FAQ: Some Concerns Addressed & FAQ's Added
So, as I understand it some people have concerns over helping fund a PC game. Before too many people form permanent opinions, I thought I'd talk about that here.
Our Kickstarter page is focused on making a PC demo--once that's done we have the weapon we need to land a publishing deal or deep-pocket VC funding and finish the full game.
The KS campaign promises in the stretch goals that we'll make a PC game and we will because no matter what console publishing opportunities arise, the game will already run on PC because we develop on PCs. It doesn't make financial sense to not test that and ship that PC game--the potential upside is huge. There are so many features and so many more maps, characters, weapons and gear that we could make and everyone will get to enjoy them on any/all platforms. So rather than try to fund the not insignificant costs of console development up front just to make a console-only demo--let's say for PS4 in this case--we're going to get the game running on PC. And then find the right partner to take it to consoles.
I know a lot of SOCOM fans want a PS4 version. We are more than excited about making that happen but we feel it is unrealistic to ask you for additional funds at this stage when the development platform is PC anyway. All content and code originate there--my philosophy is that we should spend the time making the demo better and more polished rather than spend time and money on a port to a console that we know will work.
Still, for the sake of argument, we’ve updated the stretch goals to show you what it will cost to finish the game, including a PS4 version, which is a bargain budget for a good shooter.
So bottom line, we launched on Kickstarter to get the funding to make the demo to get the funding to make the game. With the game in production all sorts of target platform scenarios emerge. And as I've stated before, I want as many people as possible to enjoy the games I make. Why wouldn't we create a PS4 version since there is huge interest in it? We just don’t want to ask you to assume all the risk up front. So help us out getting our demo made and we’ll get the game on as many platforms as possible.
Also added to the FAQ section at the bottom of our main project page.
Games are expensive to make. How can you make H-Hour with the small amounts of money you’re asking for?
First we are bringing together a team that has worked together before on other game projects—heavy hitters with many years of industry experience. These are no-nonsense guys who produce lots of great content fast. Second, we’ve eliminated the bureaucracy, internal overhead, and politics that drive up project costs when you’re part of a very large company--basically all the reasons that indie studios cite as reasons for their success, at least in part. Finally, we choose to work in a part of the country that is significantly less expensive in terms of cost of living. Money goes farther here. Second finally, we only need a small amount from Kickstarter to leverage into a lot more funding from VC firms.
What experience does the team have? Who are these people?
At this stage we can’t reveal the names of the team because many of them want to keep their day jobs until we’re ready to begin production. But we can tell you that the average game industry experience level is over ten years per person with team members having worked for Eidos, SquareEnix, Ubisoft, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Looking Glass Studios, Midway, and others. Military shooter projects in which we’ve held important positions include America’s Army, SOCOM and Rainbow Six while our practical experience across game genres is extensive.
Why the stretch goals?
As an independent developer we face many challenges. Not surprisingly, money tends to liquidate those challenges. It just freaking dissolves them down into their much less menacing constituent molecules which we can then turn into useful stuff like more maps, more weapons, and more features. So while we intend to make this game no matter how many challenges remain after our Kickstarter campaign, we have to have at least a little funding to secure a lot more funding. Make sense? Maybe not, but we look at it this way: We need to finish our demo to prove that we know how to make a fun and probably more importantly, pretty-looking game. This is what VCs need to see before they’ll pony up the big money that takes us all the way to shipping a finished game. Awesome! That’s what the minimum funding target gives us: something great to show and proof that a lot of people are interested in the game we’re making. Makes sense now, right? So why are we asking for more funding through Kickstarter?
Any pledges beyond the minimum we need for our showcase demo allow us to make a better showcase demo. More features, more content, more time to polish. The better the initial demo, the better the terms we can negotiate with prospective VCs and that means that down the road we have even more freedom to create the kind of game we all want with fewer obstacles. But after a certain point in reaching stretch goals, a magical thing happens: We don’t have to ask VCs or anybody else for money. What’s that mean?
That means that we just make the game and answer only to you. And this is the path that gets the game made the fastest and with the least compromises. That’s why the stretch goals.
Why ship direct and no publisher?
Publishers tend to ask for a lot in return for their investment money. For example, many expect most of the back end and ownership of the intellectual property. Operating under those conditions, we might as well just go work for a publisher internally. Of course every stretch goal we reach puts us in a stronger position to negotiate more favorable terms with a publisher should we ever take that approach. Publishers often do a great job in marketing and public relations so there’s certainly room for a partnership down the road. The more people we can reach, the more players you have to game with.
Why are you based in Southern Pines, NC?
After Tom's 20 year military career he retired just outside of Ft. Bragg, NC in Southern Pines, NC to be close to family and battlefield friends. It made no sense to relocate the company when so many things were perfect for a tactical shooter gaming studio. Not only do you have Raleigh, NC and the multiple gaming studios and talent from the Research Triangle area but the studios is just a stone's throw away from the most popular and decorated military post in the world, Ft. Bragg, NC, home of the Airborne and Special Operations Forces. So, Why Southern Pines, NC? Why the hell not!
Additionally, the cost of operating a studio is significantly lower in the South with a strong talent pool to be found just up the road in the Golden Triangle region of North Carolina. Finally, we recognize that the slower pace of a small southern town is a welcome change to many industry veterans accustomed to living in large cities with big city problems such as traffic, crime, pollution, noise and elevated living expenses.
Here’s an interesting fact. According to the government-prepared document “Thrive in North Carolina”, the average North Carolina worker is 36% more productive than the average U.S. worker. Take that, California. Must be something in the water down here.
What’s your stance on free to play?
Personally, I think that’s a misnomer since you pay for everything at some point. Our stance is you never pay to win. Nor will you have to grind obsessively to earn most of the same swag that your “rich” friends bought with a credit card. Why? Because that totally sucks and we think it’s wrong.
The core game is perfectly playable at competitive level without you having to spend a dime more than the purchase price. And if you supported us here on Kickstarter at the $20 tier or above you’ll be receiving a copy of the game in exchange. Plus if you fund more now during the campaign, you’ll receive future DLC for free too.
What will the gameplay be like?
Well, if you played the early SOCOM games, you have a good idea already. So sort of that, but evolved and more polished. Tight controls, distinctive map design, first and third person support, realistic ballistics, one shot kills, high-grade authenticity, team work required to win, and a touch of humor (which you could find in those early SOCOM games if you looked)—but with much more robust community and online tools. And I fully intend to include ideas that were so shocking, so crazy back in my SOCOM days that I was afraid to speak them out loud. Which is cool because that means that we own those ideas and can build them into H-Hour.
Will there be private servers?
Absolutely. On private servers we intend to give you as many game customization options as possible. Ranked games occur only on our open servers.
Can I play over LAN?
Of course. It’s hard to inspire a LAN party if your game doesn’t support it.
Will there be a single player campaign?
Yes, totally. Our first goal is to build and launch our core multiplayer game and community tools. At the same time we release DLCs we will be working on the single player campaign. This campaign is narrative-driven and is inspired by the true stories of Special Operations Forces veterans. We have to change some specific details to avoid breaching national security but these single player missions are as authentic as permitted by law and our sense of patriotism.
How will the community be involved?
If you’ve followed us on our forum, you probably noticed that we embrace and encourage community input. Most times their suggestions are in line with what we’re planning but sometimes the community inspires us to try something different. In any event, we’re making the game for the community, to grow the community, and to, hopefully, make being part of a gaming community a more rewarding experience.
In addition to continuing to listen to and engage in public forums, we plan to create a private forum for everyone who helps us through Kickstarter at the $100 level and above. If you’re serious enough to put up that kind of cash, we’re professional enough to consider and respect your opinion.
Will I be able to play internationally?
Absolutely. Friendships and camaraderie does not recognize international boundaries and neither does H-Hour. In fact, we think gaming should encourage people to be more social, particularly with new friends that aren’t necessarily “from around here.”
How will I get my game?
H-Hour will be distributed digitally via a major distribution provider such as but not necessarily Steam.
What are the system requirements?
Too early to be definitive on this. We will announce the target minimum requirements and recommendations in a later update here.
What type of server support is planned for outside the USA?
The only ways to "resolve" latency issues (they never totally go away) is to have geolocational servers in the main hubs of traffic, i.e. North America, South America, Asia (includes Australia), Europe and so on. We will have to get the North American servers up and running first just to test the core game. We will need to investigate a service provider to help us set up and maintain servers on other continents. Of course this is exactly the sort of thing a publisher will do for us, but we can't promise more than the intention to support geolocational servers at this time.
What languages will you support?
Initially English. We will support additional languages if there is enough interest. Most of the interface will be iconic so navigation should not require an exceptional command of the English language.
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PATRIOT ============================= Wallpapers + Forum Backer Badge ============================= H-Hour digital wallpapers featuring art from the game for your PC. You will receive a unique Backer forum badge to showcase your contribution.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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AIRMAN ============================= Digital Copy Of The Game ============================= You receive a digital download of H-Hour. NOTE: This reward is not included in any other reward tier.Estimated delivery:
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GAMER ============================= Digital Copy Of The Game + Embroidered Patch + All Previous Rewards ============================= You receive a digital download of H-Hour and the H-Hour logo emblazoned on a collectible patch.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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AIRMAN FIRST CLASS ============================= Free DL Of First Expansion + Digital Copy Of The Game ============================= You receive the first DLC expansion pack along with a digital download of H-Hour for free. NOTE: This reward is not included in any other reward tier.Estimated delivery:
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RECRUIT ============================= Free DL Of First Expansion + All Previous Rewards ============================= You receive the first DLC expansion pack for free.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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PRIVATE ============================= Rubberized Glow In The Dark Patch + All Previous Rewards ============================= You get a durable, glow in the dark rubberized patch. Affix it to hats, bags, shirts--whatever. It looks good just about anywhere.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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PLAYSTATION WARRIOR ============================= PC or PS4 Digital Copy Of The Game + All DLC For 1 Year + All Previous Rewards ============================= Created specially for fans of the original SOCOM games on PS2, this pledge tier gives you not only all previous tier rewards but our guarantee that when we max out pledges for this tier, H-Hour will ship as both a PC version and on the PS4. You receive your choice of either the PS4 version or the PC version of the game, along with the first year of DLC. NOTE: If this tier is maxed out, backers at all tiers have the option to choose between either a PC version or PS4 version. NOTE: H-Hour will support all digital in-game perks for both versions of the game.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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SPECIALIST ============================= Game Logo T-Shirt + All Previous Rewards ============================= This tier features the soon to be classic H-Hour: World's Elite Kickstarter edition t-shirt. It's bad-assed and so are you--and you look great wearing it!Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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SENIOR AIRMAN ============================= All DLC For 2 Years + Digital Copy Of The Game ============================= You get all DLC expansions are free for the first two years after the H-Hour launch. We plan to release DLC at least twice a year so that’s a lot of value at this tier. You also receive a digital download of H-Hour. NOTE: This reward is not included in any other reward tier.Estimated delivery:
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LANCE CORPORAL ============================= Free DL Of All Expansions For The First Two Years After Release. + All Previous Rewards ============================= All DLC expansions are free for the first two years after the H-Hour launch. We plan to release DLC at least twice a year so that’s a lot of value at this tier.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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CORPORAL ============================= Special In-Game Title/Tag + All Previous Rewards ============================= Once the game launches, players will know that you were both a believer and a funder because this elite digital badge appears with your character wherever you go in the game.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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SERGEANT ============================= Embroidered Hat + All Previous Rewards ============================= You get a high quality cap bearing an embroidered H-Hour logo.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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GUNNY ============================= Beta Access + Sound Track + Founders T-Shirt + Forum Gunny Badge + Private Forum Access + All Previous Rewards ============================= With guaranteed beta access, you are among the first to play H-Hour. Your input weighs heavily with the dev team and you have access to the private H-Hour forums—a virtual window into our studio. We listen to everyone who wants to play H-Hour but there are only so many hours in a day. Guarantee that your comments go to the top of the queue with access to our private H-Hour Funders Forum plus receive exclusive behind the scenes videos and blogs. You also receive a limited edition soundtrack featuring the full length versions of all the music heard in the game via download. All this plus an elite “founders” t-shirt for our gunny-level backers. An exclusive t-shirt designed by the folks at Black Palm featuring the game logo in distressed green along with a catchy slogan.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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STYLISH ============================= Founder's Wardrobe + All Previous Rewards ============================= Now you can add unique items to your character’s in-game wardrobe—a virtual hoodie, virtual t-shirt, and virtual cap all bearing the H-Hour logo. These items can be worn in addition to whatever BDUs and gear you select to customize your character. No one but our Kickstarter backers will ever have access to these items.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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TACTICAL GROOVE ============================= Unique Victory Dance + All Previous Rewards ============================= Nothing adds insult to injury like a victory dance. H-Hour backers at this tier and above will receive a unique victory dance that no other players will have access to—only our Kickstarter supporters will receive this reward. The final victory dance will be chosen by the community.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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SENIOR CHIEF ============================= Laminated Tactical Maps + Unique Clan Icon + Early Registration + All Previous Rewards ============================= A month before the game ships, you are invited to log into our servers and register your clan name, assemble/invite your clan members, create your clan logo and motto, and use all relevant community tools to get a head start on everyone who didn’t participate in the Kickstarter campaign. Our friends at SeaSnipers work hand in hand with us to create full color top down maps of our core multiplayer environments. Suitable for lamination so that you can plan your strategies with erasable markers or just hang on your wall for reference.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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MASTER CHIEF ============================= Exclusive Content + All Previous Rewards ============================= Backers at this level and above receive a DLC pack exclusive to our Kickstarter supporters. This pack will include at least one unique character, in-game badge, and a firearm that no one else will get. Ever. And after you see it, you'll want it. But then it will be to late.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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BEEP AND SQUELCH ============================= Tactical Gaming Headset + All Previous Rewards ============================= At this pledge level you receive a high-quality headset forged by community input and manufactured by makers of military-grade hardware. As a mark of further distinction the headset bears the H-Hour logo.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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MOBILE COMMAND ============================= GAEMS Vanguard Personal Gaming Environment + All Previous Rewards ============================= At this pledge level you will be able to take your gaming with you anywhere with the GAEMS Vanguard. The Vanguard is compatible with your current Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 Slim, and will be compatible with Next Gen Hardware. The rugged case protects all your gaming gear from minor impacts. Only available in North America (due to high shipping rates). This Tier includes all previous rewards INCLUDING Beep and Squelch!!!!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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CANADA MOBILE COMMAND ============================= GAEMS Vanguard Personal Gaming Environment + All Previous Rewards ============================= NOTE: This reward tier is specifically for those located in Canada to accommodate for shipping costs. If you are not located in Canada, do not pledge at this tier. ============================= At this pledge level you will be able to take your gaming with you anywhere with the GAEMS Vanguard. The Vanguard is compatible with your current Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 Slim, and will be compatible with Next Gen Hardware. The rugged case protects all your gaming gear from minor impacts. Only available in North America (due to high shipping rates). This Tier includes all previous rewards INCLUDING Beep and Squelch!!!!Estimated delivery:
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UK MOBILE COMMAND ============================= GAEMS Vanguard Personal Gaming Environment + All Previous Rewards ============================= NOTE: This reward tier is specifically for those located in UK to accommodate for shipping costs. If you are not located in UK, do not pledge at this tier. ============================= At this pledge level you will be able to take your gaming with you anywhere with the GAEMS Vanguard. The Vanguard is compatible with your current Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 Slim, and will be compatible with Next Gen Hardware. The rugged case protects all your gaming gear from minor impacts. Only available in North America (due to high shipping rates). This Tier includes all previous rewards INCLUDING Beep and Squelch!!!!Estimated delivery:
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MASTER SERGEANT ============================= Limited Edition Game Hoodie + Game Poster + All Previous Rewards ============================= At this tier you receive a very rare high quality black hoodie featuring the H-Hour logo. Equally rare is the game poster that comes with this level of pledge.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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SERGEANT MAJOR ============================= Your Name And/Or Face In In-Game Advertising/Products/Backgrounds + All Previous Rewards ============================= H-Hour is a generally realistic game but we can’t fill the world with real-world products. Work with the design team to build an advertising campaign for a virtual product that bears your name, face, or image/title of your choosing. You will be pervasive.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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LIEUTENANT ============================= Your Own Easter Eggs + All Rewards From Master Sergeant & Previous ============================= Everyone loves to find these things. Now’s your chance to make and hide your own. Work directly with the development team to design one to leave behind for others to find. Hint: almost nothing is too outrageous.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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CAPTAIN ============================= Original Paper Maps & Game Design Notes + All Rewards From Master Sergeant & Previous ============================= We generate actual paper maps and design notes throughout the project. They’re yours if you’re into that kind of thing.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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MAJOR ============================= Studio Visit/Designer For A Week + All Rewards From Master Sergeant & Previous ============================= A week-long visit to the studio during which time you will participate in design meetings and play testing. You can just watch or we’ll put you to work; the choice is yours. We cover travel, food, and lodging for the visit. Note: we will only cover half the traveling expenses for international flights.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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VICE ADMIRAL ============================= Be A Character (Model & Mocap) + All Rewards From Master Sergeant & Previous ============================= We put you in the game. Your face. Your movements. You become a hostage. Forever. Now that's immortality. We cover transportation and lodging when we bring you to the motion capture studio. If you've got dance moves to bust out, that's a plus. Note: we will only cover half the traveling expenses for international flights.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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ADMIRAL ============================= Tactical Golf & Dinner + All Rewards From Master Sergeant & Previous ============================= A round of golf on one of United States foremost courses, Pinehurst No. 2, located in beautiful Pinehurst, NC. Play along side veteran special operations operators and see what playing under stress really looks like. Lodging and transportation provided. Note: we will only cover half the traveling expenses for international flights.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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LIEUTENANT GENERAL ============================= Boot Camp + All Rewards From Master Sergeant & Previous ============================= You are part of an exclusive three day military training experience where you eat, sleep, think and train just like the best of the best and discover if you have what it takes to handle “the real thing”. Our instructors are former special forces elite and among the most sought after military trainers on the planet. You can expect to return home more knowledgeable than when you left and with some good stories to tell your friends. Some of the events you can expect during your journey will be simulated room clearing in a real close quarter battle house; wilderness survival skills training; and a leadership seminar among other focused activities. You must pass a background check and be a US citizen in order to participate.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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GENERAL ============================= Research Trip + All Rewards From Master Sergeant & Previous ============================= Accompany the core team on a research trip to an exotic location. This isn't a luxury vacation—you’ll rough it with the team as we go indigenous. Think of it as adventure tourism with a special forces bodyguard. We cover transportation, food, and lodging. You are responsible for getting your own immunizations. Trip estimated to last approximately one week. Note: You must posses a valid passport or ability to obtain a passport prior to trip. Reimbursable flight cost will be determined based off of backers departure information.Estimated delivery:
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