Ideas for Part Ugrades and Mechanics

That is true. I personally think that this is a fair “hardship” that can be put on a player, as it is pretty realistic problem. Evolution is about specialization and niche. It’s about maximizing the most amount of utility and fitness from a limited selection of adaptations. The most successful organisms in the history of the world weren’t these super-generalists who outcompeted its competition in every single biological process/function; rather, these successful organisms mostly had a single, well-developed feature that helped them succeed. Cyanobacteria have succeeded so much because of how groundbreaking their photosynthetic processes were in terms of output. The dinosaurs succeeded likely because of their notably efficient body plan - vertical legs instead of legs splayed outwards - and their efficient respiration system. We have succeeded because of our incredible brainpower.

So I do think that this would be a solid problem to include in Thrive, as it is well-founded; players must make a a choice of specialization. Of course, a player shouldn’t be unduly restricted from unlocking most of the parts if that’s what best serves them. But players shouldn’t find it easy to unlock every upgrade either. There must be some weight behind their decisions; once again, if everything is too easily accessible and unlockable, it’s more of an evolution sandbox than it is an evolution simulator. These upgrades should be expensive enough to demand consideration, budgeting, and planning.

Do you think that upgrades and progression akin to this should be more part-by-part than general?

To clarify my question, from this, I get the impression from your response that you’re thinking of right-clicking on a placed part, upgrading it down a path, and having that individual part go to a higher upgrade “level”. I was personally thinking that instead, progressive upgrades akin to this would be applied to all parts placed. By that, I mean that you would basically right click the part’s selection tab on the editor, upgrade it, and have all future parts be this upgraded part.

In my head, I imagine right-click upgrades to individual parts would be more akin to NicktheNick’s specialization/trade-off upgrades I saw somewhere on the Dev forum, where you would enhance one aspect of the part at the expense of the other. I consider that more a matter of fine-tuning than anything else, so it makes sense to put that on the more individualized, customization side, and make the former system more focused on progression the more general upgrade feature.

I also had some sort of a small idea writing up these thoughts. If you’ve enhanced a part’s “level” in the more general and progressive upgrade system, you could simply right click on a placed, less-primitive part on your cell and click an “Enhance” button to level that individual part up a tier at a discounted rate. So instead of spending, say, 45 to buy an entirely different part, you could spend 30 or something to upgrade a pre-placed part.

That’s a fair point. I still do think that the three external parts should be rooted in the more primitive pilus thing I mentioned that assists engulfment. I remember reading somewhere that scientists hypothesized that advanced motor flagella were probably descendants of these pili structures after seeing a rudimentary flagella or something on a bubonic plague cell.

See above for that discussion on general v. part-by-part upgrades. Also, I do think upgrades should have atleast a tiny hit on reproduction time because your genome is basically being increased, but that can be a liberty taken if the addition of such a mechanism is too much.


Specialized pilus forms, flagella etc. would be handled by the upgrade system. Those upgrades would actually lead to different kind of gameplay rather than just giving a bonus to some boring numbers.