The skill of blending old formulas with new ideas

The skill of blending old formulas with new ideas

Friday, July 22, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Fredrik Elmqvist wants more innovation into the slots market

Fredrik Elmqvist, CEO of online slots developer Yggdrasil Gaming, has been striving to introduce more innovation into the slots market where the customer appetite for something new can be voracious.

While many new titles can be simply ports of old successful game profiles, new ideas are important to be able to advance the sector and even appeal to a wider audience.

He explained to TotallyGaming.com: “For us innovation really consists of mixing old working formulas with new ideas and blending them together. We always strive to deliver the complete game experience with every new slot that we release.”

Elmqvist believes he has achieved this with its latest title Legend of the White Snake Lady, based around Chinese mythology. He said: “We’re particularly proud of Legend of the White Snake Lady as it is a slot all about excitement. There is some genuine innovation when it comes to this slot and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by our loyal fan base. With Legend of the White Snake Lady one of the stand-out aspects is the overall feeling of the game – especially the astonishing idle animations and symbols.”

He says the game’s soundtrack is also a key consideration. “We are always focused on delivering the full package. So when it comes to music we always go for something which is enjoyable and memorable yet also fits perfectly with the visuals and overall feel of the game.

 “We don’t want the soundtrack to be bland and aim to make it impactful for the player without becoming too dominant. It’s a fine balancing act and one that I think we always get right in the end.”

While the Asian theme would be expected to appeal to Asian players, Elmqvist says that it no longer ostracises other regions. “People are attracted to the mysterious and the exotic, especially when playing games as it gives players the chance to be whisked away to somewhere else. At the same time, the internet and other media have brought people closer to cultures from all over the world, so regional appeal doesn’t really apply in the same way as it used to.

 “What is important is making sure that the theme of the game is easily grasped by the player, as well as being absolutely top quality of course!”

Innovation is not just limited to the front end though. Elmqvist said that the development of the iSENSE technology allowed Yggdrasil to transform how it created games.

“With iSENSE 2.0 we were one of the first suppliers in the industry to move from Flash to full HTML5 and that was a game-changing move for us, especially as Flash is close to becoming obsolete.

“The biggest advantage of iSENSE 2.0 is simple: it makes it easier for us to guarantee the quality of our products on all platforms. Each game is the same for mobile and desktop, we don’t need to create a separate mobile version.”

He explained that the framework also has many auto-adaptation features such as automatically scaling the graphics to perfectly fit all screen sizes.  This means that the company doesn’t need to solve the same technical problems over and over for each title, which lets developers spend more time on the actual game.

Elmqvist added: “We are constantly developing and adding new tools to the framework so we can do even cooler stuff. It has an advanced particle engine and spine support, which allows us to create amazing special effects with minimal impact on performance and game size.”

Totally Gaming Says: Yggdrasil Gaming has been putting a huge amount of focus on innovation in its slots development and when something is taken seriously in that way it tends to show in the end product and be well received by the end user.

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