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Team Junkfish Blog

What Junkfish is working on and why it isn't Monstrum (right now...)

At our heart, Junkfish is a group of friends who met at university and decided to make their own company. We have always wanted to create games we enjoy for fans who enjoy playing them.

We're hoping this blog will help lay some common questions about Monstrum 2, why we're not (currently) working on a new Monstrum game and what the future of Junkfish looks like including what we are working on right now.

Development of Monstrum 2

We feel extremely grateful that our first game, Monstrum, was picked up quickly and became an indie horror classic, even being played by the likes of Markiplier. It's a dream come true for a little indie company and seeing players truly enjoy what we created.

Seeing how much people loved Monstrum; we knew we wanted to make Monstrum 2 and as there was a demand for multiplayer Monstrum that was the direction that we took.

The new skills we developed and the things we learnt whilst making Monstrum 2 are extremely valuable to us as a team and we now have a much better understanding of developing for multiplayer thanks to Monstrum 2.

The direction of Monstrum 2

As it was the team's first ever experience of making a multiplayer game we had to make the decision based on the knowledge and skills we had at that time. Creating the unique AI for Monstrum took us over two years to get right; to do so for a large-scale multiplayer game would have meant taking even longer and we felt that we couldn't deliver that due to resources and time.

At the time we thought player-versus-player (PvP) was more feasible for the project, and decided to let the player take on the ability to control the monster and focus on the multiplayer aspect. Having a game which could scale with multiple players against monsters all with very different abilities and ways to hunt became our goal. 

We now know that there was a demand for AI monsters. If we could have implemented all versions of multiplayer including AI we would have, but at the time we did not have the capacity to do both multiplayer and AI and we had to make a choice between the two. We did what we felt at that time was for the best and most feasible for the team.

What are you currently working on? 

As part of exploring new ideas and projects we decided to make the move away from Unity to Unreal Engine. This has been a great experience for the team as they’ve been able to learn new skills and challenge themselves in a way that they couldn’t with Unity. We’ve noticed an obvious difference in quality to our games and we can’t wait to show you some of the stunning assets and gameplay the team have created.

We are really excited for you to play our new game, Bootleg Steamer! A top-down resource management strategy game where you play as the captain controlling a ship, set in 1920s American Prohibition era. The aim of the game is to scrupulously buy, smuggle, and sell alcohol to different North American locations during each year of the prohibition. You can take on mafia contracts, set up party boats, and live your best Great Gatsby party life!

We’re also working on three other projects! The great thing about having a global team is that we have a range of experience in all areas, and can work on multiple projects at once. Excluding Bootleg Steamer, we are currently working on another larger project and two smaller ones.

We can’t reveal too much right now, but we’re hoping to give a bit more information soon. All we can say for now is that the next project will have your heart racing!

Are you currently working on a new Monstrum game?

Not at this moment in time, as  we’re focusing on our current projects, this is for several reasons:

Avoiding burn out

Creating a successful and engaging game, let alone an entire franchise, is an exhausting endeavour. The development of Monstrum and its sequel demanded immense effort and dedication from the Junkfish team. The toll of meeting deadlines, dealing with unexpected challenges, and striving for perfection in each instalment can lead to burnout among developers. Recognising the signs of burnout and prioritising the well-being of the team is crucial for sustaining creativity and passion for future projects.

Junkfish's decision to step away from a new Monstrum game (for now) stems from a commitment to the mental and emotional health of our developers. Taking a break allows the team to recharge and approach future projects with renewed energy, preventing creative stagnation and ensuring the quality that fans have come to expect from the studio.

Learning Different Mechanics

Junkfish understands the importance of staff evolving their skills and wanting to help them grow in directions that they want to develop into. The decision to take a hiatus from Monstrum is, in part, fuelled by a desire to explore new mechanics, technologies, and game design principles.

By investing time in learning and experimenting with different mechanics, the Junkfish devs are not only enhancing their skill sets but also broadening the horizons of what they can bring to future projects. This dedication to growth ensures should we return to Monstrum, the team will have acquired new perspectives and tools to make the game even more captivating and immersive.

Exploring Ideas

Creativity thrives when developers have the freedom to explore fresh ideas and concepts. Taking a break from a specific project like Monstrum allows the Junkfish team to step back and contemplate new possibilities. It provides the opportunity to brainstorm innovative gameplay mechanics, narrative arcs, and unique features that can elevate the gaming experience.

Will you work on Monstrum  in the future?

Right now Junkfish is focused on its new projects, including Bootleg Steamer and three other unannounced projects! (Keep an eye on our socials for more information about this!)

While Monstrum may not be at the forefront of current development efforts, it remains a core part of Junkfish's identity and the time spent away from the franchise is not a sign of abandonment but rather a strategic move.

Taking a step back from a beloved franchise like Monstrum is a thoughtful and necessary decision for Junkfish by prioritising the well-being of our developers, exploring new mechanics, and allowing creative ideas to flourish.

We are ensuring that if we return to work on a new Monstrum, it will be a game that Junkfish can be proud of, and hopefully be the Monstrum game fans old and new want. 

Keep updated with us

To stay on top of Junkfish news including; new games like Bootleg Steamer, community news, and to be the first to hear about any news on any new developments, including Monstrum, consider joining our Discord or signing up to our newsletter.

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