One of the greatest aspects of Quickspin Casinos’ recent trip to Stockholm was the ability to see with our own eyes what goes during the creation of video slots. Of course, there are numerous departments, individuals and plans that see a game crafted from start to finish – with one of those key areas being technical development.
These professionals create, modify and update the computer code which assembles everything together in one nice, neat package for every single Quickspin slot. It’s a very demanding position to be in as you can imagine, with your online casino entertainment relying on their expertise and skill.
As Quickspin’s developers and testers are such a huge part of what makes their content so great, we managed to get a few minutes with both Marc (the developer who we introduced to you in our other exclusive articles) and Eira, a Test Engineer with over 18 months’ experience in examining Quickspin games. She is an avid player having worked in the video game industry as a Narrative Designer prior to this role, an area she has decided to teach during her evenings and days at the slot designer.
Let’s take you through both Marc and Eira’s contribution to your internet casino enjoyment.
“The first week is surprisingly disappointing, as you have to get used to the Big Wins not actually being money you can collect!” – Eira
Both Development and QA Testers Involved from the Very Beginning
When asked to identify the point in which both the development and testing side of Quickspin enter the fray, both Marc and Eira were quick to point out that they’re heavily involved. For Marc in particular, he works from the initial concept phase all the way until the slot is ready for distribution – collaborating with the many departments along the way.
“Quality Assurance is a bit like a solving a murder mystery, except you are not only the Detective but also the murderer” – Eira
As for Eira, she describes how QA is “always present at design meetings”, with feedback constantly given to ensure that each and every title is created to the best possible standard. She aptly sums up the process of QA testing as: “we watch from afar, study the construction and take notes, before then barging in”.
There’s Fewer Headaches Creating Mobile Casino Slots These Days
One of the most obvious changes that Quickspin have been made to deal with since their inception is the rise of mobile casino gaming. You gamers are far more likely to fire up your favourite internet casinos using smartphone or tablet devices than a few years ago, and this has forced the company to adapt. Thankfully, it’s a whole lot easier developing Quickspin mobile casino slots in 2017 than it was to start with.
“Making games for both platforms used to be a bit of a hassle for us. Today, we are working with HTML5 for both desktop and mobile devices” – Marc
From a developer’s perspective, they previously were required to create several versions of the same game, as mobile and desktop used different technologies. This obviously made the process more time consuming, while it was also difficult for the team to produce an exact replica using different coding languages. Now, however, Marc is pleased to announce that Quickspin “use a single-track development” – which effectively means that only one game needs to be made due to mobile and desktop now sharing the same technology.
When pressed on the same issue, Eira states that QA slot testers need to consider all kinds of additional factors during their examinations – such as numerous devices, different operating systems, and a handful of supported browsers. So, when you’re transitioning between Leprechaun Hills on your laptop and iPhone, remember that a lot of work went into making this a seamless experience.
What Exactly Are Casino QA Testers Hunting For?
While we appreciate that it may be difficult to describe to a less-technically minded audience, Eira managed to give us a thorough overview of what Quickspin QA casino testing entails. She explains how one QA tester is assigned per slot title, with the overall objective to “break” the game by finding bugs, glitches, anomalies and all things out of the ordinary.
Although testers are on hand during the entire process, she clarifies that things really heat up during the final 3 weeks of the average 4-month development cycle. This is when a slot is in a playable condition, so the majority of testing happens here. They have Test Suite frameworks in place for most of Quickspin’s games, although she does refer to “game specific Test Cases” which are primarily built for the project in question. Once any issues are found, Eira completes a bug report outlining exactly how to reproduce the error – something she emphasises as being “a major part of our daily work”
“Imagine Game Development as a group of kids trying to build a castle made out of Lego. You’ve got to wait for them to finish the building, and then you go and knock it down” – Eira
As Quickspin have recently released their Achievements scheme, we wondered whether this had impacted the way in which slots are inspected. Being such an innovative and potentially industry-impacting feature, it was sure to create a few more challenges, right? Not according to Eira, as she says that all her fellow employees simply need to do is “remember they exist”. She envisages, perhaps, an additional day of testing due to Achievements moving forward.
Well, if Achievements isn’t a problem, how about slots that don’t follow the usual 5×3 slot structure? Surely they would be problematic. Again, however, it appears the reel layout doesn’t cause many problems for QA’s. Rather, it is the varying special features that each title incorporates that have a more lasting impact – a point previously echoed by Marc when discussing Crystal Queen.
Phoenix Sun and Sakura Fortune Both Had Eira Influences
And finally, Eira had some pretty interesting trivia regarding Quickspin’s slot production. Being an obvious gaming enthusiast herself who works in iGaming full-time, we queried whether any of her ideas had ended up into the company’s plans. In a similar fashion to Sakura Fortune, it turns out they had.
Describing how the art team needed a reference for their Sakura Fortune symbol designs, Eira tells us how she brought her Chinese dragon statue in from home for them to consider. Now, she has a little trouble enjoying the slot…
It’s actually kind of weird playing the game now, as the final [Sakura Fortune] dragon symbol looks exactly like my statue! – Eira
As for Phoenix Sun, Eira had a crucial effect on the slot’s outcome. Quickspin wanted to create a game that had a “good fire-theme”, so she suggested a phoenix due to its positive nature. This was looked upon favourably by everyone, so now you know exactly how Phoenix Sun was born the next time you’re spinning away!