Cyanobacteria!


With considerable effort, I was able to make a photosynthetic bacterial colony work. It’s very hard to reproduce when you can’t absorb dead cells, and the game chugs like a steam engine because of all the parts lying around/size of the colony, but it’s possible! At this size, I can’t move around at all normally, and instead have to spin around and use the piles of parts as leverage to push and pull myself to tasty patches of nutrients. To handle predators, I spin around like a helicopter to kill them with the spines on my sides.
The game is also convinced I am not only going extinct, but am already. I’m in good company, though - this takes so long and I kill so many other organisms that everything else is basically extinct, too.

Of course, my species thrives anyway, because it doesn’t care what the auto-eval thinks. Life, uh…finds a way.

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This is absolutely hilarious. I approve.

Welcome to the forums!

Plant helicopter go brrrrrr

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Its a machine of mass destruction

Spinning is very overpowered when your in a large colony

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Time to try this myself

Good luck! You may want to use chitin or sodium carbonate instead of cellulose for the tox resist, toxic predators can be annoying bullies. It helps to set your species to be completely sessile, as otherwise they move around a lot as you try to bind to them.

I agree. Maybe decreasing spinning speed with increasing colony size would fix it?

This planned thing will also fix it:

Sadly it’s one of those actually pretty hard things to implement so I don’t know when someone skilled enough to implement it comes along and does it.

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“Fix” is an odd word to use here, this would make the game more punishing. You should only roll this out with balance changes so that non-predatory organisms and multicellular organisms are more viable and more fun.
At the moment, I feel obligated to be carnivorous in at least some fashion with all organisms - once you have a nucleus, it takes so long to get enough phosphate to reproduce, the game stops being fun. Since you’re large, it’s hard to catch up to other organisms, even sessile ones, so - predatory pilus/oxytox and flagella are really the only option. Making the game more realistic is great, but then I have to ask what is the intended way for an organism like this to survive and reproduce is?

There are multiple physics issues related to the turning just basically snapping to the current rotation in the physics engine. For example you can shove colony members inside chunks and pilus on pilus fencing doesn’t work as well as it should as the pili can phase through each other.

Just using the physics engine for turning is not going to entirely ruin the game balance so I don’t know what you are talking about. We can even initially make it so that the physics force is scaled based on the mass of the cell to make large cells not turn slower until we have added cilia to the game.

I’m not saying it’s going to completely ruin game balance, that would be hyperbolic. It probably will, however, probably make this specific life strategy non viable. Because this organism can’t absorb cell parts, they end up littering the field of play, and it sometimes has to phase through them in order to move. The alternative would be moving the entire mass of parts, which might make turning impossible OR end up flinging parts away with great speed. If rotation speed is tied to cell movement speed, it will DEFINITELY be impossible to rotate quickly (this organism can barely move), and thus survive.
I encourage you to playtest non predatory organisms and organisms that cannot engulf. It’s possible for very small prokaryotes because they’re fast and don’t need much phosphate/ammonia to reproduce, but for Eukaryotes, being unable to absorb parts means that the generated patches of phosphate just aren’t enough to reproduce in a reasonable play session. They also tend to not be able to reach those patches because smaller organisms get there first. This organism sidestepped that issue by basically using the parts to generate it’s own dense patches of nutrients, but if this life strategy is no longer viable, I’m not sure how else to make multicellular plant life work. This thing gets relentlessly bullied by oxytox predators as it is.

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1: it is entirely possible for large eukaryotes to be just as fast, if not faster than their smaller bacterial counterparts, if you add enough flagella.

2: there will always be play styles that don’t work, aren’t as fun for most people, or take inordinate amounts of time to progress with. This is one of the natural consequences of allowing people to create their own organisms to such extreme specificity.

3: It is not a viable argument to say “my cell wouldn’t work without this janky movement, so don’t fix the janky movement”.

As much as I can appreciate this silly and broken interaction, such an interaction still needs to be fixed in the name of improving the game. That is not something that is up for debate.

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1: My cell has flagella, two. Also, one of my initial points was that I felt obligated to use flagella, and to become predatory. I like flagella as a useful tool for cell design, but I don’t like them being mandatory. I have to repeat my question: What is the intended way for a multicellular organism like this to survive and reproduce?

2: I am not saying that channeling your inner helicopter is necessarily a play style that is right for this game, however plants exist and are multicellular. It is completely realistic and within the spirit of the game to allow non predatory playstyles to exist. As the game stands, they don’t really. Not only that, but every cell membrane aside from the first two is basically pointless because you just can’t reproduce. I would argue that not allowing cells to have life styles that don’t involve eating other cells makes photosynthesis/chemosynthesis/rustycyanins pointless, because why do any of that when you can just get all of your energy from other cells?

3: I didn’t say that they shouldn’t add the fix, I said that they should add the fix along with balance changes. My entire goal making this organism from the get go was to make a multicellular plant, and this was really the only good way I found to do that. Unfortunately, two of the defining features of plants (cell walls and not being active predators) aren’t really viable. This is arguably STILL an active predator, since it moves, although it’s more like a venus flytrap in that it doesn’t seek out prey, rather prey gets too close and is then helicoptered to death.

What improves the game is what makes the game more fun. Removing unique and interesting ways to play the game isn’t fun. If you’re going to do that, you need to balance out the removal by replacing this living strategy with another, more realistic one - in the spirit of the venus flytrap analogy, perhaps a passive trap for other life forms, like a sticky goop you can place down that slows other cells movement and makes them easier to kill/escape from. I’m quite sure that would be an annoying new feature to code, so more simply it would make sense to add something like the iron particles already in the game, just with phosphate. Little bits of soil that organisms filling the niche of producer can cling to to get enough material to reproduce.

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Aight, so I got the email notification 6 days ago, but when I checked the thread at the time, the comment literally didn’t appear. I had assumed that you had posted and deleted, until today. so that’s why I hadn’t responded till now, I apologize for not checking again sooner.

Now with that out of the way, I must say that you have completely missed my point.

Do cell walls and certain parts need balance changes?
Absolutely.

Will plants and other sessile organisms eventually need better ways of acquiring phosphate?
Absolutely.

Do either of those things change what I said in my last comment?
No.

Did I, at any point, say that plants or any other sessile play styles shouldn’t be playable?
Also no.
How you got that idea from me saying “there will always be…” is beyond me.

You keep saying that what you are trying to do with this species isn’t “viable”, yet what you are doing with it very clearly demonstrates that it is.
It generates it’s own glucose and ammonia, kills everything around it, and has no real competition. That, by definition, makes it the most viable organism in its environment.
The issues with collecting enough phosphate are unreasonably annoying, but you could do it if you really wanted to spend that time doing it. An engulfing organism, that does all the same things, isn’t more “viable” than this one, it just progresses faster. Therefore, you aren’t complaining about viability. You are complaining about how long your cells life cycle takes.

That life cycle just so happens to be entirely within your control, as a player.

That’s what my actual point was, because such mundane life cycle issues can and will be possible, no matter what balance changes occur. This will especially be the case in mid to late multicell, when there will be so much customization, that it’s absolutely certain that boring yet viable play styles will exist, and possibly even be meta, or at least easier to play than the alternatives.

Let’s go back to unicellular, for an easy example.
Let’s say that the devs add substrate to some patches, which is something a few of them have already stated they want to see added. Now let’s assume that they also add a way to “bind” to the substrate, and that doing so would allow you to passively absorb the phosphate that would be in that ground.

This solves the problem of getting phosphate as a sessile organism, and allows you to become a very simple “rooted” plant.( For any devs watching, I would absolutely love to see this feature added)

It also turns thrive into a game of doing nothing except watching your meters go up, which doesn’t exactly elate your average fortnight player.
Go figure.

The beauty of the game, however, is that this doesn’t really matter.
Every player is capable of tailoring their organism to be fun to play, for them.

The devs can obviously adjust the balance of parts, and add new ones, to create potential fun, but it is up to the players to actually make a creature that is fun.

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I edited my comment a couple times and it was withheld for approval.
What I’m doing isn’t really viable without this active strategy. Yes, it’s theoretically possible that I could get enough phosphate to survive (with the patience of a saint), but practically, it isn’t, because of predators. The longer you are alive, the more organisms you encounter, and even with this organism, it’s very possible to die - the longer you are alive, the greater your chance of death by oxytox predator is.
I’m not really complaining about predators, though - I think that predators are the way that passive players can derive enjoyment from the game, morphing the game into something more akin to a base building, RTS, or tower defense game. I think it would be really interesting to have to adapt your organism to handle predation, and seeing the AI evolve it’s own strategy over time to counter you. Far from just watching a meter go up, I see it becoming a tense and engaging fight to survive as everything around wants a literal piece of you. Sharp cactus like spines? Predators develop hardened shells or solvents to dissolve them. Make yourself poisonous? Some predators develop immunity. Oh crap, you’ve died several times to predation? That’s okay, being at the bottom of the food chain means organisms are dependent on you, and the game automatically chills out as the lack of food makes the herbivores die off.
You’d also face competition from OTHER producers trying to muscle in on your substrate. Toxins, blocking out your sun, and just straight up walling off food sources would all be interesting obstacles for the player to overcome. It presents an interesting choice for the player when they find an occupied patch of substrate - fight the battle for the food, and potentially lose, OR take the risk of looking for a new home.

I was treating “viability” and “practicality” as two different things.

Regardless, I am not talking about whether or not you can enjoy plant based gameplay.
Guess what? So will I.
Guess what else? That makes both of us weird.

Let me get allegorical for a second.
The job of the development team is to carve little wooden toy blocks.
The job of the players is to take those little blocks, and stack them on top of each other, in order to build little toy castles at playtime.

The devs can add as many parts as they want in order to make plant gameplay more engaging.
It is up to the players to create a “viable” or “practical” plant, and if they don’t use all the parts at their disposal to do so, that is on them.

Right now, the collection of parts you are wanting to use aren’t “practical”, even if I would still call it “viable”.
You can fix this completely, with a single edit. Just change to double wall, and start engulfing the mountain of discarded cell parts you made.

I know that sucks, and the other cell walls need major buffs, but the devs have known that for way longer than this post has existed. They are working on it.

Eventually though, we will have the ability to create real plants, that never move. We can make ours a cactus, and laugh at the auto evo herbivores that hurt themselves trying to eat us, but we still won’t be actively defending ourselves. We’re just going to be watching it play out on our screen, and hoping that our design works.

…unless we do add a part that actually moves on our plant, which is again, up to the player.

…we could also forgo defense entirely, and simply create far more offspring, faster than we die.

Both of these will likely be more or less viable, depending on the circumstances of your current play through. We get to pick which one is interesting. The devs just have to ensure we have the options.