2D

Terraria…

Terraria (@Terraria_Blue) was release yesterday on Steam. As I understood it, it was the top selling game yesterday as well with a lot of folks, like myself, waiting in line to take a peek. It’s by no means flawless, but I’m not going to say I was disappointed.

What is it?

If you’ve not seen the official trailer, I highly recommend it before you cast judgment simply based on the “type” of game it is. Not that I know anyone as short-sighted as that or anything…

Terraria is a side-scrolling 2D action adventure game with a few very familiar hooks we all know and love.

It’s got co-op and terrain deformation. It’s got building and blocks. It even has pickaxes!

“Ooo! Ooo! Doesn’t that make it Minecraft?!”

No.

This is commonly touted around YouTube and the like from initial impressions as though every indie game that comes out now is going to be a Minecraft clone.

A note on the Minecraft clone, koi: Pixels are square; 3D squares are cubes… get over it. There were thousands of games before Minecraft to use squares – there will be thousands more after.

With that said, if I were to say that Terraria didn’t take a page from Notch’s book I would think myself a liar.

So basically, you get to run around and kill baddies (way more than Minecraft, by the way) with your friends in a 2D platformer with create-able/destructible terrain.

Now for some details.

Worlds

World generation is a bit slow initially, but that’s not a complaint really. The real hassle comes in with loading one of the levels. For the first bit, I’d recommend rolling a Small world just for the settling and load times. There are three variations of world size, but Medium was annoying enough to try and bounce out to from the Small I was serving last night for the gang.

Other than that, the worlds seem to go on forever vertically. You’ll really just be stopped in digging by encountering harder and harder mobs as you go deeper. Horizontally, we’ve found a new biome and something that somewhat appears to be a dungeon or quest, but it’s too difficult for us currently.

Characters

Character creation is comical. You’re a tiny little sprite that you can pick ~20 hair styles on. Then you’re given +/- control on the literal RGB values of various components of your look (hair color, shirt color, pants color, etc…). I created my Twitter avatar (as always) and it worked out fine. Only problem was he has minimum values in place that prevented me from having my black cardigan.

The important part about characters is that they persist. Yes. The characters persist… independent of the worlds they play in. That means that if I play my local toon to get all of these epic items (materials, accessories, weapons, armor, etc…), I can go hop on a buddy’s server and have everything that I left the other world with.

Servers

Playing a co-op game obviously requires a server. It would have been nice if Terraria would have offered a master-server system, but no such luck. Running a server is pretty simple though, and it appears that any world you create can become a server. My only real complaint, and it is a complaint, is that you can only enter an IP into the server (not a host name). Since no one is providing dedicated serving off this game yet, this is a huge pain. I shouldn’t have to memorize everyone’s IP address. Actually, I shouldn’t even have to memorize my own.

tl;dr

Terraria is an awesome, creative, cooperative, 2D adventure. It currently runs ~$10, and is worth every penny. It has some growing to do, but it’s exactly one day after an indie game release, so what do you expect?

Buy it.

That is all.

RageSpline…

I bought RageSpline last week and wanted to take a moment to give my thoughts and opinions of it.

First off, let me say that Keely (@JuhaKiili) has done an amazing job on this little marvel. Given that this set of tools was simply intended to assist him in making a particular game (RageCube) it is truly inspirational how professional and capable this turned out.

What it is…

RageSpline is an amazingly simple way to draw vector graphics in Unity. It can help you improve performance by reducing your loaded texture memory (which is very important on mobile devices). It can greatly simplify a lot of the process of creating a 2D game in Unity if the Flash-style cartoon look is what you’re after. It will generate colliders from the shapes you draw to allow you to create levels and simple objects to physically respond.

What it is not…

It is not Flash in Unity. Don’t expect this to be an entire solution to writing a game. Sure, you may be able to pull that off as a challenge, but that’s not what it appears to be there for. It’s not a cartoon animation system. As a matter of fact, it currently does not support animation at all. It is also not forgiving of the predefined coordinate mapping where colliders are concerned, but that’s another story. 😉

What it will be…

Of course, this is subject to change and whatnot, but Keely has said that he intends to do many things with RageSpline over time. His official comments on the matter can be found here, but these are just my highlights. It will have animation support at some point. This alone would easily double the value of this tool. He will be working to improve the collider support, which again, will make this even more amazing. It will also get SVG importing and exporting so you can work on your vector resources in other (more familiar) software than Unity (Inkscape, Illustrator, etc…). He will also be improving upon an already solid set of drawing widgets and capabilities.

My final word on RageSpline is this…

If you have the $50 (USD) to drop on this, do it. Not kidding.

I had a plan for this. I was going to write Fizzle with this solely comprising its visual resources. That didn’t work for a few reasons, but all-in-all, I’m still extremely pleased with the purchase. I am using it to create 2D resources for Fizzle still, just not all of them, and let me tell you – it’s fun.

He’s made 2D resource creation not only possible in Unity, but fun and easy as well. I have no drawing talent, and I’m still creating vector drawings very easily with this utility. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed if you know what you’re going in for.

Also, check out the Unity forum post for some really cool scenes and drawings that other users have already posted.

When it comes down to it, I’m glad it’s in my arsenal.