I’m currently quite busy. I decided to take two weeks off to finally publish TRAUMA. Things are going well.

Meanwhile, this weird game is making the rounds.

The game is called Terraria. It’s pretty much Minecraft in 2D. I must admit that I never got into Minecraft. From what I heard it is supposed to be quite addictive. Considering my lack of time, I wasn’t too curious to find out. Terraria seems to deliver a similar experience in a more manageable form.

And there are some subtle differences, too. Minecraft delivers little actual tasks for the players to do. Instead, it offers an awesome toolbox to let players experiment. Terraria has a more limited toolbox but more embedded content. So for example, you won’t be able to build computers or complicated mine cart systems in Terraria. But on the other hand, there are dungeons to explore and huge bosses to fight.

I’m a little bit torn about this different approach. On the one hand, having actual things to do in the world is pretty much what I was missing in Minecraft. I thought that the fact that you are actually forced to build a shelter and collect resources is what made Minecraft so much more interesting than a wide open level editor. I was waiting for more of such restrictions. On the other hand, when I actually started playing Terraria, I was much more interested in building structures than actually going after the bosses and treasures.

But after a couple of short sessions with my podcast colleagues, I’m beginning to understand the satisfaction of multi-player Minecraft much better. In one of our worlds I started building a house and logged off before I was done. Hours later, when I logged back in I found myself in an awesome fortress. Random players picked up where I left and expanded the small house into a beautiful, thriving installation.

But there are downsides to that form of multi-player as well. The same house was partially destroyed by a griefing player soon afterwards.

Still, it’s an interesting game to try out, if you are looking for a different execution of the Minecraft model. And from what I heard, the game is far from being complete yet. So we can expect a lot more to come.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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