As a good story writer, you have to guide the player’s attention.
Ask yourself what the monkeys are “for” in story terms. If you go to an obvious amount of trouble to code them, then the player will expect them to be important to the plot. If they’re just a “hey, don’t forget you’re in a jungle!” effect, then a deliberately vague reference to “somewhere in the lush foliage, monkeys howl and jabber” might be more appropriate.For example, we often want to implement “soft” boundaries to the map, so that the player trying to travel in an unimplemented direction gets an appropriate, rather than immersion-breaking response, e.g.:
We go to quite a lot of trouble to hide the machine behind the world, with the idea that players can then more easily enter into the spirit of the game, but sometimes we want the machine to peek through just enough that the player gets a hint that they’re wasting their time pursuing their current line of play.
For example, we often want to implement “soft” boundaries to the map, so that the player trying to travel in an unimplemented direction gets an appropriate, rather than immersion-breaking response, e.g.:
Instead of going north in* the beach, say “The surf looks far too rough and dangerous.”
Instead of going northeast in the beach, try going north. Instead of going northwest in the beach, try going north.
Now whenever the player attempts to move in a northerly/seaward direction, they not only get an appropriate message, but get the same message: experienced gamers will quickly recognize the subtext and not waste any further time, whereas if we’d implemented three different messages for the three directions: say, one about the sea being too rough around the rocks, one about it being too deep to wade, and one about suspecting there are sharks about, the player might compare the three messages and think “AHA! So I have to build a raft, eh?” And then get frustrated trying to work out how to do it when all we meant was “forget the sea: the game’s all about the island.”