Tangiers development is 'back on the rails' following Paratopic's success

Remember Tangiers? The long-troubled surrealist immersive sim has fallen silent several times since its 2013 debut, resurfacing every so often with a promise that things are back on track before vanishing for another few years. There may be good cause to get your hopes up this time, though. With a rebuilt foundation and a brand new team, developer Jessica Harvey now reckons a Tangiers release is a very real possibility.

A sandbox stealth game in the mode of the older Thief games, Tangiers was pitched as a  dreamlike, Dadaist artscape—one where you could loot discarded conversations and toss them around as distractions. It looked neat as hell, but hell was also the word that would come to define the game's development cycle.

Speaking in this week's update, Harvey admits that the past decade left the project a "fragmented mess". Over the last year-and-a-half, though, the game's architecture has been wrangled and rebuilt, with Harvey now confident that development is in a strong place going forwards.

But Tangiers also has Paratopic to thank for its resuscitated development. In 2018, Harvey co-founded Arbitrary Metric as a vehicle for developing indie horror—and while studio alum Doc Burford is now penning games about burying bodies for the mob, the rest of the team has taken on the development of Harvey's surreal project.

"As would make sense, Arbitrary Metric is now "official" developer of Tangiers," wrote Harvey. "Opportunity to build upon past creative successes, exploit our creative dynamics, use reputation earnt, knowledge learnt and relationships built to get Tangiers out the door and make something special out of it.

"In short: Tangiers is no longer a ragged form on life support but actively in development by a wonderfully talented team with adequate funding for the applicable future. Our plans for the game and for bringing it to release should surprise and exceed expectations."

Tangiers still has no firm release date in sight. For now, the team are porting over features from the previous iteration of the game, a process they hope to have wrapped up by April next year. It shouldn't be years before we get another update, though—Harvey hopes to bring us up to speed again with a proper gameplay showcase in January.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.