What is Monkey Shines?
Monkey Shines was a game published by Fantasoft in 1997, and the game is now abandonware. The purpose of this project is to rebuild the game for Java so it is cross-platform and does not require emulation to run properly. It is not intended to look 100% graphically identical in all menus (the editor in particular can use some good advancements over the original). This is mostly a project for personal benefit.
The port is very close to the original game. The core components of the game have all come together. There are a few things missing, and a few enhancements I had in mind (see the Issues tab in Github), but for the most part the game plays well. You can start the game and play any of the original worlds and now a few addon ones. You can start the level editor and make your own worlds. The essential functions are mostly feature complete.
Furthermore, thanks to original material provided by Mark Elliott, the original programmer of the game, I was able to include higher-definition graphics before they were 256 colour table optimised, so this game does look better than the original. Save for only a few instances, the sprites and tiles are NOT ripped from the original resource fork and look much better.
Why Monkey Shines?
Having heavy nostalgia for a game I can not run even in a emulator, I decided to take up as a challenge to see if I can re-create the game in a form that will be more accessible and still function mostly identical. I consider working on this a hobby. Since there is no reason to keep the code to myself I decided there is no harm in hosting it on github. I have no intention of making a profit from any of this; full credit goes to the employees at Fantasoft who created this game. I merely want to take that game idea and port it to be more accessible today. I have an affinity for games with simple premises that can be played quickly and present a challenge.
To just start playing the game and using the level editor, jump to the wiki: https://github.com/ErikaRedmark/monkey-shines-java-port/wiki. If you wish to work with the source, my setup is Eclipse using EGit which would be the easiest way to get running.
There are two main points of entry in the code:
- LevelEditor: This class starts the Level Editor. Both the main game and level editor share the same basic engine. The best way to start is to create a new world and use the default resource pack. This default pack is basically a subset rip of the original game's 'Spooked'.
- MonkeyShines: This class allows you to start the actual game.
If anyone wishes to help, especially if you have played the game before, feel open to contact me (Erika Redmark) at email@example.com. I am slowing down work on the project as I will not be as active on it exclusively. Almost everything I truly wanted to get done is done. Yes, there will always be things to add, enhance, and fix, but I want to move my main focus away from porting a game that isn't even my own.
Even if you do not wish or are unable to help, let me know anyway that you've played and what you think. Just knowing people are enjoying the work I did is uplifting.
Listing of the original people who worked on the original game. These are basically the people you would find if you looked in the Credits section of the original game:
Fantasoft Owner: Tim Phillips
Programming: Mark Elliott
Artwork: Alan Lau
Music and Sound Effects: Petteri Lajunen, Ville-Eemeli Kakela
Spooked - Vern Jensen
Spaced Out - Ville-Eemeli Kakela & Petteri Lajunen
In The Drink - Alexander Minidis
About the House - Alexander Minidis
In The Swing - Vern Jensen
Extra Original Credits
Some more people associated with the game, not in the original development but nevertheless important contributers.
Philip Roy: Writer of original level design tutorials and documents, creator of 'Bonzo Hits Cyberspace' hosted on Fantasofts website, as well as winner of "Level Design Contest" for original game with the world 'Phils Mac World'.