Interview with Moi Ray games – Monster Sanctuary

Moi Ray games is an indie developer who created one of my favourite games on the Switch and a step up in the monster taming genre of gaming – Monster Sanctuary. Monster Sanctuary is a monster taming game, with beautiful pixel graphics, metroid-vania style exploration and a deep combat system that will test any gamers tactical knowledge.

This game was featured in my top 6 monster taming post:

Top 6 monster taming games

Over the last few years, monster taming games have been appearing more and more – with the demand for a change in the Pokemon formula – what inspired you to make a monster taming game in the first place?

I wanted to make a genre combination that didn’t exist yet, but I thought would be cool (Monster Taming + Metroidvania)

There are obviously a huge selection of different monsters within the game – which was the first to be created and does the team have an absolute favourite?

I think Blob was the First. Everyone has their own favorites, but Catzerker is quite popular.

Are there any monsters that you have sadly had to let go before the game was released?

We had a lot of monsters brainstormed and only chose those we thought would fit best. But we never cut any monsters which went past the brainstorming phase.

Given that the game is centred around the monsters themselves – where does the inspiration come from in their design? And how did you decide to try and differentiate yourselves from other games in the genre?

We drew a lot of inspiration from mythology, but also all kind of other things. We didn’t really bother too much to differentiate our monsters from other monster taming games. Also when we started working on Monster Sanctuary (end of 2015) there were not so many indie monster taming games yet.

Tactics is a massive part of Monster Sanctuary – I swapped monsters and re-specced multiple times on my journey to completing the game. Was this always a core value within the game? How difficult was the process of balancing each individual monster?

Yes, this was very important part of the development, that’s the part we wanted the game to shine. We think Pokemon lacks strategy, monster customization and challenge, this was what we wanted to make different.

We had the community involved during the majority of the development, by providing an early demo version, beta versions, Steam Early Access and carefully listening to the feedback of our players.

What other games do you guys take inspiration from? I can see games such as Pokemon, Metroid, Final Fantasy all wrapped up within one game.

I’d add “Azure Dreams”, “Ragnarok Online” – JRPGs as a whole, but maybe also even some aspects of Souls games.

I have been following you guys on twitter and seeing the onster redesign and intrpuduction of new monsters – What is the future for Monster Sanctuary and how long do you hope to support this title?

We plan to release a bigger DLC for free soon. After that, we’ll mostly focus on our new project (which will also be a monster taming game) and only release small balancing updates from time to time.

How many people worked on Monster Sanctuary?

It started as a one man freetime project. In 2018 when I launched the Kickstarter, Anton (my brother) joined working on the game part time. After Early Access launch, we had Steven help us with the remaining music tracks and Adam with the monster pixel art as freelancers. After the full launch, we started to ramp up the team for the DLC and our next project, we are 9 people by now!

Are there any other games on the cards at Moi Ray games? – Monster Sanctuary is a master class in both indie gaming and within its own genre, is there potential for you guys to attempt other much loved genres?

Kinda, we will do a Monster Taming game again, but we will add Roguelite this time to the mix.

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