H-Hour: World's Elite™ is a TPV tactical, team-based multiplayer, military shooter in which cooperation among players is required for success on the battlefield.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (17 reviews) - 70% of the 17 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (336 reviews) - 66% of the 336 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 19, 2015

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The original vision of H-Hour: World’s Elite evolved out of the frustrations expressed by gamers and gaming communities with the loss of military shooters that were team based and required tactical skills to be successful. Another of their concerns was the move away from supporting clans in how multiplayer games were delivered. By working closely with the community since our successful Kickstarter in 2013, we have been able to design a game vision that we believe will put control of the play environment back in hands of the community when the full game is released.

Working closely with our 11,000 strong community has provided tremendous benefits for us as an independent developer. We are now ready to get our alpha version of H-Hour that they helped us build into the hands of the masses so we can gather additional design and gameplay feedback from newcomers to the one life, round based tactical shooter genre.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Development of H-Hour began in late October 2014. We released on Early Access on Steam May 19, 2014 and we anticipate H-Hour will be in early access until end 2017. We have a lot of design ideas and features we want to introduce during early access and our desire to work hand-in-hand with the community in evaluating and polishing those additions requires we set aside enough time to do this right.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We will continue to add content, fix bugs and tweak things as we head towards full release. Between early access and our full release, with the CONTINUED support of our community we would like to:
  • Add more characters, more maps, more weapons and explosives;
  • Add more animations and character actions;
  • Add achievements;
  • Build robust player stats that not only allow players and clans to view their results so appropriate training is possible but also allow for a database of player metrics that can be used to detect cheats;
  • Allow communities to control their play environment by releasing Dedicated Server files for their use with included admin tools for the server;
  • Integrate ingame clan management tools -- allowing clans to create their own custom page, invite members, see member stats, issue and accept clan challenges and other tools the community may request;
  • You can expect some performance and graphic improvements as we optimize.

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“If you are looking for a full featured game without bugs or the need of polish, this game in current state is not for you.

Our current early access release includes the main framework for our multiplayer experience with lobbies, 8 vs 8 rounds, matches, 4 official maps and 6 game modes, weapon and armament selection for your characters, character camo and dance selections, in game voice, mute and text chat, original music score, team actions for vote to kick and friendly fire and in game announcements. Players will have the ability to interact with the environment; opening and closing doors, breaching walls, destroying objectives, picking up weapons from dead enemies, scooping ammo from the fallen and best of all, dancing on your enemy’s corpse.

Players will have the choice of using our in game server browser to join our dedicated servers or to setup and host their own peer to peer server. VAC anti-cheat is activated. We are also working with Evenbalance to introduce PunkBuster anti-cheat services.

We have a fully playable multiplayer game that is in alpha state. Development started in late October 2014 and our community has been working side by side with our devs on early builds, playing on our dedicated servers since March 2015. Their support in testing our game has helped us solidify the gameplay framework. There is a lot of development yet to come but the feedback we have received tells us the game has that “fun” factor already. We listen closely to our community and try wherever possible to release bug fixes and tweak features in line with community wants or release new content weekly.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Our early access price will be lower to reward those who join us early and help shape the development of H-Hour. As major features and content are added, prices may rise.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Development of H-Hour has been fan-centric since our 2013 Kickstarter campaign. We believe by working with our community to assess, tweak and polish the design and implementation of features, we can deliver an addictive play environment for the masses. Many of the ideas and suggestions of our community have already made their way into our current game and our future design plans.

We provide updates on our website about the development state at https://sofstudios.com. We also run polls on design choices and other subjects on our website. With this move to Steam, we have begun to use our Community Hub for the same purposes, connecting with and engaging our fans. Everyone is encouraged to hunt and report on bugs, and provide constructive feedback on features or the game. You can hate something in the game, just explain why and tell us what we need to do to fix it!”
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Recent updates View all (182)

July 11

H-Hour Community News - 11 July 2017

Posted on Behalf of SOF Studios President, Tom

Hello H-Hour Community!

Around the Studio:

Hot, beautiful sunny days in the forecast! We have hit the summer months and I am encouraging the volunteers on the dev team to make sure they take some time off with their families this summer so they can enjoy the season. These dedicated souls have worked tirelessly on H-Hour in their free time for an extended time now and letting them de-stress with their families this summer is the least that we can do to thank them for the passion and dedication they have brought to H-Hour!

What does this mean for the game? The pace of development may slow and require us to change direction “on the fly”. Most development work at this stage requires multiple team members to collaborate on a feature to get it completed and we will now be juggling not only everyone’s regular job schedules but vacation schedules. Because of this, we may also need to switch direction, shelve one feature’s work part way through and move on to a different feature. Given this reality, we are planning on releasing smaller patches until the summer is over. This will also allow us to get updates to community DLC maps out the door sooner for everyone.

So, what is the team focusing on during this next patch cycle?
  • Work required to allow for removal of the FPS cap

  • Correct "stuttering when stepping" (turning while at idle)

  • A recent bug regarding the mini-map not updating objects until character turns

  • Walk button on controllers not working in controller only rooms

  • Continuing to test Workshop tools for ladders (this update cannot be released until all coding changes for ladders are complete)

  • Continuing to stabilize recent animations added

  • Map 5 – continue file management work and conversion of blueprint assets to static meshes

  • Map 6 block out work has begun

  • Working with community mappers—testing their maps, providing guidance and feedback and loading and releasing their maps

Patch News:

The development team released another large patch this month followed by a hotfix to address the issues stress testing by the public identified post patch.

The release patch included new content such as aimoffsets which enabled much better fluidity for characters, the addition of ladders and the first pass animations needed for this feature, the ability to drop the bomb, allowing players to fire while reloading, updated special effects, in-scope shot block warning and a TK management system. There was also a long list of updates to existing animations and features, optimizations to all official maps to help those with lower end specs and another large pass of bug fixes. For more information on what was in the patch, check our patch notes. For the content in the hotfix, check here.

As always, new features are considered first pass and will likely require additional tweaking in future patches. In other words, no feature is complete until it has been put through its paces very thoroughly by the community.


From the Development Team – Let’s Talk H-Hour Workshop Maps:

Hi everyone, Rosie here to talk Maps!

Before I start I want to thank all the community mappers out there who have taken the time to create maps for everyone. You guys rock! To show my appreciation for the time you invest, I thought I would share some tips with you. I hope this is a helpful starting place for all our mappers when combined with our Guide as they create and improve on their custom maps.

The move of Workshop maps to a DLC pack has meant changes to the process of how community mappers work with the Studio to have their maps reviewed and in what is expected for a map to be released with H-Hour.

The process has been evolving as we worked with the early adopters of our new Workshop and we believe now is a good time to share the best path to take for our map creators to get their maps approved and into our DLC pack.

The workshop tools provided allow custom mappers to build their map, merge it into your game files and test using Create a Game (UCR). This tool is key for doing a full review of your maps prior to asking for Studio testing.

I am now going to drill down into the areas all community mappers should consider.

Optimization for all content in your map.

Remember the minimum specs for H-Hour are for an Nvidia 660Ti so you need to target allowing players with those specs to reach adequate FPS rates while playing. Keep in mind that what you see for FPS when testing is less than what will be the experience of 16 players shooting, throwing nades and interacting.

Use the tools provided by Epic to optimize your map. This includes:
  • Create LODs for large props/buildings to reduce the rendering required on your map for players.
    LOD levels reduce the vertices on meshes based on distance. You can do this in your modeling programs yourself and then import the model with the LODs or through the auto-generation feature in UE4.
    To auto-generate-- Select each large prop or building static mesh, double click to open. In the Details panel in “LOD Settings” section, select an appropriate LOD group to auto-generate LODs for your mesh type and then Save.

  • Use the UE4 Editor View Modes to check out your lighting optimization, shader complexity, etc. Detail on what to look for is available online in numerous tutorials and Epic documentation. To use the optimization tools, dropdown the “Lit” selection and go to Optimization Viewmodes and use the tools.

  • While developing, turn the FPS counter on in the Editor so when you play in editor you can move through your map with the player and get a feel of FPS drop objects in your map.

Texturing and Lighting

There is a maximum amount of rendering that can happen within a multiplayer game before players lag. Texturing and lighting are big contributors to this issue if not controlled.

For textures, we recommend you do variations so your map is not boring, no one wants to see 50 buildings all with the same texture without any variation. At the same time, use the tips that follow to reuse wherever possible. The engine will render each texture once so sharing within your texture sets saves performance cost. Reuse specular and normal map sets where possible, just swapping out the base colors. This can also be achieved using Material Instances.

You may want high quality for an object but expecting you can just 4K everything is going to make your map unplayable. Use the size map tool in Editor on your static mesh to get a grasp of its overall size. It might surprise you. To work around this, you should test each texture set in your art program to see how low you can go with the various layers and still achieve the look you want. This includes things like using lower resolution specular maps, and having the highest resolution texture be your normal map. These kinds of tricks will typically play upon your average person's perception of surface detail. Working with our artist, we have found the difference is not that noticeable for most objects with a 1024x1024 normal map, a 512x512 color map (though there are exceptions), a 256x256 specular map and a surface with all 1024x1024 texture maps. You need to test and tweak to define the minimum levels for your surface detail on each object.

Do not scale or stretch textures beyond their intended size as this will produce bad visual results.

For lighting, it is important to have a good grasp of this topic as it is one of the biggest areas of performance cost. You need to understand what each light type does in order to make decisions on use. Spend time learning this using Epic documentation and tutorials as it is a huge subject.

At a high level, you should:
  • Limit the use of Stationary point lights inside your map. Only use them when you must have shadows interact with an object during game play. Do not use Moveable.

  • Limit the use of Reflection Spheres in your map as they have a high-performance cost. These are intended to assist with reflecting light off metallic objects or reflective surfaces for atmosphere and not as a means to increase lighting in an area of your map. Also, keep these Spheres at a level that they will not reflect light on the top of a character. Players should not be wondering where the heck that light they cannot see that is reflecting off their character came from. Placement is important.

  • Use bounce lighting to pull additional light into dark areas of your map without having to up intensity of your lighting source. This is an option in your light source itself and can also be done using soft point lights in strategic locations that are not visible (e.g., tied to a static mesh) and do not cast any shadows.

  • We have also noticed with the switch to 4.15, the tonemapper in use is quite different then the one from 4.11 and this requires revisiting your texture and world settings to in many cases, lower roughness and metallic settings.

  • Keep your mesh lightmap resolutions low, adjusting using Optimization ViewModes and watching that you do not lose too much of the detail for your mesh. Blue is the happy color and will not only improve performance but reduce light build times!

Take your time and build a quality map that the community will enjoy and want to play.

Typical Studio quality maps take a full time, experienced level artist at least 3 months to develop. This is an indicator of the amount of hours community mappers may need to put in to create high-quality maps. So, if yours is complete with just a few days or weeks of effort, you likely need to revisit to see what could be improved. Focus on one map and perfect it as this should be about quality and not quantity. You want players to want to play your map. This community has the talent to create high quality maps and many have proven this already and their maps are fan favorites. We want all our community mappers to succeed.

With the new DLC process, it is not as easy to get fixes you may make in the hands of the players when they are unhappy about something. So, we strongly recommend you take the time up front and make sure your map’s first impression is a good one!

Glitches are not something you want in your map. Make sure there are no places players can get outside of the map. Make sure there are no objects players can get caught on. Make sure players cannot hide behind bulletproof items that should not be bulletproof—e.g., a bush. Check that there are no areas players can gain access to that they shouldn’t, especially things that allow them to get under your map. If you use water that players could hide under, use the Water Volume blueprint provided in the H-Hour Workshop Tools and make sure players cannot find areas to submerge themselves.

The Process when you deem your map ready:
  • Use the Workshop Uploader to upload your approved version of the map to the Workshop Depot.

  • Contact me on forums or send an email to office@sofstudios.com and let them know the name of your map and that it is ready for testing. This process takes volunteers away from game development so make sure your map is bug free before contacting us.

  • Your map will be tested on a UCR first and if it passes, go for server testing by the development team.

  • The team will provide feedback if they find things that need fixes.

  • Once approved, it will be added to H-Hour content to await the next patch. Depending on when your map is approved, this wait might be 3-4 weeks.

3 comments Read more

June 29

Hotfix Incoming

Servers going offline so I can get the latest hotfix implemented. Fixes include:

  • Improved validation logic for objects during damaging events that were found to be the cause of at least one server crash.

  • Made a small change to weapon reloading logic that is hoped to resolve the cause of some players experiencing reloads that they did not initiate when rapidly spamming their fire button. This will require further monitoring to confirm.

  • Returned the ability for players to fire weapons when they are blocked by objects (Grey Crosshairs), as the feedback revealed a negative impact when in gun fights and accidental blocks disrupted their ability to return fire effectively.

  • Client Dump files fixes implemented

  • Updated Grenade Arcs to not be affected by the AimOffset system - Grenade arcs should display and follow arc like before

  • Set the default Player VOIP volume to 200% (max)

  • Modified the Action system to eliminate and unexpected bug with dropping the bomb in the bomb plant area that had severe consequences

  • Update to Sub Rosa to improve FPS

5 comments Read more
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Feature List

Our Custom Map Workshop version 2.0 is LIVE . Check out the great community maps on our Workshop and play them on our Workshop servers.

About This Game

H-Hour: World's Elite™ (H-Hour) is a tactical, team-based multiplayer military shooter in which cooperation among players is required for success. The game uses a Third Person perspective to enhance the player's situational awareness. This battlefield perspective rewards strategic awareness and teamwork. Designed as a spiritual successor to the early SOCOM series, H-Hour is primarily a one life game that encourages players to think strategically and work as a team in order to avoid waiting in the dead room until the round ends. A respawn mode is also offered. This allows for player warmups and to help new players adjust to the Third Person perspective prior to joining the community in the more punishing one life game play.

Current Features:

  • One life and respawn game play.
  • 4 official maps and free DLC pack containing community custom maps (to date these maps have been a mix of SOCOM recreations and original content).
  • 6 game modes available including Elimination, Demolition, Breach, Sabotage, Suppression and Hostage Extraction for play with up to 16 players.
  • 6 different characters.
  • 4 camos to select from for your character.
  • 4 dance moves to celebrate your kills.
  • A variety of different loadouts for weapons and equipment to carry on the battlefield depending on the demands of a particular mode.
  • Action system to pickup weapons, open/close doors, plant/defuse bombs, plant C4, and dance.
  • Guns hot activated when near enemy.
  • Pick up ammo and equipment dropped by teammates.
  • In game access to Team Actions, Options and Weapons Inventory selections.
  • Spectate your teammates when dead.
  • Team voip communication system with channels defined for live and dead players to chat.
  • Text based communication system.
  • Lobby entry into matches to allow for Armory access, team switching and options setting.
  • Map load presents a overhead view detailing objectives and locations.
  • Player and Leaderboard stats tracking.
  • MVP award at end of match
  • Hud and compass in game
  • Servers can be configured for numerous in game features such as allowing Vote to Kick, Friendly Fire, Proxy Chat, number of players and number of rounds per match, one life or respawn, game modes and map rotation, ranked or unranked play, password protection and admin functions.
  • User Created Room option so players can host their own unranked server.
  • Custom tools for community map makers to create maps for addition to our DLC pack once approved.

Planned Features before Release:

  • Improvements to Browser, options and audio.
  • Taunt system to enrage the enemy.
  • More maps.
  • More weapons.
  • More effects.
  • More actions and animations.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Clan features.

All characters and locations are presented in a plausible, authentic manner. The game characters are inspired by real Special Operations Forces and the maps to simulate real world locations—repurposed and staged for battles where savages plot and launch their insurgencies or terrorism campaigns.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 SP1, 8 or 8.1, 10 -- 64 bit version
    • Processor: 2.6+ Ghz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia: GTX 660 Ti, 760, 950, 1050 / ATI: HD 7850, R9 270, R9 270X, R7 370, RX 460
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: KB/M and Controller: PS4, XBox and Steam Go (mobile): 970, 1060 / Mobility: RX570
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1, 8 or 8.1, 10 -- 64 bit version
    • Processor: 3.0+ Ghz Quad Core Processor
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia: GTX 590, GTX 680, GTX 770 / ATI: HD 6990, HD 7970, R9 280X, R9 380, R9 380X
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Go (mobile): 980, 1070
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Mixed (336 reviews)
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