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The Software Development of the Casino Slots

In the 1990s, the internet sprang into being, and online casinos quickly followed in its wake. Initially, there were only a few card games available online, but then slots were added, and they soon took over in terms of popularity. Now, in almost every venue, they are the largest genre that you’ll find listed. At first, these versions stayed pretty true to the ones found in the land-based establishments. However, the rapid advances in software has allowed the developers to spread their wings in recent years, and the modern variants now include a whole host of imaginative features.

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Why does the Software Matter?

Software has a big impact upon the way the online games are both developed and played. There are three main ways that it contributes to your gaming experience. Firstly, the visual elements have to be appealing, and this is even more important in the slots. You’ll soon notice if the graphics aren’t a high enough quality. In truth, it can spoil the game. In particular, the 3D versions rely on quality graphics to bring the story to life. Secondly, the audio is also important. When the music is paired with mesmerizing graphics, it just draws you into the story. Moreover, the audio needs to complement the storylines, and the sound effects must match the overall theme. If they don’t, you’ll quickly lose interest in the game itself. Finally, the language used is a consideration, and most casino software supports more than one. This is good news if English isn’t your native tongue, as you’ll probably be able to play in the language of your choice.

The Birth of RNGs

The online slots that we enjoy nowadays bear little resemblance to those that appeared in the early casinos. Over the years, there have been some innovations that have had a tremendous impact upon how the modern games have developed. Probably the most significant was the random number generators. Also known as RNGs, these electronic devices first started to appear in the 1980s, and they instantly made their mark. Virtual reels exist in the computer memory of the machine. The software determines how long the reels spin for, and when they will stop. Every spin is independent, and not knowing when they will come to a rest means that everything is totally random.

The First Progressive Jackpots

Online Progressive SlotsBefore the introduction of RNGs, the probability of jackpots was limited by the number of symbols on each of the reels. Payouts were linked to spins, and there wasn’t the opportunity to build up much of a jackpot. However, the development of virtual reels meant that more symbols could be added, and so the software providers could control the amount that the machine paid out. In turn, this brought about the possibility of building large prize funds, and the progressive slots games took off.

Some Other Slots Firsts

Over the years, there have been many other advances in software that have revolutionized the way that slots are played. Let’s have a look at some of the standout moments and the developments that have brought us to the point we’re at now.

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Innovations in the Games

The number of software developers providing suites of games for online casinos has grown exponentially over the years. At first glance, they all appear to develop very similar products, but in fact, there are some considerable differences. In such a crowded field, the companies have had to become more and more inventive to grab their share of the market. This is particularly true in the case of slots, which is the most popular type of game by a mile. When it comes to this genre, the providers have really risen to the challenge. The newest releases surpass all player expectations, with innovative storylines and interactive features.

The Addition of Unique Features

Rival Gaming i-Slots brought the first true interactive games to the market. They are unique in the way that they allow the players to dictate how the storylines will evolve. There’s a soap opera feel about them, as you’ll meet a cast of characters as you play, and you’ll interact with them, too. These versions are rich with bonus features, and the outcome of the stories is different every time, so you can play your favorites over and over again. Avalanche reels has been another key software development. They are also known as tumbling reels, and they first came onto the scene in 2010. In this style of play, when a payline is formed, the symbols burst or dissolve. The symbols above them then tumble down to form new lines. This concept was another first from NetEnt, who introduced the feature in their popular Gonzo’s Quest game.

Adding Social Gaming Elements

The gap between social gaming and the online casinos continues to narrow, as is perfectly demonstrated with Microgaming’s Castle Builder II. The 5-reel slot has three player avatars for you to choose from, and you’re then taken on a journey through 15 different kingdoms. Along the way, you’ll interact with over 300 characters and receive rewards as you make progress. Just like a regular computer game, every time you play, the story picks up where you left off.

The Biggest Names in Slot Software

Popular Slot Software Providers There are so many reputable software providers that it’s hard to place them into any defined categories. Many of the names are very well-known within the gambling community, but they each differ in terms of games and playing styles. The larger developers undoubtedly have a strong hold on the gaming market, but there are plenty of newer ones who are nipping at their heels. In some respects, they have the advantage as they have joined the scene at the prime of the mobile revolution. This allows them to tailor-make their products to suit the vast range of playing devices and platforms that are now available.

Introducing Themed Games

The first big name in the field is probably NetEnt, whose large catalog includes a series based on the popular South Park TV series. The company aims to create a unique atmosphere in each of its games, and it achieves this through stunning graphics and engaging audio effects. Playtech is another of the top developers, and it has joined forces with DC Entertainment to produce a number of branded titles, like Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. These are all linked to the DC Super Heroes Jackpot – a multilevel slots competition that can be won at any time, on any spin.

Real Cash and Large Collections!

Microgaming stands apart as the first provider of software for real cash wagers, and it continues to build its portfolio of progressive slots. This isn’t the only offering, though. You’ll find plenty of movie-based themes too, such as The Dark Knight and Terminator, plus some others that are based on TV series, like Game of Thrones. The final mention must go to RealTime Gaming, who has one of the biggest collections you’ll ever come across. It has been said that some of the games are beginning to look a little dated. However, they have all the advanced features that you could want – bonus rounds, scatters, wilds, and multipliers, and they also cover a multitude of themes, so there’s something for everyone.


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The Future Brings Virtual Reality

So, what can we expect to have in the future? Well, the next biggest innovation has got to be virtual reality. NetEnt is already in the middle of the development of a virtual reality version of its popular slots game, Gonzo’s Quest. By using a VR headset and a smartphone, the company was able to demonstrate a prototype of the game at the 2017 ICE Gaming conference, and the first impressions were good. Although the exact launch date of Gonzo’s Quest VR hasn’t been firmed up, it is expected to be widely available later in the year. Hopefully, that game will be the first of many!