The Architect’s Patch: Shorter, Better, and Unflinchingly Cut

Comments 9 months ago

I’ve never met a game developer that didn’t have things they would have liked to have fixed post-release.  Monaco’s Level Designer, Andy Nguyen, had a ton of them.  This big (free) content update is for him.

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Featuring:

  • Original Campaigns streamlined, huge parts of our least favorite levels unflinchingly slashed
  • New features, such as key-doors and ass-cash retconned into the original 2 campaigns
  • A new campaign strip with 3 PvP missions, automatically unlocked
  • Fresh Leaderboards for both Zombie mode and Enhanced mode

Wait, You Made it Shorter?

We sure did.  Why?

  • Monaco is a BIG game.  Depending on your skill level, anywhere from 20-50 hours to finish both campaigns.
  • The final missions of both campaigns have twist endings that people invariably love.

 

We call this chart our attrition rate.  It shows the number of leaderboard entries per level.  The first downward slope is for the first campaign, the second one is for the Lookout’s Campaign.  Our goal is get both curves as flat as possible.

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About 9.4% of people that finished the first level also finished the last level of the first campaign.

About 1.7% finished the last level of the second campaign.

The following data is play time, as recorded by Steam.

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We want more people to finish the campaigns, and we also personally kinda hate some of the levels.  Certain areas feel redundant, certain levels feel tedious.

Do you remember hating these parts?

  • Both boat levels with the dogs, crossbows, and fire
  • Second floor of the hospital (the one that winds around amongst exam rooms)
  • The giant, hard, palace level

We did too!

In addition to cutting major parts of these, every level has seen some streamlining with this patch.  Don’t worry, if you liked the old levels, they are still available if you play “Classic” mode, rather than “Enhanced”.

We also improved some elements of the “learning” phase of the game.  See these screenshots of the rec yard in the first level.

Old:

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New:

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We’ve discovered a few things about the prison tutorial: People don’t know how to escape guards (break LOS), and they have misconceptions about hiding in bushes (it only works if the guard isn’t already attacking you).  So we removed the bushes from this level entirely and added an LOS blocker so as to hammer home the point that you need to break LOS.

Don’t forget that we also added in a bunch more features into the two campaigns as well, to keep things fresh for our hardcore fans!  We’ve also added individual leaderboards for Zombie mode and Enhanced mode, so if you wanna compete on the boards, they will be fresh and yours for the taking!

So, that’s it!  I hope you enjoy yet another big free update to Monaco!  Maybe one of these days we’ll make it perfect.

-ajs

PS. We’ve now sold over 275,000 copies across all platforms… holy cow!

  1. ariamaki reblogged this from pocketwatchgames
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    They just keep making Monaco better!
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  4. apollosgreatgrandsun reblogged this from pocketwatchgames and added:
    O.o niiiceeeeeeeee! love you guys!
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