Seeking Animation Work in Online Slots
As we discussed here last year, working from home posed a new challenge for a lot of animators. Even though this is an industry in which there’s already a lot of freelance and contracted work, people had to adjust to remote working. Additionally, people had to get used to the idea that the clients they might be working for were also remote and coping with unexpected changes. In short, even if some animators were relatively well equipped for what happened in 2020, there were still disruptions and changes.
Amidst all of this, one thing that some animators have had to improve at is finding new work from home. Both in 2020 and looking ahead to our future, more remote work will leave freelancers and contracted artists all the more isolated. This can be empowering in ways, but it also means that successful work will require an industrious approach and a little bit more networking. Artists and animators will need to spend more time reaching out to potential clients, sharing portfolios, and negotiating contracts — generally, finding people and places to work for.
Fortunately, the opportunity out there for hard-working animators is virtually limitless. But in this piece we want to focus on an area that many might overlook: the realm of online slot machines.
We know generally, of course, that the gaming industry features some of the most impressive animation being done today. For recent examples, one need only look through GameRant’s ranking of games with the most impressive graphics. On that list alone, titles like Okami HD, Super Mario Odyssey, Ghost Of Tsushima, and Forza Horizon 4 show not only the quality of video game animation today, but the variety. There’s no limit to the number of styles accommodated in gaming art, and at the highest levels the quality is off the charts.
Well, as it turns out the online slot category has in some respects caught up to what we might call conventional video games in some respects. Of course the games aren’t as big, and there aren’t as many graphics or animations. But the quality is generally excellent, and the variety is reminiscent of the rest of the gaming industry:
Many of the slots you’ll find at leading casino sites now approximate a high-end, AAA video game quality. Perhaps the clearest examples are the Age Of The Gods slots and other mythologically-inspired titles like Hoard Of Poseidon — all of which don’t look altogether different than, say, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or the God Of War franchise. In addition to being thematically similar to video games involving myths and gods, these slot reels showcase intro pages and character animations as vibrant and impressive as what one finds in a console video game.
Other slots you’ll find are downright cartoonish, showing that different kinds of animation altogether still work in this category. The brand new game Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania Slingo featured among the games hosted on Gala Bingo is perhaps the clearest example of this. Based on a previous slot series, this Slingo game (combining bingo and slots) revolves around a cartoon lobster, 2D beach-related art, and beachy background animations. It’s simple, but beautifully done, and speaks to how much room there is for a more pared-down brand of animation in this corner of the gaming world.
And still more slots — perhaps most, in fact — fall somewhere in between the cartoon-style Slingo game just mentioned and some of the other examples that come closer to approaching console quality. These games tend to have some 3D graphics and animations, but are still approached in a playful, almost tongue-in-cheek way, allowing animators to have fun devising settings and bringing characters to life. The most prominent example in this blended category is Gonzo’s Quest, which may in fact be the most significant, groundbreaking, and popular slot game on the internet — and which succeeds largely thanks to the charms of its 3D animations.
In short, there are a lot of different ways to fit into this gaming category, no matter what your typical artistic style might be. Furthermore, there are so many games (hundreds if not thousands) that, if you have good material to show slot developers, it’s not unreasonable to hope for a chance to help design a game. Of course there are no guarantees, but this is a massive category that is constantly expanding — full of new games, and thus new art.
If this is something that interests you, you might consider reaching out to any number of game developers operating in the slot category. You never know when one might respond to your work, or provide you with a pathway to negotiate a potential freelance animation contract — and this is exactly the sort of thing more artists and animators will have to get used to doing in our new, remote working world.
Best of luck if you choose to pursue this busy, fruitful arena! And in the meantime, we encourage you to keep your eye on Animated Jobs for any postings that might appeal to you.
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