Want to know how slots are made? You’ve come to the right place. This guide dives deep into the development pipeline of online slots, from the planning stage to the game release phase. The process often takes two to six weeks.
And it involves multiple elements: Visuals, Music, characters, theme and mechanics, to name a few. Depending on the studio and project, it’s not unusual for a slot to take more than a year before it’s ready for the market.
Planning for a Slot
Before engineers draft a framework, designers create the graphics and writers create content, a plan has to be made. Everyone has to understand the kind of slot the game studio is looking for, and how it will be created.
What will the slot be about? Will it be a progressive jackpot, a video slot or classic game? During this stage, the production team brainstorm for ideas. Then they talk about the features they want in the slot, its characters, target audience and betting features.
The planning element of creating a slot is one of the most difficult parts of the process. There are far too many slots online. Many of them fade into oblivion within weeks of being released. Yet, every company wants to create the next big slot—the next Mega Moolah jackpot or the next Starburst video slot.
There are also additional elements like budgeting, project management, time-scale and the technological knowhow. If one of these things is lacking, then it could become difficult to create a quality slot.
Slot and Art Design
During the planning stage, the production team comes up with a slot idea. They also create a fully-fledged plan of how the game will appear. Next, they delegate the work to different departments to handle varying aspects of the project.
Designers draw the artwork and designs used in the slot. Of course, they create graphics that rhyme to the theme of the suggested game. Let’s say a studio wants to create a game inspired by Harry Potter.
The designers will need to create characters from the franchise and arts reminiscent of the book. Speaking of which, check this article for a list of the best book-themed slots. We’re talking about Book of the Dead, Book of Ra, the Wizard of Oz and Judge Dredd.
During the olden days of three-reel slots at local pubs, slots featured mechanical reels and pull levels. In 2021, online slots use sophisticated software created by a team of back-end and front-end developers.
Developers decide the coding language to use for every slot. Generally, every studio has an agreed upon programming language. In many cases, developers use HMTL5 and Java for creating mobile-responsive slots.
Crucially, developers choose coding languages based on the specific engines they use. Most studios use Unity or Unreal Engine for creating slots. Unity, for example, is rooted on C#. On the other hand, Unreal Engine primarily supports C++.
Another piece of software used in the creation of slots is RNG slots. It’s like an engine that randomizes winning symbols. Therefore, slots are entirely game of chance. That said, developers code the software to payout at specific rates. The best companies have slots with payout rates of between 95% and 99%.
A slot’s mechanics are the building blocks of every game. They are the instructions, challenges and rewards for playing a game. Let’s say a company is building a game inspired by a TV show. The aim of the game is to dance with a certain band.
When you trigger lead singer, you’re rewarded with 10 free spins. If the guitarist appears, you’re taken into a bonus round where you can earn real cash. Additionally, the slot has a random jackpot triggered by landing on the stars on five reels.
These could be the mechanics of a good slot. But they must work properly for a game to succeed. For example, winning can be accompanied by a round of applause, the clicking of coins or a symphonic soundtrack.
Most casino players only recommend a slot to their friends if the mechanics are smooth and interesting. If a slot doesn’t command attention and keep you hooked, then it will most likely fail in the market.
What features will a slot have? Will there be bonuses? What are the betting limits? All these elements must be formulated during the planning stage. Otherwise, a studio could end up creating a game with the wrong features.
The specific features a slot requires depend on a studio and its needs. Let’s say a company wants to design a video slot. These games are known for their plethora of bonus features: free spins, wilds, scatters, multipliers and avalanche reels.
When it comes to betting, the specific adjustment depends on a game’s target. A slot targeting high-rollers will often feature high minimum and maximum betting limits. However, it probably pays out a huge chunk of money too.
Ever played a slot with no music? There’s no fun in it. The best slots have attractive soundtracks that fit the games’ themes. Some slots also give you an option to listen to personalized music from your computer for a change.
All the same, every developer incorporates soundtracks to their games. While the songs are designed to add entertainment, they can also determine pacing. What’s more, they can help improve the mechanics and add excitement to a slot.
Speaking of pacing, it can make or break a game. Certain slots are more engaging if they follow a slow pace. Others are more suited for a fast pace.
Creating a slot is a process that can take weeks or months. Large brand-name studios have teams that plan and create games stage by stage. The planning stage is for deciding on a slot title, theme, features and the timeframe.
After that, every department gets to action. Designers craft art. Writers create dialogues while software engineers create the framework. Everyone else play their role in bringing all the elements of a successful slot together.