If you like going to the casino or playing casino games online, you’ve probably played a slot game or two. This is no surprise; slots are the most played online games and occupy the most significant floor space in many casinos. However, have you ever wondered how slot games are developed or how websites like winkslots work?
Well, wonder no more. We put our ears to the ground and found that developers use powerful game engines such as unreal engine to build them. They also rely on their creative teams to develop each game’s theme using graphic design tools such as photoshop and blender. Keep reading if you’re a geek at heart like we are and would like to learn more about slot game development technology.
A Brief History of Slot Games
The history of slots started over 100 years ago when the first slot machines were mechanical devices with a central shaft and rotating gears. You would pull on a lever that would, in turn, spin the reels, which would stop one at a time as the cam resettled. The slot machine would make a clicking noise as the reels spun and hit paddles that slowed them down.
Round discs supported reels with notches would trigger a payoff every time they lined up. However, because of the mechanical nature of these machines, they were prone to breakage, and people could cheat by rearranging the reels or replacing discs with different notches. The casino industry tried to solve this issue by introducing the first automated electromagnetic slot machines in 1963.
This was the first time we saw computer technology used in slots, and these machines laid the foundation for the digital ones we know today. They were the first to replace levers with buttons, introduce video slots, as well as use code to randomly generate numbers instead of a spinning shaft.
The Technology Behind Slots
1. Random Number Generator
RNGs are the computer programs used in slot games today to generate numbers randomly. There are two types of RNG technologies developers use for slots, pseudo-random number generators and true random number generators. These computer programs replaced the electromagnetic slots that had earlier replaced shaft-driven ones.
Whenever you press the slot’s button, the RNG generates 100 random numbers and picks what images or graphics to display on the screen. This process keeps the game free and fair and ramps up the excitement because anything can happen.
2. Programming Languages
The programming language is also responsible for creating the online platform that hosts slot games and the devices you can access them on. They allow you to view and play a game on a browser, as well as enable it to conform to your phone’s screen, which is also known as responsiveness if you shift devices.
3. Graphic Design
Each slot game has its own unique theme and design elements that set it apart from other games. A slots game creative team is in charge of this function, and they use tools such as photoshop, blender, and adobe after effects to develop different graphic elements for each game. The graphical elements are also crucial in setting the tone for each and giving it a distinct look.
4. Display and Sound Technology
Display technology has come a long way from the first pixelated screen on the first iterations of automated slots. Video capture cards have improved; screen technology is brighter, displays more colours, and packs more resolution in smaller forms. Higher refresh rates also mean game developers can use 3D animated elements and don’t have to rely solely on still pictures like before.
Another essential element of an excellent gaming experience that you might have yet to notice is the sound design. Better sound card technology has meant game designers can be more liberal with the sound design, which complements slot games most wonderfully today.
5. Bill Validator
As important as it is to get good slot games and machines, operators also need to earn from them to make the industry sustainable. Bill acceptors or validators are the technology behind a slot machine that accepts and scans bills for authenticity before you can play. It also records the transaction before stacking the bill in a cash box mounted in the belly of the machine.
Online slot games work a bit differently, but their accounting system works almost the same as physical machines. They also have to verify the authenticity and record transactions before you can access games online.
6. Game Engines
The game engine or game architecture is a development framework with settings and configurations that simplifies the building process of games. It makes it possible to develop slot games across different programming languages and may even enable the rendering of 2D and 3D gaming elements. Unity, unreal engine, and CryEngine are the most commonly used engines in game development.
Fun fact, unreal engine has found great use in the production process of movies and animated films. Filmmakers use the platform’s power to render filmic elements into their projects as a cheaper alternative to traditional location shooting and special effects.
Slot games are fun and an excellent way to pass the time while still standing a chance to win big. They have been casino staples for the last 100 years and, stunningly enough, still as popular as the olden days. And even though pieces of code have mostly replaced shafts and magnetic wheels, slot games still have the allure and spirit that made them great.
So as the holiday season inches closer, what games will you be playing and are slots on your list? Let us know in the comments section, and remember to enjoy more of our gaming content in our blog section.