Hi-Tec Software Ltd.

Moby ID: 3615

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Hi-Tec Software was established in 1989 in Sheffield by Dave Palmer. He managed to get deals with top cartoon makers like Hanna Barbera and Warner Bros. (Looney Tunes). With his small team of developers he was able to create a wealth of animation-inspired games, all made available at budget prices of 2,99 pounds (later raised to 3,99 pounds).

Hi-Tec's programming team were Dave Thompson (programmer and Spectrum specialist), Gary Antcliffe (16-bit versions programmer and C64 programmer) and Richard Morton (graphic artist). Later on several people joined: Pete Thrith (playtesting), Dave Allington (marketing man), Julie Allington (illustrator) and Nigel Speight (programmer).

They always worked their way exactly the same. They took pre-exisitng stories from the original cartoons ensuring that the animation studios would not be able to take issue with the fundamentals of the games. The concept was drawn on the storyboard, video grabbed and sent for the approval to Hanna Barbera or Warner Bros. During the game development the animation studio was approving graphics and making alterations or recommendations. According to Richard Morton, who was interviewed in Retro Gamer 25, Les Skinner from Hanna Barbera visited Hi-Tec on a regular basis twice a year to propose any changes starting from the colours of some particular outfit details of the characters ending with the reminders that none of the characters could be killed - they could be put to sleep or made to sit. Additionaly Hi-Tec received books filled with sketch sheets and drawings of the characters in different poses in order to create sprites.

In each case the games were developed the same way. At first 8-bit version was created. It was written on Atari ST and then ported using Dave Thompson's special conversion utility. Richard Morton used DPaint. For each game it took between three and six months to be finished.

None of the licensed games could contain any other copyrighted material apart from the concept and graphics. Meaning that opening tunes and in-game music could not be taken from the cartoons. However Hi-Tec used some cartoon samples in its last 16-bit versions of the games.

Later Hi-Tec decided to produce the original concept games that was not based on licences. One of such successful games was Turbo the Tortoise. However the creation model stayed the same.

The last game produced by Hi-Tec was Daffy Duck. The game which was given a 94% score in ZZap!64. Unfortunately the game was never released until it eventually surfaced in 2015 through efforts by Ashley Routledge as Daffy Duck and the Great Paint Caper. Pretty soon the main development staff left for Core and the label was closed in 1992.

Dave Palmer continued with his side company PAL Developments to create games for other labels. In 1993 it changed name to Dave A Palmer Productions.

Sources* Retro Gamer 25

Credited on 36 Games from 1989 to 2015

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Daffy Duck and the Great Paint Caper (2015 on Commodore 64)
Jetsons: The Computer Game (1992 on DOS, Amiga, Atari ST...)
Potsworth & Co. (1992 on Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum...)
Turbo the Tortoise (1992 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC)
Yogi's Big Clean Up (1992 on Amiga, Atari ST)
Alien World (1991 on Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari ST)
Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy (1991 on Commodore 64)
Black Hornet (1991 on Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari ST)
Chevy Chase (1991 on ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC)
Insector Hecti in the Inter Change (1991 on Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64...)
Jonny Quest (1991 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC)
Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote (1991 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC)
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1991 on Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64...)
The Hi-Tec Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Character Collection (1991 on Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC...)
Wacky Races (1991 on Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64...)
Atom Ant (1990 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC)
Blazing Thunder (1990 on Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64...)
Cauldron I & II (1990 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum)
Cricket Captain (1990 on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC)
Defenders of the Earth (1990 on Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64...)

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Company founded by Dave Palmer.


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