Inside the Developers Studio: Seth Luisi

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SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation
1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
I’m working with two games at E3 this year: SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation for PLAYSTATION 3, and SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Tactical Strike for PSP. For the purpose of answering these questions, I’ll focus mostly on our PS3 version of SOCOM.

2. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation makes full use of the HDD in the PlayStation 3. One of the often overlooked advantages of the PS3 compared to competing platforms is that it contains a 2.5” serial ATA hard drive which allows us to use the Hard Disc Drive for extremely fast data access. Since we can count on the hard drive to be in every PS3 console, SOCOM Confrontation uses a very aggressive data streaming system which in turn allows for much greater detail in the game environments. For this reason alone, the level of detail which you will see in the environments and characters in SOCOM Confrontation is not possible on any other game console.

Take a quick look at the screenshots below for an early look at what we are able to achieve using the hard drive in the PS3. This is still pre-alpha and the quality will continue to improve as we get further into development.

3. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
The environments are the real star in SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation. We are focusing a lot of effort on creating intricate and highly detailed urban environments. The amount of detail in the environment will help you to easily distinguish where you are in the level and the intricacy means that you are going to discover new areas and snipe points long after you thought you had the environment memorized.

The characters are also looking really good.

At the top of the post is an in-game screenshot of our Heavy Commando model. The skin shaders, cloth shaders, normal maps, and highly detailed textures allow us to have extremely realistic characters in the game. Again, this is a work in progress.

4. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
N’Gai Croal. He’s been a long time player of the SOCOM franchise and I would really like to discuss what he thinks about this game. It doesn’t hurt that he is also one of the best journalists writing about video games and also writes for Newsweek.

5. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Metal Gear Solid 4. I’m very curious how the game plays compared to the videos that have been shown so far.

6. How many E3’s does E3 2007 mark for you?
All 12 of them. I’ve been to every E3 including the first one in 1995.

7. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
Very stressful, little sleep…

8. Most over used phrase or expression during E3 season.
“Game of the show.” The press are so busy each trying to be the first to declare the game of the show that they ignore most of the games shown at E3 including some really good ones. Also, half the time they declare a game which is shown as video only as “Game of the Show.” A note to the press, a game by definition is interactive and so a video is not a game and cannot be game of the show.

9. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three items HAVE to be included?
Aspirin, water and a GPS unit to navigate LA.

10. Describe what you anticipate from 2007’s newly formatted E3 in five words or less.
One word, fiefdoms.

11. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
My favorite part about developing games is that moment of relief and excitement when I finally see things working in the game as we meant them to be. Most people don’t realize this, but it can take more than a year of hard work and planning (some times several years) before the game is up and running as you envisioned. That whole time you are hoping that things are going to work as planned and that you are going to have a great game but you never know until that moment. It is extremely exciting when it does work and you realize you have something special.

SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs ConfrontationSOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation

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2 Author Replies

  • Can’t wait for this, played all the other socoms, and this is amazing, looks awesome.

  • how much will the game cost and i love you and socom gives me bonor

  • looking fantastic for something that isnt final

  • man, i love these games, but man do i not have the time to get good at them. can’t wait for this.

  • Thanks for the great feedback.

    One note to everyone who has asked, there will be no vehicles in SOCOM Confrontation. We are focusing all of our effort and getting the best urban and on foot experience possible.

    Also, I wanted to put out a special thanks to all of the guys at Slant Six Games who are working very hard right now trying to get the E3 build ready.


  • Elessar Telrunya

    Still waiting for the Map Packs and Patch(s) for Socom 3 and Combined Assault. I didn’t spend $90+ just to get screwed over by you guys.

  • …a playable build? (cartman voice) Kiiiick Aaaasss!

  • E3 will be amazing for PS3. Until today i didnt knew there will be SOCOM (playable) on E3!

  • Cant wait for this. I’ve been playing socom since the very first one and loved the entire series. even socom 3 and combined assault. even though i like socom 2 better, there were a ton of things in socom 3 that just made it easier, the only problem with it was the small little bugs and the new playing style. Things like weapon customization and a better lobby and menu and things like that were really better in socom 3 than socom 2.


  • I sure hope this game is as much like Socom 1 and as less like Socom 3 as it seems to be.

  • Seth, I’d also like to say, don’t feel embarrassed with this game. At GDC you almost seemed apologetic that you guys are bringing the franchise back to it’s roots. You should be proud and up front that the fanbase was upset by the direction of SOCOM 3, and that you are in fact paying attention to us, and bringing SOCOM back to the close quarters combat where it should be.

    Not many developers are brave enough to own up to their mistakes, but Sony has an opportunity to bring back the strong community they had in the SOCOM franchise, and you should be flaunting that with Confrontation.

    Me, and many other old SOCOM fans were jumping up and down on their chairs when we saw Crossroads in the trailer and read the 1up preview from Joe Rybicki (who is a true SOCOM 1 & 2 fan). Be confident in this title because its exactly what we’ve wanted for so long, and you’ll not only be bringing back the old SOCOM fans, but also new ones who never got to try the series the first time around.

    P.S. Get as many of the old SOCOM 1 & 2 maps up on the PSN Store as possible. It would be awesome if we could eventually have them all.

  • Check out the full resolution versions of the SOCOM Confrontation screenshots at Flickr. They look much better at native resolution.

    It’s too bad you cannot view the full resolution versions directly on the Blog… everyone should vote for that in the current poll!!


  • Kratos_ate_Snake

    Very cool, thanks for the links.

  • can i have my copy now??? please???
    i want it now!!! please???

  • where the beta i cant wait i got an ps3 cause of socom and warhawk

  • Game is looking better than when you guys showed the game at Gamers Day, not sure if it’s from the same build, it’s nice to see the details on the character model.

  • i hope this is not like socom2. the screens look wicked

  • i hope its just like socom 2 socom 3 was disapointing

  • first i think seth said really good the difference between the game on different console ….. on playstation games are long to came out bec usually they take out the best game beside of the other company they take a lot of games with no time for production ….. and more of it they dont care about compatibility :( that the way the US work, money money and dont care about the quality :) Anyway i dont need to say playstation have always the best games, like socom (not for single player lol ), i get the first socom the second … but after i start ffXI i almost stop playing online game, so i dont buy socom 3 but i get good commentary (about multiplayer lol). But to finish after this long writing i thing i will buy this one after look at the gameplay demo and to see this pic its look again a really great job :)

  • Let me just say this:

    If this game REALLY goes back to S1 and S2 gameplay, it will be the best freakin gaming experience ever. It will truly satisfy what SOCOM players have been waiting for. Go back to the classic 8 vs 8 gameplay where its real teambased action, not just a Battlefield clone. 32 players destroyed the concept of SOCOM. This is not an all out war game, it is a team tactical game. Please do not try to break down that barrier the way S3 and CA did. The community did not want that. They wanted more of S2 and S1.

  • Socom is the best playstation online game ever made. I hope this one will be a great one. I really hope the will release patches and downloadable content a lot faster than what Zipper is doing with Combined Assault.

  • Are you going back to 8 v 8 instead of 16 v 16? I really hope you do. This makes the game more of a team shooter, and makes the matches quicker.

  • I love socom 2 man, but socom 3 killed for me. As a new sperience was good for the first couple of days but then all the tactics my clan and I use to implement in S2 when out the window. I’m glad you guys are going back to the essence.

  • I love the socom franchise, I really hope this is closer to 2 than 3. And where are the playstation cards? The PS3 socom is downloadable right? I don’t have a credit card so I haven’t been able to download anything that costs money, please get working on that sony so I can buy things.

  • Once again Seth dodges a reply to the question…”What happened to SOCOMBLOG and the weekly updates on the progress of SOCOM?”

    Why promise one thing and then do another?

  • I will like to see a video of Metal Gear Solid 4…. = )

  • “ | July 3rd, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Are you going back to 8 v 8 instead of 16 v 16? I really hope you do. This makes the game more of a team shooter, and makes the matches quicker.”

    COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT ANY BETTER MYSELF! THIS is what truely seperated classic S1/2 from S3. If 8 vs 8 is the standart in Confrontation, the community will rejoice with glee. Trying to organize the team with 16 people was impossible. Plus demolition rounds lasted 2 hours, and Suppression very rarely ended before the time limit. 8 vs 8 IS SOCOM.

  • hey seth luisi ( your name sounds like some kind of sith lord )
    i checked my psn store.. and socom is not there yet!!! whats up?? come on… give me my copy in advance… please????

  • socom was good short board and alot of fun socom 2 was outstanding fun boards a good rating system that nobody really couldnt
    figureout socom 3 was disapointing

  • Holy cow! Can you believe how much this game has graphically evolved since the original Socom game? I’m excited about this one!

  • If you want to please the socom vets, I mean the players that played socom 1&2 until there eyes bugged out and there hands cramped up you have to go back to 8 vs 8. 16 vs 16 is not what the original socomers want. Removing the vehicles is a step in the right direction and the hit detection needs to be put back to the socom 1 days.

  • I got Socom 1, 2 and missed 3. This game on PS3 I will sure get it.

    question: The images.. is it in-game or just images.

  • Wolfe13 i agree 100% socom 1 shot u dead

  • is slowly, but surely becoming one of my favorite sites! Keep up the great work, and give us more great news!! I love SONY. We want DEMOS for Socom, Heavenly Sword, Lair, and anything that has to do with SONY 1st party game!! Awesome SITE!!!

  • Nice read! 2 interviews today I see, SOCOM and Lair.

  • im not buying lair if theres no demo

  • I just wanted to say that I loved the original SoCom and SoCom2! Two of the best online tac shooters I ever played. But the third one was utter crap. It watered down the series and was worse than Tribes (ok ok – so I’m exaggerating, but I still hated it as much!) …

    All I ask is to keep it faithful to series heritage and NOT make it ‘accessible’ to the masses like the third. Please! =( I need a great new SoCom fix! =((

  • Elessar Telrunya


    Yeah, i asked about the patches and map packs they promised after we all spent $90+ on Socom 3 and Combined Assault…still no response. Way to treat your customers, Seth.

  • I try all kinds FPS, I find that work best on PC. If I can use keyboard and mouse for this game sure I will play it..


  • @ derrickgott007: I’d rather developers work on their games rather than post weekly updates. (But i’ts nice to get info from time to time).

    I know i wouldn’t post anything if everyone was as negitive as you.

  • Seth –

    I’m sorry, but are you honestly saying that what we are seeing here is more detailed than any other console? The screenshots that are posted here are pretty unimpressive. There’s no lighting, no shadows, low-res textures, very little going on. No bump maps, no mipmaps, the textures on the ground are bleeding over the edge.

    I’m all for hyping up something, but to make a statement like that and then show the shots here, is just wrong. There are at least half a dozen games that I can think of off the top of my head on 360 and PS3 that look better than this game does right now.

    I’m not trying to be rude, but I’m also going to point out when I think something is categorically wrong. Hopefully this is not an indication of what the final game will be like.

  • @Siraris: It’s already been stated that they are “PRE ALPHA”

    PRE = Not yet alpha let alone beta or release

  • where do i sign up for the beta

  • Ok, they may be pre-alpha, but to make the statements that he did he has to expect to be called out on it. Furthermore, it is supposed to be released in November of this year, which means it should be at a further along stage in regards to polish at this point, and gearing up for Beta soon. If the November date is false, then I will take that back, but moving in to a Beta with less than 3 months until release is really cutting it close.

  • give em a break siraris. the last thing game developers want to hear is annoying complaining. it seems as though you’re the only one who dislikes these screenshots. you and me know crap for what these developers actually do.

    negative media makes this world junk. fanboys also. you have too high of expectations. i don’t think you even enjoy games. you buy and play games based mostly off graphics and nothing more. there’s lots of people, including you in counter-strike who waste their time complaining how many FPS and lag theyre getting than just ENJOYING THE GAME!

  • Wow, this news makes me very sad. I’d much rather hear a patch (ANY PATCH) was being released.

    FTB1 is still the only reason to own a psp.

  • Oh and Seth and the development team, PLEASE make sure the characters are properly self-shadowed, thanks. ~_~

  • Seth, If you have a playable demo at E3 even if it is just an early build of one stage you should release it on the store so we can decide if you are going in the right direction with the game mechanics, hit detection, etc. You would get a lot of feedback which you could try to implement before the official beta. We all know that you don’t change much from the beta to the final version at retail even when everyone is telling you guys what is wrong. Doing this would be a great way too win back the original socom fans and I would guarntee would result in a better game when finally released.

  • Ive been waiting all this time just to play socom confrontation WARhawk rocks but socom is socom :-/

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