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Art for Art’s Sake

Dan Whelan • Game Designer and Art Director, Incredible Technologies

Art for Art’s Sake

From the time he was a child, Dan Whelan had a gift for art, possessing a natural eye for design. But this natural-born artistic talent was not his unique quality.

The other? Drive. And playing center for the University of Nebraska at Kearney football team honed his competitive drive as well as his passion for succeeding in a team environment.

That kind of team-focused success is exactly what he continues to enjoy in his senior management position at Incredible Technologies, which started 31 years ago as a modest video game company known for its Golden Tee Golf game played in bars nationwide, and has since branched into slot games.

According to his peers, Whelan is the definition of hard work. He started at Incredible Technologies 15 years ago under the guidance of owners Elaine Hodgson and Richard Ditton, executive vice president of Incredible Technologies.

“Elaine and Richard have created a trust-based encouragement that rewards creativity, personal development and measured risks,” Whelan says. His ascension through the company from project manager to art director has proven to be mutually beneficial.

Whelan has been the lead game designer on some of IT’s strongest-performing products, including Leonidas, Fired Up, The Herd, and most recently, Crazy Money Deluxe. In his current role, he leads the entire art department at IT and provides mentorship and guidance to young artists.

In one of his most notable accomplishments, Whelan designed a very successful video slot game in 2012 called The Herd with his Heavyweight Studio team (a subsidiary of Incredible Technologies), gaining IT and Heavyweight Studio their well-deserved recognition. From this success was born the Spartan-themed video slot game Leonidas in 2013, which turned into a mega-hit and went on to achieve more than 1 million YouTube uploads from enthusiastic players who continue to post positive feedback about it to this day.

Subsequently, he designed the video slot game Crazy Money Deluxe released recently. The game is IT’s first participation game, and is a runaway hit.

Whelan is motivated to build upon the growing success Incredible Technologies has created in the video slot industry for years to come.

“Dan and Incredible Technologies are a strong fit, and the company is looking forward to his continued success,” says Ditton. “In the next three to five years, he will continue to grow as a game designer, creating innovative titles. We look forward to his continued leadership by example and desire to foster the next generation of talent in the industry. He is truly an emerging leader.”

David Rittvo is the principal at Tailored Hospitality Advisors. Tailored Hospitality Advisors (THA) specializes in pre-development services, master planning, strategic partner identification, and government relation strategies focusing on the gaming and hospitality sectors. With over 15 years’ experience and more than $2 billion in investment and development decisions, THA has amassed expertise from growth needs for small businesses to managing large-scale hospitality development projects for multi-billion dollar companies. THA is currently advising clients in the Texas market. THA takes pride in building authentic relationships while offering tailored solutions for each one of our client partners.