Honestly, so much stuff from my childhood inspires my approach to monsters in games, lol. I was that kid who grew up reading Jeffrey and the Third Grade Ghost, Fifth Grade Monsters, Samantha Slade: Monster Sitter and the like, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t every year. I do have games where you have just outright Bad Monsters, like the boogeymen in one of my Lasers & Feelings hacks I’m poking at (Stuffing & Stitches, where you play as stuffed animals and other toys fighting monsters to protect their children, inspired by several other games I’ve seen out there with that concept but simplified way down), but for the most part, monsters are at least as likely to be characters’ friends, or the non-villain-protagonist characters themselves, as not.
Way more specific, though, is how much Ruthanna Emrys’s work has inspired me, and to a lesser degree Anne M. Pillsworth’s YA novels as well:
I can’t even explain how much these takes on Lovecraftian fiction have done for me. I was already inclined towards “soft Lovecraft” (or maybe Cosmic Fantasy rather than Cosmic Horror?), since a lot of Lovecraft’s ideas that he plays for horror are actually pretty uplifting/reassuring for me personally, and a lot of his fiction never managed to convince me of the evil and danger of a lot of the eldritch beings in them, but these ladies just solidified the feel and direction I want my own works to go in.
Three of my four major projects right now are based on my own Cosmic Fantasy sensibilities to various degrees, and those would be a lot more nebulous without Emrys and Pillsworth’s assorted works. (Not all of which I’ve even named: “Geldman’s Pharmacy” by Pillsworth and especially “Those Who Watch” by Emrys are two short stories that almost perfectly nail what I want!)