Creature Complexity

I’ve been wondering how complex could creatures be? In Spore, there is a limit at how complex you can make your creatures, so what about Thrive?

Oh, yeah, I remember that thing in Spore. To be honest, it was kind of annoying XD I hope thrive won’t have a complexity limit (or if there’s one, then I hope it will be more like “your creature can’t get enough energy to live”, not “you can’t add more parts to your creature because you can’t”). But of course that’s just my opinion XD


Well Thrive is going to be more complex than Spore in general, so there’s that. And the complexity meter in Spore was apparently for technical reasons, even though you could use a cheat code to bypass that but then the creature would not be playable because it would be too intensive for the computer.

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I think two planned concepts, the square cube law and the energy limit you guys mentioned, will essentially act as a limit to your creature’s “complexity”. If anyone isn’t familiar with it, the square cube law essentially states as something gets bigger, important morphological characteristics such as weight increase as well, which in turn requires more strength to support said something. This is why a gargantuan sized land animal akin to Godzilla isn’t really possible on Earth; his bones would be too hefty and his muscles too light to support his morphology.

It would be nice if we were offered a bit of flexibility when it comes to these limits, as in, were able to set how strict/lax these conditions would be. That could definitely add some replay-ability to the game, as you could potentially set up a world which allows Godzilla sized animals to exist, and in another save, set up a world in which the largest animal that could be supported could not exceed the size of a horse, adding a bit of a design challenge.


I see this as more of an ascension ability, once you have completed the game, some new options will unlock, allowing you to play around with the game a bit more

I can definitely see that, but it would still be nice to develop your own creature through these differing conditions. I view ascension more as a sandbox stage; this would essentially be a regular playthrough with altered conditions.

I mean, after you beat the game the first time, you can go back and play again with a bit more leeway

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Oh yeah, that sounds pretty good. It makes sense, and the first play through could essentially be a sort of “training” ground for dealing with a Thrive sans crazy mechanics.

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I think, it will be cool, if limit of complex of your creature can change with changes in natural habitat or in crearure, like: you can’t develop the lungs, if in atmosphere there isn’t many oxygen or You can’t develop chord and skeleton, if in natural habitat you can’t take enough necessary trace elemets. If you live on ground, you can’t be very much and more.

It would be cool to make a creature with every part, but I have my simplistic idea for what I want to make once the game fully releases. I̶t̶’̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶s̶i̶m̶p̶l̶e̶.

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The goal is to have realistic limitations. We don’t see creatures on Earth evolving literally everything just because, it takes way too many wasted resources.

Currently related to Thrive we are trying to fix organelle gluttony in the cell stage, so that the player can’t just slap all organelles on their cell.


I meant that it would be cool to make an every-part creature but I don’t want to (sorry for bad sentencing), but I understand from a technical point the strain it might have. It really depends how many parts are in the game

It’s been discussed a lot already, but we aren’t even planning on having any placeable parts in the creature editor. Instead it would be more like sculpting with different tissue types.

For example see this post and the one linked in this:


I like that idea, being able to accidentally killing off your species and having to revert to the previous evolution.

Well, buying all parts could be possible, but it would take more time and effort to do so.

What? We’ve been over this many, many times that there won’t be parts + square cube law and resource costs is absolutely going to wreck any creature trying to get all the different “parts”.


Parts as in making every 1% of cells do a different purpose?

By parts, what is meant are pre-designed features which can not be altered. Think of Spore; to increase your creature’s stats, you would simply exchange a pre-made mouth for another pre-made mouth.

While I do think sculpting via metaballs (think of limbs in Spore) wouldn’t really be effective for making components such as eyes, mouths, wings, etc., they could be useful for making a body shape for your creature. I would think that designing those complex features would require some sort of pre-designated component which tells the editor that said part would function as a mouth, for example; then, editing those parts could be done through wisely upgrading components of that part as you see fit.


I guess making an ant species would be complex… All of the haemolymph, pheromone emitters, pheromone reading, social stomach, solenopsin, anti-freeze agents in the haemolymph and way more. Challenge accepted…?

I was also wondering: we’re not aiming for a Dwarf Fortress level of detail right? I already don’t want to play Dwarf Fortress because of its complexity, and I’m definetely not the only one.

Apart from that, I remember that on the old concepts for the creature editor, there was an option that would allow you to make stuff like horns, claws and any other bony protrusions by removing skin. Is it still a thing? What do you guys think?