Five Rockford residents and two guys from Poplar Grove will be the death of millions of aliens. They want you to join them in killing off alien invaders and have fun doing it. Eric Nofsinger, Mark Muraski, Pat Dolan, Tom Martin, and Damion Davis, all of Rockford, along with Altair Lane and David Pellas, both of Poplar Grove, helped develop High Voltage Software’s latest release for the Nintendo Wii called “The Conduit.”
Five Rockford residents and two guys from Poplar Grove will be the death of millions of aliens.
They want you to join them in killing off alien invaders and have fun doing it.
Eric Nofsinger, Mark Muraski, Pat Dolan, Tom Martin, and Damion Davis, all of Rockford, along with Altair Lane and David Pellas, both of Poplar Grove, helped develop High Voltage Software’s latest release for the Nintendo Wii called “The Conduit,” a futuristic adventure that puts gamers behind the guns of agent Michael Ford as he defends Washington, D.C. from an alien attack.
Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen also offered guitar riffs for the game’s soundtrack.
The game was released Tuesday, a nervewracking time for the game developers as they wait to hear feedback from consumers on a project that spanned 22 months.
Lane, software engineer for High Voltage, says it also can be a rewarding time to hear buzz around the game.
“If (people) don’t even know what you do and they say ‘hey there’s this game, you’ve got to play it’ and it’s the game you’ve worked on, that’s the win for me because then I know we did make a game that people enjoyed,” Lane said. “I definitely feel ‘The Conduit’ is going to be that way.”
Lane’s been in the gaming business for 20 years and worked on games such as “WWF Warzone” and “America’s Army.”
“For me, the kick was always going into the store and being able to see the product on the shelf,” Lane said. “When I saw my first product on the shelf it was a big moment, I won’t forget it.”
“The Conduit” is a first-person shooter, meaning the gamer behind the controls sees the action unfold through the eyes of the character they’re controlling. It’s a fast-paced run-and-gun with futuristic weapons, but the game has more layers than that, said Pellas, a director of game design.
“I don’t want to reveal too much because it really is enjoyable to have it unfold in front of you, but it is definitely laden with tons of conspiracy elements,” Pellas said. Gamers also can choose to “just shoot a bunch of aliens, have a lot of fun.”
Martin, a producer, said he’s proud of the final product.
“Our control is fantastic in the game. It’s very intuitive. I think the guys used the Wii Motion brilliantly in the game.” Martin said. “I’m confident people will love the game.”
Some of the Rockford game developers had a connection in the local music scene before going to work at High Voltage Software in Hoffman Estates.
“We all kind of knew each other, some better than others. When we were 18 years old, we played in bands together,” said Muraski, 32, an audio engineer. “Somehow a lot of band members from Rockford ended up here.”
Davis, a lead artist for High Voltage, had his connection to the music scene too. He said there’s about a dozen Rockford residents working for High Voltage Software, which employs about 160 people.
Davis has been in the video game business for about 20 years. He’s even got the dubious honor of working on the Atari Jaguar game “White Men Can’t Jump,” widely reviewed as one of the worst games in history. Videogamecritic.net called it the “worst video game of all time.”
“The first game ever that I worked on was one of the 10 worst games in video game history ... but I still think it’s a really great experience for me,” Davis said. “And I got to become famous. I’ve signed autographs for that.”
Davis knows “The Conduit” will have a much better reputation among gamers.
“This could be the game that pushes High Voltage and turns us into Angelina Jolie,” Davis said.
Kevin Haas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (815) 987-1354.