From concept to launch: a comprehensive guide to game development strategies

26 January 2024

Imagine a casino game as a stage performance. Before it dazzles the audience, there’s a meticulous preparation with many crucial phases. The flawless execution of each step transforms the game into a masterpiece, ready to captivate players like a well-rehearsed performance.


What sparks the beginning of game development?

Every creation starts with an idea, and game development is no exception. How does a good idea appear? Well, it’s not pulled from a wizard’s hat. It’s all about using effective approaches to generate ideas with the potential to triumph.

First things first, take a thorough look at the markets and what players are vibing with. Data analytics and player surveys will help you understand what appeals to the target audience right now. What types of games are most sought-after? Which themes and mechanics are dominating players’ preferences? Are there any particular features that enjoy extra popularity among the iGaming audience? Each answer will inch you closer to the recipe for a killer game.

Sometimes, you strike gold without looking too far. Your existing games might hold clues. Check out what clicked with players before – that could be your roadmap to fresh, inventive twists. Using this approach led to the creation of our super successful game last year – Penalty Shoot-out: Street. We decided to breathe new life into our previous football-themed game, Penalty Shoot-out, resulting in impressive metrics. 

In the new game, we introduced a Brazillian setting infused with a street football atmosphere and amped up the excitement by enabling players to select a spot on the goal to send the ball. The gameplay turned even more dynamic, which contributed to the title’s triumph. As a result, in 2023, Penalty Shoot-out: Street became one of the best-performing games in Latin America by all metrics (1st by Bet Sum and Round Count, 2nd by Users, and 5th by GGR).

Sometimes, conversely, it’s worth looking more broadly, beyond the iGaming bubble. Scan the scene outside – sports events, films, TV series – what’s got people buzzing? Capture its essence and craft a game that conveys that excitement. Keep the finger on the pulse of what’s going on around you and turn it into the secret sauce of your games. 

After brainstorming ideas, take time to access your possibilities. Limited time, budget, and workforce are some of the challenges that may arise. Give the green light to the ideas that can be implemented with top-notch quality within the desired timeframe. And consider saving complex ideas needing additional resources for more opportune periods. The idea may be the star, but the standing ovation comes from its flawless execution. 


Turning the idea into a well-defined concept

This is the stage when ideas take clearer shape. The crucial tool to use here is the game design document (GDD). It serves as a roadmap for the entire team, ensuring a successful realisation of the game’s vision.

Here are the key components of GDD:

  • Concept of the game: give a brief description of the overall concept and add more information on the visual and thematic elements that will define the game’s atmosphere.
  • Gameplay mechanics and special features: provide a detailed overview of the core mechanics and special features of the game. If that’s a slot machine, these might be Wild and Scatter symbols, multipliers, Free Spins, fixed jackpots, and any other features that enrich your creation.
  • Rules and payouts: outline the rules of the game, minimum and maximum betting limits, and add a list of all the used symbols with their respective payouts for different combinations.
  • Design of the user interface: sketch out or describe in detail how the game is supposed to look. The layout of the game screen, the placement of buttons, and other elements that enhance the player experience are some of the things to consider. It’s worth keeping in mind that easy-to-understand UI is one of the keys to the game’s success. 
  • Graphics and animations: think of the visual aspect of the game, such as background, symbols, animations, and any other graphical elements. All of them should align with the game’s theme and contribute to a more enjoyable and immersive player experience.
  • Background music and sound effects: decide on the audio elements that will best suit the atmosphere and add a captivating touch to your game.

Once the core elements are clearly outlined, graphic designers dive into crafting visuals. The vibrant game’s world starts to emerge gradually.


Developmental mastery and rigorous testing 

As soon as designs are approved, the development phase kicks off. Using appropriate programming languages and tools, developers integrate the designed graphics, animations, and sound effects to bring the game to its final form. Specialists’ experience and skills are the determining factors for the success of your project at this stage. 

You can create a fantastic concept, design stunning graphics, and add top-notch features, but annoying bugs might sneak in, threatening to spoil your masterpiece. What helps to ensure that every aspect of your game will function flawlessly? Rigorous testing is the key. Armed with extraordinary attention to detail, QA team members perform different checks. 

  • Load testing is done to check how well the game performs under expected and peak loads (when, for example, it is played by a large number of users simultaneously).
  • Compatibility testing ensures the correct game’s functioning across various devices and screen sizes.
  • Cross-browser testing specifically focuses on the evaluation of the game’s performance across different web browsers.
  • Bug testing involves identifying and fixing software defects (bugs, in other words) that can negatively impact the game’s functionality, security, or user experience.
  • Performance testing evaluates the responsiveness, speed, and overall efficiency of the developed game under different conditions.
  • Network stability testing helps assess how well the game performs under varying network conditions to ensure, for example, consistent experience for players with different quality of Internet connection.


Crafting a successful release strategy

If you want your new gaming star to shine at its brightest, diligently arrange the stage for its stellar performance. 

A good release strategy begins with choosing the right launch window to maximize visibility and player interest. Factors to consider here are holidays, important industry events, and potential game releases from competitors that can shadow your star.

Next, start generating buzz among the audience using all the power of anticipation marketing.

  • Teasers 

Craft teasers to provide glimpses of the game’s storyline and main features without revealing everything. The goal is to spark curiosity and make players want to get more details. It’s crucial to work well on visual and audio elements to create a strong emotional impact.

  • Social media campaigns

Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to share thematic content, communicate with users, and build a community that eagerly awaits the launch of your game.

  • Email marketing

Craft emails directed at casino operators to share exclusive information and highlight all the benefits the game will bring to them. Ensure that your emails are visually appealing, concise, and contain compelling calls to action for maximum effect.

  • PR

Work closely with gaming journalists, influencers, and media outlets to secure articles and interviews highlighting the unique aspects of the game. Focus on releasing information gradually to build a narrative that captivates the audience’s interest over time.

Don’t consider the game’s release as the final curtain; it is a pivotal scene in the ongoing performance. Maintaining engagement after the launch of the game is essential. Implementation of new features, adding game-related challenges with rewards, and community interaction on different platforms significantly enhance post-release engagement. Just pick the path that will keep your gaming star shining bright for as long as possible.

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