Learning from past mistakes of Spore and other games

One of Spore’s mistakes was too much compromise. The devs were split into two sides. One side wanted a full-on realistic evolution sim (basically Thrive’s goal), while the other side wanted a good creature builder. Compromises were made to integrate both ideas, and the result was lacklustre for both ends. Unfortunately, Thrive faces a similar dilemma, where you want the game to be as realistic as possible, but realism isn’t always fun. So the devs have to find the right compromise to make the game enjoyable, while also remaining true to the source material.

Another sin of the gaming industry is in-game purchases as in dlcs. They are simply a disgrace. Why must you pay for a game FULL PRICE (easily as high as 80$, without counting the “deluxe edition” scams which are just an excuse to increase the price to 3 figures), and then have to pay for more features? I already paid for the game, give it to me fully, not in chunks, which I pay for individually. It’s as if you order at a restaurant, and instead of giving the full order, which you pay for in full, you get the main course, with the desert as an “add-on to your experience”. Fortunately for the consumer, a̶n̶d̶ ̶u̶n̶f̶o̶r̶t̶u̶n̶a̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶d̶e̶v̶s̶, Thrive is free, and so, downloadable content is futile.

And don’t get me started on microtransactions. “Just pay 5 real moneys, and you can get 8000 goodbux in the game, for free!” Some are pay-to-win, which is disgusting and unethical and encourages gambling and why aren’t loot boxes illegal yet? It also completely ruins a game when they put obscene mechanics to encourage spending, like setting up competitive bots, or making wait time reeeeeeeaaallly long, or making stuff absurdly expensive. One example of this is the mobile app Seabeard (it also uses addiction mechanisms, sad and wrong). I used to be hooked on this thing for hours, everyday, and I stopped once I realised I was literally planning my day around an app game, so uninstall was its fate, and good riddance! This doesn’t really have anything to do with Thrive, other than the Thrivium april fools thread, I just needed to vent my frustration somewhere.


I know it’s been a while and I’m double posting, but hear me out.

What’s the number one reason for games to get boring? Is it the lack of things to do? Or is it the length of the play through?

No, a game gets boring for only one reason: it gets repetitive. Take minecraft for example. Now, people would say that minecraft is a limitless game, so it should never get boring, right? Wrong! What’s the first thing you do in minecraft no matter the world? Punch tree, make wooden pickaxe, make stone pickaxe, make iron armour, make iron pickaxe, make diamond pickaxe, go to the nether, get the blaze rods, spend 385 hours fighting endermen, go to the end beat the dragon.

What I described is the natural progression of every minecraft world. Do you see a problem? I do! It’s tedious and unchanging. The landscape doesn’t matter, it only makes those few actions slightly easier or slightly harder. So, how do we fix that? Every play through has to be different. I don’t like the fact that only one suit of armour is objectively better, there should be ups and downs for different situations. Maybe iron armour burns you in the nether, while you freeze while wearing it in the snowy biomes, so you have to wear leather. small changes like these make the game more challenging and unexpected.

What I’m trying to say is that Thrive must not fall into the pit of boredom with repetitive play throughs. What’s the reason for each new play through? Does an herbivore play differently from a carnivore? What are the benefits and downsides of a warrior race?


I see what you mean, but I think Thrive already has a bit of leverage. What I mean is mainly about the world generation. There are already so many variables that the finished game is planning on having I’m certain that most playthroughs will not be the same.


I agree here, even on the current, relatively bare bones version, most playthroughs differ a LOT from each other, due to the cells evolving in different ways. (For example, a game where a lot of toxin organelles have spawned plays way differently to one where the biggest issue is smaller bacteria hoovering up the compounds)

I can only imagine the replay value of when world generation is added, since something there are a lot of variable that can have massive effects on the world itself. (For example, if a planet is further away from its sun, there will be less energy that comes from plants, making it way more important to use everything some prey has to offer)

You could even implement something like that in the difficulty when starting a game, where if you pick a higher difficulty you’ll start in a more fertile world. (Closer to the sun, (more available energy) slower turn speed, (less chaotic tides) higher circling speed around its sun, (shorter winters) etc.)


I would like difficulty to not affect the AI’s advantages. With that I mean like easy difficulty handicaps the AI (less MP and resources), normal being equal, and hard making the AI cheat. If the AI is affected by difficulty it should only affect how intelligent / aggressive it is.

Essentially I don’t want stat boosts due to difficulty, only AI competency. It’s best if AI isn’t affected at all, only other factors.


I think most people see this as the ideal. One issue is that for some games it’s too hard to make the AI smarter than a person. For example in CIV 5 they have to let the AI cheat because it’s too computationally expensive to make it smarter than a person.


I’m not saying smarter than a human, just not so stupid that I can single handedly take an empire 6 times my size using an army 4 times smaller than theirs. AI in strategy games is always laughably bad at war that I can usually just stack units in a fortified area and the AI will throw their massive army at me one at a time rather than try and go around.

I think I’ve come up with a way for the AI not to do this but it seems like it would take a decent amount of programming to accomplish, essentially the AI will read (among many other things it reads) the map is unit power density, which is the average power of units and defenses in an area (whatever your map distances measurements are whether it be tiles or units). So the AI knows it has a bigger army but because it is spread out it’s unit power density would be lower than yours and it knows it will lose, making it regroup it’s forces before attacking to get it’s unit power density score higher than yours.