Hi there, been a while.

I am not sure if any of you out there have seen Ancestors or not but it is a relatively new game that focuses on the evolution of ancient humans and uses a very cool system for evolution. Now the system would have to be heavily modified for use in a sandbox game like Thrive due to the fact that Ancestors is a story based game and it’s evolution system was designed with that in mind.

But it does handle some of the issues I had with Spore’s evolution mechanics in a very pleasing way that would be a lot more realistic but would take more work from the Dev team.

I think it would be best if you looked it up and saw game play for yourselves but I will briefly describe some of the aspects of the game that I think would benefit Thrive.

  1. Individual generational leaps do not produce significant changes to a creature’s anatomy. (this was one of my biggest gripes with how spore handled evolution. You mated once and instantly jumped millions of years)
  2. Your population growth and decline during your play directly affects how far your evolutionary leap will take you. (In ancestors 1 birth gives you 5k years bonus and 1 unnatural death would subtract 25k years from your evolution leap.)
  3. You have the ability to switch control between members of your clan provided you are interacting with them. This makes it so that if the player dies during the game they immediately inhabit the nearest clan member preventing that free reset that Spore had whenever you died. This makes player death an actual problem for the immediate future of the species.
  4. You have Elders in addition to Infants and Adults, each having their own benefits and disadvantages.
  5. Fertility as well as sibling relations are both factors that influence who can mate and produce offspring.
  6. The player can choose to make a generation leap at which point all currently born Infants become Adults, all Adults become Elders, and all Elders die of natural causes. Doing a generational leap allows for minor cognitive and internal development such as improving recognition, reaction time, or stamina as well as having the chance to develop minor mutations. (All manual improvements are unlocked by doing things related to the improvement and the amount of improvements you can lock in is tied directly into the amount of children you have with any improvements not being locked in being forgotten by the next generation.)
  7. When the Player chooses to evolve they must make an evolutionary leap which functions similarly to a generational leap as far as how the members of the clan are handled. During the evolution leap the game calculates all the things you have done since your last evolution leap and then calculates how far of a leap you make based on that in addition to births and unnatural deaths. (The amount of time could then be translated directly into evolutionary points for Thrive and the player would be able to use that character creator using the given points.)

Also Ancestors allows the player to switch between 4 senses; Sight (Default sense), Sound (toggled on to make sound visible to the player and allows identification of things you can hear), Smell (toggled on to allow the player to visualize scents and identify their sources within range), and Intelligence (which allows the player to tag and memorize specific places and things).

Now obviously things like this would take a lot of work on the dev’s part to make happen but it would be very nice to see it make it into the game. Please feel free to offer opinions, ask questions, or add features you’d like to see implemented.


Yeah I’ve played some Ancestors, it’s a super cool idea and they’ve got a lot of nice Thrivey stuff in there.

Personally I couldn’t play so much of it as the UI, combat and controls really wind me up.

One thing is that Ancestors is portraying going from an early to late hominid in, not sure, maybe 15 hours of gameplay or something? Wheras Thrive will probably attempt to get the player from the origin of life to the end of the space stage in a similar amount of time. So things will probably have to be less detailed and evolutionary jumps need to be a bit bigger because of that.

However I did really like a lot of the context based learning where you have to hit rocks together to make a scraper etc and then your species learned that knowledge. That’s a great system. So yeah lots of nice ideas there to look at.


Yeah that seems like a low estimate

You mean for the length of Thrive or the length of Ancestors (I haven’t played more than a few hours of that so I don’t know how long it is)?

For the microbe stage with Thrive I think we’re looking at about 30 minutes if you just play straight through and go for multicellular as fast as you can and then quite a lot of hours of exploring and experimenting being possible if you want to hang around in it.


The cell stage is probably the shortest of them all but around the time you get like tribes the game should slow down a bit, especially if the AI actually know what it’s doing.


Agreed… BUT I have two things to say.
One, realistically speaking the microbe stage should be the longest (or possibly second longest because we don’t know how our own space “stage” will last) although I know that not a lot happened in that period of time on earth so from a fun perspective that makes more sense.
Two, one thing I didn’t like about spore was how once you had the option to move onto the next stage, the one you were in lost all of its fun. Personally I would like to squeeze every bit of fun out of every stage.


On Earth bacteria evolved in multicellular about from 4 -3,8 billions of years ago to 2-0,8 billions of years ago. Amphibians appeared about 400 millions of years ago, reptiles appeared about 300 millions of years ago and mammals appeared about 150-100 millions of years ago. Human become reasonable about 2 millions - 40 thousands of years ago. First great civilizations appeared about 6 thousands of years ago. Industrial is at the moment and the “space stage” will be in future, even already we flown to space. I think, i don’t forget anything. You can draw your own conclusions)


One way I’d quite like to tackle this is to have quite a lot of organelles and quite a lot of different environments. So sure you can stay in the vent the whole time and add a nucleus and then form a multicellular creature.

However you can go up to the surface and do photsynthesis or explore the caves or the dark abyss with it’s bioluminescence etc. Hopefully those things will feel attractive and people will be interested in having a look at them.


How are you handling the transitions between stages then? Is it a button like in spore or does it just happen? I think having a button would be best so long as it isn’t in the way and doesn’t override anything else in the game like it did in spore

Also ancestors has a very serious issue with progressively less things to do while still having the 2 mill goal. The closer you get to the end the longer it takes to get points. So it artificially inflates the game time by at best another 2 hours but most likely another 5 or more. That won’t affect thrive though due to it being directly caused by the story aspect of the game.

Hopefully the transitions will be as seamless as possible.

So for example to go from the microbe stage to the multicellular you need to get some signalling proteins to get your cells to flock together and then you need some adhesion proteins to make them stick. You add both in the editor and then you will be a little multicellular colony. You can then add more cells over time and grow bigger etc, it’s very gradual.

At some point the game will transition from 2D to 3D and that’s a bit more complicated but will probably be something similar.

A 3D mode for the Microbe Stage would be really good, but very unlikely to happen unfortunately. This would have made the patch system way easier. Eh!