A high-octane action game overflowing with raw brutality, hard-boiled gunplay and skull crushing close combat. Set in an alternative 1989 Miami, you will assume the role of a mysterious antihero on a murderous rampage against the shady underworld at the behest of voices on your answering machine.
Soon you'll find yourself struggling to get a grip of what is going on and why you are prone to these acts of violence. Slip on one of 25 unlockable animal masks to conceal your identity and tweak the gameplay in your favor or crank up the challenge.
It's been a while since I've released any news publicly about Midnight Animal, and a public update's been long overdue. So, without any further ado, let's get into it.
First off, all weapons for Midnight Animal are complete. There are 95 weapons in total as of right now; there are about seventy 'normal' weapons (weapons that are acquired, well, normally, either carried by enemies, or which spawn naturally within the environment), and just under thirty 'experimental' weapons, which are weapons which can only be acquired through the contracts system.
Speaking of the contract system: this is a new feature that I've added to replace the weapon unlock system, and to complement the mask system. In designing the masks, I sought to create for each individual mask a very particular and unique kind of ability, so that each different mask yields dramatically different kinds of playstyles. Consequently, I realised afterwards that there ought to be a better way to differentiate masks than just giving them different starting weapons (because once those weapons inevitably ran out of ammo or were lost amidst the scuffle, the masks' unique advantages would simply be rendered obsolete). Consequently, I stripped a lot of the masks which were simply 'start with x weapon' of their weapons, and altered them to be more unique. That being said, some masks will still start with weapons, but those weapons will typically be locked to the mask, and will be used in unusual or unique ways.
From that decision was born the contract system: as one of the American government's most successful and prolific operators, John has unparalleled access to an unusually wide arsenal of advanced and experimental weaponry being developed by renowned arms manufacturers. These weapons, designed with maximum lethality in mind, grant the user unique and extremely powerful abilities; although in most cases, their experimental nature means ammunition is scarce, if nonexistent, and each shot must be fired with punishing accuracy.
Weapons can be purchased using funds awarded following successful completion of each contract, and can be retrieved from the trunk of John's car once unlocked, to be used during the contract. Cash is awarded based on the quality with which each contract is completed; the raw numerical score you receive based on your performance will be converted into a monetary equivalent, with 70% going to your expendable income, and the other 30% allocated towards various fees deducted from your pay.
Below is a list of every single weapon in the game (minus most of the experimental weapons), along with their in-game variant names, if applicable:
Now, you may be looking at that list, and asking yourself, wait, he just listed 75 weapons, how the hell is he going to make all them unique? To which the answer is, broadly, they're not. On the whole, many of the weapons (particularly the melee ones) are primarily cosmetic, and there for novelty's sake - because who hasn't fantasised about beating people down with a thick wad of cash? That being said, I have done a few things to make weapons feel better to use in general, and hopefully these following principles translate well across all the weapons:
Hopefully these changes will give each weapon a sense of uniqueness past the novelty. Ultimately, much of them simply exist to increase immersion, and give the player a certain amount of variety (both aesthetic and mechanical) in completing each contract.
The interface has been entirely redesigned in order to meet the new aesthetic principles I sought to pursue with Midnight Animal. The interface is heavily inspired by modern typography and corporate aesthetic, and is clean, utilitarian, and minimal: at once informative, and unobtrusive. In creating the new interface, I identified the two main issues I had with the former UI:
Consequently, I made several major changes:
The current HUD looks like this:
(Note that this is just a mockup, and that the ammo counter
doesn't actually represent the current situation at all.)
Now, you may be looking at that interface, and you may be thinking to yourself, that looks nothing like the Hotline Miami I know and love! And you may even be thinking, hey, in fact, doesn't that look awfully familiar? People have been asking about the aesthetic style of Midnight Animal for a while, and whether or not it will continue in the trend of the rest of the Hotline Miami series. The answer to this is, in case I somehow haven't yet made it abundantly clear, a firm and definite no. The 80s are over. There are no glittering synth glissandos; there are no palm trees; there's no Ferrari Testarossa to drive off into the burning neon sunset. Midnight Animal is not Hotline Miami - if you're looking for a good old-fashioned nostalgic time, the Hotline Miami Reddit community has produced some excellent work. Now that that's cleared up, I'll talk about what Midnight Animal does look like.
Midnight Animal is, at heart (or at least one aspect of its duplicitous, convoluted heart), a game about men (and women) in suits. Though it may not be apparent yet, really, it's a game about bureaucrats, and economists, politicians and executives pushing pieces around on a whiteboard and watching the pieces fall into place. The game, then, should reflect that: even amongst the grime, even amongst the filth, there is still a sense of control and refinement. A large part of the game takes place in dirty, lonely places; flooded shipping yards, condemned apartment blocks, derelict metro stations. Despite the absolute ruin of these haunted locales, John passes through them neither as a blind inhabitant, as the mute protagonist of Hotline Miami did, nor as a vengeful victim, as the many broken antiheroes of Hotline Miami 2 did; but as an assassin, a literal agent of strife sent with the very purpose of exacting glorious and devastating violence. Although he is by no means immune to the violence of the world in which he lives, John, through virtue of his profession and his status, is able to escape the violent geopolitical trap of the city itself, yet still stand at its gates, peering in - ready to strike whenever he is called upon, but always removed. He is in many more ways than one detached, and he carries with him the professional callousness of the politicians and businessmen to whom he answers. Although the smooth, airport-esque curves of the UI's type-face (Coolvetica RG, for the typographically curious) may seem initially jarring and even off-putting, standing at stark contrast with the abject violence it records, this is by no means accidental, but very deliberate, and deliberately alienating, and distancing.
On the other hand, Midnight Animal is also a game about a man struggling to find meaning in a world devoid of meaning, or sympathy. John is a man plagued by sadness; born and raised in an era of calamitous change, haunted by a history of violence, John's anger and melancholy has manifested physically in the world of Midnight Animal. Inspired by Silent Hill 2, and the notion of a world in which an individual's pain, suffering and pathos can be so powerful as to change the very constitution of the world in which they live, I wanted to explore the concept of Miami as not just a city doomed by its own troubled history, but as a psychogeographical canvas for each one of its inhabitants, whose individual agonies and melancholies have, catalysed by decades of civil unrest and strife, become inextricably interwoven into the very psychosphere of the city itself. Consequently, in Midnight Animal, which is primarily the story of John, the world appears as a manifestation of his sadness, and his pain: Miami, to John, is a city of Cimmerian shadows and perpetual rain, desaturated and faded, drained of colour and will to survive.
In more casual news, as the semester comes to an end and summer rapidly approaches, a lot of time is opening up in my schedule, which means that very soon, I'll find myself with a lot of free time. I plan on dedicating most of this time to finishing up Midnight Animal and making it as good as possible; while there may be some features which may have been a bit too ambitious for the August release date (executions for all weapons is looking a bit unfeasible at the moment), the bulk of the game should be finished upon release date, with any extra or miscellaneous stuff being added afterwards through seamless updates. I don't want to rush anything if it means that the quality will go down, so if it means a dozen or so of the more esoteric weapons are missing executions on release, I'm going to set my priorities straight, and you're going to have to deal with it.
In the meantime, I'm also looking for translators; whatever language you're willing to add, I'm willing to add it in if you're willing to provide a faithful and well-written translation. I won't have a completed script ready for translation until about mid-June or so; until then, please provide a translation of the Steam store page (can be found here), so that I can assess your abilities, and also have a bunch of translations for the Store page. If someone has already translated the language you want to, don't worry; I'm not a polylinguist in any sense, and any and all editing is more than welcome! If you can think of a more faithful or poetic way to say something, by all means, let me know. Anybody interested in translations can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A lot of people have been asking if they can get apparel or posters of the official artwork, and as promised, I've opened up a Society6 page where you can get whatever you want, from shirts to iPhone cases (exclusive to Apple, unfortunately) to wall prints to goddamn clocks(!) I specifically chose Society6 because I've heard from multiple reputable sources that their content is extremely high quality, and I can verify this personally. The prices are a bit high, and I apologise; I made them as low as possible, and I'm only making an average of $2.00 or so on each one, so if it's any ease to your mind, this is more for dedicated fans than as a means of profit for myself. Though if you are interested in supporting me financially, I definitely recommend you check out either my Patreon or my PayPal... ;)
Here's a picture of one my close friends wearing a shirt he and I designed together. If you're interested in download the full resolution image album, check out the Tools of the Trade album on Imgur.
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