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Author Topic: Cavern biomes?  (Read 1000 times)

Urist Mchateselves

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Cavern biomes?
« on: July 27, 2023, 11:58:22 am »

You could add different cavern biomes. It would probably make exploring them less repetitive and more exciting.
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Azerty

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2023, 05:06:05 pm »

The Subterranean Water, Subterranean Chasm and Subterranean Magma biomes already exist.
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Urist Mchateselves

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2023, 09:31:49 pm »

These tags are mostly leftovers from the days of yore. They’re not really biomes, they just specify wether the creature spawns in the caverns, the cavern pools or the magma pools.
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eerr

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2023, 07:15:54 pm »

Cavern biomes come with the map rewrite probably. And that's waiting for the myth and magic update, it's gonna be a long time.
At the very least, there will be the return of flood plains for farming.

We also need night creatures that live in caverns!
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Urist Mchateselves

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2023, 08:37:09 pm »

We could also use more subterranean livestock/crops. With dwarves mostly living underground, you’d think that the animals/plants they’ve domesticated and rely on would be cavern dwellers. It would just make more sense. The regular “farm animals” should be domesticated by humans instead.
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Eric Blank

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2023, 07:15:10 am »

I think more terrain/biome diversity is always a good thing, and we probably will see a lot of new stuff in the myth & magic and map rewrite. We know cave rivers and chasms like we used to have before the current iteration of cavern layers are in the cards. Brainstorming what we'd like to see would be helpful, as some of it might prove implementable while related things are being worked on. Right now we've got three caverns that share some of their flora and fauna, the magma sea is basically empty like the oceans and cavern lakes are, and occasionally you'll get caverns that don't have any vegetation, just mud.

Some ideas I could think of;
In temperate latitudes and areas with distinct wet/dry seasons, seasonal flooding of rivers and pools from meltwater, the caverns are submerged part of the year so you get a mangrove swamp like effect, with many/mostly amphibious creatures and flora that clings to both the floor and walls/ceiling to avoid being washed away. Not that different from current caverns with lakes during the autumn/winter though.

Under desert and arctic climates, caverns that recieve water only from cavern rivers, life is mostly concentrated around these, with largely dry lichen beds and bare rock elsewhere.

Barren caves a lot like what you get IRL, where there are no producers in the caverns and most life is either transient like bats and cave swallows that forage for food outside the caves, or scavengers/predators that feed on them or their droppings/corpses. Only real flora would be some mushroom decomposers.

Flooded caverns with isolated air pockets in the ceilings. Lots of aquatic life and some aquatic flora. The air pockets would be spaces with interesting effects like breeding grounds for creatures that can climb, flora growing from the walls with tendrils growing down, lairs of ambush predators and pockets of bad air/toxic gasses. Volcanic vents would be places where producing flora and fauna hang out, and there could be a lot more of these in the third cavern just above the magma sea.

Volcanic caverns, mostly in the third layer or isolated around magma vents, where there are mostly fire or magma proof organisms, subsisting on lava overflows and heat from them. Predators that prey on magma crabs and fire snakes coming out oimplementation.

Directly transplanted overworld biomes, complete with all their flora and fauna mysteriously surviving in the darkness.

"Caves" where the empty space is instead filled with layers of soils, containing giant earthworms and other borrowers, and root-like fungi running through the soil. Pockets of water and bits of displaced stone throughout.

Caverns totally overgrown and filled by a single solid fungiwood organism, similar to the sand caves. Woodcutters required to tunnel through the fungiwood, which houses some pockets of water and air with isolated creatures and flora in them, and some tunnels running through it created by animals or streams.

Very large open spaces and hollow pits in limestone or marble where huge fungi trees can grow, flowing rivers running through them. These can form where a cave river descends sharply forming a waterfall and a wider canyon downstream or chasm around it.

Short caverns, that are only rarely more than a single z-level tall and populated exclusively by small vegetation and animals. Mostly narrow passages with a few open fields.

Crafted caverns related to spheres, like a giant temple to that sphere, or to a particular deity. Could have special generated creatures and flora and effects like overworld sphere-related biomes.

Just some rough natural tunnels, like not spread out in a honeycomb way like we have now, but just solid earth with a few tunnels or streams, linking cavern biomes together or running point-to-point, or just spiraling down into the earth with only occasional wider areas where trees grow, with animal man or kobold outposts near intersections. These kinds of tunnels branch off of cave sites and link cavern biomes to the surface through them.


I think honestly what would be nice is a departure from every part of the world having caverns, or the same number of caverns. Like normal world generation would give you many areas with no caverns or only some winding tunnels and streams linking other cavern regions, and areas with caverns might have a single layer or four or five. The embark screen should be able to tell you whether caverns are present or if there are only a few tunnels or nothing at all, but not in too much detail.
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Urist Mchateselves

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2023, 01:11:15 pm »

There should be subterranean caves of different size instead of ubiquitous « caverns » of a set depth and layer, with biomes varying based on their depth and location in the world (kind of like in Minecraft). There could be small, winding tunnels, large rooms, honeycomb like layouts similar to the current caverns, pits and ravines, etc. There could also be underground rivers and pools instead of the aquifers we have now, with rivers and pools of magma at the deeper depths of the world. All of this would be strewn about in the underground, not necessarily constrained to a « layer » that way they would be more varied and less predictable. If you would combine that along with the restriction of the more useful ore/gems to the deeper parts of the world, it would offer an experience not unlike the old 2D versions with the chasms and such, with different obstacles being exposed as you dug deeper in search for more metals. The subterranean creatures that you would encounter would become progressively more strange and dangerous. There could also be different kinds of liquid other than water or magma, such as caustic liquids found near volcanic areas, or pools of slime in certain biomes, etc.

In terms of biomes, your suggestions are very good. From barren “regular caves” to underground jungles mysteriously overflowing with life, there’s a lot of room to play with here. One feature I’d like to see is giant, glowing crystals sprouting from the walls and floors. It would be pretty cool to see.
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SixOfSpades

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2023, 05:54:23 pm »

. . . pockets of bad air/toxic gasses.
Not necessarily all bad. Helium, for example, is mined underground (it's produced there by the decay of unstable heavier elements, such as thorium, and once formed can't escape to the atmosphere). It would be funny to see the chief medical dwarf get all perplexed because a bunch of miners reported suddenly talking & laughing in much higher voices. A "syndrome" with positive effects (especially in relieving stress) should be a welcome novelty.
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Urist Mchateselves

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2023, 06:36:12 pm »

That is an excellent idea. Bonus points for magical gasses that cause the good syndromes that are currently unused.
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eerr

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2023, 12:42:22 am »

-a system of rain for the indoor areas, like how nasa space shuttle buildings naturally have their own clouds?

-a fungus tree that appears with water naturally? Like how those horned lizards in deserts that get water from the spikes on their head.

-a growable underground plant that eats tiny vermin like mosquitos or bees. (or an aboveground plant, I'm not picky)


-rivers under the ice layer in cold but not 100% cold arctic areas. (they can go underground, right?)

-deep fissures like in minecraft (both on the surface and underground, maybe wait for the caves and cliffs updates to finish)

-geodes, a new look for some gems that isn't just clusters(an outer layer and a gem pattern inside it, gems are worth making pretty!)

-off-map mineshafts and cavern roads. They will dig up stone that has to be moved by your dwarves, if the digging is to continue. Mineshafts will prospect for ore without breaching any other open or liquid-filled area. Cavern roads will automatically connect and breach new areas.
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DPh Kraken

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2023, 02:26:23 am »

Subterranean moors and bogs! The idea of it is ultimately to satisfy a worldgen hurdle that changing the cavern resources to include many more barren places would entail - there'd be worldgen rejections and logged errors from dwarves not having a place to farm underground.
On a technical level, indoor-farming entities could change the tiles underneath their starting sites into a biome with cave crops to prevent rejections. Flavorfully, they would engineer cellars and tunnels to bear fruit, transplanting dirt and organisms to jump-start a mycorrhizal network even if the biome mechanically just lets the plants and creatures spawn by virtue of it being a habitable biome.
Later on, moorcaves can be generated from the thriving caves we see currently being exploited by indoor farmers, unable to withstand the ecological shocks.
Should be ambiguous from which direction dwarves originated - if they dug down, or pierced the surface.

Since there's lots of decaying matter, it should be easy to find organic remnants such as lignite or petrified wood in a cave bog that's existed since year 0, while the artificial ones wouldn't be made on a geological timescale. Decaying matter without an output valve for acid such as a river could carve beautiful karsts in carbonate minerals, perhaps even than abiotic ones. Not to mention acidic aquifers, posing a challenge to chemically isolate (especially when it cuts into your lime reserves).
Acidity as a general worldgen parameter would be interesting, but I don't know enough about it other than to just wager to start with acidity from minerals/noise, make a second acidity parameter influenced by water/rivers/drainage & biota. The mineral acidity is to preferentially spawn minerals that cause acidity or alkaliness with the effects being more noticeable in sedimentary rock, and the water acidity is for the !!fun!! stuff.

Back to the fantasy stuff! Ice caves are a classic trope, frozen parts of the world tend to have these closer to the surface due to the similarity, while in other parts of the world they're found much deeper. They'd be cold enough to drop snow from their aquifers, and nether-caps would be an inexorable part of this locale. Like Eric Blank's idea for a soil-filled cave, much of the non-rock area could be filled with ice and dotted with tunnels.

Directly transplanted overworld biomes, complete with all their flora and fauna mysteriously surviving in the darkness.
Re: transplanted biomes; such a biome should be Savage in spirit, if not already so due to the way that caverns spawn all creatures regardless of alignment.

A more digetically underground desert would be fun, themed around dryness and being composed of minerals like rock salt or sandstone. Tunnel tubes are already the caverns' idea of "cactus", and plenty of sand to haul down to the magma smelters. Even without quicksand, some of the rock should have a high risk of caving in. Should follow similar spawning logic to the ice caves, where places already cut out to be a sandy desert get these shallowly, while it can also appear as part of the unexplainable bottom of the world.

Fungi tend to dominate semi-realistic fantasy cave ecosystems, but what about a cave dominated by some other sort of organism? "Nest of swarming bugs and their eggs" is a classic, slime is another one. A warren of underground hares might even be scarier than you expect. Creatures tagged with this biome token are just co-inhabitants, like rattlesnakes in gopher tortoise holes, while another tag allows such a creature to become dominant in "nest" biomes. It could even be done for a creature class rather than a single species, a spider nest could be populated by more than just GCSes and have the entire spider clade brood there.

And as for terrain features, dirt walls! Deep Rock has them, Minecraft Ideas Academy recommends them, lets you partition off sections of the cavern and have some exploratory digging without it being strip mining. Especially useful for spelunking in adventure mode, where I'm assuming mining through stone is going to be on a much slower timescale.
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Azerty

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2023, 05:50:50 pm »

If evolution is actually simulated then could older species hide in caverns, like in Voyage to the Center of the Earth?
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Resmisal

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Re: Cavern biomes?
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2023, 05:06:20 pm »

Underground elves would make the game more fun. How would you code them to only care about felled mushrooms? Don't make funghi count towards the tree count, please.
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