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Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine

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Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine
Monaco What's Yours Is Mine poster.png
Promotional poster for Monaco. Note the similarities between this and many film posters.
Developer(s) Pocketwatch Games
Publisher(s) Pocketwatch Games (PC)
Majesco Entertainment (XBLA)
Designer(s) Andy Schatz
Andy Nguyen
Artist(s) Adam deGrandis
Ben Swinden
Composer(s) Austin Wintory
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, Linux
Release date(s) Windows
April 24, 2013
Xbox 360
May 10, 2013
Mac OS X
July 3, 2013
Linux
October 21, 2013
Genre(s) Action, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine is a stealth action video game released in 2013 for the Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The PC versions of Monaco were developed and published by Pocketwatch Games while the Xbox Live Arcade version was published by Majesco Entertainment.

The gameplay in Monaco consists of up to four players who each control different characters while they partake in heists and robberies in many different locations. Players can control one of eight characters, each of whom have their own characteristics, such as the Hacker who can put viruses onto security systems, or the Cleaner who can put guards to sleep. The main difference between single-player and multiplayer modes is that in multiplayer, when a player dies they must be revived before the level can be completed.

Development of Monaco began while Andy Schatz was working for TKO Software, before he founded his own independent company Pocketwatch Games. The game started as nothing more than a Pac-Man clone that he referred to as "The Sims meets Diablo meets Hitman". After being turned down twice by Microsoft Game Studios, Monaco was released for the Xbox 360 by Majesco Entertainment. After discussions with Schatz, the soundtrack was composed by American composer Austin Wintory, who had worked on the soundtracks for games such as Flow and Journey. Andy Nguyen, whom Schatz met while he was looking for playtesters, quit his job at Citibank so that he could spend more time helping with the development of Monaco as a level designer and producer, as well as working in booths.

The game was positively received by reviewers and won two awards at the 2010 GDC Independent Games Festival. Reviewers praised the cooperative gameplay highly but said that the single-player was less fun because there was less to do. Many comparisons were made between Monaco and other media; the most common being the 1960 heist film Oceans 11. Reviewers liked the art style and said that the gameplay suited the minimalistic design.

Gameplay[edit]

Players can work together to pull off heists in many locations.

Monaco is a single-player or multiplayer stealth action game played in a top-down perspective. Up to four players can control one of eight characters, each having different traits and advantages,[1] while they partake in heists and robberies in locations like nightclubs, mansions and yachts.[2] Levels can be completed in many different ways based on what characters the player or players choose.[3] When playing in single-player mode, once a character is unlocked it can be used on any level, although any level can be completed as any character.[4] In multiplayer mode, players work together to complete the levels. If one of the players dies, another must revive them before finishing the level.[5]

The eight characters consist of: the Locksmith, the Cleaner, the Lookout, the Pickpocket, the Mole, the Gentleman, the Redhead, and the Hacker. The Locksmith can open doors twice as fast as the other characters; the Cleaner can put guards to sleep; the Lookout is able to see enemies who are not in the player's direct line of sight; the Pickpocket owns a monkey which runs around collecting coins; the Mole can dig holes through walls and takes less time to open vents; the Gentleman has the ability to temporarily change his appearance, making the player less detectable to enemies; the Redhead can charm enemies into not attacking them and make characters follow them; and the Hacker has the ability to upload computer viruses to security systems, resulting in them shutting off temporarily.[6][7] The first four of the eight characters are available immediately.[4]

There are many items that can be picked up including smoke bombs and C4 explosives,[8] as well as many different types of guns including a shotgun and a machine gun.[9] The gun's ammo is limited and is replenished by collecting ten coins which are scattered around the map. In multiplayer mode, the player who collects the coins is the only person whose gun receives more ammo.[10][5]

Development and release[edit]

Andy Schatz displaying Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine at GDC 2010

The idea for Monaco was first prototyped when Andy Schatz was working for TKO Software, a video game development company based in Santa Cruz, California. The game was originally inspired by the top-down minimap in the Hitman series and was described by Schatz as being similar to Jason Rohrer's 2014 video game The Castle Doctrine during its early stages of development.[2][11] His original plans were to release Monaco as an Xbox Live Indie Games title, made within six weeks. He said that when he was talking to people about it at this stage, he described it as "The Sims meets Diablo meets Hitman". The development at TKO was done in three weeks while the company solicited paying work. Before TKO shut down in 2005, Schatz left and founded his own independent company, Pocketwatch Games.[11] After Pocketwatch Games experimented with simulation games, such as 2006 Independent Games Festival finalist Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa and Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Dinosauria, Schatz prototyped an early version of Monaco using Microsoft XNA as to see if it worked on the Xbox 360.[2]

When Andy Schatz pitched the game to Microsoft Game Studios, it was turned down. Schatz responded saying "they were crazy" and asked if he could repitch the game; they agreed to let him do so. He continued to work on Monaco for roughly a year in order "to make it something really marketable". When he pitched it to Microsoft Game Studios for the second time, it was turned down. After these events, Schatz got the impression that the game was not going to be released on the Xbox 360. "That really bummed me out", Schatz said in an interview with Mike Rose from Gamasutra, "because I felt like the Xbox was the ideal platform for this particular game, because of the prevalence of headsets, the marketplace being strong, and the Xbox being the easiest console to work with. And of course the game was written in XNA, so it was a no-brainer".[11] Empty Clip Studios was brought onto the project in order to port the game to the RapidFire engine, so that the game could be release on the PlayStation 3, but the port was never finished.[11] In order to publish the game on Xbox Live, Schatz partnered with video game publishing company Majesco.[2][12] As a result the game had to be ported from Empty Clip to the RapidFire engine.[11] Valve Corporation approached Schatz and offered to get the game on the Steam store distribution platform.[2]

"Working with someone that you really click with and that you share a design philosophy with is incredibly energizing, and helps keep you on track, keeps you honest," Schatz notes. "I'd been looking for someone that I could call a business partner for a long, long time. Andy doesn't own part of the business, but he's definitely a design partner."

Andy Schatz[11]

Schatz met Andy Nguyen while looking for playtesters in 2011. Schatz described Nguyen as a man he "clicked with" who made an energizing work environment and as a result,[11] Nguyen was hired to work in festival booths and to sell the company's merchandise at events. Nguyen did not know how to program, but he eventually became a level designer and producer for Monaco.[2] During its development, Nguyen quit his job at Citibank to devote more time to the game and Pocketwatch Games.[2]

The soundtrack for Monaco was composed by Grammy-nominated Austin Wintory, who had previously worked as the composer for games such as flOw and Journey. The original soundtrack and a remixed album called Gentleman's Private Collection were released on April 24, 2013. The soundtrack incorporates pianos and drums into what Christian Donlan (Eurogamer) thought was one of Wintory's best works yet.[13] The Gentleman's Private Collection contains remixes of the original soundtrack by other notable composers, including Peter Hollens, Tina Guo who played the violin in the Journey soundtrack, and Chipzel who composed the soundtrack for Super Hexagon.[14] When Wintory was approached by Schatz, he was excited by the request because it involved using humorous "old-timey piano". "When else am I ever going to be asked to write anything remotely like this?", he exclaimed.[15] Schatz originally wanted to use licensed music thinking that the project was too small to warrant its own soundtrack, but after discussions, Wintory persuaded him that an original soundtrack was warranted.[15] The full soundtrack and Gentleman's Private Collection were released onto Wintory's Bandcamp microsite.[16][17]

Monaco was released onto Microsoft Windows on April 24, 2013. The Xbox 360 version was delayed and ended up being released on May 10.[18][19] On July 3, 2013 the Mac version was released[20] and on October 21, 2013, the Linux version was released.[21] Since the official release, Pocketwatch Games has updated the game to include more levels and minigames, including a new campaign mode called "Monaco Origins", which contains backstories for all the characters.[22]

Reception[edit]

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic PC: 83/100[32]
X360: 81/100[33]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer PC: 7/10[23]
PC: 8/10[24]
Game Informer X360: 8.75/10[25]
Giant Bomb 4/5 stars[4]
IGN 9/10[1]
Polygon 7/10[26]
GameFront PC: 95/100[27]
Digital Spy PC: 4/5 stars[28]
Metro PC: 8/10[29]
VentureBeat PC: 80/100[30]
The Escapist X360: 3.5/5 stars[5]
Awards
Publication Award
Independent Games Festival Seumas McNally Grand Prize[31]
Independent Games Festival Excellence in Design
Destructoid Best 2013 co-op multiplayer
Edit on wikidata Edit this on Wikidata

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine was positively received by critics, garnering "generally favorable reviews" for both the PC and Xbox 360 releases.[32][33] The Xbox 360 release sold poorly. Andy Schatz believed this was due to the weak demo, the delayed release, and the bugs in the multiplayer mode.[34]

Reviewers praised the co-op mode highly but many disliked the single-player mode. Danielle Riendeau (Polygon) liked Monaco's gameplay stating that it was fun with other people, but it seemed that the single-player mode needed work.[26] James Murff (GameFront) said the co-op was ridiculously fun and has good replayability.[27] Marty Sliva (IGN) said that Monaco provided one of the best co-op experiences he'd had in a while. He stated that due to the gameplay and mechanics, it was one of the most unique and addictive games released in 2013.[1] Scott Nichols (Digital Spy) said that the game contains lots to discover, but is best done cooperatively.[28] Jeff Grubb (VentureBeat) praised the fact that the game works as both an arcade and a strategic game but said to skip it if the user wasn't planning on playing it cooperatively.[30] Roger Hargreaves (Metro) liked the multiplayer mode more, but also praised the single-player mode calling it surprisingly compelling.[29]

Reviewers compared Monaco to other games and films. The most common comparison was to the 1960 heist film Oceans 11. Scott Nichols compared it to Oceans 11 because "with its ensemble cast, daring break-ins and carefully laid plans, it has all the makings of an interactive heist flick".[28] Anton Bjurvald (Eurogamer) also compared the game to Oceans 11.[24] Roger Hargreaves said the game was like "Ocean’s Eleven meets Pac-Man and Metal Gear Solid". He compared it to Pac-Man because of its maze-like levels.[29]

Many reviewers criticised the repetition of the game's levels. Francesco Serino (Eurogamer) criticised the variation between levels and said it wasn't too long before he was seeing similar levels because of the game's simplicity. He said that the levels are usually well made but are too often made for certain characters, which adds more gameplay because of the time it takes to discover the best strategies to complete a level.[23] Alex Navarro (Giant Bomb) liked the overall gameplay of Monaco but disliked some of the later levels as they turned into "tedious exercises in trial-and-error".[4] Ben Allan (Gameplanet) said the single-player mode was less fun due to there being fewer variations and less chaos.[35] Anton Bjurvald said that he fell in love with the simplicity of the graphics and liked the majority of the gameplay but said that it seemed like the game's artificial intelligence was made too easy to be fooled.[24]

Awards[edit]

15 weeks into the development of Monaco, in early 2010, the game won the 2010 GDC Independent Games Festival Seumas McNally Grand Prize award, as well as the Excellence in Design award.[2] Monaco won Destructoid's Best of 2013 Co-op Multiplayer award[36] beating titles like Diablo III, Guacamelee!, and Payday 2.[37] Monaco was also a finalist in the 2010 Indie Game Challenge under the Professional category.[38][39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sliva, Marty (April 24, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. Retrieved May 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Machkovech, Sam (April 18, 2013). "The Long Con: High in the Wild with Monaco". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ Gaston, Martin (April 4, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine coming to PC and Xbox 360 in April". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Navarro, Alex (April 24, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine Review". Giant Bomb. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Goodman, Paul (May 15, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine Review". The Escapist. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  6. ^ Hancock, Patrick (April 26, 2013). "Monaco: Tips and Tricks". Destructoid. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  7. ^ Khaw, Cassandra (April 25, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine review". PC Gamer. Future plc. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  8. ^ Hancock, Patrick (April 24, 2013). "Review: Monaco: What's Yours is Mine". Destructoid. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  9. ^ McAllister, Jeff (May 2, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine walkthrough". GamesRadar. p. 3. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ Siuty, Luke. "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine". PC Magazine. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Rose, Mike. "A Journey to Monaco: Andy Schatz Looks Back". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ Rossignol, Jim (February 6, 2013). "It's A Steal: Andy Schatz Talks Monaco, Other Stuff". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ Donlan, Christian (April 15, 2014). "Loud soft: In praise of Austin Wintory's dynamic Monaco soundtrack". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on July 7, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016. 
  14. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (April 22, 2013). "The Monaco Soundtrack Is Gonna Be A Whole Thing". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Archived from the original on July 7, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016. 
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    Timestamps:
    • Comparison to old-timey piano music: 0:40.
    • Andy Schatz originally wanting to use licensed music: 0:50.
    • Quote of "when else am I ever going to be asked to write anything remotely like this?": 2:56.
  16. ^ "Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine by Austin Wintory". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Monaco: The Gentleman's Private Collection". Bandcamp. Archived from the original on July 7, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Monaco - Xbox 360 - IGN". IGN. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  19. ^ Conditt, Jessica (April 23, 2013). "Monaco delayed on XBLA". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  20. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (July 4, 2013). "Monaco updated with level editor". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. 
  22. ^ Hillier, Brenna (October 22, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine updated with zombie mode, mini-campaign". VG247. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  23. ^ a b Serino, Francesco (May 3, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine - review". Eurogamer (in Italian). Gamer Network. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  24. ^ a b c Bjurvald, Anton (May 9, 2013). "Recension: Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine". Eurogamer (in Swedish). Gamer Network. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  25. ^ Miller, Matt. "Monaco". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
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  27. ^ a b Murff, James (April 26, 2013). "Monaco Review: A Stolen Heart". GameFront. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
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  29. ^ a b c Hargreaves, Roger. "Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine review – smooth criminal". Metro. DMG Media. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  30. ^ a b Grubb, Jeff (April 24, 2013). "Monaco's co-op gameplay will steal your heart (review)". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  31. ^ "2010 Independent Games Festival Winners". Independent Games Festival. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  32. ^ a b "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 11, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  34. ^ Cowan, Danny (July 15, 2013). "Monaco dev 'very disappointed' with XBLA sales performance". Engadget. AOL. Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  35. ^ Allan, Ben (May 7, 2013). "Monaco: What's Yours is Mine review". Gameplanet. Archived from the original on July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016. 
  36. ^ Nakamura, Darren (December 24, 2013). "The winner of Destructoid's best 2013 co-op multiplayer". Destructoid. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  37. ^ Nakamura, Darren (December 19, 2013). "Nominees for Destructoid's best of 2013 co-op multiplayer". Destructoid. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  38. ^ Alexander, Leigh (January 20, 2011). "Indie Game Challenge Reveals 12 Finalists". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 
  39. ^ "Pocketwatch Games - Monaco". Pocketwatch Games. Archived from the original on July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]