Why Monochrono Prologue Exists

Hey! Going to be a bit informal here in my first of hopefully many blogs on this site, which will cover Monochrono™ development,

When I said back in early April I had one title (aimed at 3DS at the time) that would be releasing in June, the title was what would become Monochrono™ Prologue. First let me provide a quick rundown of the app, available now on the iOS App Store (iPad support forthcoming) and coming soon on the Google Play store for Android.

  • Monochrono™ Prologue provides the backstory to the protagonist of the upcoming arcade shooter game Monochrono™.
  • Monochrono™ Prologue is an Episodic Book, whereby content will be added on a regular (biweekly-ish) basis until the story is complete. The app launched with one chapter, with more coming every few weeks alongside larger app updates. The stories will not be told in chronological order.
  • The story is one that readers will need to stick with to get the full understanding of – readers will also notice an evolution of the app over time, including music, artwork, and more features not in at launch
    • To stress: the fact that these features are not in at launch was a conscious design decision, not due to constraints or rushing. It is a decision to better match what I am going for with the title.
    • One feature that will be coming soon that is not available at launch due to constraints is localization. The goal will be to support at least English, French, and Japanese by the end of the story.
  • Monochrono™ has a significant enough story to justify the app – as well as one other major reason. The story present in Monochrono™ Prologue, if present in the base game, would raise the game from an (anticipated) ESRB of T to an M. In order to widen the accessibility of the core title, and to not compromise on the initial vision, the story is being told in a different way.
  • The story will be told over the course of a few months and out of order – additional features such as reading the entire story chronologically (recommended to be done after finishing in “director’s cut order”) will be made available following the completion of the story.

So I guess that’s the bullet point list. But why do this, right? Why does Monochrono™ even need a story in the first place? And why do I keep adding the trademark symbol? You the reader GET it already.

…yeah I know. Just protecting the brand.

Monochrono™ has a story because it’s important to me. The story of Monochrono follows a character (whose name and backstory will be announced through Prologue) after their death, and follows my own internal questions about human consciousness and what that means in life.

As stated previously Prologue exists as its own product largely to possess a separate age rating. You don’t have to play Prologue to enjoy Monochrono™, but you will get more out of the story if you understand the character’s background and what they’ve gone through.

One thing to note that will make little sense now (or worse, just come off as needlessly pretentious,) is that Monochrono™‘s color scheme leverages heavy use of black, white, and gray. Prologue is exclusively black and darker shades of gray (with the exception of text display, which for readability is white.) This will make more sense in the future, and does not simply refer to morals or “darkness of tone or character.”

 

So, to briefly summarize, Prologue is an experimental way of telling a story that is personal to me. Huge parts of it are derived directly from personal experience, and most of the rest come from the experiences of my loved ones and those close to me. Every character in Prologue, regardless of their actions, is neither good nor bad, but the gray inhabit a gray space in between the two.

 

…and hey. If for no other reason, readers of Prologue will receive a bonus in Monochrono™.

 

Thanks for reading, and game (read?) on!

Syrenne McNulty

4 Corner Games

 

 

P.S. The app is launching at $0.99 USD, will increase to $1.99 USD after a significant amount of story has been added, and will settle at $2.99 when the story is complete and the app is finished adding content. Make of that what you will.

P.P.S. It’s not on Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS currently because there are technical limitations in telling the updated story that I wanted to tell, but the versions are still planned when the story is complete (albeit at an admittedly lower priority, with Monochrono™ proper taking top priority. I would like to personally apologize to Nintendo 3DS players, who supported my previous release of I’ve Got to Run: Complete Edition!, for not delivering the Nintendo 3DS version in line with the mobile versions.

ごめんなさい。

Posted in Development Blog, Monochrono Prologue