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

In this thread, we will discuss not only ideas for microbial stage, but also the priority of changes, fixes and the said ideas, meaning you don’t have to contribute just with new ideas, but also to bring attention to something, that’s ought to be fixed and in your opinion has a high priority of being fixed. You get the point. And maybe we’ll even have a ̶s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶g̶i̶c̶i̶a̶n̶ a poll. So let’s divide them a bit to make it more simple. I will even give some example contribution to each of them.


Here we will discuss all changes to the player cell, the environment, NPCs (non-playable cells yeet) and all of their interactions.

Dynamic difficulty
Making nucleus an achievement

First, I would start by having to “unlock” the nucleus. One of the conditions could be ATP production. Once your ATP production reaches a certain level (for example the APT production level that can sustain 7 or 10 or so hexes), the nucleus would get unlocked. Being able to get a nucleus right away, even though you are not able to sustain it energetically seems a bit weird. The next great benefit of having a nucleus would be the ability so specialize your organelles (see “Editor”).

Dynamic environment

Basically changing the conditions based on the compounds that are released by the living organisms and stuff like that. I guess this is planned already, but I think this will have a great impact on the gameplay.

Punishment for going too big

If you’ve ever seen a video of a cell engulfing something, you know it looks like nothing in the game. What would be better would be to “overlap” another organism while engulfing and then stop engulfing, thus trapping it inside. Only once the organism is trapped inside, it would start taking damage. So you would be able to engulf only the cells that can fit inside you properly. Even IRL the cell has to be multiple times larger in order to engulf another one. I would say that for the game purposes at least double the size. This would mean that as a regular cell, you would be able to engulf bacteria almost right off the bat. The first thing you have to do if you want to nom on a bigger cell is to kill it, either with a toxin or with a pilus and then you would engulf the broken bits and pieces of cytoplasm scattered around.
We all love pili, there’s no one who doesn’t. There was a lot of discussion about it. You have a pilus, you stabby stab, it deals damage based on the membrane you oponent has.


Here we will discuss the second part of the gameplay - the editor.

Fixing the display bug

Pretty straight forward, but a high-priority issue.

External organelle editor

I know this would be A LOT of work, but in my opinion this would be necessary sooner or later and make working with the editor overall better.


As mentioned in the “Gameplay”, this would be unlocked by… well… getting the nucleus. This would allow you to tweak and “upgrade” your organelles. For example choosing what kind of toxin you want to use.

There was a really interesting discussion about this here.


Here we will discuss graphical changes to the game.


Simply, adding things like foreground, radial edge blur and stuff would make the game much
more a e s t h e t i c and pleasant to the eye.


Still cannot wait for @narotiza 's GUI. It’s unbelievably sleek and the legibility of it is something Thrive needs.

Honorable mention, someone on the forums was also talking about the cell tilting when changing directions, I love that idea!


Here we will discuss functions of menus and stuff.

Probably does not even need a spoilery thingy. Number one priority regarding options, menu and stuff is in my opinion saving and being able to actually pause the game (sidenote - I found out you can “pause” the game by right clicking, but then you cannot click anywhere else)

What are your ideas? What bugfixes and features are a top priority in your opinion? Once we have enough things in here, we might even have a ̶s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶g̶i̶c̶i̶a̶n̶ a poll about what features are the most important ones.

Edit: The “OPTIONS HUH” was just a placeholder name, as I was not able to come up with anything else, but then I forgot about it. It’s okay when this sort of stuff happens here, but it also happens a lot with school projects and stuff and not always are the placeholder names I pick as family friendly.
Also, water currents are something I forgot about and are really neat.


One small change that I’d like to see for the editor would be to make cytoplasm work slightly differently. I think the player should be able to replace a hexes of cytoplasm with other organelles without having to pay the cost in MP for deleting the organelles. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me that creating a new hex filled with proteins and cytoplasm would cost more than filling some existing cytoplasm with a new protein.


I’m pretty sure that right now you can place an organelle on top of cytoplasm without any extra cost. Is that not working?

Nope. If I try to do that the game just refuses to place the organelle. Presumably because there’s already a hex there.

I’m not seeing that. Steps to not have issue: enter editor, place one cytoplasm, select a prokaryotic structure, then I’m able to place that on top of the cytoplasm.

I just tested it a bit more and it seems like it only doesn’t work on the starting hex of cytoplasm.

I have just taken a look at this and done some testing on the latest development build.

Currently you can delete or replace any hex of cytoplasm with an organelle, including the starting hex of cytoplasm. The exception to this is that you cannot replace a cytoplasm with an organelle if said cytoplasm is the only hex of your cell.

This could be different in the public version though, feel free to verify this and see if you can replace the starting hex of cytoplasm with another organelle if you add another hex to your cell first.

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It is likely that there is a check in the code that prevents the player from removing their last organelle (even if they are just about to place a new one). But I think it’s fine as replacing the initial cytoplasm with an organelle straight away is a good way to die (or at least it was at some point).


Another idea incoming. And I think it’s not entirely a bad one.

As of now, the iron chunks only come in two sizes. I came up with an easy (? I hope) way to get a lot more variety going on. Basically, we store the amount of iron the chunk contains as its “value”. As the chunk disposes iron as a compound, the number gets lower. And the size of the chunk is dependent on that number. So you basically have just the one model and scale it based on the number that represents how much iron it still contains. So a chunk that contains “100 iron” is ten times bigger than the one that contains just 10 (I know that’s not how volume works but why should we complicate it). Once it hits a certain threshold, let’s say the value “1”, it simply despawns. Maybe they could even spawn with a bit of a random value? Let’s say within the range of what is now the small chunk and the big chunk?
Also, not a bad idea would be to make it so that the less iron it has, the slower the value decreases, as to make the small chunks have a bit more of a lifespan.
Would this “scaling” theoretically be possible? And would it be hard? I think the result would be a nice illusion of the chunks fizzling away.


Scaling the visual size is no problem. The physics size might be a bit more difficult. Currently the chunks just use a specific sized sphere, that doesn’t perfectly match up with the visual size.

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I figure I am going to be shouted down and told to shut up for this, but what spore had going for it during the cell stage, was that it was VERY easy to get into, and very simplified. (And somewhat true to ‘factual’ evolutionary timelines)

IE: you had green food(vegetation) or red food(meat) and u could evolve to eat one or the other, or both.

You fed on smaller cells, fought and ate, or avoid those your size, or ran from larger ones.

It was very simple, anyone can get into it, play, etc. That’s where its popularity spiked. (Creature stage was also fun, and obviously a lot of work was put into it, but he basic idea of the game, the ‘tutorial’ was the cell stage, and once you grasped that, you got the game and off u went. IE All fun.

This version here, where I keep hearing how its spore 2.0, etc, is much much too complex, and too ‘realisitc’ (At the same time as being just faulty info) and just too easy to do one mutation that ‘screws’ you over and forces a restart.

Too many things to worry about hunting down, watching for, with abysmal controls (I figure these will be fixed, like why even have a G to eat when I can’t see any downside for ‘eating’ something accidentally, just make it so if u run into something you ‘can’ eat, you ‘will’ eat it.)

I downloaded the game @ 12am and wasted 5 hours trying to figure out how to play. I’m not a genius, but I am defiantly not a derptard simpleton. No tutorial (although multiple google searches mentioned tutorials, none was offered in 0.4.1, the version I downloaded and played) and a horrible ‘help’ screen (that btw does not pause the game when your looking at it lol)

No ability to remap keys, or control functions, is another negative(Something else I figure will be addressed, just feel its worth a mention.)

One other thing, which won’t impact peoples desire to play, is the fact the game seems to be based at around 3 billion years ago, at which time there was no (or very, very little, like less than 1%) oxygen in the atmosphere. Or in the water. or anywhere. It was the single cell organisms (of which this game is about) that started to produce them (At around 2-2.5bil years ago) which caused a major extinction event (and made it possible for higher species to develop, of which oxygen was needed.) For it to be accurate, the gasses would be co2, and N (Carbon dioxide and nitrogen) with methane also a major part. (Not sure exact ratios, but it was toxic to pretty much any land and shallow fish species known.)

but mostly its the fact the game is simply ‘not fun’ and is a headache to learn.

Anyways, that said, I hope nobody is offended, and I DO like the concept and really hope it develops quick. (From what I have been reading, its already been in development for a number of years.)

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This is actually exactly why Thrive was made. Since Spore was too simplified and made appealing for younger audiences, the idea of Thrive was made as something for the more mature audiences.

Only very somewhat. Look at how there are multiple multicellular organelles in the microbe (unicellular) stage, or how there were somehow plants, even though plants are microbes too.

It’s not. While Thrive is generally based on the idea of Spore, it should not be compared to Spore as a sequel.

I think you haven’t met many enemies with toxins then, eat those and there’s a large chance you’ll be sprayed with a pile of toxins which can easily kill you in high amounts. Also, being in engulfing mode costs ATP which is often in short supply, so being forced to juggle being able to engulf other cells and not wasting ATP is just another gameplay aspect.

This should be added in a later update, but yes I agree that it’s currently a bit difficult to get into if you’re new. The same goes for remapping controls, though currently they’re simple enough that it should not be too much of an issue.

This is another thing which should be added later. In the final version, the current idea is that the different amounts of available compounds will slowly change to reflect how it was slowly changing a couple billion years ago. (Oxygen will increase, while compounds like ammonia will be in shorter and shorter supply, forcing the cells to either hunt and take it from other cells, (animals) or become plant-like to conserve whatever compounds they have)


This is known. There is currently no options menu.

We used to have a tutorial, but it was removed due to major overhauls. Currently the plan is to try to make the game start out simpler with minimal hints to the player, instead of redoing the old tutorial.


Complex or simple game styles don’t relate to good or bad. One of my favorite games is Kerbal Space Program which has a huge learning curve. Took me a month to figure out how to just send a probe to the moon. But the amazing things you can do and learn in that game create such satisfaction that makes it all worth it.

In short not every game is for every player.


I love this approach. Sort of a “hidden tutorial” as seen in HL2, which is in my opinion the best approach to teaching the player game mechanics and coveying information to the player. Much better than treating the player like a child.

I also absolutely agree with this. I have no idea where the idea “shorter learning curve = better” came from, but one of the best things about games is the process of understanding the game better. One thing is getting a sick gear that allows you to do a lot of crazy cool stuff, but an entirely another thing is to understand the game mechanics so well that you can overcome obstacles that seemed like they have no solution before. One example would be for example Terraria or Enter The Gungeon. And feeling like you are mastering the game every time you play it is much more satisfactory than getting a cool gear.

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Thanks for the feedback.

I’m probably the main person pushing for the tutorial to be done last, I think it’s really important for it to be minimal and elegant, like Mario, Bioshock or The Witness. However I get that it makes it really hard to figure out what is happening now. Maybe watching a letsplay might help?

Re fun it’s way better than it used to be, however it’s clearly got quite a long way to go. I think when compounds are balanced better it will lead to interesting and engaging gameplay.


Ah, I see you’re a man of culture as well.

Honestly I don’t think the whole complexity thing is a problem with the game itself. It seems to me that you’re simply not part of its target audience. If you like simple games with less realism, like Spore, why not, you know, play Spore?


There’s a difference between a learning curve and just learning how the game works. I feel like most people would not be as interested in KSP if they were forced to spend a month looking for the parts tab. The same goes for roguelikes like you mentioned (and terraria). The learning curve is supposed to make you actually become better at the game, not just find out how the game works. (So ‘oh wait fire weapons are weaker in the rain, so that means fire-bsaed enemies are too, that actually makes a lot of sense!’, not ‘oh so that’s how you switch weapons’)


A while ago I’ve heard rumors that the devs are discussing organelle upgrades and such and it gave me an idea on how to rework the pricing system to make it in my opinion better and a bit more realistic. So assuming we are able to upgrade the organelles, here we go.

When you want to buy an organelle you don’t have yet the price is 100 MP, as creating a new organelle from scratch is a big leap. This organelle you’ve just bought is inferior in quality to the ones we have now, but it can be upgraded. Once you have an organelle in your organism, the price of that organelle drops down to what it is now, since creating something you already have again is much easier.
We (or at least I) still don’t know how the upgrades will work, but I assume that some will improve efficiency and other will specialize. I think that the upgrades should be fairly cheap, or at least the first few of them, as you start with a worse version of the organelle.
In my opinion this would make every editor session a bit more strategic. Do I wanna this new organelle? Or do I want to upgrade the ones I have already? What upgrades should I buy? These decisions would matter, as the price of an entirely new organelle is so high. Also, it would discourage players from the organelle gluttony problem (you could still have every single organelle in the game, but it would be pricy and they would be worse if you don’t invest in them more). Furthermore, I think it would make the gameplay a bit longer without making it more boring; you would feel a sense of progression without having to be absolutely enormous. Last but not least, it would be more realistic and show the player that further mutating or “cloning” the organelles you already have is easier than creating an organelle you’ve never had so far.

TL;DR - Everything you don’t have would cost 100 MP, everything you have would cost just the same price as now. Also, you start with an inefficient/inferior version of the organelle, but can upgrade it for a fairly low amount of MP.

Edit: This could be partially implemented even now, without the upgrades. So just the part where organelles you don’t have yet cost 100 MP.