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Irish games developer gets Dicey Dungeons indie title onto the Nintendo Switch

Good news Dicey Dungeons fans: Irishman Terry Cavanagh from Tydavnet, Co. Monaghan has announced that his popular indie game is to be ported on the Nintendo Switch.

‘The switch port of Dicey Dungeons is something I’ve wanted to do ever since the game launched – you kind-of can’t release a game anymore without people asking, “when’s it coming to Switch?”, Terry jokes.

‘So, we got dev-kits last year, and have been working on the port actively behind the scenes since then.’ There’s no official release date on the game right now, but it is hoped to be out later this year.

In Dicey Dungeons, you have been transformed into giant walking dice and must use your skills to battle to the end of an ever-changing dungeon. Players can choose between one of six different characters, each with their own very distinctive playstyles and abilities.

The premise is this: Fight monsters, find better loot and level up your hero in this lighthearted deck-building roguelike.

Terry went to school in St. Macartan’s in Monaghan Town and spent a lot of his spare time as a teenager making games. ‘I’ve basically always wanted to be a game designer’ he tells me.

The budding game’s dev went to Dublin to study Maths but says that he wasn’t much of a student and after a brief stint in the banks he decided to make a go at working on games.

He has been in the industry since 2007 and has released three commercial games VVVVVV, Super Hexagon, and Dicey Dungeons. He’s also worked on a range of smaller non-commercial games in between.

This is Terry’s second game on the Switch. ‘A few years ago, I worked with Nicalis to publish my 2010 game VVVVVV on the console,’ he tells me.

‘But for Dicey Dungeons, I’ve been determined to do everything without the aid of a publisher, all the way through. That goes for the Switch port too, so we’ve been doing it all ourselves. I’m working with a friend in London, Ruari O’Sullivan, who has a lot of experience with this, having worked on two Switch games already (OVERWHELM and Wilmot’s Warehouse).’

Will Lady Luck be on your side?

The biggest challenge with this port was getting the controls right, Terry says. Dicey Dungeons originally came out on the PC and Mac and therefore is controlled entirely with a mouse.

‘Porting a mouse interface to gamepad is really hard to do well, but it’s crucial if the game is going to work on a console and feel natural to play,’ he says. ‘We’ve spent months just on that problem alone, trying to really nail it. I think it’s been worth it – it just feels so natural to play on a controller now.’

Apart from working on the controls, nothing else has changed with the game itself. It’s the same Dicey Dungeons with the same features – just running on Switch.

The developer recently made a kind gesture by releasing a large limited amount of his games for free for those who were feeling isolated during this challenging time.

‘It’s hard to focus on anything other than the news right now. I hope everyone reading is holding up ok. This has been a very scary week’ Terry says.

You can read all about how Ireland’s communities and businesses are coming together during this pandemic in my county-by-county breakdown here.

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I'm a freelance content creator and a journalist who has a strong desire to do as much as possible in the time I've got left on this planet. I got a taste for storytelling when I interned in Storyful many moons ago and since then have worked for places like WorldIrish (now Irish Central), Her.ie and Lonely Planet. I am constantly curious.

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