Joel Larsson shares information about the work that goes on behind the scenes in the game development process, and how Yolted creates innovative and unique gaming experiences that meet the expectations of modern players.
Tell us about your role at Yolted
I’m Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Yolted.
For me, every game we build is a product — and my primary responsibility is to make sure we create a top-notch title every time.
The foundation of our capabilities to make a great game comes from our vision and the tools we make available to our creative team and developers.
It’s my job to ensure our vision and values are applied at every step.
My day-to-day work consists of playing and testing our games, reviewing concepts and ideas for games in production, planning our future projects and preparing the tools and functions we need to have in place to build new games.
How do you organize and plan your projects?
It always starts with an idea — it can be anything from a theme of a game to its mechanics and features.
The pre-production stage is when we combine multiple ideas into a concept. At this stage we try to answer as many questions as possible — leaving something out can cause issues later in the development process.
The concept is then tested and evaluated against our strategy and values to ensure we want to make this game.
Once we have a game worth making, our game development process kicks in — it is usually split into building blocks.
How we build it depends on our vision for the title. Our game development kit and the process we have in place allow us to have a more flexible approach.
For example, we can easily hire local artists who have no previous experience in designing games to ensure we create a game that targets a specific market and resonates with the local audience, thanks to its localized design.
Tell us more about your innovation strategy and what makes a slot game unique?
Our innovation strategy is based on our core values, we want to create games that will advance the industry and electrify players.
This means taking chances and trying something new.
The most basic example of this is the Swipies game type, where we mixed traditional casino game mechanics with gestures and touch functionality.
Since no one had done anything similar before, we had a very open approach — and we made sure we enjoyed playing it.
Our primary unique strength is our ability to extract what makes a game feature good and add value to it.
This is something we have done for the play-along games — we made them more entertaining by letting players play together with a character that reacts and acts based on what happens in the game.
We also don’t feel pressured to build games that work in every market, which makes the development process easier and faster for us.
For example, not all bonus features and game mechanics built into casino games work in every market.
Our great and easy-to-build-on platform makes it easy for us to innovate. An excellent example of this is the Blitz mechanics we have added into most games we have built.
We like crazy ideas, and we can try them. Something very few game providers can say.
Yolted makes a limited amount of games a year, what is the strategy behind this?
We split our game production into two main branches: Premium games and Exclusive Games.
Premium games is where most of our innovation and experimentation comes to play, it’s where we have the most fun.
As a result, these games usually have a more extended production period and lead time.
Exclusive games are usually made together with an operator or aggregator.
Generally, these games combine proven and tested mechanics with something new and innovative.
It can be a unique theme or a specific twist to mechanics that the data tells us will do well. An excellent example of such a game is Note of Death.
We apply rigorous planning for both pipelines, but we do not set a fixed roadmap for more than six months ahead.
This allows us to also react to what is happening in the markets we operate in.
We work hard not to fall into the traps of others and instead, maintain our flexibility as a small and agile provider.
What do you enjoy most about developing slot games?
It’s hard to build good games, which at the same time makes it fun.
What game are you most proud and why?
SlotGF Amane is a game I’m proud of — it was our first slot game and something we have built almost entirely based on player feedback we received after releasing the SwipeGF game.
We managed to make it in record time, and it was very well received by the players.
Another favorite of mine is Reels of Aion. It has a unique feature set and a unique mathematical profile.
The dead spins being converted to free spins has never been done before. We dared to break the rules and take a big chance.
The game offers frequent high wins, but the high standard deviation tends to scare off less experienced players.
What new games can we expect in the coming months?
I’m happy to say we have some great ones planned for the end of 2022 and beyond.
First, we are expanding on the types of games available with new mechanics and titles for our portfolio.
We will continue building on the play-along concept with more depth and entertainment for the player.
We are also building new technology to empower this further and use more complex mechanics.
I think our line-up for the Japanese market is especially strong.
We already have concepts and internal demos for different game types, as our infrastructure caters for variety, but currently, we have a stronger belief in our slot games.
We don’t want to build games just for the sake of it, but we want to offer strong mechanics we can expand on and get creative with.