Start-Up Spotlight: Vortex Games

Start-Up Spotlight: Vortex Games
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

January 13th 2011 at 3:00PM

Vortex make their gaming debut with new iPhone and Facebook games

Vortex Games have been around for just under a year.

The company, based in California, was founded by president and CEO Richard Yale, who also handles most of the game direction. Vortex is still feeling their way into the market, and the iPhone and Facebook projects they’ve been working on should be ready in the first quarter of this year.

Yale told us what they’ve been up to and why they chose to join the casual gaming race.

How did you start your company?
From my earliest memories I can remember playing video games and later computer games. Gaming has been my passion and it was a dream of mine to work in the game industry. The time and money presented itself to me, I conferred with a few people and then created Vortex Games, Inc. It took a bit of time and paperwork, but it wasn’t too hard.

How many people work at your company?
At the moment we have about 15 contractors working for Vortex Games, and it is my hope that we will get an investment soon to be able to hire people on part-time and full-time.

What’s your company culture like?
We have a lot of fun and interesting people working for us. Everyone has a story and I try to get to know each and every person personally. I don’t like the “this is your task, just do it” kind of mentality. We are looking for people with a passion for what they do, not just for people who do work. The plan when we have an office is to have a very relaxed atmosphere with gym equipment and lots of company events. I want everyone who works for us to be happy and healthy.

Tell us a little-known fact or anecdote about your company.
This is a tough one because we are a new company and don’t really have an office where all of the good stories happen from. I guess a little-known fact, though I’ve put this in my blogs, is that our company is funded completely by my full-time job as head of technology for a supplements company.

What could you, and/or your team members, not do without on a daily basis?
Besides oxygen? Honestly, I rely on them probably more than they rely on me. They are the ones creating the physical games from the ideas in my head. They are amazing people and I couldn’t do it without them.

Why did you decide to enter the casual gaming market?
The money, of course! I mean that in multiple ways. The first is that trying to make a game for the consoles or PC distribution costs a lot of money whereas the casual gaming market costs much less to produce. The second is that the casual gaming market is very new and there is a lot of money to be made still. We are looking to release a lot of new and unique games in the hopes that they become popular and make us money so that we can make more great games for our fans.

What are you working on right now, and what stage is the project at?
We are working on releasing our first iPhone game, Disoriented, at the end of January 2011. Everyone who has seen it or read/heard about the concept really seems to like it. We are actually currently looking for play and bug testers. If anyone is interested they can visit our site or blog for more information.

Also, we are working with some ex-Glu employees on releasing a game they created after they were laid off for Facebook. It should be a lot of fun to play.

What are your aspirations for the company?
The goal for the next year is to get into an office, find an investor, and start working on our biggest game idea, Adventurers Wanted. If the games we are releasing in the beginning part of 2011 are popular enough then we may not need an investor. That is the dream of all indie companies, right?

Who do you admire in the games industry and/or beyond?
The thing that I admire most is that the games industry rewards innovation. Games can have amazing graphics and be all sparkly and nice looking but that doesn’t mean they will be successful. The best part about the indie community is that there are people with tons of new ideas that are just waiting to get their turn in the spotlight.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your company?
Even though Vortex Games, Inc. is a corporation, we are still just starting up. This means that we do need the support of the people who think that we have what it takes to make fun and interesting games. Please support us by adding us on Facebook, Twitter and visit our website for more.

Want to be featured in our Start-Up Spotlight? Contact Aaron.Lee@intentmedia.co.uk with details of your company to be considered for inclusion.