Time perception

So I have an idea on how time might work in thrive.
All the articles on this topic was annoyingly at least 5 years out of the date but according to this one
[Time is in the eye of the beholder: Time perception in animals depends on their pace of life | ScienceDaily]
How fast or slow you experience time is based on your metabolism. So my idea is, instead of having a fast forward for plants or sessile organisms time could go faster or slower based on how fast their metabolism, or heart rate, is.
This could lead to players creating something similar to adrenaline by making their creature’s heart rate spead up to slow time down, or could make their heart rate slow down in order to speed time along. This also has the added benefit of giving sessile players a dynamic way to speed up time without having to answer the question of how slow is too slow.


bouta pull a jojo timestop or whatever
(idk i dont watch that anime)

alright i suppose i should add a bit more to this post because the above feels too spammy.
I think it would be cool for adrenaline to kick in whilst in any stage (except for of course ascension), as it would give the player 1. more time to react. and 2. incentive to change metabolism when it is added.

i’d give more of my thoughts, but im tight on time as of now xd

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Normal gameplay speeding up cannot adequately make plant gameplay work as the speed up factor needs to be absolutely massive (like a year in at most in a couple of minutes).

Still an interesting idea that gameplay speed could be slightly adjusted based on the perception speed of your species. (This will absolutely crush any multiplayer dreams, though as we can’t control time dilation on Earth for the different players)

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I didn’t think about that. I just assumed that the speed that plants work at would make the speed up fast enough, the time dialation could become more extreme the more sessile your organism becomes.
Also, about the multiplayer issue, we could just remove time dialation entirely when in Multiplayer, which is much simpler than my other idea, which is to do alot of smoke and mirrors client side which would probably be a nightmare to implement.

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Time perception also seems to be related to how quickly an animal’s environment can change (Which animals perceive time the fastest? | ScienceDaily), so fast-paced animals also seem to have a faster time perception (i.e. dragonflies).

Gameplay wise being able to “slow down” time through a mechanic like this seems neat to emulate such animals, because of course even if the player creature has superb reflexes, the player might not be able to make full use of them otherwise.

If you were to use it to hunt, some sort of replay feature would be nifty to see just how fast you caught a prey creature in real-time.

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What if one player’s movements are perceived in a way that is turn-based rather than real-time, but sitll multiplayer?

How would that work? Thrive is not really a turn based game. The goal of wanting to play Thrive mostly normally with multiple players is already technically very, very difficult to fit together. Which is the reason why we don’t promise we’ll ever be be able to do that.

What is wrong with it being massive? The game may be slowed when interacting with a herbivore similar to adrenaline. The player can make a shameplant response or something else when this happens. When the game speeds up again, everything the animals do isn’t need to be simulated. They can just move randomly, like the movement of citisens between houses. They would zip by. And when playing as an animal, the plants don’t have to have an AI most of the time, they don’t do anything anyway.

But it can be. I don’t mean waiting while another player plays. Every turn (editor+gameplay) can last the same amount of time and different players can play during the same turn.

Species that have a high metabolism and slow mo time perception also have a short livespan. All animals tend to have the same number of heartbeats over their lifetimes, roughly around 1 billion.

If we take heartbeats as a proxy for “subjective lifetime”, the time it takes for one generation is the same for all species. Two players can create different species on the same planet. As long as the creatures they control don’t meet, this is doable. There is no problem if they are in different planets and the galaxy is a server. There would be a countdown when using the editor and the number of generations before awakening would be fixed.

How do you make the game run 100 times faster than normally? Physics simulation will definitely break down due to the massive simulation timestep. Probably some other things will as well. So the only thing you could do is simulate dozens of times more game updates per second than normally. The game performance is already bad enough. This is exactly why strategy mode view needs to be added to make plant gameplay viable (i.e. interesting without being just a watch grass grow simulator).

You just agreed that we’d need to implement a separate fast mode for the game to run fast.

The speed of the game can be proportional to the metabolism even for plants.

Except, like I said and you admitted in the part I quoted, the game must have a separate fast simulation mode for anything more than I’d say 5x normal speed. So that anyway requires a separate game simulation mode for much slower metabolism than a mobile creature.

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I assumed that’s how it would work. With the game working with bigger and bigger time steps, the greater the speed up factor. And not just making the game work at times x speed. But now that I’m thinking about it, with that system, the greater the speed, the more handwaving is required from step A to step B.


Very fast time perception
The physics in just speeding up the game for very fast time perception would definitely be either broken or laggy.

Instead of doing that, you’d have to do an approximation. Compare auto-evo and the microbes (and their AI) that you come across whilst playing: each microbe that the player sees has their processes individually simulated in the same way the game does for the player (or similar), while the auto-evo approximates all that and instead simulates on a generational scale.

So to have very fast time perception, the player wouldn’t actually be seeing an accurate physics-based simulation of each individual, but instead a visualisation of an approximated simulation. Henceforth, this is what I mean when I say ‘very fast time perception’

Comparison with interactions between macroscopic and microscopic organisms

The philosophy of this game design is already a planned thing (I assume): if you were to play as a macroscopic animal, such as on the scale of a dog, the game wouldn’t just be taking the systems for microbes and do a physics-based simulation for each individual microbe that lives in every drop of water you come across (or wherever else they may reside), but would instead do an approximation and then visualise that in some way. For example, it could show a UI element for your gut, or a colour or texture indicating a smell or taste that some microbes may give off.

I believe this philosophy of game design is basically what hhyyrylainen mentioned ―just in a different execution.

Thoughts about making plants fun
Personally, I think it’d be worth to (in the future) explore ideas about how to make plants fun by making and testing prototypes ―but having a more strategy-level gameplay may be the only way. Playing animals in games without an editor is already not that fun, so plants being sessile may amplify that to the point where it’s not salvageable without something like a ‘strategic view’ (though I’m not sure what that would entail).

Taking inspiration from existing evolution games/sims, perhaps you could have very fast time perception and then just remove the gameplay. Like, you wouldn’t be controlling an organism, and the gameplay would solely come from spending time adjusting/editing the organism ―in this case, having a very fast time perception mode to ‘speed up’ the game would be really useful, since the player would just be afking anyways.


there are trees that move, though they do so by sending roots out, detecting which ones get the most light, and moving the above-ground part of the tree to that specific area. so maybe the player could have a weird compound vision type thing where none of the ‘eyes’ are connected and they can still move around, just really slowly, and to simulate the slow speed at which plants move signals around everything the player sees happened a while ago, unless the player uses something faster than a chemical reactionary system

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