High Voltage Reviews | Glassdoor

High Voltage Reviews

Updated January 25, 2017
14 reviews

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2.6
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Kerry Ganofsky
2 Ratings

14 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Middling video game company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at High Voltage full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Video game work in NW Chicago.
    If you are passionate and can ignore others might be good.

    Cons

    Extreme unreasonable overtime / hours. Odd on-call times on weekend.
    Unpredictable schedules.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to school


  2. "Good place to start"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Full of talented and friendly people. It is a great place to develop a breadth of skills, rather than getting stuck in on discipline (if that's what you want). They also have good opportunities for those who would choose to specialize.

    Cons

    Management is a bit detached form the employees for a smaller company.
    Production staff can be very demanding, and sometimes in over their heads, not fully understanding the scope of a project.

    Advice to Management

    Management could benefit from better communication and transparency with the staff.


  3. "Game Programmer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at High Voltage full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lot's of projects.
    Friendly and Welcoming Coworkers.
    Chilled out

    Cons

    Bad with benefits.
    Projects are worked using the safe route, instead of risking new things.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing, high voltage software is great to work at.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Digital Artist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in Hanover Park, IL
    Former Employee - Digital Artist in Hanover Park, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at High Voltage full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Creative environment, and got to work with other professionals.

    Cons

    I was placed into task that I could not accomplish (I am a designer/concept artist) They needed more 3d animators.

    Advice to Management

    NA


  6. "Low Pay, Constipated Processes, Low Standards"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at High Voltage full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Lots of friendly teammates
    - You get to work on a variety of games
    - You can get some experience before moving on

    Cons

    - Churn/burnout is incredible
    - Pay is low-to-mid and raises are often not even enough to cover a cost-of-living increase
    - Low end hardware
    - Very tight schedules
    - Even lower quality standards
    - Incompetent Executives constantly interfering with projects
    - Sweatshop attitude

    Advice to Management

    Take a moment to reflect upon "why" your company struggles to find work. Be honest with yourselves. Work on improving your quality standards and hold those responsible for the failures accountable.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Sub-standard pay and lacking career advancement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Tester
    Former Employee - QA Tester
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at High Voltage part-time

    Pros

    Relaxed culture and a diverse group of individuals.

    The chance to work on high profile projects.

    Cons

    Understaffed and overworked. Multiple projects in the studio means the already small pool of testers is stretched on a daily basis.

    Part-time only at an hourly rate that doesn't cover the cost of living.

    Lack of career advancement. Any experience you get from the job won't prepare you for a real QA position elsewhere; real QA testing requires more experience and education than what you you get at High Voltage. If you're trying to get your foot in the door and move into another area of the company, you better make sure the producers know that's your goal. If there's no opportunities, start looking for another job asap.

    Advice to Management

    Offer full time to those who want it, and raise the hourly wage to $15/hr.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Asleep at the wheel"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at High Voltage full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some small groups of talented artists still work there.

    Cons

    Welcome to HVS, home of old tech, poor compensation & frustrated employees. Lack of vision & disorganized. Weak/bad leadership all around. Preproduction is nonexistent or severely lacking. Poor planning & constant last minute changes lead to long hours, extra work and low quality products. Some long time employees enjoy an elevated status without the skills to back it up. Stagnant career path & poor review process. Instead of trusting/listening to their best assets, their employees, bad ideas trickle down with no push back from leads. Game play seems like an after thought compared to getting a box on the shelf. Poorly done licensed products are there bread-and-butter. For a company that has been around for over 20 years they still haven't figured out how to produce a game.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to start in the field, but leave as soon as you can."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at High Voltage full-time

    Pros

    Fun, talented coworkers.
    Free food in the kitchen.
    Halloween party.

    Cons

    Poor compensation.
    Several employees are given preferential treatment due to friendships with management or the owner, regardless of job performance.
    Long hours without compensation, usually due to the poor planning of management and certain individuals who under-perform without repercussion.
    Creative demands and micromanagement from higher up usually conflict with direction and vision of a project as laid out by those put in charge of developing the game, often to the detriment of the project.
    Employees are treated with undue paranoia resulting in blocking of certain websites, baseless accusations and keeping those in the trenches from working effectively.
    Too many managers/producers and not enough developers/artists.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to really get to know your employees and what they do for the company. Reward people based upon their contributions, not how much fun you have while hanging out with them or if they're willing to wash your car.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "A foot in the door, but expect to be treated poorly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at High Voltage full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great coworkers, interesting array of projects to work on, and a fairly competitive PTO package are all strong positives.

    Cons

    Extremely long/forgiving hours, frequently because of mismanagement/poor decision making. Poor IT staff, hardware, etc. Salary isn't competitive at all, which, for a starter job wouldn't be terrible - except with the forced overtime and poor treatment.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, end the nepotism, and go back to caring. Things used to be a lot better.


  11. "It's the Game Industry on a Small Scale"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Artist in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Former Employee - Artist in Hoffman Estates, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at High Voltage full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great location!
    Talented and friendly staff. Often feels like family.
    Creative ideas and high energy.
    Extremely professional and helpful HR department.
    Solid PTO policy for those who stay with the company more than 2 years
    Great place to start your game career.

    Cons

    Many Long hours
    Average to lower than average pay
    Micromanaging from exec level.
    The ideas and creative direction from higher up consistently lacked the vision necessary for success in the game industry. This hurt the job security of the entire staff.
    A handful of employees (higher up and lower) are often kept around and given preferential treatment due to friendships with management / owner, regardless of job performance.

    Advice to Management

    Actively seek out and listen to your staff. Encourage open honesty even if it conflicts with your own views. Different perspectives can't hurt. Welcome their ideas and offer incentives to those who want to bring success to HVS with their ideas and passion. There are brilliant people with ideas that you haven't been capitalizing on.

    Don't be afraid of hiring experienced and established individuals from outside of the company to drive your creative direction and game design.



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