Organism Building Feature

Auto-evo isn’t planned for the next release, it will include smallish changes aimed at improving the gameplay:

I have a question about one of the planned features: At one point it says “each chloroplast will make 2 glucose”, but isn’t the point of chloroplasts that they create oxygen?

Chloroplasts do photosynthesis which results in oxygen and glucose.

Oh yeah… Now that I think about it, that does explain where the carbon from CO2 goes…

actually the point of chloroplasts is to produce the glucose as form of energy for the organism. oxygen is just a waste product. fortunately as seen from our animalous point of view the point of chloroplasts IS indeed to produce oxygen for our metabolism.

I read u a bunch of stuff on the developer wiki, and assuming that all that stuff is planned, we should be good http://thrivegame.wikidot.com/organism-editor
However, there were some things that weren’t mentioned, like bio luminescence.

While the description on the wiki page does sound great, it begs another question: How will we manage to make intuitive and fluid controls for so incredible different creatures? As far as I understand, we still control only one organism during the Multicellular and the Aware stage (I would also like to know how the organism editor is supposed to change during the Multicellular stage. I mean, sufficient neuron tissue is one milestone, but we can’t ecpect the player to design on a cellular level until we reach that point, can we?), but the key bindings needed to control a creature that, let’s say uses four limbs for locomotion and it’s jaws to attack would vastly differ from the ones necessary to stear a snail-like creature which uses a projectile tongue akin to frogs as a weapon. How are we going to solve that? Ask the player to assign a key to each … muscle? Predefined muscle group? This would probably be not only tedious, but also wouldn’t allow for different movement patterns involving the same muscles (like running vs. sneaking).

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Both of the creatures you described fit quite nicely to just be controlled with WASD + mouse. It will probably be too tedious for players to attempt to control each limb separately (probably even making it impossible to walk) so what we would do is have a game-like character controls and the creature then determines properties of the movement like how fast.

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While I agree that WASD+Mouse is the most convenient and comfortable set of controls, my point was more about how the game by itself is supposed to figure out how to use whatever bunch of limbs and appendages I gave my creature for any given task. For example, if I want it to cling to the branch of a plant (which should come up quite often for many animals), I could accomplish this with something similar to a monkey or an octopus (which has somehow figured out how to breathe on land…). But how should the game know which limbs to use, if I have the freedom to equip it with such different tools? If I want to attack, let’s say by clicking with my left mouse, how does the game know which one of the body parts the player wanted to use for striking? Claws on the frontal limbs? Jaw? Both could be valid, but the game itself has no way of knowing which one to choose for the “attack” action, when clicking. The only solution I see, is to let the player designate beforehand, which limb to use for what action, but as you have said, this would make movement and quite franky gameplay itself pretty much impossible.

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I say the game could rig preset animations like spore does, only on a more realistic level.

Or better yet the game could make certain actions/animations based on how the player “categorize” limbs and such, so no need for neural or muscle editing to extreme levels.

The problem here is that Spore was much, MUCH more restrictive than Thrive aspires to become. Every creature was either a limbless crawler or had a certain number of legs, which all functioned the same. And even then it wasn’t rare to see this system failing with limbs clipping through the ground and so on. If aquatic, terrestrial and flying creatures of all kinds shall be simulated, this will not suffice.

Categorizing limbs is indeed the first thing that comes to mind to simplify the problem a bit, and it is probably a step in the right direction, but still doesn’t solve all problems. For example if we have two different, designated limbs for different attacks, or even for the same attack (thinking bout the asymmetrical claws of crabs here), which utilizes both of them in a certain way intended by the player (in this case first grabbing/immobilizing and only then actually damaging), that the game probably won’t be able to figure out what to do, when we use the attack action. Which brings me to the point of how the system shall determine what movements a creature is capable of. Should everything with a certain number of legs an below a certain weight be allowed to climb trees? Are we sure we don’t miss anything, any ingenious and crazy anatomy with requirements like this? And if we are allowed to use a plethora of different limbs, how to procedurally generate the myriads of different, outlandish animations needed for our beautiful abominations, if we place basically no restrictions on the parts used in their anatomy (Which is not to say we should restrict that. Honestly, from what I have read up until now, the current concept of the Organism Editor will be my favorite feature, which is why we need to figure out how to implement it without abandoning all the depth it promises). This again leads to only more questions, like: How will a fighting system work? It would be such a shame to just use HP and simple all-or-nothing Hits like Spore did, if each organism will have such a complex interior with all the natural critical points (arteries, respiratory organs usw.) already laid out. But I can already see that a complex collision-physics-based system would complicate things tremendously (although Overgrowth did some good work in that regard, if I remember correctly…). What about balance? It should be quite easy to figure out center of mass etc. with such an detailed building plan of each organism, but will the game make use of these things, for example for flying creatures (with wingspan and -form correlating to the turn radius and lift etc.)?

You obviously don’t play many MMORPGs. The player should be able to assign keys to certain actions other than walking. Walking would use the same controls that Spore used (QWEASD SPACEBAR and a few others) By having the player specify the way the creature moves in the editor itself. Other controls would use 1234567890 and the F1-F12 keys binded to a specific action. That is more than enough for any creature’s keybinds. If you still need more R F G Z X C V SHIFT and TAB are also all common keybinds. As far as how Damage is going to be calculated, most likely it would function like most RPGs, slap a healthbar, some varying resistances, some weak points/crit areas, and presto you got everything you would need. Most of all the things you have pointed out however would be solved in the Behavior editor.

Hm, the simplicity of the fighting system is a shame. How I would have loved to see strategical use or the long-term consequences of dismemberment, small predators clinging on the sides of bigger prey and the resulting need to actually protect certain body parts, be it with armor, thick fur or certain poses. I can’t exactly see this realised with an RPG-like system. But we do seem to delegate a lot of problems to the behaviour editor (not only for this particular issue but also for the complex interactions between different castes and the like), while I haven’t been able to find much concrete info on its intended structure. Is this because of me missing something, or has there been a lack of detailed information about it up until now?

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I hope that we can have concrete designs that solve these issues. But I think at least initially we will have some basic hitpoints system with maybe possibility of directly damaging targeted organs. As thrive is build iteratively we can add more complex features later. We are still a long way away from having to solve these kinds of issues.

I think that for the bone structure, just making simple lines might be enough (e.g. if you were to make a humanoid you’d basically just draw a stickman), the editor would then turn these lines into bones which you’d be able to further modify (things like thickness, density…) and sculpt in some advanced settings, you’d connect them with joints and stuff. What might be a bit of a problem would be a skull and a spine. Skull would probably rely heavily on sculpting, whereas spine might be done as a single line, where you can set the number of connections, making it into many smaller pieces. Then, if you want, you can sculpt these vertebrae even further, either one by one or as a group. The benefits of this is that for someone who doesn’t want to put a lot of effort into the editing can just simply do a few lines and connect them, but still, someone willing to sacrifice some time to make their creature look as they will can do so. Still not sure how to make muscles, tho. But for the skin, there might be a mapping with a painting tool to select areas that are meant to have smooth skin, areas with armour-like skin, areas with fur or feathers etc., but I’ve coveder that here already ( Skin Types and Coloration ). This would allow the flexibility of letting our imagination wild, while still keeping it simple for the ones who wish so. Sadly, I still haven’t worked out how the muscle and skull editing would work. What do you think, guys? Any feedback? And any ideas for the things I have no idea how to do?

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I think it should be a bit more like Spore, meaning it would keep bone and muscle editing to a minimum, and everything else is there for you to edit.

Organs on the other hand can be more beneficial to the organism, so leave stuff like that up to the player.

Making an arthropod seems a bit harder than a vertebrate from what I see.
(/‘’-‘’)/ reach for the stars

I’m sure that Qaudropods are organisms that will likely be added, but what about Heptapods and Pentapods?

Well, as far as the current model looks like, it should be completely possible to create a five- or seven-armed starfish-like creature, if that is what you are after. If you want to make a vertebrate with an odd number of legs instead, I think that too should be absolutely possible … just not very useful.

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I want to make a half arthropod half vertebrate creature like the Zerg. Would that be possible with this system?