Interview: Senior Game Producer, Amit Samji, speaks to Gambling News on developing sequels and Jammin' Jars 2
Sequels within the entertainment industry are a sure-fire way to generate hype and drive interest back into an existing brand. The success of a follow-up is never guaranteed, but slot developers seemingly have a talent for producing new variants that resonate with existing players, as well as take a brand in a different direction to reach a new audience.
So what exactly goes into developing a sequel slot?
Take a look at what our Senior Game Developer, Amit Samji, had to say about this to Gambling News, and find out more about how one of our most anticipated releases of the year - Jammin' Jars 2 - came about.
How do you identify which of your existing slot releases earns a sequel? Is it purely driven by operator/player demand or is there a desire from within to improve the gameplay?
It depends on quite a few factors, our release schedule, player trends, demand, and market conditions. Perhaps the most important factor though is if we think a sequel will work – did we do all we could with the original? Is there scope in the gameplay of the first game to take it further into a sequel?
We take pride in the games we produce and we don’t release sequels simply for the sake of it, so it has to be right – and this is how we approach development.
With our recent release, Jammin Jars 2, it was such an approach that eventually became the Giga Jar feature to really get the ball rolling with something new. We played around with the early concept – one which added wilds in the game – in one of our regular development meetings and the more it took shape, the more it became apparent that it would be a great fit for Jammin’ Jars’ style of play – and after further internal discussions, it was decided to create a sequel around it – and so Jammin’ Jars 2 was born.
What is the key consideration to ensure a sequel is successful and does not hinder the appeal of the original title?
That can be an important consideration, especially if the original game is still a strong favourite among players. With Jammin’ Jars 2, there was a degree of pressure on us to ensure that the first one wouldn’t get forgotten while balancing that with neither game being replaced by the other.
We wanted to make certain that fans of the original – which is still very much played today – didn’t feel as though it wasn’t worth playing anymore.
We’re confident that both games offer something different while keeping the same mechanics and logic to gameplay. That after all should be the essence of a true sequel.
Which recent or upcoming sequel slot has your company been working on? How does the gameplay differ from the original?
Jammin’ Jars 2 retains much of the charm that made the original such a hit but has more features that offer even more excitement.
It’s easy to make a sequel but making it great is the real test and we believe we’ve done that.
The base game is progressive, there’s a Fruit Blast feature, Instant Prizes, and of course the Giga Jar feature! There’s a host of other changes too, such as the increase in a maximum potential win from 20,000x to 50,000x, new visuals that see play take place in a club/disco with yet another funky soundtrack.
There’s certainly a lot of action in Jammin’ Jars 2 and the gameplay takes excitement to levels even further. We designed it so that a player has to really concentrate on it, that then drives the engagement – you really need to focus on what is going on – players won’t be able to leave the game running in the background and this, we feel, makes for an all-round better gaming experience.
This forms part of a longer interview with other industry experts, that can be viewed here.