Sometimes in life, the grass really can be greener on the other side. For those of us who love nothing more to spend some of our free time playing pokie machines – either online or at a local casino – the dream of winning big is very rarely far from our thoughts. But do you ever think about those people/companies who actually get to drain a pokie of its cash load and keep the goods? That must be a whole heap of cash. And that question got us thinking even further: is it possible to build your own slot machine?
We’ve considered both angles – i.e. building your own physical slot machine that exists in tangible form, as well as creating your own online slot game which can then be re-sold to casinos and betting sites – and the answer on both fronts is yes, yes you can. Want to create a physical pokie as a fun game to play with friends and family? Or have you spent countless hours playing online slots and are now thinking ‘I can do better’? Well, the good news is that, with a bit of hard graft and some minimal investment, it is possible to build your own!
The Physical Slot Machine
When you play on a pokie machine at the casino or amusement arcades, what do you see (aside from a ton of super heroes)? Usually it’s a great hunk of metal, with mechanical workings inside that power the reels and make them spin, as well as a piece of technology that accepts coins and counts out the correct prize money when a winning line is spun. Of course, the humble pokie has moved on in recent times, with the advent of digital technologies and touchscreens. But in order to accommodate the average Joe’s budget, we need to focus on the basics only. Happily, we can actually construct the base unit for a slot machine using tough cardboard; so we won’t need to fork out significant sums on coated metal.
Step 1 – The Visuals
So first off, think about how you want your slot machine to look. Presumably it’s going to be a very simple design, with the reels displayed roughly in the middle of the unit and the coin dispenser somewhere near the bottom. The next step is to get cutting. Using a heavy-duty cardboard box – remember, you can ask kindly at any local factory or warehousing facility for freebies – cut the main body of your pokie to shape and size.
Step 2 – Reel Them In
Next up, you’ll need to print out your preferred in-game symbols on a sheet of paper. For ease of context, let’s pretend we’re going to use the classic fruit machine symbols of lemons, melons, cherries, bells and 7s. Find these online and print them off in a vertical line one on top of the other. Then we need to make our reels. This is where it gets slightly tricky, but this amazing video from Delta Hack explains all. The video goes through the process in great detail, yet in truth it looks straightforward enough – as long as you have the right materials and maybe an extra pair of hands to help.
Step 3 – Get Creative
Once you have the basic unit in place, now is the time to get creative. This is your pokie, so you can have fun with making up some designs on your computer and creating a unique look for your game. Once you’re happy, print out on laminated sheet (or basic paper if you prefer) and glue on to the front, sides and back of your pokie.
Step 4 – Enjoy!
At this point your pokie will be ready for its first test run. Now all you need are some players willing to give it a try!
Of course, you could opt for the more technical route of creating your own online casino game. This is obviously very difficult to do and requires a unique skillset in coding and algorithm building, but if all that sounds like complete gobbledegook to you then help is at hand. There are software developers out there, such as the team at BetConstruct, who’ll take your ideas and run with them.
Whether you have a basic premise in mind, have designed your own cool character, or you want to be involved in the whole creative process from start to finish, by collaborating with a software developer you can see your ideas come to life. Once your online slot game has been built, tested and approved, the world is your oyster. If you’ve ever fantasised about building your own slot machine, the great news is that the right tools, processes and people are all out there ready to turn it into a reality.