This could be a fun alternative way of playing Thrive, in the same vein as the Custom Nights in FNaF. You join up to five of your friends, or random strangers, in a friendly competition to test your creature creating abilities. Your creatures would be competing in one of various different missions and maps, some native to the game, but most community created, like in Happy Wheels. They can be tests of speed, endurance, hunting, or combat, or any combination of these, all in various environments and with various rules and limitations. Players could use creative and out-of-the-box strategies when creating (in a reasonable limited amount of time), taking into consideration detailed information on the given mission.
Mission: Be the first to reach the top of a mountain in the middle of a rainforest.
Rules and limitations: Flying creatures not allowed, physical aggression disabled, reasonable size limitations.
Mission: Be the first to hunt 25 small aquatic creatures and 25 small flying creatures in an archipelago.
Rules and limitations: Physical aggression disabled (between players).
Mission: Battle Royale. Be the last one standing in an Antarctic wasteland.
Rules and limitations: None.
This sounds like a combination of asynchronous multiplayer (people building creatures separate to see who does the best instead of playing in realtime in the same environment). That was talked about here:
And the challenges part and editing to make them was talked about here:
Oh, alright, though the multiplayer I was envisioning would be real-time, since some challenges could involve fights between players. Well, I guess there are no original ideas, right? Anyway, thank you for the reply man, and thank you for working on this cool project, you rock.
hhyyrylainen mentioning asynchronous multiplayer reminds me of Zachtronics’ puzzle games (Opus Magnum, Infinifactory and the like) which, aside from the puzzle element of creating some sort of elaborate machine, also contain competition between players in the form of comparing machine performance in various aspects (i.e. amount of parts used, speed and area). It creates an interesting dynamic where in order to compete you need to try to keep your machine as cheap as possible, as small as possible or as fast as possible.
However, am I correct to say that you mean something more akin to party game (e.g. Mario Party) minigames in which the creatures compete?
That again sounds like a bunch of extra work. The reason why asynchronous multiplayer is more plausible is that it is way, way easier to do. Offsetting that with requiring extra work might make it less attractive as an alternative to other forms of multiplayer.
Oh, I was definitely not implying that resources should be spent on actually creating multiplayer a la Mario Party minigames- I know that this would be a lot of work. Asynchronous multiplayer in that case indeed seems much more plausible.
That is also why I mentioned the Zachtronics games- I’ve always quite liked the graphs they show at the end of a puzzle that shows how well your solution performs when compared to other people’s solutions. It’s simple, but much more elegant than a simple leaderboard.