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Interview: Making the Terraria experience work on consoles

Sections: 2D, Action, Adventure, Consoles, Developers, Exclusives, Features, Game-Companies, Genres, Interviews, Originals, PS3, Publishers, Xbox-360

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We have a number of Terraria friends here at GamerTell who loved the original game, so when we heard about the PS3 and Xbox 360 port, we had to find out more. Fortunately, David Welch, 505 Games Producer, was able to take some time out of his busy schedule to talk about Terraria‘s jump from computers to consoles. We got to get into everything, learning what’s new, how the game works on the systems, how mods inspired the console release and more. If you’re wondering what Terraria will play on your console, look no further.

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GamerTell: Terraria is a very unique game that lends itself perfectly to a mouse and keyboard control scheme. How did you adapt it so it could work on the PS3 and Xbox 360?

David Welch: It took a lot of hard work and experimentation. We’re lucky, in that Terraria is deeply rooted in the “Metroidvania” genre, which is native to console, so that gave us a control scheme to work from for basic movement. However, the more advanced actions were definitely a challenge since there are so many items and such a variety of situations we needed to accommodate. Our ultimate solution—having the “manual” and “auto” cursor mode that you can switch between—we think feels very natural, but it took a huge amount of iteration to get there.

GamerTell: How will multiplayer work on consoles with Terraria? Will every player have the same world changing abilities as the host character?

Welch: The multiplayer is pretty straightforward—from the main menu you can either join a friend’s game or start a game using one of your worlds. Split-screen players can join
and leave at any time and online friends will see your game show up in their menus – or you can invite them manually. In order to preserve the challenge of the game and keep things fair, console hosts don’t get the same god-like powers as they would on PC.

GamerTell: People who’ve played Terraria on computers have put together an assortment of modprograms to make playing easier. For example, there are extra apps that allow people to zoom out and see a larger view of the map or a program to see which games are available online. Have you considered any of this when creating Terraria’s console versions to add similar functions since those players can’t access extra programs?

Welch: We definitely took inspiration from the modding community. The in-game world map in particular was very inspired by some of the existing tools. And our redesigned crafting
system was approached with the philosophy that console players can’t easily access the online wikis the same way that PC players can.

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GamerTell: Will there be any way to share “worlds” you’ve created with friends, in case someone’s particularly proud of what they’ve built?

Welch: Sure, when you load a world you can choose to make it an online game—then just invite your friends!

GamerTell: What kind of new content has been added into the console versions of Terraria? Are there any new NPCs or events like the Blood Moon?

Welch: In addition to the new controls we’ve added a whole new inventory and crafting
interface, a tutorial, a world map, new music from the original composer, new items, new monsters, new pets, and a brand new final boss.

GamerTell: Will there eventually be Terraria DLC?

Welch: It’s hard to say for sure right now but we’re certainly looking into the possibility.

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GamerTell: Are there going to be any limits as to how many worlds or players the console Terraria user can create?

Welch: Yes – eight worlds and five characters.

GamerTell: If the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Terraria are successful enough, would a Vita port be considered? I’d think the touch screen would be a natural fit for the building aspects.

Welch: You’re not the first one to mention that. We agree that the platform could be a very natural fit and we’re certainly looking into it.

Terraria should be coming to a PS3 or Xbox 360 near you very soon. It missed its February 2013 release window, but has been rescheduled to debut in Spring 2013 and should be available on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Arcade within the next few weeks.

Site [Terraria]

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