Lets figure out Thrive 0.4.0 guys

Thrive v0.4.0 is coming out soon and this is a completely new game with a ton of new mechanics and features. This means that there are around five people who have at least some understanding of what this new game is.
We, casual players, are totally clueless about what works and what doesn’t in this new game. I think we need to make our own guide and our own analysis of the best (and worst) possible builds.
But for this we need data. Well-documented data.
I suggest doing something I’d like to call “build review”. Basically, I am going to play the game and describe my current build. Basic plan of my review will look like this:

  • Build name - I’ll try to come up with something memey, I promise
  • Idea behind the build and my expectations from the run
  • Detailed description of every evolution - maybe with a screenshot or two
  • Short review - general feelings, reasons why the build worked/failed, things that seems broken or unfair(or really cool, lets not be overly critical), e.t.c
  • Rating from 1 to 10

Rating is needed to make distinguishing between good and bad builds easier, but in order for the grade to mean anything, it should have some generalised meaning. So, I came up with the following gradelist:

  • 10 - This build is just broken. You can just yoloplay and faceroll your way to victory. There is basically nothing that could stop you from progress and you are progressing really fast.
  • 9 - You are playing easy mode of the game. Mistakes are either practically impossible to make or they have little-to-no effect on your playthrough. The only way to lose is to screw up hard every 15 seconds, which is really hard to do unless you’re trying to lose.
  • 8 - This feels like an actual ‘easy’ difficulty. Every mistake is easily recoverable and you are progressing quite fast. You still have to make some effort in order to progress the game forward.
  • 7 - This is your average balanced build. Mistakes can be costly, but you can still recover from most of them. Perfect for casual playthrough. Not too hard, not too easy. You shouldn’t have much problems progressing if you have a general idea of what you are doing.
  • 6 - This is what ‘hard’ difficulty feels like in most games. Mistakes are punished, and you cant recover from stupid ones. You have to play smart if you want to win. you will probably take a death or two, but if you are good at this game you should be able to progress without too much trouble.
  • 5 - That build is really underpowered. Every big mistake is punished by death. Even small mistakes, like choosing an unoptimal trajectory or missing a prey on a turn can add up and slow down your progress quite substantially. In other words, you have to be very good. If you are not good, it will take a couple of deaths.
  • 4 - You really should improve your editor skills. Just being good is not enough to pass on your first try, you have to have some luck. Mistakes add up really fast and you have to be really careful about your actions. If you are just starting to play this game, your run is over, you will not be able to recover in next stage of the game.
  • 3 - You have to be speedrunner level of ‘good’ to pass. In other words, every small mistake is punished, and suboptimal play means death. If you managed to get to the editor somehow, you have to think really hard if you want to recover.
  • 2 - Well, how did you even make this? Congratulations, your run is over. Your only option is hoping for perfect rng and even then it is easy to screw up. This is a point of no return.
  • 1 - y u do dis?

Aside from that, I will be grouping the builds by game stage like this:

  • Start builds - your first evolution
  • Early game builds - second and third evolutions
  • Midgame builds - 4th - 8th evolutions.
  • Late game builds - evolutions 9 to 14.

I probably wont do stupidest builds that are supposed to break the game, I want to focus on builds a sane person could choose to do.
My endgoal is to create a sample of several hundred builds run by several people. After that we can do anything with this data. We can make our own guide, we can see what organelles are best at every stage of the game, and, most importantly, we can help balance the game. My point is, developers are putting hundreds or thousands of hours to bugtest the game, but they are focused on moving the game forward and not on balancing it. They dont have time to analyse thousands of different builds, I’m not even talking about creating the data sample which they can analyse.

I will post the first “review” as soon as 0.4.0 releases


OK that was long but i think i understand :slight_smile:

Yeah, it should be more understandable when I post some examples

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Im excited to see where this thread goes, and as a developer i dont want to give away the builds :P, though one is the “Hummingbird” build where you have metalbolosomes, not mitochondria and only add those and flagella (they have storage space and produce alot of energy but cost alot of glucose in upkeep). So you are always at an energy “knife edge” and are going for speed, it can get pretty intense. Its more like a “challenge” build though.


Yeah this sounds really helpful. Anything you find which is broken or unbalanced is super helpful for us. Some things are still pretty unbalanced like I think chloroplasts are too strong atm but that’s partly because we haven’t separated the biomes yet, in the end they’ll be great in a tide pool and terrible in an abyss.

Also bear in mind that shape matters as well as organelle composition. Gathering compounds is different with different shapes.


I actually wanted to test four starting builds: with chloroplsat, with chemoplast, with mitochondria and oldschool one with only flagella and cytoplasm. After that I wanted to focus on early-to-mid game builds

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I will add links to everything interesting that comes out of this in this post:
Lets figure out Thrive 0.4.0 guys - first suggestions on how to balance the game
Lets figure out Thrive 0.4.0 guys - a little discussion about my suggestions
Lets figure out Thrive 0.4.0 guys - some things on the compound balance.

You’re being a great help to the game. Even though I don’t have any experience as a developer, i’ve enjoyed seeing Thrives progression.

May the best microbe win! I can’t wait to help out with this. We can actually get the numbers to mathematically deduce what would be good compositions, but they would definitely need to be tested out in game. Might be interesting to have a Speedrun of Thrive as well.

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It has been released. Time to start figuring it out!

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Yeah, I know. Sadly, I’m on a job atm and most likely won’t be able to get my hands on the game in the next four hours. I will post ASAP
My test run will be a no-evolution run. I honestly don’t know how far I’ll manage to get before getting obliterated

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Not far. You start out without any organelles, which means you have to reach the first evolution which allows you to get a mitochondrion and a flagellum as fast as you can, while all cells are trying to engulf you (since they’re all bigger than you), and you can’t swim fast enough to escape. (It took me around six attempts, after which I never died at all. Your starter cell is as weak as it can be)

I have built a Mega Killer cell, and then the game crashed :frowning:

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I mainly stuck to the prokaryotic structures but opted to put in 6 chloroplasts and two mitochondria towards the 12th mitosis event. I’m still going and am in the 22nd or 23rd Generation right now. I will update when I get back, my game seems to be running fine when I just leave it so I’m hoping auto-evo “catches up” to my own evo. Almost forgot about the two vacuoles, I tested them out because I thought I remembered reading somewhere that they make your collection of clouds different. Next Time I do a run I’ll take photos after each mitosis in order to get a more accurate representation.


No evolution build

Category: Start build
Expectations: I expected that it would be hard, but still playable. Other cells should be bigger and faster, but I thought this would get a 5 or 6 on my gradelist

1st - none

Ok, before I begin the review, let me talk about the game itself. First time I launched the game, it failed to load all UI components, so I skipped the start menu and, in game, had no idea how good (or bad) I’m doing. Sorry, I don’t have the log because I understood that something is wrong only after several minutes of playing the game. The second time I tried, I played until I reached the evolution and haven’t noticed it. ( Sidenote: a tutorial would be nice ). So I kept swimming for, like, five minutes until it occured to me that my cell isn’t growing anymore. I pressed the editor button and it exited the game. Log was not helpful, it showed zero errors.

Well, to the actual review we go… THE GAME IS COMPLETELY BROKEN. It was painfully easy, I mean, there is no point in balancing organelles or something else. I had literally zero trouble. You just need to find ONE ammonia cloud and ONE phosphates cloud - and you are already ready to evolve. I mean, my average run ends in 15 seconds. Granted, I’m playing safe, but it is just ridiculous.
I would give this build 9/10 on a broken scale. I will continue to play the game without evolving and I don’t know what to expect anymore.


Great job, liked your review. I am actually glad someone is willing to help me in my quest.
I have one request for you though - can you, please, describe your next run in more detail. I tried to give an example with my no-evo run. Having some formality will help to sum up the information we collect

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You know what, I’m actually not going to describe this properly, because that’s a no-evo build and you can see it for yourselves:

That’s me, gen 15, no evolutions.
IT TOOK ME 15 MINUTES TO BEAT THIS GAME. I’m a speedrunna, heh.

Btw, 9/10, most broken thing I saw in years. I only had some trouble because I forgot that you keep ATP from your previous runs

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Yeah no problem i’ll try to make it more informational and follow your format, after seeing yours its a lot easier to get the feel of how it should be. I also should have read the top posts before posting mine again because I completely forgot about the grading system.

I have some comments on your review. The game can be incredibly easy and I do hope there is a way to add in difficulty. On the fact that your cell is just the first stage means it is even more easy… e.i. broken because you arn’t really expected to stay that way for long, it takes a lot less compounds for a lot less… I mean zero organelles. Auto Evo should occur at 10 minutes into the game ( I wish this was on a slider for easily changing it for those not great with programming or building the game) which should make it a bit harder although not by much. Usually you can out compete anything if you know what you are doing.

Well this might not be useful anymore since I just see that you finished your run…

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Category: Early Game
Expectations: Similar to a pitiful run but with better ATP production and faster glucose usage making the search for glucose more important than before.
Name: Spearhead
Scientific Name: Hastae calvitium
I am not adding the initial cell as an evolution since it is a common ancestor for every player cell in 0.4.0’s existence
1st: I added cytoplasm to the front and back, front had 6 while the back had 4 added. Movement seemed much like the CA ( common ancestor) movement expect side to side was slower. Most likely do to the flatter sides having higher resistance.

I kept on adding cytoplasm to the front and back taking them as far as you can in the current editor, equaling 10 to the front and 7 to the back. Movement was very similar to Evolution 1.

(going into the 3rd in case you wonder why the editor says 3rd, no changes were made before the photo however.)

As mentioned for the CA ( common ancestor ) it was very easy gameplay due to the lack of orgenalles needed to replicate meaning I did not have to go for Phosphates or Ammonia heavily, albeit more than the CA because of the added Cytoplasm. Glucose was a very small problem when trying this early build as compound frequency does not change in between biomes quite yet, making my “Abyss” biome no harder than any other ( I look forward to the biome changes that will be done for future versions, I’ll keep checking the dev forums for this topic). I speculate with Evolution 3 when I add a flagellum glucose collection will become a larger problem and I will have to be more careful with the directions I go. Eating Bacteria as I did for both these Evos will most likely help me the most in this coming stage

Grade: 9/10 Mistakes made with this Species are not very detrimental mainly do to the fact of Glucose abundance ( I’m guessing will be fixed in a biome update )

Category: Early Game

Expectations: I speculate with Evolution 3 when I add a flagellum glucose collection will become a larger problem and I will have to be more careful with the directions I go. Eating Bacteria as I did for both these Evos will most likely help me the most in this coming stage

Name: Swimming Spearhead
Scientific Name: Hastae natantes
3rd ( A speciation of Hastae calvitium )
This Species has the added benefit of a flagellum to propel itself through the world. From where the editor placed me this was an easy run, with ammonia, phosphates, and glucose in close proximity the time to mitosis was under a minute; at least it felt that way I wasn’t actually keeping track might have been a minute and a half.

The only difference with Hastea natantes is that the bottom most cytoplasm has developed into a flagellum ( denoted by a red F ). I believe this is drastic enough of a change to place it in its own species.

For the Minute or so I played as Hastea natantes I noticed there weren’t very many other cells in the region, this most likely what allowed me to reach mitosis so quickly. Hopefully with the addition of more flagella on Hastea natantes gameplay will become a bit more challenging, requiring heavy amounts of ATP to keep up with such a torpedo.

Grade: 9/10, I will no longer complain about compound abundance to keep from being redundant but the flagellum was completely cared fore by the cytoplasm; creating 7 ATP to power the flagellum while moving.

Category: Midgame

Expectations: Evolution 4 got an addition of two flagellum to the bottom (indicated by red F’s again) I wasn’t sure on how my cell’s length would change when converting cytoplasm to flagella so I opted to put them on the sides instead.

Name: Swimming Spearhead
Scientific Name: Hastae natantes

4th ( A speciation of Hastae calvitium )
This Species has the added benefit of flagella to propel itself through the world. I had a little bit more tactic to the game in this evolution of Hastea natantes. I did not acquire large amounts of glucose before splitting so I was running with 7-10 out of the editor, this was actually a problem as the ATP quickly decreased to feed the energy need of the three flagellum.

Here is Hastea natantes in the wild.

I would suggest maybe making how the cells create their walls to be “thinner” at least in this case it makes it hard to tell where my cell actually is because 50% of the image isn’t actually the physical cell.

Grade: 8/10, I am bringing it down from 9 for one reason only, the amount of ATP needed to propel yourself with with three flagella is 21 ATP per second if I recollect correctly. Cytoplasmic respiration can keep fairly well up until the obvious of having no glucose, then it is a race against time to find glucose. I lied about not saying anything about abundancy I know this is a feature being worked on and I am extremely exited for it to come; I also believe it will fix a lot of the “balance” issues.

Category: Midgame

Expectations: Evolution 5 got an addition of two flagellum to the bottom (indicated by red F’s again) I’m expecting that I will need to hunt more or search for glucose clouds in order to keep Thriving…

Name: Swimming Spearhead
Scientific Name: Hastae natantes

5th ( A speciation of Hastae calvitium )
The five added Flagellum are noted in red F’s.

As you can notice there is a big change in the compounds that are stored from this image and then to the next.
This is due to the heavy need for glucose. This image (the one below the text) shows what I had almost immediately out of the editor. There was a lot, I mean a lot a lot of ATP used. It almost wasn’t beneficial to get those two extra flagella.

I decided to go around a bit more and obtain extra glucose for my next evolution but I realize now that I might have collected enough to immediately go to the editor next time… whoops. Movement was also much faster but I was depleting more as well, trade offs I guess.

Grade: 7/10, I knocked this one own to 7/10 because I felt I needed to make this more for the general populace otherwise I would debate about putting it as 8/10. The ATP consumption can be a major problem and I know in future updates this species will most likely not be able to survive an “Abyss” ( still can’t remember the actual name; scientific name ) biome because of its reliance on ATP clouds. I did consume some bacteria but not a lot because the time and ATP it took to engulf them was not profitable.

Category: Midgame

Expectations: I expect that the ATP drain might be too much for this species evolution to live and I will most likely have to get a prokaryotic structure to keep up with the ATP consumption.

Name: Swimming Spearhead
Scientific Name: Hastae natantes

6th As always flagella are noted by those red F’s

I died pretty quickly from this evolution but I stupidly ran into some Oxytoxy floating in the waters, I didn’t quite seem them in time. I seem to have run into a bug where my health isn’t displayed correctly cause I died without seeing go down, it was also at 100 while I looked at my cloud corpse. Sorry for fluctuating with where I describe my runs but this one was really interesting. My ATP consumption was higher than I could process, although I haven’t done the math yet to see if this is true., but it was very high. Glucose became a big problem even more so then before because of the Flagella’s thirst for speed.

Grade: 7/10, if I had played more I might have said this was a 6/10, the grading system has some problems with numbers below 6 in my opinion because they all represent a very hard difficulty just worded differently; 1 and 2 are the same just one is meme worthy (I’ll come up with some in a new post). I shouldn’t be a muckraker but I don’t have any good ideas for changing them. I place it at a 6/10 because the ATP consumption is seemingly too fast for the Cytoplasm to keep up. I think it is still possible to survive with this, I still got the editor but mainly do to my fears of completely dying and the excess compounds from the prior generation.

Category: Midgame

Expectations: I expect that the extra storage space and the glucose conversion speed to be relatively higher and be able to cope with the flagellum. The Chromatophores should help tremendously with the issue of glucose collection as Hastae ardea will now be able to produce it

Name: Soaring Spear
Scientific Name: Hastae ardea

7th ( a speciation of Hastae natantes )
This evolution acquired some needed structures. Two Chromatophares and Two Metabolosomes were added to Hastae ardea and are dented by the light green C and the orange M. I plan on making Chlorophyll be a darker green and Mitochondria will be a red. These added structures make this a candidate for speciation, deviating far enough away from Hastae natantes.

As you can see I hit the “Banana” biome, so I will be restarting and going through the same steps as I did before. I will make this an opportunity to add information on the earlier evolutions. Don’t worry the Banana biome is a known bug and is going to be fixed, you can play though it but it can make it more difficult and will skew the grading system in my opinion. Also I got the Banana Biome when I died and not when I went to the editor so I did play a couple seconds of the last evolution in it, but not enough to make it gameplay worthy.


Can you grade the build to give a numerical representation?