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Minecraft-like cave systems?

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Good afternoon everyone,

 

Simple question today, if it can't be considered as a question then take it as a suggesiton.

 

Has there ever existed, or been any word of future updates containing Minecraft-esque cave systems? 

What this means is, random cave systems beneath the ground, either randomly generated or placed beneath X altitude as a POI of sorts.

 

These systems would contain construction zombies, burn victims, etc

 

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No. That's pretty costly without proper occlusion, and you also have to remember that this game has Structural Integrity.  Massive cave systems like Minecraft would completely negate the possibility of building anywhere near one.

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Posted (edited)

Implementing an occlusion for non-altered caves is not really hard.

The only thing visible above ground would be the entrance, everything else can be left out from rendering.

The whole thing gets rendered when the local player is under ground or inside the entrance volume.

 

As soon as the player changes the cave region / digs around, it gets rendered like the voxel terrain is now.

 

So unaltered caves would not have any additional impact, as long as noone digs around, potentially breaking the occlusion "barrier".

 

I would not use some random approach as it was done before, but rather use a collection of premade voxel volumes that get connected in a procedural way,

to create meaningful caves. That would take care of structural integrity problems.

In the end its a question about how much such a feature would profit the game.

 

But a game that has voxel terrain anyways should not leave out on this opportunity to make interesting locations. And Also to use more random variation in POIs in general.

Edited by Damocles (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, SylenThunder said:

No. That's pretty costly without proper occlusion, and you also have to remember that this game has Structural Integrity.  Massive cave systems like Minecraft would completely negate the possibility of building anywhere near one.

But it used to work somehow. This was already implemented and worked even with no occlusion. So it is feasible - just need to think a little.

Just need a desire...

1 hour ago, Damocles said:

....

 

But a game that has voxel terrain anyways should not leave out on this opportunity to make interesting locations. And Also to use more random variation in POIs in general.

Yes, it's stupid to create another shooter on the voxel engine, but people don't seem to be very intelligent.

Edited by n2n1 (see edit history)

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You are still ignoring structural integrity!

 

However how should this fit into the game? Is it comon that there are massive caves underground? And why should there zombies be in there?

 

You can do caves like many existent POIs show already. An improved POI-system that can expand under the surface without affecting the surface to enable larger underground POIs without them being noticable from the surface structure would be nice, but then again comes structural integrity into place. Depending on how your cave-POI is built it may collapse depending on whatever is placed above bei the map generator. That might be also interesting, because it may alterate existing POIs by being collapsed... in theory... but i guess it "collapsness" wouldn't be calculated on map generation but first when you come near to them. And that would cause heavy CPU-load and also may make quest-POIs unusable, cause they respawn on quest start and then immediately start collapsing again, resulting even in making the quest unsolvable.

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32 minutes ago, n2n1 said:

But it used to work somehow. This was already implemented and worked even with no occlusion. So it is feasible - just need to think a little.

Actually, it didn't. It tanked performance on low-to-medium-end systems, and caused huge problems with SI stability in POI's. That's one of the primary reasons it was changed, then changed again, then changed again, then removed entirely.

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17 hours ago, Damocles said:

But a game that has voxel terrain anyways should not leave out on this opportunity to make interesting locations. And Also to use more random variation in POIs in general.

 

I agree wholeheartedly, especially now that the AI can handle a player below ground.  For all the work on RWG, all that the voxel terrain can really do for gameplay now is control the abundance of water, and give you a hill, or... a steeper hill.  Caves are what would (and once did) carve up that deep reservoir of voxels in more interesting ways.  The programmers have even had a plan for their implementation, called Perlin worms.  It should be possible to not generate caves under POIs, or not generate POIs above caves.  And for those building in the wilderness, give them a simple stud finder type tool, or just let them suffer the consequences of not building on bedrock.

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Caves used to be fairly common. They were not large vaulting caverns but they were all over the place and they almost always had a large cavern. As I recall you usually found a few z's in them and a feral sometimes. Not huge like caves Moria.

 

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Fifty cave POIs which can be flipped around in different orientations would give a decent illusion of Minecraft-like caves. I don't buy for a second that the procedurally-generated cave idea isn't solvable, but I absolutely accept that it isn't cost-effective for TFP to spend time solving it.

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Posted (edited)

Put @Damocles on the job! Where is Nitrocaves?  ...or would it be Subtergen?

 

 

 

They could limit them to being inside mountains. Detect mountains and stick a random complex caves system inside a % of them. You would know your SI would be safe everywhere unless you were building up on top of mountains-- then you would need to check. There are also very few POIs that show up on mountain slopes or summits.

Edited by Roland (see edit history)
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56 minutes ago, Roland said:

They could limit them to being inside mountains. Detect mountains and stick a random complex caves system inside a % of them. You would know your SI would be safe everywhere unless you were building up on top of mountains-- then you would need to check. There are also very few POIs that show up on mountain slopes or summits.

This is more brilliant than my idea for SI and, just between you and me, my idea was pretty frickin' brilliant. 😄

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6 hours ago, Boidster said:

Fifty cave POIs which can be flipped around in different orientations would give a decent illusion of Minecraft-like caves. I don't buy for a second that the procedurally-generated cave idea isn't solvable, but I absolutely accept that it isn't cost-effective for TFP to spend time solving it.

That's just the thing, though.  You can have a team of world builders make fifty whole dungeon POIs, so that your target 'typical' player has enough variety to play with before they're done with the game.  Or you can make fifty smaller 'cavern' rooms, each with a bit of gameplay, and have one programmer create billions of possible caves that weave through these.

 

The way I see it, caves shouldn't be handled as POIs.  POIs are points of interest, not sprawling geological features.  Caves should be handled like roads.  They meander from point A to point B in the world.  They can branch and intersect with other cave segments.  And there can be POIs added along their lengths.  Or to put it a different way, I favor a roguelike system of passages and rooms, where a 'room' could be as small as a supply chest or a sleeper.

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Posted (edited)

They could also do it like Minecraft does the nether. Make cave entrances that load into a pocket universe of tons of caverns. Then there would be zero conflict with SI. Not the most ideal solution but it would allow for vast networks and all new subterranean biomes since it would be a completely different virtual dimension from the rest of the game.

Edited by Roland (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, Roland said:

They could also do it like Minecraft does the nether. Make cave entrances that load into a pocket universe of tons of caverns. Then there would be zero conflict with SI. Not the most ideal solution but it would allow for vast networks and all new subterranean biomes since it would be a completely different virtual dimension from the rest of the game.

 

Sure, you could layer on something totally disconnected.  But I'd find that unsatisfying since I see caves as a way to leverage what the game does well: again, to "carve up that deep reservoir of voxels in more interesting ways."  I'd rather just write the cave generation so that, like road generation, they don't overlap POIs.

 

What happens in Minecraft if you try to tunnel to the surface from within a nether cave?

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Crater Creator said:

That's just the thing, though.  You can have a team of world builders make fifty whole dungeon POIs, so that your target 'typical' player has enough variety to play with before they're done with the game.  Or you can make fifty smaller 'cavern' rooms, each with a bit of gameplay, and have one programmer create billions of possible caves that weave through these.

...

The way I see it, caves shouldn't be handled as POIs.

Right, I get what you are saying and that's kind of what I meant by (paraphrasing myself) "I think it's solvable" - the hamster habitat cavern rooms all joined together programmatically during RWG is definitely one way to solve it.

 

The reason I suggested POIs as a proxy for that is that a) the POI system is already used to create caves, but only 4 of them and b) the POI placement rules mean that nothing else will intersect with the cave within that chunk - no buildings placed over a cave and therefore with questionable SI. It would be an easier way to kinda sorta get to "more caves" without having to redesign the RWG engine. Your hamster habitat idea is definitely superior, but I'd argue my idea is more feasible, short-term.

 

6 hours ago, Crater Creator said:

What happens in Minecraft if you try to tunnel to the surface from within a nether cave?

Well, the entire "The Nether" is a separate instance. It has a bedrock and a sky limit just like the overworld, with buildings and lakes and yes vast 'underground' cave networks. In the case of using this technique for 7D2D the 'cave' would need to have an impermeable ceiling layer (perhaps many layers above the original cave ceiling, to allow for some digging). But the only way out of the cave would have to be a defined exit. There could be more than one exit - perhaps the cave is a vast network that goes from A to B - but these would need to be immovable and indestructible. Teleporters back to the main 7D2D world, if you will.

Edited by Boidster (see edit history)

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It isn't ideal or even realistic because the entrances are definitely teleporters to a separate world. However....it might be forgivable with everything they could do. Vast caverns, new mobs, subterannean POI's, and everything still voxel with full SI rules. With it being a separate world the room for digging and exploring would be the full range of bedrock to skylimit rather than the much more shallow space we currently have.

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On 5/17/2020 at 8:25 PM, SylenThunder said:

No. That's pretty costly without proper occlusion, and you also have to remember that this game has Structural Integrity.  Massive cave systems like Minecraft would completely negate the possibility of building anywhere near one.

The size, shape and path of the cave systems would be decided by whoever developed them and I'm sure that would be taken in to account.

As for structural integrity, yes, it would now be the players responsibility (or dmise) to check the stability of the ground before building on top of it.

 

On 5/17/2020 at 8:53 PM, Damocles said:

Implementing an occlusion for non-altered caves is not really hard.

The only thing visible above ground would be the entrance, everything else can be left out from rendering.

The whole thing gets rendered when the local player is under ground or inside the entrance volume.

 

As soon as the player changes the cave region / digs around, it gets rendered like the voxel terrain is now.

 

So unaltered caves would not have any additional impact, as long as noone digs around, potentially breaking the occlusion "barrier".

 

I would not use some random approach as it was done before, but rather use a collection of premade voxel volumes that get connected in a procedural way,

to create meaningful caves. That would take care of structural integrity problems.

In the end its a question about how much such a feature would profit the game.

 

But a game that has voxel terrain anyways should not leave out on this opportunity to make interesting locations. And Also to use more random variation in POIs in general.

Occlusion, yes you're correct.

There are already a few caves scattered around Navezgane, they should be used as examples.

The caves don't have to be endless cave systems like Minecraft has, and ofcourse would be altered to suit the game and it's mechanics, that goes without saying.

 

On 5/18/2020 at 9:03 PM, Roland said:

Put @Damocles on the job! Where is Nitrocaves?  ...or would it be Subtergen?

 

 

 

They could limit them to being inside mountains. Detect mountains and stick a random complex caves system inside a % of them. You would know your SI would be safe everywhere unless you were building up on top of mountains-- then you would need to check. There are also very few POIs that show up on mountain slopes or summits.

This is the exact kind of feedback I am looking for! Excellent, and a great idea about the mountains

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It was just an idea. Not an announcement.

 

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