Meet the Slots Creators – 4ThePlayer’s Geoff Scaplehorn Interview

Posted by: SlotsCalendar
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Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you, you; and why have you chosen to work at 4ThePlayer.com?

Hi! I’ve working in gaming since 2012: I got my start as a Copywriter at Ash Gaming, where I met Andrew, Chris, and Henry, and worked my way up to Game Producer. Then I moved on to FunFair Technologies where I got into the blockchain side of the industry and helped build a portfolio of less traditional gambling experiences. When Andrew reached out to me to come and join the 4ThePlayer.com team, I jumped at the chance—it’s such a great opportunity, working with a team I know and respect and making the kinds of games we would want to play.

Can you share some of the big wins players have had on your games?

We all love big wins, and I think the mark of a great game is one where you can see where those wins might come from.

We’ve had quite a few big wins on our games. One lucky player recently hit 2,592x on a €5 stake on 6 Wild Sharks, creating an awesome €12,960 win. Someone also just hit 1,000x on our crypto-inspired 1000X Busta last month, which created a very nice win!

You have an impressive slots portfolio, can you name the best three slots ever released by 4ThePlayer?

9k Yeti is obviously brilliant: it’s got the innovative Snowstorm feature in free spins and it’s all wrapped up in a classic win-centric maths model. That game debuted our BIG REEL PORTRAIT MODE; as a fan of mobile portrait play, I love this. I personally rate 6 Wild Sharks, which builds on the whole slots-meet-roulette idea: you can control the volatility of the bonus by trading your free spins for locked wilds and (territory permitting) you have advanced mode which takes that control to a new level. As for my third slot? Watch this space: we’ve got some amazing slot experiences in the pipeline, each with an exciting innovative feature.

2020 was a challenging year for all of us, yet 4ThePlayer managed to release some great slot titles. Which 4ThePlayer slot takes the 2020 title as the best?

For my money, 123 BOOM! is a brilliant slot: I’m never much of a fan of cascading games because I never feel like I can get a decent win—the wrong symbols always seem to build up! 123 BOOM! fixes that with its explosive SLOT SLIDER mechanic. I’m also a fan of increasing multipliers in bonuses, especially when you don’t know how high it will go!

Looking to the future, what is the next significant release 4ThePlayer is planning?

We’ve got a few exciting games in production right now, although I can’t give too many details right now. Rest assured, they are all built around the idea of feature innovation and fun and I look forward to being able to talk about them soon. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates!

In a market with hundreds of game studios, what would you say is 4ThePlayer’s biggest differentiator?

Innovation! We always strive to make new, innovation-driven entertainment experiences. We don’t create a copy of someone else’s game: we make our own game, which is the game we would want to play ourselves! We spend a lot of time playing our own games so that we get this right. We are gamblers ourselves, so we understand that special feeling and magic that needs to go into a game; you can tell when a game has been made by someone who doesn’t gamble as the experience is off.

We would love to hear more about the slot creation process. Can you let us know which is the most exciting part of the entire process when creating a new slot?

I think my favourite part would have to be the brainstorming process, which is very exciting: there are lots of ideas bouncing around and you’re trying to figure out what might work. But then you get into the design and maths, and it gets properly creative: every game is different and has its own challenges. Obviously, I also love it when a game goes live and I read about players enjoying the game and sharing their big wins; after all, we are all about the players!

What about any inside funny stories, do you have something to share with us?

I’ve been working here for a little over two months and we are 100% remote, so not too many funny stories yet! Also, I’ve been sworn to secrecy from my past years with the team, so I’ll keep quiet here for now.

How can you tell if an online slot is going to be a hit or not?

Sometimes you’re playtesting something and it just clicks—this feature triggers here, this win happens there. Or you sit and talk through a feature and you realise that you’ve never seen it done anywhere else… that’s when you know you’ve got something special. It’s the eureka moment that as designers we try to get into every game.

Did you use to play slots before entering the iGaming industry? Can you share with us your biggest win on an online slot? (you don’t have to name the stake, just the multiplier and the game is more than enough)

I hadn’t played too many slots when I first turned up at Ash Gaming: I’d played lots of pub machines, which I didn’t really understand but I liked the flashing lights nonetheless, but I was pretty new to the online side of things. Since then, I’ve gained a reputation of being able to lose on even the least volatile games or for getting the worst possible result in a bonus. Each week, we get together as a team and play the latest games, and I am consistently last to hit a feature. That said, I did buy a new PlayStation last year with a 3,000x win on Dead or Alive II…

What are your hobbies?

I used to teach archery, and I have a target set up in the back garden. These days, though, most of my time is spent fixing up the house and finding enough new films to keep my wife and me entertained through the lockdown.

What has been your biggest challenge and your most significant success in the gambling industry?

My biggest challenges came while working at FunFair; our brief was to come up with new styles of game, and so we went on a mission to develop lots of new game styles. And we did—not everything worked, but FunFair now have a great variety of games that appeal to a mix of hardened gamblers and new gamers alike. I’m looking forward to creating similar successes at 4ThePlayer!

If you weren’t in the gambling industry, what other industry would you want to work in?

I like to think I’d still be making games—I think I’d enjoy spending time developing real-world card and board games. Failing that, something that doesn’t make me move around too much. Film critic, maybe.

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