A Steal: Indie Fund Invest In Monaco

By Jim Rossignol on March 1st, 2011 at 11:15 pm.


The happiest person I’ve met at GDC so far has been last year’s IGF winner, Andy Schatz, the creator of 4-player heist game, Monaco. Why so happy? Well, the Indie Fund – an investment group set up by the World Of Goo creators 2D Boy and others – is funding his game, allowing him to hire a level designer and to focus on getting the game just right. “It’s coming together so fast that we might go beyond the twenty levels of the story mode,” Schatz told me. “We could end up having a bunch more multiplayer maps.” And, having played some of that both with the rest of RPS, and yesterday with Schatz, I can confirm that this is Good News. The game will also ship with online multiplayer and an editor – an editor whose maps are miraculously encoded into the side-on loading screen images of the game. Magic.

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25 Comments »

  1. westyfield says:

    Good gosh, that’s incredible. I’ve never properly understood steganography, but that explanation really helped. I remember being amazed at Spore’s easy sharing of creatures via .png files, this is just as incredible. Looking forward to this game.

    • omicron1 says:

      Oh, I remember thinking about this a while ago. My idea was to hide a message inside an otherwise monotone box, but this is much fancier…

      …And yet, there’s something even fancier to try: To encrypt a steganographic image (the example in the article is potentially human-readable, as the background image follows obvious visual patterns), create a random-noise generator powered by a formula/seed known only to the sender and receiver. Layer your message over the top of the random noise generator, as above, switching the value of a bit in each color byte to indicate a value of “1,” (the resulting noise image should be literally impossible to determine the contents of without the original seed) then on the receiving end, using an “xor” operation between the message image and an identically-generated noise image (same seed) to uncover the message data.

  2. Diziet Sma says:

    Wow neat and geeky data there, thanks for this otherwise I’d have completely missed it.

  3. airtekh says:

    Awesome.

    I’ve been wanting to play this game ever since I saw RPS having a blast with it last year.

  4. Spectre-7 says:

    I misread the title and thought there was an opportunity to invest in Monaco’s development. Oh well… Definitely looking forward to this game, and I’m really glad to see what the Indie Fund is capable of.

    • Mut says:

      Same here. I certainly wouldn’t mind throwing a few bucks their way.

  5. Shagittarius says:

    I think the steps are in the wrong order for investors.

  6. Mike says:

    Can we just have this game already. >_>

    • Rowsdower says:

      As much as, having now seen it, I am already antsy for this game; but the developer seems a thoughtful intelligent chap. We ought to give him (and he will take it anyway now that he has funding) all the time he needs to flesh out his ideas. In the end we will have a better product as a result. Doubt his dedication or depth at approaching the game? Just watch his vlogs.

    • terry says:

      I particularly enjoyed this one : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAa8yCTh6dY . And the video response from Team Meat : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OdqmHtE32w

    • pizza65 says:

      A lot of these exciting indie titles are really hard to care about. They’re invariably covered by game journalists saying that you have to play it to understand it, talking about how much fun they’re having at these shows or whatever. But I know I won’t have a clue until it’s out in the distant future (see also: nidhogg). When games are being gushed about and winning awards even though nobody can play them, my interest drops like a stone.

  7. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Can’t wait…

  8. matt606 says:

    AWWW MAN! me wanty.

  9. Torgen says:

    want more little blocky man thievery action video.

  10. Miles of the Machination says:

    First Monaco stole my attention. THEN IT STOLE MY HEART. Also my watch.

    I cannot wait to see how it all comes together.

  11. Wulf says:

    Oh my, that is clever. Of course, I can’t help but wonder now whether this will give Valve ideas, and whether we’ll see steganographic shenanigans in Episode 3 teasers. I wouldn’t doubt it.

    Anyway, looking forward to this one.

    • Harlander says:

      Wasn’t there some hidden data in the audio in one of the Portal mini-updates?

  12. Windward says:

    Aww, that’s lovely, I can’t wait for Monaco

  13. Hybrid says:

    That’s great news! I can’t wait for Monaco!

  14. Oak says:

    I need to make three friends before this comes out.

  15. Adamamam says:

    Oops! Damn fingers!

  16. Al__S says:

    Why, when four colours are picked, do orange and purple seem to get ignored? Just look at the banner image of this and the previous story for more examples of this blatant bias in the gaming world!

    (it is early in the morning)

  17. adonf says:

    I cannot access this “Face Book” site, could someone please be kind enough to explain what the last link in the article says (the part about encoding the maps in the loading screens) if it’s not too long.

  18. phlebas says:

    I wonder what kind of level you end up with if you jpeg the image.

  19. EthZee says:

    Okay, question: are those pixel people top-down or side-on? Because side-on, I can understand, but the way the game is set out it looks like they should be top-down.

    THIS BOTHERS ME