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Hi-Tec Software Ltd.

Overview

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

Games

Daffy Duck and the Great Paint Caper(2015)
Turbo the Tortoise(1992)
Yogi's Big Clean Up(1992)
Jetsons: The Computer Game(1992)
Potsworth & Co.(1992)
Wonderball(1992)
Wacky Races(1991)
Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back(1991)
Chevy Chase(1991)
Jonny Quest(1991)
Insector Hecti in the Inter Change(1991)
Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo(1991)
Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy(1991)
Hi-Tec Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Character Collection, The(1991)
Defenders of the Earth(1991)
Alien World(1991)
Black Hornet(1991)
Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote(1991)
Cricket Captain(1990)
Spy vs Spy(1990)
Spy vs. Spy: The Island Caper(1990)
Blazing Thunder(1990)
Top Cat Starring in Beverly Hills Cats(1990)
Ruff and Reddy in the Space Adventure(1990)
Tracksuit Manager(1990)
Hong Kong Phooey: No.1 Super Guy(1990)
Rad Warrior(1990)
Poseidon: Planet Eleven(1990)
Future Bike Simulator(1990)
Guardian II: Revenge of the Mutants(1990)
Atom Ant(1990)
Yogi's Great Escape(1990)
Yogi Bear & Friends in the Greed Monster: A Treasure Hunt(1990)
Cauldron I & II(1990)
Quick Draw McGraw(1990)
Spy vs. Spy III: Arctic Antics(1989)
Boulder Dash: Construction Kit(1989)

Trivia

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