Published on the 2021-04-29
While on the face of it, online slots might seem to be simple to players, there will be many who do not realise, just how much time and effort that goes into creating them. There are thousands of online slots now in the gambling industry that players can choose from, available at hundreds of different casino sites, and because of the vast volume, there is a misconception that these are created quickly.
However, that could not be further from the truth and when you factor in jackpot slots as well, this takes on a whole different perspective. There are actually a lot of different people who are involved in bringing a jackpot slot to life for the player, so let’s take a look at what the key roles are and the part that they play.
Software providers such as NetEnt will have unique market research departments who engage in looking at trends and analysing the industry in order to come up with new ideas. This is mostly based on data, but also looking at how previous slots have performed, which helps to shape the ideas for new products. When all of the information has been compiled, it means that a software provider, such as NetEnt can come to a decision about what kind of jackpot slot they wish to create and begin formulating a plan for it.
Arguably the most important role in the creation of a jackpot slot, the project manager or ‘PM’, is responsible for making sure everything flows smoothly and finding solutions to problems.
This person will have both a functional and technical background and acts as the bridge between both, able to translate language into terms that each of these teams understand to make sure that everyone is on the same page. As well as setting deadlines and helping to form a roadmap, the project manager heads up everyone that is involved in the creation of the slot as well.
Also, they will liaise with the more senior people within the company (NetEnt), who are not directly involved in the project, such as the directors or board level personnel as such, keeping them involved in the progress. Brilliant time management and organisational skills are required to be an effective project manager in a software provider such as NetEnt and they are responsible for a lot.
Made up of software engineers and statistical mathematicians, jackpot slots are heavily reliant on having the best talent that there is. When Playtech was first launched in the late nineties, the founder Teddy Sagi, committed millions of investment into sourcing the best possible technology personnel on the market.
NetEnt have followed a similar strategy, as can be seen from the quality of their products. Programmers work on what is called the ‘back-end’ of the slot and work with thousands of lines of computer code in several different computer languages that have their own unique job.
Each line of code that a programmer creates is responsible for a certain action within a particular slot. For example, this could be something as simple as actioning a reel to spin based on a particular occurrence in the slot itself.
It is one of the hardest and most complex roles to undertake in the development of jackpot slots and there is a lot of responsibility and pressure associated with it. If just one character in a line of code is out of place in a jackpot slot, it could mean that it does not work, which means attention to detail is absolutely crucial.
Programmers are also responsible for developing complex algorithms that help to create the RNG (Random Number Generator), which is the most important part of a slot because it guarantees fairness.
For many, this is seen as one of the most interesting roles in the creation of a jackpot slot, because these individuals are responsible for how the slot looks in what is called the ‘front end’.
This team is made up of artists, visual effects coordinators, image consultants, and others and each one has their own particular role assigned. Because there is so much that is associated with the front element of jackpot slots, it often requires more than one person for one specific task.
Arguably, the most important role is mobile developers because software providers now take a ‘mobile first’ approach, due to the demand of the industry. This means that they are required to everything possible to make sure that the slot looks as good as it can for every mobile device.
The graphic design team also frequently liaises with the programmers as well, because of the fact that what happens in the back end also needs to mirror the front end, so it is important that there is symmetry. Quite often, this is where the project manager is key, because they act as a conduit between each of the teams and can translate complex information into simple terms.
These also play an important part in the journey of the slot development, because once a jackpot slot has been finished, it needs to be rigorously tested to make sure everything works the way it is supposed to, according to the original brief, which may have been tweaked during the process.
Quite often, there are numerous rounds of testing and if something doesn’t work, it is then referred back to the relevant team who will implement the necessary fixes. There are many different categories that a jackpot slot needs to be tested in, while this is also the same for the different devices especially taking into account the operating systems, such as Android and iOS.
Quite often, new jackpot slots sell themselves, especially for highly reputable software providers such as NetEnt, however, there will be a separate marketing team that takes care of raising the awareness of a new slot to the online casinos.
This is via a series of press releases and email marketing which means that copywriting is important in order to grab the attention, especially for new casino sites. However, it is usually the case that the marketing team will put together a press pack of the new slot and send this out, which is easy if it is an online casino with who they already have a warm and existing relationship with.
Essentially, they are sending decision makers everything there is to know about the new slot so that they can make a choice as to whether they wish to offer it to their players or not.