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Four years of development change everything

Dear Friends, Fans and Followers, Happy New Year 2018!

What a journey..when Monster Boy development started over 4 years ago, we had no idea that we would end up with a project spanning over 4 years, stretching into 2018! It started as a small idea. We wanted to bring back the excitement of colorful side scrolling action adventures and ended working on our biggest project ever. When Wonder Boy creator Ryuichi Nishizawa came on board, it was clear that we have a very special and rare opportunity. It would allow us to continue one of the best game series ever created. While we designed Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, we had more and more ideas which ultimately formed an incredible overall experience which we can't wait to share with you. We're lucky that we could do it as the long development is very expensive and a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this project. It was only possible because the whole team at Game Atelier and FDG Entertainment is fully dedicated to this project with a big heart for the beautiful, straightforward fun of 16-Bit classic games. With the years, our skills improved and our expectations matured so we kept updating the graphics, too.
Ultimately we ended up with a style that we believe is timeless just as the classic games. For now, please enjoy 6 of our Gamescom 2017 screenshots, updated with the new graphics. Our latest change was a big one: All of Monster Boys transformations are getting hand-drawn animations and it adds a lot of detail and character to the game. A very unique look for all generations of players:

Jin just got his fire magic and he's about to burn away some plants that block his way.

Jin has transformed into a frog. He can use the tongue to snatch away bombs and throw them back!

Sniff sniff - there's something in the air. Sewers are a stinky place, but Pig-Jin thinks it smells really good!

EEK! Go away monster tentacle! This is not how Jin imagined his day.

Huff Huff, this XXL body isn't easy to move but it's so much fun to stomp on enemies when there's a chance.

This is a magic chest and you need fire magic to open it. Lion form won't help here - LT/RT buttons come to good use now :-)

What's left now is a lot of 'crunching' towards a completed and bug free game - please hang on a little while longer until we can make the announcement you're all waiting for. Thank you for your patience and support during all the time. Much love to you from the whole team!
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Oops we did it again!

Dear Monster Boy fans and friends,

while working on the new animation, we had to adjust the frog and dragon design once more for best results. We already updated the character graphics on our homepage but didn't post the new look in our blog yet. Please check it out:

The frog and dragon proportions received an update and while at it, we gave the dragon cooler horns.
Please stay tuned for more info during this winter.
We're going to announce the 2018 release season of Monster Boy and some additional news.
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All new transformation designs revealed!

Dear Monster Boy friends, fans and followers,

the new hand-drawn character portrait is finally complete! With the addition of the one-eyed pig, Jin just got back all his transformation powers and the black silhouettes are history ;-) To give you a taste of how the character moves and behaves with the new hand-drawn style, we'd like to present you a little animated gif:

The one-eyed pig is Jins first transformation, feeling like a curse at first but you'll soon discover its qualities :-)
As you can see, even in the rough (draft) animation, there's a lot more detail so you can enjoy Jins monster-personalities even more than before with the old sprites. They'll be a joy to watch in action as we took care to give every transformation a unique set of motion. We're trying to support the impression that it's still the same person in a different shell but having a lot of fun to use the various abilities, transporting the feel of a character experiencing super powers for the first time and enjoying them a lot.

All reworked, hand-drawn Jin transformations. Did you notice that we added one more detail to the lion? :-)
We hope you're looking forward to the final game - for us it means back to work, no time to lose! :-)
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Revealing hand-drawn transformation #5: Dragon form

Dear Monster Boy friends,

we hope you had a great Halloween! With only two transformation reveals left it was a 50/50 chance to show the dragon today! We diced and here we go! :-) The dragon has some fantastic abilities like spitting fire and being able to fly. You'll discover whole new places once you unlocked this transformation.

Next week we'll reveal the new one-eyed pig transformation. Please look forward to it!

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Revealing hand-drawn transformation #4: Snake form

Dear Monster Boy fans and friends,

it's that day of the week again!
Each Friday we reveal a new transformation form of Monster Boy with the all-new hand-drawn look! This time, it's the snake and there's only the Pig and the Dragon form left! Once we revealed all forms, we're going to give you a sneak peek of the animation. It's a night and day difference to all the old footage of the game and we can't wait to share it with you!

The snake can swallow keys, spit poison and climb walls or move on ceilings. Super cool <3
As always, thank you so much for your feedback, interest and comments! Please look forward to the next reveal. Until then we warmly recommend to play Mario Odyssey which released today - in case you own a Switch! Wahoo!
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Revealing hand-drawn transformation #3: Lion form

Dear Monster Boy friends,

it's Friday again! Today we reveal the new hand-drawn design of the lion and he wears some cool ice equipment. This is the best equipment to have for the scorching hot volcano area and will help you to survive much longer. Deal more damage to fire-based enemies and take less damage from them - it's a perfect combination! The lion transformation makes Jin much stronger and he can dash super fast but never forget all the other transformations. Jin can switch his form anytime and you'll need to be smart to combine them in a most efficient way. Sometimes you need the power of a lion, sometimes the small size of a tiny snake to be successful. The further you go, the more transformations are needed to survive and everyone will know that the cursed kingdom can only be saved by Monster Boy.
Our new reveal shows you the hand-drawn lion form with cool ice equipment. Don't miss it!
This time we removed the old character sprites comparison because some got confused by the size difference in our presentation. Please note that the new hand-drawn transformations have a very similar screen-size in comparison to the old sprites. Last but not least: Thanks for keeping the communication going and we welcome all your comments, feedback and excitement about this project. Please look forward to the final game when it arrives in 2018 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One first.

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Revealing hand-drawn character #2: Frog

Dear Monster Boy fans and friends,

are you ready for the next character reveal? We've been wandering around the internet and collected votes. Some of you wanted to see the lion, others the frog. Today we show you the frog!
With the frog, two of the new hand-drawn characters are now revealed

As you can see, the proportions of the frog are now different. With the new freedom of entirely hand-drawn animation we are not dependent on an overarching skeleton/puppet system anymore which means we can let him do really cool stunts. Swinging rings and using the tongue will now look much more dynamic. He's also looking more like a frog than before which adds a lot to the visual variety while playing Monster Boy. We hope you like the new look!
Oh and big thanks for the overwhelmingly positive feedback on the new hand-drawn look of Jin. We hope to be able to convince everyone, even those who doubt our decision, that it was the right move. Please look forward to the next character reveal, which will be the lion!
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Hand-drawn animation coming to Monster Boy

Dear lovely Monster Boy fans, friends and followers

we'd like to share some news with you today. Are you in a comfortable position and ready to digest another graphics overhaul posting? We sure hope so! :p While we continue to work on our major graphics update for all the levels and areas in the game, we also decided to rework the characters and their animations in the game. Since the early days of the project, the character sprite animation was a big subject in all the internet discussions about the visuals of Monster Boy. We greatly value all your feedback that reaches us via emails, blog, internet message boards, reddit and of course NeoGAF. It's been tremendously helpful to understand where we are and what we need to improve to create not only a fun game but also a game that's gorgeous to look at. Worry not, though. It's not just the graphics we work on. We also use the time to keep improving levels, especially towards the end of the game and several story bits. All the polishing on graphics and gameplay will offer a level of variety that's rare to be seen in a single game. It's like playing 6 games in one!

Now that you're up-to-date, please check out this first preview image of new Jin:
This new version of Jin will tremendously benefit from fully hand-drawn animation.

We'll reveal the other characters in future blog updates. It's really important to understand that with the new approach we're able to animate everything and create a very dynamic character that has unique movements. It's a pure joy to see the results in motion. We can also let him interact with the environment in a more realistic way.
In comparison with the old Jin sprite you'll also notice a brighter coloring which is the result of the new animation technology. Some may think that the new traditional animation has drawbacks regarding the visible changes of cloth, armor, weapon, shield and boots but worry not. We have implemented a technology that allows us to still show different weapons and equipment right on the character sprite. Please look forward to see our new tech in action. Until then we hope you have a wonderful time with many cool game releases this Fall and Winter. We'll be hard at work to finish Monster Boy in the meantime. See ya!

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Let's play the new Monster Boy (2017) demo!

Dear Monster Boy fans and friends,

what an exciting time! We're currently at Gamescom in Cologne, showing our latest demo of Monster Boy on the Nintendo Switch! If you're in Germany and read this post until August 26, please visit us at the Nintendo booth in hall 9.1. We're truly humbled and overwhelmed by the awesome feedback from gamers who played the demo so far. Thank you so much to everyone!

It's a relief to hear you're all enjoying this game which is in production for almost 4 years now. We'll keep pouring all our love into this official sequel to the Wonder Boy in Monster World series as we want to make the best game possible for all of you.

If you can't attend Gamescom or read this post a little late, we've got a treat for you. Our friend BanjoGuyOllie who's also a big fan of the series, got his hands on the demo and recorded his session on video. Please check it out here:

In the video you'll get to see the full length beach section, a short piece of sewers, the village, a whole frog character based section in a segment we call Aztec World AND BanjoGuyOllie as an NPC in the game who even has a quest for players: Find his music sheets!

Some of you may wonder how he got into the game - this goes back to the very first announcement of the game in 2015! He played a wonderful banjo tune based on the Wonder Boy series and got the excitement for Monster Boy started. We didn't have any proper ingame material to show at this time so he was of great help to send out a warm message to the fans. We couldn't think of a better way to announce a new game based on this epic game series. Thank you Ollie, thank you fans and friends! <3

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Big Game, Big Map!

Dear Monster Boy friends,

today we'd like to share some details about the auto-map feature in Monster Boy! The game is really big so we're implementing a convenient map that gives you a perfect overview at all the time. Since we don't want to spoil you, we can only show a little preview of the fully unlocked map. Check it out
This is the starting area (beach) up until the light-house where Jin faces the first boss
As you can see the map not only shows the pathway, but many more details. Here's a quick overview of some map features:

While you explore the various areas in the game, the map will constantly draw details into the map. These can include treasure chests, walls, doors, shops, water and more. You'll easily spot unvisited areas if you carefully look at the walls or unfinished room sketches of the map.

Each area and pathway will help you to complete a beautiful colored drawing of the Monster World. Just another reward to finish the game and explore the world at 100%.

Quest Target
The current main quest location will be shown as a green target icon, can you spot it in the map ?

Jin just reached the first main quest target. It's marked with a green icon on the auto-map
It's huuge!
The sample map piece is just a tiny piece of the fully unlocked worldmap. Be sure to watch the new beach area footage during Gamescom to understand the size of the game. The beach part is less than 5% of the worldmap to explore!

No Missables
Focus on your exploration and happily experiment with your characters. The game has no missable item - you'll always be able to explore the world and return to any place later.
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Preparing for Gamescom: Switch Screenshot Galore!

Dear Monster Boy friends,

how was your week so far ? We're in the middle of preparing all the things that we need for Gamescom in August. Let's see... We're going to have a demo which will run on Nintendo Switch ..aand we're going to need updated screenshots for press members. We already picked 13 screens and have a hard time picking the 5 best. Want to take a look ? We'll upload all Monster Boy Demo screens on our Facebook page shorty. Make sure to check out Facebook/MonsterBoyGame !

Hurtling around like in a washing machine: Preparing stuff for Gamescom
While we captured the new press screenshots, we had some time to think about just how far we came since we started the project. We're so happy with what we achieved and it's insane to think that it's already hard to pick 5 screens from a very short demo. What will we do when we have to prepare the digital storefronts for the full game? How could we ever pick the best screenshots? Monster Boy is a truly epic project and we hope you're still eager to get your hands on the game. We're looking forward to the day when it's finally finished and out in the wild. Please stay tuned and check our blog regularly! :-)

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New Monster Boy Demo

Fellow Monster Boy friends,

next month we're looking forward to some great game expos taking place in Germany and Hong Kong. We'll have a new playable demo ready for both events! It's Gamescom and Retro.HK. While we mainly prepared the demo for press members, visitors of Retro.HK will get their chance to play it too. This is the first time to have the game playable in China and we can't wait to hear back from the audience there.

For the first time we're showing the beach starting section as a whole, uncut and with updated graphics details.
Showing a demo always gives us mixed feelings. On one hand we're super excited to see people playing our game, on the other hand we always know it's just a glimpse of the full experience and the game is so much more. The main problem with game expos is that press and players don't have the time to dig into all aspects of a game and need to get a quick impression so they can move on to the next game and publisher quickly. This time we made a slight change by keeping the beach section of the demo at full length just like you'll experience it in the final game. Another change is that we show a different section of the sewers that leads to the village. You'll see Monster Village for the first time properly and with the new graphics. We did cut out the Snake segment as it's still in progress of graphical updates but we kept the frog segment in the demo with new graphics, too. It's still a very short demo made specifically for the showfloor but a step forward to get a glimpse of the final game. We'll make sure to have a video of the demo up on YouTube so everyone can check it out.
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Welcome to the new Monster World Village

Dear lovely Monster Boy family members,

just as promised we're increasing the blog post frequency and today we prove it! :-) Last time we gave insight to a completely remade Volcano area, this time we get to a more cozy place: Monster World Village. We completely reworked the graphics, please check out this before/after comparison screen:

The Inn is a truly cozy place - the first place to visit after a tough time in dangerous places.

On the left is the old Inn, which looks nice but not refined enough to meet todays standards. The right side shows the new quality level which we aim to reach in all areas of the game. With 4 years in production, we don't want to have any drawbacks and finish the game properly so it can shine and impress.

Here's the old village screenshot in full size:
The amount of details isn't up to our new standards

This is the new village screenshot in full size:
So beautiful, we just want to stand here and enjoy the atmosphere. So much depth and many details!

Will you take the time to stroll through the whole village when you visit it the first time? Please do so and enjoy every inch of the artwork we make for you, dearest friends! Please stay tuned for more news in the future :-)
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Quality First: Remaking a whole area from scratch

Dear lovely Monster Boy fans friends and followers,

sometimes the development process can be cruel. It can take months of work before you realize that certain things are not clicking - not working as planned. Just like a volcanic eruption, the catastrophe unfolds and for a quality oriented development team this could mean to throw away a majority of work and start from scratch.

Lion-Man is bored from all the wait so he went treasure hunting - with style!

We are tirelessly challenging ourselves during the development of Monster Boy as our mission is to deliver an absolute Must-Have Action Adventure that shines in every aspect possible.

This is the story of the Volcano area of Monster Boy..
We've spent the last 3 months rebuilding the entire area (2 hours of playtime) as we felt it wasn't good enough and our fans deserve only the best. Today I can tell you that we tremendously succeeded and this area is now rising from its ashes to become a new highlight in the game. Everything was redone. New gameplay elements have been implemented, new enemies have been created. It's so much fun now!

The fire-walker is a new enemy who can jump out of lava and surprise us!

We're going to post more regular updates in the future so you don't have to wait months again.
Sorry again for the continued delays but we're sure you agree with us that quality is so important. Shigeru Miyamoto once said: A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad and he's so damn right!

Please stay tuned!

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Eye Candy! Cranking up the graphics

Dear fellow Monster Boy friends,

it's time for a new update! :-)
We're very sorry about the 2 months of radio silence but it was just because the whole team is working hard on finishing the game. While we're still tuning levels we also put the finishing touches on the graphics. Oh boy - the game is going to look so nice!

Below you'll find two images, old and new.
Monster Boy gets all the treatment of light work and detail now in the final stage of development.

The first version of graphics used during development
The final look of the game with added lighting and detail
As you can see all the pieces fall into place now. Please know that any delay in the past had the sole purpose of improving the game. Thanks for staying around and supporting us !
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