Pokémon Vortex: Admin Speaks

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“I’ve never felt intimidated or under pressure by other unofficial Pokémon games (specifically the browser ones). It’s all about having confidence in your own ability to make the Pokémon browser game people would rather play.” – Patrick

For those of you who don’t know, Pokémon Vortex is an official Pokémon RPG, possibly one of the most reputed ones out there. The game was developed after Pokémon Crater, which shut down due to issues. Patrick, the owner of Pokémon Vortex is a grumpy guy, who dislikes humanity in general.

Just kidding, he’s a cool guy. But feel free to ask him yourself. Just don’t blame me for the consequences. 😉

Here, we have an interview from the man himself, who has been generous enough to spare the time to answer these to one of our authors, who likes to call himself Illuminoob:

Pokémon Vortex login page

Pokémon Vortex login page

1. Hi Patrick! First off we would like to know how frequently you play the game yourself?

Patrick – Not very often. I used to play Pokémon Crater on a daily basis as a teenager but trying to run Pokémon Vortex and play it? Unfortunately there just isn’t enough free time in the day.

2. There are new types in Pokémon Vortex exclusive to the game, never before seen in other Pokémon games, like mystic, metallic, and shadow. What was the need or utility to create these six different types?

Patrick – Any simple image creating/editing software can create these. They’re a lot more simple to make than people think, for example, Mystic, Metallic and Dark are all automated Photoshop processes. I can make hundreds of them within seconds. Shadow on the other hand are all manually painted and can take up to 15 minutes each. Again, I use Photoshop for the Shadow Pokémon but something as simple as Microsoft Paint can do the same job.

3. As of version 3, Pokémon Vortex features in-game clans for battling together as a team. How does that work?

Patrick – The clans entirely or just the battle each other part?

Clans entirely is simple, you can join a clan as soon as you register your Pokémon Vortex account or you can complete all gyms within the game to be able to create your own clan. Once part of a clan, you and everyone else in the clan has their experience totaled (to make the total experience stat) and divided by how many players there are in the clan (to make the average experience stat). Then there’s the clan wins.

All of these make the clans points to give it a rank on the leaderboard. As for battling other clan members, this … shall remain a secret. I will say however, the opponents you’re given is not random.

4. Vortex features a set of original Pokémon, although inspired by traditional ones. Who makes these?

Various people create the originals seen in Pokémon Vortex. Darkrown being the most popular, for example, was created by Esepibe of DeviantArt. Although only the original design was done by him, sprites are usually done by Vortex staff or players.

5. Tell us more about the inspiration behind the creation of Darkrown and Mewtwo (Armor) and their specialty.

Patrick – With Darkrown not actually being Pokémon Vortex’s creation, there isn’t much I can say about the inspiration behind it but the decision of putting it into Pokémon Vortex is visibly clear: it looks amazing. It was as simple as that.

[Find Esepibe’s amazing gallery here. His work includes the many Pokémon and experiments on them, but his retouching skills are really good.]

Darkrown, created by Esepibe, and used in Pokemon Vortex.

Darkrown, created by Esepibe, and used in Pokémon Vortex.

Mewtwo (Armor) on the other hand is something from the Pokémon anime series. As most of the players know or can tell from event Pokémon or Sidequest Pokémon, I love bringing in Pokémon that were seen in the series. It gives the Pokémon a bit more authenticity rather than just something cooked up in Photoshop.

6. There seem to be cheats and legendary hacks in the game. How serious is the problem, if any? There are also some automatic bots. Also, is the level 100 Hoppip battling a glitch or intentional for quick training?

Patrick – Cheats/hacks are non-existent. Sure there have been exploits in the past to max out masterballs without paying for them for example but these get fixed and the people who used them get banned, it’s very easy to see who partakes in these activities so it really isn’t an issue at all. Botting has been around since Crater so it only made sense that people would try it on Vortex too. The thing is you can never really “win” the battle against bots — you block them one way, people make it work another way.

I like to think I took a better approach on it to not block them at all and instead observe how they work then just ban the people doing it. This way, people won’t know how I caught them so they can’t improve/change the bot and it will be just as easy catching them the second or third time.

The Hoppip accounts are no longer in Vortex. Again, this is something that was brought over and adopted by Crater from it’s users. They’re called “Training Accounts” — they’re completely fine. Immunity is immunity, I’m not about to change the laws of Pokémon in general.

7. How much of Pokémon Crater is left in Pokemon Vortex?

Patrick – Quite a lot. Pokémon Vortex will always be a Pokémon Crater remake. Sure, I add things, improve things but the base will always be Pokémon Crater. Even if in 10 years time, so much has been added, you can’t really see Crater there any more, it’ll still be there.

8. Let’s talk about the future. Where do you see Vortex in the coming years and what are the new features people can expect?

Patrick – It’ll never be that easy to get sneak-peeks out of me. I will, however, say there are quite a lot of game changing features coming with v4.

As for where Pokémon Vortex will be in the coming years, I really couldn’t say. Since Vortex is a hobby of mine, I will continue developing it even if nobody played it so lets just say Pokémon Vortex will always exist and will forever improve.

9. Do you see Pokémon Vortex being pressurized by other unofficial Pokemon games like Pokémon Online or the recently launched Pokémon GO? Both are free as well.

Patrick – I’ve never felt intimidated or under pressure by other unofficial Pokémon games (specifically the browser ones). It’s all about having confidence in your own ability to make the Pokémon browser game people would rather play.

10. What are your thoughts about Pokémon GO?

Patrick – Pokémon GO is great. I love the concept of it and it’s certainly made exploring more appealing. That being said, it tends to lose its novelty fairly quickly. The global hype it’s currently getting, I suspect will die down soon and only Pokémon fans will be left playing it.

11. As an MMORPG with such creative features, the traditional Pokémon-catching and gym battling experience, and even the ability to battle others from around the globe — do you think Vortex doesn’t quite get the popularity it deserves?

Patrick – Not at all. It definitely gets the audience it deserves. If this were 6 years ago I would say no but as time went on, web programming languages have advanced immensely. It’s insane what you can do with a bit of HTML5 and JavaScript these days — meanwhile Vortex was left in the dark ages in terms of functionality. I’m slowly but surely changing that though.

12. Finally, thanks for giving your time. In the end I’d like to ask what are your personal tips for new Pokémon Vortex players?

Shiny Deoxys, one of the 'supposed' rarer Legends.

Shiny Deoxys, one of the ‘supposed’ rarer legends.

Patrick – Erm… Don’t click too fast on the maps and patience is key when you unlock legendaries. Oh and, join the forums.:D




IllumiN00B is a gamer, programmer, and sits in front of his laptop all day long. He also helps with Nihonden's coding needs. Engaged with Pokemon Vortex and a voluntary help to all those who need it -- our noob is quite pro at what he does actually. And -- he has a beautiful blog! Read more from him at The Noob Diary.