Replacing arbitrary spawns with better simulated evolution and ecology

I’ve recently discovered Thrive and honestly, this game is beautiful! I really hope to see it chart a course different from Spore’s, away from building civilizations, and towards simulating ecosystems. The reason this is interesting is because of the all the feedback loops and unstable equilibrium this involves.

How about:

  • More biological compounds should be nutrient sources for those organisms able to to digest them, i.e. cellulose or methane.
  • The metabolic processes should have outputs that are exhaled / emitted into the environment. Examples include oxygen, CO2, methane, and bio-available versions of nutrients for organisms without the organelles to feed on them.
  • Symbiotic relationships should exist because of the differing metabolic inputs and outputs. A potential play-style that could result would be the ecosystem engineer, who deliberately seeds and shelters organisms beneficial to their own.
  • Mitosis should build up mutation points much more slowly, but be able to happen more frequently. Mitosis without going into the editor should be an option.
  • Late-game performance seems to suffer from arbitrarily added microbes that then go through auto-evo. Reproductive cycles and population limits based on a successful life cycle allow regulation by food supply, which both makes for interesting gameplay and better performance.
  • Upgrades to organelles should become available as the player’s microbe completes x number of generations with them in environments which favor the evolution, or by consuming those from other microbes, or by the appearance of environmental pressures which select for them.
  • Upgrades should include stingers with metabolic requirements to make the poison.
  • When consuming other microbes, it should be randomly possible that one of the consumed organelles becomes available in the cell editor.
  • Horizontal gene transfer should be an option to gain upgrade options.
  • Auto-evolution should follow the above rules.

Do these overall changes, with more upgrades and more interactive eco-systems, sound like fun gameplay?

I’d say a good amount of these are either planned or atleast thought of by the devs