Following more than a year of research and development, Evoplay Entertainment debuted “the industry’s first ever role-playing game” earlier this week as Dungeon: Immortal Evil hit the igaming market.
Embracing elements from a variety of sub-genres of gaming, the development studio is said to have utilised the latest in 3D technology as it strives to trailblaze a new wave of online casino innovation.
Designed to take advantage of the rising ride of mobile gaming, Roman Sadovskyi, product owner at Evoplay Entertainment, has been speaking to CasinoBeats about a perceived lack of innovation across the sector, embracing RPG elements and staying firm throughout a lengthy development phase.
CasinoBeats: Where did the idea came from to develop an RPG slot?
Roman Sadovskyi: In an increasingly more crowded brand landscape, offering a new method of gameplay is essential to marketing towards the latest generation’s behavioural patterns. With seconds to capture their attention, operators need to go above and beyond ‘bet small and win big’ to meet the demand that the new generation of players desire.
Our idea in creating the industry’s first RPG slot was to merge the line between classic slots and immersive gaming – designed to offer our operator partners a completely new igaming experience for the latest generation of players while turning the approach to developing slots on its head.
Of course, when it comes to disruptive concepts, the development process always brings challenges. Our ambition was to combine several game genres in pursuit of a fresh and unique gaming experience. At the same time though we were determined that the gameplay should be easily understandable, both for experienced slots players in search of something different, and for the new audiences that Dungeon: Immortal Evil will attract to the world of gaming for the first time.
We ultimately decided that hack and slash role playing games would be the ideal sub-genre. Yes, the gameplay is easily digestible for a diverse variety of players, however it is also highly immersive – with a host of engaging characters ranging from the heroic protagonist, a brave warrior, to the monstrous opponents he faces in death-defying combat.
CB: How arduous has the entire process been?
RS: This is one of the most labour-intensive projects we have ever completed. The whole company went the extra mile to make this one of the most innovative titles on the market. From software development specialists, animators and quality assurance engineers to artists, 3D modelers, user-interface experts and everybody in between, we all went above and beyond to deliver a product that stands out.
Of course, there were a number of hurdles to overcome along the way. We faced several browser restrictions that complicated the process and worked tirelessly to optimise the game from a technical perspective. One programmer even compared our own challenges in creating the game to the difficulties faced by its main character as he battles his way through scores of terrifying monsters!
CB: The RPG format has been consistently popular across decades of gaming, where did you draw inspiration for Dungeon?
RS: Given that Dungeon: Immortal Evil showcases the very best features from the whole world of gaming, from classic slot action to RPG themes, we drew inspiration from a wide variety of titles. Projects such as Diablo and Path of Exile, in which the main emphasis is on combat and perseverance, certainly impressed us all, as did the immersive gameplay and characters in the new God of War.
CB: What specific elements from RPG gameplay are featured in the title? In terms of levelling up, changing gear, gaining new weaponry etc.
RS: The title fuses different elements of selected sub-genres to create a revolutionary entertainment experience, combining action role playing games , hack and slash RPG and, of course, traditional slots-based gameplay.
In true RPG form, the game centres around the game’s hero as he courageously fights the spread of evil forces who have invaded his land and destroyed his people. Now seeking revenge, he must battle the forces of darkness to free his lands. The game follows his quest through a mountain temple, battling evil monsters along the way, culminating in an action-packed showdown with the game’s main boss.
As part of this, and another element we’re particularly proud of when it comes to RPG elements is ‘Dungeon Mode’; which is in effect the game’s underground map, allowing players to improve their rig and skins by altering the character’s attributes, health and outfit; providing a fantastic platform to keep every player engaged.
CB: A lot of slot titles seem to draw inspiration from similar themes, would you say inspiration for innovation is lacking across the sector?
RS: Of course, companies often mix and match those well-established mechanics that have a track-record of proven success and player recognition, which can certainly make the case that innovation is lacking.
This is not to say that suppliers are not necessarily looking to copy games, but rather the success it has had on the market. Some companies use repurposed games (clones) as a business models, using past successes to hook the audiences’ attention. Knowing how the audience will respond to mechanics is key to success from that model, and implementing such patterns is a key way to achieving results.
This approach needs to change however, as it’s already on borrowed time for a market saturated with too many similar offerings. When playing a ‘traditional’ slot, you have just one expectation – the win. We want to take that further with the expectation of immersion. We want our players to not only experience that enjoyment of winning, but also from the gaming experience itself.
Dungeon is a good example of this; not only have we created a storyline for the character – but also an experience in itself that will elicit enjoyment of the gameplay – this stretches from everything, including random events during the spin, the content itself, the movie-like action and feeling of a real ‘game’.
CB: Considering the long development phase, can we expect to see more RPG slots from yourselves?
RS: Without giving too much away, we certainly won’t be stopping at Dungeon. When it comes to turning the gaming process on its head, the development process was a tremendous experience, unearthing key insights for virtually every area of our business that we’ll now be able to apply to future development.
Lessons learned from the project give us the chance to enhance new products, and we’ll be continuing to focus on the concept of merging the market for slots and games with a few more innovative concepts soon enough.