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I was thinking about the rust biome and how it doesn`t have any interesting twist about it. All other biomes have something you need to worry about when entering. Like unwanted gasses, slimelung, heat, melting ice or agressive critters. Rust has nothing. It`s cold and chlorine gets mostly absorbed by wild saltvines. So my idea is a new germ type that likes cold and metal. The rust germ unlike other germs doesn`t affect dupes but they can be covered in it. What it affects is machines. Whenever a dupe interacts with a machine (delivers resources, operates, tunes up) the building might get "infected". Buildings covered in germs take "rust damage" and need to be repaired. Disinfecting the building removes the effect. Only happens above a certain amount of germs. Rust germs should spawn (as the name indicates) in rust. They multiply in rust and refined metals. Survive in ores, get inhibited by solids, killed by organics gasses and liqids and disinfected by bleachstone and chlorine. It wouldn`t be crazy annoying as you could set up sinks to get rid of the germs and some ore scrubbers to clean the ore. Disinfecting will get more important as well. The rust deoxydizer produces chlorine so it will disinfect itself on it`s own. Then it would only be a matter of not spreading the germs to other machines.
The germ overlay shows off germs as tiny specks of color. Those specks can be confusing to the color blind and are generally not too pleasant to look at. What if each germ type was represented by its own unique look? For example, the slime lung germ should look like more of a gooey slime. If it's really gooey it's really infected. Food poisoning germs might look like bad hamburgers and other sickly images Zombie Spore germs might look like brains and traffic cones. It's a small touchup to give the art guys some fun and add more shiny to the germ overlay.