With thousands of different titles available to players online, there is no doubt that video slot games are the most abundant and sought after online casino games. This popularity is due to the simplicity of the casino game which requires little or no skill. You simply activate your preferred number of paylines, adjust the bet size and hit the spin button. For gamers, creating the slot machine game may seem easy. However, the development of the slot machine game is not as straightforward as its gameplay.
So what does it take to release a new slot machine game? What is the development process from start to finish? First, let’s take a look at the main stages in the development of a video slot game.
Stages of development
When you play free slots without download at your favorite online casino, you hardly think about what goes on in the production process of the game. Creating a slot machine game is not as easy as many think. Slot machine game developers put a lot of time and effort into creating your favorite slot machine game titles. The whole process of developing an online video slot game can be divided into several stages:
The very first step in developing a slot machine game is designing the ideas. This is the creative stage of the development process, where a lot of brainstorming meetings will take place to determine a lot about the overall outlook for the game. At this point, the developers will think about the themes, storyline, characters, design. soundtrack, colors and graphics of the game.
In many cases, slot machine developers take inspiration from popular themes that they believe will get a lot of players’ attention. Some of the popular themes in vogue today include classic fruit themes, ancient civilizations, mythologies, sports, the supernatural, adventure, crime, television and movies, and many more.
Also, at this point the research is very crucial as the developers need to create something unique and not a scam or something similar to another existing game. Take, for example, the Blood Suckers slot from NetEnt and the Immortal Romance slot from Microgaming. While both video slots have the same vampire theme, there are many things that differentiate the two games from each other. For example, the graphics, soundtrack, characters, symbols and storyline are totally different.
Developers need to fully define the schematics of how the game looks and functions at this point to keep it brief.
Gameplay and mechanics
The next step in the development process is determining the gameplay details of the slot machine. These usually include variance, return to player (RTP), and features that come with the game. Bonus features like scatters, wilds, betting features, free spins and many more make the gameplay fun. ‘all the more interesting for gamers, so developers often add one or more to their video slot game.
Here they will also decide video slot mechanics. For example, will it use a payline system, a megaway system, or a one-off innovation? In addition, the developers will make the decision on other details such as the minimum and maximum bet sizes.
Creation of the prototype
Just because an idea you come up with looks beautiful and flawless on paper, that doesn’t mean it will work in reality when you integrate it. The same goes for the development of slot machines. Therefore, once the slot vendors have come up with a potentially interesting idea for a new slots game, the next step in the development process is to test whether it is practical and achievable. To achieve this, developers are building a prototype to see if they are on the right track. With the prototype, developers can check technical details, gameplay, and game mechanics. They can also spot flaws they didn’t envision, rectify things that could potentially cause difficulties in the final product, and bring improvements appropriate to the plan.
Development of the basic / main version
Once they’ve ironed out some details with the prototype, the next step in the slots game development process is to develop a preview version. Here the developers will build the framework / skeletal structure of the video slot game. It only contains the most essential elements of slot machine game such as theme, game mechanics, music, random number generator (RNG) software, and graphics.
However, this is not the end product. Instead, think of the base version as a rough draft of the final product. The purpose of this main version is to bring the idea of the slot machine game to life. At this point, developers can also run tests to determine which areas still need improvement.
Development of the final product
Once the previous steps have been successfully completed, video slot game developers will move on to the most important step in the development process – the development of the final product. As we mentioned before, the main purpose of creating a base version of the game is to spot flaws in game development to develop the new game in the best possible way. At this final stage, whether there are bugs in the game, mechanical issues, a problem with the music, or something bigger, the entire development team made up of the content creators, artists, designers and programmers will solve it. And with the cooperation of the whole team, they will create a fully functional location. This stage is all about rigorous development.
The next step is the testing and polishing step. Although most of the previous steps in the development process involved testing, some errors or mistakes may have crept in, or new ones may appear. So even if the final product is ready to be released, it needs to be tested. Most video slot game providers have a team responsible for this role. Internal testers will play the game to test how it works:
- Does it work well?
- Do the features work accordingly?
- Is the game exciting?
Some slot developers will even go so far as to invite outsiders to test out pre-released slot games. The goal is to get the opinions of the people who will end up playing the slot machine. Then, after collecting feedback from the testers, the developers get back to work tweaking the slot accordingly.
The slot machine has been developed and it works as expected. Testers and reviewers have verified the game, and they think it is exciting and worth playing. The next step is to bring the game to slot machine enthusiasts.
Marketing and promotions
Marketing is the last step in the development process. Now that the game has been developed and released for gamers to have fun, the developers will need to find ways to get players’ attention to the game. Here they will develop design concepts and strategies to promote the game. Some of the most popular ways for slot developers to generally promote their video game titles include:
- Game coverage
- Press material
- Promotional videos
- Offer free spins etc.
Popular slot developers in the market today
When you go online to play slots, one of the first things that jumps out at you is the sheer number of games available to players. And accompanying these thousands of slot machine titles, hundreds of slot machine game developers are dedicated to releasing new slot machine games almost every month. Below are some of the most popular slot developers who have shaped the slots game landscape today:
- Play and go
- Pragmatic game
- NetEnt, etc.
An undeniable fact about slot machines is that this favorite pastime of gambling enthusiasts has evolved from what it was in the 1900s. So the game is constantly developing, and with growth. Rapid technology in the world we live in today, we expect to see exciting advancements in the future.
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