Closed for now! Follow future discussion at the H-Hour Kickstarter page, campaign running through July 7th.


I've recently started a Kickstarter Campaign for H-Hour: World's Elite and doing an IAmA to answer any questions about H-Hour, the Kickstarter Campaign, myself and etc.. Pretty much, ask me anything!

  • I'm the original CD for the critically acclaimed and best-selling series of SOCOM: US NAVY SEALs games for Playstation 2 and PSP.
  • I'm currently the CD for H-Hour: World's Elite at Special Operations Forces Studios (SOF Studios) which is both a tactical, team-based, military shooter AND my spiritual successor to those early SOCOM PS2 shooters.
  • H-Hour: World's Elite is currently running on Kickstarter to raise $200,000 which you can learn more about here
  • In the past I've worked on a variety of games and consoles for developers including Virgin Games, Looking Glass Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Pseudo Interactive, and Ubisoft.
  • I've been designing videos games for 22 years now.

Comments: 462 • Responses: 102  • Date: 

JeremyEye77 karma


Let me preface by saying that the first socom games were an extremely big part of my life. Everything about those games were done right, and they had the best community I think I've ever experienced in any game. Some of my best childhood memories are jumping the bridge in abandoned, scouring the tunnels of rat's nest, and rescuing the hostages in Desert Glory.

I also made an extremely close friend back on Socom 1 that lives in Michigan, and i'm from Pennsylvania. We bonded over the game, got to know each other, and realized we share a bunch of interests. And usually each other once a year or so. That would have never happened if we didn't happen to be playing the same video game at the same time, and it blows my mind every day. I just wanted to say thanks for making such an awesome game that brought in these kind of people.

So I have a few questions about H-Hour...

  • All shooters, Battlefield, Call of Duty, MOH, etc - feel exactly the same to me these days. They focus more on shock value and speed than gameplay, in my opinion. Are you actively trying to avoid this with H-Hour?
  • Socom essentially invented voice chat in console gaming. What is one thing that you want to add that would be innovative to this game, and one thing you want to carry over from the socom series?
  • Why do you think sony went the different creative direction that they did post Socom 3? It really seemed to kill the series and that's sad.
  • I know you probably get asked this all the time, but is there any chance in hell that an HD remake of socom 1 or 2 could be made? I feel like although it'd be a niche market, sony could pull a profit on it.
  • Did you play the old socom games online? If so, were you in a clan?

Thanks for trying to make this game a reality... I pledged the other day, and am just super excited to get into a lobby and g^

Also, have some nostalgia everyone. It's on the house. "Man down!"

Doctor__Boom34 karma

Wow. It's always humbling to hear stories like yours. When I was making SOCOM it was definitely a labor of love but a lot of the time it was "there's too much to do and too much to keep track of." I basically had no social life for the years I was making those games. So to hear your story really does make the time spent worth it all.

Regarding Battlefied, CoD, MOH: yes, I'm trying to and succeeding in avoiding all the WOW spectacle stuff. Those games do it well but it costs them tens of millions of dollars. I want to initially create a core MP experience that is all about teamwork, core gameplay, replay value, authenticity and yeah, even a little sly humor thrown in. I am confident you are not going to get some of the crazy stuff that we intend in those other games.

Regarding the key innovation in H-Hour: Sure, we're doing some clever things with MP game modes and will be working on "human drama in quiet moments" with the SP campaign but there are two things that are going to make H-Hour unique and stand out. The first is all the community tools and features to get like minded people together, playing together, and befriending one another. The other big thing is to be known for being the first to use analytics in a practical, meaningful way for gamers. Not just boot to kill, rounds fired blah blah blah. Exposure analysis. Interpersonal cooperation. Responsiveness to orders. Sportsmanship. Of course people are free to play any way they like (as long as they are not cheating) but we want to create a community that is know for esprit de corps, not griefing.

I've thought about the direction of SOCOM after I left Zipper/Sony. You know, it's just one of those things. People like to say that a series always changes after the creators leave and they do. It's natural.

Regarding the HD remake, I believe Sony is on record as stating that it will not happen.

I did play the old SOCOM games online--had to because of working on them. :) As is typical of developers, after working overtime on a game for three years, that game is usually the last one you want to play. It doesn't mean the game isn't good, it's more of a "been there, done that" sort of thing. Plus they put you to work on sequels immediately so more overtime...

I am ashamed to admit that I was not in a clan. No time for it and I would've been "that guy that only shows up for barbecues." Seemed unfair to potential clan mates.

Stofficer214 karma

Same story here! I couldnt thank you enough for such a fantastic game. Ive since switched to ps3 and have tried bf3 and COD but nothing comes close to socom on ps2. It didnt matter if you knew anyone or not. When you joined that team you became part of them. Everyone worked together to successfully eliminate the enemy. Everything worked flawlessly. If you wanted to cheat and glitch, you had your own corner where no one would be bothered. One of my bestfriends was met via the game. We were around 12. He lives in KY and I lived in VA. We still havnt met face to face but we talk atleast twice a week. Much of my childhood was spent on that game. I remember trying to talk deeper so the older folks wouldnt poke too much fun at me. I remember feeling like such a BA for calling old guys names. best of all, being able to poke around a corner was one of the best features!!!!!!! Here's to you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Doctor__Boom11 karma

You are so welcome!

joerobdoes3 karma

You actually saved the hostages on Desert Glory? I used to just charge the right side with a machine gun.

I was 13 and dumb.

Doctor__Boom12 karma

I often felt that the hostages deserved to die--no offense to hostages or counter terrorists out there. They would sometimes just refuse to do what I wanted them to do. We won't let that happen with H-Hour. ;)

runner_fag19 karma

I just wanted to say SOCOM II is hands down the best online game to ever be created. I wish Code 9 never got introduced though. How come there was no way of stopping this?

Doctor__Boom8 karma

Thanks for that!

There are the decisions the developer takes and there are decisions that the publisher takes. He who owns the IP makes the call.

Doctor__Boom18 karma

Well, we generally try not to say unkind things about anyone's work. Unless you're a journalist. Then it seems to be your job.

What I can say about the later SOCOMs is that they went off the road map I had envisioned and detailed. That was disappointing for me. I'm sure they put everything they had into those games but they were quite different from what I would have done.

WhiteBreadNoCrust18 karma

With your recent announcement of H Hour coming to the PS4 (if that tier is backed), will there be a beta test available for the console?

Doctor__Boom23 karma

Absolutely. First in line are Kickstarter backers. We will not forget the community that made the game possible.

skasucka8817 karma

everyone here needs to pledge on kickstarter and make this game happen!!!!

Doctor__Boom12 karma

I totally agree with the previous post. ;)

Tajackamo13 karma

Will we see new maps similar to old classics?

To be more specific, Blizzard, Night Stalker, Desert Glory, Rats Nest. I LIVED on those maps whenever I was pugging it.

Doctor__Boom18 karma

Yes. Similar but different. Spiritual successor and all that. As opposed to "sued for copyright infringement." ;)

But the process of research, finding inspiration, design, iteration, feedback and test will be identical. It works so we'll use it.

PRE_-CISION-_13 karma


This question may sound a little rough but it's a concern of mine and what's currently keeping me from donating to your kickstarter. You joined up with SOF almost a year ago and the only concept of this game you have are a few artist renders and essentially a microsoft word document. This leaves me concerned as a SOCOM fan because I really have no clue of your vision and what your trying to create. One line I read it's a SOCOM spiritual successor then the next line I get the impression that this games a military sim. I just want a SOCOM successor and not to have this series roots twisted into a hybrid again, which it sounds like your doing. Also with your impressive background and the fact you can't currently secure a investor (which puzzles me) how do I know after your demo is complete you can gaurnetee a publisher will be on board. I apologize again if that sounded rough but I don't know how else to word it. Although I have yet to donate I really do want to give you a big shout out for what your doing at SOF.

Doctor__Boom17 karma

We are not making a sim, that's for sure. I have access to lots of guys that have lived the special forces life and are guiding me in terms of authenticity but just as we did with SOCOM, everyone understands that fun trump realism. The whole point is for me to get back to my roots and give the world a game that has the feel of an early SOCOM (but honestly looks good compared to AAA titles). This is not something I enter into lightly and feel the enormous weight of not letting everyone down every day. I lose sleep over it. I also have to say that I have never mislead or lied to anyone about the games I work on. In fact, I have always tried to tell people too much and have not been rewarded for that. So when I tell you that I'm making a spiritual successor you have enough faith to trust in my integrity.

It's a good question regarding the funding and what we're showing at this point. In hindsight, if I had known how difficult it would be to get big investors to commit I would've taken the seed money we had and built the demo. In that case we wouldn't be having this conversation now. We do have more than a Word document but it's heavy on the design side, less on the production side. We basically had enough seed money to allow me time to envision and design the game, line up the talent to make the game, and to pitch to enough investors to realize that we needed a demo.

How do you know an investor/publisher will be on board after seeing the demo? Because like everything else I do, I put 100% of my effort into it and I've honed my design skills over the years. I'm better at it now than I was ten years ago setting out to design a new franchise that millions and millions of people fell in love with. What can I tell you? Nothing in life is truly certain and perhaps even a great demo will not equate to a great publishing deal. Great games have even shipped and failed to find their audience. But I do know for certain that you cannot succeed if you do not try. He who dares, wins. Chance favors the prepared mind. For just $10.00 you can give these prepared minds the chance to dare and the chance to win. Thanks for your consideration.

Stuey0812 karma

Hello David,

I'm Stuey, current owner of NGGC (Next Generation Gaming Community) and former owner of GamingAhead, both of which were gaming ladder sites that I used to manage up until early 2009, each site had between 10,000 - 20,000 members.

First off, I'd like to just say I haven't been this enthusiastic for a game in a long time. I love what I have read so far and your vision for H-Hour is exactly what the SOCOM/tactical shooter fans need.

I received SOCOM 1 for my birthday shortly after it released and even though I couldn't play online yet, since my parents still had dial-up at the time, I still had an awesome experience being able to use the headset to issue commands to the AI teammates. Six months later, I finally convinced my parents to upgrade to cable internet. Little did I know, that shortly after logging in for the first time I'd be hooked to SOCRACK. I still vividly remember the first map that I played, The Ruins, to this day my favorite map in any of the SOCOM games. I picked up SOCOM 2 right when it released. It didn't try to change too much and followed the same formula as SOCOM 1, although with broken hit detection :P. It seems every release after SOCOM 2 got further and further away from the core SOCOM experience. Who would have thought that a game released close to 10 years ago had more innovative features than what is currently available on todays market?

Enough about my history, let's get into a few questions eh?

1.) Will players be able to interact with any of the maps? By that I mean, will you be able to blow up routes (e.g. blowing up the bridges on x-roads) or shooting out light bulbs/turning off power (e.g. Enowapi)? That's just one of those features that made each round so different. Or how about opening/closing doors? I can't believe that's something that was doable back in SOCOM 1, but now it's all of a sudden too difficult to implement.

2.) Will there be any clan ladder support? Basically an interface that allows clans to challenge other clans. I know it was tried in SOCOM 3 and Confrontation, but I didn't really like how it was implemented.

I met a lot of good people playing SOCOM and managing the gaming ladder sites. The SOCOM 1 and 2 ladders were active the entire time I managed the sites. I've been waiting for motivation to develop another ladder site for awhile and your vision for H-Hour has actually got me thinking about developing one from the ground up. The best part of managing those sites was the interaction with the SOCOM community.

Finally, I'd just like to say that the SOCOM community has been waiting for a true SOCOM experience for a long time, and I'm truly grateful that you realized that and I wish SOF Studios nothing but the best of luck going forward.

Thanks for your time, Stuey

Doctor__Boom7 karma

Excellent questions and an excellent story. Love it.

"Will players be able to interact with any of the maps? By that I mean, will you be able to blow up routes (e.g. blowing up the bridges on x-roads) or shooting out light bulbs/turning off power (e.g. Enowapi)? That's just one of those features that made each round so different. Or how about opening/closing doors? I can't believe that's something that was doable back in SOCOM 1, but now it's all of a sudden too difficult to implement."

Yes, this is the intention. It's not so much a problem of being able to blow stuff up, it's a problem of synching the state change in time for it to not cheat other players. In my mind one of the reasons this is hard to achieve is the fact that the player who started the game is the host. And all kinds of weirdness could ensue if the host dropped during an environment-modifying event. Having dedicated servers can take some of the difficulty out of doing this.

"Will there be any clan ladder support? Basically an interface that allows clans to challenge other clans." Yes, in a very big way. It's one of the feature sets I'm most excited about.

Thanks for your kind wishes and please help spread the word about what we're attempting. :)

mbdjd12 karma

SOCOM games were a big part of my life 8-10 years ago and I know a ton of people for who it was the same, many of whom I still speak to quite regularly. To us this was far more than just a fun online game, but something we would often spend near every waking moment playing. So thank you for making two games that I feel are some of the best I have ever played.

Fans of the first two games have dealt with quite a few disappointments over the last 8 years, mostly because the sequels have drastically changed what made the early games so great.

While I am assuming you are going to be aiming for something similar to 1 and 2, are there any things that existed in those games that you are specifically looking to change? Obviously there are going to be features that will evolve naturally from how they were ten years ago, but are there things in S1/2 that you feel really didn't work and either shouldn't be carried over to h-hour or that need to be completely reworked?

Doctor__Boom8 karma

Well, draw distance limitations, something I've mentioned earlier here and how we'll approach balancing design around that. Also AI that follows the full design spec rather than part of it. Incomplete AI = AI that doesn't seem smart or human. More cheat prevention and cheat punishment as well.

You are very welcome for those early games! I hope that we are making the game you want to play in the near future.

Tajackamo11 karma

Will "guns hot" make a return?

Doctor__Boom6 karma

That little feature was intended to give players a little more feeling of "instinct"--the intangible but real ability humans--particularly trained special forces operators--have to intuitively know when an enemy has eyes on them, danger is close (it's that uneasy feeling you get). I liked it, many players liked it, and until we come up with better ways to simulate these kinds of not-quite-one-of-the-five-senses senses, I'll keep looking to include simple mechanics to stand in for them. So yes, or a better version if I can think of one. Good question.

DrakeonX11 karma

Why wasn't Rainbox 6: Patriots shown at E3?

Doctor__Boom19 karma

Wow. I have no idea. I've had my hands full with Kickstarter stuff. One thing I learned right away after launching: You don't run a Kickstarter campaign. Your Kickstarter campaign runs you. :)

sharpesh00ter10 karma

Rainbow 6 is my favourite shooter series. Is there a definite date for Patriots yet?

Doctor__Boom16 karma

Please contact your Ubisoft representative for details. I don't work there anymore. :P

TomSturgis9 karma

Hi David, Longtime socom nut here. I have a lot of questions because this is the most excited i've been about a game in a long time.

  • Will the third person view be centered behind the player or over the shoulder?

  • Will we continue to see as much transparency from you during the development phase as we are seeing now?

  • Will you give the characters a lighter feel to them (fast movement, old school strafing battles) or will it be heavier and more reliant upon accuracy and thoughtful decisions?

  • The thing that I remember most fondly about socom looking back was the relationships I made. I could join any lobby in the beginning o the day and be best friends with those people by the end of the day. Everybody had a mic and there was an unparalleled amount of teamwork in pub games. What can you do as a developer to foster this type of community?

  • This last one isnt so much a question as much as an observation about why socom 2 has been so hard to replicate. The draw distances on PS2 were so short that on the maps it devalued snipers and allowed players to move into more aggressive positions more easily. Have you considered this when making maps (not adding in shorter draw distances but natural objects to block long lines of sight)?

I'd appreciate any answers you can give and just want to thank you for attempting to bring this game back.

Doctor__Boom11 karma

Awesome. I'll try to answer you.

"Will the third person view be centered behind the player or over the shoulder?" I say behind unless the community stages an outcry.

"Will we continue to see as much transparency from you during the development phase as we are seeing now?" You know, the only limit to my transparency is how much time I have to devote to it. My long running problem has been that I want to say too much about everything I'm working on, marketing/PR/corporate wants me to say nothing unless they have me under watch by an official rep and to never, ever post anything online. Apparently SOFs hasn't figured out that's the only way to keep me in check yet. So I am trending towards "accessible."

"The thing that I remember most fondly about socom looking back was the relationships I made. I could join any lobby in the beginning o the day and be best friends with those people by the end of the day. Everybody had a mic and there was an unparalleled amount of teamwork in pub games. What can you do as a developer to foster this type of community?"

Bring back lobbies. ;) Make creating and running clans easy--give clan leaders and team leaders access to data that really details what their clan mates/team mates are up to an let them address play and behavior issues right in the game. Design game modes and maps that only work best when players work as teams. Don't spend money and time on creating features that inflate the importance of individuals--make successful teams the most important thing. Make communication easy in the game and outside the game. And on and on...

"his last one isnt so much a question as much as an observation about why socom 2 has been so hard to replicate. The draw distances on PS2 were so short that on the maps it devalued snipers and allowed players to move into more aggressive positions more easily. Have you considered this when making maps (not adding in shorter draw distances but natural objects to block long lines of sight)?"

Love this question. I have considered this. The draw distances in SOCOM were, uh, short. Not really "distant" in a meaningful way. But there's another thing the PS2 couldn't handle: atmospherics. Well placed smoke, fog, haze, etc. can all reduce sniper effectiveness in a controlled way. I'm not saying blanket the world in fog but more "oh yeah, that area over there is smokey, I can't see who's in there from here. But the guys in the haze can see pretty well in their area. We really have to be careful that all the new power the game has behind it doesn't overpower any one play style.

DANNYonPC9 karma

What do you think of the current state of gaming (industry)?

Full with DLC, unfinished products, bad DRM (See sim city) etc

Doctor__Boom17 karma

OMG. You do realize that you've just kicked a hornet's nest, don't you? And the hornets have been surviving on a diet that consists entirely of black coffee and amphetamines.

The industry is good, bad, and ugly with a few moments of sublime beauty. Games like Journey happened, after all. I am betting a lot of people on here barely remember the 8-bit era when someone who wanted to make a game could teach themselves assembly language, design the thing, push some pixels, and put the work in a ziplock bag along with a photocopied manual...and be a success. Of course piracy was a big problem then too, and has led us to "solutions" such as DRM. Not a fan, really. But I remember Danny Bunten (creator of M.U.L.E, Seven Cities of Gold, etc.) telling me that M.U.L.E. didn't make a fraction of the money it should have. She would have been rich if everyone who pirated her games had paid even half the retail cost of those games. So we need to protect our work somehow.

Unfinished projects are almost always the result of two things (IMHO). First, publishers get cold feet and cancel the project or force the team to work on "executive level" features for the game. Eventually the team gets so disgusted they leave the company. The project becomes a ghost town as the creative force that drove it evaporates. Then executives re-evaluate the project and say things like "This project has no creative force! It's cancelled!" Mysterious how this works.

The other reason is that the company just can't finish the game. It could be that they run out of money, other important games in their line up fail, and so on. That's happened to me a couple of times. The projects were great, the company failed the team. Not that they didn't try to stay afloat, of course.

Today the industry is huge and there's safety in numbers. A collapse like the one we saw at the end of the 8-bit era is unlikely. Unfortunately it's a big business and that tends to seek to reduce risk taking and innovation. Now that we can actually understand this "art and science of game design" we should be empowered to take risks and innovate from an informed position. It's less risky now to follow your instincts because you can measure and predict your chances of success against established metrics. Use it as a launching pad for radical stuff, not justification to make games "just like everybody else."

Hornets are done for now. All clear.

Keltimus9 karma

Hello David, As a 12 year active duty member in the USAF, there was one small token in the original SOCOMs that had nothing to do with gameplay, but still made a major impact to those who played it (especially for service members like myself). That token was the Navy Seal documentaries that you could watch from the main menu. Not only do I know for a fact it influenced many civilians to enlist, but it was also a great reach out to the gamer community to say "hey, those characters you're playing on your screen... this is what they really do for a living." From what I understand, H-Hour will feature Special Forces from all US military branches, so I'm wondering if you have any special plans to include similar footage in H-Hour? I'm also wondering if you have any thoughts on perhaps releasing the full game on a May 2nd date to honor the forces who took part in the takedown of OBL?

Doctor__Boom4 karma

I would love to be able to bring that sort of extra value content to players. In the case of the the Navy SEALs documentaries you mention, that was really the result of fortuitous coincidence. A documentary film maker had gained access to the SEALs for what I believe was the first time they allowed outsiders "inside." He had many, many hours of footage that did not make the cut of the final documentaries and as I recall I we were able to create our own mini-docs from those.

All I can say is that if the source material is made available, I would love to create something with it--something motivated by respect for the men and women who protect the U.S. every day.

Regarding a release date that has to be a balance of many factors not the least of which are 1) when we have full funding and 2) when do our potential/future publishing partners (if we go that route) want to ship. We will try to influence their tendency towards dates we feel are significant however.

ufshane9 karma

Don't have a question, just want to add that Urgent Fury is in your corner 200%!!!!!


Doctor__Boom7 karma

Thanks, man. It's appreciated!

Doctor__Boom8 karma

Well guys, thank you all for the tremendous number of great questions and expressions of enthusiasm. And here's a shout out to the few skeptics--I would so much rather than tell you about the game or why we made certain decisions than let you wonder. Every participant--you are deeply appreciated. Thank you for your time and if you have any more questions please head over to our Kickstarter page and we'll resume the discussion there.

SMACK-A-BRO7 karma

What exactly is the process behind porting a game from one platform to another? Ex. Pc to PS4

Doctor__Boom8 karma

Wow. Great question, also tantamount to asking me what's involved in planning a manned mission to mars. ;) But here goes in the shortest possible way:

Develop your core content on hardware that has the best tools. For us it's PC. Choose an engine that is stable, successful, and supports your target platforms. Make your game run on PC first modifying it with your new features, then export to other hardware. See what broke. Fix that. See what runs slow. Fix that. Re-export. Repeat for over a year. Submit to publisher. Hassle over the details of TRC requirements and bug reports. Fix those issues. Resubmit. Ship.

Tajackamo7 karma

Will "backblast" be making a return? Please say yes.

Doctor__Boom9 karma

Yes. It's important to consider all of the effects of a weapon/explosive.


What will H-Hour offer to all of those gamers who may not be familiar with the SOCOM franchise? Why should COD, BF3, CS, Arma, and other shooter fans be interested in this Kickstarter?

Doctor__Boom7 karma

Well, I posted a crazy-long update about this very thing over on the Kickstarter site. In a nutshell, H-Hour's about economy of design. This doesn't mean less features or less robust features. It means features that fuel an authentic, immediate shooter experience. Responsive characters, great animation, unusual twists on game modes, a fun but "driven by reality" ballistics model. Stuff like that. And around this core experience, tools that promote team play and communication, community building and clan building/management tools that go beyond what our competition offers. And then the whole analytics slant--features designed to improve the skills of players who aren't the best to at least a competitive level. We intend to raise the number of good players online all while promoting fair play and good conduct. Which really sounds like a huge job. So I'd rather focus on a great core experience and a great meta experience and leave things like killstreaks and localized smart bombing to other guys. They do it well but that's not us.

dicksmackmcgee6 karma

So.. whats the deal with Rainbow Six: Patriots?

Doctor__Boom11 karma

Hmm. What's the expiration date on an NDA? I think it's about the same as the half life of U 238. I can tell you that I wasn't happy about what happened to me on that project but still really like Ubisoft. A great company to work for. But when you're as big as they are statistically speaking unpleasant things can happen to anyone.

mbones506 karma

will you have a game mode like demolition in h-hour, or a meadly room, and also will there be 8v8 in online multiplayer

Doctor__Boom5 karma

Yes and yes.

Nightmehr5 karma

I'd like to echo the people that have said how important S1 and S2 were to them. I played countless hundreds of hours online with those games and met so many good people that I still consider friends. I'm curious how close to S1 and S2 this new game will be. I've seen way too many claims along the lines of "spiritual successors" for games that end up being more divergent than I care to play. I'm also very concerned about your involvement in S3. My friends and I who logged more hours than you could count in the first two games promptly quit the series after trying the S3 beta/early release. It was very obvious to us that S3 was nothing like the series we fell in love with, how do you feel S3 compared to the first two? Are you proud of your involvement in S3? Will this new game be more like S1/S2 or S3?


Doctor__Boom5 karma

More like SI/SII. I was at Zipper during preproduction for SOCOM III and MAG, etc. but left to work for Sony way before they shipped. Yes, I'm proud of my involvement with those games but for good or for bad I wasn't there to ship them.

ahrzal5 karma

You're flooded with questions, but I want to add a more technical one.

(edit: You already answered the draw distance question)

The recoil in S1 and S2 were very, very physical and if you played the game enough you knew exactly where each bullet was going. The crosshair showed where your bullets went. What will the recoil system be in HHour?

Oh, and one thing that I didn't like about s1 and s2 was the fact that certain weapons really just -- weren't good. There was always a de facto weapon to use. What are your plans on countering this? (Example, m40a1, "lower tier" assault rifles)

Doctor__Boom5 karma

The ballistics system is quite reminiscent of that seen in the early SOCOMs.

One problem I ran into "balancing" weapons back then was limited access to real weapons or to people who had time to sit with me and tune weapons. Now I have a trained weapons engineer who does that for a career. His input will be profoundly useful in creating weapons that are both authentic and have personality. Just the "right" personality.

Reddit_Allostasis5 karma

You probably had nothing to do with socom 4 but that game killed my love for socom. Still have all of the socoms and still play them, please don't make another Cod, bf3 type we have plenty of those...

Doctor__Boom8 karma

I think that was the first SOCOM that I really had no input into.

I have no intention of making CoD, BF, etc. I think it's time for something different that draws its inspiration from games a lot of people liked but have been in the rear view for a while.

zwischen4 karma

It would be excellent if H-Hour supported a clan war system with regular tournaments, etc. I remember in S1 and S2 we had to use a third party site for this. To setup a clan war you had to use a computer while playing to set up the match and trust some guy from said third party site to "moderate" in case of an issue. Having this supported by H-Hour would simplify the process and improve the trust in the system. Also, in game badges or titles for clans who have won tournaments, etc would keep people coming back. Is something like this being considered for H-Hour?

Doctor__Boom7 karma

If I understand what you're saying, yes it's in the design. I don't want anyone to have to leave the game to create, invite to, or resolve issues within a tournament.

And you're going to have badges like you wouldn't believe. I freaking love badges. ;)

MrBurnt4 karma

I'm crying out of happiness on the inside....

I understand this isn't the SOCOM franchise, and that this game, I'm sure, will have different and/or more advanced features, will we be able to any subtle things in the game that will give SOCOM-ers a good chuckle, this being the 'Spiritual Successor'?

For instance, I know we couuldn't bring back Boomer (RIP), but a good example would be seeing Boomer show up randomly somewhere in the Campaign, or having an enemy at some point scream "RAA-HE-LAAA".

WhiteBreadNoCrust6 karma


Doctor__Boom7 karma

Oh, that's part of the plan. An homage for sure.

ralphunreal4 karma

How will the health system work? Will it be a life bar? Will there be regenerating health? Also will you be able to switch fire modes? In socom 2 you had a choice for certain guns to have single shot,burst of three or full auto.

Doctor__Boom7 karma

I think, generally speaking , that the SOCOM community is not really a fan of regenerating health nor am I. If something's changed recently, I am sure they will let me know. :)

Absolutely you will be able to change fire modes.

NYCDIno4 karma


Are you looking to encapsulate the same gameplay style of Socom1/2? In terms of small teams, round based, true 3rd person view, etc.? I always found Socom to be original due to this and what made it such a great game. Also, can we confirm Seth Luisi isn't involved?


Confirmed features in H-Hour: World's Elite:

  1. Lean, no cover system.
  2. Lobbies
  3. Third person & first person view options
  4. No sprint button
  5. Maps designed around one game mode
  6. Round based is primary focus, there will also be respawn options
  7. Features like jump-to-climb & encumbrance will be decided by the community - "the community will be part of the dev team."
  8. Plans to develop what S1 & S2 should have become years down the road
  9. PC build will lead to a PS4 launch
  10. Robust clan and clan war options well beyond previous SOCOMs, including clan bios and profiles
  11. Victory dances and custom taunts
  12. Escort, Suppression, and Breach under different names
  13. Urban, desert, and jungle map enviroments
  14. User Created Rooms including private invitation only rooms with savable presets
  15. Customize tag, bio, and in-game patches
  16. Mobile app to manage clan activities and communications
  17. After action reports on performance and tactics as a team after each game
  18. Side arms, machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles and grenades will be in the game.
  19. US Special Forces vs terrorists
  20. Single player uses advanced enemy AI.
  21. Never before told stories from retired special forces operators all set in locations where terrorist were or are active
  22. No drivable vehicles in the game and focus is on the “men on the ground".

Seth Luisi has volunteered to have his likeness (face) used for a bad guy in the game. Gotta love the guy for being a great sport!

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Did Seth really volunteer for that? He really is such a good sport and nice guy I wouldn't be surprised to find out that it was true.

WhiteBreadNoCrust4 karma

What happens if the project isn’t funded? Will there be any future for H Hour?

Doctor__Boom12 karma

Well, if you're referring to the Kickstarter funding effort, if it is unsuccessful then we don't know how long it will take to finish the demo. Basically all my friends are working for free on creating assets but we can't expect them to do that forever. So we'll keep looking for funding we can't guarantee a timeline for the project at that point. As I've said though, there's interest in the project from deep pocket investors--it's sort of maddening to be at the point that we just need to show them a demo. After all, the team is all-star and we've all made game publishers tons of money. Maybe an investor will make that connection and take out his checkbook.

WhiteBreadNoCrust3 karma

With Zipper shutting down, have any of the employees there had interest in helping you at SOF studios? Do you remain in contact with any of them?

Doctor__Boom2 karma

I do remain in contact with some of those guys. It's impossible to not go through the intense development process we did without becoming either friends forever or sworn enemies. For me it was entirely on the friends side.

Yes, there has been interest from former Zipper guys to help with H-Hour. One has committed and he was a heavy hitter on the SOCOM games.

ralphunreal3 karma

David will there be mod support in H-Hour?

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Well, I think we're going to have our hands busy with all the DLC and singleplayer expansion--plus some very cool, mod-like tools to be released in the first year after launch. So it's not a priority. However, I do not believe it is company policy to hunt you down for making and playing mods. Many, many people do it with the engine we're using.

Russmac3163 karma

Hey David, two questions.

1) What happens if the Kickstarter doesn't reach it's full funding? Obviously, I'm remaining optimistic, but a lot of us have been waiting for a game like this for so long that we almost materially expect something to go wrong.


2) I am looking for a console version of the game...but I would also want to participate in the beta. If I pledge $150 will my pledge be counted as a "Playstation Warrior" pledge too? I supposed I'm a little confused at the requirements for the PS4 version and I want to make sure it gets made.

Thanks for reading, I'm really looking forward to your work!

Doctor__Boom8 karma

Hey there. The PLAYSTATION WARRIOR tier is really for people who are on the fence about pledging but who liked SOCOM. We just need to reach the goal of 500 backers to guarantee that we'll get the game made for PS4. This means that we assume the responsibility of acquiring the additional funding to do it but everyone receives the benefits.

Do not hesitate to pledge at higher tiers! Get the swag! Push us over the minimum target goal! And don't worry--there have to be at least 500 SOCOM fans who want to see a game like this on next gen hardware. They will come...

NEO553 karma

When you say theres going to be game lobbies does that mean you be able to have clan meetings or just sit around a shoot the shit with people with out having a game launch automatically when a certain amount of people are in it

Doctor__Boom8 karma

Yes. In fact you will have the option to create a dedicated clan lobby. I miss the days when you could just hang out in a lobby and talk about whatever you wanted.

Z17xMachine3 karma

David, hello. I think you answered this but I'm just a little off on what it actually meant. In the lobby system, will there be first person only game types? I'm not asking for me because I like traditional play in third person and the option of first person. A lot of people are asking me this.

Doctor__Boom6 karma

Totally. You will be able to specify whether your game allows first person only, third person only, or both.

Mojo_853 karma

Just a thought about the kickstarter goal, I think $30,000 in one week is pretty good, but the problem is only 430 backers. I know there are more than 430 SOCOM fans out there that would be willing to donate to this, I'm sure most just don't know about it yet. Everyone needs to get the word out to make this possible!

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Thank you for saying that. We're doing everything we can to reach as many people as we can and the campaign is definitely picking up steam. I think we are reaching a tipping point in the project's favor--just share the link and the enthusiasm wherever you can. With the help of the community we can make this a success and strike a blow for indies everywhere who aspire to make AAA games for way less than the big guys can do it.

skasucka883 karma

really excited for this game!! I pledged already

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Rockstar! Thanks for your support!

TheLightSkinSmurf3 karma

I'm new to reddit and so far I have no Idea what I'm doing but wow this is big news! I miss the socom series! It has went downhill in a big way with socom 4. Socom 1 and 2 will always hold a place in my heart!

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Welcome. I'm new to posting in Reddit as well. Apparently it requires a LOT of typing.

cajun_mcchicken3 karma

You've said you're designing maps around modes, and 6 maps at launch. Does that mean we only have 6 variations to play until DLC starts popping up?

Just my opinion, but I enjoy the variety of Confrontation having nearly every mode on every map. That said, I'm still putting my trust in you (to deliver on those 6).

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Well, they did it that way. But I maintain that the mode should be master of the map design. This is not to say that a great ESCORT-type map is not also a great/good DEATHMATCH map. But it's first allegiance is to ESCORT-type gameplay.

And with the many, many parameters available for you to adjust when you create a game, I'm confident you will experience a lot of variety in gameplay. Also, you won't have long to wait for the first DLC after the game launches. Three months post game launch is our release target for DLC.

ufshane3 karma

I lied, I have a question... with eSports becoming such a big deal, 1. will there be lan capabilities for companies like us that do live events 2. so you plan to have an enhanced spectator mode for all of those live streamers out there ;)

Doctor__Boom3 karma

I knew someone was going to ask this! Yes. Probably worth capitalizing that. YES!

Just put "yes" all over this post and you have your answer. ;)

brodza3 karma

Hey man, just wanted to thank you for doing such a great job on the PS2 games, I absolutely adored them as a kid :) Keep up the good work!

Doctor__Boom5 karma

Thank you so much! While it's a little depressing to hear that you were a kid when I was making those, that's outweighed by the positive impression they made. When this KS effort is funded I will be on my way to making an impression on a whole new generation of gamers and recreating the "magic" for the rest of us. ;)

ayedurr3 karma

I don't have a question I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for helping make SOCOM. That was my first real multiplayer online experience and I have many fond memories of afternoons and sleepless nights playing with friends. I wish you success on your new projects!

Doctor__Boom4 karma

Thanks! We're on our way and you are very welcome for SOCOM!

ocon63 karma

Mr. Sears

First I'd like to thank you for your project's vision. Socom has basically ruined online gaming for me, in terms of shooters. When the playstation 3 was released I was so excited to see the evolution of Socom and other shooters as well. I've had the ps3 since launch and have basically seen games go backwards when compared to Socom. Shooters these days don't have lobbies or clan systems that truly allow a game to last a long time. Everyone seems to play the newest shooter for a few months then move onto the next one. How can your game take what Socom created and improve that forumla in terms of the lobbies and clan system while also seeing the next step of Socom gameplay? How do you make H-Hour a game that lasts years instead of months? Thanks a million and good luck to you sir.

Doctor__Boom6 karma

I agree with your assessment about the nature of shooters today. They have become like blockbuster movies (something Spielberg is saying is about to collapse that industry).

What we're doing is building on what worked well in a lobby system and expanding that with communication tools, player dossiers, link tools (as in point at a guy and add him as a Facebook friend instead of shooting him in the face). Things like that plus the intensive clan creation and management features and the design philosophy that players can't win unless they play as a team.

Regarding longevity, it's about embracing and engaging the community, releasing quality DLC that people get excited about, and daring to take the chances that "the billionaires club" won't. Because you know, they can't afford to empower a dev team to just go for the cool, new meaningful choices.

Finally it's about following my instincts but measuring these against what I've learned the hard way over the years.

Thanks for your interest and support of H-Hour. We're building something different--something that you'll be able to play for years to come.

revatron3 karma

David, earlier in here you mentioned the option to choose either Third Person or First Person (or Both) in your game.

What is the default POV you plan to have set in all rooms and what POV will the maps be designed around?

Doctor__Boom5 karma

Well, the default will be third person but you can switch that in your settings when you're adjusting sensitivity, invert, music balance, etc. The game will save those settings for you. You will be able to filter games online based on your preferences, of course.

Funny you should ask about the POV influencing map design. It actually did only in the sense that we couldn't create confined spaces that would freak the camera out. The POV really influences the camera design first, with lesser consideration for the environments. Early on I had the realization that third person gives you a situational awareness advantage while first person tends to give you a precision advantage. It's more up to the player to choose his POV or to switch between them as the situation requires.

mauleriscool3 karma

I hope the First person is like older socoms, if you shoot too much it kicks you out, only for scopes and long range fire. That means third person also needs to be pretty accurate shooting full auto while strafing side to side.

Doctor__Boom4 karma

I really liked that behavior (getting kicked out of first when shooting too much). As I've said before, if it ain't broken please don't break it trying to improve it.

Thanks for your comments!

Newbold3D3 karma

How will the ranking system be in H-Hour... Will it be simular to the point system in socom 2?

Doctor__Boom6 karma

Yes. I miss that approach.

Anyway a classic approach to ranking derived from the outcome of ranked games. There will be other types of ranking for new more abstract behaviors/performance that we can now track but had no way of tracking ten years ago.

PounderMcNasty3 karma

What's up, bro?

Doctor__Boom7 karma

Doing this Reddit thing, man. And rendering stuff in AfterEffects while I type. How's it going?

WhiteBreadNoCrust3 karma

Here is a quote from you...

In H-HOUR, if you know you are playing as a team it's because the game tells you through after action reports. It lets you know when real world tactics should have been used and who on your team supported you or let you down, among other things.

My questions are:

Will this be after each game is over, or after every round? Will there be an after round report like Socom that shows how many kills each player got? I guess, can you elaborate on the after action reports

Doctor__Boom8 karma

Yes. This is after the matches are done. All the data takes time to process so it's safest to say "estimated next day delivery." Since it's very new technology, we don't know how intensive it would be in terms of CPU power so rather than slow your game to a crawl, we'll offload it to our servers and let them grind the data into something intelligible and useful for you as players.

Luis123453 karma

I loved playing your games on the PS2 and PSP. I still have my PSP with Socom in it right now. The only reason my PS2 doesn't have Socom in it is because I had it taken it away for playing it too often. I can't believe that was so many years ago. Anyways, I don't have a question, I'd just like to thank you for the awesome games that you have made and wish you luck on your current and future projects!

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Thanks! Sorry you got in trouble for that. But if you had to get in trouble, better SOCOM than starting fires or smashing mailboxes. ;)

Vito11273 karma

how hard is it to make smart a.i. in the enemies when you make these games?

Doctor__Boom5 karma

Oh wow. Another question that really deserves an entire GDC presentation in response. But here goes.

It's pretty hard to get AI to reliably perform to game state changes. But what's harder by far is communicating these behaviors and the meaning behind them to the player. Every action they take has to be "explained" either through animation, environmental context, or audio. For example, in SOCOM II, you could surprise AI by kicking open a door to the room where they were in an unaware state. They changed to "surprised" state but we didn't have time to hook up the surprised animations or audio responses. The result was that good AI looked terribly stupid and broken and would just stand inert when they were supposed to be rewarding the player with the response "Oh! You have totally surprised me!" Another example: AI teammates appearing to "hide" in the open. The teammate knew that the "hide volume" of the underbrush covered him completely but the visual model of that underbrush appeared to only partially cover him--or to not cover any part of him. Then when enemies would detect the teammate according to the rules of stealth/detection, it appeared to players that the AI was again, stupid, and hiding in plain site. They really weren't that stupid at all, just not quite finished or let down a bit by the visuals.

bretto06063 karma

Here is a series of questions, David. Hopefully you will be able to answer most of these:

  1. What is the intended speed of the game in comparison to SOCOM 1/2?

  2. Will strafing be present? And how will it work?

  3. Will their be encumbrance?

  4. Will there be body armor?

  5. Jump to climb?

  6. How many players per team?

  7. Will the focus of the game be round-based or respawn?

  8. How will rounds work? Alternating sides or no?

  9. Vehicles?

  10. Map Sizes?

  11. Is this game leaning toward more realistic such as a simulator, or in the direction of games like SOCOM 1/2?

  12. Push to talk?

  13. Describe the ranking system in the game.

  14. What are some of your ideas for the game we don't know about yet?

  15. What is your favorite SOCOM game?

Doctor__Boom5 karma

Hmm. That's a lot. Some of this I think I've answered elsewhere so I'll target what I think is new.

"What is the intended speed of the game in comparison to SOCOM 1/2?" Generally the same. Characters should not be tanks. The action is more important than the animation.

"Will there be body armor?" This is part of a discussion elsewhere. It's going to be up to the community to guide the final decision on the effects of this.

"Jump to climb?" Another one for the community to collaborate on.

"How many players per team?" The goal is 8 v 8 with spectator support.

"Will the focus of the game be round-based or respawn?" Round based but you can enable respawn if you wish. Respawn games are not intended to be ranked.

"How will rounds work? Alternating sides or no?" My thinking is alternating.

"Vehicles?" No. The emphasis is boots on the ground rather than Britney on the radio. Or fuzzy dice. You get the idea.

"Map Sizes?" Varied. Some smaller, more dense urban maps. Some larger more open rural maps. Some desert. Some arctic. Some jungle.

"Is this game leaning toward more realistic such as a simulator, or in the direction of games like SOCOM 1/2?" Totally SOCOM I/II. We've got good games out there that do the simulator thing already.

"Push to talk?" Will be talking with the community about this before a final decision. Maybe "pushing to talk" with the community...

"Describe the ranking system in the game." If you liked the way we did it in SOCOM you will like the H-Hour version. Plus we're going to add alternate ranking systems that will honor non-traditional players too.

"What are some of your ideas for the game we don't know about yet?" I have many. Your question is like having Aladdin's lamp and wishing for more wishes. You will have to be more specific. :)

"What is your favorite SOCOM game?" SOCOM II for sure.

biggerthancheeses3 karma

Wow, another big name in video games is turning to Kickstarter! Why do you think this is happening? Is there something wrong with the AAA publishing system when millions of dollars are being raised outside the "mainstream" industry system?

From one if your comments here, it sounds like you did a lot of programming as well as design. What sort of automated testing besides Q&A did you do for SOCOM, and how will you be bringing that experience to H-Hour? I'm always curious about software engineering practices in the game industry.

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Hey there. To be clear, I taught myself BASIC first, then 6502 assembly language. I was a computer science major in college for one year, but one parking garage simulator too many and I was out. The experience did empower me to write/debug scripts with some ease though.

I wish I could tell you more about the automated testing stuff but you probably know more than I do. We will have to run simulated load/traffic testing for sure, and anti-cheating simulations as well. Open to suggestions for more along these lines...

xFrostByte77x3 karma

Have you thought about looking at socom 1 and 2's maps, and redesign/reimagine an old school map in this new age? For example, a map similar to Enowapi being revamped and re evaluated with whole new elements added.

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Remember that we cannot copy any particular thing--those assets are owned by Sony. What we can do is take the same design approach, introduce those new elements, and iterate like crazy. Old maps were great, new maps inspired by old maps = more awesome.

Highruler3 karma

Will we get our Wings? ;)

Doctor__Boom4 karma

Hah. Yes. Wings in some incarnation. Yes.

Kaiser_Wilhelm_III3 karma


First let me state I am ecstatic over the announcement of this Kisckstarter/game. H-hour sounds like a game that could help to rebuild a genre that has fallen into decay.

You have called this game the spiritual successor to SOCOM, but are also touting an adherence to real tactical gameplay. Now, I know many of the old SOCOMers want to build up their game, but looking back, SOCOM was very, how should I say, arcadey (remembering this is a 10 year old game).

My question is, how do you plan on balancing the realism, and tactical elements of a "harcore" shooter with the arcadey, fun aspects?

Best of luck to you. I'm sorry I cannot support beyond moral support. I have absolutely no spending money at the moment. Sorry.

Doctor__Boom3 karma

That's pretty easy, really. Fun is king for us, but you can't really deny that teams that worked as teams and coordinated rather than a bunch of crazy people running all over the place tended to win more than they lost. All I'm saying is that if you communicate, think before you shoot (have a plan then be ready to adapt when that plan goes south as it often does), and keep the thought that "would I do this thing if the bullets were real?" you will have a tactical experience in an game that lets you truncate animations to draw a firearm, reload at speeds that only the most experienced special forces operators can approach,and crouch walk so much that it would exhaust a real person. It's still a game but a game that knows the best entertainment experiences are resonant because they "feel" real.

SpawningTorment3 karma

Can't wait for the game..... Will single player have online co op?

Doctor__Boom4 karma

Interesting question. I was wondering when someone would ask.

This is a possibility but I have committed to getting a "regular" single player story-driven campaign out the door first. After that, why not. Co-op is, as I recall, the most requested feature set in multiple genres.

JPUT3 karma

My main question would have to be how much does a creative director deal with the inner workings of the actual development process? I know that you had a large role in the ideas behind the games, and how the features should work, but how much experience do you have with actual coding, 3d modeling, or art design?

I ask this because some of the stated goals of the kickstarter seem extremely lofty for a team which apparently only has a single person with any game development experience. I'm assuming the funds would be used to hire a larger team, but it doesn't seem very realistic to say things like "We’re going to push the PC to the limits of its rendering possibility" when you don't even have a development team in place yet.

Not to mention the budget. The $200,000 is to build a DEMO, which you'll use to pitch the idea to investors correct? So do you have investors lined up like Serellan did for the Takedown kickstarter, or are you just hoping you'll be able to find some after the demo is made?

I've already chipped in, but these are some of the things that I had doubts about, and I'm sure other people have the same doubts.

Doctor__Boom12 karma

Some creative directors are very hands off, vision-only types. That's not me. On SOCOM alone I designed missions and characters, wrote dialogue. hooked up the dialogue, edited sound bank files, edited scripts, playtested daily and directed revisions, designed the ballistics system, tuned the weapons, hooked up music, designed the AI, designed the team command menu, and on and on. I was up to my eyeballs in the guts of those games. And I still approach games this way.

The team that is ready to deploy on H-Hour is much more than just myself. I have character modelers, animators, programmers, level designers, writers, and many more all on standby. I've worked with all of these guys in the past and we work well together. They've worked on Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, SOCOM, and America's Army just to name some of the shooter titles under their belts. So really the team is all star and ready to go. Just need demo funding.

Tenzuuu3 karma

How did you get started in the Industry? and how did you become a Creative Director?

Doctor__Boom4 karma

Weirdly to spite my dead Uncle Binky. No, I am not making that up, neither the spite part or his name. I was playing M.U.L.E. and Archon with a friend when he came for a visit. He watched us for a while and then asked me if I had made those. I said "no, but I think I could." I'd been making small games as a hobby for a couple of years at that point but had no idea how to do it for a living. His response? "No. You couldn't." So I did.

WhiteBreadNoCrust3 karma

  • Can we get a picture of where you work?

  • When will be be getting some in game pictures or map layouts?

Doctor__Boom7 karma

I've been saying we need to go take some video/pictures of Southern Pines but there hasn't been time. The town itself doesn't exactly have a huge web presence so it's difficult to figure out what's down here.

For now I can tell you it's quaint and laid back. People are friendly. The food is good. There's a totally bizarre taxidermy museum the size of half a city block underneath a shop that sells fudge, religious tracts and jigsaw puzzles. There's also a cross fit gym that terrifies me so I don't go in there. A liquor store, antiques stores, a funky coffee shop. The town has all the quirkiness of the South plus decent internet access.

Doctor__Boom7 karma

And probably yes to the map layout reveal. ;)

ralphunreal3 karma

How many rounds will be needed to win a match? Will it be be like SOCOM?

Doctor__Boom4 karma

You will have the option to set the number of rounds needed to win a match.

ohyeahno3 karma

Did it anger you when you played s4 to see what they did to your creations?

Doctor__Boom6 karma

Sorry for the delay on replying to this. Apparently didn't hit SAVE the last time or posted it in the wrong place. Gah. Here's what I meant to put here:

"Well, we generally try not to say unkind things about anyone's work. Unless you're a journalist. Then it seems to be your job.

"What I can say about the later SOCOMs is that they went off the road map I had envisioned and detailed. That was disappointing for me. I'm sure they put everything they had into those games but they were quite different from what I would have done."

Plus this:

This really does happen all the time. When I left Patriots, that didn't end the R6 franchise. Someone else is probably leading that now and it will, because I am not there to ship it, not be what I had in mind. Good probably, but different. I can't let that bother me too much because when you leave your babies and they grow up to be wolves instead of lions, that's in part because of your actions. But I like wolves. They're cool.

Txwarlock853 karma

Hello David Sears I recently pledged $60 specialist. Because I wanted the badass shirt. So when the kickstater succeeds I'll have the option of choosing PC or PS4?

Doctor__Boom4 karma

You bet. Just let us know which version you prefer. And you're going to look great in that shirt.

Moore28773 karma

After all of your success, why do you need a kickstarter for your next game?

Doctor__Boom7 karma

Oh wow. Well here's the thing about that thing. Someone is definitely getting rich from all the hard work game developers put into each of their games. I'm pretty sure that in 99% of cases, it's not the game developers. In my case I am 100% sure. You do not want to know what my bonus for SOCOM was. Seriously.

What's perplexing to me is why seriously wealth successful game developers are turning to Kickstarter for money and funding their entire games with that money. I'm like "dude, you want to make that game so bad, sell a few of your Ferraris. Or maybe one of your gigantic houses." I'm not rich but not for lack of trying to make great games. I just want help to kickstart a demo which we will use to secure the rest of the funding we need to make the full game. Just a little help. It's called Kickstarter as in "enough to get you started" not "give me millions of dollars so I assume no risk for this game idea I have."

PharoRae3 karma

Have you thought about self publishing on PS4 or are you only considering finding a publisher?

Doctor__Boom6 karma

Yes, independent publishing is best for retaining creative control of your work and maximizing the back end. Of course you also get the uncertainty of how you are going to fund everything. The best way to navigate this minefield seems to be get your game done on any one platform then you represent a great "target" for publishers to swoop in and "support." What the public doesn't see is all the back room arguments between publishers who offer devs $350K for the game, the IP, and a huge share of the royalties. This after the indie studio took on all the risk and worked their butts off to make the game happen. Fortunately the trend is shifting in the favor of the independents and more and more often we're seeing success stories. We love and aspire to that. So if we can get outside funding from sources other than publishers who will stay out of our creative hair, that's our first choice.

TheOneWhoDidntCum3 karma

I'm Albanian, What made you pick Albania in Socom 2? Btw it was really funny thanks!

Doctor__Boom4 karma

It's really tough to choose these locations. In this case the CIA World Factbook indicated that organized crime was on the rise in Albania and I wanted to flirt with an AO design that was not 100% counter-terrorism. And that's Albania was chosen and Pius Platz was born.

Also it seemed like Albania would be interesting to visit. Never had time though.

xRedEyesx3 karma

First of all thank you for doing this I have awaited for something like this FOREVER a hard nose shooter based on the SOCOM 2 spirit and with independent funding so no bureaucracy involve totally a dream come true. I already pledged $50.00 does this guarantee me a copy of the final product ? If the goal is not meet then what happens ?

Doctor__Boom6 karma

Glad to hear it! Thanks for support us.

Yes, your $50.00 pledge guarantees you a copy of the PS4 version when we ship. We assume the extra lifting to get the funding to make the PS4 version happen in addition to the PC version.

If the goal is not met on Kickstarter, all pledges are absolved and you are left with the good feeling of having been part of the effort to make a great game happen in a cruel and unforgiving world. There's karma points in that.

Rotinaz3 karma

Thanks for the AMA! I love your work and certainly going to back the new game. What's your favorite part about working in the gaming industry?

Also if you ever are looking for a community manager, forum help, or a social media person. Hello.... Haha.

Doctor__Boom3 karma

You are welcome! And thanks for the kind words.

My favorite part of being in the games industry is getting to meet and work with smart, creative people. It really tends to concentrate a lot of them in small areas, so the intellectual stimulation keeps things exciting.

I also used to really enjoy all the free t-shirts but for some reason we don't see so many of those anymore.


I've heard a lot of talk about "spiritual successor" to the Socom games you worked on (most notably S1 and S2). Have you guys been jumping on Xlink or any sort of LAN line to play those games so you're building H-Hour with vivid memories of what made Socom fun rather then vague memories from years ago?

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Yes and no. SOCOM is definitely not a distant memory for us because either we played it recently or lived the making of it in such an intense, relentless manner that a large part of our brains are permanently etched with the details of those games. You don't forget the effort to get games like those done. Plus the community functions as a very vocal "external memory device" for us. There's pretty much no detail that has been forgotten by the collective. Finally, as part of the preproduction process replaying the early SOCOMs is required.

Tajackamo3 karma

Will there be an "XP" system where we will have to unlock weapons, attachments, skins, etc?

I loved that everything was accessible upon logging in for the first time in S1&2. Please tell me that remains the same.

Doctor__Boom4 karma

All weapons will be available for you to choose from when you start the game.

Warfightur3 karma

As a tactical MilSim gamer, I've noticed many of the classic tactical IPs slowly lose theirselves to the common flow of gaming standards. By that, I mean they're turning quality games into run and gun highspeed clones. Games like Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Splinter Cell: Conviction, and even the new projected gameplay of Patriots. This has the MilSim and tactical communities feeling alienated and abandoned. Do you care to comment on this? When are we going to see another quality, realistic tactical game?

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Yes, when H-Hour is funded. We only need a relatively small amount to make this happen. As I've often said, if you play tactically and as a team, you're going to be far more successful than if you run around like an idiot spraying bullets and tossing grenades. What works in the real world (and brings you back home alive) works in a well-designed military inspired game. That's what we will achieve.

SpyderFuente3 karma


Doctor__Boom4 karma

As always, you are most welcome. It was my pleasure to work on those games and I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Jonazpell3 karma

Where are you going to be promoting next? Also, what's the best way to get the word out on this game?

Doctor__Boom4 karma

Good question. We're doing some local press Monday and an interview with Off Duty Gamers tomorrow (not sure when it will be live though). Next week is all about expanding our reach so keep checking our Kickstarter page for announcements.

ralphunreal3 karma

Will there be weapon attachments? Encumbrance?

Doctor__Boom2 karma

Attachments, yes.

Encumbrance will be decided through discussion with the community.

robschneiderstapler3 karma

Will there be attachments to customize weapons like socom 3 or will the weapons be like 2 where only some guns had scopes/silencers? And if it is like 3 how will the attachments be implemented?

Doctor__Boom7 karma

In general, I like the simple approach. And authenticity to help guide me. Not all firearms should have suppressors even though many can be adapted to work with them. Shotguns and sub-machine guns, for example, really don't need scopes. So we'll try to be rational about these choices.

revatron2 karma

David, strafing was a massive part of the PS2 SOCOMS (S1, S2, S3/CA).

What is your take on strafing in gunfights in H-hour?

Doctor__Boom5 karma

Hah. Strafing led to the notorious "death spiral" that could go on for what seemed like forever. Truthfully, I enjoyed it and strafing. This is one of those things that will either be embraced, tempered, or nixed by the community. You guys will weigh in and tell me.

ABCSharpD2 karma

Can you bring back Boomer's Voice acter?

Doctor__Boom9 karma

I wish I could. Unfortunately the actor who played that role--Michael Clarke Duncan--passed away last year. He was a great guy and if I had the power of life over death, I would totally use it for him.

chiefos2 karma

when I bought a ps2 when I was 16, I bought it for GTA 3 that had just come out... I don't know what set me off on SOCOM and SOCOM II, but hot damn did those drive my desire for online gameplay.

By the transitive property, you got me addicted to WoW which made me drop out of college. Thank you for giving me someone to blame besides myself.

Now that I quit all that and got my degree and have a successful career I feel that all that is in jeopardy again.

No questions, but best of luck.

Doctor__Boom2 karma

We will do our absolute best to ruin your life with an addictive game.

"Addictive," BTW, is a word I was often not allowed to use when I worked at big publishers.

Thanks for your interest in H-Hour.

WhiteBreadNoCrust2 karma

If everything works out, will you be playing the game on console or PC?

Doctor__Boom4 karma

You mean when the game ships? Or during development?

During development I have to play all versions all the time.

After development, I usually don't play any games for a few weeks and do something different, like sleep. Or read.

It's tough to tell which version of the game will be my go-to version yet. The core experience will be pretty darn similar especially if you use a game controller on the PC. Ask me again when the game ships and I'll give you a definitive answer.

johnbeaumont2 karma

Question on gameplay -- how much of the game will be stealth vs. shooting lots of bad guys. What I am looking for is a true Special Forces simulation, where you have to think and strategise to take out a couple of targets without having to hoon through 50 bad guys. Be great if you can give a sense for your vision on H-Hour with that regard

Doctor__Boom4 karma

I think you're talking more about the SP/solo campaign than MP. So I'll speak to that.

Basically, stealth is about balance. There's almost always a threshold at which it becomes impossible to sustain stealth/being undetected just because the pacing of the game becomes tedious. That's why I like to break it up with "warm resets" of AI awareness. Guys that shouldn't know where you are don't know where you are. They might be suspicious or on high alert, but that doesn't trigger a swarming behavior if you're trying to stay undetected. Nothing feels quite as great to me as that moment when you think you crossed the line and the mission is going to become a shootfest and you're able to dial it back by taking out some key hostiles and just getting to cover. Love that. So you can expect me to indulge my tendencies towards this design a few time in the single player campaign.

ohyeahno2 karma

Does 4ce=lag?

All kidding aside, if you had to pick 1 map as your absolute favorite from the games you made, what would it be?

Doctor__Boom3 karma

The one with the snow. The dredge. The outhouse. It's Blizzard.

Also that oil platform. Let all spawn into what's basically a map the size of a box and shoot each other. Madness. Loved it though.

NEO552 karma

Whats up Mr. Sears. We are all excited about this new approach. Cant wait

Doctor__Boom4 karma

Thanks! It's pretty awesome to be working in one of my favorite genres and picking up where I left off years ago in terms of calibrating my mind to a game design task. It's a head trip for sure but really exciting.

-Goldbug-1 karma

i just have 3 simple questions- -Will you be getting rid of the run button? (Gotta say not a fan of it and i no alot of people who share this feeling) -Will you be going back to push button chat? and bringing back the text chat in lobbies? -Will there be a voting system?

Tajackamo2 karma

Sears confirmed there won't be a run button!

Doctor__Boom4 karma

Right. No run button. Embrace analog controls.

The chat issue. I'll be consulting the community on this before taking a final decision.

Voting system. Yes. Totally yes.

Partnur1 karma

I love that we're able to contribute to the making of a game like H-Hour! The most important thing I want to know is will shooting be like S2's (reliable, recoil, damage, gun-specific) instead of random spray?

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Yes. And this time I'm going even deeper with the research. I have full access to a real world weapons designer with whom I'm collaboration on the ballistics model. It doesn't get deeper than that.

Don't worry--he knows the game has to be fun. But while every weapon has a personality, he wants to make sure that I give them the right personality. ;)

sickndelish1 karma

The way you used the acronym "CD" and then wrote out what it stands for reminds me of Tobias from Arrested Development.

-S (sickndelish)

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Hah. Well I love Arrested Development.

Anyway, I was wrong. CD stands for Cruise Director.

Dodger311 karma

Any chance u guys will pick up M.A.G.? Still has a loyal fan base feel zipper dropped the ball.

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Well, we need funding to make a game right now. It's unlikely that we'll have extra to spend on buying IP for a while. I would approach it more as "the spiritual successor to M.A.G." ;)

nerdtronics0 karma

Can we expect to see a new SOCOM on the PS4?

Doctor__Boom3 karma

Well, not from me. You'll get "the spiritual successor to SOCOM" from me. From Sony I haven't heard a peep about their plans for SOCOM itself and I'm pretty sure they didn't announce it, on the floor or otherwise at E3.