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Tangledeep Dev Interview: Switch at 23% of lifetime PC sales after one month, DLC is confirmed for Switch

Tangledeep is one of the best roguelike experiences on the Nintendo Switch to date. With deep tactical combat, a wide variety of skills and jobs to learn, and a farming and crafting system for supporting yourself, there’s nothing quite like it available on the eShop. Even RPG fans who usually dislike roguelikes will find Adventure Mode very accommodating, as it removes permadeath and the stress behind most roguelike design.

We caught up with lead developer Andrew Aversa to ask him about a few questions about development of the game. Like most developers, Aversa has confirmed that the Switch porting process is very easy. Tangledeep has done remarkably well on the Nintendo Switch, which means the platform will be seeing the Legend of Shara DLC later on.

Right now, the developers are hard at work on the first patch to address some save file issues found by players. Somehow save files are getting corrupted and are unplayable until a fix is offered. We encountered the problem when playing the game for our Tangledeep review, so hopefully the first patch will be live soon.

If you haven’t played Tangledeep yet, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to get started.

1. Tangledeep is a traditional roguelike, which are usually better controlled with a mouse and keyboard. However, the controls for the game are very intuitive. How long did it take to find a control scheme you were happy with for the game’s controller debut?

Thanks! We were working on controller/gamepad support pretty early in development. It was important for me to be able to support mouse, keyboard or gamepad independently instead of requiring that you use a combination. Once we started working on the Switch port, we continued to refine things over another year or so.

2. What made you target the Nintendo Switch as the primary console for release over XB1/PS4?

For one thing, we had way more requests for a Switch version than for those other consoles. But I also thought the portable aspect of the Switch would lend itself well to a game like Tangledeep that can be played for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours at a time. Also, I thought this type of game (pixel art, dungeon crawler, RPG) would appeal to Switch owners.

On February 11, the official Tangledeep Twitter account shared the news that the game had entered the top 10 charts on the Japanese eShop for download only titles. That’s a massive success for a game that has been out on the platform for less than a month.

3. We already know the game has been a great success for you in Japan, but how about worldwide?

Considering how small our team is, the sales have been great. The Switch version is around 23% of our lifetime PC sales already, and it’s been less than a month. We’re very happy.

4. How did your team and the idea for Tangledeep form?

I’ve always wanted to make a roguelike. I grew up playing lots of dungeon crawlers and RPGs – on PC and Nintendo consoles. Those games inspired me to come up with my own game ideas, but I didn’t have the skills or resources to execute them until a few years ago when I decided to dive in and really give game development a shot.

I ended up finding three fantastic freelance pixel artists; two through my existing network of contacts, and one through the TIGSource forums. Then my good friend and mentor, Jim Shepard – who taught me almost everything I know about programming – ended up joining the team when we were about 18 months into development. He not only did the Switch port almost entirely himself, but he also helped fix up a lot of my older code – and he wrote a lot of the game’s story, flavor text, and dialogue.

5. Are there any mechanics you left out of the game that you wish you would have explored?

Nothing major! If anything, I got a little carried away. There is a lot of content in the game – hundreds of hours worth, in fact! If you want to maximize your character, experiment with different builds or take on New Game+ mode, you can easily do so in
Tangledeep.

One controversial aspect of the game is that the developers were initially not very committal when asked whether the current Legend of Shara DLC would make its way to the console. I wanted to clear up any confusion and asked Andrew if we’ll be seeing the DLC on Switch.

6. Will the DLC for Tangledeep be coming to Nintendo Switch?

That is the plan. However, we don’t have a timeline yet because we need to figure out how hard it will be.

Legend of Shara is currently in Early Access on Steam for PC users and just got its first official trailer, which you can watch below.

The new trailer for the upcoming Legend of Shara DLC currently in Early Access on Steam.

7. Was the port from PC to Switch smooth for you or did you experience any hiccups?

Getting the game to simply run on Switch was surprisingly easy. That part took only a few days! It’s a testament to how far development tools like Unity have come. The hard parts were mostly related to optimization. This is both technical – like making sure the game would load quickly, or run at a consistently high frame rate – and qualitative (i.e., how the controls feel, how UIs work, etc.).

Much of the game’s UI was originally designed for mouse and keyboard, so we had to rethink a lot of that – but now that we’ve done it once, I’d say the next game should be much easier to port!

8. Any advice for indie developers who want to see their game on Switch?

Test, test, test, polish – and then test some more! If your game isn’t out yet, start building a community so you can find the most dedicated players. Most indie devs don’t have money for dedicated QA, so inviting players into an alpha or beta test is the only practical way to find bugs, fix balance, and polish your game. Try to work out as many bugs as possible before you start porting, since debugging on Switch is a lot more challenging than it is on PC!

I’d like to thank Andrew for answering our questions about the development of Tangledeep on Switch. Despite some launch hiccups with corrupted save files, the game is worth it for anyone who enjoys tactical RPGs. I described the job system in the game in my review as being like Octopath Traveler squished into one character instead of eight.


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