Compounds: How do they work?

I’m aware we already have a compound thread. However, here I’m asking not which compounds we’ll have, but how they’ll work in general. Will EVERYTHING be made of compounds, or just living things? For FTL and such, would we have fictional, perhaps procedural, compounds? And would, say, oil, be considered one compound or a mixture of several?

I’m not the person to ask about this, but this is what I have gathered thus far.
Compounds are basic minerals key to life that have dissolved into the water. They’re supposed to be common as ‘primordial soup’ in early microbe stage. They’re will decline in quantity as microbe stage progresses(Being replaced food wise by other creatures) if there is any left by multicellular, it will start to become invisible as you grow to have triple digit cells.
The compound system will likely be completely out of the game and replaced by the aware stage.
I also don’t think random elements is a good idea as it adds a lot of unnecessary complexity and development time. Just imagine your going through a play through and you encounter an compound you have never seen, so you collect and as it turns out it is toxic gives you a cheap death. Or you can’t figure out how to reproduce because the needed compound is randomized so you have to collect every conpound. Not a fun system in my opinion.

I am against having fictional elements in the game (even though technically there might be some elements that have high atomic numbers which are stable, but I don’t think we should speculate about that). There will be alloys and other types of compounds.

I think I wrote this same thing on discord before.

I think the reason we currently have compounds instead of elements is that the compounds are the building blocks that the cells use instead of counting individual atom types. It would make sense once your species figures out chemistry that compounds can also be viewed as their individual elements. So in the context of chemistry oil would be a mixture of hydrocarbons, but if somehow you evolved to eat it (not sure how realistic this is) it would be a single compound that you would need to eat to not die.


Actually the compound system is more widely applicable than that. Compounds refers to all resources that exist in the environment throughout all stages. In the Microbe Stage, this is represented by glucose and ammonia and other nutrients that float through the water and how they are processed in the cell. When the player becomes a macroscopic organism prevalent compounds will be meat and bone and vegetable matter as the “stage” of the game zooms out. Then in the Awakening Stage the relevant compounds changes again to be things like flint and wood and leather as the Stone Age rolls around, and then advancing into more complex resources like pottery, metals, crops, foodstuffs, concrete, steel, glass etc. It’s one of the systems that persists all throughout the game but takes different forms.

We’ll not be creating any fictional compounds or resources since this game is based on the known laws of physics and chemistry. Earthlike planets will likely use tools made from copper or iron or their alloys for the same reasons humans did, though it’s possible that maybe they never transition from bronze to iron or maybe they never start with copper and go straight to iron, or maybe they make an alloy of iron with something else to produce something like Damascus Steel. Maybe they use aluminum and lead and brass more. It still leaves many options for diversity open. More exotic and alien planet types would potentially have more exotic and alien metals to make tools from (though there are a lot of physical and chemical reasons for why bronze and steel work so well).