Terraria and Progression Fantasy
Okay, I know this isn't about the new Cradle book, but I'm still forbidden by international treaty to talk about anything I'm working on. Therefore, I'll talk about something else I love: Terraria.
For those of you who don't know, Terraria is a game that's often called 2D Minecraft. Then fans of the game go "It's nothing like Minecraft!" and a pointless Internet debate continues.
The fact is, the basics of Terraria are very similar to survival Minecraft. You're in a world made up of blocks (they're just squares now instead of cubes) and you can dig them up and place them again to build stuff. At night, zombies come out.
The difference is in the objective of the game. You progress in Minecraft by setting your own objectives: I want to build a fortress in the shape of my own face, so I need bricks to build it. To find bricks I need clay, to find clay I need to explore, to explore I need a boat, to get a boat I need to chop down wood, and while I'm chopping down wood I might as well kill some monsters, and before long I'm fighting a dragon in another dimension wondering what happened to that fortress I intended to build.
In Terraria, the focus is far more on combat progression, which is why I thought I'd mention it. You're looking for materials to craft the next set of gear and fight the next boss, which gets you more gear to fight the next boss.
A lot of games work that way, but Terraria in particular appeals to the same side of me that loves progression fantasy. I feel like I'm motivated to get to the next tier of content, not just to watch a number get higher, but because I genuinely want what's waiting for me up there.
Sometimes that's an experience that I want, like a fun boss fight. I want to fight the Eye of Cthulhu or a mechanized flying skull, so first I want to earn the gear that gives me a chance to win.
Sometimes it's an ability. If I unlock a certain chest, I get a gun that fires homing piranhas. That's a real gun in the game. I want to fire homing piranhas, so I'm motivated to unlock the chest that gets me that gun.
It's all motivated by what I want to do.
I think of Cradle in a similar way.
The way I want you to feel, when you're reading, is that you have something to look forward to. You want to see Lindon doing something, there's a cool fight or a character moment you want, and we're making forward momentum toward those goals.
When I'm reading a series, I want fun things to look forward to, and I want to always feel like I'm making progress in that direction. Therefore, that's how I (tried to) design Cradle's magic system: there's always a new level with new abilities that change how the characters interact with the world.
And then at the end, they unlock a laser machine gun.
P.S. I've made a lot of progress recently, I promise. It's just the kind that I have to keep secret or be imprisoned by a secret government agency.
2/10/2022 03:33:34 pm
Now I want to see Lindon build a cannon that shoots pirhanas.
2/10/2022 03:41:14 pm
lindon should build a cannon that shoots cannons
2/10/2022 03:54:58 pm
Lindon gets a laser machine gun in the end. We all do.
2/10/2022 03:55:08 pm
He should build a cannon that shoots cannons that shoot piranhas
2/10/2022 03:51:50 pm
His cannon would probably fire echoes of hunger fish.
2/10/2022 04:28:03 pm
he should build a piranha that shoots cannons that shoots lasers
2/10/2022 04:44:23 pm
Lindon would likely build a launcher construct that fires silver scale carp remnants
2/10/2022 06:13:11 pm
As long as those fish have a headband laser cannon!
2/13/2022 06:10:18 pm
I thought piranhas basically are hunger fish?
2/14/2022 03:27:46 pm
I feel like that is more something that Regen Shen would have.
Conman the Brobarian
2/10/2022 03:45:49 pm
Ever since starting Cradle, I’ve always thought it would make a truly incredible RPG. The “level up” nature of progression fantasy is a natural fit for game mechanics, the wide section of Cradle paths could accommodate multiple fun play styles, and the world itself offers a rich backdrop. Even your awesome visualizations during and outside of combat seem like they’re just begging to be recreated for the screen.
2/10/2022 04:48:42 pm
I think I would be OK with you being in prison as long as you were able to get books to your adoring fans.
2/11/2022 04:05:58 pm
I’ve got to agree. Prison might even increase Will’s productivity, especially with daily flogging to motivate him. Is there daily motivational flogging? Are you listening Will? We are trying to help you!
2/10/2022 05:37:05 pm
I like how the Facebook comments are more 'Terraria is great, but Will is better' and the blog comments are headed to 'when does Lindon get gopher chucks?'
Joe the Rat
2/11/2022 06:51:19 am
Because here we ask the truly important questions.
2/11/2022 09:32:57 am
2/10/2022 06:40:50 pm
Hey Will, have you played Factorio? It's got some major progression vibes for me. Start by hand mining iron and coal. Realize that is SLOW so you forge iron into plates to make automatic minners. Then you realize that forging it into plates takes to long so you belt the ore to a forging array to auto make the plates for you. Then you want electricity so you don't have to load things by hand, and for you need copper!
2/10/2022 07:11:40 pm
All I read was homing piranhas and "I've made a lot of progress".
2/10/2022 10:18:49 pm
Orthos talked briefly about piranhas. Now I think I know where that came from.
2/28/2022 06:53:15 pm
Definitely where the sword fish came from
So done with this
2/10/2022 10:22:48 pm
Imagine if you will an author who has 10 books in a genre and yet cant even describe in 500 words or less. The idea of somebody who has been this for so long without introspection or deconstruction of how it functions, you know like the genre is actually about not machine guns.... will. But we all know that would never exist.
2/10/2022 10:52:21 pm
Are you ok? Do you not understand what this is? I assume English isn't your first language, but you could at least try to lay out a coherent complaint.
2/11/2022 09:17:28 pm
He described the genre, in the first book, in two words: "Improve Yourself".
2/13/2022 07:37:10 am
If you are going to criticize something, WHY don't you try to do better analysis. This isn't supposed to be come curated prose for your smug ass. It's him just joyfully giving us his thoughts on his playing of a damn video game. Try not being vague about "the genre", are you talking about terraria or Cradle?. Where did he say that either was about machine guns? Who comes on an author blog site and reviews the blog post?!!! What kind of a psycho are you? Go read the books, if you have criticsm, go post a review. This isn't a place for venting your mental problems on the world.
2/13/2022 06:23:42 pm
Not using coherent sentences when you complain about something pretty much invalidates your opinion.
2/14/2022 03:26:27 pm
What is this even saying???
2/15/2022 10:34:44 am
So just to clarify i was super duper tired when i posted this. But basically the man has never actually broken down the genre of xianxia or wuxia in a concise manner.
2/12/2022 01:25:19 am
Do you have any idea of what month the next Cradle book will be published?
2/12/2022 02:22:53 pm
2/12/2022 11:59:40 am
So was that progress on the next Cradle book or progress in Terraria? You have to be sharp here, Will is tricky like that...
If you ever need a service to bust out of prison, I believe you can call us.
2/13/2022 07:06:39 am
Will, I wouldn’t break you out of prison, but I would break in to keep you company and bring you supplies to help you keep writing. I might even take up painting while I’m there…
2/12/2022 03:44:51 pm
All of my favorites have multifaceted growth. Recently one of the most rewarding/interesting things going on in Cradle has been them getting a home (even if it’s in the air) As characters grow and develop it’s nice to see their way of life beyond fighting grow.
2/12/2022 08:43:55 pm
Given that you disclosed the laser machine gun, I am satisfied that this counts as a Cradle update.
2/13/2022 07:38:36 am
we have already seen guns in the books so it wouldn't surprise me at all.
2/13/2022 06:59:27 am
I always thought of Cradle as analogous to Black Desert online. It shares many themes. Many classes (paths). Its an mmo based heavily on advancement first and then skill after. People can pay to increase their power which is alway a present mechanic in Cradle, though it doesn't replace hard work. Even using spirits to enhance power.
2/13/2022 03:15:08 pm
Oh my goodness. Posting a response earlier I realized that I’d posted here before….. in 2015!
2/13/2022 08:53:22 pm
***SPOILERS*** I love the tease of the ascension to Monarch as an underlord. Now i can wait for lindon to fight some heralds and consume them. I think Ziel will touch the Word Icon and I'm psyched for that too.
2/26/2022 07:29:08 am
Maybe Zeil can teach Yerin how to read after touching the Word icon.
2/14/2022 01:19:16 am
I love how most people thinks about monarch, but I can easily imagine Lindon getting stronger than the mad king by himself and he and his group all fighting off the chaos and saving realities, also dross ruling over everything of course who would expect it differently.
2/14/2022 09:40:21 pm
I just wanted to pop in and thank you for your hard work and dedication to building the Cradle series. It's been a pleasure to follow the adventures of Lindon and Yerin as they grow both in power and in their relationship. I look forward to what comes next!
2/15/2022 08:27:46 am
I have a writing question, so I write as a hobby, and I never plan past the next plot point, so I'm a mix of plotter/pantser but I noticed that the story I'm currently working on took a hard left into some wild metaphyscial country so to speak I'm not sure if I should just roll with it or cut out like 5k of words. Have you ever experienced this and what did you do?
2/15/2022 08:08:25 pm
That’s exactly what I love about the cradle series!
2/16/2022 02:55:58 pm
I love the progression and cringe at every obstacle. I scream at every enemy's unfair advantage even as I relish in Lindon overcoming them. I actually picture Lindon creating a void space with his power. One that violently Hungers for everything around it and BAM Cradle gets a Black Hole technique. Reigan Shen can get vacuumed to death with his inheritance taking spear stealing ass.
2/28/2022 06:49:31 pm
Yes! Exactly! Oh I can't wait for Zeil to get his revenge on the storm sage.
2/17/2022 07:23:51 pm
There is no cake
2/20/2022 01:42:49 pm
You have to be careful with those secret government agencies, I am glad you were able to sneak us an update though lol.
2/21/2022 02:03:02 pm
2 off topic questions.
2/23/2022 06:45:14 pm
Cradle metroidvania when?
2/25/2022 07:14:06 pm
You should play the Calamity Mod for Terraria.
I am just popping in to say hi! I'm late to the party, I only discovered Wills books recently. Since, I have listened to Reaper at least once a week. I can't wait to find out how they get jai long's spear back from reigan shen! I hope mercy gets to continue to grow with lindon and yerin. I really liked another poster's idea that zeil gets the word icon. Oh man, if lindon consumes some of the dread gods ❤
3/1/2022 06:59:30 am
Honestly, greater than half of my playtime in terraria is spent on building. Usually starting with the always necessary hellevator and train tracks, progressing to strippmining the desert so I can build a giant double walled glass dome over my base and fill it with lava and of course stuff with wires. The progression element is great fun, but I mostly do it in between working on my base.
3/1/2022 10:20:26 pm
I started playing Terraria with the kids four years ago (4 and 8 then). We struggled through every stage of progression, morale kept afloat by split screen enthusiasm. We eventually beat the Moon Lord and hung up our collection of swords awaiting the Journey’s End update, then attacked it again when it finally dropped on console. It has been by far the best gaming experience I’ve shared as an adult, reliving the nostalgic wonder through their eyes.
3/26/2022 08:57:05 am
You should look into a cradle video game/movie or tv show opportunity myself and many other fans and people I’m sure would be super interested the terraria thing got me thinking about how fun it would be to play a game as Lindon or maybe even one of eithans origin story or something if you didnt want to use the same storyline…
Dave Jeltema III
7/1/2022 10:04:18 pm
I feel the same way about the game Vrising. Also it's a shame they killed Terraria: Otherworld, fingers crossed they eventually make a sequel.
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Hey, what about those short stories you claim to have already written?
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