PC Gamer

GOG Connect launched earlier this year as a means to allow users to transfer select DRM-free Steam games to their GOG libraries. Assuming said games exist in the CD Projekt Red-owned distribution platform s catalogue, and the relevant developer has agreed to take part in the process, Connect scans your Steam collection before permanently making the switch, free of Steam s copyright protection.

The initiative premiered in June with resounding success , thus GOG has returned to announce the second major batch of GOG Connect titles 17 in total. These include:

  • Hotline Miami
  • Olli Olli
  • Shadow Warrior (the 2013 remake)
  • Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
  • AI War: Fleet Command
  • Anno 1404: Gold Edition
  • Cossacks Anthology
  • DEX
  • Hot Tin Roof: The Cat That Wore a Fedora
  • The Last Federation
  • Teslagrad
  • The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut
  • The Masterplan
  • Two Worlds: Epic Edition
  • X: GOLD
  • X Rebirth
  • Ziggurat

Details on how to sign up to GOG Connect can be located here, while a comprehensive Q&A can be found in this direction.

In other GOG-related news, the platform has just launched a Back To School Sale which houses individual discounts and bargain bundles on a range of games. Deals change daily, however today s include Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines for 5.19/$6.66, Day of the Tentacle Remastered for 5.49/$6.99, Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition for 5.99/$7.69, and Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition for 19.99/$25.79.

The Back to School sale is on now until 11pm BST/3pm PT Sunday, October 2. The list of discounts in its entirety can be perused this-a-way.

PC Gamer

This article was originally published in PC Gamer issue 296. For more quality articles about all things PC gaming, you can subscribe now in the UK and the US.

Devolver digital isn t your average videogame publisher. I realise this in a basement, fifteen minutes away from San Francisco s Game Developers Conference, watching colourful penises slither across the screen. Next to me is Mike Wilson, one of Devolver Digital s five founders. We both watch as two dicks circle one another like professional wrestlers, each trying to penetrate the other s asshole. Cheers erupt from those around us as one succeeds, then rise even higher when the other also penetrates, forming a swirling genital ouroboros. Mike turns to me and smiles. Welcome to the Devolver Bunker.

Calling it a bunker might be too dramatic unless you think several dozen game developers, a keg, and a karaoke machine are what s worth saving in the apocalypse. But this bunker, now a time-honoured tradition during the Game Developers Conference, perfectly represents everything Mike wants Devolver Digital to be: a place on the outer fringe where creators are free to create. In here it s just you, a selection of likeminded individuals, and the mutual desire to make something interesting.

For Evan Greenwood, one of the people behind the explosive shoot- em-up Broforce, interesting meant Genital Jousting. It s a game where anywhere from two to eight penises can face off in an effort to engage in mutually beneficial and consensual coitus. The way these flopping, flaccid penises are animated is both slightly disturbing and hilarious, the Mount Your Friends sweet spot of party games. From the sounds of it, it s going to be one of Devolver Digital s next games.

Power games 

Devolver Digital is more than just a publishing company for weird indie games about cocks, however. It s pioneering a new way of thinking about the relationship between developer and publisher. It s been a very weird fucking journey, Mike says when I ask him about his past. It s hard not to see him as a kind of father with a dozen bastard children. Across two decades working in the industry, there s no denying how central his marketing and business development has been to the growth of PC gaming. Quake, Doom, Deus Ex, Mafia, Max Payne, Tropico over the years, Mike s had his fingers in a lot of videogame pies.

Being at ground zero of the PC gaming explosion wasn t quite the incredible experience you might imagine. Sure, he was once allowed to commission a giant vagina archway for a Microsoft Windows 95 launch event, but that doesn t seem to be much of what he remembers from that time. Instead, much of Mike s past is marked by battles against the corporate need to control game developers in every way possible that ever-present tension between business and art. He s watched as many naive developers, often barely more than teenagers, fell victim to exploitative contracts, empty promises, and delusions of grandeur. He s seen egos ballooned to unmanageable sizes, friendships torn apart by avarice, and careers ended to preserve corporate secrets.

He s also seen what happens when developers wise up and start making a fuss. The traditional method of dealing with difficult talent is to buy them, Mike explains. The publishers then own their intellectual property and can continue to crank out sequels with less uppity game developers. That s the point of owning the developer, you never have to listen to them.

Distaste for that kind of business practice is what led Mike to found Devolver Digital, along with business partners Harry Miller, Rick Stults, Nigel Lowrie, and Graeme Struthers. They wanted to create a videogame publisher that would cultivate a different kind of relationship with developers. Devolver Digital s contracts grant the developer of the game the lion s share of the royalties, and it s the developer who has the final say on every major decision, too. In the end, Devolver Digital is merely an enabler, giving scrappy indie studios the resources they need to build great games.

He who has the gold makes the rules, that s just the way that business goes, Mike says, but we saw that this industry hadn t really realised that the developers are the talent, and eventually they re going to be recognised as who s important in these relationships. It s one of the things at the heart of Devolver.

When I ask what else makes up Devolver s heart, Mike laughs. Have you met Nigel yet?

Cock and bull 

Nigel Lowrie is, at first glance, a wonderful kind of contrast to Mike Wilson. He s tall, well-dressed, and looks like he s never been to Burning Man. He s also the most important voice an indie developer might ever hear. I m a people person, he says. Most of the things that I do involve looking for games we might want to publish, talking to developers, and then, once a game has come into our warm, loving embrace, working on the marketing aspect with them.

Nigel s involvement with Devolver goes back further than the company itself. In 2008, Mike and other Devolver founders, Harry and Rick, were trying to bring their publishing vision to life under the name Gamecock Media Group. I was working in advertising in Dallas at the time, Nigel recalls, for companies like Seven-Eleven and Hot Pockets. We got to do cool things now and again, but after a while I wanted to put my head in a microwave oven. I wanted to do marketing for something I liked, so I sent Mike a blind email telling him I loved videogames with my whole body including my pee pee. That got his attention.

The year 2008 had other plans. Gamecock, like many of Mike s previous companies, had only been possible with investment from a third party, but getting help from the outside was beginning to feel like it caused more problems than it solved. When Gamecock s sole investor pulled out during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, Gamecock crumbled to dust, and Mike, Harry, Rick and Nigel weren t about to make the same mistake again. We decided to start our own thing under our own control and not beholden to someone else, Nigel says, and that s how Devolver Digital was born.

Sam but different 

Devolver didn t immediately become the recognised name it is now. Its first four years of life were spent working as the publisher for Croteam and its famous shooter, Serious Sam. Devolver was bringing Sam back from the grave thanks to a series of popular HD remakes, but they also wanted to experiment with publishing their own small-scale, high-concept games, and Serious Sam was the perfect test subject.

In late 2011, Devolver contracted developers Mommy s Best Games, Be-Rad Entertainment and Vlambeer the studio that would go on to make hits such as Nuclear Throne to create small indie game spin-offs set in the Serious Sam universe. While none of these contracted games set the world on fire, this did inspire a close relationship between Devolver and Vlambeer, who had just come across a group of Swedish developers whose game would.

In a rundown apartment in Gothenburg, Sweden, Jonatan Cactus S derstr m and Dennis Wedin had a common problem for indie developers: no money. The two had been designing games together since meeting through Dennis s band, but if they were going to keep the lights on, they needed to create something more substantial than the bizarre freeware creations Jonatan had been pumping out since he was a teenager. Digging through the refuse of half-finished and abandoned projects, the two happened upon the remains of Super Carnage, the soul of which would go on to create one of the most successful indie games ever.

I d always been a fan of Jonatan s games, Nigel explains. They were very peculiar and weird. One day Rami Ismail from Vlambeer emailed me and said, hey, Jonatan is working on a game he wants to turn into something bigger. He introduced me to Jonatan and then he sent me a build to play. It was one of those things where it was rough, but you instantly understood why it s going to be special.

Nigel believed that this game could be something different. At that time, indie videogames were just growing into the massive phenomenon they are today, and this project between Jonatan and Dennis was going to be a huge help. Trusting his gut, Nigel showed the game to the rest of the founders at Devolver. We had no track record, we d only worked with Croteam and Vlambeer, Nigel explains. I took it to the team and everyone dug it, but, at the time, we really didn t have a lot of money, we had all been working for free to this point we didn t pay ourselves. We all had back pay, so a few of us went in and said, hey, to make this game I will forfeit some of my back pay because this is how much we believe this could work. We really put our money where our mouths were.

The prototype transformed into Hotline Miami, an eye-catching and idiosyncratic top-down shooter that demanded attention with its bloody, neon punk aesthetic. It became one of the biggest indie success stories ever, taking the world by storm with its violence and pumping electronic beats. Between the first game and the sequel, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, the series would sell over five million copies.

The success of Hotline Miami changed Jonatan S derstr m and Dennis Wedin s lives as much as it changed everyone s at Devolver Digital. The company found its groove and began seeking more indie titles that it could help bring to life going on to publish hits such as Luftrausers, OlliOlli and The Talos Principle. As indie games exploded across PC and consoles, Devolver Digital was there, fanning the flames. To me, it boils down to one thing, Mike says. People are remembering that games are supposed to be fun rather than impressive.

Success story 

Hotline Miami brought Devolver to a place where it wasn t just capitalising on a trend in videogames, but a cultural one too. Mike explains to me that indie developers aren t the same breed he worked with all those years ago when he first got into the industry. They re leaner, more collaborative, and less interested in rolling in piles of money. I love that people aren t trying to use their game as a stepping stone to make a bigger one, he says. And you really see that when someone makes it, they cannot wait to help others succeed too.

That lack of ambition for the hollow trappings of success couldn t be a better fit for Devolver. Despite their success, the founders are adamant on not turning their company into anything more than it is. They don t need an extravagant office or a pushy marketing team, Mike says, and they certainly don t need to sell out to a bigger company. In fact, the founders of Devolver Digital are so opposed to becoming the stereotypical publisher, they even invented their own fictional persona to be the face of the company.

His name is Fork Parker, and his bizarre wit allows the members of Devolver to do their work without the sweating from the heat of the spotlight. As Mike and I sit outside, taking a breather from the bunker below, he tells me something I want to always remember: There s freedom in being small.

That freedom is the foundation of a new kind of relationship between publisher and developer, one built on trust and respect rather than profit margins and value propositions. When we return to the Devolver bunker, we find it packed with people. Developers chat excitedly, people flail around wearing VR headsets, and Genital Jousting has been replaced by a new game where you play a grizzly bear trying to buck off what looks like a naked Danny DeVito. There s an undeniable sense of community here and at the centre of it stand just five people.

I don t have too much time to think about it because as soon as we step back inside Mike turns to me and smiles. I hope you like tequila.

PC Gamer

When I saw the release trailer for Half-Line Miami, I assumed it was a gag whipped up by somebody bored with the wait for Half-Life 3, or a set of skinned levels built in Hotline Miami's level editor. It is neither. Half-Line Miami is a free, fully playable mash-up of Hotline Miami and Half-Life 2, complete with the G-Man introduction, and it's really good.

The actual gameplay is straight out of Hotline Miami, but the maps, enemies, and sound effects are taken from Half-Life 2. And instead of the usual assortment of blunt objects and firearms, you're equipped with the gravity gun, which works exactly like it does in HL2: Pick something up—explosive barrels included—and then fire it at your enemies to turn them into pulp.

There are eight levels in all, one for each area in Half-Life 2. For players who are into the DIY thing, it comes with a level editor as well. The soundtrack by Sung is pretty fantastic too. And it's free!

"I made this game as a declaration of my love for these 2 games, and as an experiment in game design," creator Thomas Kole explained.

Grab it—trust me, it's worth your time—at Itch.io.

PC Gamer
Payday 2 Hotline

In case you'd forgotten, or you'd assumed it was some kind of dream: Payday 2 is getting some Hotline Miami-themed DLC. The live-action trailer didn't tell us much other than the date, but now we have a few more details ahead of tomorrow's release. $6.99/ 4.99 will get you some new weapons, some animal-themed masks, and will put you on the trail of a Russian mobster known as The Commissar.

We have a new DLC webpage to thank for those details, revealing that you (and any co-op chums you have with you) are doing favours for someone called The Dentist, in order to get a lead on Old Hoxton, your captured companion. It's a multi-part plan: first you'll need to "apply pressure" to a district attorney with connections to the Russian mob. Then you'll need to track down a shadowy figure named The Commissar and force him to reveal himself (so to speak) by causing "substantial damage to his interests". To make things feel a bit more Hotline Miami-y, a range of animal masks will be available, along with some new weapons that will be revealed tomorrow.

It would be nice if there was some sort of 80s video filter, or psychadelic colour scheme, to the first-person co-op heisting action, but we'll need to wait until tomorrow to see screens and video of the DLC in action. Until then, the above info and the following live-action trailer are all we have to go on.

PC Gamer
Payday 2 Hotline Miami DLC

Overkill has announced a Hotline Miami DLC update for Payday 2, being created in collaboration with the indie murder-'em-up's developer Dennaton Games. There's little to go on, besides a new live-action trailer. How the top-down jazz slaughter of Hotline Miami will work with the co-operative heists of Payday 2 isn't clear. Hopefully the connection will run deeper than some animal masks and an amazing soundtrack.

A Q&A about the release fails to provide much in the way of information. According to Overkill, the project exists because they "fucking love Hotline Miami," which is as good a reason as any. They do confirm that the DLC pack will contain a heist, and that "you'll find out about the rest come end of September."

Payday 2's Hotline Miami DLC is due out on 30 September.
PC Gamer
hotline miami 2

Unsurprisingly, Hotline Miami 2 doesn't look very different to the original Hotline Miami. As a result, you may not want to watch this 80 minute gameplay video in its completion, unless to enjoy the oddly discomforting ambient synth music (interspersed with chainsaw sounds, but y'know).

There are a few points of interest: the new level editor is shown off at various points, while the sequel's new weapon dual-wielding is amply shown off right from the beginning. According to YouTube uploader LennyReviews, the footage is of a very early build, so level layouts may not be final. Gameplay takes place across the first two acts, during which we are promised no story spoilers.

Speaking of the level editor, Samuel Roberts went hands on with the tools at E3 2014, and came away impressed. "I love what I saw of the editor, and I seriously want to try my hand at creating a Hotline Miami level that's of a professional standard, as it were," he wrote. "While Dennaton isn't looking to talk about the story of the main game, it feels like this is the component of Hotline Miami 2 that we'll be talking about for years to come.
PC Gamer

Written by Bo Moore

In May 2013, Tom Francis opened preorders for his 2D stealth hacking game Gunpoint. By the time Gunpoint actually went on sale, a week later, Francis had already made enough money to quit his job at PC Gamer and focus on game development full-time. But for many people, the biggest surprise came not from the game's amazing performance three days after release, but rather the way it was made that it was developed using a tool called GameMaker.

GameMaker: Studio, the latest version of the tool, has been developed by YoYoGames since 2006. Its goal is to break down the game development process into something approachable and easy to learn, shifting the main challenge facing game designers from technical knowledge to creative ability. But in part because of this ease-of-use, GameMaker has carried a stigma that it wasn't capable or worthy of powering high-quality, "professional" games. ("I can't believe you made this in GameMaker!" Francis recalls people saying. "That's so impressive!")

At first the tool was mostly used by hobbyists wanting to dabble in game making not anyone looking to sell a game, let alone make a living from game design. But since 2008, a slew of successful, high-profile indie games have emerged using GameMaker Spelunky, Nidhogg, Hotline Miami, and Francis' Gunpoint, to name a few. Slowly, all the game design hopefuls who found coding hopelessly daunting have an approachable way to turn great ideas into great games.

"For me it was Spelunky that tipped the balance," Francis said. "Just from name it sounded like it would be easy to use. And I figured, if you can make something that good in GameMaker, then there's really no excuse the only limit is how well you can design your game."
A Problem With Perception
GameMaker has existed in some form for more than a decade, and it really hasn't changed that much over the years. Technologically, it's been capable of creating games like Gunpoint (which was built in 2010's GameMaker 8) and Hotline Miami (built in GameMaker 7, an even older version) for some time.

"The definition of what a professional game is has changed," Francis said. "You can make things that are technologically simple, but still be financially successful. Those things have always been possible in GameMaker, it just wasn't possible to get them out there." Digital distribution services such as Steam have helped otherwise obscure games have a chance at widespread recognition and distribution things built using GameMaker included.

A sampling of games showcased on GameMaker's website.

But the indie revolution has been happening for years. Steam has been the mega-behemoth distribution service it is now since at least 2007. So then why have we really only started hearing about GameMaker in the past year or so?

It really comes down to a problem with perception. Jordi de Paco, creator of the recently-released GameMaker-built Gods Will Be Watching, says he had been aware of the software for some time, but his prejudgment kept him from giving it a try.

"I felt this preconception that if you made games with GameMaker," de Paco said, "it was like using RPG Maker, where it wasn't really a game. But at some point I realized that the players don't care what tools you used to make a game, they only thing they ask is if the game is fun."

"GameMaker appealed to people who were more into being creative than they were good at programming," said Jonatan S derstr m, creator of Hotline Miami. "Many of these people needed a couple of years to build up their skills before they could finish a cool big project." In other words, game development takes time, so we're only now seeing the output of these early adopters. (It took Francis three years to complete Gunpoint, for example.)

But even so, GameMaker to some degree still carries a stigma a problem that largely stems from confirmation bias. "There's nothing about many great GameMaker games that's particularly technologically advanced," Francis said. "The problem is that if something looks good, people don't ask themselves how it was made. They just see a game. But if they see something really crude that was made by a complete amateur, and then they find out it was made in GameMaker, that's the perception that sticks.

"Lots of great games have been made in GameMaker, but for a long time it just wasn't knowledge that's how they were made because people didn't ask that question."
Starting From Scratch
YoYo Games' vision for GameMaker is all about democratizing the game development process, breaking it down to something simplified and approachable. "For most game development processes, the limitations of the process dictate what can go into the actual game," said YoYo Games CTO Russell Kay. "GameMaker is all about taking away those barriers."

In GameMaker, you build a game by creating "rooms," placing objects inside, and assigning events to affect those objects all via a drag-and-drop interface. Rooms are not necessarily physical rooms an adventure game might give each scene its own room, for example, or a space game could use a single giant room for the entire galaxy and objects can either be physical things in the game or abstract things you never see or interact with, such as the camera or a level generator.

An example "room" in GameMaker.

Most of a game's code is housed in "events" that affect objects every time a frame is rendered. For example: movement would be handled by an event that tells an object to move a certain distance in a certain direction every single frame whenever a certain key is pressed. Using a traditional engine like Unreal 3, you would have to write that event as a script from scratch in GameMaker, you simply drag-and-drop the pre-built script event and apply it to whichever object you like.

An example scripted event in GameMaker.

"It just depends on how much you want to use this drag-and-drop interface, or how much you're ready to start coding," Francis said. "The cool thing for me is I wasn't confident enough to start coding, and so I was able to use these drag-and-drop actions to define how I wanted things to work on a very basic level."

As games get larger and more intricate, it becomes more and more useful to build them using code not so much out of necessity, but more of convenience. The more complex an event, the more space it takes up in GameMaker's visual interface. "If I feel like something's going to be a pain in the ass with the drag-and-drop interface, I'll just look up what the code instructions are for those particular actions and write them in a little script," Francis said. "I only need to learn one bit of code at a time, so I can gradually build up from there."
The Right Tool For The Job
Now that GameMaker is coming into its own as a respected development tool Gunpoint, Hotline Miami, Samurai Gunn, and many others have more than proved that the next issue is finding its niche. It will always be outclassed in terms of power and ability by things such as Unity, or even further, an in-house triple-A development platform such as Ubisoft's Snowdrop, EA's Frostbite, or Valve's Source engine. So when should GameMaker be used?

The software does have its limits. First and foremost, GameMaker is primarily focused on making 2D games. 3D is possible, but it would be far more effective to use a 3D-focused engine such as Unity. Furthermore, while the drag-and-drop interface is great for beginners, it becomes cumbersome for more complex games.

"Now I work entirely in code," Francis said," and the drag-and-drop interface is, at best, a way of organizing code. But even for that I'm starting to think it might be better to just write it all in text."

Another issue is that, while GameMaker is a great entry-point for someone with zero programming experience, its user-friendliness can end up being a double-edged sword if you want to progress into more advanced game development. Most development programs use standard programming languages people usually program Unity in C#, for example which must be written in a very specific, strict form. But GameMaker uses its own language, GML, which is extremely forgiving in how it interprets inputs.

The 2.5D Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime was built in Unity. Unity 4.3, released in late 2013, included dedicated 2D tools.

"For any given statement there are a hundred different ways of writing it that it will accept and understand," Francis said. "So you can write things in a way that make sense to you, and it will try to guess what you meant."

While this can help someone learn how to code, it doesn't teach them how to code correctly. It doesn't teach the proper habits needed to wrangle with a stricter, more complex programming language, making it difficult to ever transition.

But do you ever need to transition? S derstr m says he never felt limited by the capabilities of GameMaker while building Hotline Miami, but Francis admits that his Gunpoint code ended up fairly convoluted after three years of tinkering.

"If I was fluent in Unity I might use that, but I'm still more comfortable in GameMaker," Francis said. "I've made one game in Unity, but it's a very small game and it took me a long time to learn how to do everything."

Even if he were fluent, Francis thinks it would still take a long time to get everything working in Unity at least a bit longer than GameMaker. When you factor in price, GameMaker is the clear winner. (GameMaker's base edition is now free, while the Professional and Complete editions cost only $60 and $800 respectively, compared to upwards of $1500 for Unity.)

"It might not be as powerful in the long run," Francis said, "but in GameMaker, you'll have your thing working much much faster." This makes GameMaker perfect for quick-and-dirty mockups of gameplay concepts. Professional devs can use it to quickly prototype singular game mechanics just to test if they're fun and game jam participants can use it to build moderately complex games within the time constraints of a jam.

The original version of Gods Will Be Watching was created during a game jam using the HTML5 language Impact JavaScript, and de Paco estimates he spent around eight hours coming up with the concept on paper and 50 or more actually programming the thing. Soon after that, he joined another game jam with the express purpose of learning GameMaker.

"It really saves a lot of time," de Paco said."Learning the documentation and applying it was all in the same weekend. I was able to learn GameMaker and make a game in just 72 hours. It was awesome. I couldn't do that in another language."

Now de Paco says he can take on more ambitious game jams thanks to GameMaker. "You sacrifice part of the optimization or performance of the game, but you can just forget all the technical and focus on making a fun game."
The Future of GameMaking
Will GameMaker, or something like it, ever fully replace traditional coding-based game development? Certainly not for triple-A developers, but for indies maybe. The upcoming Hyper Light Drifter, which was Kickstarted to the tune of $645,000, is yet another high-profile game being developed in GameMaker, for example.

Additionally, many of the problems Francis encountered making Gunpoint outdated DirectX support and resolution scaling issues, to name a few have been addressed in the 2012 release of GameMaker: Studio, which completely overhauled the entire development software, notably adding the ability to compile games for Mac and Linux. YoYo Games has since continued to add more advanced features for more experienced users, such as shader support and the ability to import third-party developer services in-engine without having to integrate additional SDKs.

While GameMaker may not be the direct inspiration, bigger engines like Unreal are becoming easier to use, too. Epic's Unreal Engine 4 uses a scripting system called Blueprints Visual Scripting to make design more approachable to non-programmers. It's now becoming more and more feasible for anyone with an idea to make a game, even without the ability to code. Even better, it's cheap. GameMaker has a free version. A UE4 licence costs a mere $19 per month.

The next step for YoYo Games is a game marketplace soon to go into Beta which would give GameMaker developers more options for visibility and distribution of their creations before trying to break onto Steam, as well as a way to share individual game components, such as sprites, audio bits, objects, and scripts.

"It's all part of the democratization of making games that we're going for," YoYo's Russell Kay said. "By allowing developers to share content that they're creating, we hope to spur on the whole community in terms of the quality level of what they can attain."
PC Gamer

Dennaton doesn't want to make Hotline Miami 3, so how about you do it instead?

It's a hell of a sign off to the series, giving fans the tools to make new levels forever. Yesterday I met Dennaton's Dennis Wedin in a caravan next to Hooters at E3 and he talked me through it. The level editor is comprehensive and clearly designed with the aesthetic of Hotline Miami in mind, allowing players to create a decent level for the game in under ten minutes.

Wedin illustrates this for me by doing just that, dropping some basic floor tiling in, picking objects to decorate each room then placing enemies around, too, choosing between the different types and selecting individually what weapons they carry. Lastly, Wedin drops the enter/exit vehicle in there, selects play then expertly slays everyone in sight. That was very cool, and fans are undoubtedly going to get a lot out of a toolset that's been kept so accessible.

"It's built from scratch by Jonathan, our programmer," Wedin tells me. "We feel that it's super simple. We can't make it any simpler than this, which feels nice, because we want people to pick it up right away. If you want to make hard levels for your friends, it's going to be super easy to do that, then we're going to add a lot of tweaking to it when people dig deeper. All they need to do is follow five steps and the level is done."

Players will be able to make collections of levels, and the plan is to offer storytelling potential, too. "We hope to have it so you can basically recreate Hotline Miami, that is the plan. We'll see how much will be there upon release, we might add stuff later on, see how people treat it. We want to add it so you can make intros, outros, and stuff like that." I ask Wedin if any of his developer friends have thrown up any interesting levels, and he says people are creating cool patterns along the floor. As for me, I sit wondering if I can create a dog shelter level where the prisoners have taken over the asylum. It looks perfectly possible.

All of this will bring some closure for Dennaton, who will end Hotline Miami as a series with Wrong Number. "We feel like it's a good way for us to complete it, because Hotline Miami 2 will be the game we make in the Hotline Miami universe, So it feels nice: 'we're done. Here. just keep on going if you want to. You can make Hotline Miami 3 if you want to. Just do it.'" I think this will ensure the fiction of Hotline Miami lives long after the second one comes out later this year.

Every one of the 500-600 assets are indexed in the editor, and easy to find by keyword. "If I want to build a kitchen, I type in kitchen and you get everything that has kitchen in the title." You can also select any music you like from the game's soundtrack, which I'm convinced will be a popular choice. "We wanted the editor to feel Hotline Miami-ish, so it doesn't look Windows grey or anything like that." Look at the screens for evidence of that it's a pretty level editor. "I erase walls by holding the right button. All the commands are listed , so you don't have to go to a manual, so here's what you can do at a certain stage."

I ask about Steam Workshop support, and that's one thing that hasn't been figured out yet. "How we share the levels is still a thing for the future, but of course the point is to be able to share your levels with friends. But how it's going to be made, if it's in the game? We'll see."

I ask Wedin if players can import their own sprites. "That's something I'd love to see and if we could work it out. I would love to give them a sprite sheets of all the enemies and their animations, and they can just paint over it. So a good animator could just screw your animation. But it's one thing I can't say will be in there."

I love what I saw of the editor, and I seriously want to try my hand at creating a Hotline Miami level that's of a professional standard, as it were. While Dennaton isn't looking to talk about the story of the main game, it feels like this is the component of Hotline Miami 2 that we'll be talking about for years to come.
PC Gamer
Team Miami

It's bad form to be vulgar in your opening paragraph, and so I'll save my natural reaction to this video for the untamed wasteland below. In the meantime, it's just the facts, sir: a new Source Filmmaker video recreates the spectacular top-down action of Hotline Miami 2's most recent trailer, only in three-dimensions and with Team Fortress 2. It is fu- no, no, save it for the next sentence Phil.

Holy shit this thing! I have an almost uncontrollable reaction to well-made SFM flicks, and, at times, have sat watching the End of the Line trailer on repeat. This has the benefit of drawing from some already exciting looking source material, but the choreography and animation has been pulled off perfectly. All credit to its maker, "Nonamesleft".

For comparison, here's the original Hotline Miami 2 trailer:

PC Gamer

In an age of vague naming, it's reassuring to discover a game like The Hong Kong Massacre, which barely requires further elucidation. Nonetheless, we don't get paid without some elucidation, so it's a top-down indie shooter that caused a stir with its first screenshots on TigSource last month, and now it has a trailer. Inevitable comparisons to Hotline Miami aside, the most impressive thing about Hong Kong Massacre is how deftly it captures the chaotic, super stylish vibe of classic '90s Hong Kong crime movies, but only using a few frames of animation.

Also: there's the quite ridiculous amount of blood being splashed around. Each bullet seems to make the person it hits explode like a McDonalds strawberry milkshake that has been stamped on by a fat giant. Seriously, I can't overstate how much blood there is on show here. Put on your best Patrick Bateman raincoat and see for yourself:

Paper flying through communal cubicles, windshields shattering, endless bullet time, and a figure in white wielding pistols akimbo: it s effectively John Woo s greatest hits on loop, which means I couldn t love it any harder. Those geysers of blood also have a touch of Tarantino about them too, which is no surprise given how much he's lifted from Asian action cinema. I'm also pleased to note that someone over at indie dev Vreski Games clearly has their priorities in order:
Working on the most important feature for HKM now: Dove behavior and animation. #indiedev #gamedev

VRESKI (@vreskigames) February 26, 2014


You can keep up with the game s development at TigSource, where there s an ongoing devlog with more stuff like this


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