Terraria: Otherworld Gets A Rethink

We’ve known that a spin-off from gazillion-selling side-on crafting/fighting affair Terraria was on the cards for quite a while, but seems it ran into some problems. Terraria: Otherworld is set in an alternate dimension from the original, leaned more towards RPG and strategy, and eschewed a pure sandbox structure in favour of a little more structure. That’s still the case, but devs Re-Logic have revealed that “Otherworld needed quite a bit of work”, and that they’ve put a new lead designer on artist onto it in order to “bring more ‘Terraria-ness’ to Otherworld as well as to really make the things that make the game different stand out.”

Otherworld’s actually a collaboration with another studio, Engine Software, and reading between the lines there’s an implication that Re-Logic weren’t entirely pleased with how things were going. “We undertook a full in-depth review of the project versus our standards, expectations, and vision for the game. It was pretty clear to us at the time that Otherworld needed quite a bit of work – and even a good bit of rework – in a number of areas in order to hit that mark.”

Hence, there are new leads on the project over at Engine Software, and “our two teams have laid out clearly what needs to be done and are pushing forward executing towards that roadmap to deliver the game we expect – and our fans deserve – as soon as possible.”

No sign of a release date now, as the focus is on getting the game to where they want it to be first, but there are a couple of new screenshots showing off the Corruption/Purity mechanic, which affects the appearance and behaviour of biomes. They’ve decided they want those effects to be bigger now, hence:

For the life of me, I just cannot work out which one is Purity and which is Corruption.

A few more details, and an apology for the long silence, can be found here.

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  1. karnak says:

    I’m one of those people who love the mechanics of “Terraria”.
    But, at the same time, I’m also one of those people who hate the lack of lore/context/plot in the Terraria universe.

    What universe is that? How did the players got there? Why the Corruption and the monsters?

    Starbound was a major leap ahead in that sense, in my opinion.

    I love the “sandbox” aspect of these games. But I think every game benefits greatly from some sort of main line which gives players a purpose of sorts. A line which every player would also be free to follow or not.

  2. DThor says:

    I’ll go out on a limb and say this perfectly sums up the mindset difference between the sandbox genre and more traditional games with stories. A dev that knocks it out of the park in the first tries the second and realizes storytelling is hard. Because it is! Sandbox is a programming exercise and storytelling is at least a craft, and at it’s best, art. Sandbox tickles the same genes that cause autism. I’m not saying sandbox fans are autistic, but…

    • karnak says:

      You reflection made me think of one of my favourite games of all time: “Mount&Blade – Warband”.

      I love that game! But the lack of a plot/quest (except if you see conquering the entire continent a Main Quest) just… :(
      The game could have been perfect and have become one of the Top 10 videogames in human history if it had included some sort of plotline.

      As it is the game starts very well. And then one suddenly feels as if the game deserts the player midway.

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      I, for one, might have taken your point a lot more seriously without those last two paragraphs. Disability is not a punchline, and accrediting it to someone who likes something you don’t is incredibly small minded.

    • theapeofnaples says:

      I’m not saying you’re a twat, but…

    • Turkey says:

      Watch out! Going out on a limb with that huge chip on your shoulder might be dangerous.

      • Zankman says:

        Hey may also need to sheathe his edge in order to prevent cutting himself!

    • LTK says:

      Sandbox tickles the same genes that cause autism.

      You seem to have a very poor understanding of the words ’cause’, ‘autism’, ‘genes’, sandbox, ‘same’, ‘genes’, and ‘tickles’.

      Pretty sure you’re good on ‘the’ and ‘that’ though.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Dunno, I think that sentence would’ve read a little better with ‘which’ instead.

    • lylebot says:

      So many thoughts about this.

      “traditional games with stories” – having stories in games is pretty new. The original video games had no stories. And games in general–card games, board games, ball games, what-have-you–have traditionally had no story whatsoever.

      “sandbox is a programming exercise .. storytelling is a craft” – spoken like someone who’s done very little programming.

      “tries the second and realizes storytelling is hard” – and making a sandbox game isn’t? Then why are there so few good ones? Both are hard. Maybe if a developer can’t do both, it’s because the skills needed to do one are not the skills needed to do another.

      If you prefer story-driven games, that’s cool. Realize, however, that they are not the norm, they are not harder to make than other types of games, and they are not inherently better. Realize also that there are plenty of things in adult life that have no story—if you want to get better at a musical instrument, or parenting, or writing, or public speaking, there’s no story to drive you. You just have to work at it. And in that respect, I might say that needing a story to drive you is actually a little childish…

      • Hedgeclipper says:

        “The original video games had no stories.”

        Nonsense! Who could forget the horror of Pong with its two stick figures (representing their emotional poverty) fight by flinging their baby across the room at each other? Or PacMan’s caustic look at drug addiction where the titular character desperately flees his ghosts until he can find a fix to let him temporarily overcome them?

  3. thelastpointer says:

    Wow, dude, that’s pretty harsh. Just because you need to be spoon-fed a story to consume a game doesn’t mean that everyone else who doesn’t is autistic.

    The difference between story-driven games and sandboxes is that sandbox players explore the mechanics and systems of a game (and then bending them to their will), while players who play games for their stories like to follow through a well thought-out, pre-generated series of events.

    If anything, that makes sandbox players more creative.

  4. pullthewires says:

    Meh, as a high-functioner I find it difficult to be offended by this kind of stuff. I don’t really consider myself disabled, nor do most of my peers, and frankly it feels like the assumption is quite accurate since sandbox games are popular.

    • pullthewires says:

      hah, this was also in response to the autism comments. RPS comment system feels especially bad today.

    • Geewhizbatman says:

      But your feelings are never important in these sort of public shaming rituals. A certain group’s offense at any given comment never are. Because assuming offense for others is not only a great ego boost, it’s also a nice way to run with an assumption that they need defense–ya know, that only the able can give to protect those that don’t know any better or are “unable” to do it themselves and require a strong, righteous person to push them aside and step in. It was a tactless comment, but thank god people were there to say how gross and terrible it was to insinuate someone had autism. Because that’s just the worst, right? The point is to always remember your way of being is a subtle shame that should never be brought up except under the most clinical of circumstances. Society is fun, life is great, big smiles, much happy.

      As for the game at hand, with all its concrete rules, repetitive actions, linear progression systems and opportunities to construct detailed structures and replicas. I don’t find it at all surprising that Terraria would be having these troubles. Building a story from the base world sounds like spinning cloth from a bag of marbles. There wasn’t much to start with, and the sandbox nature means there are thousands of starting points to work from–choosing the wrong one leads to this sort of wasted work. Which, of course, isn’t really a waste but will hopefully make the final product better and I’ll definitely check it out once they’ve gotten it to a solid state however long it takes them to get there.

  5. noodlecake says:

    I like both sandbox games and story driven games. I don’t think it has much to do with intelligence or where on the autistic spectrum you are. I’m not autistic but I come out relatively high on autism tests (usually one or two points below “Go get checked for Asperger’s Syndrome).

    I know all kinds of people who like or don’t like games like Skyrim. I don’t really like Skyrim or Fallout (very open and sandboxy), but I love The Witcher 3, I love Minecraft (about as sandboxy as you get) and I love Telltale’s games (as non-sandboxy as you get).

  6. DaceX says:

    Always liked the style of Terraria, but its rather easy to get lost a bit in what to do, and its always a huge time investment. Most of my time with the game, at least solo, was spent with an mod, the Story of Red Cloud, which gave the world a lot more sturcture and a clear progression (thanks to a simple story),and it removed digging for the most part.If this is the direction they take with this, they shall take all the time in the world to create something mechanically consistent, I´ll look forward to it.

    Oh, and I think the things inside the neat looking bubble are the purified areas,everything around it is corrupted. Reminds me a bit of Metroid Prime 2…

  7. engion3 says:

    Logo looks discusting.

  8. Pelaf says:

    As both an amateur writer and a novice programmer who is still learning the ropes, your comment about story driven vs sandbox games is horrendously inaccurate. Coding a mechanically beautiful game is as much an art form as writing a masterpiece story is. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for games with great stories, but I don’t believe that every game requires one. They’re two different skillsets, brilliant storytelling and masterful sandbox mechanic building- but a lack of one in the other does not make the final product any less fantastic, on an objective level.