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The creative director of the original SOCOM games wants to bring you the spiritual successor to those breakout PlayStation 2 shooters.
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Team: Announcing Russ Phillips, Former Art Director of SOCOM

Posted by David Sears (Creator)
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I am really happy to announce that the art director of SOCOM, Russ Phillips, will be teaming up with me and the rest of SOF Studios to make H-Hour: World’s Elite. Russ is not only a phenomenal art director, he’s a level design force to reckon with. He was the creator and principle owner of some of the most memorable maps in SOCOM. Here are the SeaSniper maps to give you an idea which maps I’m talking about:

Russ and I worked in lockstep on the early SOCOMs and we constantly collaborating to make the games better. I could not be more excited to have my design partner return—after all, what better way to recreate the magic than bring back the magicians?


I have a passion for art… all kinds of art – painting, drawing, 2D, 3D, industrial design, graphic design and graffiti. Anything that works the creative muscle is worth looking at and appreciating. I started drawing very young. When I graduated high school, the only continuing education I would endure would be something in the art field. Two years at a local Vocational Institute for Drafting and Illustration lead to my first job at Boeing Airplane Group where I started in Product Development. By luck, this was the first department to get new 3D CAD workstations. After hours I would spend my time creating some of the first airplane interiors in “solid” 3D models that eventually would be shown in presentations to the customer.

When the first consumer 3D software was available, I bought my first copy of 3D Studio. I started my own business creating everything from flying logo’s to architectural models of house designs to show before the house was built. This is where my strength in realistic 3D modeling started.

A few years later I was asked to come work for a small game company called Zipper Interactive. Having the chance to create realistic environments as a career was a dream come true. Zipper Interactive soon became a “triple A” studio and landed the SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs contract through Sony. I was promoted to Art Director for the project. Setting the standard by creating multiplayer maps such as Desert Glory, Night Stalker and Fishhook were just some of the credits to my name. The SOCOM franchise sold over 11 million units world-wide.

Due to the success of SOCOM, Zipper Interactive grew very fast from a company of just eight when I started, to a large company of 150 employees. The duties of Art Director evolved into a role that didn’t allow time for me to actually create any of the art assets used in the game. I decided to step down from my role as AD just before the fourth version of SOCOM was to begin. Creating assets, rebuilding older multiplayer map packs and working on final lighting was a good decision.

My goal as a 3D artist is to get back to the unrefined process of making great video games with a small team. This dynamic allows each and every person involved to feel ownership and pride in the final product – it allows you to feel like the work you put in made a difference. The flexibility of a small team allows big decisions to be made quickly and enhances the creative flow.



If you haven't already, back our project because without your support H-Hour will not be a reality! We also ask that you help spread the word to your friends, teammates, family and even your enemies (if you want to shoot them online), word of mouth is an integral part towards this campaign's success. If you haven't already, like us on Facebook, follow us Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube, and register an account on our website.

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    1. Martin Reece on

      Sweeet, been waiting for someone to get on this, add a standard version of s2 in hd as well ;) nice work gents.

    2. John Lobanowski P-Dub_206 on

      @kingGilley I think we played S3/Ca together. I was p-dub25/polish wolf

    3. kingGILLEY on

      AMAZING! SOCOM 1 and 2 had the greatest multiplayer maps of any game I've played. Map design is a crucial part of online gameplay and I couldnt think of a better person for the job than the genius behind Crossroad, Fish Hook, Rats Nest, The Ruins, Desert Glory, Night Stalker, the list goes on and on...

    4. Chris B Partnur on

      Wow, what a great backstory & addition to SOF studios! And I hope Sea Snipers gets to make the game guide!


      I meant why not bring the band back together ...and I totally agree with a small group things can be done more efficiently and allot less confusing.


      That is Super cool to have THE map maker on SOFs team and why bring the band back together for next gen.

    7. Silverback on

      There is a God

    8. FullMetalTech (PSW) on

      Sandstorm breach was awesome. I remember my wife pregnant at the time was laughing at me getting headshotted through the window of the bomb room. She said i was exposing my self by being to close to the window and next thing you know i get popped. Good times.!

    9. Dino Oliver D'Adamo on

      I really this isn't some huge inception dream or something I'm having. This is just too good to be true.

    10. sm on

      Pure AWESOME!

    11. John Lobanowski P-Dub_206 on

      It's funny I was talking to one of my 10+ xbl friends that switched to the "darkside" and we were reminiscing about old S2 maps. We both blanked on the name of sandstorm... That map was SICK

    12. John Lobanowski P-Dub_206 on

      @Nathan I was thinking the same thing... Guess we need to wait and see!

    13. Billy F. on

      This just brought a smile to my face. Sandstorm breach all the way! Great designs on those maps. Very unforgettable.

    14. Tajackamo on

      Fantastic news! Your map designs were incredible, especially the majority of the SOCOM 1 maps. I spent hours upon hours learning every LOS angle, hiding spot, and throwing lane. The flow and initial rush to gain as much territory as possible at the beginning of each round were always insanely fun and intense. Thank you for those moments, and for again re-joining with David!

    15. Jeffrey Campbell on

      Nightstalker was so much fun. It was our clan map and we were awesome on it.

    16. David Doel on

      Alright, I just backed based on this news. The creator of DG, NS, Sandstorm, and FH? Yeah I'm in.

    17. James on

      Shut up and take my money. This is amazing.

    18. Aaron Kupniewski on

      @Christain I was thinking the same thing. Every comment and update has me thinking "It can't get any better than this". Quickly, I'm proven wrong. Amazing.

    19. [MASTER CHIEF] on

      This project is getting better and better!

    20. Missing avatar

      Noy Saem on

      Yes! Welcome back Russ! Man your map designs are the best! Super excited now. Thanks!


      @Z-Machine you can say that again man i cant wait to play this Game SoCrack!!!

    22. Austin Horton on

      One step closer to that magic formula...

    23. FullMetalTech (PSW) on

      Good news indeed. As long as the maps have the same flow and multiple entry points like S1/S2 then now were talking. S3 Maps too big, Combined Assault were ok. S4 maps were horrible.

    24. Z-Machine on

      @STEPHEN Yeah, sick maps is probably an understatement. This is going to be insane!


      this is amazing now i know the maps are going to be sick!!

    26. Nathan Bedgood on

      'He was the creator and principle owner of some of the most memorable maps in SOCOM.' Does this mean some if these maps could be in H-Hour?

    27. Richard Conforti on

      Desert Glory!!!! <3 I can play that map 24/7. BEST MAP EVA!!!!

    28. Hery Escoto on

      No F****ng way!! I love all those maps you designed!!! FishHook was my favorite map!!! Good to hear you are with the team!!!

    29. Mike Legacy on

      Hell yes! Glad to have ya Russ. The one thing I still loved about SOCOM 3 and Combined Assault was the maps. Fault, Citadel, etc were great maps. Now SOCOM 4, we won't talk about that one :-P Welcome to the SOF family!

    30. David Aguilar on

      Fishhook is one of my favorite maps, with multiple breach points.