Ideas for the Aware Stage [Put your ideas in this thread]

So some ideas here: a way that you don’t have to upgrade things manually, select some things and click save as organ. You can say it’s a brain (requires some form of transmitters, make it yourself) mouth (must open to the outside) etcetera. Then you can upgrade them with upgrades like memory or musculature in jaw. Now I’d also like to detail what some upgrades might do. Memory allows one to access the minimap, migratory patterns add access to the bigger map. Detail is in your senses for the minimap, though they are just landmarks and little bits of info for the bigger ones. Thanks for listening to me rambling.

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  • The Aware stage is very far off, however I cannot help but brainstorm ideas that are likely far too ambitious for any reasonable dev team. So I have collated my thoughts into a doc to then be moved onto the Thrive Forums, and from what I can tell by lightly skimming some messages it seems I’m not the progenitor of this idea.
  • This is primarily going to be focussing NOT on the metaballs and other creator fenagellings, but rather on something more adjacent: traits, adaptations, and abilities, i.e., what you could make with metaballs / what you could have the metaballs do in the creature. I’m aware to some degree of the debate as to whether or not metaballs will be used, so I’ll be brief as to their interaction. Say you wanted to make a fish with that trademark suction mouth. Assuming you already have the body, we’d need to make the upper and lower jaws. The upper jaw would be anchored and comprise of (ideally) 1 metaball (note that I have minimal understanding of how these things (metaballs) are supposed to function, I am interpreting them as a structural medium), whereas the lower jaw (which is doing most of the work) will likely be at least three metaballs. These three are specialized to connect together and move forward. The way that the suction mouths of a fish works (if I remember correctly (probably not)) is that the mouth swings forward, and water is pushed through the gills, creating a suction current. Getting the mouth to swing is easy enough, but we’d also have to set a metaball to be gills so that we can complete the apparatus, and I think you get where I’m going with this. These traits are not meant to replace metaballs nor really function as a structure in the same manner. They are meant to be adjacent to whatever structural medium is in place, and a way to modify said medium to fit different roles, aping real biological processes and evolution to an extent. Note that I am primarily aiming at the Aware Stage for this, as that area of multicellular life is what I’m most knowledgeable. While I’m sure this concept could be applied to other areas, I wouldn’t know where to begin formulating those concepts by comparison.
  • The concept of “Evolutionary Traits” as I am just now deciding to call them, is rather similar to a tech tree. There would be branching paths and different directions you could take that would allow you to further specialize your creature for different scenarios. For example, an “integument tree” would allow specializing in different forms of skin covering, and further specialization of those integuments into different functions, for example: feathers starting as insulation, and progressing into display and later flight structures. This kind of meta structure is not set in stone however, and doesn’t necessarily need to be based on a linear progression of traits. It can instead be based on substances, and what they can be used for. To use keratin as an example, one could use it as a lightweight sheath over a bony horn core or as a lightweight alternative to a tooth filled mouth (like what birds did).
  • I hope you all tear this apart with extreme prejudice, and have a wonderful day.
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Ehh, might work. (Jk, (not Rowling) I like your spirit :joy:)

This system seems like it might be too limited and earth-linked, as it would be comprised of traits taken from terrestrial life. However, it might be a good system for an empedoclean evolution simulator

Sex and mutation.
It seems to me that this question hasn’t been asked before , but if it has been then I apologize. In spore all specimen of a certain species look the same which in my opinion is boring and unrealistic. I think it would be awesome to be able to customize the males and the females of your species once you reach aware stage. It would also be awesome if there were specimen which were either smaller or bigger than the rest and also ones that have some kind of color mutation or albinism.

That’s related to / covered by the game systems discussed here:

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This is a smaller idea and it’s probably been suggested or codified somewhere on the dev/community forums, but I think it’s worth it to write it down here.

Thinking of things like migration (for food or for breeding), reproductive strategies, growth, lifespan, etc. that could make for very interesting gameplay in the Aware and Late Multi-Cellular Stage, I believe there should be an option to reproduce without entering the editor part of Thrive. Since each trip to the editor represents an evolutionary jump, each trip also represents an appropriate temporal jump forwards in time as well. And as we all know, evolution as a process will often take millions of years at minimum to create significant difference.

Considering this, I think it would be pretty difficult to fit things that could be very interesting features of Thrive, such as the above listed natural phenomena in the current and traditional “reproduce = evolution” mechanic we have in now. In those millions of years between evolutionary jumps, landmasses move, oceans form, climate changes, and the lifeforms around you either disappear or are altered. How can you experience the entirety of a coherent and consistent migration pattern you set up - going to that area, reproducing, then going back to your original landmass - if you jump forward a thousand generations every time you breed? What guarantee is there that the landmass you migrate to will even look the same or be there with the rise and fall of sea level, or what’s stopping that local environment from becoming much less hospitable to the youth in your species? Allowing the player to reproduce without jumping forward a million years can also solidify the impact of other aspects of editing your creature - lifespan, reproductive strategies, etc. don’t mean much if the life of your organism after it reproduces is skipped.

Of course, being able to reproduce and not evolve immediately means a lot more work, since it means no shortcuts in those more complex animal behaviors that must be simulated. But after a certain point of development where enough gameplay is present to make Thrive a deep and engaging experience, I think allowing this feature would benefit replayability and fun.

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Perhaps if you skip evolving at reproduction, you would get another opportunity to evolve when you next die

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I was going to disagree a bit but I think I do essentially agree with that. I think the main benefits that should be intended are:

a.) you get to experience a complete life-cycle for your organism
b.) you get a small population boost
c.) you can extend the gameplay of the late-multicellular/aware stage as much as you want without feeling rushed to compete against time
d.) you get to live on through kin if you chose to change individuals.

But I also think if you made it to the point of reproduction, you should have the ability to enter the editor whenever you want in the rest of your experience with that specific evolutionary stage of your organism. You already proved that whatever you designed works.

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Hmmm you know, that does give me some ideas. But it would require a rework of the current gameplay loop in Thrive.

By reproducing, we could potentially just increase your species’ population count by whatever number of children your species produces at a time. Upon successfully reproducing you would be able to evolve at any time, or choose to continue playing on.

Once you do choose to evolve, that is where the timeskip would kick in and your child count is multiplied by something involving your total species count.
So perhaps something like an equation;
(C /2) * P = N
Where C = Children, P = Population, and N = New Population.

Something like this could potentially be difficult to get right. As you put it, we would have less shortcuts for alot of things but the rewards could potentially be worth the effort. I’ll definitely think about this a bit, and see if it’s worth considering.

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This is a nice equation and all, but this only includes population growth, but not extra population effects. Multiply the final product by the average number of offspring a member of your species procreates in it’s lifetime. My equation for this is: B(L/T)×C=P. B is the breeding population, L is the relative lifespan of the breeding population, T is temporal length of the timeskip, C is the number of children per member, and P is the new population. This solves other problems, like not counting sterile members of the population when calculating population growth.

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Hi. I have given some thought to the gameplay setup of the aware stage and this is what I came up with. It may share key points of what other people have suggested.

I have variations.

Scenario A

  • A single gameplay loop would be a complete life cycle playthrough.
  • The length of this playthrough would vary based on an upgradable and degradable trait in the editor under its general cellular biology.
  • In order to get to the editor, you need to play multiple life cycles with at least one of them where you successfully reproduce.
  • The number of life cycles to go through would start at the same number for every new playthrough of the entire game of Thrive(1,3, or 5?).
  • This required life cycles number would change based on how large your species population is.
  • Each life cycle playthrough represents a portion of your species population.
  • A failed life cycle will cause that portion of your population to be considered dead.
  • Failing all life cycles between editor sections would result in the extinction of your species.
  • This may lead to you backtracking in your species history or selecting a relative species to play.
  • In a successful life cycle where you manage to reproduce, counts toward you maintaining a portion of your species population and obtaining adaptation/mutation points (based on how many offspring you have and maybe if they themselves survive long enough).
  • You dying after reproducing is still counted as a successful life cycle.
  • Species around you would not change until you reach and exit an editor section

Scenario B

  • A single gameplay loop would be a complete life cycle playthrough.
  • The length of this playthrough would vary based on an upgradable and degradable trait in the editor under its general cellular biology.
  • In order to get to the editor, you need to play one life cycle where you successfully reproduce.
  • If you fail to reproduce before dying, your species going extinct.
  • This may lead to you backtracking in your species history or selecting a relative species to play.
  • A successfully reproducing leads to you obtain adaptation/mutation points and adds an “extra life” life cycle playthrough that saves you if you have a failed life cycle before it (number may be based on the number of offspring) and these extra lives are not permanent they get used each time you fail a life cycle.
  • You dying after reproducing is still counted as a successful life cycle.
  • Species around you would not change until you reach and exit an editor section

Also, I think there should be an alteration cap in the editor no matter how many adaptation/mutation points you have.

I’d just use what cell stage uses. If you reproduce you go to the editor and if you die your population goes down and you go extinct when it hits zero.

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both ideas dont really sound that fun
the first one, you have to play and reproduce multiple times in order to keep your species population the same, seems like its too much
the second one, you get one chance at life, and if you fail you go extinct, sounds pretty unfair
the way it currently works in the game is much better imo

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Speaking of life cycles during aware stage, here’s something to think about:
Do you play as a parent or as a child? If you go to the editor every time you reproduce, just like currently, you only get to see your species’ life cycle from the moment you get born to the moment you reproduce. This isn’t an issue in the cell stage, because the mother and daughter cell are exactly identical. But once you deal with stuff like maternal instinct people may want to play as parents instead (building the nest, caring for bebes, etc.)

On the other hand, I agree that Rhinobots scenarios sound overly harsh/long. Maybe the game could alternate between spawning you as a parent and as a child?

maybe the game could give the player the option of not entering the editor.

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If it’s optional that would be very easy to exploit. If you never choose to not enter the editor you could make a species that completely sacrifices the parents for the sake of the child and make the game super easy for you that way.

  1. I meant not entering the editor and remaining the parent.

  2. how is that supposed to be an exploit or bad thing.

Yes I know that’s what you meant.
It’s an exploit because makes the game way easier in an unrealistic way. In real
life species the parents usually want to live to reproduce again another day. Under these circumstances the ideal species would be one that willingly lets its children eat it once it’s done teaching them, because the parents life would be irrelevant.

There are a lot of species that die after reproducing in real life.