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Midnight Animal
 
 
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Platforms: PC
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Posted
Updated
Feb 28, 2016 @ 9:57pm
Mar 11, 2016 @ 10:36am
Recent Announcements View All (4)
The Steam page is up.
How combat works in Midnight Animal
Combat

First off, everything is faster. The player moves faster, enemies move and react faster, guns fire faster and have greater ammo capacity, and melee weapons swing and execute faster. I've added additional features like a multidirectional aim system, in which you can lock onto one enemy while having your mouse elsewhere on screen, so when you kill the enemy you're locked onto you automatically snap to the location of the mouse cursor itself, meaning you can rapidly adjust to, say, enemies approaching you from all angles. Every single weapon also has at least one execution, as well, meaning that you won't ever have to worry about losing your weapon in combat. Currently, I'm trying to figure out ways to 'fix' the weapon pickup system, since one of the biggest complaints was having to cycle through piles of weapons just to get to the one you want, but it's certainly proven more than difficult, and I'm not sure if I can guarantee anything feasible.

Weapons

In terms of different kinds of weapons, the whole breadth of weapons has been expanded, and there are many, many more weapons now. Rather than go into the specifics of what exactly has been added, I'll just say that there's about as twice as many weapons as HM2 and HM1 combined (duplicates not counted, of course), and a lot of them are environmental, meaning that they'll occur naturally and organically (ie, hammers, drills and nailguns will be in toolboxes, pool cues on racks, statue busts on shelves, trophies in breakable cabinets, etc) rather than being tied specifically to arbitrary weapon spawns or enemies. On that note, weapon spawns and weapon unlocks have been completely removed, and the player will be expected to pay attention to the environment in order to access some of the more esoteric and interesting of weapons. Using certain weapons and their executions grant more points due to their rarity, and the player will be rewarded accordingly.

Enemies

There are three factions of enemies: various low-level gangs dealing in the lowest levels of the Russian syndicate's operations, which are virtually identical to those encountered in HM2 (laziness strikes again, hm?); the Russian syndicate and respective agents themselves, who utilise much more sophisticated weaponry, and generally react faster and more accurately; and Fifty Blessings agents, who wield advanced and sometimes experimental weaponry and have a number of unique enemy types which will be level-specific.

In terms of enemy types, there are the four regular ones - normal enemies, fat enemies, dodger enemies, and dogs - but there are also several other ones which are slightly stronger variants; for example, there are upgrades to dogs which are panthers, and can take two hits. Similarly, the ninja bodyguard from the first game is a variant of the dodgers respective to the Fifty Blessings faction, and must be first downed with a throwing weapon, and then executed. There's also radio enemies which will alert enemies to the position of the player, and a bunch more.

Level design

Level design is a bit weird in terms of the traditional HM1 vs HM2 argument, since the way combat works has been amplified in every way; there's a much larger focus on gunplay, which naturally lends itself to larger spaces and longer hallways, but the guns are also viable as close quarters weapons through things like executions (gun executions now work as they did for Pardo in HM2, and every execution is much faster) and expanded magazines.

Instead of focusing on the 'closed rooms vs open spaces' debate which is very prevalent amongst HM players (especially those who create content with the level editor) and giving into the inherent weaknesses of either argument, I simply came up with a new paradigm through which to address the level design, which can basically be described as dividing certain spaces into 'combat zones' in which first I identify every single possible permutation of predictable behaviours which they can react with, and then place enemies based on it.

A single one of these zones takes into account walls, furniture, enemies, and weapons, in that order; and basically goes something like, 'if the player is here, and shoots a gun, these enemies are alerted, and if they're here, they'll go here, and if they're there, they'll go here, and the player will react like this or this or this or etc'. And each one of these zones is isolated from one another, not by walls, but by the ability of the player to move fluidly through the space and react to both the enemies and the environment; so that in order to get a high combo, it requires a lot of forward thinking in order to make sure certain enemies are in certain places so that you can kill them with certain weapons in a certain timeframe. Consequently, levels can be fun regardless of size or type, so long as each zone is designed meticulously; for example, in the second level, the first floor is a symmetrical series of smaller rooms divided by two long hallways, leading into a more open area with many enemies with guns, which then, on the second floor, transitions into a massive gun battle in a wide-open area with minimal cover save two walls. This would typically be the antithesis of fun in these kinds of games, but with the updated combat mechanics and a more organic understanding of level design based on intuitive reasoning, the combat progresses much more fluidly and might I even add fairly despite what would otherwise be recognised as critical design flaws in previous games.

Masks

The mask system is similar to the one from HM1, since it's one player with many different masks. I'm working my absolute best on making each mask have an individual feel, whether aesthetic or combat-oriented, which is unique to that mask alone, and speaks in some way about the mask's owner and their personality. Some start with unique weapons, others with interesting passive/active abilities, others with distinct filters and visual effects. That being said, no matter what mask you start with, you will ALWAYS be able to finish the level, and in a way that's not only feasible, but more importantly, (hopefully) fun. I play through each and every level using the above process with each mask to ensure that the playstyles are unique and fun enoug; and while certain masks are definitely MUCH easier to complete levels with (for example, the flamethrower makes a definite return as many have noticed, and is mostly for people who want to get through levels as quickly and easily as possible), there's no particular bias for each one, and the more OP ones have been nerfed in terms of their effects on score. That being said, every mask can be learned to a point where you could feasibly get high scores with them; I want it to be based on player skill more than anything else, and each mask serves as an opportunity for a different kind of playstyle.

In terms of how masks are unlocked, they will no longer be unlocked through artificial game-y methods such as getting high scores and such, but will instead be scattered throughout the environments, and will require the player to actively seek them out. It's entirely feasible to go through (and complete) the entire game without finding a single mask save the base one, which is given to the player at the beginning of the game. I wanted to make the unlocking system feel fair, and offer the player an opportunity at really exploring the environment, which I've put a lot of work and effort into; so having the player intentionally search through the world simultaneously persuades them to actually pay attention to the environment, while also making them feel like they truly earned the masks they got. Some will definitely be more difficult to unlock than others, though; and the player must make sure to pay attention to environmental cues and such lest they miss an opportunity.

Description
Release date: 18 August 2016
What is Midnight Animal?

Midnight Animal is a fan-made, full standalone mod of Hotline Miami, featuring brand new content including a completely new storyline, masks, characters, music, weapons, and levels. It takes place nearly thirty years after the events of Hotline Miami 2, and deals with the world reconstructed by Fifty Blessings following nuclear escalation. Officially approved for creation and distribution by Dennaton Games, Midnight Animal will be released through modDB, Steam, and itch.io, and will be released 18 August 2016 for PC, completely free of charge.

How were you allowed to do this? Is Dennaton aware of this?

At first, Midnight Animal started as a simple project that I never intended to release publicly; but as support for it snowballed, I became aware of just how much public interest there was, especially in the wake of the second game's release. Once it started gaining more publicity, I got in contact with Dennaton, who authorised and supported my efforts, under a number of specific conditions which basically amount to: don't sell it, make sure no one can access the source code, and make sure it's original. What this means for you as a player is that everything released in affiliation with Midnight Animal will be absolutely free, always.

I should also note that while Midnight Animal has in fact been officially approved by Dennaton, this is by no means a sign that it should be considered canon by default, or an unofficial 'Hotline Miami 3'; they gave me full approval to use their source code, and the right to distribute it so long as I met the above criteria; everything after that is up to you, the player, to decide!

Do I need to have played the previous two games to understand and enjoy Midnight Animal?

Not strictly, but a lot of the game's backstory is directly related to, and explicitly mentions events which have transpired across the previous two games. Although the player's story stands independently of the events of the first two games, a lot of the 'lore', if you will, deals extensively with events intimated at in the first two games, and understanding of them will greatly enhance both the comprehension and appreciation of the events in this game.

What's it about, and where does it stand in relation to the previous games?

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Midnight Animal takes place in 2015, two decades after the events of HM2. In the wake of societal collapse, Fifty Blessings, through a series of violent civil wars triggered by the destruction of Miami in Hotline Miami 2, has seized control of society and remoulded America completely in its image. It has become a national presence, and they control most of the society through political manipulation and the engineering of social upheavals like riots and assassinations in order to keep the general populace in a perpetual state of fear.

The game itself follows the actions of a single operator, John, an executive in one of Fifty Blessings' many corporate branches who moonlights as a 'cleaner', responsible for completing and covering up the failed operations of other operatives - through any means necessary. Along the way, he stumbles upon a deep-seated conspiracy, which shakes his beliefs to the core and forces him to confront the very agency which he once faithfully served. Midnight Animal focuses on his story, and deals with the implications of society-wide violence and anomie upon the individual.

If you're interested in reading more about the philosophical/design choices I made regarding the writing of the world, you can head to my development blog here[spncryn.wordpress.com]!

How long will this game be?

It will be roughly the same length as the first Hotline Miami in terms of levels, but in terms of content and depth, it is significantly longer. Just in terms of dialogue and interactable world objects (televisions, magazines, notes, etc), it outstrips both the first and second game - combined. Similarly, each mask significantly changes how levels can be played, increasing playtime through experimentation. The inclusion of high scores and actually challenging achievements will significantly boost playtime through a reward system.

How do the weapons work? How do they handle?

The weapon unlock system has been removed since it was redundant, because randomised weapon spawns, as fun as they are, don't really go in well with the environment or tone of the game. There will be weapons scattered throughout the maps in the form of environmental weapons, however; for example, bricks can be found in construction sites and piles of debris, shovels, drills and hammers can be found near maintenance closets, pool cues and trophies will come off of wall racks, etc etc. In terms of pure content, there are roughly sixty weapons, which is greater than both games combined.

Certain masks also spawn with certain weapons which are either considerably more powerful than their normal counterparts (in terms of suppressors and such), or unique to that mask (such as a chainsaw or a sniper rifle, for example). In a way, unlocking the masks will also act as unlocking new weapons, as well as a whole host of other abilities.

Mechanically, weapons handle closer to the second game, with a few major changes: guns and projectile-based weapons have been significantly improved since gunplay is a significant feature of Midnight Animal, and as important as melee combat; and melee weapons are faster, both normally and in executions.

Soundtrack?

Don't worry, it'll be good.

OS X?

Hopefully this will be possible, though the first release will probably be for Windows. The game is built in GM8.1, which doesn't support Mac at the moment so far as I understand, but I'll definitely attempt to convert it afterwards because I understand the occasional misery of Mac users.

Linux?

See above.

Controller support?

Xbox 360 controllers are supported, and if enough people are interested, I could look into PS controllers as well.

What is this being produced in?

GameMaker 8.1, using a heavily modified source code of Hotline Miami. I chose GameMaker 8.1 over Gamemaker 7 because GM7 is inferior in every way compared to 8.1, and I didn't use GM: Studio because there's a lot of deprecated functions in GM: Studio which are heavily present in the source code of the first game, and it was too much of a hassle to port it when I first started.

Release date?

18 August 2016.

Any more information?

If you're interested in reading in more detail about the finer technicalities of the game, as well as accessing early changelogs, you can head over to my modDB page here!

If you're interested in reading more about the philosophical/design choices I made regarding the writing of the world, you can head over to my development blog here[spncryn.wordpress.com]!

If you're interested in supporting me monetarily as an independent developer, you can head over to my Patreon here here[www.patreon.com]! (Note that not donating does not exclude you from any kind of access to the base game, or any downloadable content/updates, at all; the rewards enumerated in the donations page are solely for those interested in personally investing in the development of the game, not to the game itself; and all funds are affiliated solely with myself as an independent developer, not the game.)
Popular Discussions View All (11)
1
Feb 10 @ 7:44am
Anime
Azumi
7
Dec 2, 2016 @ 4:57pm
An idea for tutorial level (spoilers)
Never Gonna Give You Up
5
Jun 17, 2016 @ 4:28pm
So is this going to function as a DLC off the main games?
☆ Silver Wolf ☆
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656 Comments
Wiwarads Feb 19 @ 8:41pm 
когда релиз?
Лунный Гусь Feb 15 @ 10:06am 
Скоро релиз?
Azumi Feb 10 @ 6:56am 
yea
Acostrob ϟϟ Jan 27 @ 2:12am 
almost 6969 likes
Mouchakoss Jan 14 @ 10:06am 
Pourquoi.. il n'est pas GreenLighter?.. Dîtes nous qu'on vous aide ! Donnez des news ! Les 50 BLESSINGS n'attendent que vous.
MegaGreninja960 csgoteamup.com Dec 30, 2016 @ 3:31am 
i cant wait but wait
august was before?
лягухан Dec 9, 2016 @ 10:39am 
how to play in this shieet?
Pankek Dec 5, 2016 @ 3:34pm 
Yea. the bathroom mobster was on me. I also was told that the game is more power hungry than hm2. That's why i thought it was running slow. I have a gaming PC so i was confused. Thanks for responding
Lenny  [author] Dec 4, 2016 @ 8:20pm 
@Pankek Did you kill the mobster in the bathroom?
Also it's supposed to run at 60, but since the game is still in development there was little to no optimization done.
Pankek Dec 4, 2016 @ 10:54am 
The demo is a bit...ehhh. Idk if im supposed to be running 23 frames. Hm runs 60. I also cant seem to get to the 2nd level. could just be me or a glitch. Still a solid game and i cant wait for the full release