Insomnia 52 breakdown

Anya Aug 29, 2014 Blog 0 Comments
So, four-fifths of the Total Monkery team (Poor Fred was ill) have been up in Coventry this weekend at the Ricoh Arena exhibiting MagNets at Insomnia52! The olds went to i51 and loved the vibe, so we were delighted to attend the next one as exhibitors! So, how did it go? The Good Player response was amazing. We had the usual few people coast by after identifying that we are not a gritty FPS, but nearly everyone who played was engaged and enthused. We had a good range, too, from the 6-year-old boy who was determined to beat the first boss to the non-gaming father who’d not really handled an Xbox controller before. The first morning was extremely scary when the game decided not to function, sending Richard scurrying off to a corner for half an hour to tackle the malfunctioning code (that’s what happens when you cram in a last minute bugfix… six more pop up). On the plus-side it did give several passers-by the chance to spectate a professional at work. Most awesome bug found goes to the player who discovered that he could simply run up the bridges and jump across the ravine rather than collecting the […]

Insomnia (and I am not talking about my sleepless nights)

Andrea here (aka Victorian lady). There is much excitment in the TM office as we put the finishing touches to our demo for the awesome Insomnia gaming festival. We have restocked on bananas, badges and large amounts of Pro Plus; it’s not called Insomnia for nothing. Having visited the May event I was particularly excited by the real ales and hay bales (can’t think why they call me VL). It is going to be great to catch up with some of the brilliant indies we met at the Gadget Show and this will be the first outing for our ‘newbie’ Frederic (we don’t normally let him out). The game is in its last phase, with all of the 4 zones now complete. When I said this out loud there was a look of horror on the team’s faces: “in principle,” they add. Working with a room full of perfectionists is quite a challenge ;-). But basically the refining, polishing and serious bug-hunting has begun. From the start it has been our intention to get the game onto as many platforms as we can, so a big thank you to all the amazing Linux testers who have been giving us feedback. […]

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: 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 […]

Magnets goes to Steam Greenlight

Hi, Victorian Lady here (aka Andrea), There has been much excitement in the TM office this week as everyone has been working hard on getting the demo ready and polishing our shiny new trailer in preparation for going on Steam Greenlight! Many foam bananas have been consumed. We have now gone live! Please vote for us here! Richard and I escaped the office this week to find out more about the IC tomorrow Digital Innovation Contest which gave us lots of food for thought, not to mention the opportunity for Richard to play Doom on the piano. All that thinking necesitated several beers in a really cool urban oasis in Shoreditch. Ah, it’s a hard life. It is now beer o’clock (again – wonderful that it comes around so often) and we are finished. As I said, MagNets Greenlight is now live (hint, hint). We are looking forward to a weekend of anxiously staring at stats while all the sane people enjoy BBQs and bask in the sunshine. If you have enjoyed following us please spare a few minutes to vote for us on Steam Greenlight and spread the word to your friends and family. Also, look out for the fun […]

Magnets Dev Diary week 23 – The Newbie Blogs

Hello readers, I’m Frederic and in my new-job eagerness I offered to write this week’s blog post. As I sit here staring at this blank document, however, I  immediately regret this decision…Now that you are on board with my situation please excuse me as I fumble through what has been going on here at Monkery HQ. Levels, levels and levels! Most of my time is being spent getting the park zone of the game playing and looking good. Three of the five levels are up to a stage where we can play with them and work out fun stuff like enemy spawn points/rate. The visuals are mostly set and just need further refinement. One of the levels I have been enjoying getting working involves a robotic band that need defending. during the course of building the band I learned some valuable lessons about animating between Blender and Unity..  mostly that it doesn’t work in the way I was expecting at all! however I am thankful to have Will and Anya here to help me out and the band are now jamming to some smooth grooves. On the subject of animation… We now also have new bot spawn hatches that are […]

Dev blog 0x01 – My favourite trick and random selections

Hello and welcome to what I hope will be the first in many blog posts from me with coding tips and tricks (or trips and ticks, as we often say). Our artist, Anya, has been bugging me to do this for ages, and I was recently told to get on it by the ace Dave Voyles – so here we are! I’ve been working in games for over 20 years now and it’s amazing how many little things you learn and then just assume everyone knows. I’ve shown a few of them, usually with the words “You know this, right?” only to be looked upon as some sort of sage with arcane knowledge brought from the code-gods of old. I am not a sage, I’ve just been around a bit. I think it also helps that I started programming at a very different time when performance was a big thing and so knowing a good, solid, and more importantly quick solution was key. So where to start? Well, how about with my favourite trick of all time. It’s not particularly useful now, but it gives you an idea of where I’m coming from. Back in the 80s, computers didn’t have […]

Magnets Dev Diary Week 22 – Victorian lady allowed to blog

Hello everyone, this is Andrea here, the team’s general manager (A.K.A. general dogsbody and keeper of all the boring jobs). This is my first attempt at blogging, and I am struggling to concentrate due to the mockery and laughter of the team. This is mainly because my unoffical title in the office is ‘victorian lady’. A somewhat-deserved moniker, as I can usually be heard shouting at any and all electronic devices when they fail to perform the simple tasks I have requested of them. I am told this is my fault and not theirs (which I doubt) and that they are not in fact voice-activated (yet another failing on thier part). Anyway, onto the the important matter of updating. Richard and I had a very exciting bank holiday weekend as we visited the amazing Insomnia Gaming Festival. This was a revelation to me, as I was unaware of the wonder of LAN parties. The event was really cool, with a great atmosphere. Josh of Multiplay, the event’s organisers, billed it as the Glasonbury of Games and he wasn’t wrong. I particularly liked the hay bales and the excellent real ale. We have vowed to return in August and are hoping to have […]

Week 21 – Where did weeks 19 and 20 go to then?

So, where do we start. Profuse apologies for the missing weeks. We have excuses, honest. None of that “dog ate our blogs” or “aliens stole our PCs” malarkey. It’s all been down to big amounts of business. So first week (weak?) excuse was that we were showing at the Gadget Show, which was fun but quite long; all week in fact. Never have we felt so much pain as after standing up for six days solid. The first three days it was just me (Richard) and Andrea, and then the employees came up to help us out. We showed the game to (our best guess) around a thousand people, and we got feedback forms from over 400 of them. We also gave away many stickers, flyers and badges. Oh and 12Kg of sweet bananas. And just for the event we got some nice themed t-shirts. The Gadget Show was a great chance for us to see what people really thought of the game, and also quite scary as so far no-one outside of our little dev group has had a chance to play it (not to mention, it wasn’t anywhere near the beta testing stage). Boy did we get some […]

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 […]