H-Hour Development Team
Servers & Builds,
Social Media Support,
Senior Game Developer,
Workshop & Server Scripts
Senior 3D Texture Artist,
Level Designer - Cove,
Social Media Support
Level Designer - Scorch
The History of H-Hour
H-Hour is a spiritual successor to the early SOCOM series. It is an experience directly inspired by the early SOCOM series BUT also its own authentic experience of special operations game play. H-Hour is a game built from the ground up to be immediate, realistic, multiplayer-oriented and team based. It returns us to a boots on the ground, tactical team play style so many of us loved.
The Beginning – An Indie Company is Born
It was the vision of returning gaming to a place where being part of a healthy, passionate community that enjoyed spending their time together sharing team work and espirt de corp that sparked the creation of SOF Studios Ltd. SOF Studios is led by an elite Special Operations veteran, Tom. To bring the dream to life, Tom secured a round of family and friends funding and hired David Sears, the creative director of the original SOCOM games.
David then ran a successful Kickstarter campaign that reached its minimum target goal. The active SOCOM fanbase was one of the keys to the success of this drive. There was also significant interest and support from within other gaming communities who enjoyed the older military shooter style games.
The Kickstarter minimum target that was reached allowed for the spring 2014 creation of a small marketing demo of the game to use in presentations to investors in the hopes of securing funding to complete the full game. David worked in consultation with the H-Hour community to complete the demo and the game’s Design documents before his departure to other projects in 2014.
Game Development Costs a Lot
Despite receiving only limited investment funding, the studio stayed true to their belief in the H-Hour concept and began UE4 development of the full game in October 2014 while still seeking additional investment. Expectations were high from the community but VC and Publisher funding for Indie games was in decline with only already proven games or very unique concepts being considered. Wanting to continue development, the studio needed to move the game onto the Steam Early Access program in May 2015 to secure enough sales to keep their team working. However, by the start of 2016 while still in early alpha state on Steam, development ground to a halt as funding was exhausted.
The Community Steps Up to Keep the Dream Alive
In May 2016, a group of talented industry professionals from within the H-Hour community, some of whom previously worked on H-Hour, offered to get involved and complete the game they all believed in. These developers took the risk of committing their time and money in continuing the project despite the lack of funding. Since then, this small development team has steadfastly moved H-Hour forward and it is now in beta phase on Steam undergoing optimization and polish prior to full PC release. The developers also began the port process for PS4 on March 31, 2018.
With a history such as this, we take pride in saying H-Hour is a true passion project. It required the willingness of the current developers to work without any guarantee of compensation. It also depended on the commitment of our playing community who kept the servers seeded, reported bugs and provided constructive feedback so the team could continue to improve the game.
Now is the time for us all to get the word out, promote the game and keep the dream of a SOCOM successor on PC and PS4 alive. Let’s continue to work together to make H-Hour a success so we have a bright future with more content and improvements to come.