High Voltage Software
|Type||Independent video game developer|
|Headquarters||Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States|
|Owner(s)||Kerry Ganofsky, CEO|
|Subsidiaries||Red Eye Studios|
High Voltage Software (HVS) is an independent game development company located at Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Established in 1993, it now employs approximately 95 staff members. Red Eye Studios, a motion capture facility, is a wholly owned subsidiary of HVS. Typically producing completely new and unrelated products back to back, Inside Drive, Hunter and The Conduit 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.
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 and Joystiq, 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."
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..."
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."
In August 2010, it was revealed that the company laid off an additional 25 staff members.
Quantum3 is a Wii-specific game engine developed by HVS. The engine itself had been used in several previous titles made by the developer, but was heavily upgraded for higher performance on the Wii. 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. 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."
- High Voltage Software: About Us
- "Official: SEGA Publishes The Conduit". IGN. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
- Matt Casamassina. "Exclusive First Look: The Conduit". IGN.
- Ross Miller. "The Conduit gameplay trailer released". Joystiq.
- IGN: The Conduit Preview
- IGN: Animales de la Muerte Preview
- "High Voltage Software Lays Off Staff". Gamasutra.
- McElroy, Justin. "High Voltage Software lays off 25 employees (update)". Joystiq.
- Magrino, Tom (2008-07-07). "Q&A: Eric Nofsinger channels The Conduit". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
- "High Voltage Software’s Eric Nofsinger Explains How Freedom, Feedback and Fans Channel into The Conduit". GameCyte. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
- Casamassina, Matt (2008-04-17). "Exclusive First Look: The Conduit". IGN. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
- Matt Casamassina. "Pre-E3 2009: Gladiator A.D. Revealed". IGN.
- Tournament of Legends Reviews
- "High Voltage developing Wii version of Iron Man 2". GoNintendo.com. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
- Iron Man 2 Reviews
- The Conduit Reviews
- Evasive Space Reviews
- High Voltage Hot Rod Show Reviews
- Gyrostarr Reviews
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- Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward Reviews
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- NBA Inside Drive 2002 Reviews
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