We had the pleasure to sit down with Mike Collins, Game Product Owner at Thunderkick, which is one of our favourite game studios.
Thunderkick is an exciting slot provider that creates entertaining games for online casino players worldwide.
Some of their most famous titles include Flame Busters, Pink Elephants, Shifting Seas, and many more.
The slot developer is known for their outstanding graphics, realistic sounds, and grand one-of-a-kind bonus rounds.
We got to ask Michael about Thunderkicks brainstorming sessions, their plans for sequels, and the thought process regarding their exciting upcoming release, Zap Attack.
This and much more is what you can expect from this interview.
Let’s jump right into it.
CasinoWizard: Thunderkick has created some iconic slots over the years. Some of our favourites include games like Pink Elephants, Riders of the Storm, Flamebusters, and Shifting Seas. Which are your most-liked Thunderkick games?
Mike Collins, Game Product Owner, Thunderkick: What a difficult question to answer, there’s so many! You might laugh but for purely nostalgic reasons, my favourite Thunderkick game is ‘Zoom’. It’s a classic. The sound and gameplay are perfectly matched for some hypnotic, low-volatile action. Of the more recent games – and I won’t choose the same as you – then I lean towards choosing ‘Gods of Rock’ and ‘Odin’s Gamble’.
CasinoWizard: Thunderkick is well-known for being bold in experimenting with different themes and features on their slots. How does this process work at Thunderkick? Are the brainstorming sessions held in the office or at the local pub, and do you have a dedicated team of creative minds that come up with these innovative games?
Mike Collins: Honestly, a little bit of everything. We have an amazing culture here at Thunderkick, where that crazy spark of inspiration can begin from anywhere. Then, we have a bunch of experienced and talented colleagues who can transform that idea from a piece of paper (or coaster) into something we can see and hear. The main aspect is finding something we feel is going to be fun.
CasinoWizard: On September 13, 2023, you will release Zap Attack (which we really enjoyed testing). Can you discuss the thought process for this game and give us some insight into what you wanted to achieve with this theme?
Mike Collins: Great to know that you’re enjoying ‘Zap Attack’ – that means a lot! As with any game, it’s important to marry the theme that makes sense with the features. For Zap Attack specifically we needed a theme that communicates clearly symbols transforming into another, and a symbol that expands. The narrative of a green alien coming to earth felt interesting, and a new spin on space/alien themes.
CasinoWizard: You have released some great sequels, including Pink Elephants 2 and Esqueleto Explosivo 2, but when will we see Flame Busters 2 and Riders of the Storm 2?
Mike Collins: Sequels are exciting but can be tricky. It’s a fine balance of not changing too much to alienate what made the original fun, nor changing too little as to not offer a fresh experience. Although we don’t have plans for those specific sequels right now, if we stumble across a cool idea, we will explore it. Having said that, there are other games that we’d like to make sequels of. Keep an eye out for those!
CasinoWizard: Some game studios release up to 1 slot per week, while Thunderkick keeps a more calm pace of around one game per month. What´s the reasoning behind this, and do you think there are too many new releases overall at the moment?
Mike Collins: Can totally see reasoning behind releasing a game a week; there’s opportunity to explore new themes and innovation. As a slot player, it’s nice to have variety and options. For us though, the calm pace is very much intentional. We love doing our own thing! By continuing to deliver a kick-ass product and caring about our people and customers and players, we’re staying true to ourselves.
CasinoWizard: Can you tell us a bit about how a slot is created from the idea to launch at Thunderkick and the approximate timeline? Do you have several slots in the pipeline simultaneously?
Mike Collins: We’re constantly working on games. Some games are just ideas jotted down on a piece of digital paper that need more thought, some are more developed in prototype form. The games we choose to make go through a development process, which averages around 7-9 months depending on the complexity of the project. The pipeline of upcoming games is really exciting, I can tell you that!