Techniques in making mobile app games simple yet successful
Researchers from the University of Waterloo have an interesting take on how casual games of today can benefit from the design layout of slot machines. According to them, slot machines are good role models on how casual games can become as successful as Vegas’ one-armed bandits.
Here are a few reasons that make slot machines good role models for today’s app development:
Slot machines are simple to play
Slot machines do not really have a complex type of game play. All players need to do is to hit the spin button and wait for the reels to stop. Gamers do not need to invest a lot of time to understand how slots work no matter which machine they play. Wins just need to have a match of three to five reel symbols and that’s it! If a player hits the free spin bonus in a slot game, well, what they can get is pretty much self-explanatory.
Casual gaming on mobile is one of the fastest growing industries in the electronic industry. Creating games based on the machines’ simplistic style is a good formula in making nice, addictive, and profitable casual app titles.
The most obvious reward that people can get from slot machines is the payouts. However, the research also tapped on the idea of unconventional slot rewards, which are the visual and auditory features of the machines. Slot machines today don’t only offer enjoyment when people hit the big jackpot; they also entertain people every step of the way with their amazing sounds. These include various sounds made by the virtual characters on the machines, the music that plays every time the spin button is hit, and the sounds of coins being dropped when the player hits a payout.
“We basically mixed several recordings of quarters falling on a metal tray and then fattened up the sound with the sound of falling dollars,” explained Bill Hecht, an engineer working for game developer IGT. “These coin sounds portray wins much larger than the win and research into the sound effects on video games has found that sound contributes significantly to stress and arousal during game play.” Game app developers should take note of this idea. A celebratory sound when a player finishes a stage and an encouraging music while playing on contribute greatly to the enjoyment of playing games.
Although not included in their study, artwork also plays a huge factor in making slot machines very attractive. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the artwork is the main factor that entices people into playing slots.
There are “certain themes that resonate with players over others,” said Mike Mitchell, Vice President of game development at Bally Technologies, “and the key is that we do a good job of marrying what players are looking for with what we advertise.”
Therefore, it is important to make machines depending on the target market. Since a lot of slot machines today are tapping on the young adult demographic, games about comic book icons, sports figures, and movies with a huge cult following are being made. For example, IGT’s Star Trek is a very popular game among fans of the sci-fi genre. On the other hand, Malta-based multilingual entertainment hub InterCasino, the world’s first online casino that opened in 1996, has a Green Lantern and Batman-themed slot machines that appeal to fans of superheroes. The key of making successful game apps has always been going with the flow of time and offering players, both old and new demographic, what they currently want.
There are many other factors that make slot machines successful but these three features are what make them most appealing. Mobile app developers may want to consider making titles that are simple to play, have amazing sounds throughout the gaming experience, and artwork that are very appealing to look at for long periods of time.