CasinosOnline is constantly keeping tags on different innovative studios in the iGaming industry. Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Lucksome, one of the studios creating games on the Blueprint Gaming Distribution network.
Lucksome prides itself on being a small team with big ideas. “Making well-made games with player transparency”, as its founder Bryan Upton states. The studio focuses primarily on online slots and aims to compete with industry leaders in the field. This month they are preparing a new slot – Saint Nicked, slowly bringing a peculiar kind of Christmas cheer to the reels. Let’s see what players can expect from Saint Nicked online slot by Lucksome.
- Hello, welcome to CasinosOnline! Do you mind telling us a little bit about the studio and about yourself? What is your role in the Lucksome team?
Hey Guys! Nice to be chatting with you! I’m Bryan Upton, the Founder of Lucksome. I’ve been in the gambling industry for the entirety of my career, 16ish years now. I’ve been a game artist, a games designer, studio manager, product manager and C-Level management. I’ve worked in the online space about as much as in land-based. I worked a lot out of Vegas and have been around the world to see how players play different games in different settings. I founded Lucksome in Sept 2020. Lucksome is about making well-made games with player transparency, awesome graphics, and the best mathematics in the world. We want games that are fun, entertaining, sometimes funny AND have good payout potential.
We started off simply because we wanted to do something in a less chaotic and corporate environment. We’ve all worked at the big studios and felt that we can do better by staying small, focusing on games design quality and what it is players out there want.
- Working in such a creative and innovative environment must be a lot of fun. Can you tell us what you consider to be the best part of your job?
Oh man, lots of bits are great. The brainstorming is awesome – challenging each other’s ideas pushing the limits. Kicking off the projects and seeing the new spangly art come through and playing around with the math to see how affects your experience and feelings about the games. The biggest deal is working with talented and focused people to make great games.
- We are here today to talk primarily about the Saint Nicked slot, released in November. Sure, it is a Christmas slot, but far different than the usual slots being released during the holidays. Can you tell us how did you come up with such an interesting storyline?
We wanted to do something cheeky and naughty, which is what we are like in the studio (teehee!). The narrative is that Santa and Rudolph get a bit bored with “the Christmas thing” and just want to spend some time with each other on Christmas Eve. So instead of dropping presents off around the world, they go to a bar and get a little bit too merry (which is the Base Game). They end up causing so much trouble that they get arrested and taken to prison, and this is where the game’s free games bonus takes place. Cool thing is when Santa and Rudy get together in a win they multiplier all wins, the mechanics work so nicely with the storyline!
- The story will definitely attract many players; however, something has to keep them spinning. Can you tell us which features you consider will make that happen?
Well, we have our lovely Advent Calendar trail feature. The Game has been out long enough and looking at the data player LOVE it. The bar meter is what triggers the advent calendar. The bar meter has essentially four different colours according to which of the prizes you're going for. You'll see the advent calendar has doors one to twenty-five, and each one of those will have a colour associated with it according to the colour of a bauble: green, red or gold (and then there is the star on the top of the tree). If your next door is a green bauble – which is lowest in terms of prize amount – the bar meter will be green; the bar meter always shows what your next prize is based on its colour in the advent calendar. Then you have beer glass sub-symbols on top of the reel symbols that arrive with numbers in them; every time you land one, they will top up the bar meter. For any spin where you don't get a sub symbol, the bar meter will reset.
What you're looking for is to keep the streak going until it hits the number you need to trigger the Advent Calendar and get the prize behind the door. A green will need 20, a red needs 40, and a gold needs 60 beers.
This sounds like quite a lot, but we've added safe points. Once you reach a safe point, the meter will always reset back down to that safe point; it won't go all the way down to the bottom.
Once you build the bar meter to the relevant target, the advent calendar appears and you open whichever day's window you're up to. It will then spin in either a cash prize, or launch the free games bonus.
As you move up the calendar, you'll get to the top, which is the 25th, and hit the big one – the star on top of the tree covered with toilet paper. From there you will win a higher-than-average number of free games. Once you've unlocked the 25th door, you're then in “Advent Calendar Plus Mode” and you can trigger door 25 over and over again. You've now got a new way of triggering free games and on average you're getting more free games on average triggered when you open the 25th door than if you triggered them normally in the game. The game will also now start to record how many times you've won the star and also what the last number of free games you won were. So it's a nice little achievement on the top.
- Saint Nicked has been out for a while, can you tell us if it achieved the success the studio has anticipated?
It is our best launch to date! Almost every game we launch is breaking our records but Saint Nicked has smashed it and continues to smash it, we are very proud and pleased.
- In your personal opinion, what is the best part of Saint Nicked?
The mechanics hang brilliantly on the storyline. The game is well balanced with the base game delivering some great wins. The advent calendar is just something we all love as a tradition so to gamify that was a pleasure. But most of all the humour and naughtiness of our of our most loved characters tops it off with those hilarious voice overs. Happy to see that we have had a good few max winners looking at the data. So the game can hit the max win of 5000x the data supports this nicely.
- The Saint Nicked is undoubtedly a unique and entertaining slot, that will surely attract many players. Can you tell us what kind of audience has been most excited when it comes to this release?
I think it seems to please most types of players, funny and cheeky enough with the edgy art style to please the core players – fun and not too hard to attract the more casual players. It’s hard to make that pleases everyone, but at the least it has made people laugh, and the most the have had great sessions on the game.
- Now that you have gathered some players’ feedback regarding the game, is there something you wish you have done differently while developing Saint Nicked?
I think we have learned a lot from Saint Nicked and there is ALWAYS things you would do differently, but I think we will spend time working on the progression mechanics to tune them for even better experiences.
- Working in this industry offers many learning opportunities. Is there something you have learned from this experience?
Players like to laugh and appreciate it when you put a lot of effort into your games. The slot community is growing into a set of people with mature likes and dislikes and they are honest – it’s great to have insight directly from them – we try always to use this to improve on the next games.
- Now that we are stepping into 2023, are there any plans? Can your players expect some new, upcoming releases soon?
Yes! Treasure of the Dead™ HyperLines™. It is a lovely expanding symbols with the Wild and Bonus Scatter in one game, but with a wonderful difference. We have added 3 extra winlines to the 10 normal lines. These extra HyperLines™ have escalating multipliers so any win combos on them pay the normal winline AND the HyperLine with its multiplier. The Books Wild Scatter symbols can carry scarabs on the front of them. They are collected against each HyperLine. Once you have 3 or more you activate it. The HyperLine multiplier will then be upgraded by the collected scarabs and any new scarabs that spin in on that row! HyperLines™ don’t deactivate until they are won on and the collected scarabs are used up, so these multipliers can go VERY high and can turn a normal 3 of a Kind win into a Big Win. We think our new HyperLines™ mechanic is a game changer! In Free Game the HyperLines™ are ALWAYS active, the multipliers don’t reset AND they pay TWICE, once on lines and then AGAIN on the Expanding Symbols!! The Game will be out in Q1 so keep an eye out for it! We have new super high payout potential game in the works, and we have a brand new game pay mechanic coming, something we have never done before and we think is very unique. These should be all coming in the first half of 2023!
- Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us! Is there something else you would like to share with our readers?