The Spawn Chunks 152: The Hills Are Alive With Henrik Kniberg

Aug 2, 2021 | podcast

Joel and Jonny are joined by Minecraft game developer Henrik Kniberg to discuss the team effort behind the new terrain generation planned for The Caves & Cliffs Update Part 2, floating around in the Echoing Void DLC, and pleasant surprises surfacing in Minecraft community feedback.

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  • Henrik Kniberg
    • Henrik Kniberg is a game designer, developer and coach at Mojang Studios, and Co-Founder of
    • Most recently he’s been working on the update to terrain generation for The Caves & Cliffs Update Part 2, and sharing some of that development process on Twitter.
    • @HenrikKniberg (Twitter)
    • /HenrikKniberg (YouTube)
    • Go Climate (Website)
  • Jonny
    • Bucking the trend by building a river biome drowned farm on the Empires SMP.
    • Crossed The End void using a honey block flying machine in The Hardcore Survival Guide to get an elytra before fighting the dragon.
    • Minecraft RTX 1.17 Block Showcase.

Chunk Mail

FROM: ThePianoMan89
SUBJECT: Caves & Cliffs Survival

I just discovered your podcast recently and have become very interested in following you guys, and your perspectives and input on Minecraft.

I’m new to the game, having only started playing in November of 2020. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with trying to do as much as I can without using creative mode. I am trying to learn as much as I can, so that I can feel confident progressing through the game. 

I decided to try The Caves & Cliffs Experimental Snapshot to experience all that you’ve been mentioning on the podcast. I started the world on survival, in normal difficulty, and I am shocked at how much more challenging it is. I’ve only been playing about 5-6 hours on this new world, I didn’t run into any iron for a solid 3 hours of gameplay, and I’ve died to mobs at least a half dozen times – compared to only once in my other world where I’ve put in at least 75 hours worth of Survival gameplay. 

Is this level of difficulty normal, compared to what both of you have experienced in your trials of The Caves & Cliffs Experimental Snapshot?

I dug down, in stair-step fashion, to -20 on the Y axis and never encountered a cave. Even after traveling 1500 blocks in opposite directions to look for mountains I didn’t encounter any mountains, or caves at all.

Are my experiences normal, or does this sound like a really unfortunate exception?

Sorry for the long email, but I appreciate you guys taking the time to read and respond.

Thepianoman89 died from unknowingly triggering a TNT trap in a desert temple.

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The Hills Are Alive!

Henrik Kniberg breaks down the process of creating the new terrain generation coming to Minecraft in The Caves & Cliffs Update, Part 2, as well as the gameplay and technical challenges surrounding the update. All of this during a time when the Mojang team, like many others around the world, has had to adjust from an in-studio to an at-home working environment, and what that could mean for the team going forward. Henrik also shares some insight into how  resourceful – and at times surprising – the feedback from the Minecraft community can be.