Our plan for Late Night Shop, and more

Hello everyone! In the wake of the exciting Kotaku coverage, PC Gamer pickup and exciting collection of letsplays produced by our pre-alpha release, we wanted to talk a bit more about Late Night Shop and our plans for world domination making a high-quality end product. First of all, a lot of background information is covered in this excellent interview with the two members of our team responsible for the concept, Luke and Frederic: http://gamestyle.com/preview/late-night-shop-interview/ Frederic started the design for LNS as a very short, punchy game. Since then, we’ve discussed everything from that to a AAA masterpiece (anyone got a couple million?) and we’ve got some pretty solid ideas for scaling this and not making the mechanic too boring (or exhausting!). Also worth mentioning: LNS is going to get WEIRD. Think Primark as rendered by Dali. We’ve left a lot of the trippiest stuff out of the demo, but it is GOOD, especially in VR. We’re having fun trying to balance spatial weirdness with not being sick. But release date, and scope, is dependent upon funding. We’re looking at options at the moment – we’ll know where we are within a month. In other news, we’ve been working on MagNets […]

Late Night Shop, and more!

Hi everyone! It’s been a while. I hardly know where to start! Some of you will have seen our newest project, Late Night Shop. Though this is the first we’ve mentioned it on the blog, you’ll find plenty of references it on our Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Vine, and we’ve got a nice new website for it too: latenightshopgame.com. It’s a bit bare bones for the minute. What can I say about it? As fellow Plymouth champion developer Viki pointed out, it’s a game of Grandmother’s footsteps… with terrifying shop mannequins. It initially started out as a side project between Frederic and Luke, but they decided, after ElemenTales, to bring it to the team to develop as a Total Monkery game. Which is awesome, because we all already thought it was cool. And it is very cool: That soundtrack was written for the game by @DamionSheppard, by the way, and I CANNOT EXPRESS how much I adore it. It presses so many of my favourite musical buttons. Most Whovians (or lapsed Whovians, like me) will immediately think of the Weeping Angels, but Frederic is a heretic and hasn’t seen any, so cites the inspiration in part to be this (WARNING: dark, gory) short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La6T8Bq6CsU. Also, standing in Primark […]

Press Release – 30/01/2015 – Award-nominated Indie Game MagNets Now on Steam!

MagNets, the TIGA award-nominated debut title from indie studio Total Monkery, was released on Steam today with 10% off. The product of an inter-generational family development team, MagNets blends 90’s console charm, 80’s arcade relentlessness, and a unique gameplay mechanic. Described by the developers as ‘an arena shoot-em-up with no guns’, players must battle through 20 single-player story levels using their electromagnetic nets to circle rampaging robots and recycle their scrap. The game also includes time, score and scrap challenges and local multiplayer, where two players can test their MagNeting skills in battle. Total Monkery’s Technical Director, Richard, says, “We were thrilled when we found we’d been Greenlit. We’ve been out on Itch.io, Desura, and others for a month or so, but it’s obviously very exciting to be able to bring our indie game to the number one digital distribution platform.” Total Monkery have been working on MagNets for just over a year, after securing funding from Creative England’s Gameslab fund to support development. They were recently included in the Creative England 50 report, highlighting some of the most innovative businesses in the creative industries. MagNets will also be coming to consoles throughout the year. MagNets is priced £7.99 / […]

TIGA Awards nominations!

Hello all! We’ve been shortlisted for a TIGA award! We’re in two categories: Arcade (Small Studio) and Debut Game. Although the competition is stiff, it’s still nice to be shortlisted and we’re looking forward to seeing the results! There’s also a vote for  TIGA’s Game of the Year award at the moment (voting closes on the 20th Oct) – we’re on the list, down at the bottom (whose idea was it to call our company such an alphabetically sub-optimal name?) as well as loads of other great games, so give it a look. Good luck everyone!

Dev diary and Greenlight plug…

Anya Jul 31, 2014 Blog, MagNets 0 Comments
Nothing at all for (almost) the whole month of July? We’ve really let the blog slip, haven’t we? No prizes for guessing why – we’re all feeling the inexorable press of time. We’ve even released far fewer demo updates than we’d like, but over the last few days our Monkery Overlord has worked double time to get an updated demo ready. This version should have increased compatibility, particularly with older machines, bug fixes and maybe even some new stuff… The fresh new download can be found here on indieDB: http://www.indiedb.com/games/magnets/downloads/pre-alpha-demo-2 The Usual Disclaimer: This is an unfinished product and may (will) contain bugs, including ones that break the game. If you find any good ones, please consider reporting them and/or entering our bughunt competition. As for a dev update: we’ve got a few new gameplay systems, we’re hard at work getting an exciting range of bot types in, we’ve been squashing many bugs, but most importantly we’ve been bringing all the levels up to fully-playable. Once everything works, we’ll really be on the final push, nothing to do but make all the bugs go away, tighten up the gameplay and make everything look shiny. Oh, and of course, we’ve been […]

PRESS RELEASE: Total Monkery Launch Demo of MagNets with Game-Breaking Competition

Total Monkery Launch Demo of MagNets with Game-Breaking Competition 25/06/2014 Independent games studio Total Monkery will be offering free copies of their action-packed arcade arena game, MagNets, to players who find the best bugs, after the free pre-alpha demo of their upcoming title MagNets was released this afternoon. Total Monkery, a five-person studio run by primate-lover and game development veteran Richard Weeks, will be releasing regular updates to the demo in the months leading up to their first release, which will be available for digital download on PC or Mac in September. The bug-hunting competition will be ongoing, with one cycle running until the next demo update, whereupon a winner will be chosen by the team and the competition resumes. Total Monkery will also be awarding the most active players and contributors with surprise gifts as their community grows. “We’re looking forward to seeing a broader public reaction after our positive experience showing the game at The Gadget Show Live in April,” says Richard. “We’re also looking forward to seeing people have fun breaking it. We definitely believe in the benefits of involving players in development as early as possible, and we’re lucky to be part of the indie game […]

Week 18 – Where’s my Gadget Show demo and who’s this new geezer?

The clocks have gone forward, the weather is getting nicer and everyone is out enjoying the sunshine. Well, everyone but us. It’s all good though, as we’re knee deep in code and art and it’s for a good cause, as we have a stand at the Gadget Show Live… in case you hadn’t heard! Demo is coming along nicely, levels have been polished, single player challenge and multi-player have been started and other levels are starting to progress. As a nice boss I decided I really didn’t want to get people to work overtime on the demo, so we’ve done what we can in the time and no-one is feeling burnt out or anything (although Anya is working with a nasty cold). We need everyone in top form as we’ll be manning the stands for six days next week. Comfy shoes have been bought and certain members of staff have been eyeing up collapsible stools (of the sitting variety of course). However, something strange happened this week…. we got 1/4 bigger. Not by eating too many burgers, but by gaining a staff member! Our new Artist, Frederic, started on Tuesday and he’s jolly good. He’s got stuck into Unity, knocking up some level ideas […]

PRESS RELEASE: Total Monkery secure Creative England GamesLab grant

26 March 2014. Plymouth, UK. Up-and-coming indie developer Total Monkery has secured a Creative England GamesLab grant to support development of its original puzzle action game MagNets, due for release on PC, Mac and console (platforms to be confirmed) in August 2014. MagNets sees players take control of a Polarity Park Ranger, tasked with following the usually-routine robot maintenance schedule assigned by the city’s Master Analysis and Organisation Robot (MAyOR). But all is not well in Polarity City. Why are the Bloxbots malfunctioning? Why is the park so quiet? What’s happened to all the Magnetpets? Deploy MagNets to scoop up and short circuit misbehaving Bloxbots and work out what’s going wrong in the formerly peaceful, but thoroughly non-organic, city as your Ranger clears its way across a host of fun and challenging environments. Development on the game is well under way at Total Monkery and the team are combining charming character design with inventive and engaging gameplay mechanics as they work towards releasing the game’s first full demo in March. The Creative England funding will continue to support the family-run studio’s original IP-focussed plans for 2014 and also follows its recent move to larger premises as part of the Formation […]

MagNets Dev, Week 16: While the boss is away…

Hello all! Our boss is away today talking at a super-exciting conference. I’m of course referring to the Indie Games Collective Conference for Game Developers! Richard was due on at 4.30 to talk about what being indie means in 2014, so I expect we’ll hear how it went very soon. I dunno about him, but I’ve had butterflies all day. Be sure to say hello to him if you see him! Not much heavy lifting done this week, all refining and fixing and fiddling. Made our mess of a title screen a bit better, so that’s good! Most of my week, to be honest, has been devoted to making a video trailer for MagNets, to go with an upcoming SUPER PRESS MISSION. What with press coverage of the other conference that’s on at the moment, though, that will have to wait until we won’t get lost. The game is really starting to feel more like a game… it’s exciting! Can’t wait to show it off, although that prospect also fills me with anxiety and dread. Creating stuff is terrifying/awesome, yes?  

MagNets Dev Diary, Week 12 – WIll it ever stop raining

Richard here, on a Saturday, working. It’s not right, but sometimes it has to be done. Frankly though, with all this weather we’re better off in the office (first floor) than at home. So, what a week! Where did it all go? Development, that’s where it went. Oh, and the usual extra activities you always forget about (management stuff, catching up with people, design work etc.). We had this plan ages ago that we should spend at least a few months on cloning research. Ok, it would use up a few months, but think of all the extra work you could get the “clonies” to do (I think that’s the technical term for them.) So, the game progresses (which is good as regressing is something we avoid). This week the main thing (I suppose) is that we all moved over to Unity Pro*. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you have minions whose lives revolve around shiny effects and how well our code is performing, it’s a real big deal. To this end we have two new things: 1. More shiny. Mostly in the form of subtle glow (or sometimes not so subtle) and the ability to start […]