0.5.9 Feedback thread

Post your random or small feedback that doesn’t deserve its own thread about 0.5.9 in this thread.

Release 0.5.9 on Github

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I don’t think the thermoplasts/thermosynthesis is working as intended. Maybe it is a translation error (I use portuguese), but it says it is suppossed to produce glucose, but it is generating energy. Also I had a weird bug that made all energy gains from this organelles to vanish. Also, I think cilia should also increase speed or at least make so you don’t get slower for using them.

Seems to be a translation thing since the English translation say it produces atp[1]

English:


  1. Energy ↩︎

2 Likes

Statement: I don’t think it is possible to make a thermosyntheser outside the vents without modyfing. At 23ºC (max temperature outside the vents), silica/calcium and osmorregulation modifier 1, the osmorregulation cost is always higher than the energy produced by the organelles.
Suggestion: I think it would be good to have some way pure thermosynthesers could thrive outside the vents and without putting osmorregulation modifiers way down, even if they are pratically immobile. Maybe we could have ER/golgi organelles that make the osmorregulation cost lower.

Edit: Btw I loved the advanced settings menu when you start a new playthrough
At 0,4 you can survive as pure thermosyntheser but you need more than 150 thermoplasts
At 0,3 you can with a nucleo and 77 thermoplasts
At 0,2 you can with nucleo and 39 thermoplasts
So you can’t survive outside the vents with a non nuclear pure thermosyntheser

  1. I’m having a weird bug (?) in the cell editor where my cell’s speed seems to change randomly as I move flagella around, even though they are not being blocked or pointing in the wrong direction. More puzzlingly, the change to the speed sometimes remains after undoing the changes.
  • Image below. Here, during the multicell stage, my purpose-built locomotion cell (2) is slower than my stem cell (1) despite having having more flagella and less size. The speed improves after moving one of the outer flagella to the middle and then undoing it (3). Note that the Undo button is gray in each, meaning each of these should be in the same state as when I first entered the editor.

  1. Cells with pili poke me immediately upon ejecting me/being ejected after a failed engulfing. Maybe give cells some post-engulfment I-frames where they can neither take nor receive damage.

  2. Ending engulf mode early by mistake forces you to completely eject food before trying again. It would be nice if pressing the engulf button mid-ejection allowed you to immediately start engulfing again without having to spit it out and start from scratch. EDIT 3: No longer the case.

  3. I sometimes spawn overlapping a friendly cell. We don’t damage each other, but it makes moving extraordinarily difficult until I manage to shake free.

  4. In the pre-release candidate, I noticed AI microbes were chasing and eating things they could not digest. I don’t know to what extent this is still happening, but I have seen small microbes trying to eat things that are too big for them.

  5. New procedural patch map is really neat but not very intuitive. I assume this will be improved.

  6. Being able to pick up in another patch after going extinct is really nice. :+1:

  7. Now that attention is being paid to rotation, and especially now that rotating takes energy, I think it’s a good time to suggest decoupling cell rotation from the pointer’s location. At least, make it so that you have to right/left click on the screen to make your cell turn towards the pointer. Right now, moving your cursor to press the multiply/evolve button, or hover over a resource or another microbe to see what it is, inevitably causes unintentional rotation which can be disruptive and sometimes even dangerous.

  • Doing this would also open up new options. You could have more clickable buttons onscreen. Maybe clicking a microbe highlights it, showing you more detailed information or allowing you to track/target it with certain attacks or abilities without having to look directly at it.

EDIT:

@Pac_Mine

I don’t think it is possible to make a thermosyntheser outside the vents without modyfing.

It’s definitely not. As you said, it costs more energy to osmoregulate than it provides. Thermosynthesis is supposed to be changed in the future to depend on energy gradients within patches, probably making it more viable in some patches. However, I think it will still not be viable everywhere.

(Actually, I don’t know how steep the temperature gradient is expected to be in the arctic patch, but that would be a good location for similar sort of salt/halosynthetic system due to a high salt gradient between the saline seawater and fresh meltwater.)

EDIT 2: Actually, it hadn’t occurred to me to use a different membrane. It seems it is possible, barely, to survive in 23º C.

Also, I think cilia should also increase speed or at least make so you don’t get slower for using them.

I second this. Some real-life cells depend entirely on cilia for locomotion.

2 Likes

I agree it shouldn’t be able to survive everywhere, but it should be able to survive in more than one environment.
I tried to do the “Make that cell” and play as the cell. It barely could move

please dont double post

1 Like

You’ll need to show that it is actually possible. The reason why thermoplasts are only usable in the vents is trying to follow (some) science realism even though it is a non-LAWK part.

Please do not double post. I see it way too much recently so I will issue warnings about it very quickly and potentially bans if you can’t follow the rules. Specifically rule 8:

Do not double post unless you have a good reason. Edit your post instead.

1 Like

Tidepools should only be able to connect to coastal regions, because a tidepool going straight to an epipelagic region dosent make much sense, because how could a tidepool be near an area thats not near a coast?

2 Likes

Islands. Also just generally steep coastal formations, once you’re past the beach you’ve made it to the epipelagic.

2 Likes

That makes sense, but when the coastal patch right next to the tidepool can’t connect to the epipelagic but the tidepool can it makes no sense.

1 Like

I actually agree on that point

As a question for 0.5.9 release, would it be possible for seed to generate a planet with single “region”?

2 Likes

Well looks like when the people who changed the patch map visuals modified the code, they forgot to keep the former patch connection logic.
If youve seen the first iterations of its visuals youll see that its different now than it was before release.
Before, a coastal always had a connection, maybe to another coastal even, if the body of water was small enough.

nope, its not. Theres a lower limit to region generation. If i remember right 3-4 regions, minimum.
If you for example have a planetary ocean/continent, theres alot of small biomes that would be separated and wouldnt be included in a single region.

Sorry everyone, this is going to be a long one.

Overall really fun experience to be playing once again! Addition of the procedural patch map adds a lot of re-playability and the continuing progress on the prototype makes me hopeful for the future. The spawn system changes make it a lot less frustrating, and there’s a lot of potential in the custom game settings.

General weirdness-main game

Feedback
  • The tutorial pop-up shows up every time I start a new game, maybe that should be disabled once I disable it once. (and re-enabled from the menu)
  • After an editor session when staying in the same patch, any cells of your species that were already spawned stay the same as before the editor session. (Weird if it is supposed to represent a long stretch of time)
  • I think it used to, but the Report tab no longer automatically switches to the patch you migrate to in the patch map.
  • I’m seeing some species ram me (probably trying to eat me) while not having a membrane able to engulf me, a pilus or toxins.
  • I think its because of the visual effect of the nucleus, but sometimes cells that seem much smaller than you cannot be engulfed, while at other times cells that seem almost as large as you can be.

General weirdness-multicellular prototype

Feedback
  • I tried to create a dedicated mouth-cell, with a membrane that can engulf while the rest of the body cannot. This works mostly fine, but only when the “main” cell can also engulf, otherwise the engulf button is not available. (Even though some cells can engulf) (Bug already recorded in github)
  • Sometimes Cells start wandering around without you moving them.
    afbeelding
    I have no idea what causes this. The left-most yellow cell was placed one hex lower in the previous editor session.

afbeelding
I do not think this overlapping is how it is supposed to work.
afbeelding
Editor image for comparison. (Also note some of the yellow cells shifted around again)
*
afbeelding
Previous organism when going to the macroscopic editor. It’s a bit… weird.

Patch map

Feedback
  • I love it!
  • Are the patch names intended to be unique? It happens quite often that there are multiple of the same type in a node, which can be confusing when reading the auto-evo results (Which of the 3 Panlarmosian Tidepools did this species split off to? Also, which one am I in now?)
  • Not being able to tell which patch in a node attaches to which patch in another node except by clicking each individual patch is a tad annoying, though I am not sure of the best way to fix this.
  • Quite often a tidepool connects to a coast, which then connects to the top layer of an open ocean, which is how it would seem to work intuitively to me. However, at other times, some tidepools in a node connect directly to open ocean which does not seem to make much sense geographically. One way or another, there would be a coast in between there.

Main game

Feedback
  • Glucose retention may be a bit high at 80% on Normal, in combination with the fact that it only starts decreasing once a patch has life in it. Just surviving on free glucose seems to stay viable for a bit too long. Lowering it from 80% to 50% might help life evolve to more interesting niches faster. 80% or the current 90% is of course fine for easy mode as a frustration avoidance choice.
  • I like the improved spawn system, open spaces still happen, but are much less frequent. I especially like the increased phosphate and ammonia compared to the pre-release build. I like even more the higher amount of phosphate compared to ammonia. (Probably to incentivize nitrogen fixation? Great design choice!)
  • Glucose from engulfment seems a bit low compared to the amount of phosphate and ammonia I get. Reproduction is available after three cells consumed, while still negative on phosphate. All those cell walls, organelles and other proteins are full of organic carbon, you really should be getting more energy out of it, even if they don’t have any glucose in storage. Meanwhile, I think it’s fine if you need to eat some more in order to reproduce.
  • Thermoplasts seem quite strong (I think that’s not much of a problem considering there very limited habitat), but the fact that they do not produce glucose makes cells that use them relatively less useful to predators and therefore less integrated into the ecosystem (Similar to rusticyanin users). I have some ideas on this, but I’ll leave that to its own post later on.
  • Nothing specific, but I feel the population increase from the player reproducing is just a tad high and messes with ecosystems a bit too much (apex predator consistently outnumbering its smaller prey). Maybe try tweaking it down by 10 – 20 % or add it to the difficulty menu.
  • Forming colonies seems a bit useful sometimes as an “autotroph” because of the decreased osmotic maintenance, but not much beyond that. The punishment in mobility is just too large for it to be useful to stay in one.
  • The introduction of turning speed and cilia is a nice additional factor, though I feel cilia should do at least a little bit for movement speed as well, considering real life.
  • When migrating to a new patch you get a clean slate environment, but if you stay in the same one, the immediate environment stays the same even though you just went through a 100 million years’ worth of mutations. I really don’t think a sense of continuity is desirable here. This also makes it more difficult to balance the real spawning system, since staying in the same patch continuously makes for a very different outcome than continuously migrating. Please consider changing this or adding it as an option in the new new game options (Yay!).
  • Not sure if this is possible, but could you spawn some compound clouds, let some accelerated currents throw them around; place some NPC cells, let those move around; and then spawn in the player? I think that would make things look more natural.

Prototype/multicellular

Feedback
  • There seems to be a 50% discount on organelles in the multicellular prototype. I think I don’t quite like this. You’ve already gained the tremendous ability to rapidly change the size and shape of your organism as well as change its performance by choosing which cell types to place in which amounts. I think the focus should be more on that aspect, and the modification of cells themselves could stay as expensive as before.
  • Specialization of cells is useful in some cases right now. The main use cases I have noticed are: a specialized “mouth” cell loaded up with lysozymes while the rest do not need any; some organelles really only need to be on a single cell, like the Signaling Agent, Chemoreceptor, Nitrogen-fixing plasmid. Specialized mobility cells are for me only really useful in that they allow me to strip out the not-useful-for-them organelles. Not sure if there’s supposed to be another advantage to specializing, I still don’t know how speed is calculated, especially in multicellular. I feel like I just want all my cells to be as speedy as possible individually.
  • Is the “engulfed materials” compound being shared across colonies/multicellular organisms? If so, my mouth-cells do not actually work. If it is being shared, it probably should not, since the engulfed cell/chunk is located inside a single cell.
  • It seems like unlike the single cell stage, the budding reproduction does not let you carry over any phosphate or ammonia to your new organism after the editor (maybe some glucose does?). I think either option has merits, but it should be consistent.
  • The addition of turning speed helps a little bit, but the fact that the rotation-point is still not on the center of mass means that crane arms on the front of your “main cell” are often still the most effective.

Prototype/macroscopic editor

Feedback

I have no idea what alterations are planned for this in the future, so don’t take any criticism here too harshly.

  • I like turning the cell types/cell positions into metaballs, it’s a natural transition that works.
  • It’s fairly easy to use once I read somewhere that middle mouse button turns the camera.
  • In its current implementation, I do not like the metaball placement. The hexes in the cell editor give it some inherent structure that makes it easier to make decent-looking cells and I do believe makes it a lot easier for the auto-evo. The new editor by comparison is very free-hand (there’s an infinite number of ways to attach one metaball to another), which leads to naturally more wonky-looking creations. I also get nightmare thinking of how auto-evo is supposed to handle that. I would much prefer a limited number of fixed-position joints on the balls, or some kind of 3d grid (visible or not).
  • As a part of the aforementioned lack of structure (a ball’s position only depends on the one it is attached to) you can have overlapping balls or even 20 balls in a near-identical position. In a cost-per-ball and effects-per-ball system (I am assuming at least part of their function is going to be the same as cells in the earlier game), that is not going to work well I think.

Auto-evo/prediction

For this, I am not sure how much it is being worked on, and my own understanding of how it is implemented is… limited. I also do not know what is already planned to be included in the algorithm, so sorry if I mention a lot of things that are already planned.

Feedback
  • Could the auto-evo tab of the Report also get a Global/Local split? I might like to track whether some local species got a mutation, but the list is full of species not directly relevant to me.
  • As long as the moment-to-moment gameplay is eventually focused on getting enough phosphate and ammonia, that really needs to be included in auto-evo. Possibly simulate the amount of energy (based on the energy cost for movement) and time expended to gather those compounds based on availability, modified by autogenous nitrogen fixation capability.
  • Mobility itself does nothing for the calculation right now, judging from what happens when I move the membrane fluidity slider. I think it is obvious that it should. Everything from how much compound clouds you can snatch before others do, to how successful predation is should include it.
  • Speaking of predation, I sometimes seem to gain incredible amounts of energy (far in excess of incidental scavenging) from predating a species that I have no ability to engulf or kill or is actually the one eating me. I think there’s some checks not being made there.
    afbeelding
    I’m a single metabolosme with a silica shell here. The other species is a few more metabolosomes and a rusticyanin.
  • Another point on predation: I do not see any energy loss from being predated, is that intended?
  • Similarly to mobility, Hp does nothing as far as I can see.
  • The listed energy sources help tremendously with troubleshooting this! I would also really like a display of how fitness is determined.
  • It would be nice to have a biomass-adjusted population number somewhere so that I can tell whether that organelle I just added is really reducing my ability to gather energy, or it’s just the normal increase in cost per hex.
4 Likes

This, and also that the camera isn’t on the center of your creature, but is on the center of the original cell is really annoying, also the camera need to be able to zoom out a lot more when in early multicellular.

1 Like

Opened an issue:

Did you confirm any of the cell changes (by pressing “NEXT”) and going back there? If so this might have more to do with the way multicellular editor doesn’t fully work with the undo system in all cases resulting in a few weird bugs.

Microbe AI is one area where we barely can get anyone motivated to do the bare minimum to not break it entirely with new features. It really needs someone to give it some love.

You can permanently disable tutorials in the options menu.

For the millionth time, my goal is to keep the immediate surroundings of the player the same after exiting the editor to keep some continuity.

Can confirm. Opened an issue:

I don’t see the image…

Opened an issue:

I did already know that that was a part where I had to give up before it was perfect due to time constraints.

Definitely should be unique. I’ll open an issue:

I agree, I’ll open an issue for this as well:

This was also discussed internally. Might as well open an issue:

Do you have a suggestion as to what to do? We get overwhelmingly more feedback that players think it is unfair that auto-evo thinks they should go extinct when they can still keep themselves from going extinct with their individual performance?

Currents have been a major feature that has been discussed for years, the only problem is that we have no graphics programmer available to make graphics for them so we can’t promise at all as to when they might be implemented.

A lot of players complained that they can’t specialize their cells in multicellular. I agree with you that I’d prefer to not have the discount but so many people seem to complain if we don’t have it…

Multicellular speed is the exact same logic as normal cell colony speed. Eventually we’ll have an organism statistics panel in multicellular as well.

I’m pretty sure it starts you off with the default compounds a new cell of your species receives.

Would you prefer if the game pretty randomly picked a cell to start your cell layout from? I think this feature can’t be worked on until this is done:

Mobility affects predation. The auto-evo prediction is not updated when the slider is moved, which is a known issue:

3 Likes

Damn, sorry about the images, they’re working now.

Ah, so it is, seems I overlooked it. Still you could consider letting that checkbox control the setting as well, I’ve seen that design in many games (disable on new game, re-enable in options). Not necessary either way though.

Hmm, well I am just one point of feedback, if the general impression is the opposite that is fine. That is also why I only suggested a small tweak.

This might be less of a problem if the auto-evo calculation eventually is improved to match the in-gameplay value of certain organelles better.

Another option: I think currently the increase from player reproduction is relative to your total population? If so you could decrease that relative component and add an absolute component that is relatively more significant if your population is quite low. That way it means that you can personally keep your species from going completely extinct without further ballooning the population of a species auto-evo thinks is designed well.

In this case I was actually talking about the diffusion effects already in the game. To elaborate: when you die or enter a new patch it is quite obvious to the human eye that the compound clouds you soon see have only just been spawned (very circular and concentrated). If it is possible to have some diffusion happen quickly before you see them it would look much more natural (and similar to how it looks when you have been in a patch for a long time (spread out patches with more irregular shapes).

I’m talking about the rotation of the organism here (the movement controlled by the mouse) To make it look natural from a player’s perspective (and avoid cheeky crane-arm strats), ideally this rotation would be around the center of mass of the organism, not around whatever the first cell of the organism is. Therefore, it would change as your organism grows new cells. I do realize that seems like quite a large change (and therefore work) compared to now.

You could probably make still make a crane arm then, but it would require you to make another crane-arm or counterweight on the other side.

A perfect example of how player feedback can misidentify a problem!

3 Likes

It is not. Was also a problem in the previous release so there’s an existing open issue:

I don’t think that would help that much. From what I’ve seen some people who complain about this just slap on as many organelles as they can. So unless we want to auto-evo to also end up with huge blobs that have multiple of all organelles, we can’t make the size penalty (energy use) that much smaller than it is currently.

The only potential I see is making the spawns over a wider area with smaller amounts at each point. The cloud simulation is one of the heaviest (but constant performance impact) things in the game, it won’t be possible to simulate multiple seconds of it quickly unless a massive lag spike (or some way to hide it) is acceptable.

Microbe colonies are formed around a single microbe. There must a central cell picked. So the only thing that could be done is automatically pick the center cell close to the center of the species. If the player had no way to control this, it might end up being a mouth cell or something that can’t survive on its own, which is why this can’t be done before the cell growth order can be configured by the player.