Inspired by many of the developer's favourite games, most prominently Minecraft, Terraria is a two-dimensional side-scrolling action-adventure sandbox game, with an emphasis on crafting and exploration of randomly generated worlds. Development started in January 2011, and was released through the Steam platform on May 16, 2011. The game has only two credited authors at the moment, with Andrew "Redigit" Spinks as Game Creator/Programmer, and Jeremy "Blue" Guerrette as Production Assistant. The majority of the PR appears to be handled by "Blue" via the fan IRC channel (#terraria-fans on FOSSnet) and Twitter (@Terraria_Blue).
The current graphics set for characters and weapons appears to be a throwback to the 16-bit era, particularly inspired by sprites from adventure and role-playing games. The blocky optical effect is achieved by using a square of 4 same-color pixels as the basic units for every sprite. The player and NPC sprites, are reminiscent of SNES Final Fantasy character artwork. This is subject to change as creation of new artwork has been contracted out by the creators. Music as well appears to be inspired from the same era, and was also contracted out.
Terraria invites the player to explore or dig for building materials, while also continually spawning monsters off-screen. The game challenges the player to immediately start to come up with solutions to questions of shelter, housing, protection, fast travel and ultimately aesthetics and automation. Different armors, weapons, equipment and access to NPCs and Bosses add RPG like progression and enable the player to seek out increasingly difficult depths and environments. Player characters can travel between different offline worlds and online servers, thus making all resources infinite, encouraging heedless creativity, rather than economical resource management.
The worlds in Terraria are randomly generated based on the size of the world selected by the player, with several defined Biomes:
- Snow Biome
- Underground Layer
- Cavern Layer
- The Underworld
- Jungle and Underground Jungle
- Floating Islands
- The Hallow and Underground Hallow (late game)
- The Crimson (an alternative to The Corruption released in v1.2)
Each zone spawns a specific set of monsters, treasure, ore, and/or plants. Some examples are: large glowing underground mushrooms, lakes filled with piranhas, The Corruption, and Hell, filled with lava and dangerous monsters.
Water and lava exhibit dynamic properties and the creeping spread and grows of plants, crystals and even corruption and hallow add a shifting dynamic to the world almost beyond the player's ability to control it, every biome spawning unique monsters. There is also one randomly generated dungeon per world for the player to explore. Pots and treasure chests will be randomly placed for players to find valuable accessories to equip with game-altering affects, such as a "Red Baloon" that increases jump height, or "Hermes Boots" that improve run speed.
Crafting and Building
Buildings and items are created using materials the players gather themselves from the world. Trees can be chopped down and replanted, and various types of dirt and ore can be gathered. Some Crafting stations are created by placing objects on or near each other (For example, placing flasks on a table makes an Alchemy station) while others such as Furnaces are crafted from other items and then placed on a flat surface
Certain items can be created anywhere:
|Torches||3||1 Gel , 1 Wood||Used to light dark areas. Can be placed|
|Wood Platform||1||1 Wood||Can be placed. can be jumped through.|
|Workbench||1||10 Wood||Used to craft objects|
|Flaming Arrows||5||5 Wooden Arrows, 1 Torch||Used in conjunction with a bow|
|Copper/Silver/Gold||100||1 Silver/1 Gold/1 Platinum||Currency used to buy from NPCs|
|Silver/Gold/Platinum||1||100 Copper/100 Silver/100 Gold||Currency used to buy from NPCs|
|Mana Crystal||1||10 Fallen Stars||Increases players' mana|
|Sticky Bomb||1||1 Bomb, 5 Gel||Explosive that sticks to surfaces|
- The workbench allows the player to create basic objects and miscellaneous objects such as walls and basic tools.
- The Sawmill allows for the creation of higher grade wooden objects.
- The Loom allows for the crafting of silks and vanity items
- The Furnace allows the player to craft bricks and bars such as copper bars or gold bars.
- The Anvil's mainly used to craft weapons, armour and tools.
- The Alchemy Station allows you to create potions.
Players have no improvable stats beyond health and mana. Health increases by finding and breaking open underground Heart Containers with a hammer, and then using the Life Crystal item inside for a permanant 20-point HP (to a cap of 400 HP) increase. Mana is increased by collecting 10 falling stars (which only appear at night), and combining them into a Mana Star, which increases maximum mana by 20 points (maximum mana caps out at 200).
Beyond those two stats, player advancement is accomplished by improving their equipment and accessories via exploration, discovery of chests, and destruction of monsters and bosses.
NPCs are attracted to player-built structures based on certain conditions met by the players in the game. The NPCs are attracted by closed off rooms or "houses" that they can each claim as their own and can be assigned to different rooms via the housing interface. For example if all players have 50 silver, a merchant will appear. If a player has more than the default starting health, a nurse will appear.
The criteria for a "house" are:
- Side and back wall, floor, and ceiling. Back wall made out of something other than dirt or dungeon brick.
- Must have a table/workbench and a chair.
- Must have an exit, either a wood platform in the floor or ceiling or a door.
- Must have a light source.
- Must be at least 8 blocks wide and 4 blocks tall.
The current NPCs are the Wizard, Tinkerer, Mechanic, Merchant, Nurse, Arms Dealer, Demolitionist, Dryad, Clothier and Guide (which the world starts with). The general theme is that over time, the player can build a "town" from scratch to provide services to themselves and other players, and return to the town for supplies and healing.
The are a multitude of monster types and variations in the game, including:
These are augmented by " boss" style creatures which can be summoned for battle under certain conditions, giving the player chances at useful in-game rewards and dropping materials necassary for progression onto higher tier items. Some examples are the Eye of Cthulhu, Skeletron, and the Eater of Worlds.
The game is designed with multiplayer in mind, so players can start a server and invite friends. Your character can be used in any of your worlds, and online servers as well. When starting a server, it can be hosted on any of your worlds. This can save a lot of repetition of advancing your character or world when wanting to play with friends. Flags exist for Player versus Player game modes, and you can choose a team color to set player damage. Certain items exist with player/terrain damage in mind, such as thrown grenades that only hurt players and bombs that damage both players and terrain.
- Platforms are extremely useful especially in the early game. they don't need a workbench and providing there's a wall in the backdrop, you can place it anywhere within reach. You can also jump through them and land on them which makes them more manageable than platforms made of blocks. Pressing down on the platform will allow you to drop off the platform
- Whenever possible, a Grappling Hook (1 Hook, 3 Iron Chain) should be crafted to help navigate the environment. when going deeper underground or when exploring on the top level, there will be less and less areas where you can freely place platforms. The grappling Hook extends almost full screen and you are allowed to shoot it again while grappled which allows fast and effective terrain traversal. You can also use other items while grappled which is especially useful when placing torches in dark areas and mining minerals in hard to reach places.
- If playing on a large server, you can keep track of where your friends are in the server by having them join one of the Red, Blue, Yellow, or White Party teams accessible in the inventory screen (ESC by default). This shows you where all party members of that color are from your location.
- It can be helpful to build periodic "bases" in your deeper tunnels. Build a small house underground with a bed (which allows you to set a spawn point) so you do not have to climb back down if you accidentally die.
Terraria has received a number of updates since release. These have included numerous improvements, such as: bug fixes, adjustable resolution in full screen, additional items, additional enemy types, console/dedicated-type server (no graphics card requirement), as well as Host&Play (listen server) option.
Full patch notes for 1.0.3 can be viewed here, and for 1.0.4 here, and for 1.0.5 here, and for 1.0.6 here, and for 188.8.131.52 here.
Version 1.1 was released on December 1, 2011. The largest content expansion to date, amongst the things included in the patch are:
- Thirty-six new monsters
- 222 new items, including four new sets of armor and 21 new accessories
- One new boss
- One new mini boss
- Three harder versions of the older bosses
- Cacti no longer damages the player
- New music tracks
- Loads of bug fixes
For a full list of additions and changes, follow this link
Version 1.1 was released December 15th, 2011. This Christmas themed patch adds a new snow biome, holiday items, and fixes some performance issues:
- New snow biome
- Performance increases
- Various bug fixes
- Three new snow-themed enemies for a invasion type
- An in game holiday event from December 15th to December 31st:
- Enemies have a chance to drop presents during this time
- The Frost Legion can be spawned with an item obtained by opening presents in "hard mode" during this time (Snow Globe)
- A new town NPC, Santa Claus, that is able to move in after the Legion is defeated
Full patch notes for 1.1.1 can be viewed here.
Re-Logic announced 09/11/2012 on their Facebook page that Terraria would be coming to XBLA and PSN with new content in early 2013. 505 Games is handling the publishing and Engine Software will be doing the console port.
PC System Requirements
Terraria can run on almost anything, including single core PCs and netbooks, without the need of a discrete graphics card.
- OS: Windows Xp, Vista, 7
- Processor: 1.6 Ghz
- Memory: 512MB
- Hard Disk Space: 200MB
- Video Card: 128mb Video Memory, capable of Shader Model 1.1 DirectX®: 9.0c or Greater