High Voltage Software

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High Voltage Software, Inc.
Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded 1993; 24 years ago (1993)
Founder Kerry J. Ganofsky
Headquarters Hoffman Estates, Illinois, U.S.
Key people
  • Kerry J. Ganofsky (CEO)
  • Eric Nofsinger (CCO)
  • Jacob Fitch (CFO
  • Raymond E. Bailey (CIO)
Number of employees
100+ (2017)
Subsidiaries
  • Red Eye Studios
  • FLAME-SIM
  • HVS NOLA
Website high-voltage.com

High Voltage Software, Inc. is an American independent game development company located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Established in 1993, High Voltage Software is known for Hunter: The Reckoning video games and the creation of the major self-funded Wii titles The Conduit, and its sequel. The company most recently released three Virtual Reality titles in partnership with Oculus Studios titled Damaged Core, Dragon Front and They Live to DESTROY.

History[edit]

Wii development[edit]

In 2008 interviews, High Voltage leadership expressed interest in improving the quality of contemporary third-party Wii games. Founder Kerry J. 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."[1] 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."[2]

Quantum3 is a Wii-specific game engine developed by HVS.[3] The engine itself had been used in several previous titles made by the developer, but was heavily upgraded for higher performance on the Wii.[4] 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.[5] The Quantum3 engine also includes advanced artificial intelligence, allowing for NPCs and enemies in a game using the engine to possess "human-like behavior."

Mobile titles[edit]

Le Vamp, the company’s first mobile title, earned an Editor's Choice selection by Apple.[6] The title underwent a full compatibility update in 2016 for iOS and Android devices. The company's second title, Zoombies, was also released for iOS devices.[7] The company's last mobile game, Conduit HD (a mobile port of the original game, The Conduit) was released for Android devices in 2013, to some praise.[8]

Virtual Reality Titles[edit]

In 2016 High Voltage Software released Damaged Core and Dragon Front in partnership with Oculus Studios.

Damaged Core is a futuristic first-person-shooter that was first announced at E3 in 2015. The game received a "Comfortable" rating from publisher Oculus for its ability to keep motion sickness at bay without sacrificing the frenetic experience of the classic first-person-shooter. The game accomplishes this by incorporating a teleportation movement mechanic into the story line. The user plays as a line of code that must inhabit enemy robot bodies or tactical cameras to navigate the game world.

Dragon Front is a collectible card game that incorporates classic board game elements in cross-platform, multiplayer gameplay. The game entered open beta when it was announced during the Oculus Connect 3 opening keynote in San Jose, California.[9] Dragon Front was designed as a VR exclusive title that includes four thematically different base armies, each with unique powers, traits, and creative strategies.[10] The game's art style is described as diesel-punk meets high-fantasy, and includes original epic music from award-winning composer Winifred Phillips (Assassin's Creed, God of War).[11]

Recent work[edit]

Since that time, High Voltage Software has been active in Generation 8 software, co-developing Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat X and Saint’s Row: Re-Elected[12] – as well as primary development on Saints Row: Gat out of Hell. Recent titles have been larger in scope than previous titles by the company. This larger size is indicative of the sizable investment to develop on the newer consoles.

High Voltage Software remains focused on emerging technology and new markets. At E3 2015, High Voltage Software and Oculus VR announced the development of Damaged Core. A playable demo was available at the Oculus booth, featuring hands-on gameplay which showcased the first-person shooter genre on the Oculus hardware. The title released as an Oculus Rift exclusive in August 2016 to critical acclaim.[13] The company's second VR title, Dragon Front, released less than three months later as a cross-platform title on Oculus Rift and Samsung GearVR.

Awards[edit]

The Conduit, in particular, was hailed as a break-out game for the Wii Console, and won numerous awards both prior to, and after, launch.[14] The game eventually spawned a sequel, Conduit 2, which was also released on the Wii. In 2009, High Voltage Software earned a top spot in Into the Pixel’s annual exhibition. The piece selected was titled “Ford Pursued,” by artist, Bob Nelson.[15]

Subsidiaries[edit]

Red Eye Studios[edit]

Red Eye Studios, a motion capture facility, is a wholly owned subsidiary of HVS. The 5000-square-foot space is located across the street from the main Hoffman Estates building, and utilizes Vicon T160 cameras.[16][17] Red Eye Studios has worked on both High Voltage Software products, as well as motion capture for television and movies. Some of its credits include: Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, Spider-Man 3, Call of Duty, BioShock, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Gnomeo & Juliet, Human Weapon and multiple NBA titles.

FLAME-SIM[edit]

FLAME-SIM is a training simulation software developed in 2007 which allows fire departments across the US and Canada to create virtual scenarios in which to train their incident commanders and firefighters. The real time, dynamic environment simulates the stress, obstacles and decision points that arise on the fireground in order to better prepare incident commanders.[18] Studies conducted on the effectiveness of the software have shown an improvement of test scores of 20% for incident commanders that trained using FLAME-SIM as opposed to traditional training methods. Additionally, firefighters and officers that trained with FLAME-SIM liked the training and felt more confident when acting as incident command.[19]

HVS NOLA[edit]

In 2014, High Voltage Software announced that a sister studio, HVS NOLA LLC, would open in New Orleans. The company committed to the creation of 80 jobs over the course of three years. The studio opened in January 2015 featuring Altair Lane as the first employee. With the new studio, the company is actively focused on developing new technology and IP’s for the newest console generation.[20]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Publisher(s) Platform(s) Genre(s) Notes
2017 They Live to Destroy Oculus VR Samsung GearVR City Builder/ Monster Battler
2016 Dragon Front Oculus VR Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR Strategy CCG
Damaged Core Oculus VR Oculus Rift First-person shooter
2015 Mortal Kombat X Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Microsoft Windows Fighting Ported only, game developed by NetherRealm Studios
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell Deep Silver Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Action-adventure Co-developed with Volition
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected Deep Silver Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Action-adventure Ported only, game developed by Volition
2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Activision Nintendo 3DS Action-adventure Ported only, game developed by Beenox
2013 Ben 10: Omniverse 2 D3 Publisher Wii U, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Fighting
Injustice: Gods Among Us Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Playstation 4 Fighting Ported only, game developed by NetherRealm Studios
Saints Row IV: Enter the Dominatrix Deep Silver / Volition Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Action-adventure Co-developed with Volition
Mortal Kombat 9 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Microsoft Windows Fighting Ported only, game developed by NetherRealm Studios
The Conduit HD High Voltage Software Android OS First-person shooter
Plants vs. Zombies 2 EA / PopCap Android OS Tower Defense Ported only, game developed by PopCap Games
Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte High Voltage Software iOS Shoot 'em up
Le Vamp High Voltage Software iOS Platform
2012 Victorious: Taking the Lead D3 Publisher Wii Adventure
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment iOS, Android OS Action-adventure
Avengers Initiative Disney Interactive iOS, Android OS Action-adventure
Nickelodeon Dance 2 2K Play Wii, Xbox 360 Dancing
Toy Story Mania! MicroProse, Disney Interactive Studios Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Party
Zone of the Enders HD Collection Konami PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Action, third-person shooter
Kinect Star Wars LucasArts, Microsoft Studios Xbox 360 Action
Country Dance All-Stars GameMill Entertainment Xbox 360 Dancing
2011 Country Dance 2 GameMill Entertainment Wii Dancing
Country Dance GameMill Entertainment Wii Dancing
Victorious: Time to Shine D3 Publisher Xbox 360 Music
Nickelodeon Dance 2K Play Wii, Xbox 360 Dancing
Nickelodeon Fit 2K Play Wii Dancing
Nicktoons MLB 2K Play Wii, Xbox 360 Sports
Captain America: Super Soldier Sega Wii, Nintendo 3DS Action
Conduit 2 Sega Wii First-person shooter
2010 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (video game) Red Wagon Games Wii, Nintendo DS Adventure
Pheasants Forever Wingshooter GameMill Entertainment Wii Shooter
Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure 2K Play PlayStation 2, Wii Adventure
Tournament of Legends Sega Wii Fighting
Iron Man 2 Sega Wii, PlayStation Portable Action-Adventure
2009 The Conduit Sega Wii First-person shooter
Evasive Space Akinai Games Wii Shoot 'em up
Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom 2K Play PlayStation 2, Wii Action-Adventure
Ni Hao, Kai Lan! Super Game Day 2K Play PlayStation 2, Wii Action-Adventure
Astro Boy: The Video Game D3 Publisher PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable Action-Adventure
High Voltage Hot Rod Show High Voltage Software Wii Racing
The Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun D3 Publisher PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable Action-adventure
2008 Gyrostarr High Voltage Software Wii Shooter
V.I.P. Casino: Blackjack High Voltage Software Wii Casino
Go, Diego, Go!: Safari Rescue 2K Play PlayStation 2, Wii Adventure
2007 America's Army: True Soldiers Ubisoft Xbox 360 First-person shooter
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 Ubisoft PlayStation Portable Shooter
Ben 10: Protector of Earth D3 Publisher PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable Action-adventure
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law Capcom PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable Visual novel
2006 Family Guy Video Game! 2K Games, Fox Interactive PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable Adventure
Blitz: Overtime Midway Games PlayStation Portable Sports
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Midway Games PlayStation 2, Wii Fighting
2005 Codename: Kids Next Door – Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. Global Star Software GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2 Platform
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One Activision GameCube FPS
50 Cent: Bulletproof G Unit Edition Vivendi Games PlayStation Portable Action
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Global Star Software PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Advance, GameCube Action-adventure
Zathura 2K Games PlayStation 2, Xbox Action-adventure
2004 Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Sierra Entertainment PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Adventure
Duel Masters Atari, Inc. PlayStation 2 Collectible card game
2003 Disney's The Haunted Mansion TDK Mediactive PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube Action-adventure
NBA Inside Drive 2004 Microsoft Game Studios Xbox Sports
Hunter: The Reckoning: Redeemer Vivendi Universal Xbox Action, Hack and slash
Hunter: The Reckoning: Wayward Vivendi Universal PlayStation 2 Action, Hack and slash
2002 Hunter: The Reckoning Interplay Entertainment Xbox, GameCube Action, Hack and slash
NBA Inside Drive 2003 Microsoft Game Studios Xbox Sports
Disney's Stitch: Experiment 626 Disney Interactive PlayStation 2 Action
NBA Inside Drive 2002 Microsoft Xbox Sports
Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction Ubisoft Microsoft Windows Vehicular combat
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance Interplay Entertainment GameCube Role-playing video game Ported only, game developed by Snowblind Studios
2000 NFL Quarterback Club 2001 Acclaim Entertainment Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 Sports
All-Star Baseball 2001 Acclaim Entertainment Nintendo 64 Sports
Ground Control: Dark Conspiracy Sierra Studios Microsoft Windows Real-time tactics
NBA Inside Drive 2000 Microsoft Microsoft Windows Sports
1999 Lego Racers Lego Media Game Boy Color, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Microsoft Windows Racing
Paperboy Midway Games Nintendo 64 Action
1997 NCAA Final Four '97 Mindscape PlayStation, Microsoft Windows Sports
World League Basketball Mindscape PlayStation, Microsoft Windows Sports
1996 Tempest X3 Interplay Entertainment PlayStation Arcade
Tempest 2000 Interplay Entertainment Sega Saturn, Macintosh Arcade
NBA Hangtime Midway Games Microsoft Windows Sports
Fight For Life Atari Games Atari Jaguar Fighting
NBA Jam: Tournament Edition Midway Games Atari Jaguar Sports
NHL Open Ice Midway Games Microsoft Windows Sports
1995 Vid Grid Jasmine Atari Jaguar, Macintosh Puzzle
Kid Vid Grid Jasmine Atari Jaguar, Macintosh Puzzle
Country Vid Grid Jasmine Atari Jaguar, Macintosh Puzzle
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy - Starship Bridge Simulator Interplay Entertainment Sega 32X Simulation
Ruiner Pinball Atari Games Atari Jaguar Arcade
Thea Realm Fighters (Not Shipped) Atari Games Atari Jaguar Fighting
White Men Can't Jump Atari Games Atari Jaguar Sports
1994 Exerton / Lifecycle – Urban Jungle THQ Nintendo SNES Other
Sports Illustrated Golf THQ SEGA Gamegear Sports

References[edit]

  1. ^ IGN: The Conduit Preview
  2. ^ IGN: The Conduit Preview
  3. ^ Magrino, Tom (July 7, 2008). "Q&A: Eric Nofsinger channels The Conduit". Gamespot. Retrieved July 7, 2008. 
  4. ^ "High Voltage Software’s Eric Nofsinger Explains How Freedom, Feedback and Fans Channel into The Conduit". GameCyte. October 6, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2008. 
  5. ^ Casamassina, Matt (April 17, 2008). "Exclusive First Look: The Conduit". IGN. Retrieved April 18, 2008. 
  6. ^ "LeVamp is an Editor's Choice Game". Aplle. 
  7. ^ Trevor Sheridan. "The 50 Best iOS Games Of 2013 – Complete List With Our Game Of The Year". Apple N Apps. 
  8. ^ Mike Fahey. "The Conduit Was an Average Wii Game. Now It's an Excellent Mobile FPS.". Kotaku. 
  9. ^ "Dragon Front Open Beta Launches Today | VRFocus". VRFocus. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  10. ^ "The Warring Factions". Dragon Front. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  11. ^ "Winifred Phillips". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  12. ^ Christopher Grant. "Saints Row 4: Re-Elected coming to PS4 and Xbox One, $30 this January". Polygon. 
  13. ^ "'Damaged Core' Review: Meet The New King of VR Shooters". UploadVR. 2016-08-30. Retrieved 2016-11-14. 
  14. ^ Matt Casamassina. "IGN's Best of E3 Awards 2008". IGN. 
  15. ^ "Into the Pixel 2009 Collection". Into the Pixel. 
  16. ^ David Lapekas. "Red Eye Studios is the first North American Company to employ the latest Vicon camera system". 
  17. ^ Damon Brown (April 2003). "Video Games and Animation advance each other". Screen Magazine. 
  18. ^ Doug Seebach. "Canadian Department Thrilled with FLAME-SIM". 
  19. ^ Dr. Kurt Hall. "Effects of Simulation Training in the Fire Service". University of Texas Dallas. [permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Jennifer Larino. "Illinois video game developer to open New Orleans studio, hailed as economic development win". NOLA.com and The Times-Picayune. 

External links[edit]