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14 June 2011 @ 12:50 pm
Terraris review addendum  
After talking to neonelephant about it, it seems there are some ways in which the Terraria interface are entirely unintuitive to people who haven't played Minecraft or similar games.

In general, left-clicking will use whatever item you currently have selected. If you have a consumable selected, you'll consume it (assuming the cool down period isn't still in effect of course) and if you have a melee weapon selected you will swing that weapon, damaging everything in the area of affect. That part works exactly as you would expect for a 2D platformer.

However for just about every other item where the mouse pointer is when you left-click is usually very important. If you're swinging some kind of mining tool (pickaxe, axe, hammer, hamaxe) then it will only target the block your mouse pointer is on, regardless of what blocks the animation hits or doesn't hit. This means that you can mine at a range, albeit a limited one. You can also mine through obstructions. For all the placeable items it works pretty much the same way. The block or item will be placed at the location of the mouse cursor, assuming it's within the same limited range, regardless of any obstructions.

The progression through Minecraft is pretty clear. Minecraft is clearly an FPS game, except instead of guns you have tools (or your fists =) so it's immediately clear that if you want to affect a block you need to target it with the cross-hairs/mouse cursor. And like Terraria you can affect blocks at a limited distance, although in the case of Minecraft you need to have a clear line of sight.

Once you're used to that the jump to Terraria's system seems pretty intuitive, but apparently if you skip the middle step of Minecraft then it's not so obvious.

Oh, and a little stumbling block that both neonelephant and i encountered. When you first open up the crafting menu after creating a crafting table some of the first items in the list will be things like "dirt wall", "wood wall", "stone wall", etc. Those are not actually walls that will keep monsters out! They're just background panels for wallpapering your rooms! To build real walls you just place the original blocks of wood, dirt or stone that you mined. You don't need to do any crafting for that at all! (I have no idea why they don't just call then "Wood Panel", "Dirt Panel", etc in order to avoid the confusion.)
Kirinkirinn on June 14th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)

I suspect part of the problem here is that many people come to 2D platformers by way of console games, where there *is* no cursor, so all action targeting necessarily depends only on the player sprite position.

Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on June 19th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
Please disregard previous comment
Please disregard my previous comment. Peter rightly pointed out that I'd promised him I'd take him to the store to buy it, so I should have asked you days ago if that was going to be the plan.

DonAithnendonaithnen on June 19th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Please disregard previous comment
Okay, that's just as well. I'm not especially happy with the games available for the 3DS right now, but i'm okay with the hardware and i'm willing to wait for the game line up to improve :)
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on June 20th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
Re: Please disregard previous comment
According to the free stuff we've downloaded, Zelda was released today. We bought Lego Pirates when it was on sale earlier, and the plan is to give it to me for my birthday in August.

The software update changed the behavior of the mii plaza in the street pass application, and that has left Peter a little sad, but he's thrilled that he can share street pass heros and puzzles with his sister.

Leaving your device in sleep mode on the charger with street pass turned on has the potential to make 6 year old boys very happy. We walked the neighborhood today hoping to find someone who had street pass turned on at their house. Luckily, world wide meet-up day appears to be only one week from now not far away in San Jose. I think one of us will be taking Peter.