Hotline Miami 2 Level Editor Is a Cinch
Hotline Miami 2 will provide you with the tools to make your own levels. Yeah, sure, mod tools are pretty common these days, and LittleBigPlanet has had a level editor for a half-decade, but this is different.
This will be easy.
At E3 I watched developer Dennis Wedin put together a level in just a few minutes, much of that time spent explaining the tools rather than actually building the level. If he weren’t talking, I imagine it would have taken under a minute to create what he did, because it’s that damn simple.
Building a Hotline Miami level with this tool goes that like this: Click and drag to create a rectangular room; drag and drop doors; drag and drop furniture and objects; drag and drop enemies, drag and drop the car that drops you off at the level. And that’s it.
I suppose it should be expected that a game as simple to play as Hotline Miami would also be simple to create, though of course it wasn’t so simple for Dennaton to make the levels in the games themselves because they didn’t have this editor. But we have its benefit, and I imagine the market will flood with these things quickly. There is a bit of an “easy to learn, difficult to master” aspect to this, though, as, for example, there is some internal logic to how enemies will move that creators looking to specifically curate their levels will have to sorta figure out. But even without that knowledge anybody should in theory be able to build an OK level without much of a time commitment. You can’t, however, modify the levels in the game itself, at least not until somebody recreates them five minutes after the game comes out.
Of course, the question of how folks will be able to distribute the levels they make is a little bit more complicated. On PC these things are easy, but Hotline Miami 2 will all over the PlayStation family of game devices as well, as will the editor. But since Dennaton doesn’t handle those ports themselves, Wedin wasn’t sure how user-created levels would be distributed on PS3, PS4 or Vita.
There are other things Dennaton doesn’t know, or at least Wedin didn’t know when we spoke, such as how many floors you can put in a level. He said they’ve never done more than five, but technically there isn’t a cap in place right now. He also wasn’t sure if people would be able to mod the editor itself, as they aren’t planning to intentionally make it easy to do that.
But there is a reason why Dennaton is making the editor, and it’s not just about longevity for the game — Dennaton will not make any more Hotline Miami games after this one, and they hope somebody in the community will make what Wedin and Jonatan Söderström (the other half of Dennaton) consider Hotline Miami 3. Wedin said at some point, either at launch or with an update, the editor will allow folks to add dialogue scenes and more scripted bits on top of the levels. So perhaps Hotline Miami saga will continue indefinitely at the behest of the community. Perhaps.
So it’s simple and easy and makes LittleBigPlanet looks like a computer science course. Dennaton will even support it for a while after launch (sometime this year)