Terraria vs. Minecraft Adventure Update! Or: Questcraft?

Terraria released on May 16 of 2011. Minecraft released June 13 of 2009. Almost two years apart, and even though comparisons are made, these two games were very different.
 
Until now(?).

Minecraft 1.8, "The Adventure Update", promises towns with NPC's, certain objectives, randomly generated dungeons, actual reasons for fighting enemies, critical hits and further expansion in combat and so much more. Those are mostly things that Terraria did out the gate. Using the fact that it had dungeons, loot, a central town, and a goal in mind towards the end-game was what differentiated it from Notch's beast. If Minecraft successfully adds these elements in the next update, Blue's 2D Experiment in the "Crafting" genre has no reason for being popular. It would be a different world in a different perspective with some different loot. But it would decidedly be a Minecraft clone anyways, and down the road, most will forget that Terraria was the first one to add focus in to the incredibly popular experience that is, well, crafting better pickaxes to mine more. 

 

Bosses? In my Minecraft? SOON YOU SAY!?

Minecraft is a phenomenon. It creates a vicious cycle. You build a house to hide while you mine. You mine to build a new house. You build a new house to explore a new mine. See where this is going? Well, millions of people also see it, but that doesn't stop them from playing almost obsessively, and even more so in the long days of the summer. Terraria on the other hand, while containing the same basic trappings of Minecraft, is based around loot and exploration in a 2D world that is much more manageable. You control your surroundings, and you know where the edges of the world are, and your entire goal is reaching those limits to obtain the best loot in the game in the higher level zones, it just so happens that to obtain some of that loot, you must dig and mine materials to craft some of the essentials.
 
 
So now you take that formula and apply it to Minecraft. You add towns around the world. You add dungeons with loot, you add bosses, you add, essentially, an objective that is outside the vicious cycle. You add an end. Something that Terraria has. Once you have the best loot and built an awesome castle, you don't have anything else to do, except do it again in multiplayer. But at least it's not building another house for even more mining. And this idea is very similar to a project that's generating some buzz called Cube World. 
 
 
 Kind of reminds me of something...
The whole idea behind the still-very-early Cube World, is Zelda+Minecraft. It sounds awesome. You get crafting, building, exploration, mixed with items, dungeons with specific tile-sets, bosses and different monsters, all wrapped in one pretty block-based package. Something that it seems the other two main contenders were heading towards anyways. But it really does make you think. Adventures in Minecraft sound awesome, but the premise itself is enough to let your imagination run wild. With obvious inspirations from Zelda, Metroidvanias, and RPG's all popping up in the genre, how improbable is it that we end up with a sandbox that allows for Water Temple's, and flying cities, and amazing loot in randomly generated towns so detailed they seem unique. How long until it's no longer  the vicious cycle, and we simply integrate it in to a quest, a purpose...an adventure?
 
 
 How long until this is Minecraft?
 
We can't deny it any longer. It's popular. People love it, and they demonstrate it. They buy the products. They spend endless hours in them, and they get excited every time an update shows up. Where will these updates end? When will they end? We can only dream, and those of us that play these games (And love them) can only speculate on what the next version of our desktop fantasies will include. And now that Notch has decided to include mod support in the beta, the community will have even bigger access, with limitless potential. We don't know where this will go, but we can only hope that everything solves itself out for the better, and that there's room in the genre for experimentation. 
 
 
 
For now, we can only wait. And there's no better way to let days go by, than playing some Minecraft.
6 Comments
6 Comments
Edited by Trejik

Terraria released on May 16 of 2011. Minecraft released June 13 of 2009. Almost two years apart, and even though comparisons are made, these two games were very different.
 
Until now(?).

Minecraft 1.8, "The Adventure Update", promises towns with NPC's, certain objectives, randomly generated dungeons, actual reasons for fighting enemies, critical hits and further expansion in combat and so much more. Those are mostly things that Terraria did out the gate. Using the fact that it had dungeons, loot, a central town, and a goal in mind towards the end-game was what differentiated it from Notch's beast. If Minecraft successfully adds these elements in the next update, Blue's 2D Experiment in the "Crafting" genre has no reason for being popular. It would be a different world in a different perspective with some different loot. But it would decidedly be a Minecraft clone anyways, and down the road, most will forget that Terraria was the first one to add focus in to the incredibly popular experience that is, well, crafting better pickaxes to mine more. 

 

Bosses? In my Minecraft? SOON YOU SAY!?

Minecraft is a phenomenon. It creates a vicious cycle. You build a house to hide while you mine. You mine to build a new house. You build a new house to explore a new mine. See where this is going? Well, millions of people also see it, but that doesn't stop them from playing almost obsessively, and even more so in the long days of the summer. Terraria on the other hand, while containing the same basic trappings of Minecraft, is based around loot and exploration in a 2D world that is much more manageable. You control your surroundings, and you know where the edges of the world are, and your entire goal is reaching those limits to obtain the best loot in the game in the higher level zones, it just so happens that to obtain some of that loot, you must dig and mine materials to craft some of the essentials.
 
 
So now you take that formula and apply it to Minecraft. You add towns around the world. You add dungeons with loot, you add bosses, you add, essentially, an objective that is outside the vicious cycle. You add an end. Something that Terraria has. Once you have the best loot and built an awesome castle, you don't have anything else to do, except do it again in multiplayer. But at least it's not building another house for even more mining. And this idea is very similar to a project that's generating some buzz called Cube World. 
 
 
 Kind of reminds me of something...
The whole idea behind the still-very-early Cube World, is Zelda+Minecraft. It sounds awesome. You get crafting, building, exploration, mixed with items, dungeons with specific tile-sets, bosses and different monsters, all wrapped in one pretty block-based package. Something that it seems the other two main contenders were heading towards anyways. But it really does make you think. Adventures in Minecraft sound awesome, but the premise itself is enough to let your imagination run wild. With obvious inspirations from Zelda, Metroidvanias, and RPG's all popping up in the genre, how improbable is it that we end up with a sandbox that allows for Water Temple's, and flying cities, and amazing loot in randomly generated towns so detailed they seem unique. How long until it's no longer  the vicious cycle, and we simply integrate it in to a quest, a purpose...an adventure?
 
 
 How long until this is Minecraft?
 
We can't deny it any longer. It's popular. People love it, and they demonstrate it. They buy the products. They spend endless hours in them, and they get excited every time an update shows up. Where will these updates end? When will they end? We can only dream, and those of us that play these games (And love them) can only speculate on what the next version of our desktop fantasies will include. And now that Notch has decided to include mod support in the beta, the community will have even bigger access, with limitless potential. We don't know where this will go, but we can only hope that everything solves itself out for the better, and that there's room in the genre for experimentation. 
 
 
 
For now, we can only wait. And there's no better way to let days go by, than playing some Minecraft.
Posted by Sitoxity

Just a few things to comment on.

1. Minecraft's Adventure Update is 1.8, not 1.7. The game is currently 1.7.3. More importantly, you said Minecraft was "released" in 2009. This isn't true, although we were able to buy and play it, it was not released as it still is not a finished Product, whereas Terraria actually is. It is not fair to judge both games as finished products when Minecraft isn't scheduled to be finished until the end of the year.

2. There are already dungeons in Minecraft. They're just rare and don't really contain that much interesting things.

3. I, personally, haven't heard Notch say anything about adding Bosses to Minecraft. Care to link to this?

4. Terraria doesn't have NPC villages until you physically build them yourself. The way Notch has described his, they'll already be there.

5. Even with the Adventure Update, Minecraft and Terraria will be two completely different games. The only similarity is in the mining, even creating things acts differently in these games. The reasons behind them are also very different. With what Notch wants to make Minecraft, it doesn't take much of what Terraria is.

Even when the Adventure Update is finished, I see myself enjoying both games equally for different reasons. They don't play the same and they don't feel the same. I think they'll coexist easily, seeing as if people just try them both out they'll find the differences in them. I doubt you'll ever see some of the fantastic things in Terraria in Minecraft, and vice versa.

Edited by Trejik
@Sitoxity:
1:My bad on the update number, quick google searches turned up that it was "supposed" to be 1.7, it's actually 1.8. Thanks for the correction. I personally consider that once a playable build, be it a beta or a finished product, is released, the game should also be considered released. If it weren't, that really wouldn't make it a fair comparison with games that are technically "Released". Especially if you're charging for it. But honestly, this is a completely different discussion.
 
2: Not in the way that they are going to be implemented in 1.8. Just like the new biome code could very well be related to the new dungeons.
 
3: No link, it's all in the realm of possibilities, just like it isn't confirmed that loot will be a component of the update, but along with "More interesting combat and enemies" comes the idea of bosses.
 
4: It's still an NPC village. Something that Minecraft doesn't have currently, and will once 1.8 is released. 
 
5: That's exactly where I'm going with this post. I wonder how those differences will be maintained as the genre drifts towards the same direction. And even if we think Minecraft will never go in that direction, user mods, and in the end, whatever Notch decides, is where the game will go.
Posted by amomjc

@Sitoxity said:

Just a few things to comment on.

1. Minecraft's Adventure Update is 1.8, not 1.7. The game is currently 1.7.3. More importantly, you said Minecraft was "released" in 2009. This isn't true, although we were able to buy and play it, it was not released as it still is not a finished Product, whereas Terraria actually is. It is not fair to judge both games as finished products when Minecraft isn't scheduled to be finished until the end of the year.

Using the Beta is just a tool to make it so players like you second guess yourselves when comparing it other games. Minecraft has released and should be noted as so. When you charge for a product, have continued development, and an actual product not just closed-testers are playing, you have thus created a finished product.

Like I said, Notch using "beta" is just so he can sit under the radar and not be overwhelmed with "this game isn't finished!" propaganda.

Posted by Sitoxity

@csoup: Sorry, mate, but that's just not how game development works. It's not a finished product until it actually is finished. Players are paying for early access and to help test the game, the bonus being not having to pay for the final product and a nice discount.

Posted by MattBosten

I think that this update of Minecraft is less of a reaction to Terraria and more of a necessary thing if it was to be ported to 360.