Dual interview with Bradley & Carlo from All41 Studios
This week, we've had the opportunity to chat with All41 Studios about their exciting upcoming titles: Shamrock Holmes Megaways™ and Forgotten Island Megaways™. They also shared some insights on what it was like developing the first Microgaming slot to feature Megaways™.
Interview with Bradley & Carlo from All41 Studios
Hi Carlo and Bradley! We’re glad you could join us for this week’s edition of the SlotCatalog game provider interview series. Could you please introduce yourselves and your history within the iGaming sector?
Bradley: Hey! It’s great to be here! I am Bradley Johnson, head of game design for All41 Studios. I’ve been working in the industry for just over 15 years creating games for both land-based and iGaming, starting out as a mathematician and progressing to my current role. I lead the games strategy and oversee the quality aspect of the studio’s games portfolio/roadmap, which is driven by math and our love for slots.
Carlo: Hello and thanks for the opportunity! I’m Carlo, sales manager for All41 Studios. I’ve been in the industry for just over two years. Prior to joining the gang, I completed a law degree and started off my career in finance. My first pure gaming role was on the B2C side as a finance business partner for a top UK-focused operator. More recently, I have found my home at All41 studios, where I lead the sales function, providing our customers with a direct line to the studio, as well as early access to our roadmap. I genuinely enjoy making data-reinforced recommendations to our customers, and get a real kick out of seeing those propositions materialise into bottom line revenues.
What is it like working at All41 Studios?
Bradley: All41 Studios is an enjoyable place to work as we are young and hungry to succeed. We come to work every day with the mission to deliver unique quality player experiences through our games, distributed exclusively on the Microgaming platform.
What’s the All41 Studios vision and what steps during this year have taken you closer to your goals?
Bradley: Our vision as a studio is to create quality player experiences and entertaining games. This year we have embarked on developing and refining a data-driven approach to each game, in order to ensure we are delivering unique gaming experiences for customers, which players want to play.
Carlo: I second Bradley here in that our aim is always to create the best possible player experience by continuously monitoring our performance, with the view to enhance our product offering.
Whether it’s a product or commercial discussion, we take a data-led approach and always respect the intricacies of each localised market.
In one week your (and Microgamings) first Megaways powered game, Shamrock Holmes Megaways will hit the casino lobbies. What has it been like developing this game?
Bradley: We are very excited as a studio to see Shamrock Holmes go live exclusively to Microgaming customers in the next week. Overall, Megaways™ has been fascinating to develop, both in what the player sees and what the player doesn’t see but may feel as a result of their experience. From what the player sees, this game is all about ensuring they do not feel that the experience is rushed or protracted. There is a fine balance required to achieve this inside the game, and it took a lot of work for us to ensure those timings are right for the player experience. The player may not see it, but can definitely feel it!
The math model is definitely interesting! What made you decide on the high potential and the Magic Forest Respin?
We’re seeing the appetite for bigger win potential growing amongst players, so it was really about meeting that market demand for epic wins.
Bradley: As for the Magic Forest Respin, we introduced the feature to help emphasize the build-up to free spins, since the bonus is triggered less frequently than players may see in a typical slot game. Our data demonstrates that slots enthusiasts enjoy playing for different features, so we designed the Magic Forest Respin to really build that anticipation. It allows the player to bridge the gap to the free spins, where the high potential is delivered through the unlimited win multiplier mechanic.
Next up after that (on the 26th of January) you will release your next title, Forgotten Island. What makes this game unique and in what ways does it differ from Shamrock Holmes?
Bradley: In Forgotten Island, we chose to go with a different proven game design method to help highlight the chase for free spins. The Kong Spin awards the player with a win multiplier, which subsequently increases with each win for that given spin. Furthermore, the excitement continues because if the player triggers free spins on a Kong Spin, the multiplier carries over into the free spins, allowing the player to go after even larger wins.
Carlo: This is a great question, and a fantastic example of how we are positively pushing for continuous improvement. As well as the Kong Spin, we’ve incorporated a buy in feature, granting players instant access to the free spins! It’s even split over three tiers, with the first tier being one of the best value on the market. By incorporating these multiple tiers, we’re truly diversifying the feature, and catering for a wider range of players.
You’ve released a lot of quality games since your establishment in 2018 all of which have enjoyed high SlotRank’s. Which of your upcoming titles are your favourite and why do you expect them to continue enjoying high SlotRank numbers?
Bradley: We are really looking forward to our release in February called 6 Tokens of Gold. In this particular game, we have taken the player experience to new levels by enhancing the chase for the Hyperhold™ feature with a coin meter that counts the coins landing on each base game and free spins spin. To push the experience even further, the player can control the drama inside the Hyperhold™ feature by pushing the spin button to initiate each spin. These two additional features, adding to an enhanced math model and emphasizing the proven Hyperhold™ feature, are sure to allow 6 Tokens of Gold to enjoy a high slot rank similar to Arena of Gold.
Carlo: I completely agree with Bradley here in the sense that players spin to win, so why not take a few seconds to enjoy the moment during each respin, especially when you just landed a big win! Moreover, 6 Tokens of Gold is generating a lot of traction based upon the theme alone. There are no other classic fruit slots containing the Hyperhold™ feature at the moment, so on those grounds, together with some other subtle but convincing design features, we’re looking forward to this release on 16 February.
We at SlotCatalog were especially impressed with Arena of Gold. The theme is amazing and the overall experience is definitely something special! Could you share any insights on the concept stage?
Bradley: This was an interesting concept when we began looking at this game as we wanted to deliver a classic theme and mechanic – but with a new twist. When looking at the market, there was a need for us to provide an Ancient Roman and gladiator theme. From here, when researching the market, we saw a bunch of gladiator games and Ancient Rome themes that focus on the battle and the darker imagery within gladiator battles. This research guided our decision to take a different direction, celebrating the champions of gladiator battles and presenting the lighter side of the imagery in the game. From here, we really wanted to play up this celebration through the animations and changing the scenes throughout the different features of the game, so the player could feel like they were a part of the parade of gladiator champions as they chase big wins.
What’s your ambitions going forward?
Carlo: We’re really fortunate to provide content exclusively via Microgaming’s platform, gaining access to an enviable ecosystem with enormous distribution routes. Naturally, our ambition is to continue delivering high-quality and unique gaming experiences for players.
We’re thrilled to have already made our mark on the industry, and our goal now is to keep building on and enhancing our standing, becoming a trusted partner to the leading gaming brands in all key markets.
What’s your roadmap look like and are there more games we should look forward to?
Carlo: Q4 2020 was a really exciting time for the studio. Book of Atem WowPot was our first progressive and has proven to be immensely popular. We also revealed our first cluster pay reaction mechanic, Alchemy Fortunes, as well as embraced other collection mechanics.
Q1 2021 is no different from an innovation perspective, but here's what it looks like in practice:
- 05/01 - Shamrock Holmes Megaways™
- 26/01 - Forgotten Island Megways™
- 02/02 - Ingots of Cai Shen
- 16/02 - 6 Tokens of Gold
The only game we haven't touched on is Ingots of Cai Shen, which is our first Chinese lucky themed game, out right on time for Chinese New Year! As with many aspects of our online industry, lots of inspiration has been taken from the land-based atmosphere with this game, where the Chinese theme is up there with the gladiator and Egyptian themes. Given the recent influx of players moving from retail into online, we’re anticipating a strong response. Not to mention, the visuals are outstanding in this game.
We’re reaching the end of this interview. Is there anything you would like to share with us and our readers before we part ways for this time?
Bradley: With a lot of exciting content coming out exclusively to Microgaming in the coming months, we are really looking forward to 2021. I personally am excited to see how players react to our games and I look forward to our continued growth. Happy Holidays to everyone and may 2021 bring you good luck!
Carlo: I think everybody in the world is looking forward to a more prosperous and less uncertain 2021, so I’d like to wish everybody all the best for the new year I’m also thrilled to reveal that we have just agreed our first branded game for release in 2021, and we cannot wait to share the full details with you all. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the whole team at All41 Studios!