Exclusive Interview: Our Head of Games shines a light on our studio’s remarkable progress and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the thrilling new Slot release, Blazing Piranhas in the latest interview with OnlineCasinoGrounds
1. Who are you and what is your role in PearFiction Studios?
Greetings and thank you so much for inviting me, OnlineCasinoGrounds My name is Luc Parkinson and I’ve been in the iGaming industry for just over a decade, having started in the industry as a mathematician. Now, as the Head of Games at PearFiction Studios, I wear a lot of hats, but my main responsibilities are working on game designs, steering the global vision for games and managing our team of incredible Game Owners and Mathematicians.
2. How do you compare yourself to other gaming providers?
At PearFiction, we try to give each game a personality, a story that it can tell, and a mark that bears the PearFiction seal. The main thing we strive for in our games is to create a premium gameplay experience by combining humour, amazing artwork, depth of features, and exciting math models.
We are always thinking about the player experience and the road to the bonus. Our goal is to make that journey as varied and interesting as possible for players. The bonus is just one part of the game; players should be entertained throughout the gameplay.
3. We noticed that you have a lot of vacancies, are you growing rapidly and is it viable to maintain this growth?
Over the past year and a half, we have grown significantly. Our goal with this growth has always been to do it in a sustainable way and for us that means adding members to the team who will help us outdo ourselves with each game we produce. We are always looking to bring a new ‘WOW FACTOR ’to our players and our growth strategy has been key in our ability to deliver on this goal.
4. Can you tell us more about the roadmap of PearFiction since 2014?
PearFiction was founded in 2014, with a focus on developing casual mobile games for iOS and Android devices. We originally published around a dozen small to mid-sized casual games such as Blitz Racer, Blocks Quiz, Tiny Necromancer, Alien Road Rage, and later PowerUp SlotsTM.
Some of our most popular games were casino games and this encouraged us to make the switch to online casino games in mid-2016.
The following year, we signed The Smashing Biscuit as a licensed game with Microgaming at the time and Goblins Go Wild as a bespoke deal with a well-known operator. Games Global have since bought Microgaming’s IP, exclusive studios. These games and the exposure we received from their partnerships led to other bespoke game contracts from late 2018 to mid-2019.
Since then, we have signed an exclusive development agreement with Games Global. We couldn’t have asked for a better situation. As a result of the agreement, we have been able to focus on developing the best quality games we can while taking advantage of Games Global’s extensive distribution.
5. You switched from mobile/video games to casino games a few years back, could you shed some light on how difficult this switch was to you? And what is the biggest difference between these markets?
Making the switch over to casino games did present challenges, but given that we had already created some social casino games, we had a solid foundation to build on.
I think the biggest difference between these markets is the ‘how’ the approach to game design needs to be adapted for casino games. In game design, you always have the fundamental goal which is to create a connection with the player, and this applies no matter what kind of game you are making. However, with casino games, this connection is mediated not only by the game design itself but also by how the math model supports and influences the game design. For me, this added technical design layer presents new challenges but also incredible opportunities to connect with the player in exciting ways.
6. Now, we want to dive deeper into some of your amazing games. Blazing PiranhasTM is almost coming out. What was the inspiration when developing this game?
We are excited to announce that Blazing PiranhasTM launched on the 6th of June and is available to all Games Global customers. With Blazing PiranhasTM we took inspiration from 80’s B horror movies with their over-the-top situations and humour. Here the swimmers are the star of the show, but really, it’s all about the Piranhas!
Blazing PiranhasTM takes place on, what-seems-like a normal day at the beach for some happy-go-lucky swimmers during their spring break. But little do they know that a pack of flesh-eating Piranha lurks below the surface. When a Piranha Wild is next to one of the swimmers, the Piranha Wild will attack the beachgoers replacing them with a new wild symbol amidst a B Movie-inspired fight between the swimmer and the Piranhas.
Like in our earlier game Squealin ’Riches™, the LockNWin™ triggers when 6 or more LockNWin™ coins land on the reels in the base game. We have also upgraded the game mechanics with unlockable reels and a chance to trigger Jackpots with an incredible 5000x Mega Win. We have a new three-level Jackpot Wheel that triggers by collecting LockNWin™ coins and filling the Progress Bar in the base game. In the Free Spins the Piranha Frenzy really takes off. Landing three, four or five Free Spins symbols starts the Free Spins where we give the player the choice of the number of guaranteed Piranha wilds that will appear on each spin. These guaranteed wilds can create truly epic spins as the Piranha take over the screen and new wilds are added.
With Blazing Piranhas™ we wanted to bring the player back to the 80s with a colourful cast of characters and some incredible potential and we are sure players will be excited by what we have in store for them.
7. The design of your games looks slick, how many people are working on these games per average? Are you involved in the production of each game?
Thank you very much, we take pride in the look of our games, and we feel that our high production value approach has been one of the keys to our success.
When production on a game begins, an incredibly talented interdisciplinary team is tasked with breathing life into the story and bringing the game to life. This team consists of a Game Owner, Project Manager, Mathematician, Artist, Animator, Developer and QA. As Head of Games, I engage in every step of the way from idea through to delivery, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! For me, one of the things that keeps me going is the day-to-day effort involved in getting a game made. I love working with teams and collaborating with people to find innovative solutions in game design and development. This teamwork is key to raising the bar and bringing a new ‘WOW FACTOR ’with every new release.
8. Are you planning games ahead or is it more of a creative process? So, is there a timeline for the publication of games?
I would say it’s the best of both worlds. We plan the games that we want to create but we are flexible and pivot on a dime if we believe it will help the game and benefit the player. The timeline for a game will depend on mechanics and other production variables, but delivering on schedule is something that we value and take into consideration with every decision we make.
9. How do you choose what kind of features to include in a slot? For example, when do you choose for multiplying wilds or sticky wilds? And when for a free spins feature, etc.
We play online games, mobile games, land-based games, as well as console games. We are constantly playing, seeing trends, discovering new games, and exploring the potential of new mechanics. So much to love and experiment with! It’s our passion, this is what makes us tick and one of the reasons why our industry is so amazing.
When choosing a mechanic, it needs to support the global vision we are trying to achieve with the game. That could mean Free Spins is the right choice, but we always evaluate what mechanics are best for the game and the player through the lens of what we want to achieve. As I said before, we want our games to tell a story and we want the mechanics to feel like they have a narrative purpose in that story. When we choose a mechanic it’s a balancing act of what the market is asking for, does it support our objectives, will it advance the story and, most importantly, what will be the best for the players ’enjoyment of the game.
Thank you for reading! 🔞 | gamcare.org.uk | begambleaware.org