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Caves v2 Notes v2

Posted May 21, 2024 by Xhin

Moving everything notes-wise that's actually completed here, for sanity.

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#3 Caves v2 Notes v2

This set of notes will make the set of caves v2 features make more sense together.

Wilds Changes

  • The wilds generation should overlap with water colors, with transition zones xoring (or combining or something) the wilds properties. In other words, a wilds generation should all have the same water color, and that be one of the 5 in the dimension. (Or was it 6? I forgot).

  • Water colors dictate the resources that spawn in a cave network, while the wilds chunk dictates everything else. In fact the wilds chunk is a "network" of caves.

    Cave Networks

    Instead of being standalone, caves are tied to a wilds chunk. They're still limited, but the generation is inherently tied to the chunk, so you'll get the same generation across multiple holes, just at different parts of it. Collection should also be network dependent, not cave dependent. Which means it's based on the level, regular x/y and tetrad. Which I think is true for normal generation already.

    Cave Networks are all the same cave system, with the surface holes determining the entry point. The size of each individual cave room starts small and goes all the way up to the wilds chunk size + some margin I guess.

    Each cave network has an amount of levels and an amount of "branches". Levels go up or down, while "branches" sorta go sideways, but not like my old set of notes. Instead there are just N variants of the same cave network, where N is the number of branches (roughly). More on that in that section. Holes of both this kind and the surface kind make the cave system fan out from their coord as the centerpoint. Cave holes inside the cave of any kind have fixed locations.

    A cave network will also have some amount of crystals, based largely on the complexity of the cave network. These are at fixed locations of level/branch/location. Additionally, it may have ECS access points, which will also be at fixed locations. Note that anything happening like this may not be retrievable at any particular cave hole or at the network in general -- however you can create your own entrances to bypass this.

    Cave Networks are what dictate the basic palette and cave generation algorithm. Then the actual levels/branches put in different seeds to the generation, while they also vary the palette.

    Cave Network Navigation

    Navigation is a bit different. It's definitely confusing and needs scanning abilities but isn't as bad as my old set of notes.

    There are 4 types of paths inside a cave:

  • Down along the same branch -- a basic cave hole. Takes a rope and lets you use it.

  • Down but to another branch -- a colored cave hole, sends you to the branch indicated by it's color. Same rope logic.

  • Up to the same branch. This is possible anywhere the solid color is a bit different (happens in patches) and allows you to throw a grappling hook up.

  • Up to a different branch. Same deal with grappling ropes. Not sure on the details yet.

    Cross-network Navigation

    Since the branching system is confusing and certain things are tied to specific areas, and it's not always possible to get there directly, you can also use Cross-network Navigation to get somewhere:

  • Every cave network has 8 "warp holes" at fixed locations within the cave network (a specific branch/level/location that's consistent regardless of where you are in the cave). These tie into the 8 adjacent directions and go to the cave network one space in that direction. The directions are also tied to a specific branch. If the cave network in that direction doesn't have that branch the warp hole won't appear. The directions are fixed across the game and should be something memorable. Obviously with fixed locations they may not always be immediately accessible. Leveraging scanning is *very* important here so you can then find a way to get there.

  • Using a warp hole requires Quartz, with progressively more depending on the level you want to reach's displacement from your current level. So for example if you're on level 3, then it'll cost more quartz to go to level 2 or 4 than 3, and more still for 1 or 5, etc.

  • Using a warp hole will activate Crossquartz nodes within Cave Rods in the cave network you're entering. No sense overcomplicating it.

  • Directions wrap around the Void Sea.

    Cave Hole Creation

    It may also be necessary to create cave holes. A special type of bomb does this -- probably literally a quartzbomb like some older set of notes. Created cave holes are a lab unlock.

    It's also possible to unlock the ability to craft/place branch holes -- the PGCS does however require crossquartz and ideally the recipe should as well. So you still have to use warp holes.

    Cross-dimensional navigation

    Each cave network around the Void Sea will also contain a Chimera Hole (name pending) that goes to the appropriate dimension along the new dimensional trade routes system. I'm assuming the directions are literal, assuming I can make sense of the hexagonal layouts relative to an open square. Probably polar coordinates from [0,0] to match angles. In any case, these holes again have fixed locations.

    To use them you have to pair a Tetradkey with Crossquartz. So it's totally possible to hop dimensions without using any of the other systems, but this isn't exactly public knowledge and also gathering tetradkeys and Crossquartz (and all the quartz it takes to make it) isn't exactly easy. This new item would however be a potential (albeit *very* rare) piece of loot.

    Like warp holes, chimera holes appear in a fixed branch/level/location.

    Branch Mechanics

    There are (up to) eight branches in a cave network:

  • White -- North -- basically the normal cave layout. Doesn't change the palette.

  • Black -- South

  • The other colors are the other 6 directions and correspond to elements. Will have to check my tetrad/etc code to flesh them out here.

    When you move into a branch, the palette shifts towards that color. Black will make things blacker, yellow will make them more yellowy, etc. Hopefully this is still obvious by torchlight.


    On the outer edge of a cave level, "Rods" will form, fanning out from the central square. These might spawn rods of their own. Rods keep the existing generation but don't spawn resources or gashrooms. They will instead contain:

  • Altars

  • Guaranteed small patches of water to use scout animals prior to cyborging them. This should always be true -- it means making cyborgs is just more convenient + smithy stuff. The fishing opportunities means I can terco them to specific branches/floors since there's always water now.

  • Crossquartz nodes that turn into crossquartz once you come here from somewhere else.

  • ECS Entrances (fixed locations)

  • Crystals (fixed locations)

  • Regular quartz nodes.

  • Warp holes/Chimera holes.

  • Transporters to other rods on the floor.

  • May 21, 2024
    Sky's the limit

    #4. Mushrooms and Metals

    Gashrooms v2

    The new caves system makes gashrooms way more useless (or alternately, super broken), however I do like them populating the caves and I also like the name, so in this new system they're a clade of resources.

  • Gashrooms are an item type rather than being homogeneous.

  • Different ones are assigned valid branches/levels within a cave network, depending on the water color, so there's definitely more variety but not an unlimited amount. Their colors vary.

  • They're extracted for various things useful in caves -- bomb/torch fuel (however those systems work), ropes, grappling ropes, generic feed for scouts/mounts. Some kind of generic cave fish bait. Maybe Quartz or some plausible cave rock. Sometimes an edible portion, sometimes a potion ingredient. The extraction chances vary by gashroom and some are obviously not present.

  • A lab-unlockable Boiler function will turn mushrooms into base fuel. They have different fuel gains. The caveat though is that this only has a certain chance of working.

  • They should be added to the PGCS as well as their potion ingredient (if it exists).

    Metals v3

    I'm altering the metals system *again*. This one offers the following advantages:

  • A wider variety of metals, which is better for the PGCS and game as a whole.

  • Takes advantage of the new caves system so it still isn't using tercos, which is a good thing when players are dealing with other difficult mechanics.

  • Improves Industry quite a lot.


  • Metallic rocks spawn in a similar way to mushrooms -- floor/branch-based, a bigger list per dimension. This makes different metals trackable.

  • Metals are heterogeneous materials again.

  • There are no precious metals anymore.

  • Metals rather than their rocks go into the PCGS. They can also be a component of jewelry/etc again.

    Industry Changes

  • Ores / The forge is still a thing. The PCGS and all recipes are going to call for the smelted form. Different amounts of ores are required for the ingots in a procgen way based on the metal. Same deal with fuel cost, assuming it's not already like that. And time spent, if that is a thing.

  • The Smithy now lets you custom-pair a propertied item and a metal. The metal itself dictates how much of it is actually required to make the new item. Some will be better than others.

  • The naming should change a bit and be better now as well, like combining a Honeyfel Dagger with Rozzium would make a Rozzium Honeyfel Dagger. This is better than the existing system where everything is just prefixed with "metallic".

    Anvil Changes

    The anvil has been significantly nerfed but also heavily improved to fit it in better with core gameplay.

    The metal you choose now has a direct effect on the properties which are upgradeable and they're also more limited -- each metal will target one or more properties within a certain item type and will advance them a certain amount. This information is shown in the Smithy so you can see what your potential upgrades are from the outset.

    Upgrades cost PCGS materials, with each sequential update being harder to source. Or just upping the quantity if that's too complicated.

    Blast Furnace Changes

    Nothing is really changing here except that one tool eats another so the Anvil still works properly. This therefore means that the reforger is no longer necessary; you can just use the blast furnace to recast a tool in another metal. Granted it's expensive -- you take the chump tool as the base and then catalyst over all the useful properties. Seems pretty balanced though.


    These Industry Changes balance the system a lot and make the Anvil more useful. It also makes making OP weapons/items a lot harder, though it's not impossible.

  • May 21, 2024
    Sky's the limit

    Reply to: Caves v2 Notes v2