In May 2021, SiGMA — gaming & tech events company — invited MADLORD founder and Audio Director Jorge De Lellis back for a second interview for their SiGMA Magazine issue 14.
Jorge, can you tell us a little more about yourself and the role you play in the development of online slots?
I am a music composer and sound designer. For over a decade, I have specialized in the creation of music, win sounds and sound effects for online casinos and gambling games.
MADLORD is dedicated to creating music, sound design, voice overs and audio post-production for online gambling games — particularly online AAA video slots. But, also for video games, marketing and film.
My role in the development of online slots is mainly as an Audio Director and Audio Consultant.
What is the MADLORD approach to developing music and sound for online slots?
MADLORD’s approach begins with defining the right music style, based on the game mechanics, target audience, competitors and objectives. Next, we improve their casino game music implementation, and innovate online casino game experiences through music and sounds with new and improved audio production techniques.
Only once the direction is crystal clear, do we move onto the most important step: the creation of music soundtracks, multi-language voice-overs, win sounds and sound effects that construct an immersive casino game experience.
How important is the music soundtrack when it comes to creating an engaging and immersive online slot?
Music has an extraordinary power in online video slots. A power that the vast majority of online slot game developers are not fully harnessing.
Many of them still think that jackpots are the only reward a gambler gets when playing an online video slot or slot machine game. Scientific studies on gambling behavior prove that to be wrong.
Also, consider that engagement and immersion are two different aspects of online slot experiences. Engagement is active (clicking on the spin button, spinning the wheel bar on a classic mechanic slot machine, etc.). Whereas immersion is passive.
Typically, music and atmospheric soundscapes shine at creating immersion. While win-sounds and sound-effects work on increasing engagement.
Music and sound can increase both immersion and engagement. But it has to be done right.
So how does music and sound enhance the player’s experience?
Well, several scientific studies show how powerful music and sound are in video slots and slot machine games. When it comes to music soundtracks, playing online video slots without a music score is like the difference between Lady Gaga singing ‘a capella’ or with the full band behind her.
The enhancement of emotions that music adds to almost any human interaction is, simply put, mind blowing. Combined with win sounds and other sound effects, the impact music has in video slots and slot machine experiences is truly powerful.
Scientific studies show that video slot game music and sound effects bolster the experience of a gambler many times over. They also show that a slot with game sounds increases pleasure. And pleasure creates desire.
How important is desire in human beings? Simply put, the global economy revolves around people’s desires. Not around people’s needs.
The difference in the level of engagement and immersion between playing online video slots with and without music and win sounds is like night and day!
However, research also reveals that not every slot player experiences music and sound in the same way. And the impact and influence it has on players is diverse.
Essentially, gamblers play online slots and slot machines for two main reasons: they seek arousal and action or, they seek escape and dissociation. However, there are various different player profiles, and they differ in what they are looking for in online video slot games and slot machines.
This knowledge and deep understanding are very important when creating music compositions and sound design for casino and gambling games.
Some players prefer to win smaller jackpots but more often with volatile games.There are those who are dazzled by great themed games (like many European players). Those who prefer slot machine terminals with classic and old-fashioned games (such as in some places in Germany).
Many Asian players like to get “straight to the point” by playing at high speed but, there are also other Asian gamblers who are attracted to fantastic slot game-themes. And those in Asia who are madly in love with playing video slots with cute animal graphics and game characters.
And many, many more types. In all those player-profiles, music and sound influence their emotions and perceptions differently.
But there are also differences between online slots and land-based slot machine game terminals. The Independent Gambling Authority of South Australia reported that there are also slot machine players who do not like having music for quite interesting reasons.
For example, some slot machine players do not want to draw the attention of surrounding players when they win. Or they feel they could be seen by other players as “not serious” about gambling if they keep listening to the win-sounds.
In spite of this, hearing the winning music and sounds of other nearby players, strongly inspired them to continue playing.
Read SiGMA Magazine issue 14
Read the original interview now (page 88).
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