s, makes the experience enjoyable.
Thousands of steps have been taken to traverse the graphics landscape, from Pong and similar games to the current state of online gambling. Those early games were two-dimensional and attempted to create a game environment with two colors, such as green and black, or black and white. They did add a bit of “blip” for sound when the “ball” made contact with the paddle/bar.
With this limited space it would not serve to go back too far into computer-graphics history, but some important advancements were made in the 1930s and 1940s, well before the most rudimentary games appeared on a computer screen. Color television came onto the scene in the early 1950s, just a few years before the integrated circuit was invented (1958). Spacewars is credited with being the first video game (1961).
Advancements came quickly after that. At the expense of leaving out some very important milestones, we jump to the late 1960s and early 1970s for what became known as the graphical-user-interface and the early 3D input devices. Much of the progress in these decades was made possible by the increase in computer power, which continued to lead the way in increasing online realism.
Now for some name-dropping: Westworld, Futureworld, Apple, Wang, Atari, Silicon Graphics, Motorola, Intel, the list goes on and on and on…. Leap forward to the late 1990s, with Windows, Mac and the increasing improvements in user/screen interaction. In the new century, the most imaginative and creative individuals have managed to produce an online gambling experience that will satisfy the most discerning player.
There are two basic segments of the online-gaming world today – virtual reality and augmented. The discussion about which of these most closely resembles the real world definitely has two sides. Leaders in the industry have taken augmented reality to a different level in recent years, using touch, sound, even smell, to add to the visual experience.
Some may argue that augmented is still rather static, whereas virtual reality puts the sense of motion into the picture. Again, this is a subject for more time and space than is allowed here. However, bridging the gap mentioned in the beginning is at the heart of the matter. Those who seem to know state that 2016 will be the year virtual reality breaks out and, to a certain extent, becomes a consumer product. Others believe this has already happened.
Current technology has helped online gambling become a major industry, with revenues in the billions of dollars. As graphics improved and elements of augmented reality were introduced, more and more players opted for the online experience, allowing it to substitute for going to a “live” casino. Caesar’s offers excellent gaming opportunities for those individuals.
Since the early 1990s, the online gambling scene has expanded (some would say exploded), becoming a global industry with locations in dozens of countries around the world. There is no doubt that advancements will continue, as both casino companies and graphics experts work to enhance the user experience.