Key Factors a Website Developer Keeps in Mind When Coding For an Online Casino
Web development for online casinos can be highly lucrative, but it comes with its own set of unique constraints and considerations. If you’re debating whether to take a role in the space, then make sure to have a read of this list first to see what you’ll be getting yourself into.
#1. The Implementation of RNGs
Programming and coding done right means implementing one of the key elements of a casino game: the Random Number Generator. This keeps the casino game’s random outcomes just that: random. Said randomness is necessary because it guarantees that the game is not tampered with and is entirely fair to the player.
For RNGs, the type of RNG used is important so that a viewer of the outcomes (i.e. a player) is not able to work out the next outcome based on the history of the play. How an algorithm picks a seed number to start that random generation is also important. If this can be determined, then outcomes may be determined. The right RNG is also important from a compliance perspective: in audits, the RNG must pass through tests to ensure it behaves as random.
#2. Ensuring the Right Game Math for Reels in Slots
When programming online casino games, the length and symbols on the reels of online slots have been painstakingly dreamed up by a mathematician on the team. This means, when you are coding it all up, the underlying mechanics, that you must be triply sure you have put the right symbols in the right order.
If you are on the UI side of things, you must be positive that you have the right graphics in place for the symbols on the underlying reels. If you display the wrong symbol in place on a reel, the player will think they’ve won whereas in the actual game this is not the case, which could lead to lots of trouble.
One step wrong on either the underlying mechanics or the graphics spells a huge headache. By including naming conventions within the game, and having extra eyes over your code it helps to decrease the chance of costly mistakes.
#3. Architecture Hierarchy
In the regulated world of online casinos, the messier the code is, the more difficult it is to audit. And if you’re developing casino games and it’s your code that keeps the regulators around longer on the job, then it may also be your head on the chopping block too, and you might wind up being fired.
While it’s important to keep your code organized and modular in any coding environment, when there are outsider eyes on it more often than other coding roles then it’s absolutely critical. This means things like pulling out features separately from regular gameplay, having very loosely coupled mechanics and graphic display modules, and keeping to system-wide conventions.
Typically, you will be able to pull previous games from an existing repository to see the current style of architecture hierarchy within the online casino itself. If there are not already naming convention docs and guides then why not take the initiative to create them yourself? This way all developers - as well as new entrants to the team - will be able to get on the same page. Repeatability and readability are the aim as they will be audited; it’s just a matter of when and not if.
#4. Accountability and Traceability via Versioning
A well-maintained and followed versioning system is critical in development for online casinos. Being able to see who has made what changes, when, and the reasoning behind them (via commit messages) is critical - especially when hunting for bugs.
Git is the most-used versioning system in the world and any developer worth their salt knows their way around how Git works - and the style of use within their organization. If you are walking into an online casino development role you should be aware that their style of use may not be what you are used to. A higher degree of rigor or strange new conventions may take some time to get used to.
Updates should be atomic so that if code needs to be rolled back it is simple to do. This also speaks to a modular architecture. By creating module stubs and the inputs and outputs before writing an atomic function, it is easy to fix any errors within a function, in isolation of any other functionality.
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