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How Do Online Slot Developers Keep the Game Interesting?

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Slot machines are made with a view to enticing would-be players to part with their cash and keep the reels spinning for as long as possible.

Like all video games, slot experiences are crafted by intelligent development teams that know exactly how to engage punters, and what steps they need to take to keep them playing after the first flush of interest has faded.

So what techniques are common across this segment of the market when it comes to clicking with players and earning their loyalty? Let’s look at a few of the most common tactics that slot developers deploy to ensure their games succeed.


The theme

The fundamental mechanics of all slot games are the same; you have a set of reels with a fixed number of symbols, and when the player starts them spinning, the outcome is determined by RNG and either a winning combo is achieved, or not.

This could get stale pretty quickly, which is why developers implement exciting and unusual themes for their slots so that there is both that initial burst of interest as well as a longer term reason to keep playing.

For example, a TV themed slot machine will appeal to fans of the small screen, with fully licensed slots based on popular shows such as the Big Bang Theory made available to court this demographic.

There are also slots themed around everything from Ancient Egypt to superheroes and space travel, so there really is something for everyone.

The graphics & sound

The audiovisual aspects of a slot are what bring the theme to life and grab the attention of prospective players, so of course they need to be on-point.

These are of course linked to the inspiration of the slot, but can also be used in a way to set the game apart from similar rivals. This might mean choosing a more stylized, cartoony aesthetic rather than a realistic one, or vice versa.

Most slots stick with a two dimensional visual style, although it’s not unusual for additional effects to be used to bring more depth to proceedings when special conditions are met, such as achieving a jackpot.

The sound is an interesting aspect of slots, because it can seem like a bit of a secondary concern, with lots of players choosing to mute the games altogether, especially if they are playing via their mobile devices in public places. 

However, it’s not unusual for the aforementioned licensed games to have soundtracks and audio effects that are taken straight from the source, which does keep things interesting for headphones users.

The bonus features & mini games

While some slots still stick to the tried and tested, classic formula, many of the latest and greatest games to grace land-based casinos and online gambling sites have added features to spice things up in the course of normal play.

Mini games are often encountered, and can give players a way to earn things like free spins and even multipliers to help increase the size of the payouts. There are also straightforward bonuses, such as wilds which stand in for any symbol and give players a leg up towards a potential jackpot.

The winnings

Speaking of jackpots, you have to recognize that the main reason people keep playing slots is because they want to win cold, hard cash.

There are a few ways that developers can keep people’s attention with prizes; first by making the odds more favorable, and second by making the jackpot so huge as to be completely life-changing for winners.

As you can see, slots are made with all sorts of player-focused strategies in mind, and it’s easy to understand what makes them the most popular form of gambling in many regions.