High Voltage Reviews | Glassdoor

High Voltage Reviews

Updated April 25, 2017
15 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

2.6
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Kerry Ganofsky
3 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great For Getting Your Foot In the Door in the Industry... But That's About It"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at High Voltage full-time

    Pros

    - Great friendly staff. There really is a sense of family at the company.
    - They have a good batch of producers and executives that are very personable and willing to help.
    - Very underrated in terms of production quality. There is a triple A studio vibe here that you won't find anywhere else in the area.

    Cons

    - For many, this place is a revolving door. I was working there for about four+ years on various projects, but was quickly shown the door once there was a downturn.
    - For some reason, there isn't much employee development at the studio, when this is whats promised to you and "what they hang their hat on". When a senior position opens up, they would rather hire from outside rather than promote their current employees who have worked there for years.
    - They also promise a great deal of training, but my leads were more interested in scolding and micro managing rather than giving constructive feedback. I understand that projects can be a high-stress environment, but overall there ought to be more development rather than expectation.

    Advice to Management

    Overall you have an excellent studio, but what needs to change is the mentoring. More often than not, I see younger employees get "thrown into the fire", so to speak, with very little support or training. This mostly applies to the QA guys who get promoted upward, and months later end up back on the testing block because they didn't live up to expectations. They often crash and burn, which is really sad to see. I tried to mentor some of them the best I could in my area of development, but it really should be a team effort. Give employees the proper steps before giving them more work, and focus more on the growth aspect.


  2. "Middling video game company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

  3. "Good place to start"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  4. "Game Programmer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Digital Artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


Showing 15 of 16 reviews
Reset Filters