OCR Interview with Anwar Uzbekov of Gamebeat StudiosPublished March 13, 2023 by Shane
Join us as we sit down with Anwar Uzbekov of Gamebeat Studio to discuss his love for anime, online slots, and game development. We also discuss how the company creates new titles and allows team input to ensure the best player experience.
We were fortunate to grab some time with Anwar Uzbekov, the Head of Product for the multi-discipline casino software developer, GameBeat Studios. Join us as we delve into the content development side of their business to learn more about game design, player engagement, their hottest slots and any upcoming new developments!
Online Casino Reports: Hello, Anwar! Tell us a little about yourself and your path to Gamebeat — where did you start, and what are you doing now?
Anwar Uzbekov: Hello! Thanks for the opportunity to talk to you. I was fortunate enough to join the team close to the launch of the business. My first role was as Product Owner, which involved organising workflow systems and processes in the group.
I was so intrigued by the industry and what Gamebeat Studio was looking to create that I found myself diving even deeper into the other sides of the business, to the point where even my downtime was spent reviewing competitors and their slots and generally learning more about the iGaming industry.
A year and a half later, we had a vacancy for a Game Designer, and the position immediately appealed to me. Finding an experienced game designer in our field is difficult, so I proposed my candidacy to the leadership team and received their approval and support. I was then performing the duties of a game producer and leveraged the managerial skills I acquired during my year at Gamebeat in a new way.
Most recently, I was promoted to Head of Product, which I am pleased about — it motivates me to improve our product every day and create something cool for the players to enjoy.
OCR: Can you tell us what your typical working day looks like? What do you do?
AU: Sometimes, when you work with a product, you do almost everything (Anwar laughs at this, clearly remembering long days and nights on critical projects). Engagement is exceptionally high! You invent, implement, and control processes. Art, animation, sounds, programming, testing, mathematics — I participate in all these processes and work closely with the team members. As a Head of Product, I share my vision, supervise and provide feedback. Based on the project's needs, I am also responsible for directing the outputs of the various team and optimising how company resources are deployed.
We do not work according to a ready-made template. On the contrary, together with the team, we find what suits Gamebeat as a studio and our loyal player base and create that new thing.
OCR: Straight to the point — your latest Buffalo Dale slot has been available to players for over a month. How did you develop it, and how did the audience receive it?
AU: The release of Buffalo Dale was a test for us. We had to set up many processes from scratch because the development of the slot machine coincided with our switching to a new game development engine. The old coding shortcuts and dev exploits we relied on to keep up our production schedule were removed, and the team simply doubled down and got the game out on time through sheer force of will and determination.
Thankfully the results speak for themselves. According to sales results and marketing feedback, the players loved the slot — we hear and see enthusiastic reviews about how the level of our games has risen, especially the visuals. While we love the feedback, we have chosen to use it as a challenge – for us, there are no limits to perfection, so we will strive to do better with each new release!
Buffalo Dale was a watershed release for our team. We were reminded that we should never become complacent and that there are always new directions to pursue and processes that can be modernised.
OCR: What makes Buffalo Dale unique, and why should players play it?
AU: Buffalo Dale is one of the video slots that offer incredible visuals, engaging mechanics and very player-friendly mathematics with a maximum payout of up to 7680x bet. The game was a real test of the team as we tried something new in terms of mechanics, namely the Grandways feature. And the players like the theme — Buffalo is very revered among gamblers.
We may develop even more games with similar themes in the future, but we will keep striving to improve the visuals and create even more exciting mechanics.
OCR: In general, you have a pretty impressive portfolio. Can you name your three favourite slots and why?
AU: That is easy. These three games embody the passion and spirit of what Gamebeat is all about as a development studio:
- Fortune Five Double is my absolute favourite! A unique game that was created in a rush of "Let's try to do this?" with the team responding with a resounding "Why not!" And it turned out incredible. The indicators show that the players are also delighted with it as it is one of our most popular titles worldwide.
- Sea Secret is one of the team’s favourites. Everyone on the project put in so much care and attention to detail as they created this underwater wonderland. The setting and characters were hand-painted, and the overall impact was stunning.We added a cute backstory explaining why a mermaid would want to earn money and how reaching the grand jackpot helps her friends, but you will have to play the game yourself to find out more. (He gives a playful wink and laughs out loud at this tongue-in-cheek “sales pitch”.)
- My third favourite is our upcoming novelty release – I wish I could share everything that excites me about it, but it’s still a secret for now!What I can share is that we did not borrow an existing idea. Instead, we created a completely new and unique experience. We believe this sweet gaming treat will be like "candy" to our fans. Stay tuned for more on this release.
OCR: Tell us about the studio's challenges when creating a slot and how you deal with them.
AU: Gamedev is fun but can be sooooo complex. One of our ongoing challenges is synchronising teams based around the globe. While everyone is on the same page regarding the output, factors like time zones and global politics have an impact. We conquer these challenges by creating a "single thread", and everyone adds their particular skill to bind it together.
We view the entire development process as a team effort, which each person having the right to speak about the current action items. A programmer’s opinions on symbol design are as valuable as those of the CEO. We allow this because we want everyone to feel that the end product is the best game we could have made for our players.
We have also found that being able to compromise in some moments and stand firm in others is a learning process. As the team has more practice, our games become even better.
As with any company achieving our levels of success, we are growing fast. This growth does come with challenges as new protocols, systems and workflows are optimised or implemented for the first time.
Human beings tend to resist anything that strays from the established path, but we have a superhero team who has learnt to thrive on change.
Thanks to the company’s open door and inclusive policies, everyone can address these challenges and voice their ideas, ultimately making Gamebeat a stronger player in the market.
OCR: What makes Gamebeat slots different from other providers' products?
AU: Visual, fast loading speed and enticing mechanics! As for the latter, we are actively moving towards the development of unique mechanics. The introduction of the new gaming engine I mentioned before is spearheading our newfound developmental freedom. As the team uncovers new and innovative ways to use the tools at their disposal, we will create better and more engaging online gaming experiences.
OCR: What are your goals and plans for the coming year?
AU: One of the global goals is to create a large metaverse in which all our games and characters live. We aim to transform our games into a series with captivating stories, plot twists, and humour. This way, each new release will advance the narrative and keep players excited for the next chapter!
OCR: When will the new release come out, and what will it be about?
AU: The release is planned for early March; believe me, it will be incredible. To tease you further, I will “leak” that players will experience a cool Oriental setting and experience mechanics that synergise with the environments. Stylistically, the game's visuals are a massive departure from what you know from us; consider it an off-ramp to a new meta-level of gaming. Hopefully, this piques your interest even more!
OCR: Have you watched movies/series about gambling? What is your favourite?
AU: I advise everyone to watch the anime "Crazy gambling". I'm still that anime lover, and when I saw what was happening in this series, I was utterly shocked but in a pleasant way—it is an interesting story about Japanese gambling with references to culture and super crazy mechanics.
OCR: What would you like to wish to the guys who are just entering the gambling arena and want to work in this area?
AU: I have long followed a simple but essential life mantra: do everything with love. I believe, and our results agree, that players feel your true intentions; when you are passionate about a project and give it your all, they respond in kind!
We want to thank Anwar for spending time with us and giving an incredible insight into his passion for the industry and how the Gamebeat team works to create their fantastic casino games. Stay tuned to our news feed as we will bring you more on their releases, including the novelty title he teased.
Visit Gamebeat Studio website for more details