tisdag 17 november 2015

Beta releasedate!


The testing period for the Hotline Miami 2 level editor with Testronic is over and we are very happy with the results! There were tons of bugs found and fixed so the core of the editor feels very stable now. While the cut-scene creator and campaign editor still have some nasty bugs, Jonatan and Abstraction are going to take care of them soon and get those features all smoothed out as well.

So without any further delay we're excited to announce:


We've added some extra time just to make sure that the date won't be pushed anymore. Thursday the 10th of December is the day. More details soon!

Some important information:

1. The beta is on STEAM ONLY. The forum makes it easier to gather bugs and the automatic update makes sure everyone is playing the correct version.

2. The beta is WINDOWS ONLY for now. The editor will support Mac and Linux later on. No editor for PS3, PS4 or Vita.

3. WORKSHOP IS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE BEGINNING but will be added later. Levels can be shared locally by sending the level folders around.

4. EVERYONE CAN GET ACCESS TO THE BETA WITHOUT INVITE! So we don't need your Steam information or anything, you do this yourself when it's available. More info on how you do that on release date.

5. ALL CONTENT IS AVAILABLE FROM THE START (some minor features will be added later).

6. NO PROMISES THAT LEVELS MADE IN THE BETA WILL CARRY OVER TO THE FINAL VERSION. Things will change during the course of the beta as we fix and update the code, so no promises that levels will stay the same or survive the whole trip.

7.THE PLAN IS TO HAVE THE BETA OPEN DURING DECEMBER TILL EARLY JANUARY and then have final version out shortly after that.

8. NO CUSTOM MUSIC EDITOR. If we let people get free music when they download levels we are viewed as a illegal file sharing tool. There is also impossible to make sure that if people added a track that the artist of that track is cool with the fact that he/she/they are in HLM.

9. NO CUSTOM SPRITE EDITOR from us but other people have already created their own and they work great:)

10. The plan is to have VIDEO TUTORIALS up before the 10th (or quite soon after) but I think you will figure out most of it without our help ;)


Take care // Dennis

tisdag 3 november 2015

Editor Update: QA session

Hey everyone!

So here comes a small update on the editor.

For the last two weeks the editor has been in proper QA session with Testtronic. They have done a solid job which lead to us having quite a lot of bugs to fix. There were more than we had hoped for but glad we found them now so they are fixed till you get to play with it.
The bugs we found are not only small mistakes but a lot of stuff that keeps crashing the game or fucking with performance. Stuff like that is never fun for a beta, I mean it should be as stable as possible.

The testing will continue for two more weeks and we +Abstraction will keep fixing bugs and errors that are discovered.

Sadly this means you'll have to wait a bit longer... I know, I know. Making an editor was a bigger task than we could have ever imagined and it feels terrible that we have pushed the release date so many times now. We are sorry for that and we apologize that the time frame turned out to be unrealistic.  But in the end and what is most important for us is that we make sure that the tool we release is something we can stand for and be proud of.

The editor is not canceled, it's not dead, it's not too big of a project to complete.. it's just not quite were it needs to be. But it will be!:)

I hope you can understand! I will have a new update for you in two weeks when the testing is over!

Thanks for sticking with us and for being exited about the editor! It helps when it's been straight uphill for a quite a while now!

Peace // Dennis

torsdag 17 september 2015

The Editor's final code submitted for port and testing

Hey everyone!

Just some quick and exciting news! So we have now a final code for the editor with all content complete. In the coming weeks Abstraction will merge it with the main game and their engine, get it ready for Steamworks and of course fix as many bugs as possible before we hand it over to all of you!

And when do we hand it over? Weeeeell If all goes as plan we will be able to offer those who are interested access to a beta editor late next month! FUCK YEAH! Finally you say:)

More info as soon as we have anything to share!

Thanks for your patience and Have a great weekend!

//D.W and Cactus


There are a handful of features that won't be in the beta, but will be added in a future update. These include:

- No rewind/fast forward screen
- No off screen floor transitions (like in No Mercy or the soldier levels)
- Creating optional cutscene content
- Probably something more, hopefully nothing important

PS. No need to post your Steam accounts in the comments

tisdag 18 augusti 2015

Level Editor Update (Graphics)

Felt like i wanted to give you some quick information and a preview on what I've been doing on the graphic side for the level editor.

So as most of you know by now both Jacket and Biker will be available in the editor. As I felt that I've come a pretty long way as a pixel artist since 2011 (when I first started out) I wanted to give them an updated look . I redid the shades to look smoother, changed the skin tone to the one I used for the sequel, toned down the colors a bit to fit better with the rest of the graphics of HLM2 (which the editor is based on) and added some neat details, like the torn sleeves on Biker and the collar on Jacket's.. ehh.. jacket.

I also remade all their deaths as I felt that the corpses/gore in HLM2 are a big improvement from the original's.

Bikers new face:

I also added some new graphics, which are hard to show here. But for example Biker can now kill big guys with a special finish (the same way as Tony and Alex), something that he couldn't do in HLM1.

And yes, saying it once again, ALL the masks for Jacket will be in the editor, so I've touched up graphics for the drill and such! :)

And finally I want to show you the one thing that people have been asking for the most to be included in the editor. The Fans unmasked! So here you go:


Enjoy! //Dennis

torsdag 6 augusti 2015

Level Editor Update

Sorry for the lack of updates. Things are trotting along at a decent pace, but maybe not as fast as I had hoped. Sorry for keeping everyone waiting, and thanks for being patient. Here's a couple of screenshots of some new stuff:

måndag 11 maj 2015

Hotline Miami 2 Level Editor

Jonatan here, I figured I should write a little post about the level editor we're working on for HLM2. It's pretty close to completion, so I wanted to show off some of the features it's got, and maybe get some feedback in case I have forgotten to add something crucial.

Upon starting the editor, the first thing you will see is the Level Options. Here you choose what character you want to design the level for, as well as specifying music and whether the level is a cutscene or not. Enabling cutscene editing means you won't be able to place any enemies. You also get a preview of what enemies are available for the player character you've chosen. Sadly most characters are only able to fight one or two different factions, enabling them to fight all enemies would mean a ton of work for Dennis and the editor would likely take at least another four to six months to finish. 
After setting up the basics of the level, you start building. You have bunch of different tilesets to choose from to create the levels flooring, and you can choose to encapsulate the patches of floor you place using the tools below the floor preview. You are also able to use flood fill and the sample tool to easily find what color and sprite sheet a specific tile have.

You also have the option of placing walls, doors and windows independently.

Once you're done with your basic layout, it's time to add furniture and other objects. Since there are tons of assets in the game, we decided to add a search function for this. Basically if you want to add a bed, you enter the search term "bed" and the list will be narrowed down to all the sprites that has the word "bed" in their name. A lot of the sprites have a subset of variations within the sprite, and you can easily browse and choose one with the buttons near the bottom of the screen.

After furnishing your level it's time to place enemies. This is very straight forward, simply select the enemy you want to place and click the spot you want to place it in. There are several different types of enemies, with slightly different behaviors and weapons to choose from. 


When you're done furnishing your level and have added your enemies you need to place your player character and its escape vehicle in order to be able to play the level. You do this under the Level tab. If you're making a stand alone level that is not part of a campaign you can also add a VHS cover for your level as well as enter the name of the level designer.

This is also where you place floor transitions, which are objects that allows the player to move between floors of a level.

If your level is meant to be a part of a campaign, you can use the campaign editor to string together a bunch of levels with optional intros and outros, as well as add credits if you're a team of designers. Here you also have the option to add a VHS cover for a group of levels (intro, main level, and outro). The intros and outros are not required to be cutscenes, but are named after how the structure in the main campaign works.

So if you want to add cutscenes to your levels, you first have to click the cutscene checkbox in the Level Options dialogue (see first image) in order to get access to the Cutscene Editor. The Cutscene Editor was a challenge to design, and the structure I came up with is slightly more complex than the regular editor.

The workflow consists of adding triggers, then adding frames to which you can attach actions.
The trigger can be an area which triggers the cutscene if entered, there's also character based triggers so that you can for instance create characters which can be talked to if clicked or approached.
Once a trigger is set you can start adding frames. A frame is basically a container for different actions that you want to play simultaneously. Let's say you for instance want a bunch of NPCs to approach the player when the cutscene is triggered, and then start talking to him. To do this you create a frame where the characters walk toward the player, once all the characters have reached their end positions the cutscene will move onto the next frame where you add the dialogue action. After this you can add a stop sequence action which will allow the player to start moving again once the dialogue is done.

You can add multi-step cutscenes by specifying a new trigger after the first sequence has been executed, followed by more frames and actions.

Now, I'd like to make sure people know what they're getting before we release the editor, so that people won't be too disappointed by some of the restrictions we've had to make. So here's a list of things I know people won't be too happy about.

-Not all enemies will be available for all characters, in fact most characters are only able to fight one or two different factions.

-The cutscene editor is not super flexible, you won't be able to freely move or remove actions and frames. Basically you have to create each frame and action in an absolute order. Clicking any of the remove buttons will remove the latest action/frame/trigger. So let's say that you have created ten frames with three actions each, and you find an error in the first frame, then you are basically screwed and have to delete all frames and actions up to that point. 

Triggers are semi-independent of the frames, so you will be able to change the last placed trigger at any time until you add a stop sequence action. If you have several triggers you will not be able to go back and change the first one without deleting all the frames up until that point.

-Adding custom graphics for player/enemy sprites is something we're looking into, but if at all possible it will not be available upon launch.

-You will not be able to use your own music for the levels, this would be too problematic due to the likeliness of copyright infringements, sorry. The music from the first game will likely not be available either due to the fact that we only licensed the songs for one game.

-You will not be able to create levels that has both cutscene content and enemies, due to endless possibilities of game breaking bugs.

-Currently you need to save your level before testing it, or any changes since you last saved it will be lost. I'm definitely gonna try my hardest to see if I can fix this before release, as it is a major inconvenience.

-There will likely be no online highscore boards for user created levels.

Note: We will talk to Abstraction Games when they begin porting the editor to see if they can do anything about these issues.

And finally, here's a preliminary index of all functions/menu options. If you see a crucial feature missing that I haven't already addressed in the text above, please let me know in the comment feel so I have a chance of adding it before release (if possible).

Top menu:

  -New Level
  -Save Level
  -Load Level
  -Play Level
  -Create Campaign
  -Clear Walls
  -Clear Tiles
  -Clear Objects
  -Clear Characters
  -Delete Floor
  -New Floor
  -Next Floor
  -Previous Floor
  -Create Cutscene
  -Level Settings
  -Editor Settings (*)
  -Show Grid
  -Check Content (check if the level is playable)

Level Tab
  -Place player
  -Place vehicle
  -Place floor transition
  -Add VHS cover
  -Add author info
  -Various mouse and keyboard commands (see image #1)

Enemy Tab
  -Place enemies
  -Select between enemies/factions
  -Choose what weapon enemy has
  -Various mouse and keyboard commands (see image #4)

Items Tab
  -Search field for finding an object to place
  -A list of available objects to place based on keyword entered
  -Preview window
  -Buttons for browsing/choosing a variation of the object's sprite
  -Various mouse and keyboard commands (see image #3)

Build Tab
  -Preview window for the currently selected tile
  -Checkboxes for selecting between tilesets
  -Tile selector for selecting a specific tile within a tileset
  -Capsule button for capsuling a set of tiles with the currently selected wall type
  -Sample button for sampling an already placed tile in the level
  -Flood fill button for replacing a set of tiles with the currently selected tile
  -Wall selector
  -Capsule wall button for drawing a rectangle of walls (a room for instance)
  -Various mouse and keyboard commands (see image #2)

Cutscene Editor Actions
  -Add dialogue
    -Choose what character should be in focus for each line
    -Select what face should be displayed during each line
  -Play sound
  -Play music
  -Stop music
    -Select whether to fade out or stop immediately
  -Stop sequence
    -Select whether this is the end of the cutscene or not
  -Next level
    -Option to choose how fast the level will fade out

Cutscene Character Actions
  -Walk to
    -Here you can create a path with up to six waypoints the selected character will follow
    -Select walking speed (normal/fast/slow)
    -Option to redraw the path
  -Change sprite
    -Select from a list of different sprites
  -Animate sprite
    -Choose if the animation should loop
    -Choose if the animation should pause for a specified amount of time between loops
    -Make the character attack using the currently held weapon (only works for specific sprites)
    -The NPCs will automatically die if hit by a bullet or an attack, but you can also manually make 
     them die if you should so wish (only works for specific sprites)
    -You can make a character trigger the cutscene using this, either by proximity to the player or if
     the player clicks while close. You can also choose the required distance for the cutscene to be 
     -A character that is referenced to in any added action will not be deletable until the action is 

Cutscene Frame Tab
   -Add trigger
     -Draw an area which if entered will trigger the current sequence of the cutscene
   -Add frame
     -Adds a new frame to the cutscene
   -Add Action
     -Brings up a menu where you can choose from the different cutscene actions
   -Frame focus
     -Select what character should have camera focus for the current frame
   -Cutscene preview list
     -Displays all the frames and actions you've added
   -Delete Trigger
     -Deletes the trigger set for the current sequence
   -Delete Frame
     -Deletes the current frame and all of its actions
   -Delete Action
     -Deletes the last action added

Cutscene NPC Tab

    -Enter a name for your NPC that will be used to reference it
    -Choose a sprite for your NPC
   -All Sprites checkbox
    -If you want to add a non-human interactable
    -If checked the player will not be able to move through the NPC
    -Select whether the NPC should die from player attacks or not (only applies to certain sprites)

Items to pick up (not fully implemented)
  -Name (?)
   -Enter a name for your item that will be used to reference it
  -Visible checkbox
   -In case you want an item to appear at a certain point
   -If the player should be able to pick it up right away or later
   -If you want the player to have to pick up the item in order to clear the cutscene

UPDATE1: The Gun Tab in the Level Editor wasn't omitted here because there is some secret to it (we haven't added ALL the weapons from the first game, just a select few),but rather it seems a bit useless as it should be able to fit under the Enemy or Level tab and will likely be removed before release. Also, while you will be able to use the dodging enemies, we will probably skip the prisoners for now as the only character that can fight them is the prisoner/guard version of The Rat.

UPDATE2: Thanks for all the feedback! I've added a couple of features on my to do list. You will now be able to add some environmental effects, like rain, darkness or sunshine to your levels, and I almost forgot the elevators. The limitation for no cutscenes in a level with enemies has been removed, as I figured out a couple of ways to go around it. I'm also going to look at the possibility for creating levels for specific masks/fans as that would indeed be cool to see.

måndag 3 november 2014


So this blog has been dead for a while, which is sad cause we really liked to share our thoughts and behind the scene discussions about our games. The reason that we haven't used this forum as much as we would have liked  is simply that HLM2 has taken up pretty much all our time so we had to compromise. Still we would like to be more active here so I am gonna do a first try to jump start this blog again with some old stuff I forgot to publish waaaaay back in 2013 (felt simple enough for a first post:)
The growing interest for the cameos in HOTLINE MIAMI inspired me to create these CAMEO CARDS. Instead of just namedropping all the people appearing in the game I thought this was a much more fun way to do it and being a hockey card horder when I was a kid I can't but love collectible cards! Included is all the musicians contributing with their awesome music, all the mask cameos and the arcade machines

These might be printed in the future and I might also do the cards for HLM2..but no promises!

peace // D