Adjustable proto organelles

After reading the dev forum I got some Ideas for the editor. As it stands now the editor seems a lot like spores where you just click and drag premade parts where I think thrive should stray away from that as much as possible. Now I know it is next to impossible to have no “PMP” at all but there are ways to minimize them, one way is to make proto parts these are parts that can be tinkered with to do different things for example there would only be one organelle that produced ATP and it would be inefficient say (random numbers and compounds) (1 glucose -> 5 ATP) you have a slider and can make it (10 glucose -> 27 ATP and cost 10 MP per point) (again random numbers) while this new organelle produces more its inefficient and has a diminishing return where eventually youll get nothing out of it. Another way you can customize the Proto part is by adding another compound to it say you add Hydrogen Sulfide to it so (1glu + 1hs -> 20 ATP at the cost of 50 MP), you can add any of the compounds to the organelle with all of them reacting differently with pros and cons so you can make the organelles that are in the editor. Say you make a organelle that uses o2 or co2 like (5glu -> 45ATP @ 50% o2) you can adjust the numbers to fit you environment if the o2 in the environment rises then you can increase the amount of o2 it takes and in return get more ATP for less Glu. but if the o2 lowers you would need to lower the amount of o2 needed and increase the amount of glu to get the same amount of ATP (or something like that). After you make your new organelle you can save it and name it so you can add more onto your cell, I imagine this working like how the multicellular stage is going to work but instead of cell castes its with organelles.
This system will not only make the game more interesting and fun but also set use in the right direction as this is probably how the later stages are going to work but most importantly it should help if not completely stop organelle gluttony.
ps. im terrible at explaining stuff in long posts like this so sorry if its confusing please ask me questions about this I really really think this system will help thrive… thrive.


I had an idea like this and it attracted hhyyrylianen. This would be great because then I could synthesize phosphates.
Edit: he said that eventually the game would have a system where organelles are engulfed prokaryotes and not made by the player.


in my idea any combination that would work IRL could be made and NPCs could also experiment with it and in the editor it should show you how much each compound would give you so you can compare them and make the best one without blindly testing them out, it would also add more specialization. I plan on making some concept art of how it should work.

No editor, but they are trying to make it realistic.

engulfing prokaryotes to get the organelles could still be possible as a cheaper but slower option, I still feel like this system done right is the best option and it could be used with other types of parts like locomotion and maybe even turning RNA into a nucleus and its upgrades could be the behaviors. Which makes me think of another way to stop organelle gluttony that goes with this is you have to upgrade your RNA/DNA/nucleus to add more parts because it needs more codes to keep up with all organelles and more RNA/DNA means you need more energy meaning you have to keep upgrading to keep your self stable which lowers Org.Glut. even more .

P.S. I dont think they are taking away the editor they just meant they would be unlocked that way.

Having customisable organelles is an interesting idea, people have talked about organelle upgrades a lot.

I guess my questions around it are about which are the interesting decisions and which things kind of become chores.

For example if the o2 level changes if I have to click through all my organelles to reset their ideal o2 levels that sounds like a chore. However maybe if that costs MP so I am always trying to balance resetting my levels with adding new parts to my cell that sounds more interesting.

I think we are probably too far along in development to move away from the organelles we have now. The stage is going to have a list of organelles you can choose from to add to your cell. To take all that out would be a huge amount of work.

Was just scrolling through and wanted to bring this thread up again as I still think its a better idea
also heres a related post.

"Personally I believe my idea where the player only has one primitive organelle to start with and they slowly evolve it to fit their needs is the most realistic and fun way of restricting the player without actively locking anything. Now I understand that system would require the dev team to almost completely scrap everything they have done so far but I think it would be worth it in the long run.

I have the feeling that the dev team isnt up for that so what if we meet half way where you still start with a primitive part that gives you the bare minimum you need to survive but you use a tech tree. But with this tech tree instead of investing MP into the tree itself like in most games the tree is more like a progress bar that is based off of how you’ve upgraded the organelle. Once you upgrade the organelle and fill the progress bar you can unlock the next organelle for some mp, variations dont have a progress bar they just need MP to unlock.

I really suck at putting my words to writing so I would love to see lowskill try to make his own version of my idea

heres a example of how it might workimage


Well this idea sounds like a sort of combination between organelle upgrades and unlockable proteins, both of which are already sort of being worked on by the game designers iirc.


I much prefer the pilus tech tree be separate from the cilia tech tree because pili aren’t related to flagella at all (pili are smaller/thinner). Pili are a chain of proteins bacteria use to pull themselves to location; kind of like a grappling gun except the tether is stiffer. Also; there are two types of flagella: prokaryotic and eukaryotic, the latter is basically a larger cilia while the former is different/unique but somewhat similar to a pilus.

1 Like

Speaking of the editor and proto organelles, I shared some ideas here:

So I want to add more to this and share them to this thread.

First, I’d like to suggest new resources to add: NADPH/NADH and FADH (so we don’t rely so much on ATP for everything). They aren’t important for survival like ATP is, but they’ll be useful for other proteins that use them (and doesn’t use ATP). These proteins include the ones responsible for carbon fixation for example. Proteins that generate them, for example, are the ones responsible for citric acid cycle. I’m bringing this up because they will come up in what I’m going to write next. (BTW; “[?]” means either I forgot the specific amount or the devs decide the amount for flexibility or because there probably isn’t/shouldn’t)

For the thylakoid, I have an idea. It starts out first as a small membrane-bound organelle, but it can grow the more components you add to it, and you can control where it grows. There is a diminishing returns of course, so you stack these thylakoids and you may even form structures like granum (plur. grana).
ATP synthase (thylakoid) - generates ATP from proton gradient (1 ATP per 3 H+)
Photosystem II - uses sunlight to split (2)H2O into O2 and 4 protons (4 H+ @ [?]% sunlight) (also produces electrons)(minus [rate])
Cytochrome b6f - uses the energy of electrons to pump protons ([?] H+ and [?] <e- per [?] e-)
Plastocyanin - transports electrons from cytochrome b6f to PSI (increase <e- transport rate to PSI @ [?]/[frequency])
Photosystem I - uses sunlight and electrons from plastocyanin to regenerate NADPH from NADP+ (1 NADPH per 2 e- @ [?]% sunlight)(minus [rate])
Light Harvesting Complex - increases sensitivity to sunlight (additional production rate/work @ [?]% sunlight)(plus [rate])
You can use MPs to upgrade the components’ production rate and there’s a maximum of course.

For aerobic respiration, I don’t think metabolosomes should do that (they use a different metabolic process that isn’t found in mitochondria). Instead you unlock a set of proteins (that allow for aerobic respiration; among others) once you upgrade to double membrane. The more you add these components, the more wrinkles the inner membrane get (bonus visuals!). I don’t know if there should be a diminishing returns to this or not, perhaps a limit instead (because there’s only so much of surface area you can add to the inner membrane before it becomes unreliable.
ATP synthase (inner membrane) - [same as above]
Cytochrome (there are many different types) - transports electrons from bc1 to AA3, also has other functions (increase e- transport rate to AA3 @ [?]/[frequency])
NADH dehydrogenase (complex I in mitochondria) - pumps protons and generates electrons from NADH (4 H+ and 2 e- per 1 NADH)
Cytochrome bc1 (complex III in mitochondria) - uses the energy of electrons to pump protons ([?] H+ per [?] e-)
Cytochrome AA3 (complex IV in mitochondria) - uses O2 and electrons from Cyt C to pump protons (4 H+ and 2 H2O per 8 e- and 1 O2)
You can use MPs to upgrade the components’ production rate and there’s a maximum of course.

There are other things I can’t go through rn, like the alternative photosynthesis components (i.e. for purple bacteria) and alternative bacterial ETCs. A lot of different prokaryote species use many similar systems in their metabolic pathways; usually only differing from how many different electron donors they use. I’ll edit this further in the (hopefully not so far) future.

Edit: I know it’s been months (sorry), but I just need to make an update. I’ve decided to abandon this post, I’ve been thinking about this and I just felt like there’s something flawed (about this post). I’m not abandoning the idea, though.

1 Like

If I am not mistaken, we do not make use of the entire citric acid cycle and it’s compounds in order to cut down on mechanic complexity. It makes the game much more approachable with the products simply being ATP.

That being said, this idea of what seems to be modular parts is actually pretty cool. I dont know if you’ve seen this thread on our dev forums, but what your proposing here sounds like it could make for a decent means of customization per part. Definitely something I’ll think about.

I should mention however, that much like with ATP, we would have to simplify things here so it’s easier for everyone to understand. As much as I would love to see Thrive have some incredibly complex and indepth mechanics to encourage player thinking and strategy, we have to make sure alot of things are easy to understand and dive into so a wider audience can enjoy the game.

For example, with this idea, I would simplify it into a sort of upgrade system where you can modify an organelle type. For example, with the thylakoids we could have three slots attached to the icon in the parts list, you could spend MP to place a modification into these slots, which would alter all copies of this part in your cell. Upgrades would likely be things such as changes to production rates at the cost of efficiency and etc. Easy to understand, but still provides a new layer of complexity and customization to the game.

With that being said, thank you for sharing your thoughts on our game, you have a nice idea here!


My problem with adjustable organelle systems is that they lead to more complexity with no increase in versatility. More options is always good, but they have to actually be options, not just the illusion of options.
Think of the thylakoid system proposed in this thread for example. What will it ever lead to, other than a thylakoid? If the system actually added something that question should be easy to answer, but is it?

It seems to me like all most proto-organelle systems would accomplish is the exact same thing a simple upgrade system would, just with more complexity. If the player knows the ‘trick’, he will inevitably piece together the ‘correct’ organelle relatively quickly. If he doesn’t, he will spend ages trying to piece together the parts in different ways until finally finding the one thing he was always supposed to make. Or worse: he will close the game and google it.

Of course I’m not saying any system where you build your own organelle is inherently bad. I’m just saying that it should follow a basic rule of game design (and if it can’t, it shouldn’t be in the game):

There should be no ‘false’ options. If a decision only has one outcome with tactical merit, it is not a decision at all. If there are organelles that are objectively bad in all situations, the player doesn’t need to know about them. If some compound or complex only exists as an intermediate stage, the player doesn’t need to know about it.
Either create a system where the player can genuinely be inventive and create things that could have never been preprogrammed into the game, or just preprogram the organelles into the game. Much like we did to the compound system back in 0.3.0 (I think), we should ruthlessly cut down on all things that the player doesn’t need to care about: If there is one photosynthetic material that is the optimum on this planet, just give the player that and don’t worry about it. If there is one way to arrange the photosystems, arrange them that way. Give the player options, not homework.

Photosystems are for flavour text.


While this wouldn’t include prokaryotic or external organelles, endosymbiosis could produce some of the same desired effects, allowing you to optimize small cells in order to make them better.

In addition, in this thread, one of the ideas was to have a flow chart similar to this, except only for proteins and not for other organelles. Organelle upgrades also exist now, so those could make up the difference, all together giving the player the most options, while also having all the options be interesting and viable.

1 Like

Not sure but didn’t this system of organelle progression end up being rejected over the one we have currently, where you unlock organelles directly based on environmental and special condictions?

1 Like