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High Voltage Software (HVS) is an independent game development company located at Illinois' Hoffman Estates. Established in 1993, it now employs approximately 130 staff members. Red Eye Studios, a motion capture facility, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HVS.[1] Typically producing completely new and unrelated products back to back, Inside Drive and Hunter are the only products to have seen sequels, and the company typically works with a number of different publishers as each project ends. The Conduit for the Wii console has been entirely self-funded without the help of a publisher, although Sega signed on to publish and distribute the game.[2]

History

Reception

Since launching in 1993, High Voltage Software has had most interviews, screenshots, and videos handled by the publishers funding the development of the company's games, with High Voltage Software employees remaining relatively behind the scenes. Recent efforts have been made by High Voltage Software to generate buzz at media outlets like IGN[3] and Joystiq,[4] around their Wii titles The Conduit and Animales de la Muerte. To help build anticipation and discussion by each outlet's community, High Voltage has granted interviews, screenshots, and videos directly to the outlets willing to cover their self-funded Wii projects.

In recent interviews with IGN, Chief Creative Officer Eric Nofsinger commented on the state of graphics in today's Wii games "Most of the games on the Wii look like crap. We want to change that, so we've invested heavily in our Wii tech over the past year," and founder Kerry Ganofsky was quoted as stating "We believe that third-party developers need to step up to the plate and deliver. The Wii platform is capable of a lot more than what consumers have seen so far. We're hoping to raise a new bar."[5]

CCO Eric Nofsinger also mentioned Florida attorney Jack Thompson in a recent interview. Nofsinger expressed his belief that Jack Thompson will have issues with the content in Animales de la Muerte, specifically stating "I suspect Jack Thompson may have a thing or two to say about Animales de la Muerte. And let him say all he wants. That's the wonderful thing about First Amendment rights. It allows us creators to express ourselves while we entertain millions and it affords him the opportunity to prey off of the suffering of a few victims' families and espouse misinformed diatribes against artists and creators..."[6]

Company layoff

After terminating 36 employees in January 2006, High Voltage Software reported to Gamasutra that the company had "right sized" their staff from 156 employees to 120. Post layoff, Ganofsky stated "High Voltage has long been one of the biggest and most established independent game developers, but we had grown to a size where our focus and quality was suffering. It’s imperative that we have the right people and the right critical awareness to make certain that we make great games."[7]

Quantum3 engine

Quantum3 is a Wii-specific game engine developed by HVS.[8] The engine itself had been used in several previous titles made by the developer, but was heavily upgraded for higher performance on the Wii.[9] This engine allows for "full 16-TEV stage material pipeline using up to eight texture sources and a host of innovative blend operations," and "allows the developer to create graphic effects normally seen on other consoles with vertex and pixel shaders." These effects include bump-mapping, reflection and refraction, light and shadow maps and projections, specular and Fresnel effects, emissive and iridescent materials, advanced alpha blends, gloss and detail mapping, motion blur, interactive water with complex surface effects, and animated textures, among other things.[10] The Quantum3 engine also includes advanced artificial intelligence, allowing for NPCs and enemies in a game using the engine to possess "human-like behavior." According to Chief Creative Officer Eric Nofsinger, "Our [High Voltage Software's] goal is to be the most technically innovative Wii developer on the planet."[10]

Games

Current projects

Release dateTitlePublisherPlatformsGenre
Halloween 2011 The Grinder TBA Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PC Top-Down Shooter, First-person shooter(Wii)
TBA Animales de la Muerte TBA Wiiware Shoot 'em up
Q1 2011 Conduit 2 Sega Wii First-person shooter

Developed games

Year
Released
TitlePublisherPlatformsGenreAverage
Review Score
2010[11] Tournament of Legends Sega Wii Versus fighting 47%[12]
2010 Iron Man 2[13] Sega Wii, PSP Action-Adventure 48%[14]
2009 The Conduit Sega Wii First-person shooter 72%[15]
2009 Evasive Space Akinai Games Wii (WiiWare) Shoot 'em up 58%[16]
2009 High Voltage Hot Rod Show HVS Wii (WiiWare) Racing 69%[17]
2008 Gyrostarr HVS Wii (WiiWare) Shooter 71%[18]
2008 V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack HVS Wii (WiiWare) Casino game 49%[19]
2008 Go, Diego, Go!: Safari Rescue 2k Play PlayStation 2, Wii Adventure 72%[20]
2007 America's Army: True Soldiers (with Red Storm Entertainment) UbiSoft Xbox 360 FPS 44%[21]
2007 Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 UbiSoft PSP Shooter 63%[22]
2007 Ben 10: Protector of Earth D3 Publisher PlayStation 2, Wii, PSP Action-adventure 58%[23]
2007 Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law Capcom PlayStation 2, Wii, PSP Visual novel 62%[24]
2006 Family Guy Video Game! 2K Games, Fox Interactive PlayStation 2, Xbox, PSP Adventure 50%[25]
2006 Blitz: Overtime Midway Games PSP Sports 61%[26]
2006 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Midway Games GameCube, PlayStation 2, GBA, Wii Fighting 60%[27]
2005 Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. Global Star Software GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2 Platform 53%[28]
2005 Call of Duty 2: Big Red One (Content Port) Activision GameCube FPS 79%[29]
2005 50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition Vivendi Games PSP Action 54%[30]
2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Global Star Software PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, GBA, GameCube Action-adventure 39%[31]
2005 Zathura Take 2 PlayStation 2, Xbox Action-adventure 45%[32]
2004 Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Sierra Entertainment PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox Adventure 61%[33]
2004 Duel Masters Atari PlayStation 2 Collectible card game 65%[34]
2003 The Haunted Mansion TDK Action-adventure 69%[35]
2003 NBA Inside Drive 2004 Microsoft Sports 75%[36]
2003 Hunter: The Reckoning: Redeemer Interplay Xbox Action, Hack and slash 73%[37]
2003 Hunter: The Reckoning: Wayward Interplay PlayStation 2 Action, Hack and slash 68%[38]
2002 Hunter: The Reckoning Interplay Xbox, GameCube Action, Hack and slash 72%[39]
2002 Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 Disney Interactive PlayStation 2 Action 63%[40]
2002 NBA Inside Drive 2002 Microsoft Sports 78%[41]
2002 Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction Ubisoft PC Vehicular combat N/A
2002 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Content Port) Interplay GameCube RPG 79%[42]
2000 NFL Quarterback Club 2001 Acclaim Dreamcast, N64 Sports N/A
2000 All-Star Baseball 2001 (with KnowWonder) Acclaim N64 Sports 85%[43]
2000 Ground Control: Dark Conspiracy (with Massive Entertainment) Sierra Studios PC Real-time tactics 81%[44]
2000 NBA Inside Drive 2000 Microsoft Xbox Sports N/A
1999 LEGO Racers LEGO Media Game Boy Color, PlayStation, N64, PC Racing 66%[45]
1999 Paperboy Midway Games N64 Action 67%[46]
1997 NCAA Final Four '97 Mindscape PlayStation, PC Sports 46%[47]
1997 World League Basketball Mindscape PlayStation, PC Sports N/A
1996 Tempest X3 Interplay PlayStation Arcade 63%[48]
1996 Tempest 2000 Interplay Sega Saturn, Macintosh Arcade 78%[49]
1996 NBA Hang Time Midway Games PC 57%[50]
1996 Fight For Life Atari Atari Jaguar N/A
1996 NBA Jam: Tournament Edition Midway Games Atari Jaguar 69%[51]
1996 NHL Open Ice Midway Games PC Sports N/A
1995 Vid Grid Jasmine Atari Jaguar, Macintosh N/A
1995 Star Trek: Starfleet Academy Interplay Sega 32X N/A
1995 Ruiner Pinball Atari Atari Jaguar 40%[52]
1995 Thea Realm Fighters Atari Atari Jaguar Fighting canceled
1995 White Men Can't Jump Atari Atari Jaguar 50%[53]

References

  1. High Voltage Software: About Us
  2. Official: SEGA Publishes The Conduit. IGN (2008-10-29). Retrieved on 2008-10-29.
  3. Exclusive First Look: The Conduit
  4. [1]
  5. IGN: The Conduit Preview
  6. IGN: Animales de la Muerte Preview
  7. Gamasutra - High Voltage Software Lays Off Staff
  8. Magrino, Tom (2008-07-07). Q&A: Eric Nofsinger channels The Conduit. Gamespot. Retrieved on 2008-07-07.
  9. High Voltage Software’s Eric Nofsinger Explains How Freedom, Feedback and Fans Channel into The Conduit. GameCyte (2008-10-06). Retrieved on 2008-10-08.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Casamassina, Matt (2008-04-17). Exclusive First Look: The Conduit. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-04-18.
  11. http://wii.ign.com/articles/986/986261p4.html
  12. Tournament of Legends Reviews
  13. "High Voltage developing Wii version of Iron Man 2". GoNintendo.com. 2010-14-01. http://www.gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=110816. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  14. Iron Man 2 Reviews
  15. The Conduit Reviews
  16. Evasive Space Reviews
  17. High Voltage Hot Rod Show Reviews
  18. Gyrostarr Reviews
  19. V.I.P. Casino Blackjack Reviews
  20. Go, Diego, Go!: Safari Rescue Reviews
  21. America's Army: True Soldiers Reviews
  22. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Reviews
  23. Ben 10: Protector of Earth Reviews
  24. Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law Reviews
  25. Family Guy Reviews
  26. Blitz: Overtime Reviews
  27. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Reviews
  28. Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. Reviews
  29. Call of Duty 2: Big Red One Reviews
  30. 50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition Reviews
  31. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Reviews
  32. Zathura Reviews
  33. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Reviews
  34. Duel Masters Reviews
  35. The Haunted Mansion Reviews
  36. NBA Inside Drive 2004 Reviews
  37. Hunter: The Reckoning Redeemer Reviews
  38. Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward Reviews
  39. Hunter: The Reckoning Reviews
  40. Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 Reviews
  41. NBA Inside Drive 2002 Reviews
  42. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance Reviews
  43. All-Star Baseball 2001 Reviews
  44. Ground Control: Dark Conspiracy Reviews
  45. Lego Racers Reviews
  46. Paperboy Reviews
  47. NCAA Final Four 97 Reviews
  48. Tempest X3 Reviews
  49. Tempest 2000 Reviews
  50. NBA Hangtime Reviews
  51. NBA Jam Tournament Edition Reviews
  52. Ruiner Pinball Reviews
  53. White Men Can't Jump Reviews

External links

pt:High Voltage Software

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