Happy Halloween from Monocool Interactive

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As it’s Halloween we decided to do something a little different. In no particular order here are each of our most feared, favourite and memorable horror games.

Rhys – Resident Evil
“Resident Evil is the first ‘horror game’ I ever played. I was probably way too young and the minute zombie dogs started diving through the mansion windows… – I think I might be scarred for life as I am super jumpy.”

Alex – Silent Hill
“The game that scared me to the point where, 1) I never played it alone and 2), I never completed it: Silent Hill, PlayStation 1”

Kevin – L.A. Noire
“While I know it wasn’t even supposed to be that scary, there was a moment in L.A. Noire, where one of the new build houses from the Suburban Redevelopment Fund has a flickering light and you have to go in to investigate, and it was the dread that you just know something will happen.”

Arham – Slender: The Eight Pages
“I’ve only played one scary game… Slender!”

Jenna – Dead Space 2 and Resident Evil 3
“Dead Space 2 and Resident Evil 3! I couldn’t finish either one of them until years later after I first played them.”

Andrew – Slender: The Eight Pages
“Scariest game… well jumpiest is Slender for me. I spilled my water all over my girlfriend after she jumped then i jumped! It’s not even that scary… just jumpy.”

Richie – Dead Space 2
“Playing Dead Space 2 in the dark. I did it, but I won’t do it again, nor will I play Dead Space 3.”

Chowshe – Don’t Starve
“Actually, the moment in a video game that recently scared me was when I met one of those tree creatures in Don’t Starve. I was cutting a tree and it came to life and I was like ‘Holy Crap!’”

Ross – Dead Space and The Last of Us
“Dead Space was terrifying. Bought it, tried it, traded it in. There was also a moment in The Last Of Us that scared the hell out of me, where a clicker came out of a door and grabbed me. Totally caught me off guard.”

So there you have it. We are the last people you want in a team to explore a scary location. Luckily we don’t have to. What do you think? Can you relate to any of these games? We’d love to hear what games you found scary!

Happy Halloween and have a great weekend from everyone at Monocool.

Castaways vs the Indiepocalypse

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With so much talk about the potential of an ‘Indiepocalypse’ – where the video game market reaches a saturation point of indie-developed games that it forces many studios to close – it has crossed our minds on how we would protect Monocool Interactive and our upcoming products, such as Castaways, and survive what may or may not be coming.

WHAT IS THE ‘INDIEPOCALYPSE’?

In short the Indiepocalypse is the extinction of games developed by indie studios, despite the fact that there are more indie games on the market and in development than ever before.

The projection from some industry analysts and insiders is that the indie developed games market will become too competitive because it is easier than ever to develop and publish games – thanks to Steam, Unity, Unreal, etc. There’s also more ways to play and access games in addition to the tradition of buying a disc in a box – whether it’s playing a mobile/tablet game, digitally downloading on Steam, PSN or Xbox Live, or even watching games through Let’s Plays on Twitch and YouTube. There are more games and more ways to get them, but still the same amount of hours in a day – meaning something’s got to give.

There are various opinions that independent game developers will be the victims in this situation, and you can read one detailed theory about that here: Steam Spy – What Is Really Killing Indie Games.

How does this relate to us? Well, without stating the obvious, we are an independent game studio undertaking the daunting task of developing our first game for release in what is a very competitive market. A survival game no less. Who’s idea was this again?

CASTAWAYS IN THE INDIEPOCALYPSE

When we first began working on Castaways, the survival genre was already in full swing. Many big survival games had already been released and even more were in development. It was already a somewhat risky move developing a game for a market that is highly competitive, but we feel Castaways brings something new to the genre and to gamers – plus, we really love a challenge.

The ‘threat’ of an ‘indiepolcalypse’ makes little difference to our plans – we believe in the game we are developing, and it’s up to us to create the best product we can.

For Castaways, we first have to concern ourselves with making sure our survival game survives the survival genre (yes, the irony is not lost on us).

Looking at Steam Greenlight today, there are countless clones of Survival Games that use similar settings to Castaways – you find yourself stuck on either an island or a huge landscape with nothing but a backpack with a days food and water and one objective: survive the onslaught of battle royale and the abuse of buggy AI.

Now we don’t deny that this is fun and all, but we believe Castaways can be bigger, better and more relevant than the survival games that are being released almost daily.

SURVIVING THE FLOODS

We already knew that we were going to be a little fish in a sea of sharks and the only way to survive this was to have new ideas in a game that no other survival game had done yet and to this day, are still not doing. Our class system, is completely original and has a variety of mechanics that can be taken to any genre, not survival specific. You can read in more detail about our Backstory Class system here, or watch the Pre-Alpha footage below and listen to Rhys talk about the game in full.

 

We have funding!

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After way too many meetings and possibly 10 revisions of our business plan we’re super excited to say that we have received funding! It’s isn’t enough to retire but its certainly enough to keep us developing Castaways for the next 6 months which is exactly what we need.

We’ve received our funding from the Princes Trust. So far everyone from Business Gateway and my contact from Princes Trust have been more than helpful. They’ve helped me realise some things that I should have been thinking about months ago. In addition to the funding we’re also going to be getting someone to help us with all the finances for two years! Exciting times ahead for Monocool Interactive and Castaways.

So to those out there who are in the same boat as us, there is funding out there! Keep trying and don’t give up until you’ve achieved what you wanted.

We’ve got so much going on at the moment for Castaways and we will have a load of footage coming out shortly. Stay tuned for our dev blog at the end of the month where we will be recapping everything we’ve done this month.