Valve is launching its own handheld console with the goal of making as much of the Steam library portable as possible. But that means developers are having to prepare games to work on a new system - Valheim developer Iron Gate is one such studio, bringing its Viking-themed survival sandbox to the Deck.
"Valheim worked pretty much as-is on the Steam Deck without any real issues, both the Linux version and through proton" Iron Gate programmer and designer Jonathan Smårs told TheGamer. "Mainly we are working on a few controller accessibility issues and some font sizes to make sure everything is readable."
Given the Steam Deck is portable, it has a much smaller screen. Accessibility will be a vital issue in that regard as developers will have to work to translate what is designed for larger monitors or TVs to those smaller screens - Valheim is already making that leap. This could be tougher for more PC-oriented titles like strategy simulation games, but we've already seen the likes of Civilization on Nintendo Switch which has a zoom function. Hopefully, other devs will take note and lean into accessibility as Iron Gate is.
Preparing for the Steam Deck's OS is another issue developers are having to tackle, as well as factoring in the unique controller. However, studios with ports for Switch are a step ahead - Valheim currently isn't available on Nintendo's own handheld, but Hypercharge, a game all about action figures and toys coming to life to fight each other, is.
"We made sure to do a proper Linux build of the game," Hypercharge: Unboxed told TheGamer. "We already had support for Nintendo Switch, so features like gyro and the handheld nature were already set up and working. We also internally had Steam Controller Support, which means that button prompts had been implemented."
The transition sounds as though it'll be smooth, even if it takes a little extra work.
What's most exciting about the Switch is having so many titles available right off the bat: "We think it's fantastic," Hypercharge said. "The device is truly something special. To have that much power in your hands is incredible. The different games from other developers we've tested have been running impressively well, with not much setup required for most games. Seeing our own game be able to run at full quality 60fps is something we never dreamed of seeing on a handheld."
"We are very impressed with the Steam Deck," Smårs added. "We are very excited for its release. Having such a huge library of games available on day one should be a very interesting prospect for on the go and console gamers alike."
Qwilfish's Pokemon Legends: Arceus regional variant could be one of the best ones yet