October 22, 2013 // 6:27 pm
- XMPT Games Developer Luke Staddon
announced today alongside a video that Monster Hotel is now available as part of their PlayStation Mobile spotlight.
To quote: I'm Luke, from XMPT Games: a small, five-person indie development studio based in Southampton, England. We've been together as a company for less than a year, and are best known for our PS Mobile release, Penguin Party.
We started XMPT Games because we all love playing games and we wanted to start releasing our own. We had all dabbled in various aspects of game development, and decided that it would be fun to see what we could create by working together.
We love taking part in game jams - pitting our design, coding and graphics skills to the test against a time limit - so for our second PS Mobile title we decided to run our own internal game jam.
Picking the theme of the game ourselves just didn't seem in the spirit of game jamming, so we put out a request on our Facebook page for people to suggest topics around which we could base our game.
We ended up with about 50 different responses, and the next day we threw all of the suggestions into a hat and picked one out at random. The winner was "Harmony".
After discussing a whole bunch of ideas, we eventually settled on the concept for Monster Hotel. The player would own and run their own hotel. It would be their responsibility to ensure that everything stayed harmonious, by keeping all of the guests happy.
Our core inspiration for the new game came from the dystopian document thriller, Papers Please. The idea that players are put under time pressure, whilst trying to balance an ever-growing set of requirements, really appealed to us.
However, we were all too aware that our previous titles had always been turn-based. Therefore, we wanted to ensure that this one was far more frantic and fast-paced than anything that we had created before.
We worked solidly on the game for 48 hours, and when the dust had settled, we were left with a completed version of Monster Hotel.
It is a frenetic game, in which players must drag and drop the monsters in their hotel, using the touchscreen, so as to place them in rooms which match their various wants and needs. Each of the different monsters has a variety of personalised requirements.
These range from wanting to be in a bedroom with blue walls, to wishing that they could go to the bar but still avoid another monster. Every so often, a monster will change what they want and the player will have to move them around.
As the number of monsters in the hotel grows, it becomes more and more difficult to keep everyone happy. Eventually, players will have to choose which monster to temporarily upset, in order to benefit the harmony of the overall hotel.
If you can survive long enough to reach a high score, you can unlock larger hotels and new unique rooms. New monsters may even start appearing!
After the jam, we spent a few weeks polishing and testing the game for release. We added in some more unlockable rooms and monsters, and tweaked the scoring system by getting our friends to play the game and trying to work out what made it most fun.
Monster Hotel is now available for PlayStation Mobile, priced at £0.79/€0.99. You can also find more details about Monster Hotel on our blog and Facebook page, so please come visit us and get in touch if you're interested in this or any of the other projects that we're working on!