Yesterday Terraria launched. What is it? Think Minecraft meets Flatland. Or more simply, a 2D Minecraft. The game deserves a much more in-depth post than I have time for this morning, but I wanted to do a real quick post to help people get over some of the sticky points I encountered.
As in Minecraft, the first thing you need to do is build a shelter. You can dig a hole if you like, but let’s build a house. You’ll need wood to start with. Use your starter hatchet on some trees until it falls apart in a shower of wood pieces. You’ll also need some gel from the slimes that’ll pester you. You can attack them with that hatchet, too. When they die they drop gel bits. And for our purposes you’ll need some dirt too. Use the Pickaxe on the ground to get that.
Pro-Tip #1. When using a tool, your avatar will swing the tool pretty widely, but you need to focus on the tip of your pointer. That’s where the magic is gonna happen. You can swing wildly to hit gels and dig random holes but when you need precision, it’s all about the tip of your cursor, not the representation of the tool on screen.
OK so now you have wood. Hit Escape to open the crafting panel and pull a Workbench out of the menu and into your hotbar. Unlike in Minecraft, crafting here is just a matter of dragging an item into your inventory…assuming you have the materials it’ll be made. Too bad; I really enjoyed Minecraft’s “drawing” based crafting.
Drop your Workbench anywhere then stand near it and make a Door and some Dirt Walls. Assuming you’ve gathered gels, make some Torches too.
Now find or make a flat area for your house. There are two kinds of walls in Terraria. The ones you see edge on, and the ones that form the back wall of your house. The edge-on walls are built with wood you collected right from the trees. Just stack them up to make two outer walls a reasonable distance apart, then start laying the same wood horizontally to form a ceiling. Drop some spare dirt blocks to stand on in order to reach high enough to do the ceiling.
So now you’re trapped! So pull out your hatchet and destroy 3 woods squares at the bottom of one wall (you’ll recover the wood automagically). Then stick the door in that gap. Again remember: tip of the cursor. Now you can get in and out. Right click the door to open/close it.
Next use the Dirt Wall blocks you made to ‘paint’ the back of the house. That’s going to prevent monsters from spawning indoors. You can do this with rock or wood too, but for me at least, I didn’t have enough of these materials but I did have plenty of dirt. Last, place a couple of torches as a light source. Again, tip of the cursor right at the edge of the wall to get these to ‘stick’ (I had a dumb amount of trouble with this at first).
Your house is complete as a shelter, but apparently you can get NPCs to visit your world if you build a House with a capital H. To turn your shelter into an official house, build a chair and table and place them inside (this bit I haven’t tested yet). You should probably also build a hammer; used to knock apart things you’ve built.
By now you’ve probably used the pickaxe to get rid of those dirt squares you were standing on. If you have wood left over you can make platforms and stick them pretty much anywhere in your house if you want to try making a second story or something. You can jump on these platforms in order to climb up. I wonder if there are ladders to be made somehow?
Here’s my first very modest house.
Terraria is available on Steam for about $10. It’s still a bit buggy (I couldn’t go full-screen without it crashing, for instance) but if you’re looking for more of that Minecraft building itch, with a bit of a different spin, I’d say it’s worth checking out.