Posted on April 23, 2018 at 1:25 PM UTC
Making IT is a monthly Question and Answer article featuring the people who make IT games possible. From game designers, to sound engineers, to programmers, each role is vital to the production and success of each slot Incredible Technologies produces. Players and customers see the polished, finished product, but rarely have a chance to peek behind the curtain and understand the people or the process that make their favorite games happen. Making IT is the spotlight on the creative minds that make IT games incredible.
Ralph Melgosa, Game Designer & Project Manager
Q: How long have you been at IT? In this role?
A: I was hired as an artist back in 1990. I started designing slots in 2012.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working at IT?
A: My favorite part is collaborating with some of the most talented programmers, mathematicians, artists, and sound people in the business.
Q: How did you get into Class III game design?
A: I was initially an arcade game designer, developing games such as SilverStrike Bowling, Target Toss Pro, and PowerPutt. These games were developed specifically for street locations such as sports bars and pubs. I eventually moved over to our casino division as we were looking to expand our gaming catalog.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for games?
A: I find inspiration in movies, games, and life experience. I’ll play games and look at what I think is fun. I then see how that translates to a generally wide audience.
Q: What’s a rough outline of your “creative process”?
A: I’ll usually start with an idea in my head or a collaboration with a mathematician. We try to develop some early math framework early in development. This helps us determine the feasibility and scope of the project. Once the math features are developed, I will then look at our marketing analysis to pick a theme and start creating some visual concepts for the artists.
Q: What comes first for you, generally; slot theme or feature idea?
A: Math and features always come first. It’s those two items that keep players in their seats. The theme and presentation bring the players to game initially, so this becomes equality important.
Q: What’s your favorite part of designing a game?
A: Imagining an idea and turning it into something that a player can see, touch, feel, and experience.
Q: Most memorable feedback (can be good or bad) you’ve ever received on a game?
A: SDGuy, from his Youtube channel, having fun on Big Prize Bubblegum.
Q: What was the inspiration for your studio name?
A: I was inspired by old comic books from my childhood. At times, there would be a “Super Special” issue. This meant the reader was going to be treated with something better than usually expected. I try to take this idea with everything I do. With this in mind, I embraced Super Special as my team name.
Q: Favorite game(s) you’ve worked on?
A: Big Prize Bubblegum, Crazy Money 2, Lady of the Dead, and Dueling Wilds.
Q: Something you wish slot players knew about slot machines in general?
A: Many players believe that there are ways for casinos to dynamically “tighten up” a particular slot while in play. This is farthest from the truth. The games are highly regulated.
Q: Did you play slot machines or gamble before you started working here?
A: Not really. My mind was focused on street location entertainment. I hit many local casinos when I started working on slots. I found myself really enjoying the games. There is a definite entertainment factor to them.
Q: Have you learned anything about the gaming industry that surprised you or struck you as interesting?
A: This industry is fun. People enjoy getting that rush when something good is about to happen.
Q: Did you ever think you’d be working in this industry or have this job?
A: I never imagined I would be in this industry. Now it consumes a big part of my day.
Q: What’s your dream slot machine? Maybe a theme or feature that wouldn’t appeal to anyone else, but you’d play the heck out of it. (No, one that only produces wins is not a valid answer.)
A: I don’t want to share this because I want to make it someday!