The Math in Online Slots - Interview with Mark Ramsey, Genesis Gaming

Friday, 31 July 2020

There is a saying that goes, True beauty comes from within, and this applies to any slot game too. The beauty of the game depends on the math model. Math models are trade secrets to every slot game developer, we wanted to discover what is the process when it comes to developing the unseen sides of a slot game, we talked to Mark Ramsey, Genesis Gaming Lead Product Designer.

Mark highlights the difficulty of getting the right balance between the player’s experience and the game art. Despite this conundrum, the slot math always initiates the start of any project before art design.

Mark Ramsey, Genesis Gaming Lead Product Designer

How does Math affect the design of a slot game?
Mark: The math needs to flow. If the math experience is not right, no amount of sparkly visual effects are going to make it a good game. Through many early iterations and fast prototyping, we try to get the math balanced to maximize the players experience even before we see the first pixel of art. We want the game flow, volatility and feature cadence to radiate from the math and into the player journey. It is the core driver of the game experience and framework for all other facets of the design.

The flux of enjoyment of a player varies, it would be like putting Game A to a group of Asian players and European players, and have them categorise if Game A is a good game, you may get a set of yes and no. So what is really a good game? Is it moments of anticipation in each spin, graphic and sound effects or really, simply coming down to the numbers?

So what is next after you set the math in place?
Mark: Building on the shoulders of numbers. Using the math experience as a map, we inject high end entertainment and gambling elements into the game. It is paramount to have a long vision of the player’s ride. We focus on creating those jackpot and anticipation moments players strive for. Dynamics in art, audio and exciting innovative features support the story and enforce that roller coaster of emotions a player feels when playing our games. We want to entertain and give them a premium gambling experience.

Every slot game comes with a “how to win big”, games rules categorise the game if it is a pay-line or a way game. Aside from game types, selling points such as x number of maximum win per bet, Wilds effects and bonus features would entice the players to place a wager and spin. But do rules affect the interest of a player?

What are the considerations when you start to develop game rules?
Mark: Simple rules of complex ideas. Players need to know what to expect before they can get excited about winning it. We want players to feel comfortable making a wager and understand the basic elements of the game quickly. Clear and targeted in game elements help build a fast ramp up to understanding and potential without depending on complex rules.

All in, it is a layer cake with math foundations, entertainment filling, and the icing is of course hitting that sweet big win. Developing a slot game is not just about Math models, it is about the collaboration of all aspects and the chase for players acceptance. Every game developer wants players to enjoy their product and keep coming back for more.

About Business Captain Peter Causley

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