Meet the Slots Creators – Slingshot Studios’ Richard Vermaak Interview

Posted by: Alexander
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Tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you, you; and why have you chosen to work at Slingshot?

Originally trained as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator, I entered the industry as a Game Designer. I’ve been in the slots business for 21 years, connected to game design throughout that time, as a Designer, Art Director, Creative Director, and now Studio Head and Creative Manager for Slingshot Studios.

I am deeply passionate about the merging of the creative and technical worlds and how they combine to solve unique problems, there’s an electricity in that interaction that I just love!

We first formed Slingshot Studios 5 years ago. It’s a diverse group of people with a variety of skills, experience, and opinions. This creates constant energy in the team that’s hard to beat.

What would you say are the best three slots ever released by Slingshot?

Game of Thrones™ Power Stacks™ was a big release for us. We have a lot of avid fans of the show and so working with the brand was great fun, and great for the studio.

We also had a lot of fun building the world of A Dark Matter and all the game’s supporting materials. I know it sounds cliché, but I am most excited for what’s to come next. We have some great new games in the works.

Which slot takes the 2021 title of the best Slingshot release?

Our most successful games last year were Game of Thrones™ Power Stacks™ and Links of Ra, an Egyptian gods themed Link&Win™ centric game.

Looking to the future, what is the next big release Slingshot is planning?

Our next game will be a follow-up to Links of Ra, titled Links of Fire. Soon after that we will be releasing an action-packed title with some great new mechanics – watch this space!

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

Quality, character, fun, excitement, feeling, story, you name it… we want it all in our portfolio to entertain players. We’re determined to get as many of these attributes into each of the gameplay experiences we create.

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

I honestly can’t choose; I love the conceptual process, the coming together of all the creative and technical disciplines to create something from nothing. Problem-solving is hugely gratifying too and that continues throughout the process. There’s also nothing quite like playing the first build of a game and seeing all that effort taking shape. At the end of all that, even though you are most likely deep into the creation of what’s next, releasing a game into the market and seeing players respond to it is a big moment. There’s something to love about every step of the journey. I think the most rewarding aspect that touches on all of this is collaboration: game development truly is a team effort!

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

We learn as much as we can from every game release and apply those learnings to our design process moving forward. Having said that, this is an ever-changing market and nothing is ever certain. What we try to do is find the right mix of iteration and innovation so we can continue to grow. I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect recipe when so much flux is involved, but the pursuit of it is rewarding.

What are your hobbies?

Video games, films, comics, and LEGO (not LEGOs!)

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

It’s a shared challenge and success with the entire studio. Game of Thrones™ Power Stacks™ was the first game we released using an entirely new framework and toolset that we developed in-house. It was a mammoth effort from everyone and a very proud moment when we started taking bets on that game.