The future of Microbial Stage

In this thread, we will discuss not only ideas for microbial stage, but also the priority of changes, fixes and the said ideas, meaning you don’t have to contribute just with new ideas, but also to bring attention to something, that’s ought to be fixed and in your opinion has a high priority of being fixed. You get the point. And maybe we’ll even have a ̶s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶g̶i̶c̶i̶a̶n̶ a poll. So let’s divide them a bit to make it more simple. I will even give some example contribution to each of them.

Gameplay

Here we will discuss all changes to the player cell, the environment, NPCs (non-playable cells yeet) and all of their interactions.

Dynamic difficulty
Making nucleus an achievement

First, I would start by having to “unlock” the nucleus. One of the conditions could be ATP production. Once your ATP production reaches a certain level (for example the APT production level that can sustain 7 or 10 or so hexes), the nucleus would get unlocked. Being able to get a nucleus right away, even though you are not able to sustain it energetically seems a bit weird. The next great benefit of having a nucleus would be the ability so specialize your organelles (see “Editor”).

Dynamic environment

Basically changing the conditions based on the compounds that are released by the living organisms and stuff like that. I guess this is planned already, but I think this will have a great impact on the gameplay.

Punishment for going too big
Combat

If you’ve ever seen a video of a cell engulfing something, you know it looks like nothing in the game. What would be better would be to “overlap” another organism while engulfing and then stop engulfing, thus trapping it inside. Only once the organism is trapped inside, it would start taking damage. So you would be able to engulf only the cells that can fit inside you properly. Even IRL the cell has to be multiple times larger in order to engulf another one. I would say that for the game purposes at least double the size. This would mean that as a regular cell, you would be able to engulf bacteria almost right off the bat. The first thing you have to do if you want to nom on a bigger cell is to kill it, either with a toxin or with a pilus and then you would engulf the broken bits and pieces of cytoplasm scattered around.
We all love pili, there’s no one who doesn’t. There was a lot of discussion about it. You have a pilus, you stabby stab, it deals damage based on the membrane you oponent has.

Editor

Here we will discuss the second part of the gameplay - the editor.

Fixing the display bug

Pretty straight forward, but a high-priority issue.

External organelle editor

I know this would be A LOT of work, but in my opinion this would be necessary sooner or later and make working with the editor overall better.

Specialization

As mentioned in the “Gameplay”, this would be unlocked by… well… getting the nucleus. This would allow you to tweak and “upgrade” your organelles. For example choosing what kind of toxin you want to use.

There was a really interesting discussion about this here.

Visuals

Here we will discuss graphical changes to the game.

Environment

Simply, adding things like foreground, radial edge blur and stuff would make the game much
more a e s t h e t i c and pleasant to the eye.

GUI

Still cannot wait for @narotiza 's GUI. It’s unbelievably sleek and the legibility of it is something Thrive needs.

Honorable mention, someone on the forums was also talking about the cell tilting when changing directions, I love that idea!

OPTIONS HUH

Here we will discuss functions of menus and stuff.

Probably does not even need a spoilery thingy. Number one priority regarding options, menu and stuff is in my opinion saving and being able to actually pause the game (sidenote - I found out you can “pause” the game by right clicking, but then you cannot click anywhere else)

What are your ideas? What bugfixes and features are a top priority in your opinion? Once we have enough things in here, we might even have a ̶s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶p̶e̶r̶ ̶m̶a̶g̶i̶c̶i̶a̶n̶ a poll about what features are the most important ones.

Edit: The “OPTIONS HUH” was just a placeholder name, as I was not able to come up with anything else, but then I forgot about it. It’s okay when this sort of stuff happens here, but it also happens a lot with school projects and stuff and not always are the placeholder names I pick as family friendly.
Also, water currents are something I forgot about and are really neat.

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One small change that I’d like to see for the editor would be to make cytoplasm work slightly differently. I think the player should be able to replace a hexes of cytoplasm with other organelles without having to pay the cost in MP for deleting the organelles. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me that creating a new hex filled with proteins and cytoplasm would cost more than filling some existing cytoplasm with a new protein.

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I’m pretty sure that right now you can place an organelle on top of cytoplasm without any extra cost. Is that not working?

Nope. If I try to do that the game just refuses to place the organelle. Presumably because there’s already a hex there.

I’m not seeing that. Steps to not have issue: enter editor, place one cytoplasm, select a prokaryotic structure, then I’m able to place that on top of the cytoplasm.

I just tested it a bit more and it seems like it only doesn’t work on the starting hex of cytoplasm.

I have just taken a look at this and done some testing on the latest development build.

Currently you can delete or replace any hex of cytoplasm with an organelle, including the starting hex of cytoplasm. The exception to this is that you cannot replace a cytoplasm with an organelle if said cytoplasm is the only hex of your cell.

This could be different in the public version though, feel free to verify this and see if you can replace the starting hex of cytoplasm with another organelle if you add another hex to your cell first.

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It is likely that there is a check in the code that prevents the player from removing their last organelle (even if they are just about to place a new one). But I think it’s fine as replacing the initial cytoplasm with an organelle straight away is a good way to die (or at least it was at some point).

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Another idea incoming. And I think it’s not entirely a bad one.

As of now, the iron chunks only come in two sizes. I came up with an easy (? I hope) way to get a lot more variety going on. Basically, we store the amount of iron the chunk contains as its “value”. As the chunk disposes iron as a compound, the number gets lower. And the size of the chunk is dependent on that number. So you basically have just the one model and scale it based on the number that represents how much iron it still contains. So a chunk that contains “100 iron” is ten times bigger than the one that contains just 10 (I know that’s not how volume works but why should we complicate it). Once it hits a certain threshold, let’s say the value “1”, it simply despawns. Maybe they could even spawn with a bit of a random value? Let’s say within the range of what is now the small chunk and the big chunk?
Also, not a bad idea would be to make it so that the less iron it has, the slower the value decreases, as to make the small chunks have a bit more of a lifespan.
Would this “scaling” theoretically be possible? And would it be hard? I think the result would be a nice illusion of the chunks fizzling away.

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Scaling the visual size is no problem. The physics size might be a bit more difficult. Currently the chunks just use a specific sized sphere, that doesn’t perfectly match up with the visual size.

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