Interview with BetAndBeat
Mancala Gaming is a new slot game developer founded in 2019 and launched in 2020. Yet, they are already supplying multiple casino operators as well as great igaming aggregators. Mancala Gaming crafts amazing games with a modern feel to target Millennials and Generation Y. They already have a portfolio of over 30 games that are unique and don’t carry legacy choices that many older game studios have to inherit with each game.
1. What is Mancala Gaming, and what does it offer?
Mancala Gaming is an innovative and ambitious game developer established in 2019 and launched in 2020. We aim to appeal to the younger generation of players, who are more demanding in terms of the game mechanics and level of interactivity they expect from the games they play.
Our mission is to satisfy this demand by creating innovative games that incorporate themes from pop culture, as well as game elements from video and mobile games. On the other hand, we know that the market is saturated and that more than just unique games are required to really stand out. That’s why we also put emphasis on bonusing tools, customer service, and the formation of strong and strategic partnerships with well-known industry brands.
2. As a recent company (2019), what is your key differentiator compared to longer-established game developers?
We’ve been incredibly lucky to have many industry experts on our team, all of whom have brought their expertise and skills. Our CEO had a very clear vision from the very beginning, and it is one that continues to set us apart from other game developers. We saw the opportunity to appeal to a younger crowd of players by putting skill-based gaming at the core of our work and positioned ourselves outside the boundaries that existed around online slot games up until now.
In our portfolio, you will find diverse games that range from classic-looking slots to completely innovative game mechanics, but all our newer titles are unique in that they offer the players the chance to do more than just press “Spin”.
3. What are your most popular titles, and were you as a company expecting these to be the biggest hits?
Our most successful titles are our latest games. Portal Master, which was released in late April, has become a big hit with players thanks to the interactive bonus game and the dynamic gameplay. Similarly, our previous titles such as Zero Day, Coco Tiki, and Cherry Bombs have become player favorites thanks to their remarkable game mechanics and their immersive audiovisual aspects.
We strive to make each new release an even more enjoyable and innovative slot game, and the popularity of our latest titles tells us that we are indeed on the right path. When we first started pushing the boundaries of slot mechanics, we weren’t sure how the players would respond, so the success of our unique games was definitely a positive surprise and the right push to do more.
4. How long did it take you to build the first version of your gaming software engine and RNG?
Generally speaking, we consider ourselves lucky as we were fortunate with the right people from the very beginning, so the first version, or as we called it MVP, took us a little over 6 months to create, and that included our very first game from scratch. As for RNG we have taken existing solutions and adjusted them for our needs.
Mancala Gaming slot games are loved for their innovative bonusing tools.
One of our key objectives is currently to simplify the technical aspect for the casino and gambling operators. This has always been at the core of our efforts, and we take pride in implementing various retention and gamification tools on a B2B level to service our partners with even bigger and better benefits.
Together with games and backend, we also supply a robust reporting system for clients to have a full overview of the games’ performance. What’s more, our clients have full control over jackpots and free spins and all of our products are easy to set up and automate.
Additionally, our bonusing tools include trigger event features that keep the players in the game and help increase their lifetime value as well as the popularity of Mancala Gaming products.
5. How do you come up with new ideas and themes, is it driven by feedback or by gut instinct and vision?
In most cases, it’s a combination of the two. We have an incredibly diverse and creative team who always provide tons of new ideas based on their own interests and preferences. Sometimes these ideas are influenced by pop culture or video games, and sometimes they arise from hobbies or passions. At the same time, the vision of creating innovative, skill-based games is at the core of every one of our ideas.
We are lucky to work in a team composed of people who fall into our target market and thus have a strong understanding of what younger players want from slot games. What more, to support and nourish creativity, every employee can propose a new game idea or new math model idea.
6. How long does it take from first having an idea, to having a final polished game ready to be sold to the gambling operators?
Usually, this depends on the complexity of the game. Our newest games all have a ton of special features that make them unique and fun to play, but they also require a longer brainstorming, planning, and developing time. But in general, the entire slot development process takes us anywhere from 2 to 4 months.
7. Can you tell us more about your process when creating a new game – from ideation, iteration, development, to launch and marketing?
The process always starts with a team session where we brainstorm ideas for everything, from new game mechanics to possible themes for our upcoming game. These ideas then get reworked into a solid concept for a game, and once the project gets the green light, we start working on the development of the game.
This development stage begins in our game studio, which is where all the ideas get turned into reality. Stunning visuals alongside atmospheric sound effects and high-quality music made by our creative team bring the game to life, and the developers work hard to connect all the aspects and create a seamless, thrilling gaming experience.
Once the final version of the game is finished, it gets handed over to the QA team, who tests it to ensure that it runs smoothly and provides the players with an outstanding experience.
From there, we move on to the marketing stage, at which game materials are compiled for the official game release, sent out to casinos, and communicated to players via social media and our website.
8. What is the toughest part of the entire process of creating and launching a new slot game?
The most fun part of the whole process is definitely the brainstorming stage. There are countless amazing ideas that come out of each session, and it’s great to see our whole team come together and combine all these abstract ideas into a realistic game concept.
The toughest part would, without a doubt, be figuring out new game mechanics and ensuring that they are not only stable and easy to navigate, but also unique, exciting, and in line with our vision of driving innovation in the industry.
9. For all the geeks reading us, what is your tech stack on both the frontend and backend?
That’s a great question! I had this technical question answered by our CTO in order to get the most accurate information for your geeky readers. [Drum roll…]
All of our games run on HTML5 and JS technology. Furthermore, we’re very lucky to have amazingly talented developers on our team, who use C# for the game logic, and TypeScript and Pixi 5 for the frontend of our games.
10. You seem to have a nice selection of dice slot games. Why did you create those and how do gamblers like them?
Initially, we put out dice slot games purely as a way of complying with regulations in the Belgian market, but the response was overwhelmingly positive from players everywhere. Right now, we are working on adding a skill aspect to dice games, which will undoubtedly make them even more thrilling for players.
11. How does Mancala Gaming hire, and what candidate profile do you favor?
We put a huge emphasis on teamwork and synergy, so we largely pick candidates who we believe will bring value to the company and fit in with the rest of the team. Plus, we pay a lot of attention to a person’s character and compatibility with the rest of the team during the hiring process.
We don’t limit ourselves to hiring only people with an igaming industry experience. We believe that bringing in people with diverse backgrounds allows us to come up with unique ideas and get inspiration from more sources.
Most importantly, we listen to each one of our team members, and everyone gets to have a say in brainstorming and developing new titles, which is something we are very proud of.
12. Should we expect your game studio to build upon that success and invest in other new slot categories or video gambling games (e.g., virtual sports)?
For now, we are mainly focusing on bringing innovation into the slots game market. Our goal for the foreseeable future is to offer truly new and unique slot game mechanics and make games much more interactive and exciting. Players will get a chance to influence the outcome of the game, not just press a button to start a new spin. So, for now, we are not planning to branch out into any other categories, but if the idea seems viable down the road, we are definitely open to it.
13. What are some of the company’s future plans that are in the pipeline? What can the audience expect in the near future?
We are working hard to move the bar higher with every new game release and continue providing players with even more exciting, unique games. Our latest game, Portal Master, was a huge success with players all across the world thanks to the element of skill and interactive game mechanics it offers. In our upcoming games, we are pushing the boundaries even further to create an immersive gaming experience that will attract mainly the younger players.
The original of the interview can be found here:https://betandbeat.com/gambling/interviews/mancala-gaming/
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