One of the more unique slots to hit the shelves of Quickspin casinos is Crystal Queen, with a 6-row system being gradually implemented as winning combinations are made. It starts off as your traditional 5×3 slot framework, but Quickspin wanted to do something a little bit different to really ramp up this slot’s appeal. As for the storyline, it’s yet another example of a casino games designer pointing towards a fairy tale as the basis for the plot.
Here to explain the 6-row idea and exactly why fairy tales are commonly used is Mats, Richard and Marc for the final time. They’ve already been so kind enough to explain Sakura Fortune and Big Bad Wolf, but we thought we’d get them all together to explain one of the company’s most intriguing slots. Here’s Quickspin’s take on Crystal Queen.
Crystal Queen’s Signature 6-row System Explained
There’s really nowhere else to begin than the 6-row melting reels of Crystal Queen, with Mats describing how the idea came to formation. One of the maths designers, Dan, brought the concept to the team’s attention, before Quickspin decided how it could be implemented within a slot properly. Using the fairy tale Snow Queen as a reference point, they wanted a design that would tease the players by showing them what was coming if they managed to make winning lines. “It just felt really natural doing ice melting away”, Mats describes.
To fit with Crystal Queen’s theme, the melting reels symbolise the changing of the seasons from winter to spring. Mats tell us that the idea was “sort of summer coming, and that shows in the free spins as well where you move into the spring”. He concludes by saying that the melting reels give the players an even better chance of landing prizes too, so you can’t go wrong with that!
From a Developer Perspective, the 6-rows Posed a Challenge for Mobile
Marc says that the production of Crystal Queen’s melting reels function from a developers aspect wasn’t much more taxing than the usual video slot. However, he does describe that getting it just right for mobile took a bit of work. First, he explains to us that the 6-rows took up a significant chunk of the file size, “even though it’s just some small part of the game”.
“There was a balance between having it in full resolution and being able to have loading times go down on the mobile device” – Marc
He also states that Crystal Queen’s mobile version was a slight struggle to create, with compromises and adjustments necessary which caused the slot to take slightly longer to develop than usual. However, he finishes by affirming that “it turned out pretty good”.
Fairy Tales Are Perfect for the Slot Experience
Moving onto Quickspin’s Snow Queen storyline, we decided to ask Mats and Richard about their thoughts on fairy tales being commonly used for video slot plots. Mats begins, “I think the fairy tale themes are good because it’s very hard to tell a story in a slot” – something Richard echoed multiple times too. “Most people know these themes, so it’s easy to adapt that storyline”.
“I also think there’s a child in everyone and it brings something nice and recognisable from your childhood. A bit of nostalgia, for sure” – Mats
Richard then describes the fairy tale aspect from the art department. “It’s always easier if you have the story, and it’s been around for 50, 100 years, maybe more”, he states. Of course, it’s important for the graphical artists to put their own spin on the game to make it more unique and to fit the slot better. However, Richard says that the mindset is always that “we think we’re making a classic”, and he jokes that maybe Quickspin’s Crystal Queen will be around for as long as Snow Queen!
The Winter-to-Spring Concept was Added During Development
While we were interviewing all three Quickspin members, we were keenly awaiting a scenario where they had to adapt during production. Of course, the storyline was already mostly in place, but an interesting scoop came up in the form of the melting reels theme. As Mats said before, the idea is that “summer is coming”, but Richard says this was decided upon during the actual creation of the game – demonstrating Quickspin’s flexibility. “We didn’t know it was going to turn into spring after a while – so we came up with that”.
Being an art director, Richard’s primary focus was creating ice that was “super-positive”. The design was done in such a way that players will think the ice “will never melt”, he says while laughing slightly, but it is clear to hear the pride in his voice when he talks about the sun shining through the ice and a whole host of other features which make it particularly pleasing on the eye. On Crystal Queen’s general atmosphere, he says the team “should maybe have even done a bit more”!
Imagining the cold temperatures outside on a wintery, snowy day was important too, and something that took a decent length of time for the graphics department. Mats states that the overall time it takes to create a video slot from original concept to distribution varies considerably, as “massaging a game idea and getting everything in place can take a long time”. However, for Richard it’s all worth it, as he finishes by describing Crystal Queen by Quickspin as a “super beautiful game”. He also has a message for Quickspin fans before he goes.
“We’d be happy to hear feedback through various forms. The more contact we have with the players the greater it makes all our work. So, just play our games and say what you think” – Richard