CasinoChick.com brings another exciting interview to our readers!
We sat down with Ekaterina Dzjuba from Mancala Gaming who gave us an exclusive sneak peek into the creation process of Mancala’s fascinating games.
Ekaterina, affectionately called Kate, is Mancala’s Art Director and we’ve been delighted to get her creative take on the production of casino games.
Stick around, you won’t regret it!
Hello Casino Chick, thank you very much for having me here! I’ll gladly share with you some really interesting behind-the-scenes facts about our slot games and overall game production.
Since the very beginning of establishing our company, we had a very clear vision about how our games should look like, whom they should appeal to, and how they should work in terms of mechanics. Much of the credit goes to our CEO, who already knew how we should position ourselves in business and had defined our brand key component – slot games based on skills.
Our main task was always to stay focused on developing certain type of games that will attract younger players by using skill elements in all of our releases. Thus, our games encourage more direct participation from players and involvement in the process, which of course helps to create an immersive and unique gaming experience.
When we just started working on our game portfolio, we quickly gathered there is a wide range of players’ tastes and preferences that we need to satisfy – which is great when it comes to inspiring our creativity. However, it is much easier to innovate when you have a solid and stable portfolio of all-time classic-themed games. So this is how we decided to start with the initial creation of our portfolio while also including a variety of slots to keep it interesting to a range of clients.
The ideas for our games usually come 100% from our internal studio team. Moreover, any employee working at Mancala Gaming can contribute their ideas. Later, those ideas can become one of the next game releases. This is something we are really proud of because our company culture is set in a way to maintain each of our creative spirits while encouraging proactivity.
We have the luxury to work with a lot of creative people in our team who have plenty of different hobbies and interests, which is a key component for the craziest and most unusual game ideas. We pull a lot of inspiration from pretty much everywhere: it can be from classic slot games, video games, films, pop culture and more. The best part of any creative process is the brainstorming session which is usually very fun. Everyone starts to throw a lot of really great ideas, which can bring even more potential for game, more game mechanics, and even more themes. This brings us all a huge boost before the project starts which stimulates our creativity a lot.
Dice slot games are an interesting product that was created solely for the Belgium market to comply with their regulations. We decided to not stop there and started the development of skill dice games, which we’ve been in the process of creating for some time already. We are excited to show you some of those in the future!
At the moment we are mostly focused on creating interesting slot game mechanics, which would be more than just clicking the “Spin” button and require more actions from players. Therefore, for now we do not plan to work on other game categories, but we like to say “never say never,” which means we are open for new ideas and their realisations.
Mancala Gaming includes employees of completely different age groups, but most of us are precisely representatives of this generation. That is the reason why most game ideas come directly from our team and are influenced not only by the gambling industry, but also through mobile and computer gaming.
We are always open for any feedback from our players, thus regularly improving the product and creating content that will be interesting to our audience.
Zero Day slot is a game very close to our hearts. As I mentioned before, a lot of people who work at Mancala Gaming are huge fans of video games and you can easily say that we got inspired by a CD Project game called Cyberpunk 2077 which made a lot of noise with its release. This particular game was an inspiration for the Zero Day theme, art and sounds.
We are always trying to track trends as well as to contribute to the slot classics. At the same time, we are always thinking about our company’s future. There could be a possibility to switch to younger players soon. After all, in order to survive in this industry, you must always think about how to attract new people.
Oh, I love this question and I would be happy to answer it!
Any game usually starts with an idea or a theme selection coming from our team’s brainstorming session. This is part of the process is incredibly fun and the result of it is usually a bunch of great ideas and thoughts that we later shape into a strong and solid game concept. Once this stage is over and the project has its green light, we start to prepare the foundations for future development by planning it step by step. And then it is time to activate Mancala’s magical lab and start the actual game production.
First, our talented team of artists and animators are making visual assets the way you are used to seeing them – in high quality, polished, and eye-catching. Then our sound engineers breathe life into those assets by creating outstanding sound effects. After the game asset preparation is over, it’s time to hand them over to the development team, where developers build the whole picture piece by piece in order to transform it to its final look. The final development destination for the game is to be checked by our QA team, who have to make sure that the game works properly and players can get the best experience when playing it. And then the game finally stops in the marketing department, where it gets prepared for the official game release for casinos including its promotions to players.
We put a lot of energy, love and dedication into every single game we produce, which in my opinion really speaks for the final result.
Definitely the idea initiation and brainstorming sessions are the most appealing ones. And game releases which are always moments of victory and celebration for all of us 😊
Considering our current team capacity, slot development could take us around 2-4 months. But it really depends on the complexity of the game and its special features.
It is really hard to pick just one! I would say that every game has its own highlight, but I can tell that I like how Portal Master ended up being. This game became a big creative challenge for all of us from both the idea and development perspective. When you create new unique game mechanics, you should understand that this is going to be something that none of us have done before and that requires a lot of thinking that may even lead to failing during the creative process. But with each of those challenges, we gain a lot of experience that we later apply and improve on in our future game releases.
Portal Master is a unique product from the mechanics perspective, and I find it very engaging thanks to the progressing system based on the Magic Spheres collection. Another favorite thing about this game is that it expects you to interact and your decisions are going to have an impact on it. I like that sense of complete immersion when I play the game and this is something I find almost hypnotising and mesmerising.
In addition to that, as a person who is dealing with designs and art on a daily basis, I should admit that the game art is definitely pleasing.
We will definitely try not to disappoint you! For now, all I can reveal is that one of our upcoming games will be very cute, but with an unexpected shocking plot twist. We can’t wait to show it to you!
It was a pleasure to speak with you, Casino Chick!
I tried to share the most exciting insights about Mancala Gaming’s work, but of course there is much more to come! We are working on some amazing game titles that will be released very soon, so in case your readers don’t want to miss any of them, please follow us on social media and be informed with all the latest news.
Here is a fun fact to share – almost 1/3 of all Mancala Gaming slots have female characters as one of the main game characters, including a rock diva, vampires, mermaid and a ghost!
Gina is a Senior Content Writer specialising in levelling the playing field when it comes to gender in online gaming. As the baby Chick of the team, she tries to come up with interesting and unique ideas. Loves the idea of writing about women for women. In her free time, she likes to read, spend time with friends and family, and think about bringing down the patriarchy.