My experience with


So I’ve installed the new version the day before yesterday and I’ve seen there’s that new cutscene when you start the microbe stage, which is pretty interesting. Otherwise, everything went fine for me, in the sense that it didn’t crash. One problem I have though is when I entered the microbe editor: I had trouble trying to understand some of the organelle’s descriptions due to the technical words (and maybe because I was a bit tired.) Also I noticed that the description of some organelles goes beyond the information box. I added a mitochondria and another organelle (don’t remember wich one) and when I went back to the game I started loosing ATP, and even as I went in the compound clouds I was unable to replenish it and I ended up extinct.

And yesterday when I went in the microbe editor, the background had yellow and black stripes and at one moment when I respawned after killing myself, the background was also black and yellow. What is going on?

(He who abuses the search function) #2

You don’t really need the descriptions though. the only thing you need to know is the effect and cost.

Also, did you pick up glucose specifically, not ammonia or phosphates or something? Because that not being true is the only reason I can think of as to why your ATP production wasn’t big enough. A single mitochondrion should be able to support at least 2 flagella, and that’s not counting the cytoplasm which also creates ATP slowly.

But yeah, the “yellow zebra”-background is something which happens once in a while, no one really knows why exactly.


I went in every compound clouds I could but it didn’t work. My microbe had a flagella in addition to the mitochondria and the other organelle. I actually learned on Mouthwash’s review that you had to stay still to recover ATP, I tried it and it worked!

And about the “yellow zebra” bug, since it covered the whole background of the microbe editor, I wasn’t able to edit my microbe, so I just randomly swim here and there collecting compounds until my glucose and ammonia bar were full ( I think my phosphate bar was pretty much full too). Oh, and there wasn’t any sound telling me I could reproduce.

(Untrustedlife) #4

Thers an additional osmoregulation ATP cost which is at the bottom of the editor screen. Which changes based on the amount of organelles you have. The yellow background is a known and very difficult to fix bug with our graphics engine.

It also costs ATP to use flagella of course P

(Zahyyy) #5

I’m also going to share my experience with the game so far. I will be talking about the dev version released on February 2nd, as I’m yet to download today’s version.

First things first - I love the new features, I think they are absolutely amazing. But there are a few things I’d like to mention and I’d also like to talk about high-priority things (in my opinion). Some of the things might be obvious and/or highly discussed. So here we go, my feeling about the current features and also some features, that in my opinion should make it into the game as soon as possible.

Now let’s take it step by step:

Starting prokaryotic

Starting as a prokaryotic organism is great. I love the fact that you have to buy the nucleus now. I think, however, that getting the nucleus should be a bit more of an achievement. As of now, all it takes is just one reproduction, I think, however, that the player should feel like making a great deal of a progress when getting the nucleus. But right now it feels just like an extra step, not something you have to earn.
The other thing that concerns me about this feature as of now is the fact that you are the only one starting as a prokaryotic organism, while everyone around you is much more developed. I think I’ve read somewhere that you’ll be the first organism and I think that should be the case. The prokaryotic stage should also serve as a tutorial. Otherwise, I love it!


I don’t have much to say here, it’s just great. What’s still missing is, as far as I know, the iron ion clouds being tied to the iron particles as of yet, but otherwise it’s pretty much done (except the organelle texture/model).
But what I’d love to see is the ability to engulf the smaller iron particles and process them inside of you and the second thing I’d love to see is adding another debris the size of the big iron particle just to make your surroundings more interesting. They would be useless, however, would provide much more diverse aesthetics.

It's time for the new GUI

Despite really liking the current aesthetics of the game, I was absolutely mesmerized by @narotiza’s (and @That_Dude’s, if I am not mistaken) concept for the new GUI that showed up here: The UI. It looks highly professional, which will surely come in handy during the outreach, plus it is much more understandable and communicative. It provides player with more clearly displayed information, mostly in the editor, which is somewhat lacking in the GUI as of now.

Another kind of miscellaneous thing I’d like to mention here is perhaps a solution to the toxin’s missing texture. The toxin vacuole should perhaps have the same texture as the normal vacuole, just with different color (maybe the color of the current toxin model). “Oh yeah but what about the projectile?” I hear you ask. Well let me finish, would you be so kind? From what I understood, the reason of still not having the real deal with the toxin texture was the division of opinions whether to have it being a cloud for the sake of realism or have it a particle for the sake of gameplay. Now hear me out, are you ready? Imagine a particle with the texture of a cloud similar to spells you can find in a lot of RPGs and so on. Here’s something at least a bit looking like what I mean ( This particle, if not having hit anything, would then dissolve into a toxic cloud in the same manner as it’s intended for the small iron particles. However, it shouldn’t cover a large area.


Perhaps the most important thing on this list. However, I have no idea on how to make it work. Sorry, this one’s gonna be short. Still, one of the most important things on this list.

The lack of diversity in the later game

At the very beginning of the game, there was a plenty of different species, each looking pretty unique and interesting, but as the species were dying out, auto-evo couldn’t keep up with it and at the very end of my playthroughs there were always only about 6 species left, usually around 3 species of bacteria and 3 species of cells. In my opinion, the diversity of organisms should increase, rather than decrease. This is connected to the very start of the game, where you should be the only organism and all the other life-forms should evolve out of you with new species emerging every now and then to the point, where you wouldn’t be even able to memorize all of the species. This would give the later game the feel of a diverse and vibrant world.

Bugs and other stuff

One of the nastiest bugs I came across prevented me from using toxins whatsoever. I guess it might be connected to the ability to place the nucleus now, but whenever I tried to shoot them, they would appear inside of me, thus slowing me down and just leaving the projectile on the place where I was, rather that propelling it forwards.
Also, once I show up in the infamous banana biome, I always spawn there from that point, even after dying. The only way I can get rid of it is starting a completely new game. However, I have not experienced a single crash, good work!

Alright, this is probably all from me. Thank you, dev team, for making such a great project possible. I highly appreciate all the effort put into it, which is also why I decided to try to donate to @Untrustedlife’s Patreon monthly, if I’ll be financially able to do so. I’ve seen a lot of effort being put into the game as of now, with a new indev version daily/weekly and we as a community cannot thank you all enough. Keep it up, we are proud of y’all!
(If I realize I’ve forgotten to mention something, I will post-edit it down below)

(tjwhale) #6

Awesome glad you enjoyed it.

I agree that getting a nucleus feels too small, it would be nice for it to be a bigger moment. We are heading towards having the start be only your single hex of cytoplasm and have that part be a tutorial, I think these are good things.

We talked a bit about gui on the most recent podcast but the main thing is we need to sort out the underlying engine issues with the gui before doing a rework, however a rework is planned.

I like the idea of a simple toxin burst, that sounds interesting.

Hopefully the game will be much more diverse once the patches are in, we will work on it until the diversity is good.

Thanks for any donations you end up making, we appreciate the support :slight_smile:

(Zahyyy) #7

Thank you for your response and thank you even more for mentioning one of the ideas on the podcast! That was a pleasant surprise and I had a fanboy moment. I’m glad you liked the idea!

Here are some other ideas that I had while playtesting the latest version ( released on 2/10/2019)

Making every gameplay a bit unique

As of now, once you start a new game, you know exactly what to do. You know how much ATP you get from what organelle per second, you know what works how efficiently and basically everyone can master the game after a few playthroughs. But if some factors, such as the enviromental O2 and so on were a bit randomized, it might change the efficiency of certain organelles. Or how abundant/rare is iron on said planet. This would spice things up a bit and would force you do be a bit more adaptive.
Edit: I’m a drunk dumb-dumb. This is already planned for the biome diversification to some extend, if I’m not mistaken. But it might be nice to have some things a bit randomized even then so that the biomes in one playthrough are just slightly different from the ones from a different playthrough. Basically parameters of the planet as such (composition of the atmosphere, what elements are to be found there etc.)

First step to solving organelle gluttony

In my last playthrough I created an abomination, that consisted of one of each organelle and maybe around 20 of mitochondrias. Why? Because I know I’m not going to be punished for doing so. So I was thinking about a system, where every organelle (maybe exept the prokaryotic ones) has severe downsides that add up the more organelles you have. We have the same thing with flagellae, where every single one of them consumes 7 ATP/sec, meaning that if you had 10 flagellae, they would be consuming 70 ATP/sec, which is a thing to concider. So for instance every organelle would have its mass, that would slow your cell down, with chemoplast, for example slowing you down even more. Now it’s just about finding another downside other than mass for every organelle and then it’s just about balancing the numbers. Another thing that might work is if the amount of organelles would have an effect on their prize, slowly rising and rising with every organelle of that type that you add. Also, some organelles might have a negative effect only when in combination together.


One thing I noticed is that the background is pretty HQ and almost seem like a flat plane. I noticed that there are perhaps 2 layers of the background, each moving a bit differently, which is nice, but still, the further away background seems to be very flat and photo-like. What might solve this would be a slight blur, making it seem far more distant. Another nice feature would be a slight blur around the edges of the screen and as you would scroll out, the edges would become more and more blurry (you would still be able to see pretty much everything, though).
Another thing I’d like to mention here one more time, despite being mentioned in the previous post as well would be the floating particles such as the big chunks of iron, that have no other purpose than to be a nice touch to the environment. And I would go even further and make the numbers, in which they occur dependent on the biome you are in. For example in a tidepool there would be much more sand particles floating around than in a middle of watery nowhere. Some of them might even be really big, covering perhaps half of the screen. This would make the environment more interactive, as you would have to navigate your way among a lot of these particles when being for example in the tidepool.

That’s it from me for now. And I think that after one or two big updates, we might be ready for the outreach. And with the outreach, we might try to contact a youtuber called “Game Maker’s Toolkit” (, who does analyses of a lot of games on the topic of feedback loops, balancing, upgrades etc. and let him give his opinion on Thrive and how to do things and such. Thank you for reading.

(tjwhale) #8

yeah lots of good ideas here, I think a lot of which is stuff we are planning which is good.

We’re planning to have lots of different biomes which have different environemntal compounds, and those compounds should change over time and the planet you are on will make a big difference. Hopefully that should all come before too long.

Organelles already have an osmoregulation cost of 1 ATP/s to make you pay for having a lot. We are going to move to having a cost per hex of the organelle so big ones will cost more. They also slow you down.

Yeah hopefully we can do some stuff with the visuals, especially when we put in light and dark mechanics.

I’m a bit fan of GMTK and I’m not sure we’re ready for him yet. In a while I think we’ll be good enough to make serious people sit up and take notice.