Recently, PokerStars has debuted an easy to use new lobby design in Denmark, in the online poker site’s software updates.
The lobby update features a sleek and simplified modern look; the most evident difference is the flat design, which is obvious on the tabs, buttons, logos, and graphics, updating the gradient-heavy graphics PokerStars users are familiar with. The new flat design is also used for individual tournament lobbies and all dialogue boxes.
The new lobby and dialogue box designs feel lighter and more open with the gradient elements gone. Also, the new oval buttons open up the screen with more white space.
The Aurora Graphics Engine
The new lobby design builds on PokerStars’ latest graphics engine Aurora, which the poker website introduced last year. Aurora also updated PokerStars’ table themes, as well as updating the graphics, animations, fonts, and sound effects. PokerStars is currently using Aurora in all markets except in India, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
For quite some time, the Aurora game engine has been integral to website development at PokerStars. The company first used it in Power Up, its defunct esports/poker hybrid game. While Power Up was removed from the site last year, it inspired PokerStars to delve deeper into the look of modern video games.
At first glance, however, there are no new animations integrated into the new lobby design. This could indicate that the recent upgrades could be to align the desktop software with Mobile NG (Next Generation), another PokerStars development goal.
Throwable Virtual Objects
Currently only available in Italy, PokerStars has been trying “throwable” virtual objects at its online poker tables.
To add some fun at the tables, Italian players have four items to throw; a horseshoe, a rose, a cream pie, and a fish. The player must complete a challenge to unlock this feature.
While this feature is not unique, the Aurora gaming platform has allowed PokerStars to implement it at a level of sophistication not seen anywhere else. Thanks to the Aurora game engine, these high-fidelity objects can add to the fun and increase player engagement at the tables.
PokerStars Mobile NG
Last year, Severin Rasset, PokerStars’ Director of Poker Innovation and Operations, said there were no plans to immediately apply Aurora to the lobby since the lobby redesign was already included in the Mobile NG initiative.
“Currently, we have no plan for the lobby, since we’re revamping the lobby with Mobile NG,” Rasset explained. “While the two projects influence each other, we’re also trying to avoid an interdependence that could slow them down.”
New mobile apps for Android and iOS devices have also been introduced in Denmark with the same look and feel like the newly updated lobby.
Last year, PokerStars rolled out the first version of Mobile NG in Denmark. At that time, player feedback was sought before more widely distributing the updates to its mobile gaming environment.
“The most important things about the new PokerStars app are the fundamentals, such as simplifying user choices by grouping games together in a more logical manner. Rasset wrote in a blog post. “We’ve also implemented internal logic that adapts to each player. It remembers what was played and recommends similar games that they might like. The design looks and feels modern, fundamentally changing the way players can find the games they like.”
“We drew inspiration from some of the world’s most successful apps, adapting them to the needs of our customers,” he concluded.
Currently, there has been no indication of when the new lobby and mobile designs will launch in other markets. Generally, PokerStars launches new games, designs, and software in jurisdictions like Denmark, Spain, and Italy before it distributes those upgrades to its other jurisdictions around the world.
When Will the New Design Come to the USA?
While the sleek, modern lobby design is already in use in Europe, it remains to be launched in the United States. Currently, PokerStars is only available in two states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.