Thrive's History

In this thread I will be documenting the entire development history of Thrive. The source I will be using is this:

Or the fan-wiki, but that’s probably outdated. The goal of this thread is to document everything important in Thrive’s journey so it won’t get lost in time.

PROLOGUE: As you all know, Thrive’s development was started due to the failures of Spore. But the original Spore was actually going to be something much different. It had an aquatic stage, the cells actually looked like cells, and it was an interesting idea overall. But then EA took over and changed everything. The game was still enjoyable, but it lacked realism.

I will be adding more chapters to Thrive’s history so stay tuned.

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I would like to remind everyone that there is a new wiki:

That has many pages that are updated versions of what is on the old wiki (though I have to admit that many pages haven’t been moved over yet).

Who’s in charge of the new wiki?
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That’s the best thing about it, all developers can edit the wiki (though I’ve set some of the main pages as needing extra permissions).

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I totally forgot about the developer wiki… Well that should be helpful for this thread.

CHAPTER ONE: Evolutions!

Before there was Thrive, there was Evolutions, a promising and more realistic version of Spore and was being developed by students at the Berlin University. The rumor was started by Sporum user Hirnsausen and it turned out it was all a hoax. The intention of starting such a hoax was to make EA or Maxis address Spore’s issues regarding realism. EA never noticed, but they thought it wouldn’t be so terrible to make this concept into a real thing, right? Notable members included Hirnsausen himself, ParadoxJuice, and ~sciocont. They wrote a basic design overview, with the realism going to an extreme, from editors for organs to editors for events! Okay, so they wrote everything that should be in the game, now they should code it all in right? Well, it’s not as easy as you thought it would be. The entire team was composed of dissatisfied Spore fans and not many programmers or other developers… there were prototypes, but they were all basic, and made in Scratch. Some notable members of Thrive’s history appeared, including US_of_Alaska, Tenebrarum, Commander Keen, Inca and The Uteen. They all joined the Evolutions! forum at one point.

Much like the development of Spore itself, many people grew to dislike each other, but this time it was Hirnsausen versus pretty much every other user. Spambots were appearing, Hirnsausen was too absent to deal with them all, and he didn’t give anyone else the same power as he did. Because of this, many users packed their bags and took the most developed concepts and made a new development forum. The new game was called Thrive. That happened in somewhere in the 2010’s. Hirnsausen returned to try to bring back Evolutions but was too late as the forum shut down forever… Some developers found Thrive, others were never found again… This marked the beginning of the development of Thrive.

CHAPTER TWO: Static Development
In 2010-2011, Thrive was now fully different from Evolutions!, and the forum was active, with ~sciocont as the leader and other moderators to deal with spambots. Other developers went to the Sporum to ask more developers. Several programmers appeared during this time, most notably Bashinerox and roadkillguy. Bashinerox was the most skilled out of them all until he disappeared without a trace. Following that, the forum was just speculating ideas with almost no one to bring them to life. Most discussions never made it into development. Understandably, the programmers felt overwhelmed.

In an attempt to expand their presence on the internet, the developers made an IndieDB page, which had more news updates. A devblog also appeared, being written mostly by ~sciocont(and also NicktheNick in the future.) In an outsider’s perspective the project looked like it had a bright future, but almost nothing was happening. In 2012, Seregon made a Thrive codebase which the developers still use, but it was mostly experimental. Due to the community being frustrated at the lack of progress for the game, it resulted in the other programmers and eventually the last remaining one (roadkillguy) to abandon the project forever. Without the help of programmers to bring ideas to fruition, this left the project in a dark state. This was most likely the first time the project has faced true doubt on when this is even going to be released. Many people joined an left during that time, but some members who joined (NickTheNick, Seregon and Oliveriver) stayed forever.

If the project was to move forward, something had to be done.

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Seregon isn’t active anymore I think

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wait is this just copying the story from the wiki? (I don’t say you shouldn’t but i recognized the story so i was curious)

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No I am just interpreting the story of the wiki and also using other sources.

oh well then it looks very similar, please continue! (also will you make some parts that aren’t on the wiki?)


Yes, I will probably include content that is not on the wiki. Thanks for the support!


Note: I will be using the devblog as a primary source because it could include some important details that may have been important to Thrive’s development.

CHAPTER THREE: The Rise and Fall
By 2013 the project had recovered a little from 2012, but still had little chance of succeeding. It should also be noted that the opinion of Spore had gotten a bit worse as even some of the biggest fans of the game use it as the reason why EA is so bad as a game company. Eventually, it got to the point when some redditors were angry that Spore hadn’t lived up to its potential, and linked the Thrive forums. It quickly made it to the front page and suddenly the forums had gained a lot of popularity. It was utter chaos, but was also a blessing: it gave the project programmers.

Extra history: There are also quite a bit of details within these years that I would like to point out. At around 2013, NicktheNick had just joined the game. Later during that time, an hour long compilation of Thrive music had been uploaded in the Revolutionary Games YouTube channel. It should also be noted that a prototype for a microbe editor had been made as well.
A new website was programmed and made by oliveriver, WJacobC, and ~sciocont during 2013 as well. Later, a new microbe prototype was made and it simulated Darwinian evolution. A bit after that, developer Oliveriver made a now popular microbe stage concept animation to demonstrate what the microbe stage would be like.

Nimbal was the most important of these programmers. With ~sciocont and NicktheNick, and the other developers, he made the first Game Design Document for Thrive. Others made prototypes, and a few months after the influx, the project was in its fasted development rate at the time. roadkillguy returned for a bit to express a little contempt and probably left(can someone tell me why he came back and give me the link where he returned please?).

Eventually the activity declined and updates were slowing down. Another developer named jjonj joined during that and he was the only programmer who worked actively on the engine. In an attempt to stop useless discussion, the developers made a separate section for the developers, and it worked, but led to the fan discussion sections to be worse than before.

Suddenly, the project had changed forever once again. It was no longer just an attempt to make Spore what it could have been, but an entirely different game as a whole. This new perspective had changed the project for the better. Development was slow once again, but this time also game-changing. During that time, Nimbal made the first version to actually look like a playable game, before leaving, and jjonj finished what Nimbal had begun. In 2014 moopli rejoined the game after leaving in 2013 and he accelerated the release of 2.3.

Later, developers such as tjwhale and StealthStyleL joined but one of the mos important developers ~sciocont left.(Can someone give me the link where ~sciocont left? Also :f: in the chat for ~sciocont.)

As far as I searched his last post was this one:

Also this thread would be nice in the fan wiki too.
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Hello guys, I’m back. Sorry this one took so long. This part of Thrive history who’ll probably leave most of you in nostalgia because now we’re talking from 3.0 to 3.4, which is the era I think most of you guys joined.

FOURTH CHAPTER: Game Changing Developments

The last time we left off, one of the team’s most important members has left the project altogether, so it leaves the other developers finish what he started.

In mid 2015, the forum structure for Thrive was clearly not working well. So it was obvious something had to be changed, so the devs split the forums in the development forums and the community forums, and it worked and pleased everyone, as fans were allowed to do more stuff while development discussion will be properly discussed. The old forums was abandoned, but as much of a loss that was, it needed to happen as it became full of malware.

During that time, TheCreator joined as a programmer and began to work for the membrane needed for 3.0. It was one of the biggest changes in the history of Thrive ever made, as it made the cells look like ACTUAL CELL SHAPED CELLS.

It was released in 2015, followed not long after by 3.1.

Since then, the game’s progress depended on the developers free time and progress for the game was relatively semi-medium. Since then, the team released annual dev blogs, which usually included new releases, mini updates, and events.

A twitter for Thrive was also created to remind everyone that the dev team wasn’t dead. At the time, Thrive was stronger than ever, but little did everyone know this was only the beginning of true progress.

Tune in next time to read about the engine change of Thrive and how it changed every aspect of Thrive for the better.

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One nitpick I have with this is that you refer to versions like 0.3.1 as 3.1, which is not accurate. I usually don’t mind people skipping the first number, but once we actually reach 1.x versions it’s going to be a bit confusing for a history thread to refer to newer versions than were available.


Ok, I’ll keep that in mind. I sometimes forget that there are version names like 4.0.1 or 4.3.1 or something like that.

You just did it again. You can check the official version numbers and when things were released here:

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The last time we left off, Thrive had just now about reached 0.3.4, but things weren’t done yet. It was clear that the engine wasn’t the best option for Thrive, and it needed to change. But engine changes aren’t instant, and the developers had to halt most progress for the game to change engines. During this time many people felt like the project was dead.


After the release of 0.3.4, it was clear that the old engine wasn’t working for Thrive so they had to change it. However, that meant one thing. They were going to have to rewrite the whole game in Leviathan, which was the new engine.

It was a very dark time, with the project seeming as dead as ever, and even some of the dev team were beginning to have their doubts.

Part two will come later

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Wasn’t Laviathan an engine?

Oh $hit, that was a huge typo sorry