We all know thrive is going to be immense in scale when the game is completed (if it is going to be). A game with this much depth and size is a god game player’s dream. But there is something about the size of thrive i feel like needs to be acknowledged. We know the game is going to accurately simulate evolution as well as the universe to some extent. The universe is big, really really really big, mind-blowingly big. I’m certain the game won’t simulate the entire universe, so let’s think of something smaller: a galaxy. A galaxy is much easier to grasp, but it’s still large enough to pose a problem. The Milky Way has a couple hundred billion stars, which may not sound that big at first, especially when compared to other galaxies such as Andromeda and Messier 87, but here’s some perspective.
One billion seconds is roughly equal to 31.6 years. If Thrive was to simulate a galaxy that was around the size of the Milky Way, it would literally be impossible to explore it all, even if you visited each solar system for one second. Even if you spent your entire life playing Thrive and exploring the galaxy, you would still only have 2-3% explored. Even cutting it down to 300 million it would still take about as long as Thrive has been in development to explore all of the galaxy. 10 million and even 1 million seem a bit too overwhelming to me. A million seconds is a week and a half, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, but only if you are visiting each solar system for a second. Depending on how long it actually takes to beat the space stage and what the player does, it could still feel very tedious to the player, especially if one of the goals is to carve out a big slice of the galaxy for their empire or sphere of influence, having to spend months conquering and colonizing with seemingly no end in sight. I think somewhere between 100,000-500,000 sounds much more reasonable. I feel like I as a player know that it’s still a pretty big world, but I can explore it without wasting a lot of my time. A hundred thousand is still a decent amount, and I know that’s probably a puny galaxy in real life, but it really wouldn’t be much to sacrifice for gameplay. This obviously doesn’t apply to the game now, but I feel like it should be decided eventually when the game is in a much more complete state. I don’t want people playing the game to be utterly overwhelmed but rather mesmerized and immersed.
I rest my case.