Question about metaballs

So I read the original metaball plans: 3D Editor Plans - Gameplay - Thrive Development Forum
And it seems decent. Why isn’t the current metaball design like that? Why are the metaballs sort of seperate and not joined together with tissue?
I saw the awakening prototype, and I am confused about why at that stage there would still be so little metaballs that you can still see each individual one. If awakening stage is the dawn of sapience, how can sapience be achieved with about a dozen or so metaballs or cells?

1 Like

Hey, @TheForumGameMaster! To answer your question, I’m fairly certain that the plans for how the metaballs will be layed out are exactly as you described, it’s just it might take quite a bit of effort to actually add said metaball smoothing into the game at the moment, so it might be a while before we see that. As for why the creatures in the Awakening stage have so few metaballs, it’s likely because it is a very, very early prototype at the moment, and the performance would really suffer if the player even just had a few thousand cells. I hope this reply helps!

Convolution surfaces are difficult. We have one programmer who has been working off an on the convolution surface code for a few years now(?). They have not shared any of the code so unless someone else wants to start from scratch, we can’t add convolution surfaces to the game anytime soon. And because we don’t have convolution surfaces, the only thing the game can do is display the metaballs with just basic spheres.

Metaballs represent large amounts of tissue. Once we have convolution surfaces it doesn’t matter how few metaballs there are as they’ll be all covered by a smooth skin.

Do you want the player to have to spend 10 minutes just placing metaballs to count for a huge size? I don’t. Metaballs will be just for defining the shape of the species, and I plan to add a separate scale slider so even a single metaball can be scaled up to represent a species that is one meter in diameter.

1 Like