Primate Observation Club reopens its doors next year. Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099, the futuristic sequel to the fun adventure of Fictionorama Studios has finally set a date on the 2023 calendar for its launch. A title with which we had a great time during a test last summer, and which last night after causing a sensation at the Golden Joystick Awards ceremony has revealed its release date. And the chosen day is March 9, 2023.
Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099 picks up right where its predecessor left off, putting players in the shoes of voyeur monkeys as they spy on strangers through security cameras, observing and analyzing every aspect of their strange everyday lives. A satirical vision of a potential future in which our innermost secrets serve as currency and excitement for our simian lords and masters. To find out more, keep reading…
Interview with Luis Oliván: Past, present and dystopian future of DNFTM 2099
★ Could you give us a brief introduction of the game concept? Why the future and what kind of stories do we observe?
We decided to make Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099 because players of the original were demanding more content. They said they would love to play a sequel or DLC that includes more stories, and we decided to make a sequel to create more crazy stories. In this way, when placing the game in the future, for example in the year 2099, we could include aliens, robots, androids, spaceships, other planets and create a different society in which everything evolved in a somewhat crazier way. This allowed us to create a game that players of the original liked while creating a new world. We thought it could be a very good thing, and it has.
The society of the future in front of the present
★ You have mentioned that we travel to the future and space to illustrate this different society, but at the same time our society has changed a lot after the pandemic and with the new ways of communicating remotely. The original game came out in 2018, just before the pandemic. How would you say that this whole situation has changed in relation to the stories you tell now?
Absolutely, it did have an impact on the stories of Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099. Our goal was to illustrate a society that has evolved in a more aggressive way than today. For example, in the game, planet earth has been completely devastated because it has run out of resources, but there are other planets that try to imitate it from a nostalgic point of view. In this way, our planet is painted as a place where everything was beautiful, and that others try to recreate. In addition, large international corporations are the sponsors of these planets, following this idea of aggressive capitalism at its best in which companies have their own planet and use it for advertising and marketing purposes. We wanted to take the current situation to the extreme to see what would happen. In this way, it also allows us to reflect on current society, something we had already done in Do Not Feed the Monkeys, but this time in a more extreme way, to reflect on where we could go if the current world follows this path. We think that one of the possible paths could be the one we try to illustrate in Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099.
New game mechanics in the second part
★ Tell us more about the mechanics of the game. I remember that one of the rules of the first game was “don’t feed the monkeys”. You were not allowed to interact with the monkeys in the cages. Have you kept the same rules or have you changed the dynamic a bit? What can you tell us about this?
The basic mechanics of the game remain the same. We wanted this sequel to have the same mechanics because we know players like them. We wanted to keep them, but at the same time we add new elements to offer a renewed gaming experience. We will continue to spy on the monkeys, taking note of words we hear or names of objects we see in the cages to look them up in a Google-like search tool to find more information, so this stays the same. We also have to stay healthy, something that is achieved by eating and sleeping to work and make money. The Club will also ask us for specific information about the monkeys, which they will use in different ways.
Fictiorama: “We love full-motion games, and it’s something we’d like to do in one of our games”
But we also decided to add new mechanics. For example, there is a new character, OmniPal, created by one of the companies that sponsors one of the planets. The avatar of this game lives in BlueBlob0, which is a kind of energy drink, and you will be able to have conversations through which it will give you access to new mechanics. There are also novelties in the cages. There is a new mechanic, the “feelking“, which we can use in some web pages to predict information, and which will have consequences depending on what you do. Later, we can get a peephole to see who is knocking on our door, which is one of the things we have to do so much both in the original game and in the sequel. There are more mechanics that unlock once we finish the game. Some were direct requests from the community, and we were very attentive to what was said on the Steam forums and on social media to hear what players of the original wanted for the sequel, and we’ve tried to include them.
★ What can you tell us about the artistic style? You have kept the pixel art style. I was recently able to play Telling Lies by Sam Barlow, a game quite similar to Do Not Feed the Monkeys in which you have to observe stories, do searches on a computer, there are keywords… Have you explored other types of art, such as for example video with real actors, or a 3D investigative adventure?
We love full-motion games, and it’s something we’d like to do in one of our games, but decided to go with the same pixel art style. It has a little more level of detail than the previous one, especially in this new universe in which the machines and the new elements demand a higher level of artistic detail to illustrate them in a more exact way. But we decided to keep the style low res pixel art because when we created DNFTM we knew that the concept itself could be somewhat dark, since after all we put ourselves in the shoes of a voyeur spying on people. You can choose to do good, but also do evil with all the information you get. Just being a voyeur can be shady, and we didn’t want a game like that, but something more fun and comedic, so we tried to remove all the dark elements.
For this reason we decided to continue with this style of pixel art, which is also a nod to the classic point-and-click adventures from the 80s and especially the 90s. For some people, this art style reminds them of Day of the Tentacle, by LucasArts. The first impression that the game gives you is that it is simple and fun, and once you fully immerse yourself in the different layers of the narrative you realize everything it has to offer. A lot of financial, social and political topics are shown, but not in a superficial way, because we wanted to create something fun, and therefore we decided to follow the same line in Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099. It is an entertaining game, and only if you you want to be able to explore all the deep content that is hidden behind this layer of fun.
Along with the announcement of the release date, it has also been released a demo of the game in Steam which is now available to everyone, and a new trailer that you can see under these lines. And remember: “whatever you do, never feed the monkeys.”
Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099 Sets a Release Date for Its Peepers of the Future