I’ve found what I believe to be a minor problem with the way the current game feels. And that is that it progresses in a step-wise like manner. I’d want to hear your thoughts on this and whether you agree with it.
The evolution, the menu, and patches play an important role in this step-wise feeling.
Whenever you collect enough resources, one can modify himself and allow other species to mutate. However, the way in which this happens, gives the evolution “cheap feeling”. I am not referring to the evo algorithm itself, as it is quiet an impressive one. But rather to how the creatures evolve in step-wise manner and out of sight of the player, which gives the impression that you are entering a new level. Rather than a natural feeling world in which creatures evolve alongside you.
Every time you progress, the game world fades out and the player is taken to a screen separated from the game world. While the “Next” button directs the player to the following stage. These two things add to the sensation as if one is playing through a level.
The player can also select the new patch he wants to be in from the menu. By selecting a new patch, you will be teleported to this new area. When combined with the previously mentioned features, thrive takes on the appearance of a game with level progression.
Well, Patches are revamped in next update, that will make patches “Regions” instead of Enviroments (by that I mean that 0.5.9 patches can be, for instance, ocean region with “sub-patches” inside of them, such as ocean surfacce or ocean floor, while pre-0.5.9 patches are just generalized enviroments all over the planet with connections to each other).
To the Thought of thrive having this “Leveling system”- In Thrive, you only play as your organisms in small time gaps with 100 Mil years (for now) between them, durning which you and other organisms evolve. Menu is used for player to change their organism in those 100 Mil years periods.
I think it would be cool if you could travel to other patches without the migration, the migration should still be a viable option. Though this would make it feel more immersive, it would downsize your teenie weenie body, so probably not, maybe there should be some zones in the region so that you can travel to different areas, to make it feel more immersive, while not traveling that great of a distance.
Also, will patches change over time, I know that glucose rapidly drops over time and they have the O2 and other gas levels in the water fluctuation (hopefully) in the future, but I think that the map of the patches shouldn’t be fixed, but move a bit in a random (ish) direction. As in the menu map, it would make it much more immersive, like one of those details you don’t notice for a while but is fantastic. As in shifting landmasses but water.
Do we even have tides? Or any water system? It would be nice for them to implement (and maybe amp, if already) waves//water currents. Just nice quality of life features.
I should mention that moving between patches in real time is on our wishlist for later stages, though I can make no promises on it’s eventual fruition.
As for the microbe stage, it will not be a thing. A single lake is massive beyond comprehension for a microbe, and traveling it’s entirety would be impossible in it’s lifetime outside of specialized migration methods that would not be applicable to active gameplay.
I feel like in terms of the overall feel, trying to make thrive feel more like a game with arbitrary levels, is going in the wrong direction. For example in microbe stage going to the editor and exiting preserves the microbes and clouds nearby to give some amount of continuity between the previous and next generation.
How progression works, will most likely changes as we progress through the stages. How things currently are work for microbial to multicellular. Things will have to change a bit once we hit aware, but I’m uncertain how that will work out.