Thermal Representation

Howdy y’all, couldn’t help but think about the last stream and how the only thing keeping it from being outright implemented was the difficulty of actually having it represented in-game. It seems like a waste to just have it sitting around in your folders, so I’ve done some brainstorming and throwing darts, tryna think of something that might help with that. While I’ll admit I can’t help with the coding itself, hopefully tossing the ideas out there would be enough to get the ball rollin so to speak. As such, I’d like to present a few possible methods with pros and cons.

Method One: The Sinwave
Yeah, this was mentioned in the stream and it did seem pretty cool, but I can also see how that might cause problems performance wise as mentioned. Something to keep on the back burner perhaps, if an easy on the PC way of implementing this can be found? Honestly, from an aesthetic standpoint, it would be pretty cool, but it would suck if it couldn’t be enjoyed by others. Maybe there could be a graphics settings change somewhere down the line that lets folks change from one method to the other?

Method Two: Bubbles
When you think of really hot water, do you think of boiling? This seems like something that could be set up similar to the clouds as little pockets of bubbles, which might ease on the system a little? Perhaps not necessarily a cloud style, but a singular blob/object like a rock that the player can chill in for a bit before resuming their hunt for phosphourus? Obviously something that wouldn’t let a person leave volcanically active areas (Unless the planet surface was also super hot), but maybe this would be easier on performance while giving the air of a hotspot?

Method Three: Smoke
I was looking at pictures online to get some inspiration, see if maybe I couldn’t find any examples of it observed in nature, and I saw hydrothermal vents. Why not make the thermal spots just black clouds that don’t dissapear from being ‘absorbed’? Honestly, it seems like a cheap method, but something that could act as a temporary placeholder for the subject at the very least to let players try it out. Make it a darker color, maybe a more opaque black/grey to make it stick out.

Method Four: A Heat Map
Now this is a little bit more out there, as you guys would have to code it obviously, but why not have a thermal vision setting that could be toggled? Again, I’m not the brightest on this subject as I don’t know how it would work codewise, but an idea’s an idea. Naturally, you would have to put in effort to actually code that, as well as adjust settings hitherto to play about in the background. This one’s mostly speculative on my part admittedly, but at the very least it would lay some groundwork for future works pertaining to thermal vision perhaps?

Let me know what y’all think. Wish I could pick up some lessons so I could get more hands on with y’all, but I need to prioritize other things in life at the moment. Don’t be gentle, I’d genuinely like to see what y’all think.


Funny thing; The heatmap was actually one of the things we settled on. The idea is that the thermal gradient in a patch is determined by perlin noise generation. The visual aspect would be a shader highlighting the high temperature spots.

Before that came about, the original idea would be that heat would come from a radius around visible sources like black smokers or hot rocks.


Yeah, the hard part (as is usual in Thrive) is to get someone to program the feature after it is discussed.

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