We are very happy to announce that our new mobile game Illumination will be released this year on Friday 20th December!
What is Ilumination?
Illumination is our next game available on iOS and Android. The aim of the game is to construct electrical circuits with wires and various logic gates to illuminate the correct bulb. At first, the levels are easy – but the difficulty rises quickly, teaching the fundamentals of boolean circuits.
July and August saw our anniversary and our first Annual General Meeting, in which we made lots of changes to the company. Due to many people being on holiday around the world, not much progress was made on games, but hopefully we’ll be able to continue to develop them in the coming months.
Our First Birthday
The 14th August 2019 marked the end of the first year since our company was incorporated out of the three planned years of producing games. We made a blog post about it here, summarising all our significant events that have taken place so far.
Annual General Meeting
Following our birthday, we had our first Annual General Meeting on the 3rd September. Most of the changes that we made regarded company structure, but one of the key points was that although we spent over 250 hours on game development last year, we decided to allocate more time on this this year to really accelerate our game production.
Owen decided to leave Vanadium Games so he could focus more on his school work, with GCSEs looming up at the end of this year for all members of our team. Max and Harry also wanted to dedicate more time outside of creating games, so this year they will have less of a role to play in our projects.
We also invited a new member, Timmy, who will be one of our Creative Officers. He joined with the main role of writing storylines and coming up with ideas, so everyone else can spend a bigger focus on art, music and programming.
Josh and Morgan are continuing with developing the majority of our games in their spare time, along with Timmy.
We also decided to change the company titles to better reflect what we do, and they are as follows:
- Chief Executive Officer – Michael
- Chief Technological Officer – Joshua
- Chief Marketing & Human Resources Officer – Morgan
- Hardware Systems Officer – Max
- Creative Officer – Harry
- Creative Officer – Timmy
This won’t make a huge difference on the game development side, however it has allowed us to review the roles of each member of our team and make it clearer about who does what.
Illumination & Kedian Interspace have been slowly improving over the last two months. Most of the programming has been completed, and now it’s mainly the art and music that needs the most work. We have also begun work on Trolley Dash again and will be now using this as a training project so that Morgan can learn how to use our game engine, Unity, more effectively.
We hope to release Illumination on iOS and Android on 1 December 2019, before the start of the Christmas summer holidays. The 2-3 months until then will allow us to redesign our UI and artwork with plenty of time to have everything beta-tested.
In regards to Kedian Interspace, this is going to be a project which is likely to take a long time to produce. The artwork, music and storyline required to produce is a significant amount, and with everyone developing these in their free time, this may take a while to do. We haven’t got any release date or deadline yet until the majority of these are done, but it isn’t likely to be released anytime soon.
The development of Trolley Dash has been started again by Morgan, but this time, Joshua will be helping him monthly with the programming. We hope that this will mean that Morgan will be able to develop more ambitious projects in the future, both by himself and with the whole team. Again, we haven’t got a release date for this, but we won’t think it will be completed within the near future.
Due to everyone being quite busy, our social media accounts haven’t been posting recently. This year, though, Morgan is going to take a lead in keeping these active and keeping everyone updated with our activities.
If you aren’t already following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, follow us to get our latest updates. You can also join our mailing list to receive these bimonthly newsletters and other blog posts in your inbox, as well joining our Discord server.
That’s it for this newsletter! See you in two months…
The 14th August 2019 marked the first anniversary of Vanadium Games Ltd. Our company was incorporated last year, in 2018, and we have come a long way since then.
From releasing The Stacks on mobile to attending events such as Coolest Projects UK, our first year has been very productive.
Here are some of the key events that have taken place this year:
A Learning Journey
Throughout our first year, we have learnt many things and improved on our mistakes. We found motivation to be a hard factor to overcome, as well as the sheer amount of time making games takes – especially when also having to revise for various exams and school tests.
We found that we had to discard a couple of our games such as Tapping Tournament and Trolley Dash due to inadequate planning or a too complicated idea. This led us to put a lot more effort and work into the critical planning stage, so we didn’t end up spending too much time on games which would never make it into the beta stage.
Nevertheless, all of us at Vanadium Games have also improved various skills including teamwork, communication and time management, all of which are important in day to day life.
As you can see from our timeline, we have been working on games Kedian Interspace and Illumination for a while now. We hope to continue to develop these and hopefully release them soon.
The past two months have gone by quick! With exams for everyone in our team, we have been very busy. Despite this, lots of work has been made on our game Kedian Interspace…
We have been focusing on the game mechanics and programming, with these nearly being completed. Now the aim is to develop our artwork, sound effects and music to a high standard, after which the game will be released in a public beta.
We are hoping to release this beta in the next month or so. Our original release date was the 14th August, our company’s first birthday, but this may need to be delayed due to other commitments of all the developers.
Our other game Illumination has also been coming along well. This is a simpler game than Kedian Interspace, which some of us are working on at the same time. The public beta and release dates are looking the same though, with us hoping to release the beta within a month.
As part of our vigorous testing scheme, once we have ironed out all the bugs we can, we release the games as public betas. This means that anyone, including you, can download the game early and help us in the game development process by bringing any broken features to our attention.
Once these betas are released, we’ll post another blog post, but if you would like to get involved, you can join the Vanadium Games Testing Programme by clicking here. This is the same testing program as we used for The Stacks, so if you already enrolled then, you won’t need to again.
More about the Team
All in all, the two months of May and June haven’t seen much progress. However, many things have been being developed in the background between our other commitments. Once we start finalising our art and music, we will be able to post these on our various social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, so follow these to keep updated.
See you next time!
In our second bimonthly newsletter, we cover the events of March and April. We underwent changes for our team and logo whilst also making significant progress on our games. We additionally attended an event at the beginning of March where we showcased The Stacks…
In April, another person joined the team – Owen. He’s been doing lots of work for the art of Kedian Interspace and has fitted into the group well.
Harry has temporarily left us as he has been very busy with other projects, but he will join again soon once he has a bit more free time.
We have also started a blog series where each member of the team introduces themselves. There is currently only one out for Josh, but other people will be releasing theirs soon.
We decided to create a new logo as we felt that our old one didn’t resemble us well. Morgan took the lead on the task, and we went through several versions before we finished on one that we all agreed on.
We eventually decided on one with a cog – representing game development – and two electrons, representing the element Vanadium.
Coolest Projects UK
The start of March saw us travelling to Manchester for an event called Coolest Projects UK. This was a convention of young people showcasing what they had made with technology, and we had many visitors to our stand.
This was a brilliant opportunity to gain new players of The Stacks. We printed leaflets and produced a slide-show narrating the story of its development.
We also met new people and were inspired by other projects. Whilst we didn’t read the prize for the ‘Coolest Project’, it was still a great and unforgettable experience.
Our game Kedian Interspace has had significant progress – we have been creating many sprites and developing game mechanics. On the 15th April, Josh and Morgan met up for the whole day to decide some key parts of Kedian Interspace such as the style of all the art and turret design.
We have also begun work on a new game called Illumination. It aims to be a minimalistic and simple game where the player has to create circuits to light up certain light bulbs. Some members of our team are working on this in addition as working on Kedian Interspace, which will take a while longer to finish and release.
We have continued posting to our various social media accounts to market our games. We focus on Instagram, as we feel that that is where most of our target audience are active, where we now have over 400 followers
March and April have been eventful months with lots of changes being made. The next two months might see less work being done, with exams looming for many members of the team, however, we hope to still make progress on Kedian Interspace and Illumination.
See you next time!
Josh – Lead Game Developer
On the 15th April, Josh & I met up for Vanadium Games Day where we focused on making progress of Kedian Interspace. The main aim of this was to decide on some of the key aspects in person.
Vanadium Games has already given us some great experiences including exhibiting our project at Coolest Projects. In our second game, we are learning a number of new principles in our project including our online account system and
We produced a large amount of concept art for our new game Kedian Interspace and are now beginning to create the final sprites and tiles. There are a large variety of different assets which we hope will create an engaging, multilevel game.
We have decided to make an accounts system to allow users to sync game data between different devices – Josh was developing the system using PHP and had to overcome many challenges such as encrypting and hashing confidential data.
In conclusion, the 14th of April was a brilliant day where we managed to get lots of work done for Kedian Interspace. Follow our social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) to keep updated and to be the first to know when the first betas come out!
We recently updated The Stacks to version 1.0.14 on the App Store and Google Play. This was a fairly minor update, with only advertisement and logo changes as well as more language support on the App Store.
- Updated Vanadium Games logo.
- Updated the splash screen to show an image of The Stacks in the background.
- Changed advertisements to show a skippable interstitial advert every 3-4 plays.
- Updated language support on the App Store with having App Store descriptions in Spanish, French
This update should be available to download now.
As you may have noticed, Vanadium Games has recently introduced a new logo as we felt that our old logo did not represent our company very well and the red and blue colours were hard to read at a distance.
The inspiration for our new logo began by brainstorming what it should represent: we decided the most important things to signify were the element Vanadium, our namesake, as well as the fact that we make games.
The first idea we produced was a ‘V’ linking to the word Vanadium, encircled by a ring with two dots on it to represent Vanadium’s outer electron shell. We also included our strap line ‘Elevating the World of Gaming’.
After reviewing our logo, we decided that we needed to add something to our logo to represent that we are a games studio. We eventually settled on the idea of using a controller in the centre of the ring. As well as this, we tried adding multiple rings.
We concluded that the extra ring was too chaotic and the controller didn’t fit our taste as it seemed too generic and stereotypical.
Moving onward, we decided a different game production related symbol. Eventually, we settled on a cog which linked closely to the development aspect of our company.
At this point, we were beginning to like how the logo was turning out. Despite this, we still wanted to incorporate the ‘V’ into the logo, so we decided to make the cog the outside of the logo and enclose the rest of the content within.
This was the result of our new idea and it was getting very close to something we were happy with. We just had a few small issues, including the size of the teeth on the cog (which were too small) and the fact that the icon consisted of three colours (when most icons today use only two).
After correcting these small issues, we really liked our design. We decided that changing the purple colour to a different colour could make the logo more vibrant and provide a better contrast ratio to the grey background, making it easier to read.
Finally, after making all our amendments, we reached this and are really happy with how it turned out – we believe that the logo represents our company well and is visually appealing. We feel that it is much better than our old one.
On Saturday 3rd March, Vanadium Games attended Coolest Projects 2019 at the Sharp Project in Manchester. This was a national event where young creators came together to exhibit their digital projects. The exhibition, which was open to the public, allowed creators to meet people similar to themselves, as well as show off their creations to many members of the public.
We presented our game The Stacks at this event which many people loved – it was fantastic showing people our creation and watching the smiles on their faces as the descended through the stacks. We updated our social media accounts throughout the day – especially Twitter – and received many likes and retweets, including one from Raspberry Pi.
The event was hosted by Maddie Moat and Greg Foot, who presented two amazing presentations about science on Mt Everest in the highest lab in the world and how Lego bricks are made. It was really interesting to learn about how science isn’t all in laboratories: scientists have the opportunities to travel the world and sometimes even go beyond our small planet.
Overall, the event was one to be remembered. We had a great time amongst the gathering of over 120 participants and 500 attendees and will take part again next year if we can. It was a great opportunity to showcase our work with like-minded people, whilst also inspiring us to continue our development of future games.
With only a week to go, we have been busy preparing for our stand at Coolest Projects UK in Manchester.
250 A6 leaflets have been printed to advertise The Stacks and a slideshow has been produced with images and details about the development of our mobile game.
What is Coolest Projects?
Coolest Projects is a technology fair for young people which takes place every year. This is the second event in the UK, and we managed to not only obtain our own stand but also win a travel bursary. This year, it is taking place in The Sharp Project in Manchester, next week on Saturday 2nd March.
It consists of many young people who showcase their technological products and ideas. There is also a competition, where each project is judged against others in the same category. The whole event is open to the public from
You can find out more at their website, coolestprojects.org
We’re getting excited for this opportunity to share The Stacks, so we will be posting lots on our social media accounts – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to keep updated, follow us on these platforms.
See you there!
In the first two months of 2019, lots of interesting things have been done and a new game has been started. We’ve also totally revamped our social media marketing strategy…
We recently made drastic updates to the Vanadium Games Discord Server.
For those of you who do not know what Discord is, it is a voice and text communication platform which is typically used in gaming. We are now also using it as our main internal communications platform as well since our original solution, Stride, was shut down. It is also open to the public, where anyone can freely make use of the voice channels or ask us questions through a question channel.
Because of this, we improved our Discord server by adding emoji to our channel names and even creating our own bot, Vanadibot.
Vanadibot is an automated robot which moderates our server, keeping it family friendly and tracking statistics as part of a levelling system. It also has a developer-only feature where it syncs with our job management system, Trello, to track time spent on each project. This helps us to more accurately predict how long things take and how long people have spent on what.
Hopefully, this infrastructure will enable us to become more productive in the future.
We decided to revamp our social media strategy.
In the past, we would post the same images on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at irregular times.
Now, we are posting separate images on different platforms. We also post different types of content on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, providing a reason for people to follow us on all of these.
On Instagram, we are posting at least 2 times a week, at 7pm (due to this being a time when most people are active). The actual content alternates between an infographic (a fact, quote, or other text-based subject) and a colourful image with a detailed caption (which could be an update of what we have been working on). In the long run, this will help our grid-based feed to be more artistic, in a checkerboard style, and when combined with being more active in our community, for example, following and liking other game development accounts, will enable us to reach a larger audience.
Instagram will be the platform we focus the most on, as most of our target audience are on there. These methods have been proven to work – we already have around 150 followers, which is around 100 more than when we first started with this.
Twitter is being used to post up-to-date news of what we are working on, as well as anything else which we find interesting while Facebook is being used the least regularly, used for posting more important content, such as
New Tower Defence Game
We have also started a new Tower Defence game which will be of a science fiction genre, based around an overarching storyline. We are still in the process of planning everything out so we can’t reveal too much,
All in all, January and Februrary have been very productive months for Vanadium Games, and we hope for this progress to continue in the future.
See you in April!
Lead Game Developer
Recently we’ve been working on growing our Discord server, and we’re pleased to say that the work is mostly complete. For those of you who aren’t aware, Discord is an online communication platform mainly used for gaming.
This server is open to everyone, and anyone can message or talk to each other. We are also normally online on there, so if you need any help or would like to speak to us you will normally be able to find us .
Vanadibot (our custom written bot) moderates our server and provides a levelling system. We have moved most of our internal communications to Discord, and Vanadibot tracks the time we spend on each project so we can accurately predict how long things take.
First of all, Happy New Year and Happy Christmas – we hope that you had a good holiday!
Our newsletter for December will look back at what we have accomplished this year in 2018, and our aims and goals for the future.
2018 was the first year of Vanadium Games, which was incorporated in the second half of the period.
We managed to complete many background tasks, also releasing The Stacks both online and on mobile.
Notable Events of 2018
The Stacks was created and released online
Vanadium Games Ltd was incorporated with Companies House
Beta testing for The Stacks opened
The Stacks was released on the Google Play Store
The Stacks was released on the App Store
Downloads of The Stacks on the App Store surpassed 100
We have many hopes and plans for 2019, including the release of at least 1 or 2 more games.
These should be easier and quicker to make, as we now know the workflows and methods of creating mobile apps and have done lots of background work.
This year, we are planning to reduce the newsletter to be released bimonthly.
As a result, unless we have lots of news, you will only be emailed every other month – the next newsletter will probably follow at the end of February.
We will, however, be sending blog and game updates – if you would like to join the newsletter, you can do so here.
If you would like to keep updated, make sure to follow us on social media – we are active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Use the links at the side or search for @vanadiumgames
That’s everything for this newsletter.
Thanks for reading, and have a good 2019!
Lead Game Developer
We have recently released a new update on the App Store which addresses a few bugs:
- A bug where jumping could glitch out
- A bug where the game crashed if there was no internet
- Making the German translation more accurate
- A level being impossible to pass if there was only one ladder being blocked by a kidnapper – now there will at least be two ladders
We are currently having issues with Android, so the update will be released on there later. Follow us on social media to find out when!
The main focus this month was the release of The Stacks on both the App Store and Google Play, and we are proud to say that our target was met.
Because of everyone working on this, not much else was done. Nevertheless, we are pleased with what we accomplished.
The Stacks was officially released on the 19th of November 2018 on Google Play and on the 20th of November on the App Store.
Since then, as the time of writing this, we have had over 10 installs on Google Play and over 110 downloads on the App Store, with very positive reviews. We would be grateful if you could spread the word about The Stacks and encourage people you know to leave reviews.
We are nearly at the end of the journey of The Stacks. We have a few bugs to address (such as the jump butting being temperamental and some adverts not working on iOS),
This will allow us to develop many more games for mobile, and if you have any concepts which you would like to see made, you can email us at [email protected].
In conclusion, the month of November was focuse on finally releasing all our hard work, and, in the close future, we will begin working on our new games. If you would like to stay up to date with our activity, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
Lead Game Developer
October has turned out to be an interesting yet productive month.
Major progress has been made on The Stacks and another game called Trolley Dash has entered production, with The Stacks hopefully being released by December.
In Other News…
In other news, Vanadium Games has been growing as a company, completing administrative tasks and allowing us to grow and flourish. Plans for Tapping Tournament are still in the pipeline, however this is likely to be delayed until a later date.
The Stacks has improved drastically over the last month, with many bug fixes and changes including support for more languages and speeding up the game exponentially instead of in a linear fashion.
The game is available as a public beta on both Apple and Android, so if you want to help test our game, you can join our testing programme.
If you don’t want to join, it is going to be fully available very soon – we are currently in the final steps.
The Stacks is also available online at our website.
You can also find updates and news on our blog.
We have begun the development of Trolley Dash, a new game within which a player will navigate around a shop while collecting items on a shopping list.
Some of the features of Trolley Dash which been implemented so far include:
- An intricate supermarket layout with a variety of different storage areas as well as a realistic floor, all with an incredible 16-bit texture.
- An assortment of shelves with different products and shapes located all around the supermarket.
- A player controller which allows the various player models to be navigated around the shop.
- A randomly-generated shopping list which tells the player what items they are required to purchase in order to complete the round.
Despite all this great progress, Trolley Dash still has a great deal of bugs to be ironed out and many features which require to be implemented.
From the Marketing Manager
I, Morgan, am the main social media manager in Vanadium Games.
I post to our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages, found at the links or by searching @vanadiumgames. If you want to see quick updates about what we’re working on or interesting facts, follow us there!
Again, October has been a productive month, and hopefully, in November, the fruits of our work will start to be published.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter,
We recently released update 0.9.21 to The Stacks. This update contains many bug fixes and recommendations from our group of beta testers.
- Changed the way that the game speeds up to an exponential scale instead of speeding up linearly after the first 10 levels
- Added 2 new languages – French and German
- Removed quit button on mobile versions
- Decreased the waiting time when starting a new game
- Added a restart button when the player loses a game so that they do not need to wait for the full 5 seconds
- Tweaked the speeds and controls of the player
- Various background optimizations
- Bug fixes
- Fixed ladder bugs where the player could not go up a ladder or the player received a very high force when ascending a ladder
- Fixed bug where the game sometimes continued playing during rewarded video adverts – the player must now press a button to continue the game
- Fixed a bug where the player got stuck on the edge of a building or was suspended in the air after a post-advert restart
- Fixed a bug where the player would get a failed advert message when using a rewarded video advert, even if the advert did show
- Fixed a bug where the player could spam the jump button to get a glitchy double jump
- Other bug fixes
The Stacks is nearly ready to be released on mobile but is currently still in beta. If you would like to join our testing programme, please click here.
Alternatively, you can play The Stacks online in your browser. This only works on a PC.
Lead Game Developer
Welcome to the first monthly review! At Vanadium Games, we are aiming to publish a review every month, covering a summary of what we have been up to.
All reviews will also be available in our monthly newsletter, of which you can subscribe to here.
Anyway, what we have been up to in September?
We have been focusing on developing our platformer The Stacks to the point where it can be released to the App and Google Store, as well as making multiple improvements to the game:
- We added the functionality of having multiple languages available, with Spanish already translated
- We added touchscreen controls for mobile devices, as well as a slider to allow the user to change the GUI size
- We added the opportunity to gain an extra life on mobile devices by watching an advertisement
- We totally updated our leaderboard system to use our server and to have separate leaderboards for mobile and PC
- We fixed multiple bugs
The Stacks is available as a public beta on both Apple and Android, so if you want to help test our game, you can join our testing programme.
In other news, we have made plans to start our next game, Tapping Tournament. Nothing is set in stone though, so we are not revealing any details until later.
We also have been sorting our admin and background jobs, which will enable us to develop games faster and more efficiently in the future.
Our social media manager Morgan has been busy posting and updating our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages (which you can follow by clicking on our social media links or searching us – @vanadiumgames). If you want to receive quick updates and interesting facts, follow us there!
Anyway, that’s all for this month.