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Designer targets
‘games for gamblers’

Apr 16, 2003 3:58 AM

(Part two of a two-part series on up-and-coming gaming manufacturers)

By David Stratton

If ever there were a new breed of gaming designer, Elia Rocco Tarantino would be it.

Not that "Rocco," as he likes to be called, isn’t an astute inventor. He’s designed dozens of devices, and holds patents on dozens more.

It’s just that Tarantino’s successes ”” and the millions of dollars they have generated ”” are far from the realm of gaming.

For instance, Tarantino is credited with developing a highly-advanced capillary electrophoresis instrument for the separation and identification of biological materials.

Despite the device’s cryptic name, its price tag eclipsed a quarter of a million dollars.

Other Tarantino creations include the first automated liquid chromatography system, solid state electrical energy saving devices, and the world’s first gold and silver dotting materials for high-reliability circuits.

Obviously, these complicated devices have nothing to do with gaming, but Tarantino’s background in math and physics has helped translate his visions for new games into working models.

"I understand what can be done, so it’s then just a matter of creating a model," Tarantino said. "Once I have a model, I can take it anywhere."

Indeed, Tarantino carries most of his new games in a briefcase with a notebook computer. His games are patented and in various states of development with gaming manufacturers.

His current pride and joy is a video game called Link, a very simple dice video slot.

"It’s important the game be simple and fun to play," Tarantino said. "Link is exactly that. Plus, every game, every roll of the dice, produces a winner. That’s important in keeping the customers in their seats."

Tarantino emphasizes that he creates "gambling" games, and not glorified Nintendo or arcade games with a gambling element.

"I don’t quite get the concept of Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop on a slot machine," Tarantino said. "I target my games for people who like to gamble. Isn’t that why they’re in the casino?

Another one of Tarantino’s creations is a video poker game that features a bonus "horse race" type of round that adds excitement and the possibility of greater jackpots for the player.

"This is a game the major manufacturers have tried to buy," Tarantino said. "But at this point, they’re not ready to offer anything realistic. They have a virtual monopoly on video poker and apparently aren’t willing to give that up."

Tarantino said bucking the established gaming manufacturers is not an easy task. But he’s undeterred.

"These are all viable games, and I know in time, they will land in casinos or cocktail lounges," he said. "It just takes a little persistence. I have plenty of that."

For further information about Tarantion’s games, contact him at Cole Industries in Las Vegas, or call (702) 250-0557.