2021 marks 130 years since the New York-based Sittman and Pitt Company created the first slot machine. The game was inspired by poker: it had 50 poker faces and five reels, and the game cost a nickel. Interestingly, the game rewarded winners with cigars and free beer for triggering strong poker hands such as a straight, full house, or royal flush. It was easier then.
Around 1895, Charles Fey of California created an improved slot machine with three reels and five symbols. Fey created a slot machine that was so random that California banned it for five years.
However, his creation survived two world wars, a cold era, and numerous gambling laws before becoming a 21st century online sensation.
The first stage of creating a slot: brainstorming
The most popular online slots are created by well-known software developers. Companies start the process of creating slot machines by looking for ideas. Hint: They have highly qualified teams whose job is to research and come up with ideas. In many cases, development teams base their slot ideas on popular themes.
Think books, fruits, ancient Egypt, European mythology, television and film, sports, wildlife, celebrities, space, royalty and crime. Let’s say a company believes that the market for book-themed slots is growing: you can see examples of book-themed slots here.
He can then brainstorm an idea for a slot machine based on the popular book. Take Play’n Go as an example. The Swedish developer has realized that there is a demand for slots with book and ancient Egyptian themes. So, a game was created that combines two themes: Book of the Dead.
Once a company has come up with a potentially great idea, the next step is to test its viability, feasibility, and profitability. It works by prototyping an idea. Let’s say a developer thinks he can make money on a slot inspired by a famous rock star. Rockstar has millions of fans around the world. So, indeed, the idea can be profitable.
However, a prototype is needed to show management how the game works, its technical specifications, game features, music tracks, wagering and payout features. It’s easier to sell an idea when you have a working prototype.
Development of the basic version
Just like video game developers, slot creators move from prototype to building a basic version of the game they intend to release to the market. Think draft. It features the intended theme, game mechanics, music, RNG software, and graphics. However, this is not the final draft. It’s just a game that involves different departments of the game studio.
Software engineers create structure. Content creators add storyline. Music producers join the soundtracks and graphic designers choose the best graphics for the game. The purpose of this basic version is to bring the idea to life. At this stage, some testing will be done to identify areas that need improvement.
Development of the final version
The base version of the game often has several flaws. This may be a bug, meaning glitches appear when someone is playing. It may crash at some point during the game. Or perhaps he has a bigger problem: everything seems wrong. Let’s say the team loosened up in the base version stage and the game seems terrible in every aspect. Now it’s time to deal with all the problems that made the main version a bad game.
If there is a problem with the mechanics, the developers go back to work to ensure that the final copy runs smoothly. If it’s about the music, then the soundtracks are made anew. Basically, at this stage there is a serious development. Team members are tasked with creating the new game in the best possible way. And to ensure that a good game is made, there are editors and supervisors who check their work and make recommendations to junior developers.
Testing and polishing
Although the final version should be ready for release to the market, it needs to be tested. First, developers test their game on their own. Every studio has a team of people whose job it is to play slots. They don’t necessarily play these games to have fun. They play them to see how they work.
Some game studios also invite outsiders to test their pre-released slots. The goal is to collect the opinions of real slots players, not employees. After collecting feedback, the developers polish the slot accordingly. Maybe people don’t get the free spins feature. The game has been polished. Perhaps some players think that the graphics are outdated. They have improved.
ThisThe final stage. Slot developed. He works as intended. Critics believe that it is beautiful, simple and interesting. The last step is to send copies to the online casino. Well-known developers like NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming don’t have to worry about marketing. They have partnerships with hundreds of casino sites that are always ready to showcase their latest games.
However, small developers still have a lot of work to do to make their slot a success. They need to sell it to players and casinos. They may even offer it for free in demo mode. Moreover, they can run a promotion to give out free spins to everyone who plays the slot.