A “highly potent Megaways powered slot” has been promised by SG Digital in the build-up to its latest igaming release, with the group aiming to break the norm of traditional titles which utilise the popular mechanic and that currently adorn many games lobbies.
As Perfect Potions Megaways makes its global roll-out, Rob Procter, content specialist director at SG Digital, takes us on a journey from the title’s inspiration, through development and gameplay and into upcoming releases across the OpenGaming network.
CB: Perfect Potions breaks the norm of traditional Megaways games with the removal of symbols above the reels. What was the inspiration behind the way in which the potions drop to reach the cauldron?
Rob Procter: We understand the importance of the Megaways and its popularity across the UK and Europe, which is why we’ve lined up some big game launches over the next couple of months using the mechanic. With Perfect Potions Megaways, we wanted to break the mould somewhat with the types of games that are already available.
We’ve admired what some of the European studios have done in putting a twist on Megaways, such as Fantasma Games, who recently joined the OpenGaming network. The developer has tinkered with the mechanic in unique ways and that inspired us to think outside the box as to what we could achieve. We’ve kept to the core elements of what makes the mechanic so appealing, but put our own stamp with this new version.
“While it’s been a complex project, players will be presented with an enthralling and safe gaming experience”
CB: Talk us through the gameplay itself, what are the key features?
RP: On every spin, potions are randomly generated and sit above reels 2-6. The aim is for the potions to drop to the bottom of the reels where the cauldrons are positioned, which is done through cascading wins. Once there have been enough cascading wins for the potion to fall into the cauldron, it will then trigger a random modifier.
There are two different types of potions. The blue potions expand and double the size of the reel set that they’ve dropped through. So, if a reel’s five symbols high, it will expand to 10 high. With the red potions, they put an expanding wild in place of the reel. Within free spins, which are triggered by four scatters, expanding reels will remain active throughout the round, which gives the opportunity for some attractive wins.
CB: How complex was it to build this particular game?
RP: Of course, building a game that offers up to thousands of paylines along with expanding reels is going to bring certain challenges. We worked with the team at Crucible to co-create this slot, which was a good learning curve for them as they’ve recently come onboard as a first-party studio at Scientific Games.
Not only did we have challenges with the mechanics and maths involved, particularly in the way in which the potions dropped through the reels, but also from a front-end perspective to ensure the game looked great across all platforms.
Thankfully, the entire team worked together to overcome these issues and the final product looks fantastic. While it’s been a complex project, players will be presented with an enthralling and safe gaming experience thanks to the integration of responsible gambling tools, as well as a new way to enjoy Megaways.
“It’s always important to refresh games and offer new features”
CB: How important is it to introduce new twists to Megaways in order to keep the brand fresh and appealing to new and existing players?
RP: It’s always important to refresh games and offer new features to keep players engaged, but particularly with Megaways given the scale of games that are already in the marketplace, and the number of developers that have access to the feature. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time with Megaways as the core elements are vital, but it’s all about adding another layer to the gameplay to keep it fresh for new and existing players.
We’ve had previous success in taking the Megaways mechanic and putting a different spin on the mechanic. The release of Montezuma Megaways from last year is a great example, and we followed that up with Beetlejuice Megaways, which is a game like no other, as well as Spartacus Megaways.
We’ve got another two Megaways games coming out later this year, which in a good way will surprise the industry, operators and players, purely in the way that we’re bringing something different to the table.
CB: Can you provide us with a sneak peak of the upcoming Megaways titles to be released from the OpenGaming network?
RP: We simply cannot wait to release Invaders Megaways in June this year and it promises to be epic. Every time I’m shown the latest designs from the team it blows me away at how great the slot looks.
It really epitomises the direction of slot provision that we’re heading here at Scientific Games. From the mechanics, front-end design, the user experience, responsible gaming integration, narrative and soundtrack, everything’s coming together for what we believe will be an absolute gem of a slot.
Again, it uses what’s great about Megaways and adds a twist. For instance, the spaceships hover above the reels and select any symbol at random, which will then turn into a wild. We’ve also created a super feature called the ‘Uni-Cow,’ which happens very rarely but when it does players are sure to be talking to others about how they’ve triggered it.
Another one we’ve got lined up for release is Jin Ji Bao Xi Megaways. Our long-standing brand has a proud heritage in the land-based sector and its success has translated into the online environment too, with the game among our 10 best performing titles. We’ve put the Megaways spin on JJBX, and learned from some of the best techniques that we applied for 88 Fortunes Megaways.