0.5.1 Feedback Thread

You can write your review of the 0.5.1 release here. If you get crashes, please copy the output from the launcher and make a new thread in #bug-reports.


  • Saving, of course.
  • No crashes nor lags.


  • Sometimes after I exit the editor the cell spawns two cells instead of one.
  • Iron chunks still spawn onscreen.
  • I still have the same compounds of the last session after I exit the editor.


  • Fair, but challenging. Easy, but not too much. Hard, but not too much. It really is the perfect medium!
  • Nice Microbe Intro


  • Lightning in compound clouds when it’s a huge mix
  • Presence of some sound artifacts
  • Bunch of other species can appear in front of the player in dozens
  • Sometimes, the flagellum is not oriented in the right direction.


  • Create new compounds for more diversity (magnesium, uranium, fatty acids, etc.)
  • Recreate autotrophy (chloroplast, thermoplast)

I agree with it. The 0.5.1 release is the balance of difficulty for me too! At least (much) better than before

I want they doing it in 0.5.2, the game would be much more fun and engaging with an overhaul of the autotrophs (which perhaps would need a heterotroph overhaul too, as predation is an important factor in sessiles and autotrophs), as buckly and the theory team did some discussion on this, I’m very excited about!

Save files retro compatibility is also another suggestion.

Hmm I don’t think they would spend time working on it. Unless its easier than I thought. For me it isnt a thing I care much; we also have a good time between releases (of like 2 or 3 months), so it isnt soooo bad

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What would they do? Just add unnecessary complexity. Oxygen and CO2 clouds used to be a thing but were removed to simplify what the player needs to look for in the environment.

Save file compatibility is not a short term goal. Ensuring saves are compatible between versions adds a bunch of extra work, especially when not all microbe stage features are done.


my game randomly crashed while eating compounds


There’s nothing out of the ordinary in that log. Perhaps the mono log file (mentioned near the top of the log), would have more info?

It’s because I thought that spreading to other patches is difficult because of the lack of certain compounds. The first patch has the following :
  • Glucose, Phosphates & Ammonia
  • Iron
  • Hydrogen Sulphide
The second patch lacks hydrogen sulphide and only provides iron. Maybe if there had been a eukaryotic organelle for iron, which would be more efficient than its prokaryotic organelle, it would have been easier. Still, there is less iron in the second patch than in the first one. Adding diversity allows to player to adapt easier and find new mechanics that can help them thrive across several patches without too many risks.

Before adding iron as an energy source it was quite extensively researched that it is scientifically plausible. Before other such things can be added they need similar level of research to make sure they are scientifically realistic.

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It seems when I exit the editor my cell spawns in the same place, also sometimes cells spawn in a line and they only start to move after I go next to them.
Also the game feels empty, there are not many microbes and depending on the patch I have to swim for 1,5 minutes to find something.

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I know this is contradictory to my non-sadistic nature, but what about an ironman mode?
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Hi all. This might be late, but oh well. Some feedback on V

I played a “population” game, and noticed that my population rolled over at around 5 billion. In every patch, I had 50 population, even in patches that I never went to. As well, the population stayed the same in all patches, except for the one I was in.

In keeping with the population theme, other species don’t increase in population a lot. This means that, for me, gameplay is dragged out somewhat. I guess this would be fine, but then the aggressiveness of the other species seems to be non-existent in this release.

Another issue is compound clouds. They are extremely rare. One playthrough I did, it took nearly an hour before I found some. I would not have survived if it wasn’t for the Thylakiods. (More on that below). Basically, rare compound clouds and low populations of other species make for a very dragged out microbe stage.

Now, Thylakiods. In my opinion, very overpowered. Very, very, very overpowered. Once you have about 10 of these bad boys, glucose and ATP is sorted. Well, if you’re in the Tidepool or Estuary patch. In the Epipelagic you need about double that, but the effect remains the same. Maybe Lux should be capped at 100%, or Thylakiods should be reworked or limited.

Anyways, that’s my critique. All and all, it’s still an awesome game, and I really can’t wait for the next stage.


I just checked the dev forums, and it seems like they are attempting to address this issue.

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lol, I’ll make a note to change the data type for populations from int to long, that should give a few orders of magnitude higher max population.

Currently they are just random. Hopefully we’ll get the auto evo population algorithm population prototype into the game soon.

I believe @Buckly has done some balancing on them, but maybe more balancing is needed still?


Someone in our public discord actually pointed out to me that I made a mistake with thylakoids as they ended up statistically better than chloroplasts. It’s a small difference but it’s still there and pretty awkward. so I really need to fix that when I get around to rebalancing. I can try reducing the overall production rates for photosynthesis again as well, hopefully I wont reduce it too much for everyone’s liking again.
It’s pretty hard to find a good balance for it right now as reducing it’s production essentially just raises the bar on how many of the parts you need to set it up, rather than making it any less powerful. Which is why I would like to get a feature in the game that puts a check against photosynthesis.


I just had an idea regarding protein slots. What if the player’s genome were represented as chromosomes that each had a certain number of slots that could be filled with genes (i.e. proteins or whatever). However, the limited number of slots means that players quickly run out of space and need to develop additional chromosomes to hold more genes. The number of chromosomes can be determined by the size of the cell or number of nuclei or something like that, so if the player wants to keep developing, he needs to make his cell larger. Perhaps it could be like an RPG, where each chromosome costs more than the last one to unlock.

Let’s say each chromosome holds 4 genes. Maybe I add rusticyanin and upgrade it three times because I’m in a particularly iron-rich area. That’s my whole chromosome gone, so now I need to add 3 more hexes of cytoplasm to unlock another. The next time I need to add 5 hexes, then 9, then 15, and so on. That way, the player has an incentive to become larger and “level up”, so to speak. It also reflects increasing genetic complexity, and larger organisms can have a lot more proteins than smaller ones.

Maybe there could be an especially large cost for changing genes, making the player unlikely to want to edit them.

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I don’t think that higher complexity necessarily implies a bigger genome, at least not in eukaryotes. Assuming that non-coding DNA has no function and knowing that there’s a lot of it in at least the human genome, it is hard to imagine that space becomes an issue when new genes are added.
(I’m not an expert in this.)

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My suggestion was entirely connected to gameplay and the UI, not scientific accuracy. I was only thinking about game balance and progression.

Hi, I’m back. I randomly decided to take a look at the most recent Thrive build. To say the least, it’s been a while since a game made me say “wow” in reaction to graphics. It’s a remarkable improvement from when I last played Thrive.

I quite like the auto-evo system, and it does provide some more realistic-feeling evo. I also enjoy that your species is the first to ever exist in the oceans of [insert planet name]. On evolution, I found the reports interesting, and the customisable cell membrane was something I wasn’t expecting to see, but liked the idea of. Also, hell yes, you can name your species and change the cell colour. Certainly a revolutionary development.

Of course, I have my issues. Firstly, the everlasting issue I have with Thrive still stands - I often get betrayed by the lack of glucose cloud spawns, and die as a result. Because of this, I had to develop a reliance on iron for half of my ATP production, and abandon metabolosomes as a concept. Most curiously, I’ve found that whenever I migrate to a new area, no clouds spawn at all - no glucose, no phosphates, no ammonia. You can guess how that turns out. I’ve also found that whenever some cells die, clouds of various resources burst out at mach speed into God-knows-where, which not only looks strange but also denies some much-needed resources, provided that they’re meant to dump out their resources on death. Probably worth fixing.

Overall, it’s a substantial improvement graphically and the new evolution options are most welcome. However, as with all games, it has its issues, some more pressing than some. At least I got this pic: image

Edit: A couple of other things, including actual suggestions.

Firstly, I find it odd that the population of your species does not change at all once you leave a patch. It doesn’t increase, doesn’t decrease, hell it doesn’t even speciate. Secondly, I’d recommend downscaling the circular thing in the bottom right, it could take up less of the screen quite easily. Thirdly, I find how common iron is, odd. I’ve stumbled upon iron chunks a lot more than I’ve stumbled upon glucose, ammonia or phosphates, even in the Bathypelagic, where it claims that there’s a lot less iron than in other patches. It makes developing rusticyanin a practical necessity. Finally, on a minor note, I’ve noticed visible lines in the background during gameplay. They’re faint, but visible.

Not really detrimental to the playing experience.