- Hello Will! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your history with Crazy Tooth Studio.
Just like the rest of the Crazy Tooth team I started my career elsewhere but have found game design to be fun and challenging and haven’t looked back since. I was born and raised in Alaska, the son of advertising entrepreneurs.
I studied to become an architect but quickly found my passion for illustration, graphic design, and marketing. My rather quick career change afforded me the opportunity to join Crazy Tooth Studio in 2011, at its start.
- We love big wins, can you disclose the top 3 winnings ever paid by Crazy Tooth Studio?
I really don’t know! We enjoy watching big wins on YouTube and social media like a lot of players do and we love it when we see our games causing big reactions. I know folks have hit that Seven 7’s™ jackpot, which pays 25,000 times the bet!
- You have an impressive slots portfolio, can you name the best three slots ever released by Crazy Tooth Studio?
That’s also a tough one. We’re very lucky to have had our games released not only in the land-based, social, and igaming sectors but in markets all over the world. As a game developer we’re privy to which
games are doing well, but it’s still a bit of a guess as to which games have been our best over our nearly ten years. I’d say Diamond Force™, The Incredible Balloon Machine™, and Banana Drop™ are up there!
- What are your hobbies?
Cooking, ultimate frisbee, snowboarding, and playing with my wife and kids (including drawing with my son – he’s vying for my job at age 5!). Oh, and I can’t forget playing video games with the CTS Team. We work together and occasionally blow off steam together too.
- Can you please describe your daily routine in the workplace?
I imagine everyone’s routine has changed in a lot of ways this year, but generally it’s more or less the same.
Some of the basic components for a typical day for me are: coffee, checking in with our to-do lists and production schedules, meetings with the CTS team for everything from broad discussions to reviewing our games together, art and design production, marketing strategy and production, and more coffee. Some days – like today for instance – was mostly digitally painting game elements and getting them ready for animation.
Crazy Tooth Studio is a relatively small group but our output and quality both stay high for three big reasons: we all do a lot of different things, all disciplines work together, and our proprietary design platform ( INCISOR™ ) makes what we do faster and more nimble.
- Please tell us a bit about the challenges a studio is facing when creating a new slot game.
The biggest challenge for us, and perhaps most studios, is balance. We always set out to make the next hit game, but we want to try new things and make something that excites the player. Balancing those three things can be difficult and it really takes the whole team to get it right.
- What game-mechanics do you like the most in an online slot machine?
Multipliers. Or maybe I should say “modifiers”. No matter what a game is throwing at you – whether it’s trying to trigger the Team-Up Feature™ in Diamond Force™ or waiting for the pinball action to kick off in 3 Devils Pinball™ – it’s always great when you know there is one more cherry that could be thrown on top of your win. Like a multiplier!
- Any future releases our readers (players) should look forward to trying?
We have some great stuff coming up. 777 Mega Deluxe™ just went live featuring RESPIN INSANITY™, 3 Devils Pinball™ will be live everywhere 18 February featuring POWERPATH™, and Aureus™ featuring COINVERGE™ will go live 4 March.
We’re always working on exciting content and players can check out www.crazytoothstudio.com and follow us social media for more behind the scenes and coming soon content!
Our Instagram feed is pretty entertaining (@crazytoothgames) and of course our YouTube Channel has updates about our games.
- Movies with scenes featuring a casino; Did you watch any? Have you got a favourite scene?
There are so many. I’m a big movie watcher and I have to say over the last ten years, if a casino floor pops up on TV or in a movie, I can’t help but look for games I know…. or that we made. One of my favorite sequences featuring casinos is when Ruben (Elliot Gould) is explaining the top attempts at casino robbery to Rusty and Danny (Brad Pitt and George Clooney, respectively) in the remake of Ocean’s Eleven. The music, the clothes – it’s just great.
- Speaking about casinos, do you have any stories to share from a “brick-and-mortar” venue?
A few years back, we were in Las Vegas for the annual G2E (Global Gaming Expo) event. After hours we would always make sure to play some slot games – for a bit of fun, of course, but also to get the player’s experience on the floor.
We found the game Star Wars® Droid Hunt™ released by IGT® a few years prior to this occasion but more importantly developed by Ben Hoffman, our founder and president and fearless leader.
It’s not uncommon to come across games that Ben helped bring to life – or that we did, for that mater – but this particular night was made special because of a Canadian couple playing the game.
We chatted them up a bit, playing our usual game-developer-coy, and came to learn that Star Wars® Droid Hunt™ was their absolute favorite title and they came to Las Vegas to seek it out. Needless to say the exchange ended with the couple taking pictures with Ben Hoffman, Mr. Droid Hunt™ himself!
- What is the amount of workforce involved in the creation process of an online slot?
However many people we happen to have at Crazy Tooth Studio at the time – and possibly their friends and families! We are all involved in every step along the way from brainstorm sessions to pre-live testing for every title.
If two heads are better than one, then 15 or so contributing to a game must be a lot better. When it comes to who is actually creating the assets, animating, coding, and adding sounds and music it is usually 4 or 5 people.
- Let’s discuss a bit about Virtual Reality slots. How likely are they to become fan-favourites? What “ingredients” would you add in a VR game to propel it towards success?
We liken virtual reality in gaming to skill-based gaming or different form factors or 3D or 4D or any other next gen delivery system for slot games – the core game experience still has to be solid.
It’s often called “the ride” – the player’s experience, regardless of how the information is being delivered, has to be fun and engaging. All the things that can make even the simplest slot game great have to be there.
- Any advice for youngsters looking to pursue a career in the iGaming industry?
There are a lot of opportunities across a ton of disciplines in iGaming which is very exciting. However, what makes working in this industry exciting – fast paced, always something new to work on, constant challenges – also means it requires hard work and perseverance. You just can’t stop moving if you want a chance at going forward.