Helios’ Fury Q&A with Relax Gaming
“We’re always trying to make sure that the win caps are something to control the game rather than a marketing tool.”
Relax Gaming is one of the most talked-about slot developers in recent months and for a good reason. Following the release of the award-winning Money Train 2 last year, the studio shifted gears and their popularity took off. This year we’ve seen the likes of Templar Tumble, Book of 99 and Dead Man’s Trail, which is a sequel to the Wild West slot with a spine-tingling board game bonus that Jack Sparrow would raise a bottle of rum.
Today they have another puzzle for players to solve titled Helios’ Fury, that’s based on the Greek sun-God. Zach Pisani, Game Product Owner at Relax Gaming, was directly involved in making this game, so I kindly attempted to make him reveal some of the processes that went into the production of this another max-win thriller. Join me for an exclusive Q&A below on that and how it all comes together within their stellar slots portfolio. Enjoy!
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Relax Gaming slots have been some of the most sought-after in recent months and one could say that Money Train 2 added even more fuel to the fire. Now, coming hot on the heels of the freshly released Volatile Vikings, could you give us a behind the scenes glimpse into the creative process of your new upcoming game Helios’ Fury?
Zach Pisani (ZP): Ancient Greek themed games are an all-time classic, so with this in mind, we wanted to create something that felt familiar but base the story and its accompanying visuals on something that we haven’t seen or done before, the Colossus of Rhodes.
Using 3D to model the character in-game, we were able to give some life to Helios and create some fierce-looking effects when he torches the incoming attacking ships in the free spins feature.
Unlike some of the more complex games in your portfolio, Dead Man’s Trail, for instance, Helios’ Fury seems to be among those slots that have a much simpler learning curve. For the most part, this is thanks to the game’s just one but highly intriguing main feature which is the moving wilds. Who would you say is this new slot best suitable for? Was Helios’ built with a specific target audience in mind?
ZP: Helios’ Fury will mainly appeal to those players on the hunt for really big wins, featuring a max win of 50,000x it is a higher variance game where mega wins can certainly be made.
As you mentioned, however, the main feature is a simple and intuitive one, with the ultimate aim of accumulating as many wilds on the reels as possible so though it is a higher variance game you do not need to be a slot whizz to understand what is going on and where these big wins can be found, giving room for less experienced players to enjoy it too.
There is a buy feature for those willing to get straight into the action, however, the main feature of the game ties into the free spins trigger, making it enjoyable to play on the hunt for the main free spins feature.
Looking at the bigger picture, how does this release differ from others in your portfolio? How high does it score on your list of favourites for this year?
ZP: From a production perspective we created a game featuring a 3D character that interacts with the reels to carry out the feature animations, which can be challenging but the team did a great job in pulling it off. Game feature wise the base game feature ties so naturally into the free spins trigger that it makes for a hugely exciting moment every time it comes around, not only can it award big wins but also get you into the main feature in the game.
We have had a lot of exciting games come out this year, and shall continue for the rest of the year so it’s hard to place on a list of favourites but it is certainly up there!
Helios’ Fury boasts one of the highest win potentials of all your 15 slots released so far this year. 50,000x bet wins were pretty rare just a couple of years ago and here we are with the likes of Dead Man’s Trail, Multiplier Odyssey and Money Train 2, to name a few. Do you think the market is ripe for this trend to continue or even go for crazier risk/reward ratios?
ZP: Yes, we think the market has changed quite a lot in recent years and sites like this one and twitch have been a great help with that. Players now have an opportunity to see and understand the features of a game. At Relax we’re a ‘player first’ kind of studio as we’re ultimately all players and we love seeing these wins as much as the next person, so we’re always trying to make sure that the win caps are something to control the game rather than a marketing tool and I think players can really feel that.
Speaking of win potentials, how much does it dictate the overall game design and math? At Relax Gaming, how much do you tailor your games around the “max payout”. Or does the vision or the idea for the game come independently from the other pieces of the puzzle?
ZP: We won’t force a win like 50,000x onto a game for the sake of doing so, there are plenty of games in our portfolio that don’t feature as high a win but are hugely exciting and fun to play also. There are multiple factors which are taken into account but If we believe that the nature of the game features feel as if it naturally allows for such high wins then it is something that we will certainly consider applying, A game like Helios’ Fury, with connected ways, an enlarged free spins reel area which naturally increases the number of connected ways to win on, and a progressive sticky wild feature makes it a prime candidate for having a higher max win.
From all the slots that you’ve produced, what strikes me is how consistently high your theoretical return to player (RTP) is across all releases. Book of 99 with its 99% RTP is probably the best example of how far you’re willing to go for the benefit of the players. How sustainable is this trend in the context of varying RTPs?
ZP: It can be difficult but we enjoy playing these games too so we approach it very much as a player would and markets that regulate should try and protect the players experience.
Thank you for this interesting Q&A session. Anticipation is half the fun, so for the final question, it is tempting to go beyond Helios’ Fury and beyond the next couple of months. How is Relax Gaming prepared to take on the highly competitive online slot market in 2022!?
ZP: With bigger and better releases! We’ve had a great year in 2021 and we really want to carry momentum moving forward.