Posted tagged ‘Specular Interactive’

H2Overdrive headed to SpikeTV’s Video Game Awards; Specular website update + more

December 10, 2009

Raw Thrills’/Specular Interactive’s H2Overdrive is making headlines again, first with news that Universal Space (UNIS) will be exclusively carrying the game in China. I know that the game has been seen in Japan already but I do not know how it has been received over there but either way the Chinese market is a big one so that is good news for the game. UNIS was showing off the motion version of H2Overdrive at their IAAPA booth but now we have an ‘official’ announcement about UNIS carrying the game (motion and non-motion versions) in China.

Even bigger news however is H2Overdrive will making a red carpet appearance at Spike TV’s upcoming Video Game Awards. I can’t recall a time where any arcade title has been given this honor that generally focuses on non-coin-op aspects of gaming, so this is a really good sign for arcade gaming overall. According to the press release: “H2Overdrive will be prominently displayed on the red carpet for the entertainment of celebrities and video game fans attending this event.” The event takes place at the Nokia Center in LA on December 12th and hopefully SpikeTV will give the game some generous coverage on the air.

On last thing that was tucked into the SpikeTV press release is a game locator for H2Overdrive on www.h2overdrive.com. As the press release states: “Operators, players and locations are encouraged to post the location(s) where an H2Overdrive can be easily found for players’ enjoyment.” I checked the link and lo and behold, they have completely overhauled their website with a new design and much more information on their company then they had there previously. They also have begun to hint at their next game, although like last time there is very little information about what it will be. According to the site: ” We can’t really say much at the moment but we have signed a contract to do another arcade game for Eugene and Raw Thrills. Rest assured it will be just as kick-ass as H2Overdrive…even more so since this time around we’ll get to do some of the crazy things we didn’t have time for last time.”

Hit the link below to check out the press releases

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H2Overdrive headed to SpikeTV's Video Game Awards; Specular website update + more

December 10, 2009

Raw Thrills’/Specular Interactive’s H2Overdrive is making headlines again, first with news that Universal Space (UNIS) will be exclusively carrying the game in China. I know that the game has been seen in Japan already but I do not know how it has been received over there but either way the Chinese market is a big one so that is good news for the game. UNIS was showing off the motion version of H2Overdrive at their IAAPA booth but now we have an ‘official’ announcement about UNIS carrying the game (motion and non-motion versions) in China.

Even bigger news however is H2Overdrive will making a red carpet appearance at Spike TV’s upcoming Video Game Awards. I can’t recall a time where any arcade title has been given this honor that generally focuses on non-coin-op aspects of gaming, so this is a really good sign for arcade gaming overall. According to the press release: “H2Overdrive will be prominently displayed on the red carpet for the entertainment of celebrities and video game fans attending this event.” The event takes place at the Nokia Center in LA on December 12th and hopefully SpikeTV will give the game some generous coverage on the air.

On last thing that was tucked into the SpikeTV press release is a game locator for H2Overdrive on www.h2overdrive.com. As the press release states: “Operators, players and locations are encouraged to post the location(s) where an H2Overdrive can be easily found for players’ enjoyment.” I checked the link and lo and behold, they have completely overhauled their website with a new design and much more information on their company then they had there previously. They also have begun to hint at their next game, although like last time there is very little information about what it will be. According to the site: ” We can’t really say much at the moment but we have signed a contract to do another arcade game for Eugene and Raw Thrills. Rest assured it will be just as kick-ass as H2Overdrive…even more so since this time around we’ll get to do some of the crazy things we didn’t have time for last time.”

Hit the link below to check out the press releases

(more…)

Steve Ranck discusses more H2Overdrive and dispels console release rumors

June 17, 2009

Here’s a little bit more H2Overdrive info to whet your appetite, this is the last part of the interview series that Noe V. did with the Specular Interactive team and in this part he finishes discussing the game with Steve Ranck, CEO of the company. Instead of posting this to his 1up blog, Noe V. has provided us with the video link first, to which we thank him! They talk a little bit about track and game design, delve further into the hardware running the game and then comes the question about a home release. I have seen rumors in different spots that a console version is in the works but as it turns out, this is not the case. See the video for the response and the reason why.

Personal thoughts on H2Overdrive being an arcade exclusive: As an operator this pleases me tremendously. As unprofessional as this sounds, nothing sucks more than to buy a big expensive game that has a console release come along and undermine sales a short time later. We can always debate the real effects of home ports but either way I look at it like this (as both an operator and a player): consoles get their exclusives that never come out on anything else and so I do not see why arcades cannot share the same idea. Granted home releases are a little different due to accessibility, but a great arcade game generally will see awesome sales that can lead to the game showing up all over the place.

[Discuss on the Forums]

A long detailed look at H2Overdrive on 1up.com

June 13, 2009
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One of the new shots from H2Overdrive via Noe's blog

While it has not been released yet (although I believe that it will be in the next week or so), H2Overdrive is already creating fans and one of them had the lucky chance to visit Specular Interactive’s studios in Southern California where he got a chance to see the latest version of the game and sit down with the staff for some interviews. The game has changed considerably since it was seen at ASI, which was discussed at in my recent interview with Steve Ranck of Specular but here you can really see in great detail how the game differs. They have even changed some of the things on the cabinet, including the addition of an LED speedometer. This game is going to be quite deep and also to dispel some rumors, this is NOT currently being ported over to Xbox Live. For the time being (especially for us operators) this is arcade exclusive.

The site is at 1up.com and while the user, Noe. V. is not a staffer at 1up but he is responsible for uploading the many clips of H2Overdrive that you can find there including the latest trailer that we discussed a few days ago. With this in-depth interview, two video interviews and new screenshots, this should certainly be enough to hold you over until the game starts landing in arcades in the next week or two.

[Noe V.'s Blog with tons of H2Overdrive goodness] [Discuss on the Forum]

H2Overdrive gets a full trailer (UPDATED)

June 10, 2009

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H2Overdrive is soon going to be available – my local distributor says that they should be in shortly and I am trying to find out the exact date we can start expecting to see the game hit the streets. In anticipation of the release, Raw Thrills has released a new trailer to showcase some of the games features, although it does not mention some of the cool features that are in the game that we found out about from that interview I did with Steve Ranck a short time ago, like achievements and ranks. Unfortunately due to the limitations of embedding here on WordPress I am unable to attach the trailer to this post, but you can find it at Gamevideos by clicking here. I noticed that several mainstream gaming blogs have picked up on this trailer so it’s definetly attracting a bit of attention from gamers.

UPDATE:

As I expected would happen quickly, the trailer is now up on youtube

[Specular Interactive] [Discuss on the Forums]

My interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive on H2Overdrive and more

June 4, 2009

A few months back Arcade Heroes was privileged to reveal H2Overdrive to the world and now I have done an interview with the man whose company is behind the game’s development, Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive. We go into more, never-before-revealed details on Raw Thrills’/Specular Interactive upcoming boat racer and a few other arcade related things. So without further adieu, let’s get started and remember to click on the link at the bottom to read the full thing.

First, about Steve:

Steve Ranck is the President and founder of Specular Interactive, Inc.  He’s been developing games since age 12, and professionally since 1994.  Prior to Specular, Steve cofounded Swingin’ Ape Studios, Inc. which developed the critically acclaimed Metal Arms: Glitch in the System before the company was purchased by Blizzard Entertainment in 2005.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company and history in the arcade sector.

Specular Interactive was formed in 2007 to develop great arcade games.  Most of our employees have worked together before at former companies, and a good number of us worked on the original Hydro Thunder arcade game back in 1997-1999.  Collectively, we have a lot of seasoned arcade developers here.  But at the same time, our team members have also worked on a number of console games and so we have a lot of experience with modern engine architecture and graphics hardware.  Our goal is to develop a series of high quality arcade games by combining our arcade design experience with modern graphics technology and hardware, and do it all at a price point that’s affordable for today’s Stingrayoperators.  Our first game which we feel delivers just that is H2Overdrive, a high-action, addictive power boat racing game.

Q: How did the idea for H2Overdrive come about?

In early 2007, Eugene Jarvis, developer of arcade megahits such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, and the Cruis’n series, was receiving feedback from arcade operators that wanted a boat racing game that would succeed Hydro Thunder.  Eugene’s company, Raw Thrills, had already developed a number of very successful arcade games before getting requests for a boat racing game.  Eugene called and proposed the idea of me forming a team to develop the game.  The idea of developing a high-action boat racing game on modern graphics hardware for the arcade sounded like an incredible opportunity.  I formed Specular Interactive shortly after and we began the ground-up development of H2Overdrive.

Q: How long has the game been in development and how large of a team has worked on it?

H2Overdrive’s been in development for 2 years, starting with a team of 3 and growing to 14 developers during the peak of development.

Q: There are several aspects that H2Overdrive shares with Hydro Thunder, what makes H2Overdrive not only different from HT, but better?

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Some more details on H2Overdrive (including a release date)

February 16, 2009

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We saw Raw Thrills’ and Specuilar Interactive’s new H2Overdrive at ATEI a few weeks ago (and we even captured some video of the game in action) but it’s hard not to want to see more of the game. Fortunately, the game’s developer Specular has updated their website to include more information on the game itself, along with more screenshots to drool over.

As far as details goes, the game will include 7 tracks, 9 boats (each with different hull designs you can upgrade to

One of the levels

One of the levels

of course), up to 8-players when linked and more. There are two kinds of attacks you can use against other players called “MegaHull” and “HullCrusher” although how they work exactly I am not sure.  They also say that the game will be available in May of this year so mark your calendars and if you want an arcade near you to pick it up, start bugging them now (which we should all do for every game we want them to get ;) ).

More to see over at Specular Interactive.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Specular Interactive Update

January 3, 2008

I decided to check up on Specular Interactive (who had signed a deal with Raw Thrills for the development of some new arcade titles) and they had an interesting update today. We still have no idea what it is that they are working on but they have posted a job listing for their development team today that goes as follows:

We’re looking for a talented programmer to join our team and help create what will soon become one of the most highly anticipated arcade games in years. This is a next-gen arcade game that’ll be as much fun to play as it was to develop. If you’re interested and have the chops, visit our jobs page to learn more about the position.

What we don’t know is if this is the same game that was referred to back in November orspec2.png spec1.pngfor a different game all together. Either way, one project or two they are making something big and we can’t wait to find out more. What also piques the curiosity is the artwork one finds on their website(pictured on the left and the right). Is this just filler art or something from the new game(s) they are working on? At least it doesn’t look like a racing game but some sort of futuristic war game which already excites me a great deal. Hopefully we will learn something new about this game soon (@ ATEI perhaps?).

[Specular Interactive Website] [Discuss on the Forum]

Raw Thrills Signs Specular Interactive for New Arcade Game

November 9, 2007

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SKOKIE, IL – November 9, 2007 – Raw Thrills, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of coin-operated arcade videogames, announced an agreement with premier development studio Specular Interactive, Inc. to create a premium coin-operated videogame for arcade.

“Like Raw Thrills, Specular Interactive, led by arcade game design legend Steve Ranck, has a proven team of veteran arcade developers with a solid track record and an impressive talent for developing great games,” said Eugene Jarvis, president of Raw Thrills and the genius behind such legendary arcade hits as Defender, Robotron: 2084, Smash TV, and the Cruis’n series. “We’re very excited about working with Specular Interactive. And let me say yes, the rumors are true. This project will blow away gamers and operators alike.”

Under the development agreement, Specular Interactive will design and develop the arcade game and Raw Thrills will publish and manufacture the game worldwide, while offering design input along the way.

“The opportunity of working with a company of the caliber of Raw Thrills and alongside the genius of Eugene Jarvis doesn’t come along very often,” said Steven Ranck, president and founder of Specular Interactive. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Eugene and Raw Thrills on this exciting arcade game project.”

Details about the game have not been released at this time.

[Discuss on the  Forum]

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