A gaming machine includes a presentation element and an animation feature. In response to a wager amount, a processor controls the presentation element. The presentation element is capable of presenting a plurality of action selections for a player. When a player selects one of the actions, the animation feature animates a multi-step event corresponding to the selected action. Combinations of multi-step events result in a continuing gameplay experience, and payoffs are rewarded to the player in response to certain multi-step events or certain achievements in the continuing gameplay experience.