Hello H-Hour Community,
H-Hour is available for up to 50% off during the Steam store Winter Sale running from Dec 20, 2018 to Jan 3, 2019. As the PC game nears completion, we plan to run a few free weekend events to help get the word out on H-Hour, improve player counts and continue to support our playing community. Our first free weekend will follow the release of our upcoming patch.
PS4 Development Update:
In the past 6 months while also maintaining our PC development, we progressed far enough into the PS4 SDK workload to have meaningful conversations with PlayStation (PS) industry professionals and Sony representatives on H-Hour: Worlds Elite. The time spent was tremendously helpful in understanding the work effort, processes and requirements for a release on that platform. It also helped us identify the best approach to use for H-Hour’s development moving forward.
PS4 Unlike PC Development
PS4 development is unlike Steam where a developer controls Quality Assurance (QA) standards and approvals for testing patches and actually releases them themselves. Sony has a large number of predetermined standards that must be met before we can book time for a test with their QA department. And yes, you need to book in advance as they service many development teams. Without Sony’s QA level release approval, your game cannot move to the next stage of development/release and we need a minimum of two streams for this as we will have a Closed Beta for H-Hour. There is also a cost to use these services so it is wise for a developer to limit the number of times they require Sony QA.
PS4 DevKit Check Improves PC Code
PC development, no matter how complete, does not mean you can just push your game to the Sony DevKit and begin your work. Our Senior Developer discovered a large number of changes that were needed in the PC code before the game would work with Sony’s SDK and open on the DevKit in our PSN depot. Though this slowed PC development, we feel it was time well spent. It allows for a matching of the development streams we would otherwise not have had and will enable the team to move improvements made during PS development backwards into the PC more easily post PS release.
Learned from PS4 Check
We are now aware that advancing beyond this successful first step requires freezing our code, adapting our graphics, audio, optimizations, leaderboard, achievements (awards), DLC systems and other platform dependent services including multiplayer server processes. We will also need to upgrade our engine version to ensure the PSN SDK version in use is supported throughout the development period.
Where do we Stand
So where do we stand? The studio decided to take the wise advice we received from the PS industry professionals we consulted and stop all PS work until we have fully released H-Hour on PC and can freeze the game code. Once that freeze is in place, we will upgrade our engine version and turn our focus fully on PSN development. For our community map makers, there will also be a need for optimization and quality standards to be met if they wish to share their content on PS. To ensure their content is ready, starting in March, we will consult with our community map makers to identify their wishes for the process to use and their willingness to move the best of their custom maps to the PS platform as free content.
PC Development Update:
With the full focus returning to PC development now, our team expects to begin testing of its latest patch after Christmas. This patch deals with the majority of our in game release showstoppers and allows for an enjoyable in-game experience for our players. Once you start seeing the internal test servers popping up, you will know the patch is within a week or two of public release.
Future patches that follow will lock down the remaining interface needs, complete the final passes for bug fixes, optimizations, and polish, then finish with the move to shipping builds so we can release our server files to the public. This will be release version 1.0 for H-Hour and as with any game, you can expect changes will follow the release as time permits.
The studio and development team want to wish each and everyone of you a happy, prosperous and fun filled holiday season!