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Studying the Phenomenon of Online Slot Machines

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Slot machine Rome

Online casinos became popular over the last ten years with the strengthening of the role that the Internet is playing in everyday life. During this decade, the online gambling industry has obtained permanent revenue growth. According to Statista.com the reported annual revenue reached $41.4 billion in 2015 and is expected to come close to the $46 billion mark in 2016.

Influential industry leaders agree that it happened because of online services growth, technology progress, and the expansion of the mobile device market. In addition to that, we can observe significant revenue growth in Asian countries that far outpaces traditional U.S. casino markets.

Going forward, Program-Ace can stress that all experts are expecting the industry performance to be accelerated over the next five years because of the improvement of HTML5 technology and the rapid growth of mobile gaming. That's why nowadays we can see a migration from standard Flash games to HTML5 applications that are perfectly suited to every type of device such as iPhone, iPad, Android device, tablets, desktop browsers, etc. Meanwhile, HTML5-based applications could be easily compiled into hybrid mobile applications with full-featured support for mobile devices and tablets.

In accordance with recent research, it becomes clear that the most popular method of entertainment in the online gambling industry is playing a slot game. This fact is proven by a large amount of slots on the market. Take, for example, JackpotCity, Aladdin's Gold, Slotomania, and 888 slots. And while brick-and-mortar slot machines generate only 30% of the casino's revenue, online slots beat all records for popularity and, according to a popular belief, are responsible for no less than 50% of the online casinos' profit.

Many players were skeptical at first, thinking that if they cannot observe how the slot machine works, but there is a catch. However, it didn't take long to realize that there is nothing to hide, and online slot machines follow the same fundamental principles as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. So today, slot machines are the usual aspect of our online everyday life. Of course, there are a lot of people who play these games, but there are also those who create them, and they are, unfortunately, in the minority. For that reason, we decided to expand the list of individuals familiar with the mystery of slot machine development. In this article, Program-Ace explains what it takes to develop an online slot game and how can you do that.

What You Need to Know about Slot Development: the Basics

It's quite hard to realize for those who are not in the game development that online slot machine is not easy to develop. An excellent quality of slot machine can be created approximately within the year, if you create it from scratch. A large team of people, including game and graphic designers, programmers, developers, artists, architects, testers, and managers will be involved in all stages of the project, from the idea in the client's mind to the deployment across a variety of platforms. The basic workflow that the team should follow includes the following stages:


Defining of a slot machine main goals and missions


Specifying of project goals


Studying of the target audience and similar slot games


Composing a game concept and a set of references


Designing of 2D assets, reel mechanics, animation, and special effects


Game logic implementation


Testing & bug fixing


Slot game release and deployment

Although each online slot machine is unique, from time to time, the development team takes the liberty of applying a pre-existing set of frameworks that can help streamline the development process. For instance, all slots have similar reel mechanics; that's why developers often create one asset that they put into use in most slot games. It saves them from needing reinvent the wheel each time a new project is underway.

A Long Way to Go

As previously  stated, the game development process takes about a year.  But the very first step is to get the team together to discuss the game concept. It involves the whole team - from creative managers to game developers who are trying to figure out how to present the chosen concept to the target audience as well as make it unique and addictive. Your team members express their assumptions and consider similar games in the selected category. The main goal of this meeting is to find the way to introduce their idea in the most favorable light.

The next item on the agenda is to decide upon the main theme that will define the whole slot game direction: for example, superheroes, ancient Greeks, or French cuisine.   

Team creativity combined with market research determines each fine detail in the slot game - from the color scheme to the font size and style. Every feature of the game should be defined and thought out by the team long before the initial development process. And in the end, it all comes down to the ensuring the best user experience possible. The biggest challenge is to create a compelling and engaging game that can present a unique user experience for players across the globe. That way, it can be differentiated from other slot games presented on the market.

Only Players Measure the Level of Success

With designers who always implement new features that can capture a player's attention, online slots are constantly developed and improved. On the other hand, once a game is released for mass consumption, the players are the only ones who can judge the successfulness of a game. For that reason, it's important to pay close attention to the upcoming trends, software, browsers, and operating systems presented on the market and keep up with them.

We can measure the success of an online slot machine by considering several popular metrics, such as commercial success (how much profit it brings), the level of popularity (the overall number of downloads), the rating in app stores, and players' loyalty (the number of visits per day and the number of returned sessions).

There is no guarantee that the game is going to be a hit since it's quite hard to predict the market’s behavior. No matter how simple or complex an online slot machine is, there is no definitive answer to the question of how to create a fruitful slot game.

Still, a truly great game appeals to players with its rich feature set and outstanding bonus games while ensuring that it will be addictive.

Consider the Slot Variance System

Different games require different types of payout, depending on a slot machine type and mission. The team decides upon the variance system before starting the designing and development process. The three types of it are presented below:

Low-risk variance slots are specially created for players who are interested in a long-lasting game. Generally, such slot machines don't have big jackpots. Instead, they possess a greater number of winning combinations that can attract a player's attention and keep him or her interested and engaged for a long period of time.

Medium-risk variance slot machines are the most common type online. They offer both low and high jackpots and are considered to be the most attractive option for players by offering a lot of featured bonus games. These in-game opportunities present the lucky chance to win extra money. Naturally, players win more with this slot machines than with low-risk ones; however, if it is not their lucky day, they can lose all their money in a matter of seconds.

High-risk variance slots provide the biggest jackpots, the greatest graphic quality and amazing multi-player symbols that help increase winnings significantly. Typically, small jackpots are extremely infrequent, while non-winning spins are quite common.

Each of the risk variances presented above is designed for different players; so before you make the right choice, it is necessary to examine the target audience's needs, desires, and demands. During the entire development process, the team members should always keep in mind who they are creating it for and why they are doing it.

Randomizer Control

The random number-generating system, also known to the public as a randomizer, is a device (in brick-and-mortar machines) or a program (in online slots) that is responsible for generating numbers that cannot be predicted due to their random nature. These generators that are used in both types of slot machines, work under proprietary algorithms.

The principle on which the randomizer operates is based on the system that chooses random numbers that are connected to all symbols that the slot machine has. These generators are the ones that keep the slot game fair and are part of a company’s trade secret.

Players are always skeptical about dependability and the veracity of online slot machines and the online gambling industry as a whole. For that reason, the most reputable companies that develop online slots list the names of independent third parties such as certified auditors and testers who have tested random number-generating systems of a particular machine. In the countries that require additional proof, for example, the U.S. and Canada, an online slot machine can also be tested in special labs to prove the unbiased nature of the slot randomizer.

Alternative Conclusion

In slot game development, the team of game designers, developers, and architects can express their imagination, innovation, and originality by creating a unique and revolutionary slot game. From a professional point of view, it's an unforgettable and incomparable experience and a challenge at the same time. By the same token, creation of any game, even a very basic and standard one, is a professional challenge for an expert because of the amount of things he or she needs to consider and think over.

If you are thinking about designing an addictive and engaging slot machine, put this in our professional hands. Program-Ace company is a slot development wizard that can bring even your wildest ideas to life and ensure players end up with the most astonishing user experience they have ever had. 

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Stuart Lewis-Smith, Senior VP and General Manager, GSN Games

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– Scott Zerby, Vice President at ValuSoft

If you're looking for a professional, dedicated, digital development partner, I highly recommend Program-Ace...

– Tim Ransom, President at Visual Thunder Media
Stuart Lewis-Smith

GSN Games is completely satisfied with Program-Ace's technical expertise and the quality of services they provide. We look forward to collaborating with Program-Ace again...

Stuart Lewis-Smith, Senior VP and General Manager, GSN Games
Scott Zerby

Program-Ace has completely dispelled my concerns. The online project management system is one of the best I have seen...

– Scott Zerby, Vice President at ValuSoft
Tim Ransom

If you're looking for a professional, dedicated, digital development partner, I highly recommend Program-Ace...

– Tim Ransom, President at Visual Thunder Media
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