Webtoon XYZ, Manhwa XYZ, Manga XYZ

What casual game designers can learn from slot machine research

slot machine

Mobile games structure play in a way that fits into the interstitial moments of players’ lives – picking a game up during breakfast, playing on a break at work, or a short session before bed. This makes it easy for players to become heavily invested in the game.

The emotions of progression and accomplishment are motivating for many players. However, this isn’t the only reason players enjoy slots.


The mechanics of slot machines are a good example of how gambling and gaming intersect. They use a random number generator (RNG) to select a combination of symbols, and their outcomes are determined by the combinations of those symbols. Players must insert a coin, token or barcode to play, and the machine will then spin the reels and display possible outcomes.

Unlike other forms of gambling, slot machines can be very addictive, as they play on multiple reward systems in the brain. In fact, they are one of the most dangerous types of casino games, and they generate more problem gambling and addiction behavior than any other type of game.

Casual game players seek progression and the pleasure of improving their skills, which can be achieved through different meta elements such as guilds and collection mechanisms. Adding these features helps a game to reach wider player cohorts with different motivational driver profiles, which is why casual games often incorporate them.


When a player spins the reels, they are looking to line up symbols on the paylines in order to receive a payout. These symbols vary between different slot games, and can be based on the game theme. Moreover, they can also come in different forms such as wilds and scatters.

Moreover, players can often be given the option to hold one or more reels before spinning. This is known as ‘nudging’ and can help increase the likelihood of a winning combination.

This allows players to experience a higher chance of winning without affecting their bankroll. This is a great way to keep them playing the slot machine for longer. In addition to this, players can benefit from bonus features such as sticky multipliers and re-spins. However, it is important to understand the mechanics of these features before using them. These features can be found on many online slots and can provide players with a more lucrative experience.


Many players play casual games for the excitement of progression and achievement. Whether this comes from winning a jackpot, leveling up to the next tier, or unlocking a new game mode, these experiences motivate players to continue playing. Loss also provides a source of motivation, as it may encourage players to try again.

Payouts in slot machines are based on probabilities and can be calculated by casinos using a variety of data points. For instance, a quarter machine with an odds of 777 will return 10 credits for each outcome. However, the actual payout will depend on how many quarters are played and the amount of money in the machine.

While most gamblers enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment, some suffer severe addiction problems that can lead to financial debt and even strained relationships. Psychologists believe this is because gamblers experience an emotional high that distracts them from negative aspects of their lives. In addition, arousal can trigger impulsive behavior.


As casual games continue to dominate mobile gaming, they are undergoing some interesting transformations. Some are expanding beyond simple gameplay to incorporate elements typically associated with midcore games, such as guilds and collection mechanisms. Other features are being implemented to increase retention and monetization, such as seasonal events or special playing modes.

Themes are also becoming a key aspect of casual game design. Well-crafted themes evoke emotions and immerse players in the gaming universe. For example, NetEnt’s Gonzo’s Quest uses stunning graphics and a captivating storyline to create an engaging experience for players.

Choosing themes and concepts that are familiar to all is important. These will make the game more accessible and allow designers to target a wider audience. Examples include geometric patterns and shapes that are understood across all cultures, as well as themes based on sports, animals or daily life activities. These are more likely to trigger dopamine releases in players and keep them coming back for more.

About Author