A concept for caves

Magnus S shared this feedback 2 months ago

the idea of caves in space engineers has been around for some time now. But I feel like just empty caves would not add a lot to the game. So I came up with this concept that would add interesting and challenging caves into the game with acceptable workload. It would still be a major task but I feel like it would be worth the time and effort.

  • Caves are generated via a special cave map in the planet prefabs
  • The cave map uses one channel for cave floor depth, one for cave height and one for cave biome
  • Cave depth is the same as the planet heightmap
  • This allows for massive cave systems but no overlaps which should be accetable
  • During planet voxel generation all caves above surface level are ignored
  • Cave biomes determine several properties of the cave
  • Biome voxel material (should be possible to set floor and walls/ceiling as separate materials, better would be the same system as surface materials)
  • Biome temperature (obviously)
  • Biome difficulty (in caves sabroids and wolves should be stronger than on the surface and pose a considerable threat even to ships -> more life + damage + ability to destroy blocks)
  • Possibly some cave "trees" for decoration (giant mushrooms, stalagmites, glowing trees)
  • Caves should probably not show up in planet LOD - haven't seen the code though
  • Shipwrecks, abandoned rovers and mining outposts could be generated in caves

With these features in place the cavemap allows the following additional challenges

  • Caves should have passages that are difficult to navigate for vehicles and ships alike (this would finally add some piloting challenges to space engineers)
  • Deeper caves should contain small magma lakes that damage the player when walking on them (could be added as a biom like normal lakes)
  • Caves can overlap with ore deposits - rare ores could be reintroduced to planets but on a lower level than before. Ore detectors can now detect them when in caves but not when on the surface
  • Gold and silver ore deposits could be moved lower and also only be visible from caves (not sure though)
  • Stronger sabroids and wolves in caves offer some challenging PVE experience without bothering peaceful players on the surface