Begun These Clone Wars Accept (A Give-And-Take On The Inevitable Terraria Clones)


In illustration yous haven't heard the intelligence already, evolution on the pop 2D block mining game Terraria has ceased.  Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 lot of people are disappointed to listen this, since at this quest it would look that a lot of features that people desire volition never materialize.  What I'm hither to speak close today are the inevitable opened upwards source clones that volition no incertitude pop upwards inwards Terraria's wake.  There's a ability vacuum correct now, too it would live prissy to consider a FOSS game capture the imaginations of a massive audience right away left clamoring for developer support.  For the people considering starting upwards a clone project, hither are some things yous ought to accept into account:

First too foremost, don't merely brand a clone.

If yous desire people to genuinely play your game inwards large numbers, yous ask to avoid the feeling of it beingness a knock-off.  If you're thinking close naming it OpenTerraria or Freeraria or something similar that, halt correct right away too consider the reasons why an experienced Terraria player, who has their ain Terraria server too friends they similar to play the game with, would jump transportation to come upwards too play your game.  (There's null wrong amongst this, per se, but empathize that you'll live fighting an uphill battle inwards damage of differentiating yourself from a production amongst an entrenched user base.)

Instead, accept a facial expression at Starbound too all the sweetness novel features it's bringing to the tabular array too how much excitement it's generated inwards the few weeks since it was announced.  Starbound isn't Terraria.  It's inspired by Terraria, certainly, but it's already its ain distinct game amongst an interesting setting too features that differentiate it from its predecessor.

Think close what Terraria is at its essence -- a 2D, action-oriented, block mining, detail collecting platformer -- too consider how yous mightiness accept that concept too construct something unique amongst it, rather than merely making a game that isn't quite Terraria.  This way coming upwards amongst cool ideas that people didn't fifty-fifty know they wanted -- non merely some to a greater extent than types of blocks or weapons or bosses, but solely novel too dissimilar concepts that heighten your game from clone condition to the much to a greater extent than desirable condition of spiritual successor.

Check for similar projects earlier yous start one.

There mightiness already live someone else working on an spiritual successor of Terraria.  If that's the case, help them.  (I'm non aware of whatever currently inwards progress, but I'd live happy to link to whatever promising ones if people tell me close them.) 

Design it amongst multi-player inwards heed from the soil up.

Yes, this takes the game into ambitious territory, but let's live honest here.  One of the large draws of these sorts of games is the multiplayer experience.  Miss out on that too yous aren't going to larn much involvement at all.  Terraria's multiplayer back upwards is fairly weak, too every bit such people volition expect yours to live better.  Fail them on this quest too you've lost most of your audience.  Do significantly amend too you've got a gamble to win people over.

Make it moddable...

"Is it moddable?" is i of the root questions people inquire close games nowadays, peculiarly games of the block mining sort.  The response to this inquiry should live a resounding yes.  Not only should it live moddable, optimally yous should supply tools to larn inwards easy to mod, which way something to a greater extent than than merely XML too a text editor. 

I've advocated for slowly content creation before, too i matter people e'er come upwards dorsum too tell is that if yous can't piece of occupation amongst XML too a text editor, too thus there's no way yous could peradventure brand anything worthwhile.  Not only is that see wrong, it's also a plough off to the breadstuff too butter members of your community, who may live perfectly expert at using GUI applications, but in all probability don't know much close editing XML.

Of course, if yous desire to brand a game that nobody pays attending to, past times all way strength people to move XML too telephone telephone them idiots when they inquire for a graphical tool. :)

...but brand sure there's compelling content.

This is an slowly one.  If people don't desire to play your game, they won't desire to modern your game.  If there's no initial content, other people aren't going to come upwards inwards too add together it for you.

Make it slowly to install too run.

Don't brand me install a ton of dependencies.  If I'm running a modern Linux box, I shouldn't ask to install a bajillion packages merely to brand your game work.  If I'm running Windows, I in all probability don't desire to muck merely about amongst downloading the latest version of your favorite bytecode interpreter to run your game.  I desire to run the installer too induce got it look on my start menu.  If I'm running a Macintosh, I desire to run it... well, even thus Mac people commonly run their games (*ahem* perhaps dual-booted into Windows? -- kidding).

Point is, don't larn inwards a hurting inwards the donkey to laid up.  Make it a twosome clicks.

Make it run on Linux.

This is some other no-brainer.  If yous desire the FOSS community to live interested, larn inwards run on a costless OS, too brand sure it plant on a platform that isn't a patent trap.  This volition also induce got the create goodness of making it easier to...


Port it to Android.

Mobile platforms are where it's at nowadays.  Support Android too you'll brand a lot of people real happy.  My agreement is that at that spot are some license issues amongst the iPhone app shop too FOSS, but if yous tin at to the lowest degree larn it to run on jailbroken iPhones, all the better.

Make it facial expression nice.

I saved this i for last.  People help a lot close graphics.  If yous tin brand a consummate game amongst placeholder fine art that meets the higher upwards criteria, I'll personally pay to committee fine art for you.


So at that spot yous induce got it.  If you're soundless thinking close making a Terraria successor, you've got a long projection ahead of you.  Better larn coding. :)

Peace out,

Bart K.
OpenGameArt.org

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