Hello everyone, I’m back from the caves to tell you a little about, well, caves. We’re putting the finishing touches on the third biome for Cave Digger 2, and I’ve been deep down there for the last few months. All cave and no fun makes AMP a dull boy.


We’re constantly developing and improving the pipeline for creating a new biome of content. Currently, we start with very approximate sketches made by me, and upgrade those to greyboxed rooms built in Unity – basically just walls and floors, with basic dimensions of the space implemented. These moulds are then kicked over to Tiina’s desk, where she remasters them, removing outside planes, adding ceilings and some placeholder textures. 



The rooms are then brought back over to me by courier (or Sourcetree, as it were) and the Great Labour of decorating them can begin. I generally start with digging walls, proceed over to props and finish the set with loot nodes. Room and loot spawn information is then collated into a spreadsheet, and the bundle of caverns is sent over to testers, who do their best to fix carelessly placed floating props and other possible bugs I’ve managed to leave behind me. 


So that’s how the sausage gets made, but what does it contain, you may ask.


Well, I think the third biome – identified with the in-house codename NEST – is possibly the coolest we’ve built so far. It combines elements and experiences we’ve pulled from many of my favourite stories, namely Lovecraftian horror fiction and old pulp adventure stories. I think we’ve done a good job with creating the experience of discovering antediluvian strangeness underground, while hunted by degenerate monsters bent on your downfall. But you know, in a whimsical and fun way!


Decorating the environment was very different from the previous two areas, mainly because the caves are actually inhabited by a sapient species now. Both of the earlier biomes have been fairly empty of intelligent intervention, as Clayton’s camps and mining gear are essentially just traces of visitation rather than signs of permanent inhabitation. I found it much easier to decorate cave rooms where someone had placed the stones and buildings there, rather than trying to emulate the apparent randomness inherent in a naturally occurring environment.


In addition to being not-quite-soul-crushingly-boring to decorate, the Nest biome also has other cool features speaking for its superiority. We’ll be introducing two new enemy types, both with much more complexity in their behaviour than the previous creeps. And one of them is invisible! (No joke, seriously. We’re making a VR game with an invisible enemy. That’s how new wave we are.) And the climbing feature we’ve let you try out in the Grave Digger update is fully online for this biome, so you get to climb around properly now. Which is nice. 


Well, I think that’s it for today. Jaakko is threatening me with a pair of pliers, apparently I need to rush to a weekly meeting or I’ll lose my nose privileges.


Until next time. 





Random development quote: “I just shat my pants. Can I get into yours”?