Interview With Farhad Ahmadzai, VP of Engineering at Crazy Tooth Studio

Smaller online casino games developing studios are often known for their unique and flexible approaches that big companies usually lack. Crazy Tooth Studio is one of those online casino games providers that make non-boring and refreshing games for real money play! Learn more about them in this Q&A.

Interview With Farhad Ahmadzai, VP of Engineering at Crazy Tooth Studio
7 min read

About Crazy Tooth Studio

Crazy Tooth Studio was founded back in 2011, so it is not a new company at all. However, the reason why many online casinos and gamblers started to find out about it comparatively recently is because at first, it was focused on games for land based casinos. 

Crazy Tooth Studio came to life when Ben Hoffman, a former IGT designer, decided to make his own games developing studio, to pursue his own vision and opportunities in the online casino gambling niche. He felt that a smaller company with a talented team would be able to hop on new trends, and develop innovations way faster than those big and serious companies. 

The talented team was soon created, and at first, Crazy Tooth Studio decided to work with casino games for land based gambling houses, despite the fact that Ben had already had huge experience in the online gambling sub niche. However, such focus was understandable, since back in 2011, land based casino houses were still more popular, more reliable, and also way more legitimate than much of the real money gambling in the web. 

However, a few years ago, the team decided to transfer its experiences and vision to the iGaming niche, and with impressive success, as we can see today. Microgaming became one of the most supportive partners for the Crazy Tooth Studio on this path, and in 2019, Crazy Tooth became an official supplying partner for Microgaming. This collaboration allows the software provider to adopt new technologies faster, and also reach new regulated markets more effectively. Crazy Tooth Studio’s motto is “Quality Always Wins”, and the company’s products prove that this motto is working for them. 

In a new CasinosHunter Q&A with Farhad Ahmadzai, the Vice President of Engineering at Crazy Tooth Studio, you can find out more about the studio, its games, and its creative processes!

About Farhad Ahmadzai - Vice President of Engineering

I started with Crazy Tooth Studio® in 2012. Prior to this, I worked in the traditional land-based slot machine market for 6 years. I have worked on numerous Crazy Tooth Studio® games in various capacities, from support to primary engineering.  A couple games that I have been the primary engineer on are Diamond Force™ and Rhino Rilla Rex™.

My favourite slot game is our newest release, Lucky Clucks™. From the art style, sound design, and quick pace in play, this game really struck a chord with me.  The increasing Mother Hen Prize really gives you something to shoot for and the BIG BuildUp™ Feature with the chickens laying eggs that award wilds and multipliers is always an exciting way to increase your wins.

Q/A Session With Farhad Ahmadzai, Vice President of Engineering at Crazy Tooth Studio

Hello and thank you for finding time to take part in our Q&A! To begin with, could you please tell our readers more about yourself, your background, and your work at Crazy Tooth Studio? 

Hello! My name is Farhad Ahmadzai and I am the Vice President of Engineering at Crazy Tooth Studio®.  I started here in 2012 and prior to that I worked on land-based slot machines at International Game Technology (IGT). I have a mechanical engineering background with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences.  At Crazy Tooth Studio®, I help manage integration of our games into various platforms and provide engineering support and full development for a variety of our games.

What do you believe is the main advantage of Crazy Tooth Studio compared to competitors? 

There are quite a few things that set Crazy Tooth Studio® apart. The first is our ability to innovate. We constantly strive to add a new twist or mechanic to a game that is both unique and easily understandable.

Second, unlike other studios, the game engineer is also responsible for developing the math model.  This gives us a very unique position where the engineer can tweak the math to give the game just the right feeling.

This also allows us to iterate on the math much further in development of the game. Lastly, all of our development is a collaborative process. While not every person works on each game, all disciplines (art, animation, engineering, sound, etc) play the game and provide feedback and suggestions in regard to every aspect of the game.  This happens at various points and helps ensure that our games have the best chance of success.

Can you name three already released slots by Crazy Tooth which you think were the most successful?

Three Crazy Tooth Studio® games that have been the most successful are Lucky Clucks™, Aureus™, and 777 Mega Deluxe™. 

What do you think are three the most important things about a good slot game? 

I think the three most important aspects of a good slot game are player comprehension, volatility, and overall presentation.

With player comprehension I mean the ability for a new or novice player to pick up the game and understand how symbols are paying, the win strategy, and what triggers the features and bonus - all within a few spins.

With volatility I mean the ability for the player to feel that at any moment a big win can be around the corner.  If the game is winning too often at too low of a value, then the player may feel like the game just sprinkles tiny wins out all the time and that there are no big wins.  Alternatively, if a game isn’t paying often enough with decent sized wins then a player may feel that the wins in the game are too sparse.

The sweet spot is a math model that gives the player good sized wins often enough to lead the player to the next big win.  Lastly with the overall presentation I am talking about a mixture of the art style, sound, responsiveness of a game.  If a game is lacking any of these it can really have a negative impact with the player.

How much time does it take to make a new game at Crazy Tooth, from idea to release? How is the creative process organized? 

A typical Crazy Tooth Studio® game takes about 7 to 8 months to create, from concept to release.  It starts with a brainstorm meeting where all disciplines try to come up with ideas for a game.  This process looks at current market trends and potential shortcomings in our existing lineup. Usually a combination of these ideas is distilled down to its best form and then the art department starts sketches for a theme. Meanwhile the engineer begins working on a math model and starts prototyping a game. Eventually the art, engineering and sound departments implement the idea. Once game flow and math are finalized then extensive testing occurs. Once the testing completes, the game is submitted to regulatory agencies and marketed towards operators. After about 3 months of marketing the game is released. 

What is the biggest possible win in your games? Have there been any impressive wins already, and if yes, which slot was it?

Our game with the largest win is Seven 7s™ with a 25,000x your bet win – which has been won by a few players.

A few of our other games with substantial wins are Lucky Clucks™, Rhino Rilla Rex™, and Diamond Force™.

Can you please tell us more about the Incisor development platform?

Incisor™ is a new software development platform that utilizes everything we have learned so far in our online and land-based games.  It is a one stop shop for engineering, art, and animation that provides an easy way to collaborate between multiple disciplines in a fast, scalable environment whose applications go far beyond just the slot gaming market.  More information will be coming soon!

There are three new game releases announced on your website - Lucky Clucks, Golden Hook, and Rhino Rilla Rex. What are the best features in these games, and why gamblers should really check these slots out?

Lucky Clucks™ has a very unique art style and math model.  It is a Big BuildUp™ game where chickens lay eggs and award wilds and multipliers. You can also win the Mother Hen Prize during the feature and can get up to nine bonus spins during the Raise the Roof™ Bonus.  This game allows for a variety of different ways for the player to win!

Golden Hook™ takes a concept that most people are familiar with – fishing – and turns it into a slot game where you can win in a very understandable manner.  Hook a fish to start winning, try to reel in the fish to increase your potential win, collect the fish to capture the win.  This is all done in a way that is simultaneously unique and instantly familiar.

Rhino Rilla Rex™ answers the age-old question of, “What would you get if you combined a Rhinoceros, a Gorilla, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex?” and uses the Team-Up Reels™ feature. Anytime you land 3 or more full creature symbols, you trigger either a feature or bonus.  This really increases the frequency that you can trigger events.  It also has 4 Creature Awards that increment every time you land a full stacked symbol.

Being a US based studio, what is your perspective about the online gambling industry? 

Online gaming is a very exciting space for us to be a part of!  Since people can play at various locations and aren’t limited to a land-based casino, it really increases your player base. This also lets us try more varied games since the chances are greater that there is a player out there who would enjoy it. We are really excited to be a part of this growing market!

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