Terraria programmer steps down

Don't bust a gut rushing to beat those Hard mode bosses. There'll be nothing more afterwards.

Fans of the indie hit Terraria were left surprised and disappointed yesterday when Andrew “Redigit” Spinks, the programming half of the game’s two-man development team, announced on the official forums that active development on the game would be discontinuing. Redigit’s reasons for stepping down are wanting to spend more time with wife and their new son – once the little tyke arrives – and to spend some more time “recharging and bettering myself as both a programmer and game designer.” Far from abandoning game design altogether, Redigit hopes to build on what he learned developing Terraria and apply it to new, “even better” projects. At least one more bug fix is planned for Terraria before he’s officially “done.”

Thanks to Terraria’s immense success since its came out in May he can afford to rest on his laurels a bit. The game sold over 200,000 copies in the first week of it’s release and was the top-selling game on Steam that week, ahead of The Witcher 2 and Portal 2. Unfairly dismissed as a yet another Minecraft clone but in 2D Terraria quickly won over doubters with its greater emphasis on gameplay, sporting an MMO-style loot system, numerous bosses and other elements lacking in Mojang’s colossal blocky sandbox. I was rather late to the Terraria party myself, having bought it close to release but never getting round to properly playing it until much later. When I finally did immerse myself in its charming, engrossing 2D world I ended up investing over 70 hours, so part of me is kind of glad there won’t be any more to see and do.

I’m still a tad disappointed but real life comes first and I wish Andrew all the best in the future. In all fairness it’s good that he got out now while expectations for new Terraria content were still comparatively modest. The biggest problem with MMO-style content progressions is some people will burn through it faster than others, and Blizzard can’t do it in World of Warcraft even with millions of dollars and an army of people. The amount of content Re Logic managed put out was damned impressive for a small two-man development team, and it’s good the game goes out on a high point rather than grow old, stale and decrepit. Terraria has had, as we say in the UK, “a good innings.” “Better to burn out than to fade away,” “the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long” and other such poetic nonsense.

The future for Terraria fans might seem somewhat emptier now but it isn’t as bleak as they might think. After Spinks’ announcement Dungeons of Dredmor creators Gaslamp Games chimed in via twitter asking to assume the heavy mantle of Terraria’s continued development, an offer they insist is “perfectly serious.” Other slim possibilities are Terraria going open source or Spinks managing to knock up a modding API before he departs, allowing the fan community itself to finally implement their abundance of crazy-go-nuts ideas. If none of those options pan out Terraria fans can still look forward (and upward) to Starbound, currently being developed by Chucklefish Games. The cosmic brainchild of Terraria co-creator and pixel art maestro Finn “Tiy” Bryce, Starbound looks to be a worthy spiritual successor to Terraria as well as a fantastic game in its own right.

Source: Terrariaonline.com


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Matt is the irresponsible degenerate behind bitscreed.com and the sarcastic writer, editor, director, presenter and tea boy of Pixel Burn.