At the forefront of industry minds when it comes to slots is gamification, RTP and volatility. However, there’s an aspect of slot engagement that can constantly be overlooked but is a historical – and critical – part of its entertainment…sound.
With the industry witnessing an influx in evolving features and mechanics, such as Megaways and cluster titles, it’s the sound of the reels spinning and jackpots ringing which has remained consistent.
In the latest episode of Now That’s What I Call Slots, James Ross, senior reporter for SlotBeats was joined by Black Pudding Games’ co-founder, Dan Nyman, who guides us through the soundwaves and tubes of the company’s most recent slot title, Atomic Reactor.
Looking into the origins of the musical themes within the title, Nyman noted that it actually stemmed from Kraftwerk – a German band formed in Düsseldorf in 1969 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider.
He explained: “The reason for this is that at the very beginning when we conceptualised Atomic Reactor around the reel array, it’s a really distinctive looking thing, and because it looked like the Atomic symbol immediately we were like ‘right, it’s going to be an Atomic Reactor’.
“That immediately moved me to Kraftwerk and the reasoning being, if you translate craftwork – it means powerstation. We thought ‘oh, that sounds really cool’. They also had a fixation over technology and they also had an album called Radioactivity – writing songs about radiation and those types of things which is kinda unusual – so that was the springboard for where it was going to come from.
“So then we were like, this is going to be music made by machines. Again, this was good as it was going to reflect the industrial nature of Atomic Reactors game stage. So I jumped on it, I was going to use old synthesisers, drum machines and sequences, that sort of thing. That’s the type of sound Kraftwerk pioneered. Also, it’s very current and mainstream with EDM.”
Moving forward, Ross sought to uncover how Black Pudding had used its new tube system, which replaced the traditional slot reels, and how the company found the sound to match a similar experience to what they would normally obtain.
“I just tried to imagine what a Large Hadron Collider would sound like when it’s accelerating particles around its loop,” reminisced Nyman.
“It’s the sound of powerful machinery, its generators winding up to power these whopping great magnets and discharging energy. That became the inspiration of what it might sound like. If you look at the electrical arcs that freeze particles in the loops, the way that the reels stop, it reminded me of the artificial lighting sparks you get from a Tesla coil. We then got hold of samples of Tesla’s doing their thing to use as a foundation for those sounds.”
The interview then went on to discuss sound usage through headphones and how it compares to spatial audio, then looked more closely into the impact of audio file compression, and delved into how Black Pudding took their original idea for the sounds within the game and produced it with the player at the forefront of the company’s thinking.