Monaco Will Soon Be Yours (If You Want)

By Jim Rossignol on December 13th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.


Monaco is one of the best co-op games I can remember, and it’s also one of the best heist games I can think of. It also won the IGF, which means that you have plenty of reason to be interested in pre-order of Monaco. Yes, tempting isn’t it? Very tempting… Perhaps you’d also like to see the game being played in brilliant fashion in a gameplay video? That’s below, just to sweeten the pudding. Mmm!

Final release of the game will be around March, although Mr Schatz says he hasn’t quite nailed down a date.

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79 Comments »

  1. Hoaxfish says:

    the new colours look nice, getting a weird arcade-thief vibe from it.

  2. Solomon Grundy says:

    I was excited about this one when the buzz started a million years ago. But now it looks like a confusing PacMan mish-mash… :-\

    • hench says:

      Yeah, same here. Not sure if I’m a fan of the whole coin collecting element.
      It might also be confusing because the one that is playing is very experienced with the game, know all the routes and such.

      • AndySchatz says:

        This is literally our best beta tester. He goes in, studies the levels, maps out the most effecient routes, and then practices till he has his perfect runs down. So if it looks too easy, it’s just because you are watching Monaco’s version of an olympic hurdler.

        • arleneroberts says:

          If you think Frances`s story is amazing…, last week my daughter in law basically also brought home $5825 grafting 10 hours a week from there house and the’re classmate’s mother`s neighbour has been doing this for 6 months and recieved a check for more than $5825 part time at there mac. apply the guidelines on this page..Read More

    • raydenuni says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up7u2O5n9xg

      This looks to be a better introductory video. 20 minutes of some guy named Northernlion (not familiar with him, but his voice is soothing) playing it and explaining as he goes.

      • AndySchatz says:

        Ha, yeah, probably. I think I figured that RPS readers have seen Monaco like a billion times so I sent something fresh along. Apparently RPS readers dont like fresh. Damn Brits and your soggy food. ;)

        • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          It’s freezing cold beer that numbs your tastebuds that we’re not so fond of.

        • Caiman says:

          RPS readers are never satisfied, don’t you know? At least, that’s the impression I get judging from these comment threads. Of course, I’ve heard that comment threads should never be trusted. Perhaps that’s true.

        • Alethron says:

          It’s not an RPS comment thread if the first few comments aren’t about how little the game interests them. SO MUCH VALUE ADDED.

          This video led me to watch a few others, the MP looks great fun. Can’t quite work out how the hacking works though; are those green boxes flying around randomly or are they controlled by the player?

          Pre-ordered, cheers!

          • corbie says:

            “It’s not an RPS comment thread if the first few comments aren’t about how little the game interests them. SO MUCH VALUE ADDED.”

            This. It’s not that we’re snobs or anything its just NOTHING IS EVER GOOD ENOUGH. Unless of course it’s called “The return of Mr Hairy and his performing trouser cheese: a lamentable tale of dairy” and coded by half a dead horse from Norway.

            Game looks good. :-)

        • dontnormally says:

          The Northernlion video is much, much better.

    • Syra says:

      it just looks like a technicolour mess to me now Im afraid…

  3. Pathetic Phallacy says:

    This now looks a lot less interesting. Where are the consequences for not being stealth? I see a protagonist walking by guards like it was nothing. He gets shot by turrets and it doesn’t matter. Hell, it doesn’t even seem like the enemy line of sight goes beyond a single pixel in front of them.

  4. Lanfranc says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but there doesn’t seem to be any actual heisting going on in that video, just a lot of running, stuff-collecting, and the occasional man-shooting. Not particularly interesting.

    • thristhart says:

      I think RPS chose a poor video to illustrate the gameplay – this looks almost like a speedrun to me. Most actual playing is more heist-y, less hasty.

      • AndySchatz says:

        It is a speed run, by our speediest of beta testers! Everyone always complains about how its hard to tell whats going on the in the multiplayer videos, so I sent out a fast-paced single player vid. Sigh, aint no justice in the world… ;)

  5. Seifo84 says:

    If you preorder the game you get 2 sound track and a version of the game with editor and stuff with 4 player co-op and LAN (Monaco IGF or something like that)..it’s claims that it has bugs…but it’s something to mess with while waiting for the release

    • Gnoupi says:

      What you get is the prototype which won the IGF, so, something quite limited compared to the final version, according to the dev. And probably buggy.

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    When JS Joust Kickstarter story was on here the other day it got me thinking about much hyped indie games that I’d started to think were never going to see the light of day. Nidhogg was one. This was another.

    • AndySchatz says:

      Yeah, it’s always hard to know which have been truly in development and which have withered on the vine. This was truly in development. :) The original prototype that won the 2010 IGF is included as an immediate download, pre-order bonus. If you ever get a chance to check it out I think you’ll understand why the game needed the extended development time!

    • Lambchops says:

      Yup, I took the piss a little about this on that post. I felt I may have been unfair lumping Monaco in with Nidhogg et al, but it had been some time since we’d heard anything about it, especially considering it was an IGF winner (Aquaria managed to make it out within about a year so I kind of expected the same of other games!).

      • AndySchatz says:

        No worries, it’s not YOUR responsibility to make sure people have heard about development, it’s mine. I did go through a period of time where I felt that it was better to stay quiet than to talk about things that people wouldn’t be interested in. Then again, I also feel that Monaco has been a little overexposed at points. Hard balance to find, with no perfect answer!

  7. X_kot says:

    I saw this demo’d at the last two PAX events, and each time has built on what was shown previously. Although single-player looks serviceable, the multiplayer is where the big fun is. Players coordinating abilities, keeping an eye out for guards, sheparding each other to the next objective without getting caught by cameras…good stuff. Online and local co-op is amazing, but I am curious whether cross-platform is/will be possible?

    • AndySchatz says:

      XBLA and PC players will not be able to play together. :(

      • X_kot says:

        Thanks for the reply, Andy! I figured such would be the case, but doesn’t hurt to ask. You’ve been very open about the dev process, and it’s a pleasure chatting with you at events. Consider me pre-ordered as soon as I get home.

        • AndySchatz says:

          THANKS FRIEND

        • raydenuni says:

          Pretty sure this is a limitation of Xbox and Microsoft more than the developer.

          • sidhellfire says:

            Pretty sure it’s limitation on their policy rather than technical difficulties.

          • Snakejuice says:

            I never really understood why Microsoft doesn’t want their Xbox-customers to play online with people on other platforms. Are they scared someone might tell their customers that Xbox Live Gold is a scam and online gaming – especially if p2p hosted, doesn’t ACTUALLY cost a monthly fee?

          • adonf says:

            @Snakejuice By default Xbox network packets are digitally signed (allegedly for security reasons, I find this believable) so an Xbox can not communicate with any other computer. Last time I checked (years ago) there were plans for cross platform games on Xbox, especially MMOs, but you probably need a special status with MS for that, so it’s not for XBLA games.

  8. sk2k says:

    Is this multiplayer (co-op) only? A singleplayer mode is not mentioned on the website (or i’m just blind).

    • AndySchatz says:

      hehe the video in this post is a guy speed running a single player run. :)

      • lasikbear says:

        Local co-op on PC?

      • Caiman says:

        Andy, you need to scream this from the hilltops. I had no idea there was any single player in this game. It’s been advertised as co-op all along, hence I’d relegated it to the “would be nice if I had friends” shelf. Now I’m interested.

        • AndySchatz says:

          It’s actually been my biggest PR goal for the past year — to break the narrative that playing alone isn’t fun. This isn’t L4D. Our biggest fans in the beta all play Single Player. And you’ll probably notice in all our marketing I always try to say “single player or co-op”. It’s just that the reputation for co-op was established early, so it’s hard to break through! Anyways, yes, single player is awesome. Come chat with the other beta testers in our irc about it! webchat.freenode.net channel: monacoismine

  9. kalidanthepalidan says:

    Looks great. I would suggest others put off by the above video go and watch the video on the front page of the Monaco website. Seems to show a bit more of what it will look like when you play… not this speed run demon.

  10. S Jay says:

    Looks sweet. But AI is a bit lame?

  11. mollemannen says:

    what is the motivation for collecting the squarey coiney thingies? except for completionism?

    • AndySchatz says:

      The gear you carry has very limited ammo. Every 10 coins gives you another shot.

      • mollemannen says:

        aah i see some of the brilliance in the video now but how do you balance this trough the levels? is it possible to beat a level without taking out any guards?

        • AndySchatz says:

          Very much so, on this run he just happens to be using the character that lets him knock out guards and the gear that lets him tranquilize them. A very aggressive run.

  12. Emeraude says:

    Something I never even bothered to research: will it require the use of Steam ?

    • AndySchatz says:

      For leaderboards and online multiplayer, but not for same-screen MP or LAN.

      • Emeraude says:

        Lovely. I have a feeling this is going to be our next big LAN game (thanks for answering that).

        • Snakejuice says:

          Who even has a LAN gathering without internet-connection in this day and age? I went to a LAN 14 years ago which had internet-connection.

          • Emeraude says:

            a) I don’t see what having an Internet connection has to do with anything.

            b) I do often travel to third world countries in places with little to no Internet, and set up improvised LANs there. I know, those places and their people don’t matter.

        • G-Lord says:

          Still not sure how I’ll play it with some friends, but I guess the chances are good that it runs fine on most laptops so LAN might be the best option for me. Can’t wait to finally play the game!

  13. tejohr says:

    Just stopped playing beta. Don’t worry guys, it’s as much as fun as you though it could be. :)

  14. Treebard says:

    I would like to know more about how same-screen multiplayer works on the PC. Is it implemented at all?

    • AndySchatz says:

      It’s exactly the same as xbox (though yo can play at higher res). Steam Big Picture is awesome for it!

      • The First Door says:

        Oooh, that’s rather interesting. I’m always looking for good local multiplayer games to play with friends. Is there a video out of that, or am I being silly and not realising some of the ones you already put out show that?

  15. KevinLew says:

    I am more of a tactical gamer. I like hiding in shadows, watching the patterns of guards, and then slipping past them when their backs are turned, robbing all the loot. I will admit that some levels of Mark of the Ninja took me over an hour because I would try to get that sweet Ghost award (no kills, no alarms).

    I’m hoping you can play all of Monaco that way, because I don’t think that I can be an aggressive hunter like in that video.

    • Caiman says:

      There a several different character types that you can play as, some far more stealthy than others. Looks great for multiple playthroughs of the same maps trying out different styles and tactics.

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      Monaco isn’t a game you can ghost, really. It’s not designed to work like that. You can ghost a lot of the levels especially early on, but late in the game it’s practically impossible. If your stealth OCD doesn’t allow you to ever be seen then you’re not going to be able to play the hardest levels except in coop with other people to distract the guards.

  16. El_Emmental says:

    I confirm that this video doesn’t do justice to the actual gameplay, I think RPS should change it to a more normal one, or put another one and explain that the first one is a speedrun (and is not representative of the actual gameplay enjoyed by us mere mortals).

    But even after watching the video on the website and some other gameplay footages, I must say it doesn’t feel “right”, at least not what I expected.

    I think a lot of people expected a stealth system based on credible (they often say “realist”, but they mean credible) guard and alert system: with guards being dangerous when faced at melee range, and guards with a little memory, like when one see you, he calls nearby guards for backup, and act worried for a while in the surrounding area and/or where he think the intruder went.

    With such stealth system, you would be able to lure a small pack of guards in a trap (like closing the door behind them, flooding an area forcing them to swim their way around or simply flushing them away), small corridor (allowing you to make a good use of your stunning/smoke grenade), after making your way around them through the roof/vent/tunnel/garden. A system where you would need to hide in various elements of the scenes when caught right in the middle of a sneaking-through, hoping that the guard won’t check that desk, closet or won’t see you (with that bin covering your head).

    The current guard system seem to play the trope of “dumb guards” straight as an arrow, the voice even try to make fun of it (but not really at the same time ?). They forget about gunshots after 1 millisecond, don’t check the place where they last saw an intruder, etc.

    See the following pages for more details [ /! Warning, TV Tropes ahead, skip the next 3 lines if you're bored/supposed to be working/student (which is basically the same, but still) ] :
    - http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheGuardsMustBeCrazy
    - http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ConspicuouslySelectivePerception

    I played quite a lot of Bonanza Brothers, which was a 2-player coop heist game from 1991 (for the Megadrive port), where you have to sneak through a 2D multi-storey level, with several safes, lever and ziplines scattered through the level.

    Getting spotted would make the guard be surprised, call for nearby guards (and if an officer, use his whistle to get a bigger “come here” radius – I might be wrong here, that’s old memories), and would try to neutralize you (using non-lethal means).

    When neutralized, you would lose 1 life, drop the stolen goods on the ground, and have 5-6 seconds to “float” (like a ghost) to a spot to ‘respawn’ (reappear). To get the stolen goods back in your sack, you had to find a solution to that part of the level (how to neutralize all the guards, in what order, etc).

    With 2 players cooperating, one could hide in the second plane (the “depth”), while the other player would attract the guards and later get behind cover (to avoid getting hit), while the hidden player would get out of the depth and shoot the guards in the back (rubber balls, temporary neutralizing guards).

    Also, if they were losing sight of you, they would investigate where you previously where, looking left and right (nb: it was crucial, as a guard looking away could be sneaked by) for a moment before going back to their initial patrol pattern.

    Today, 22 years later, I would have loved to have such gameplay taken to the next level, with players trying to outsmart a particularly-clever/subtle AI, try everything to make the guard go to a specific direction without him retreating or sounding the alarm, so another one could do something (either cooperate in neutralizing the guards, or doing a difficult/exposed task).

    It seems Monaco is relying mostly on the level design and less on the robbers-guards interactions to let its gameplay unfold, which is a bit of a shame to me (but that’s just me, and I’ll obviously try the demo before saying “nope”), as to me the best in stealth is fooling guards using the level, not outsmarting the level design while dealing with the guards.

    Also, the “yellow” rhombuses as collectable elements feels a little too “collect more coins for a pointless scoreboard”, the ‘Pac Man’ analogy is quite spot on the biggest issue: you need to run around the place like a never-stopping maniac to collect everything, rather than a stealth thief emptying the place from its goods.

    Personally, I would have preferred collecting more various items (even if it’s just the same “ammo” in the end), with sprite/mode/skin related to intelligence gathering or precious stuff: less shiny giant coin/ring/rhombus, and more like bank notes, jewelry, briefcase, documents, CDs, usb flash drive, blueprints, keycard and whatnot.

    Then, make these items half laying around, half in small safe/cupboard/desk that are revealed when being near them (‘thief instinct’), so you walk near them and grab/open-and-grab the goods, with a little “grabbing and putting in a sack” animation.

    But I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet, so… can’t wait to try the demo :P

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      You’re correct that this game wasn’t what you expected. Your kind of game sounds like it would be hard to make and potentially not as much fun, but maybe it would be better or just very different. In any case, Monaco is its own, special, amazing game.

    • Th30n says:

      Frankly, I was expecting the same thing. But I have to admit, playing the beta yielded one of the best coop experiences! It would really be a shame for you guys not to try it… even if you have to yohoho it.

      Later levels become impossible to rambo, you really need to coordinate with your coop partners and try to be stealthy. AI is good enough (civilians report misdeeds to the guards, guards respond to power switches being turned off by sending one guard to turn the power back on, etc.) but most of all it is transparent. Guards get a question mark above their head when they see you, when the question mark fills up completely it turns to exclamation mark and they begin investigating. You can easily see what’s what and how it all works together which in a stealth game is must. After all a stealth game relies a lot on AI manipulation.

      If it wasn’t mentioned, yes there is local multiplayer on one screen. The game accepts keyboard and XInput gamepads (unfortunately no direct input support).

      • El_Emmental says:

        Thanks for the additional informations :)

        I’ll indeed try it before deciding to buy or not to buy it, it’s too intriguing to be overlooked.

  17. Slinkyboy says:

    So you collect coins all over the map and you can walk anywhere without guards attacking you. This isn’t the game I’m looking for.

  18. Bios Element says:

    I no longer pre-order indie games. Sadly, too many times I’ve been let down. Ironically I’ve found better luck with kickstarting them which logic would suggest is more risky. >.>

  19. CelticPixel says:

    Well I’m buying it.

  20. Josh W says:

    I’m so glad that the background has changed, it keeps that interesting “illumination for vision” thing, but without going jittery with multiple players. The fact that you can now comfortably follow someone while they are exploring suggests that this game will be much easier to get people to jump from watching to multiplaying with you; it looks easier to play.

    I also like the “seeing vision cones even if you can’t see guards” and “last known position” stuff. Both of those seem like they should enable stealthy gameplay, like leaning does.

    I’d sort of like to see dishonoured-esque levels of alert, so guards seeing you for longer means higher levels of alert that take longer to decay, but I imagine you’re pretty close to complete balance now, so that’s less likely to happen. Looks good though!

  21. AlienMind says:

    How many players can play coop?
    LAN?
    Ooooh, look at the colors, never mind..?

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