Archive for the ‘interview’ category

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?