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Nostalgia meets innovation with Immortal Romance™ II

| By iGB Editorial Team | Reading Time: 6 minutes
Leaving fans on a cliffhanger for the past twelve years, Games Global has launched the next chapter of the story with Immortal Romance™ II, created exclusively by Stormcraft Studios. Balancing nostalgia with creative innovation, players will enjoy the familiar backdrop of a love story where vampires meet supernatural human beings with the added boost of enhanced visuals, audios and upgraded features. Terence Igesund, executive producer at Stormcraft Studios, explains how this leading game development studio has once again hit the perfect pitch in understanding the evolving demands of its audience.

With almost a decade of experience, it’s no wonder Stormcraft Studios is brimming with confidence in its ability to create slots titles that succeed time and again.  

Following on from the likes of Thunderstruck® Stormchaser can be a hard act to follow, but Stormcraft Studios has succeeded again with the launch of Immortal Romance™ II. This eagerly awaited sequel to the original Immortal Romance™ revisits the dark and mysterious love story unfolding between vampires Troy and Michael and their human counterparts, Sarah and Amber.

But with the original Immortal Romance™ proving so popular, questions may be asked as to why there was such a long wait for the next instalment. For Igesund, this was all part of the long-term plan.

“During the creation of the original all those years ago, it had always been my intention to create a follow up game, which is why I left Sarah’s narrative on such a cliffhanger. The plan was to wait for the game’s performance to start to drop off, before revitalising the brand with an exciting sequel.

“I had the character narratives and game storyline ready to go for years, which helped expedite the writing and composition of the new soundtrack as well as the creation of the cinematic win animations.”

Immortal Romance™ II: Balancing innovation with familiarity

When embarking on an ambitious long-term game plan, the challenge for many games providers is ensuring its audience hasn’t moved on — balancing innovation with familiarity through enough new features to engage current fans whilst also attracting the new generation of players.

Igesund recognises his team’s unparalleled ability to understand its audience,  introducing the latest innovation to even the most nostalgic slots title, and ultimately ensuring its games remain at the forefront of the current swarm of slots titles.

He explains, “The real challenge was deciding on the game mechanics. We needed to ensure that the game features were on trend, and considering how quickly trends change in the online industry, this proved to be a moving target which forced us to pivot several times on the game mechanics.

“Our ultimate goal with creating the sequel was to find a careful balance between brand nostalgia and game innovation, while providing players an immersive and entertaining gaming experience.”

Drawing inspiration from the wider industry

With these evolving trends, Igesund recognises the power of taking inspiration from other games on the market. Tapping into popular gaming innovations and features that are already proving successful.    

“We draw inspiration from multiple sources across both the online and land-based industry. The reboots of the Thunderstruck® series had record breaking commercial success, so I guess you can say that we were inspired to beat the key performance indicators of Thunderstruck® Wild Lightning and Thunderstruck® Stormchaser.”

Familiarity vs novelty: Designing a game with impact

“We spent quite some time considering what we wanted the player experience to be. There needed to be familiarity as well as novelty, a feeling of confidence as well as curiosity to explore every corner of the game.”

For Igesund, despite this demand for innovation, it was important to maintain a familiar basis to the game with Immortal Romance™ II, like its predecessor, still offering players 243 ways of winning.

However, as an added twist, the latest version provides players a Rolling Reels™ mechanic throughout the entire game and a development of the strong character basis from which the title originally drew such a crowd of fans.

As Igesund explains, the original Immortal Romance™ is synonymous with its Wild Desire™ feature, so it was important to retain this player-favourite feature in the latest chapter in the saga.

“Like the original, the sequel is a 243 ways game, but this time we introduced Rolling Reels™ throughout the entire game. As previously mentioned, this functionality was closely coupled to all the new wild multiplier features and functionality that we have introduced, which has resulted in a very compelling game with high hit frequencies.”

Building on individual character features

“Immortal Romance™ is a strongly character driven brand, so it went without say that Sarah, Michael, Troy, and Amber would return with each of them again having their own unique free spin feature.”

But it’s not only the features that have been developed since the original Immortal Romance™ — the backdrop and even the characters have evolved through remastered artwork and audio capabilities.

“The characters all received a significant makeover, and the visual fidelity of the entire game has been dramatically improved from the original. The majority of the artwork was carefully hand painted digitally with some of the assets rendered out in 3D.”

But these features weren’t selected at random, with the team undertaking detailed analysis of both player preference and feedback from operators. As a result, the leading characters have been further developed, with each individual unlocking unique winning potentials for the player.  

“Based on industry feedback, we decided to commit the time and effort into once again creating unique free spins feature mechanics for each of the four characters, enhanced with their own original soundtrack. As per the original game, each of the free spins differs in volatility, but this time all the features are available to play from the first trigger with no unlocking required. 

“Amber’s feature is an extension of the base game’s mechanics with multipliers that increase by 3x per rolling win. Troy has a locking wild which expands and evolves into multipliers during consecutive rolling wins. Michael feature can randomly synchronize up to four reels at a time. Finally, Sarah has stacked sticky mystery symbols with a multiplier trail above the reels.”

Developing unique jackpot features

“We’ve introduced four character-themed jackpots into the base game which will grow and improve through a novel gem collection mechanism. The jackpot wheel bonus can be triggered randomly on any gem collection event, where players can win one of the four jackpots or trigger the famous Wild Desire™ feature.”

While the Immortal Romance™ characters steal the show, this new slots title provides a wealth of jackpot potentials that differentiate it from the original. Not only engaging previous fans of the game but attracting a wave of new players through powerful features and dynamic graphic enhancements.

Igesund explains how the team knew they had to produce something impressive in order to catapult the sequel ahead of the new generation of slots titles. One way in which he felt this would be achievable is through providing players with exactly what they’re looking for — such as an adaptation to the Wild Desire™ feature.  

“Speaking of the Wild Desire™, we knew this feature needed to be next level, so we elevated the experience to a thrilling 1,024 ways to win. But that’s not all. One of the consistent requests we saw online was for a multiplier to be added to Wild Desire™… so we did it!”

The game’s multiplier is based on the original Immortal Romance™, starting at 1x and building up to a possibly 3x winning potential. However, the main difference players will enjoy is the way in which Wild Desire™ can be triggered. Previously launching at random but now dependent on which symbols players are able to land.

“Wild Desire™ is now a reel symbol driven event, requiring a mouthwatering blood drop symbol to land on reels two and four. We also increased the max win potential in the feature from 12,000x to 15,000x the bet!

Evolving player preference

With a twelve-year gap between episodes, understanding which features are most important to the current wave of players is vital for ensuring an impactful new title launch. Playing a guessing game isn’t an option, and as Igesund explains, the key to success is in the planning process.

“During the conceptualisation process, we did a lot of canvassing with operators, streamers, and players, regarding the feature set of the sequel game. The most requested feature by far was for Wild Desire™ to be given a multiplier, so we listened and introduced an increasing multiplier in the feature which significantly increased its win potential.”

“Another big request was for an amazing soundtrack that could compare with the popularity of the first game’s songs. Music appreciation is such a personal thing, and we knew that we had our work cut out to once again deliver four unique and compelling songs for each of the characters free spin features.

“I wrote the lyrics for the songs and collaborated with my sound designers to compose the music before reaching out to professional singers to perform the vocals. The album will be launching on Spotify and all major music streaming sites in a few days’ time.”

The impact of these enhancements have so far been positive with About Slots commenting, “The variety of music this game provides is awe-inspiring, from thrilling upbeat to beautiful ambient tunes. Each Bonus Game has its own soundtrack, successfully created to fit the character’s vibe. We often speak about the importance of music and how it plays an essential role in the gaming experience, and Stormcraft Studios has really done its homework.”

Immortal Romance™: Future collaborations and titles

Fans of the legendary saga will be thrilled to hear that this is by no means the end of the love story. While Igesund was keeping his cards close to his chest, he alluded to future iterations and innovations in the paranormal world of Immortal Romance™ series.

As for other projects, there are already other exciting brand extensions being carefully crafted in the ‘Stormforge’, with more in the pipeline.

“Keep an eye on our social media for sneak peeks.”

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