Trial and Error

I feel like a big part of the game should involve the player figuring out different things for themselves; the game shouldn’t necessarily tell the player if something is or is not possible, there should be a sense of trial and error. Is it possible to have a motile plant? Can you make a human-sized insect? Not as we know it, but the player should be able to see if there are workarounds. This wouldn’t even be a matter of specifically programming all possibilities, more like making things not necessarily mutually exclusive and letting the player see what combinations work. I mean, if we make the game as scientifically accurate as possible, then a player making something work that doesn’t exist in real life wouldn’t make it science fiction; it would tell us that this is one way evolution could have gone had the conditions and factors we had were different. This is sort of how the scientific process works anyway, right? We try something out to see if it works, then we get our answer. Sorry if it seems like I’m rambling, I just think the player’s experience would feel stifling if most of the game is just a matter of yes or no answers. We don’t want to just end up remaking Earth again and again after all.

isnt that already like a thing? u got sandbox

I hope so, I just keep seeing people ask these questions and it seems like there are always just yes or no answers.

Yes, you do sound like a rambling madperson, but one I can understand, so don’t worry. Uh, sounds about like what the game’ll be like? It’s designed to lack spore’s railroading so totally chaotic experimentation sounds reasonable. Though I highly doubt we could make major astrobiological breakthroughs by messing around in thrive, the real world will always have more variables, and thrive will always have bugs. Anywho if a dev disagrees side with them but yeah, I think that’d be it.

Along those lines and in regard to “limitations” - we really want to stay away from preventing something just because we don’t see it on Earth, but we still want evolution to be based on existing scientific knowledge. What this means, for example, I’d that we won’t stop predatory motile plants just because we don’t see them here, but we will introduce mechanics which discourage them just as we see on Earth. So if someone somehow managed to build a predatory plant, good job.

I usually base a lot of my game design visions of Thrive on analogues to how life developed on Earth, using it as a general guide. This leads to fluctuations in how I think Thrive should end up between “all hands loose” and “akin to Earth”.

I think the standard playthrough in Thrive would essentially be “Earth with flavor”. You’d see analogues to each major group of organisms - land plants (land photosynthesizers), algae, reptiles (things with scales), birds (things with feathers). But their dominance, level of diversity, niches filled, etc. could result in unique quirks, like a reptilian elephant-esque organisms, massive predatory aquatic organisms derived from birds, larger than normal arthropods, and the such.

A final note: I’d really suggest looking through a book describing some of the organisms seen in the Cambrian Explosion. It really blows your mind how creative and alien life was at some point, and makes you question what is possible to evolve.

1 Like

The game used to be a lot more trial and error, however it seems (for pretty obvious reasons) most players don’t want that. So we have added the auto-evo prediction, ATP balance bars, and auto saving to help the player make more informed decisions to not find out after exiting the editor that they screwed up and need to start a new game.

1 Like

Thanks for your input guys, I’m really sorry about rambling. I have Asperger’s so it’s hard for me to socialize properly sometimes. I’m also very nervous about making a fool of myself on the internet.

And I’m a girl btw.


Dont warry, its ok time to time, we all here are friends.