In anticipation for Sakura Fortune, the latest slot to be released by Quickspin, we sat down with the brains behind the new title to get an exclusive look at what gamers can expect. The iGaming audience has previously been treated to a few teasers from the Swedish-based games developer, and we’ve all been itching to try out the Mystery Nudge feature that promises to trigger bonuses such as free spins and respins.
We were very kindly allowed access to Mats (CCO), Richard (Head of Art), Marc (Developer) and Joachin (CPO) so they could each shed their own unique light on Sakura Fortune and the part they all played in bringing it to life. Oh, we’ve also got a few tasty snippets about how Quickspin’s new Achievements feature will work with Sakura Fortune too, their revolutionary new loyalty scheme which looks to reward dedicated players for their troubles. Let’s take you through all you need to know about Quickspin’s Sakura Fortune.
Sakura Fortune is a High Volatility Slot – Expect Huge Wins!
First and foremost, Mats explains that Sakura Fortune is “one of our [Quickspin’s] more volatile games, so it’s going to have a lot of massive wins in it”. Anyone who’s played slots for a period of time will know that volatility is a key aspect, as it generally determines how frequently you’ll land combinations and how large the subsequent wins will be.
Scooping huge prizes will be music to many players’ ears, so Quickspin’s decision to create a slot that caters for those desires is sure to go down a storm.
What Are Sakura Fortune’s Main Game Features?
The title has 3 main bonus features, all of which look to enhance the playing experience. Before we get into them, we need to explain that the slot uses Sakura Princess Wild symbols which take up entire reels when they appear. This is crucial for understanding both the Sakura Fortune Respin and Mystery Nudge features, as both require two Princess Wild symbols to appear.
The Respin bonus is at it sounds, with the exact number of new turns dependent on the number of Wilds on the reels. Whenever two or more Princess symbols land, they may nudge into a full stack which can trigger big wins. Also, free spins can be accessed if three or more scatter symbols form from left to right.
“Sakura has a Mystery Nudge function for the Wilds that can bring you into respins, that can bring you into free spins. There is a really interesting flow in the game” – Mats Westerlund
Keep your eyes peeled for these 3 situations, as you’re highly likely to benefit as soon as they do!
Another Asian Theme “Just Felt Right”
Although it’s only been around 6 months since the release of Dragon Shrine, Quickspin decided to tap into Asian culture once again. With regards to the game itself, the storyline revolves around a warrior princess who has become an outcast in her world. Determined to regain what was once hers, she embarks upon a journey to take over the land she used to call home – this idea, incidentally, being the inspiration for her Wild symbol covering entire reels.
As for the decision to create another Asian-themed slot so soon, Mats describes how the game’s Chinese lead maths designer, Tianzhi, had produced much of the functionality himself, so the company wanted to produce a slot that he would enjoy. The CCO described how Quickspin like to keep as many people involved in the production as possible, so dedicating the Sakura Fortune theme to a key ingredient was the perfect way to “pay tribute to him”.
What Makes Sakura Fortune Unique?
As Quickspin are hardly the first slot designer to venture into Asian waters, one of the key questions that many gamers will be asking is: what makes this so different? Richard, from the Arts department, believes the visual appeal plays its part, describing how his team managed to “simplify the graphics” by not overusing colours while continuing to tell a story.
Slot developer Marc tells us how the game uses more particles than ever before, with the game’s petal graphics adding an extra element to the programming process. While new technologies weren’t necessarily included, the Sakura Princess Wild’s animation that gamers can look forward to required “quite a lot of work to perform well”. Mats expanded upon this, adding that perhaps the greatest challenge of creating Sakura Fortune overall was ensuring that all the events tied together nicely.
“We custom-build every game depending on the features” – Marc Bjersbo
If you’re looking to play Sakura Fortune on mobile, then you can now do so in both landscape and portrait mode. Often, players are required to rotate their screens horizontally to play, but Quickspin have made a few tweaks for this video slot. Furthermore, the peaceful soundtrack that has been created fits perfectly with the overall feel, with Mats identifying sound production as being of utmost importance to a title’s success.
How Long Did It Take Quickspin to Produce Sakura Fortune?
The time it takes to create a casino slot game from start to finish varies, Mats states. Once a general idea has been formed, production is said to last around 3-4 months – but the overall process depends on how quickly Quickspin can identify an area that will interest players.
Marc expands on this from a developer’s perspective, saying that a game’s team is “usually 2 developers who create around 3 slots per year”. When asked whether Sakura Fortune’s 5-reel, 4-row structure made it more difficult to design than the usual 5×3, Marc told us that this wasn’t the case. Previous templates were in place to work from, and the Sakura Princess Wild made it necessary to increase the number of rows to embody the narrative of her taking over the world.
Quickspin’s art department worked on Sakura Fortune in a similar manner, with Richard explaining how 2 artists are assigned a slot title to work on. “They have very broad skills, so the two artists can do everything for a game” he asserts, although they tend to start at different areas – one mapping out the general theme and the other focussing on high-profile symbols. As the Princess Wild for is a key part of the game, extra care was taken to ensure that its design would be exciting to play with.
“The artists don’t do what you expect them to do, they kind of blow you away” – Richard Hilding
How Will Quickspin’s Achievements Work in Sakura Fortune?
We know everybody’s being dying to try out Quickspin’s Achievements loyalty scheme, but how exactly does it fit in with Sakura Fortune? This slot has the privilege of debuting this feature to the world, so there’s even more of a buzz within iGaming for the release. CPO Joachim kindly took the time to explain it to us.
Sakura Fortune’s Achievements Explained
There are 6 different game events within Sakura Fortune that you can trigger to activate Achievements. Once you’ve managed to fill the progress bar of each one to the top, you will be given tokens to exchange for access to the special features. Sakura Fortune’s Achievements game events are:
- #Winning – Landing a combination that equals or exceeds x10 your bet
- Scatter Madness – Hitting a spin with a scatter symbol
- Here We Go Again – Getting a respin
- Sakura – Joining the Free Spins Bonus
- Coin Collector – Landing a win with any coin symbol
- I Love Wilds – Hitting a spin with a wild symbol
Every time one of these events occurs, you’re one step closer to having a free hit on this brand new video slot’s bonus features. Quickspin are hoping Achievements will revolutionise slot titles, and Sakura Fortune is the first destination you can try it out!
Want to read the full interview? Check out the transcript here.