Sumo Digital considering Snake Pass DLC, as well as a sequel

A portion of a Nintendo UK interview with Sumo Digital...

NUK: What can fans of Snake Pass expect next from Noodle?

SD: As we were creating Snake Pass we constantly had ideas that we weren’t able to implement. There’s so much potential still left in the idea that I think everybody who worked on it would love to realise that potential in either the form of DLC or maybe a sequel.

Especially for DLC. When you make DLC, you’re going to assume that everyone who will buy that has fully finished and enjoyed the rest of the game. So we don’t have to worry any more about difficulty; we know that everyone who is playing the DLC has mastered Noodle. And there’s so many crazy things that Noodle could still do, if only we were sure that people have the skills. So if and when we go DLC, you’ll get some really cool things that we know he can do.

Snake Pass Slithers Into Number One Spot For First Ever European Nintendo eShop Chart

April 10th, 2017 - Sheffield, United Kingdom - Independent developer Sumo Digital, the studio behind AAA blockbusters Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed and LittleBigPlanet 3, today announced that Snake Pass, its slithery physics platformer, has secured the number one spot in the European Nintendo eShop chart, topping sales in United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. Snake Pass saw off fangtastic competition from the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Snipperclips - Cut it out, together! and Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove.

“When I first had the idea for Snake Pass, I had no clue where the game would take me,” said Seb Liese, creator of Snake Pass. “But here we are today, having secured the number one spot on the Nintendo eShop chart in Europe. It’s been such a pleasure to hear about everyone enjoying the game.”

“I’m hugely proud of the studio and I know that everyone at Sumo is thrilled that the game has resonated with players to such a degree,” said Paul Porter, COO of Sumo Digital. “We always knew Snake Pass was a great concept, but we’ve been totally surprised by the scale of positive reaction to the game. To be the first ever number one on the Nintendo eShop is a piece of hiss-tory I can get behind.”

Snake Pass is available now on Nintendo Switch™ via the eShop, Xbox One via the Xbox Games Store, PlayStation 4 via the PlayStation Store and PC via Steam or the Windows Store. Snake Pass supports HDR on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One S, for players with an HDR compatible TV.

When a mysterious intruder threatens the tranquillity of their home, it’s up to Noodle the Snake and Doodle the Hummingbird to embark on a daring journey to save the day. Controlling this dynamic duo, you must ‘think like a snake’ and slither, curl and climb your way through 15 levels across 4 increasingly challenging themed worlds. Snake Pass is a unique take on the platforming genre that is intuitive and fun to learn, but will gradually test your snake charming skills to the limit!

To visit the official Snake Pass website visit: www.snake-pass.com
Follow Snake Pass & Sumo Digital on Twitter: @Snake_Pass & @SumoDigitalLtd
Like Snake Pass on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SnakePassGame/

Sumo Digital shares a cut idea from Snake Pass

A portion of a Nintendo UK interview with Sumo Digital...

NUK: How has the game design changed from that original demo to now?

SD: When I presented the initial idea we were planning to make Noodle grow as you collect things, but as we started experimenting we realised that the length that he is now is the optimum length. It’s currently 35 spheres long and we’ve experimented with everything between one sphere, which is basically a head and a tail, up to maybe 70 spheres just to find when the climbing feels the best. We realised that as soon as you’re much shorter you can’t climb anymore, so we almost had to build a separate game for when you’re short, when you can’t climb. We didn’t have the time and the budget, initially, to realize that in a good way so it would not have felt good enough to really include. And the same thing applies when you make him longer; even five spheres more, the element of gravity pulling your tail becomes more and more present so it just becomes a nuisance, this long thing you’re constantly dragging around with you. We ended up landing on the optimum value of 35 segments. We maybe could have played it between 25 and 35, but in the game that would have only been a short amount, so it wouldn’t justify adding a wrong mechanic to the game.

Sumo Digital shares more insight into how easy it was to bring Snake Pass to Switch

A portion of a GamerPros interview with Sumo Digital creator Seb Liese...

GP: It seemed that the Switch took really well to Unreal, and it was a smooth process for you. There weren’t any hitches at all?

SL: No. We only got our dev-kits for the Switch around the end of November last year. In December, lots of people had to take holidays (because they never do), so it was only in January that we really started looking at the port. The coders were saying that within seven days’ work approximately, they had it fully running on the Switch.

After that, of course, there were some tweaks. You’d notice that certain things didn’t work well enough on the Switch, so you’d have to make a couple of tweaks here and there. But yes, the initial process from it being purely PC to having it on a handheld was about seven days from what I’ve heard. I think in the future, that will be even quicker, because essentially, Unreal has an “export as Switch” button now, and because both Unreal and Nintendo have worked closely with us to smooth all this out. I think in the future it will be even simpler for other companies, and for ourselves as well.

GoNintendo Video - My Parents Play: Snake Pass

Snake Pass has caught some flack due to its controls. Are they too complicated? Let's see what my parents can make of them!

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Sumo Digital discusses just how quickly Snake Pass came together on Switch

Coming from Sumo Digital's business development director Ian Richardson...

"There were some slight issues at first. Partly because Nintendo was still working on the back end. But we worked very closely with them in terms of what we needed. They gave us a kind of roadmap so we understood when certain things would be put in place.

We had a grasp of what the technology was, but the big unknown was how quickly we could actually port the game. Turns out we could do that very quickly. It has come with its challenges, but we're a very experienced development company and we've got a hell of a lot of talent internally. We put our best guys on it to make sure we had it converted very quickly.

We got the code across onto Switch - or at least certain parts of it - in a matter of hours, so we started becoming more confident that we could achieve what we wanted and within the timescales we were looking at. Within seven days, we had it fully playable.

Up until the day that we flew out to GDC, we were still working on the Switch version to optimise the code. Nintendo are really happy with it, and we're extremely happy with it. But without the support of Nintendo, Unreal and Nvidia, our job would have been a lot more difficult. They were key - particularly Nintendo, who were keen to have it as a launch title - and we're extremely happy we can launch all versions on the same day."

Snake Pass devs talk Switch performance, sales, cut ideas, amiibo interest, physical release & much more

Coming from a Sumo Digital Reddit AMA...

No plans for performance-improving patch on Switch:

Hello, we currently are not planning to release a patch specifically aimed at improving performance. That said, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the game and some of these improvements could potentially result in better performance, as evidenced by the first patch we released.

Considering the time frame we worked on the Switch version, we didn't want to take too many concessions in gutting the volume of stuff in comparison to the other platforms. Snake Pass is a rather CPU/GPU heavy game where things like the accuracy of the Snake physics that take into account all sorts of friction from Noodle and his surrounding environments, grass density/interactivity, no baked lighting, etc. is intense! As much as we don't want to, some things have to give to ensure the best balance of content and performance, but it's still early days in Switch development and we're always looking for ways to improve the experience for everyone.

On the character names:

We have had many lists of names going around within the team but none of them really stuck until one of us suggested Noodle (which is obviously a nod to the danger noodle meme). As for his hummingbird friend, for a while we were considering the name Honeydew but that didn't sit quite right with everyone. That's why we had an online contest which resulted in the name Doodle (Pinch was runner-up).

On cut ideas:

There have been many ideas and prototypes for mechanics that have been cut for reasons of budget and time constraints or because they diluted the gameplay experience and the physical nature of the game. Examples would be a "coil->spring mechanic" and an "interactive worldmap".

On Switch sales:

I can only say we are very happy with how well the game is doing on the Switch :)

On a physical release:

We're exploring our options.

On dev challenges:

The biggest challenge in terms of gameplay design was to find the right balance between realism and playability for the "snake physics". Mapping this to a controller in a way that was both fun and intuitive to control was a big part of this as well.

On additional content:

As for additional content, again we're exploring what can work and work best, especially considering how unique the controls are anyway!

On the Switch porting process:

Thanks to amazing support from both Nintendo and Epic, the porting process was relatively smooth and painless. Personally I see a lot of potential in the Switch. The fact that it runs UE4 the way it does means that there will be a steady stream of awesome games in the (near) future.

On a Noodle/Doodle amiibo:

I have no idea if it's in the cards, but I just want to say that I would absolutely LOVE this to happen.

On the time trial mode coming to Switch:

It was a tough call to make considering how we wanted to ensure we were able to launch the Switch version with all the other platforms day and date on top of how much time we had to work on the Switch to begin with. Needless to say, we are getting Time Trials in a future patch.

On controls:

It took many hundreds of hours of tweaking to get to the final result. It was difficult but fun at the same time because as the controls improved, Noodle was able to do more and more and a big part of this phase was discovering for ourselves what this thing we had created could actually do :)

On supporting Switch with more games:

All depends on the project, but we'd definitely love to keep working with Nintendo and the Switch. And as a Switch owner myself, I want this to happen!

On Noodle's colors:

He went through a couple of iterations. We settled on the final colours in part due to the pleasing aesthetic, and how well he contrasts with most of the scenery in the game. The banding also helps give the player a better visual about how quickly and in which direction he's moving.

On the potential for a sequel

We’d definitely love to continue Noodle’s and Doodle’s adventures, so here’s to hoping!

Digital Foundry - Snake Pass: Complete Tech Analysis + Switch/PC/PS4/Xbox One Comparison

John goes in-depth with Sumo Digital's charming physics-based platformer. Visuals are put into comparison between Xbox One, PC, Switch at last.

Snake Pass - Switch Vs. PS4 graphics, post Switch version update

Better...worse...same? I honestly can't tell. I'm too busy enjoying the game, just as I was before the update!