Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Vortex Attack upgrades to 1.2.2.

Hey we did it again!

We realized that the online score system would only work for 2015 so we were forced to update the game once again...

So we used it as an excuse to improve a few things. Yay!

- We added button tags. We were very surprised that not many people played the FREE TOURNAMENTS. Which is strange we as have very cool prizes and very enjoyable game modes. Maybe people didn't know about them as it didn't say anywhere the word "TOURNAMENT".

Judge by yourself, check the differences:

Here is how it used to look like:
 Version 1.2.0

This is how it looks like now:

 Version 1.2.2

- Gameplay: Sectors 2,3, 4 and 5 are more interesting to play now. Before they used to be, for some players, stages that they had to go through to get to the real fun game, for expert players they weren't much of a challenge.

We also made a small tweak in the power-ups system.

We updated some vortices graphics and some really tiny tweaks in player ships.

- Also we improved the RETRO MODE: It has been made more accessible and authentic.
First of all we added the retro mode button in the main menu, before you would have to go to options, making it pretty invisible to 99% of the people.

Retro mode in Vortex Attack changes the textures, transitions between stages, removes all modern hints and changes other effects.

It changes the feeling of the game but in reality, the game-play remains the same as the non-retro. So you can play and score for hi-scores or tournaments.

Take a look at one video I recorded while I was working on it.
It's a bit better now.

Beware! we will find a bug somewhere and we will end up upgrading again. Until then.... have happy blasting away all those minions and scoring high!


Thursday, 24 December 2015

[ES] Premios para Vortex Attack, La liga de los Vortices Extraordinarios (#VortexChampionship)

La liga Vortex Attack 2015,  acaba el dia 28 de Diciembre 2015 Pero ya tenemos casi ganador definitivo, pero posición 2a y 3a están aún por ver y puede estar muy entretenido de seguir hasta el final.

Haremos una pequeña charla con personas relacionadas con el juego o la liga y por suerte, Juanje se ha animado a ser el anfitrión del evento, por lo que lo haremos desde su canal y lo presentará él.

Además, conoce bien el juego ya que ha participado en el torneo y tiene algún que otro punto de clasificación. 
(Click para ir al evento)

Programa programado para:
30 Diciembre 2015 a las 23:00 horario español (GMT+1)

Podéis seguirnos y participar con preguntas o comentarios en DIRECTO desde el canal YOUTUBE de "Juanje Juega":

Más información: 
Clasificación del torneo:
Sigue el torneo en Twitter:
Descarga en Steam:
BLOG de JDJuanje:

Aqui va un divertido video de Vortex Attack jugado en japonés en una de las fases de la liga:

Un saludo a todos!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

World Championship Series 2015

World Championship series is about to start.

Tournament begins this week. It is free to enter: by just buying the game in Steam is enough.
We want this championship be the first of many. While there are many players playing them we will carry on organizing new tournaments.


Welcome to: The League of the Extraordinary Vortices.

What is Vortex Attack ?

Vortex Attack is an indie Arcade game that can get really frenetic and addictive. The game is based on the addictive old coin-ops that have eaten so many of our quarters. It started small but it has become a full grown arcade game with its own dedicated cabinet. It all feels very retro, but modern. We spent a very long time tweaking everything, and it's a lot of fun now.

Vortex Attack, after all, is more or less a spin-off Galaga with a lot of extras that modern technology allows us to implement today:
- Online scoreboards and achievements.
- 11 different types of ships with hundreds of power-up combinations.
- Thousands of sparkly particles in screen: great atmosphere!
- 3 Simultaneous players.
- More bullets-n-explosions than any game from back in the arcade days ever had.
- And more!

You can get it for PC-WINDOWS for only 5 bucks:
Game is for sale (15% off) here:  GREEN MAN GAMING .


The championship:

Since Vortex Attack has been designed specially for beating each-others hi-scores (like the old days). We have gone a step further and we have created the tournaments system where anybody can create a tournament with its own rules. With this, we are organizing now the first Vortex Attack World championship and everybody is invited to join it. Not bad for a one man band, Indie developer, right?


Prizes and sponsors:

This first series has already 9 sponsors* giving over 19 prizes distributed in 3 winners.
We are extremely grateful to all of them, they are really cool:

Kraken Empire:

Working on improving their first game Kromaia. When we discovered each other's game we were quite happy to see a 2D/3D abstract shooter. One of their ships is playable in Vortex Attack.

Tammeka is a studio based in Brighton (UK). They are currently developing their first cool title, Radial-G: Racing Revolved. A thrilling racing game that will have you competing on futuristic anti-gravity tracks against 16 other players. Available now with full VR support!

Fictiorama Studios:
Just released their latest title called: Dead Synchronicity: Tomorrow comes today. A shocking apocalyptic themed point and click game.

Rain Games:
Rain AS is a relatively young company, growing forth from a cooperative community of local artists and programmers. The are helping the championship with their game Teslagrad.

4 Bit Games

4Bit Games is a small independent developer on the western coast of Norway.They offered some help by giving away a copy of their first local multiplayer steam game (unreleased right now) Orbit.



Camiseta Total .com :

Online t-shirt's (and other customizables) shop. Happily they have offered to Sponsor the champsionship with sunglasses , mobile phone cover and t-shirt all based in Vortex Attack.



Online videogame related products shop with worldwide delivery. They are offering a cool USB Pixelated Gamepad. We want one too!


Spanish free independent blog & magazine that releases a printed paid copy about every year. They talk about the Retro Scene and with every new edition their Indie Section grows! Totally recommended if you can read Spanish.

They are giving away a printed copy (350 pages) of the latest edition (#10) for the top Spanish player as they only ship to Spain.


Do we have more?

We talking to mayor Indie and Arcade companies to give away big prizes for this or the following contests, if you know anyone that is interested please let us know.

Here it is a compiled simple list for the winners:

   Best player:

Second and third best players:

 Best Spanish player - Special category:

  • Retro Maniac (Spanish Retro Magazine). Magazine #10. - Only will be delivered to the top Spanish player to Spain. It's compatible with being the global top player.


The World Championship 2015 series will run from September to December.
Every month there will be a public tournament where players can score points, at the end of every month, table will be cleared and scores will be transferred to another table (check official site) where points will be added as the following.


Score table can be found HERE.


This championship has 4 stages: one per month and ends in December.
  • Stage 1 : 15th Sept - 6th October
  • Stage 2 : 8h October - 29th October
  • Stage 3 : 10th November - 30th November
  • Stage 4 : 5th December - 31th December


Winners, and claiming the award:

Only 3 first best players will get prizes:
When the last stage finishes, after adding the latest points to the League table.
We will proceed with the date verification and cheat checks. If all clear, we will publish the name of the winners in Twitter and winners will have to claim their prizes before the end of January 2016.

Note: Prizes will go down the list if the awards are unclaimed. So try to score as much as possible and never quit.


Official Championship site:

Follow it in twitter: #VortexChampionship

We hope see as many player as possible , if this proves successful we will aim for bigger contests!
Get the game from STEAM now.
And you, what are you waiting for?
Level is pretty low, take your chance while the game is not that known!

Good luck.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Goodbye iOS

I'm posting what I wrote originally in TouchArcade forums a couple of weeks ago:

This is why we quitted as iOS developer.

Hello guys,

Thanks for the feedback here, it was exciting improving Beekyr for you guys.
We fixed every one of the bugs people told us.

After 10 months we have some news:

Good news:
We have made a really crazy shmup called Vortex Attack. We really hope you like it. It's going to steam in a few days.

Bad news:
Sadly our iOS games are completely hidden between so many crappy apps plus ratings weren't that good: Apple iOS users weren't that keen on Beekyr despite being a pretty cool title.

Crazy enough, we released the same apps in Android, but they are doing very well!

All apps in Android have 4+ stars while iOS ratings are very poor, it doesn't make sense to us and we don't want to start analysing why but the apps are exactly the same. We just want to make entertaining games...
On top of that, we also have to pay for a yearly iOS 100USD license and we will be making a loss for sure. It's pointless spending more time and money with iOS.
  Also with every update we submitted was a total nightmare: provisional profiles failed sometimes. They worked after trying to compile several times (notice we kept pressing the compile button, and testing till worked, we weren't actually changing the code or settings... This, in the digital world, this doesn't make sense... We wasted too many days because this.
So, all of that ended to the point that was very clear: Apple style wasn't for us and we have to move away from iOS development, we are sorry, we don't have a choice. 
But hey, if you have a PC (and maybe OSX and Android) check our title, I think if you are into shmups you will REALLY like this one.
Since these forums are focused in iOS , we have to say goodbye,at least for a few years,

Nice to speak to all of your guys. Take care! 

But nobody answered... What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Designing the hi-scores panel

Today I am working in the hall of fame panel to store and display hi-scores for Vortex Attack

I always had in mind that Shmups showed quite a lot of information for their hi-scores. It's always nice to see how far you reached and what ship you used.

With a limit of 12 characters I think it should be enough space for players to leave their nicknames.
This is the best I have come up with so far:

I'm sure I will improve its visuals but this is the nicest I can do before It's fully functional.

Hope you like it!

Thursday, 29 January 2015

How did we get Vortex Attack rushed into an Early Access version for Steam's GreenLight and Desura

Hi all,

I first want to apologize for writing with my thumbs. After all, I am a developer making games. Writing articles is not my thing, but I feel I had to write this one.

I'm Jaime Dominguez and I lead Kaleidogames and I develop almost every aspect of our games.

Since October 2014, KaleidoGames has taken Vortex Attack to 4 fairs and the result of that was a rushed but effective evolution of the game.

The history goes:
Two weeks before the first fair, I was just being a brand new parent, looking after my son. I was working whenever possible developing this new title I started after finishing Beekyr. When suddenly my phone rang: I was being offered to participate on a stand at "Play4test" for a good price. I immediately said yes... displaying a game in a fair like that was a good thing, and it should increase the visibility of the game and company... I had to do it, no matter what… Vortex Attack was in the middle of refactoring/ debugging/ game design. But again it was worth it, indie careers depend on that kind of thing.

From that day stress raised ~400% and I had to come up with a playable standalone version in 10 days. This meant operating the game correctly without hacks or special buttons. In effect: a playable game demo.
In addition to that, in order to add more stress to my ultra-packed 28 hours days, I had to design posters, instructions screens (and print them) and business cards to send them to printers, pay in advance in the shop, tweak designs a couple of times more and expect good results from that. It was mental. I would say it's not very healthy...

The first fair, Madrid Games Week (Oct 2014), arrives:
Initially we had really poor hardware, faulty tablets that burned after being plugged a few hours. The tablets were new and didn't have any software installed. Bluetooth and USB didn't work, only WIFI.... with tethering from one of our mobile phones. So we had to connect to the cloud (using 3G) to download the builds I luckily uploaded to my personal space on the previous night.

We also had access to PCs but they were only good enough to play video, not video games. Luckily it was a day for press and professionals so the stand was not packed with people. I had a chance to experiment and swap hardware till I found a decent computer. I ended up using a PC that I found in a pile of broken computers. They broke after suffering many power cuts for a few hours, and Windows had enough of that and BOD was its new 'OS'. ... It was a difficult day fighting with hardware and the stand capabilities.

That night, at home, I was able to fix some bugs we found during the fair, and also optimized the game by reducing the level of detail. After all, not everybody has a gaming PC or tablet newer than 4 years.
The second day all went a lot better, game was playable only on PC, the tablets didn't really work. I had a stable playable version of the game on display and I was happy to see it played by strange people. It was the first public version and there was a lot of work to do: people struggled, they didn't know what to do. Vortex Attack is a shooter with a twist and not everybody got it. I had to tell them what to do (despite having a printed poster with instructions) almost every single time someone played.
During the following days I met new people with suggestions and comments about the game, I was able to make notes of all of them and consider what was worth working on after the fair.

That fair ended up alright. It was Vortex Attack's first fair and it survived.

In 2 Weeks there was the second fair: XX Salon Manga Barcelona (Oct 2014):
I worked on the menus and the gameplay instructions. Now, the game could operate without me.
I wasn't able to assist but apparently people played all day long. They enjoyed the game but it was maybe a little too easy. There was a bug that didn't make the game much more difficult, as a result of that there was this kid playing without rest for almost 2 hours.

He looks happy: the game was fun!

After that fair, I had a month to fix and improve.

I made the game a bit harder, also polished some bits and implemented the multiplayer mode. Which makes the game a lot more playable. Sharing a cool game with hundreds of explosions per minute with a friend in the same room is amazing.

The third fair: ParlaBytes (Nov 2014):
People reacted better to the game. Kids didn't see any 3D war machines in the game and weren't tempted to play, but after I invited them, they played and got completely addicted. After that it went smoothly, there were massive queues to play the game, Beekyr with OUYA was also pretty busy. I felt like a drug dealer next day when they were waiting at the door at opening time to run to my area to play more. I never thought I would have to invite them to stop playing every now and then*, as they were hogging the opportunities for new players. For me it was really great to see that attitude, I have no words to say how amazing I felt, it was like a dream come true: Making fun games where kids (and adults) want to keep playing!

Almost everybody asked when the game was going to be out for PC or Android. I kept saying it was still a long way to go but they insisted the game was just fine as it was. Not sure if they were excited with the rest of things in the fair, the contest or they were being rational.

Here are the videos of those people:
The stand in the fair

*The non stop playing kids

I decided to improve the Arcade mode (which is what they were playing). As they preferred playing multiplayer I had to improve it. I ended up adding some specific elements to improve local competition. After all, I make games for friendly competitions, I just love them. I also raised the difficulty level and added a very short playable tutorial.

From that moment, the game production took an unexpected turn. The arcade mode no longer was supposed to be a secondary thing and I focused on that mode, the rest (like the campaign and shop) would come later.

The fourth fair, RetroSevilla, (Dic 2014) arrived:
Vortex Attack had another set of very different people hooked into the game. People enjoyed the game a bit more.
Here are a couple of videos with a bit of gameplay:

Contest winner

Random players 

Some other suggestions were made and new addicts were generated.

I had enough to go on, the game was pretty good and it was still lacking all final bosses. I have to make them along with other enhancements (more enemy types, better in game menus, leaderboards and stats system) This means some more work on the game.

Is this needed? Not really, not for a quick casual game. But I'm trying to make a game that can last for a long time, not just a simple game that ends up forgotten after being played a couple of times. I am not making games to get paid by customers, I'm trying to have a legion of happy players!

The fairs were finished and I was able to reduce the work intensity. I started aiming to release first public version to show in GreenLight on February or March, and work more relaxed. But that mission didn't last long, a week later I had a revealing conversation with @ludipe (from Missing Translation). He told me that just had his game greenlit in a week. Then he showed me a graphic where the votes went right up after putting the game in a bundle. So in a way, the earlier I place the game in Greenlight, the better, I would have more chances to get selected by a bundle or press looking at my game. It's the only way.

First I had to record, edit and upload a good video teaser. I needed to work all day on that, no distractions. I was on the computer all day alone (about 14-16 hours) and I managed to make a attractive video in order to display what the game was all about. Screenshots are nice but a video has movement and music.

Vortex Attack teaser video

With this video, I felt confident creating the Greenlight page...

Let me show you what happened when I placed my game:

Vortex Attack reaches GreenLight:

First days, It had pretty good feedback 45% - 65%. It was all joy with about 800 votes in 4 days. Suddenly after that, the feedback and the votes, basically went away. That Greenlight page had no more activity, it was kaput... What, why, how? There wasn't much to do but write a Vortex Attack PressKit and send thousands of emails to the press. So I had to do it, but again while I was preparing it something unexpected happened: I got an email from someone from They saw a post in a forum in indieDB. They wanted to place Vortex in a bundle, perfect! That was the perfect way to get visibility. Not sure how this is going to work but it's worth a try. Specially after that chat with Ludipe.

Stress raised again! I had to place a version in Desura. I rushed to prepare it and upload it that night, I had 6 days left. I had to prepare all the images, texts, prices, luckily I had an almost prepared pressKit. I used that info.

I had to create a version that is like a Demo but with more features. These days are called "Early Access". This means I can publish my game as Alpha and people can pay for it. In a way is like crowdfunding but perhaps more reliable: the game is already there and it just needs a good update. 

So after the upload and pressing the "publish" button I had wait for desura to allow my game to be published. It wasn't happening for a few days, oh dear, the bundle was soon and it needed that Desura version. I contacted them personally and pushed the process a little bit. I didn't expect it to take over 5 days, but apparently now they are testing the games differently and they are not allowing badly developed games. They luckyly answered my email, published the game and told me that now games can take up to 3 weeks to be published. 

Today (29 January 2015), the game has been published in the Groupees bundle 18:

And here you can get Vortex Attack from Desura:
Vortex Attack: Arcade Edition

I am not seeking to sell my game in the bundle but visibility to sell it later as normal game. After all we hardly make much money from bundles (unless tens of thousands are sold)

Meanwhile, I'll keep on working on the game knowing that a few more thousand people will know about it. This is similar togoing to fairs, where visibilty is key.  If the game isn't choosen for Greenlight soon I will just finish it anyway and sell it in Desura, which can be a good system, but sales are low... This might change eventually.

I can all relax now... Or not? Well no, not really. This never ends.  

Please, consider voting for our games, they are the result of hard work! 

Please share!