Steve Sandbach Project Manager and Developer Vegas Calling This September, after a busy summer of work, Indiespring, a young digital agency based in the heart of Manchester, took a trip over to Las Vegas to visit one of their major clients, and let off some steam in the party capital of the world. Vegas is the biggest city in the world when it comes to gambling, so it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s home to Video Poker, a company who make internet games based around the classic card games you’d find in casinos. It’s probably also of no surprise that Video Poker is hugely successful, with its games being played in casinos all over the world, as well as its hometown. What may be a surprise is that their success has had a huge impact on a young start up agency, right here in Manchester. Rob Sandbach, founder of Indiespring, has worked with Video Poker since before he even founded his own company, working for them as a student on a free-lance basis eight years ago. When he did create Indiespring, operating from his spare bedroom five years ago, Video Poker became his first client, and the Vegas company remain one of their biggest clients to this day. Over that time, Indiespring have built 83 games for Video Poker, many of them on three separate platforms, using countless technologies. They’ve been developed for tablets, smartphones and, most challengingly of all, for the Video Poker website itself, using HTML5 technology available on all browsers. Now celebrating its 5th birthday, Indiespring now operates right from the heart of Manchester, from its new base on Deansgate, employing 14 members of staff and servicing about 15 to 20 clients at any one time. Their growth has been impressive, even to Rob Sandbach who decided to take all his staff over to Las Vegas this year to meet their clients, and enjoy themselves as a reward for their hard work over that time. September sees Video Poker attend the G2E Conference, a gathering of all the major players in the casino and gambling industry. CEO Rob Sandbach has flown out for the last 6 years to support Video Poker by helping to man their stand at the show itself. This year he had the whole team for company. The conference is impressive both in terms of scale and the ideas and products being pitched there. This year a virtual reality ‘Game of Thrones’ experience took centre stage, but there were plenty of other cutting edge and exciting ideas from the gaming world on show. Of course, for most of the team, the trip was a welcome change of pace after a busy summer. It was an incredible experience for the employees of a digital agency arguably still in it’s infancy. On the first night, despite traveling for over 24 hours by the time they arrived at the hotel, most of the team headed out to a Tiesto show in one of Las Vegas’ biggest clubs, Hakkassan. One great aspect of the trip was that the team finally got to meet the Video Poker team, who before September had been confined to chats and meetings online via Skype and Slack. The two teams enjoyed a night on the driving range, getting to know each other over a few drinks whilst practicing their swing and taking in the views of the Vegas skyline. The Indiespring team are now back in Manchester, and gearing up for another year of hard work, but their trip to Las Vegas is certainly not forgotten. It was a great inspiration for the team, and proof that those who work hard, certainly get to play hard too. Find out more about Indiespring’s great mobile app and HTML5 work here.