The games performance has drastically increased (thanks devs)
The New Gui looked great. but in game it looks even better
Cell membrane actually starts off as a normal membrane now.
With the addition of the atp bar it greatly helps with managing the organelles in the cell
Yay for the addition of pilus
yay for the addition of more membrane characteristics
yay for membrane colouration
now lets talk with some of the issues in the game . both major and minor currently:
The gui tends to lag behind by 1-2 seconds. leading to some confusing moments as your gui claims you have glucose yet your cell is slowly dying. this also makes it hard to navigate the buttons on the bottom corner as sometimes they’re unresponsive. The gui is just generally kinda glitchy.
spawning glitches (the sfx of the pilus stabbing is played and many of the same species of cell are spawned at the same time) (the pilus sfx is probably because of the fact that the cells the spawned in had piluses)
you’re unable to harm another cell of the same species with the pilus, yet you are still able to engulf them.
Entering the cell editor has become a bit laggier. i click on the divide button and the game takes me to thee mutation screen for like 1 second before it goes to where it should go (the patch screen)
Cannibalism does not effect your species population yet.
If anyone else wants ot drop in more feed back in this thread feel free too.
Overall this is a very solid update 9/10. loving the version so far. not only does it make the game much more accessible. its replayability has greatly increased with the advent of the pilus. looking at this version i cant help but feel like it wasnt a step towards the future, but rather a leap. keep up the good work devs. hope you all have a happy holiday
I like the wobbly cytoplasm.
The UI looks much better and is far more informative.
The patchmap information is also more informative and easier to read.
Tooltips showing process efficiency is very useful.
The gameplay is much smoother.
The cytoplasm continues to wobble when the game is paused.
The editor tooltips don’t clarify enough that the values are only valid in the current patch. I think that information should be made much more obvious so that a new player would not assume that the values in the tooltip are the same for all patches.
The UI is very laggy.
The icons in the lower left do not have tooltips (at least I didn’t see any), so their functions are unclear.
In the upper left I see numbers in the thousands, yet when I collect those resources they contribute to a far smaller number in the lower left. Why would collecting thousands of glucose increase my amount of glucose by 2 or 3? The correlation between the small and large numbers is not obvious to me.
The ATP balance bar is good, but I think it could be more informative. What does that green bar represent, exactly? What does that number mean?
The worst news is that the game always crashes for me when I exit the editor, without fail and no matter what I do. As such, I have yet to reproduce in this version. Here is a snippet of the crash log:
BSF][Uncategorized][Fatal] A fatal error occurred and the program has to terminate!
Description: Cannot create RenderTargetView:
In function: struct ID3D11RenderTargetView *__cdecl bs::ct::D3D11TextureView::createRTV(const class bs::ct::D3D11Texture *,unsigned int,unsigned int,unsigned int)
In file: C:\projects\Thrive\ThirdParty\Leviathan\ThirdParty\bsf\Source\Plugins\bsfD3D11RenderAPI\BsD3D11TextureView.cpp:257
Does it help if you select the now working, no GPU rendering on the GUI, in the launcher?
We are still using CEF as the GUI solution which runs a full chromium browser in the background acting as the UI, and that takes a lot of power as well as there’s communication overhead from getting the pixels to draw from it.
I’ve talked about changing the GUI library for a long time:
But I haven’t found anything suitable, and I haven’t had the time to write my own. To finally fix the low performance and not working on intel we might be looking at another graphics engine change, so there’s a ton of stuff for me to do…
Being able to engulf your own species is an unintended effect of how engulfing is checked (note that shooting toxins at your own species has been blocked forever). I created an issue to track solving it:
How is this an issue? The wobble is made in a shader based on the total elapsed time from the point of view from the graphics engine. There’s no easy way to “pause” that.
Do you have a suggestion for how to do that? It currently has the @ and after that it shows the conditions affecting the process.
The compound concentrations in the environment move very fast due to the way the fluid simulation is. The cursor samples a single point beneath it, from that it is not possible to tell how much the player would get from absorbing the cloud, as the compound distributions vary in it, and the clouds dissipate over time. There’s also the fact that absorbing things only a part of the compounds is absorbed based on a constant ratio, this last part could be tweaked, as well as a multiplier could be applied to the shown amount.
Green is ATP production, red is ATP consumption. I was basically the only one trying to get the features complete before release. I did not have time to separate the bars per organelle type or add tooltips.
That’s interesting. First time I see that. Usually the bsf errors of the form: Cannot create ... mean that graphics drivers are not behaving as they should.
However I do also get occasional crashes when exiting the editor which seems to be related to memory corruption somewhere in the graphics engine:
The cytoplasm wobbling while the game is paused is not a gameplay issue and can be ignored. It is just something I find aesthetically displeasing. When the game is paused, I expect all motion to stop. In Dawn of Man, for example, rivers flow and trees sway even when the game is paused, and I always was uncomfortable with that. But it is not important, so if it cannot be easily changed, then there is no need to worry about it.
Perhaps a sentence could be added above the editor tooltips which says something like “The efficiency values in [patch name] are:”. Or perhaps under the values there could be a note that says “These values only apply to [patch name].” I just want the patch’s name to be clearly shown in the tooltip so the player knows that the tooltip and patch are connected.
Since the absorption rates are complex, perhaps showing a number in the upper right is more confusing than helpful. It could be replaced with a descriptor like “high” or “low” and be functionally identical. Indeed, a descriptor might not need to be added at all, as the player can see the density of the compound in the game world; a more intense color means there is more of the compound. What if the game just noted the compound’s name and gave no indication of density? Would that change anything? I prefer minimalist design, so simplifying the UI is interesting to me.
I knew what the ATP bars meant. My intent was to present questions that a new player might have. If you plan to add information in another update, then my point is irrelevant.
Perhaps others will have the same crash I do. I’ll not investigate futher for now. Let us hope for more developers!
(The All-Seeing, The Advocate, The Architect, The Alpha & Omega, & The Over-Confident)
These are first impressions, as I’ve only played for around 30 minutes or so. I wanted to post my first impressions because I believe the most important thing needed to be focused on at this stage of game development is what is immediately felt by a potentially new player, thus immensely helping outreach efforts. I might post a comment on balancing issues I found later.
Pilus definitely spices up game-play. Not only does it introduce an entirely new aspect to the game, hence increasing replay-ability, but it has visible effects on how auto-evo works. In my game, for example, I witnessed a small-scale arms race between oxytoxin-based predators and pilus-based predators.
The Appearance tab is a nice addition which improves the needed feeling of player autonomy and style. I haven’t played around with membrane settings, but the fact that they were now options made me feel that I had more choice, which is always a good thing in a game which revolves around a concept as perplex and diverse as evolution.
Bravo to the GUI update. It’s intuitive, pretty, helpful, and is in general a vast improvement over the previous design. Paired with the ATP Consumption/Generation Bar, I feel that I have enough information to generally make informed decisions regarding design of my creature. Props to finally being to tell what you’re placing in the editor, by the way; much needed.
There is already a feeling of evolution happening in terms of cells other than your own, and a small feeling of increased efficiency on their behalf (in other words, they become more adapted to their environment and thus more competitive). I can’t comment on whether or not there has been progress since the last update as I had an Intel laptop for that time, but it’s definitely there.
There is a feeling of that KSP-esque feeling TjWhale ( ) and other developers were describing. I would consistently have to identify morphological shortcomings in my cell’s design in order to stay afloat. Most of this focused around redesigning my cell’s energy production system as I added more adaptations which gave me advantages over other cells, and most of this revision was based off of a trial and error process in which I looked over what the environment gave me and added organelles which could take advantage of that.
In essence, the strength of this update came in increasing replay-ability (pilus, evolution, appearance, etc.) and upgrading accessibility (GUI, ATP consumption).
I don’t really have comments on potential negatives yet that other people haven’t seemed to identify, so I will instead offer input as to what should be focused on in updates.
For the near future, I think significant effort should be put into finding ways to make the game more visually appealing and atmospheric in the next few updates. In terms of gameplay, Thrive has developed to the point to which most people can definitely see the potential in it; however, presentation is key in first impressions, and a large component of how people perceive a game is on how appealing it is. While Thrive definitely isn’t ugly, it doesn’t really feel like you’re an immensely miniature cell combating other immensely miniature cells in varying fluid environments. Uniow’s concepts regarding dynamic backgrounds are beautiful; perhaps the framework for that design can be expanded upon in the next few updates. I will add that the sound effects already implemented do a good job regarding this.
While the cells around you appear to be evolving, the environment doesn’t. This is more of a long-term goal, as I feel like the framework for auto-evo should be more established before we introduce dynamically shifting environments to the game design.
New players could be initially overwhelmed by the amount of micro-management needed to balance the energy requirements of your cell. The previously mentioned dynamic-tool tips would be immensely helpful for this.
Small design changes regarding accessibility could be valuable. I find myself usually switching between patch details and the cell editor as I try to plan out which organelles to add. Maybe there could be another section of the GUI which shows up when you hover over a specific organelle which shows the current state of the compound it depends on (for example, hovering over chloroplast gives you sunlight data of the current patch you are in).
Engulfing is a bit too overpowered in my opinion. I have gotten out of many situations which my cell shouldn’t have simply due to how devastating engulfment is; for example, a swarm of medium sized pilus-based cells that were attacking me were decimated by my rather large cell which doesn’t really seem to have that much of a size advantage over them. I think a limit regarding how many enemy cells can be engulfed at the same time could solve this.
This is a small gripe and I’m not really sure if this is intentional, but I find that my population seems to be dwarfed by other cell’s populations when it shouldn’t be. After several successful generations in the same patch for example, my population will typically be around 400, while other populations could be as much as 7000.
There is only one thing that I hate and it’s the lack of resources. Sure, there is competition between species, but the process rebalance is awful even though it effectively kills organelle gluttony.
Here is the balanced and simplified equation of cellular respiration:
C6H12O6 + 6 O2 --> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + 30/32 ATP
6 mol is 6 mol. Period.
One other way I thought of to fight organelle gluttony is that an organelle check should be made. Depending on the biome, this checker would know which organelle is not useful and thus would increase its price, which would discourage the player at buying it.
Now, everytime I go to the patch viewer, going to another patch is not useful because there is a constant lack or absence of glucose (only a lack), hydrogen sulfide or iron. So there is no real reason for the patch system if it doesn’t give any advantage except for going to the surface for light.
I think that adds too much visual clutter, but if you can make a mockup design, I’d like to see it.
It’s a bit messed up currently, with the cloud brightness maxing out at a pretty low value, so the same looking cloud can result in very different compound amounts, and the only way to tell between them is the compound amount text.
We talked about on stream what extra info we want to add to the ATP balance bars.
Wait until we implement an actual algorithm for adapting the species to their environment. As currently only the immediate darwinian effects (like cells dying on screen) and a random number affect the populations, which do help a bit to weed out species that just constantly dies.
That is the dynamic tooltips. The game does in fact show how much photosynthesis your chloroplast can do in the current patch (at least tylakoid should work, there could be a bug with chloroplasts) and it even shows you the current light level that caused the process efficiency
I think that the pilus should be made more effective against engulfment, so that even small cells could somewhat easily block attackers with it.
We haven’t really put much thought into it. I’ve just been using the random evo numbers untrustedlife added and those are so that a species gets between -500 and 500 population added each cycle.
Definitely making the population numbers accross the player and AI species to be consistent is a good goal.
The process amounts were tweaked to balance the game, but once we moved to variable rate ticks the balance has gone off a bit.
Making organelles locked before they are useful is planned:
Glucose is set to decrease every editor cycle.
I might be wrong, but I think that the lower patches and the cave have more iron and hydrogen sulfide, so there is a difference between going to the surface or staying at the bottom.
Once again if there are any potential game designers reading this, I would accept analyzing all these effects and making concrete updated designs as sample work for joining the team.
That still doesn’t explain why that even in Pangonian Sea Floor, there is no hydrogen sulfide.
Yeah, I know, but that wasn’t the point, it was more about other compounds.
Anyway, maybe the glucose decrease percentage (80%) should be lowered a bit. Maybe to 70% or 75% percent. It’s very difficult to go to other biomes with very low amounts of glucose while you can’t have hydrogen sulfide or sometimes iron (iron is only lacked on the surface though).
Here is what I think of the game. I have also played for only a small amount of time.
• The pilus seems overpowered, because later game, the patch your in has massive clusters of enemy cells which you can run through really easily.
•The ATP usage/production bar is useful, but it could be more informative, such as showing how much organelles, pilus, flagellum, and membrane use
•I like the new cell division button, but personally I think it would look better if it just became less transparent and slightly brighter, instead of flashing.
The addition of showing the player’s population right above the cell division button is useful, but it seems out of place and similar to the outdated design.
Can the text be placed below the process name? I think the flavor text at the bottom is not necessary. If that were removed, there could be more space between the lines and the text could be larger. I think that would be easier to read.
Here is my feedback after playing the game without crashes.
I used the graphics options in the launcher, and that fixed the problems. The UI and game were very smooth and it never crashed. I seem to always begin the game next to a puff of glucose. Is that intentional? I think the reproduce button is a bit too large, covering more of the screen than necessary. When useless compounds are emptied from the cell, I think they should return to the game world instead of being destroyed. Poopy cells (a technical term) would be accurate, as real cells spew a lot of waste. Engulfing kamikaze cells is still too easy. I often don’t need to move because smaller cells will just swim into me and let me engulf them. The lack of defense against toxin is annoying, but that is an old issue of which you are already aware.
Ultimately, I am happy with this update and think it is a large improvement. Did you see the video I posted in the shoutbox about the ecosystem simulator? I think that might be useful for Thrive’s development.
Useless compounds are vented as clouds into the environment. In fact I’m almost certain there is no logic to spawn a special cloud when spawning, so the cloud you see is the player cell being given excess compound amounts that get immediately vented.
I did see it. It referenced a new neural network evolution method, which might be useful. But as the code is not open source, that was all of the utility of it. For truly useful stuff, you should check that it is open source before letting us now about it. As a worse example of this behavior people have posted very impressive videos of planet generators that are not open source, there’s no way for us to replicate what they’ve done.
I didn’t experienced any crash. I like the new UI, very smooth and the patch details are definetely welcome. I also tested the pilus wich is very efficient; I managed to get a species population to drop to like 79 or something. Speaking of wich, I never understood why my species’ population was staying in the hundreds while AI species could go to the thousands. Am I missing something? Overall i’m happy to see somee progress on the game.