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Terraria State of the Game: November 2019

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Loki

Consigliere
Staff member
Re-Logic
Administrator
I don't think anyone is trying to troll you, to be honest. They are just giving their take on things... and as a public forum, that is their right.

All that said...


So when you guys got your hands on it obviously was before release. I still don't understand. How was it assumed it would be a quick fix if it was so bad?
By "before release", it was the in the final stretches. Everything more or less checked out - but performance in SS was just not close to where it needed to be. Again, PW is doing the development, 505 is the publisher (updating the stores, etc) - so wires crossed would be my best guess. I wasn't physically standing in the room or on the call/etc, so I have no idea directly. I'll flag the Amazon thing to them, best I can do.

As for "quick" fix - it is as Proto was saying, I would assume. I say assume because I am not a coder, don't code any of it, and likely would have no idea what things meant if I were told. Pragmatically speaking (as I understand it), optimizing/performance is the most squirrely beast in this area - again because it is not tied to a "specific error". Rather it is a function of things not being efficient enough... or some process conflicting with another for resources, etc. As such, it requires a ton of experimentation.... larger rewrites.... back and forth to see if X change yields Y improvements (or makes things worse/the same). Perhaps PW thought they had a better line on places to look/work that would bear fruit than they did? Again, I am not sitting there directly - all I can go on are the builds we get to see. Prelaunch was just not even close. 1.3.1 was leaps better, but still not there. I haven't had another build since.

It does ultimately tie back to Switch being a relatively underpowered piece of hardware (parallel example, watching my kids SS vs Ender Dragon put Powerpoint to shame) - but regardless, it needs to get done, and I am confident it will get there (based on the progress thus far). I wish I could give you more direct technical details, but again, not a coder... and it isn't even coded under our roof as a team. Nor do we directly manage any parts of it - more just in an advisory role.

That said - to reiterate - SS is top-of-pile for us in regards to Switch development... and PW/505 know this.
 

Aurora3500

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I ask of YOU, what are YOU trying to get an understanding of, what are YOU going to do once YOU have an understanding? Are YOU trying to tell ME what I should do? Etc etc.

Please stop trolling me and move along.

@llmarinen thank you for your post which was constructive and not simply fanboy trolling. I don't know many people who play any split screen on PC but I'm sure there are plenty.
I thought my post was pretty clear and direct. That fact that you won't answer the questions leads me to the conclusion either you don't know what it is you want, or your motives aren't honest.


The point that I think you missed was he was saying the PC does not have and will never support split screen. You don't know any PC players that play that way because no one can. It's not the end of the world if Switch just proves to not be powerful enough for split screen.
That is enough @Nsk1341 and @Proto Persona

You are both allowed to have different opinions and share your perspectives/feelings on the matter. But it is starting to become heated and personal between both of you. We ask that you drop the discussion and agree to disagree.
 

Nsk1341

Terrarian
I don't think anyone is trying to troll you, to be honest. They are just giving their take on things... and as a public forum, that is their right.

All that said...




By "before release", it was the in the final stretches. Everything more or less checked out - but performance in SS was just not close to where it needed to be. Again, PW is doing the development, 505 is the publisher (updating the stores, etc) - so wires crossed would be my best guess. I wasn't physically standing in the room or on the call/etc, so I have no idea directly. I'll flag the Amazon thing to them, best I can do.

As for "quick" fix - it is as Proto was saying, I would assume. I say assume because I am not a coder, don't code any of it, and likely would have no idea what things meant if I were told. Pragmatically speaking (as I understand it), optimizing/performance is the most squirrely beast in this area - again because it is not tied to a "specific error". Rather it is a function of things not being efficient enough... or some process conflicting with another for resources, etc. As such, it requires a ton of experimentation.... larger rewrites.... back and forth to see if X change yields Y improvements (or makes things worse/the same). Perhaps PW thought they had a better line on places to look/work that would bear fruit than they did? Again, I am not sitting there directly - all I can go on are the builds we get to see. Prelaunch was just not even close. 1.3.1 was leaps better, but still not there. I haven't had another build since.

It does ultimately tie back to Switch being a relatively underpowered piece of hardware (parallel example, watching my kids SS vs Ender Dragon put Powerpoint to shame) - but regardless, it needs to get done, and I am confident it will get there (based on the progress thus far). I wish I could give you more direct technical details, but again, not a coder... and it isn't even coded under our roof as a team. Nor do we directly manage any parts of it - more just in an advisory role.

That said - to reiterate - SS is top-of-pile for us in regards to Switch development... and PW/505 know this.
My take aways from this and our other discussion...

-505 likely messed up with the games info in regards to eShop and (still) online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

-Nintendo doesn't offer refunds. 505 doesn't offer refunds. Eventhough the game's content was misrepresented and still is on some retail sites. Maybe 505 didn't clearly communicate to retailers that this was not the same Terraria they also offer on Xbox/PS4 etc?

- Splitscreen was supposed to be included at launch but wasn't up to par. For 5 months we've been told "we're working on it!" The justification for this imo can be boiled down to "programming is hard" I know people who program, a 5 month delay is not something that just happens. So I'm sure on one end or another progress was miscommunicated. That's all fine, if it was clear to people at the point of sale that this feature was missing - which it wasn't. I don't think it's fair to blame the power of the switch, your affiliates decided to release the game on switch and imo are responsible for ensuring that it's feasible.You've said your people don't want to rush things but i really feel like that's what has happened because the ball has been dropped many times on this port. Misinformation and split screen delay aside, there were also complaints about performance issues after release. I believe those have been smoothed out, which is great for the people who supported you at launch on switch.

-Conveniently, however, non of what I've outlined matters because none of the involved parties offer refunds. So essentially you can just lie to people and then keep their money.

I used to love Terraria but now I have such a horrible taste in my mouth from the way 505, PW, and re-logic have handled the switch port. The fact that I've also purchased this game on PC, PS3, and PS4 with good experience means little when I paid a premium for the switch port and was fooled.

I know my opinion here isn't popular and that many of you are very fond of Terraria and those associated. I miss being among you. I can't just be ok with what happened though. And with no ability to get a refund all I can do is, as Loki said, post my take on the state of the game.

A lot of people will be very happy when split screen does come. Hopefully soon.
 
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Nemo

Terrarian
Why call it journeys end? how do you know you won't come back to terraria and add even more content at some point?
Well, they have to move on at some point. Terraria has likely reach sale saturation by now.

That said, they could always release the final patch in 2 parts instead of delaying it. FFXIV does that all the time - can’t get content ready for patch, release patch without it and schedule a follow up patch to include it; calling the former patch “a” and the latter patch “b”.
 

Lord Donovan

Official Terrarian
So I'm pretty late to the thread and all, but I just wanted to say I'd rather have a better Journey's End later than a worse one sooner. No complaints here regarding delaying it.

Now, the wait for a true standalone sequel like Otherworld was supposed to be or the seldom whispered Terraria 2... That's a different story. Waiting for a shiny new latest model year right-off-the-lot Terraria improved from the bottom up is far more grueling than waiting for a new bumper sticker and cup holder to be added to the old clunker we've been chugging along in forever.
 

Altaire

Terrarian
Regarding the PC change; I'd honestly want the 1.4 to release later, even in 2020, rather than having a half polished update sooner with a tons of bugs and etc. to fix - and I'm sure that a lot of other people here would say the same.

Take as much time as you need for the update; we appreciate the effort!

See, this is the one thing that grates on me a bit when it comes to this sort of situation.

When you put it this way, you make it sound as though you're referring to the update being rushed out the door, before they've had enough time to proof it. We're not talking about that. We're talking about it releasing on time.

As much as I think the people acting like this announcement is the end of the world are being grossly melodramatic, they do have a point: Re-Logic does this consistently. They announce a release date, even a relatively broad release period (something like, say, late 2019), and then the release ends up being delayed. I actually looked up when the block swapping function was first revealed, because I was wondering how long it's been since that was first announced. April of 2018. April. Of 2018. As in, yes, right up around two whole years by the time this update actually comes out. I already know the immediate defense for this will be "well, that was originally intended to be a smaller update! It was going to be 1.3.6! They decided to bundle it with the massive update of 1.4 instead!" Okay, sure, but was that really necessary? Is there a reason they couldn't have released 1.3.6 much sooner as a minor QoL update, and then just released 1.4 as a title update, like they're doing now? I'm well aware that frequent patching is not really practical for any developer, but again, we're talking about something announced nearly two years ago. This was something they absolutely could have done, with a little bit of foresight. That's a relatively tame example, too, as far as their history of delayed releases.

Like, really, it's just a matter of following through on your word. When you do this frequently enough, you lose credibility. It's no different than the stigma Blizzard has, with "soon™"being memed to hell and back, purely because they do the same thing: They say something is right around the corner, and then it doesn't come out on time. The simple solution to this is to just, y'know, give yourself more breathing room on your projections. If you're aiming for Q4 of 2019, maybe just say it'll be Q1 of 2020, for instance. The only difference ends up being that your release schedule is reliable overall, instead of, well, the situation we have here.

Granted, when they keep terming it as just "2020", instead of "Q1 2020", or "early 2020", I get the impression that it's because the update most definitely won't be out by then. Shoutouts to the guy who insisted to me that it was entirely feasible to get an October 31st release, though.

...During the last week or so of October.
 

Derpling.

The Destroyer
See, this is the one thing that grates on me a bit when it comes to this sort of situation.

When you put it this way, you make it sound as though you're referring to the update being rushed out the door, before they've had enough time to proof it. We're not talking about that. We're talking about it releasing on time.

As much as I think the people acting like this announcement is the end of the world are being grossly melodramatic, they do have a point: Re-Logic does this consistently. They announce a release date, even a relatively broad release period (something like, say, late 2019), and then the release ends up being delayed. I actually looked up when the block swapping function was first revealed, because I was wondering how long it's been since that was first announced. April of 2018. April. Of 2018. As in, yes, right up around two whole years by the time this update actually comes out. I already know the immediate defense for this will be "well, that was originally intended to be a smaller update! It was going to be 1.3.6! They decided to bundle it with the massive update of 1.4 instead!" Okay, sure, but was that really necessary? Is there a reason they couldn't have released 1.3.6 much sooner as a minor QoL update, and then just released 1.4 as a title update, like they're doing now? I'm well aware that frequent patching is not really practical for any developer, but again, we're talking about something announced nearly two years ago. This was something they absolutely could have done, with a little bit of foresight. That's a relatively tame example, too, as far as their history of delayed releases.

Like, really, it's just a matter of following through on your word. When you do this frequently enough, you lose credibility. It's no different than the stigma Blizzard has, with "soon™"being memed to hell and back, purely because they do the same thing: They say something is right around the corner, and then it doesn't come out on time. The simple solution to this is to just, y'know, give yourself more breathing room on your projections. If you're aiming for Q4 of 2019, maybe just say it'll be Q1 of 2020, for instance. The only difference ends up being that your release schedule is reliable overall, instead of, well, the situation we have here.

Granted, when they keep terming it as just "2020", instead of "Q1 2020", or "early 2020", I get the impression that it's because the update most definitely won't be out by then. Shoutouts to the guy who insisted to me that it was entirely feasible to get an October 31st release, though.

...During the last week or so of October.
K
 

Nsk1341

Terrarian
See, this is the one thing that grates on me a bit when it comes to this sort of situation.

When you put it this way, you make it sound as though you're referring to the update being rushed out the door, before they've had enough time to proof it. We're not talking about that. We're talking about it releasing on time.

As much as I think the people acting like this announcement is the end of the world are being grossly melodramatic, they do have a point: Re-Logic does this consistently. They announce a release date, even a relatively broad release period (something like, say, late 2019), and then the release ends up being delayed. I actually looked up when the block swapping function was first revealed, because I was wondering how long it's been since that was first announced. April of 2018. April. Of 2018. As in, yes, right up around two whole years by the time this update actually comes out. I already know the immediate defense for this will be "well, that was originally intended to be a smaller update! It was going to be 1.3.6! They decided to bundle it with the massive update of 1.4 instead!" Okay, sure, but was that really necessary? Is there a reason they couldn't have released 1.3.6 much sooner as a minor QoL update, and then just released 1.4 as a title update, like they're doing now? I'm well aware that frequent patching is not really practical for any developer, but again, we're talking about something announced nearly two years ago. This was something they absolutely could have done, with a little bit of foresight. That's a relatively tame example, too, as far as their history of delayed releases.

Like, really, it's just a matter of following through on your word. When you do this frequently enough, you lose credibility. It's no different than the stigma Blizzard has, with "soon™"being memed to hell and back, purely because they do the same thing: They say something is right around the corner, and then it doesn't come out on time. The simple solution to this is to just, y'know, give yourself more breathing room on your projections. If you're aiming for Q4 of 2019, maybe just say it'll be Q1 of 2020, for instance. The only difference ends up being that your release schedule is reliable overall, instead of, well, the situation we have here.

Granted, when they keep terming it as just "2020", instead of "Q1 2020", or "early 2020", I get the impression that it's because the update most definitely won't be out by then. Shoutouts to the guy who insisted to me that it was entirely feasible to get an October 31st release, though.

...During the last week or so of October.
I agree that they seem to have trouble managing their work load and communicating relevantly, not a popular opinion.

I've never been too excited for journeys end as there is plenty of content from other updates that I've yet to see. It's great that they're doing it for free but I still think how their actions align with their communication is significant. They will likely have future projects and it's important not to burn bridges.
 

Nicol Bolas

Terrarian
Feature creep and scope expansion is an issue a lot of devs suffer with. Many creative types feel the need to keep changing, refining and adding things to make something just right. Unfortunately without the business types cracking the whip most don't know where to stop that process and just release something. As ReLogic are a self publishing indie outfit, they get to set their own pace really.
The Open Source industry has shown far more flexibility in how software gets made. And not just because they're sharing the software, but because of development methodology. Many Open Source developers have moved towards an ethos of "release early, release often".

Now, when it comes to a product like a game, the whole "release early" bit is probably not the best idea. Dropping really broken stuff on gamers burns up far more goodwill than a schedule slip.

But ignore the details of the ethos and focus on the overall goal: to foster a production methodology of not making huge, monolithic releases. Instead, releases work like a train. The train leaves the station at 9:00am; whomever happens to be on board at the time is who gets to take a trip. Even if you have a ticket, if you're not physically on the train at 9:00am, you're not going to make it and you'll have to wait for the next one.

The idea is that you develop features in independent branches, in isolation from one another. When the time for a release is coming up, you see which branches are in a shippable state. Those are the ones that go into the release (along with time for integration testing, debugging, and so forth). Anything that's not ready just continues development in its branch and waits for the next release.

Now again, when it comes to game development, there are going to be cases where this doesn't work. In games, features are often not "independent" of one another. The way features interact can prompt further design and development. So there will still be some inter-dependencies between features.

But there are many features of Terraria that are quite independent of one another. Consider for example, block swap. It doesn't really rely on anything else in 1.4. By all appearances, that feature is work done, ready to go, and by itself could (hypothetically, in a universe where the devs are using branch-based development methodologies) be shipped against the current 1.3.6. And yet, it's tied to a bunch of other stuff that has almost nothing to do with this feature. So there's a much desired feature that is being delayed, not (apparently) because of the feature, but because it's arbitrarily tied to other things. That's not a good thing.

And on a personal note, I'd be happy with 1.4 if it was just block swap.

I also understand the realities of game development. Hype is important, and people generally don't get hyped up for tiny releases of a couple of features. When you say that every 3 months, you'll get maybe a new furniture set or a small QOL improvement, it doesn't attract much interest. I get that.

But at the same time... the current method clearly is not effective. For many people, the hype for 1.4 has waned. Personally, I long for the heady days of 1.2.1/2/3/4 (and 1.3.1/2/3/4/5/6), where we would get these smaller bundles of content at more regular intervals.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I hope that the developers, on their next project, find a better development methodology that allows them to more effectively release content on more realistic timescales. Because people do this; these are things that developers can do. Without working severe crunch times and such. It doesn't happen nearly as much in this industry as it should, but it can be done.

No matter what was promised to us, we aren't really owed anything. This was being told that we were getting a gift. Then being told that there's been an issue and we have to wait a little longer to get it. People then get upset, implying that's not good enough and the devs should have tried harder or just not told us anything at all. It's a bit of an unreasonable attitude to have really.
I'm curious: if "we aren't really owed anything", why was there a gigantic advertisement for it at E3? An advertisement is, at its core, a statement that a thing is/will be available.

A promise is a promise. Even if they offered to do it for free, they still promised to do it on a particular schedule. The thing about a mindset that sees schedule slippage as acceptable is that... well, schedule slippage becomes acceptable. It's a problem that isn't worth fixing because it's OK to do it. And a good way to encourage that mindset is for people to just say that it's OK; we're not owed anything, so slip the schedule all you want.
 

Nsk1341

Terrarian
People need to get of their high horses and stop complaining that the huge & free update of a 5€ game isn't arriving exactly when they wanted it.
Yeah it's not like they paid for content or a specific feature and didn't receive it. Coughsplitscreencough

It's worth waiting for and I'm sure when we do get it there will be no bugs.

5? I paid $30 for this game the 4th time I bought it. Every other time I'm pretty sure it was $20. You got it for five? I'm happy for you and very sad for me.
 

Nicol Bolas

Terrarian
It is ok for developers to slip their schedules though, and I think it should be encouraged. Release dates aren't an obligation or a promise. They don't owe it to you to hit those windows no matter what. If more developers were actually allowed to do that we wouldn't have so many buggy, half finished releases we have the "privilege" of paying to bug test for the publishers. Plus I'm not really bothered by the delay because I know I can go do something else. There's tons of other games and entertainment out there. It's not good for people to fixate on future plans to the point that they can't handle changing those plans.
You seem to be of the opinion that, if people are complaining about something, it is only because they don't have something else to do or "can't handle changing those plans" or something of that nature. I find such a sentiment... disappointing. You're effectively telling us why we're feeling the way we are. This is almost always an il-advised thing.

You aren't bothered by the delay, and that's fine. You've said that you're fine with it, and that's OK. And I would note that nobody is telling you that your feelings are wrong or that your belief reveals some flaw in your character.

So why won't you give those who feel differently the same respect?

I think a developer slipping their schedule chronically suggests that something is amiss with their game development practices. Just as a developer having to crunch indicates something wrong with their practices. Or a developer chronically releasing broken, unfinished games suggests a problem with how they're doing their job. Game development ought to be on-time, correct, and without harming the producers of this content. And even though this confluence is somewhat rare in the industry, there's no reason why this cannot be done.

And it certainly won't be done if everyone makes excuses for them.

I also know nothing we have to say on this ultimately matters. We forum posters are a tiny minority, a small fraction of the group that even reads about video game news at all, and that group is tiny in comparison to the actual game buying audience. Just look at the amazing numbers put up by Call of Duty and Pokemon's latest entries, despite the "gaming public" at large denouncing the games before release. We are nobodies trying to stop hurricanes by shouting at them.
I don't think anyone in this thread who has expressed disappointment in the delay believes in the slightest that their expression of said disappointment will in any way affect the delay or magically make it go away. Just because a complaint won't reverse a decision does not make that complaint invalid or inappropriate to express.

If people are venting their frustrations, it's generally best to just let people vent. Just look back at many of the comments in this thread. They never really got heated until someone showed up to try to tell them that they were overreacting or that their opinions were invalid. That sort of things not only makes them double-down on the frustration, it also gives them a specific villain to aim at.

This delay isn't ideal, but does anyone really not have anything better to do? I think it's best to just move on and do something else until the update rolls around. Doing anything else will only lead to people upsetting themselves for no reason, and ultimately will change nothing. This isn't social justice, it's complaining about a hobby.
Appealing to worse problems does not actually make the problem in question go away. It is entirely possible to complain about a hobby and complain about more substantive things.
 

Lord Donovan

Official Terrarian
As far as the perpetually delayed update releases go, I don't feel disappointed or frustrated, just envious. Delaying so much so frequently seems to me like it indicates a super chill and laid back work environment where they take their time instead of killing themselves with crunch time and actually live the impossible dream of making a living from games while simultaneously being able to enjoy life. If so, (and this is absolutely not some subtle veiled insult,) that's how all work environments should be and I envy having a job like that. I envy it so hard. Surely you need another artist, don't you Re-Logic?
 

Nsk1341

Terrarian
Proto, I feel similar to you in that it seems some people have nothing better to do than complain about people complaining.

People are upset. It isn't going to change.
 

Nicol Bolas

Terrarian
I do respect the feelings of those who are frustrated by this delay. I am too. I'm not trying to tell people how to feel about this, so if that's how it comes out then I apologize. My main problem is with the act of coming to tell the developers how they've lied to us, or how they have failed us as paying customers, or trying to armchair quarterback the whole situation and tell them how to do their jobs better. Those are actions that reek of entitlement and too much self importance. It's awful behavior that shows no respect for the real people that are investing their heart and soul into making this game. Missing a release date isn't some horrendous act filled with malicious intent, it's an honest mistake most often born of too much optimism. I'm not expecting people to stop being upset, but to express themselves with some empathy for the people they are directing the emotions at.
But nobody suggested that this was "some horrendous act filled with malicious intent". You have created a strawman version of peoples' complaints. Please stop doing that; engage with the actual complaints.

The closest to an accusation of "malicious intent" in this thread was from Nsk1341, whose principle accusation has nothing to do with the delay (it was about the false advertising of the Switch version having split-screen when it didn't). These are two separate accusations; don't conflate them.

If you tell your child that you'll see their school play, but work keeps you away, you had no malicious intent to deceive your child. But you still didn't show up for their play. As far as the child is concerned, your word cannot be trusted; it doesn't matter why. And if every single time you tell your child that you'll be there and you're not, that will have effects on your child's belief in your ability to keep your word.

And that's the issue you don't seem to acknolwedge. This isn't really about this one schedule slip. It's about the fact that it seems to be a chronic issue.

In an ideal world the sentence I underlined would be possible. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world and I don't think it is possible. The factors needed for what you're asking are so hard to create that you have a better chance of funding a video game's development through future lottery winnings.
Having actually done professional game development, I disagree. There are actual developers who manage to ship projects on-time, with reasonable quality, and without a death march. I never worked for any myself, but it does happen.

Schedule slipping tends to happen because of feature creep, arbitrary deadlines imposed without a thought to whether the project could be finished in that time, or the people making the schedule did a poor job figuring out how long it would take. All of these are entirely fixable problems. But fixing them requires having the will to do so.

Let me give you an example: the C++ international standard. In the mid 2000s, the ISO committee for C++ was working on a language update, tentatively titled C++0x as it was expected before 2010. It missed its ship date, releasing in 2011, which resulted in the standard being referred to as C++11.

It was a very good, strong release, with many highly-sought-after features (though it had its flaws). But the ISO committee realized that slipping the schedule caused a bunch of people a lot of problems. Many of those features had nothing to do with why the schedule slipped, so people were being denied those features for arbitrary reasons. The committee resolved to do better.

So they substantially changed how they developed standards. They moved to a methodology of releasing at regular intervals and only releasing features that were really ready-to-go at the time a standard needed to ship. And while C++14 and 17 aren't seen as nearly as much of a vast improvement as C++11 was, they did provide users with real value and useful features on a reasonable schedule.

The ISO committee could have done things as you suggest. They could have looked at C++11 and said, "yeah, it was late, but it was really good, so let's keep doing it that way." But they decided that the problems of schedule slips were really important, so they endeavored to fix them.

My point is that simply assuming/declaring that the current way is the only/best way to do things is not how you fix a problem.
 
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