Problems i have with the game

Thrives current progression system/learning curve is flawed. Heres why:

You first start the game as a simple hex of cytoplasm floating around to find compounds to replicate. this is simple and easy to understand. Once you enter the cell editor however, things begin to get much more complicated. The player is graced with the ability to add almost any part they desire. (with the obvious exclusion of organelles) This grants the player the ability to make mistakes and learn from them. it would undoubtedly teach the player that cell gluttony (Using all parts and becoming an intense generalist) is bad and will result in you getting punished, whereas specialization is good and will result in you getting rewarded. as much as i love this whole trial and error gist, there is a clear issue with it. the learning curve of the whole editor is far too steep. and this isnt an issue with the player, but rather the way the game currently fails to communicates certain ideas to the player.

ive seen a few casual youtubers play thrive, and one thing i immediately see is them placing thykaloids onto their cell, despite the fact that they literally live nearby hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the sea where no light is able to penetrate through. why is this? is it because these people are incompetent idiots? no. its because the game currently fails to communicate the idea that there is no light in the hydrothermal vent region. sure the little patch tab shows us the environmental stats a certain region has, but players arent willing to read through statistics, they would rather play the game. this problem already has a solution that im pretty sure the developers are working on. adding darkness to the game! theres even some concept art that shows how bioluminscence can be used as a sort of cellular flashlight allowing the player to see a greater range of things, do you think anyone will place thykaloids once they not only see darkness, but also read the description of a thykaloid which states it works in sunlight? more subtle cues need to be implemented. the trial and error part of the game should come last rather than first.

The concept art of darkness i was talking about

This whole “show don’t punish the player” mindset would have to be applied to every single part in the cell editor. thykaloids are shown to be useless by showing the player the darkness of the thermal vent region. a similar solution just needs to be applied for every part. I’m not even sure this can be done for some parts though. how is the game supposed to subtly show the player that THERE IS NO OXYGEN HERE TO ENABLE AEROBIC RESPIRATION or THERE IS NO CARBON DIOXIDE TO ALLOW FOR YOU TO UNDERGO PHOTOSYNTHESIS. and this basically promts the creation of a more friendly gui that is easy to mentally and visually digest. i think we can take a look at narotizas concept for ui for a great look at what thrives cell gui will probably look like at the end;

There is also another problem that ive seen be pointed out numerous times. Jumps in the games pacing. isnt it a bit strange how the addition of the nucleus is an instant and abrupt one? once i place a nucleus its almost impossible for me to survive unless i subsist off the rotting corpses of my fellow eukaryotic bretheren who weren’t lucky enough to have more glucose than me. certain parts should be evolved gradually rather than instantly placed in order to allow for a smother transition of difficulty. The game would benefit greatly from passive evolutions. Passive evolutions are not placeable parts, but rather (as their name suggests) passive ‘upgrades.’ which can lead to the unlocking of certain organelles. look at the small minor changes which allowed for the evolution of the nucleus:

ill probably add more onto this section as i havent thought this one through thoroughly.


Not exactly:

Good luck getting this working, already more than 10 hours have been wasted trying to make the darker biomes look properly dark.

Also just opened an issue that I knew about but wasn’t tracked on github:

A solution that has been talked about is that most organelles would be locked until some specific condition is reached, for example the player needs to attempt to collect iron before rusticyanin is unlocked. Similarly the thykaloid could be locked until the player reaches . I went ahead and made this an issue on github:

This is (almost) exactly like how the GUI looks like currently.

We have a fix identified for this:

Upgrades have been discussed a lot in the past. I have not seen a complete design yet that takes everything into account: starting from what upgrades from what, are there exclusive choices for upgrades, are there cell wide upgrades, can you put just some MP towards an upgrade to not waste MP or do you get a buff if you don’t use all your ATP?

Many people love throwing around little idea snippets, without actual doing the job of a game designer and figuring out every single effect that the idea would have and how to actually make it work. Just wanted to say that generally, this is why “idea guys” are not good developers. Also I want to say that people should absolutely check through the existing issues on github (that are as close to confirmed features as can be) if something is already going to be done:
The closed issues are things that have already been put into the game, but haven’t been released as a proper release yet. It would also make things easier for me if other forum users would also link to the existing issues whenever some already decided point is brought up.


Thanks for the reply! ill make sure to take note of the things you’ve addressed.

Keep in mind these ideas are nothing but fan ideas made out of passion, i am no where qualified to act as a game designer. Nor do i have any understanding how to code alongside with understanding the plausibility/difficulty of certain ideas. So please take these ideas with a grain of salt. When i create these i’m not expecting you to actually use them, i’m hoping they get a discussion going about certain things.

When i undoubtedly make another one of these. I’ll actually try and be more in depth to actually make something of relevancy and plausibility.


Thanks for having realistic expectations. Way too many people present their not very in-depth ideas like they expect us to start coding them right away without even a fully thought out design. So I wanted to reply, as no one else had done so. Many good topics with a lot of thought put into the first post, don’t get any kind of replies if I don’t reply…

By the way, guys, it’s not “thykaloid”, it’s “thylakoid”. I know I’m breaking a rule by doing this, yet the mistake was just way too easy to fix to leave it alone. Sorry hhyyrylainen.

At least it isn’t typoed in the actual game. I’m pretty sure we even said on stream “thykaloid”, it just feels way easier to pronounce. The people who decided the official name clearly did not know what they were doing.

I don’t know, I feel like “thylakoid” sounds better, though it may just be me who’s used to it since my first biology course in college. Anyway, we shall go back to the subject unless there is nothing more to speak of.

This problem was caused by the graphics engine switch, and all the backgrounds are overexposed compared to the texture file. In pre-0.4.2 versions, the backgrounds displayed properly.
There isn’t much interest in fixing the current system. Uniow made a concept for procedural background colors, but that hasn’t been prototyped yet.

Oh, and that was my concept design you posted! Glad you liked it.

In the realm of design, the “small improvements” could be represented by a popular system: organelle upgrades/specialization. Those steps could be applied to a nucleoid through upgrades to gradually make a nucleus.