The belief that ‘bigger is better’ appears to be central to modern console game development. Each new iteration of a game must have a larger map, more playable characters, more levels, or more skills to unlock. With technology developing at the same pace as developers’ ambition, it allows studios to be able to produce games of an unprecedented epic nature.
This has culminated in the creation of games like Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, with its vast open world and painstaking detail prompting many players to call it a work of art. Companies like Rockstar have complete freedom in how their games work, but iGaming heavyweights like NetEnt and Microgaming don’t have the luxury of building rich open worlds to draw players in.
Instead, they are tied to the comparatively simple game mechanics of the online slot machine. An online slot wouldn’t be an online slot if it didn’t have reels, paylines, and symbols. This makes it all the more impressive that leading slot developers continually find ways to produce new and unique releases. They may not have the lifelike graphics of RDR2, but slot development is an art form in its own right.
Slot developers are also restricted by how demanding they can make the game. While console game creators can deliver power-hungry graphics that can only be displayed on the newest machines, slot developers must ensure that their games can be played on mobile devices without a hitch.
The work of these iGaming companies ensures that there is little difference between a mobile casino platform and a standard browser site. The 21st-century casino player expects to be able to sign up to a site, unlock free spins and choose a slot, all via a mobile device. You can click here now to gain an impression of just how many iGaming platforms there are, all offering hundreds of slots and free spins to try and attract their share of players.
With so many online casinos each hosting hundreds of slots, it is vital that slot developers find ways to create titles that provide memorable gaming experiences. Here are some of the ways that iGaming companies innovate around the classic formula of online slots.
Type of slot – at first glance, it may appear that all slots adhere to the same set of rules. While slots do have to be completely random in their mechanics, there are variations in their type of jackpot. For example, Microgaming’s Mega Moolah slot has a progressive jackpot, which can see individual wins as high as €18 million.
Themes – here are a few slot themes that are clear proof of just how imaginative developers can be: Gluck Games’ Vomiting Unicorns, NetEnt’s Ozzy Osbourne Video Slots, Yggdrasil’s Vikings Go To Hell, and Microgaming’s Exotic Cats slot. These slots are all starkly different in their aesthetic, despite being from the same genre of gaming. Every theme imaginable is out there as a slot – and a great many themes that you couldn’t begin to imagine.
Video elements – while unable to utilize the complex graphics that you might find on a console, many developers push their slots to provide the best animations that a mobile device can handle. NetEnt are renowned for their clever animations, with their Gonzo’s Quest video slot deploying the kind of graphics you’d expect to find in a Hollywood movie in order to immerse players in the protagonist’s adventure.
It might be a world away from the epic narratives and demanding graphics of modern console games, but iGaming developers have to overcome a unique set of challenges to keep producing consistently high-quality slots.