Virus playthrough?

I was thinking, what if you could play as a virus instead of a cell, maybe as a special game mode, or something, but how it would work is you can chose to (instead of going mobile) infect other cells and control them, causing them to self destruct after a time, and instead of mutating movement, you could mutate more syringe types for infecting cells. Let me know what you think about it.


I’m sure that would be really fun, but to be honest it sounds like it could be it’s own game with different mechanics. One of the issues with spore was that it was trying to do too much at once, so each of the stages was fairly limited compared to similar games. With Thrive being a successor to it, it would be prudent to try and avoid making the same mistakes. Playing as a virus, or a parasite of any kind really, would involve immune simulation - something the game doesn’t have at the moment, and could easily be it’s own entire system of mechanics. It’s a great suggestion - but very much easier said than done.


Adding on, we also really just don’t know enough about how viruses evolved. There’s a bunch of theories going around - some say that viruses preceded cellular life, some say they created life, some say they started out as life but degenerated, etc. etc. with no clear consensus. And there’s even some discussion going on about if we should reconsider viruses as being alive. Thrive would really be stepping into some kooky stuff and would have to come up with its own story of viruses, which would be a pretty big time sink taking away from traditional gameplay.

And Violet is right; it’s a cool thought, but I don’t know how much meat there is on it. The only thing you can evolve are different ways to infect different organisms. Which is cool, but Thrive hopes to include multicellularity, complex animals, the formation of consciousness and tribes, civilisation, and that whole bag of stuff. So a virus game mode might feel short.

It would definitely be cool to see viruses in the game, however. Perhaps a swarm of viruses can show up every once in a while across various patches and infect certain cells, forcing predators to selectively pick their prey.


For Thrive gameplay purposes we could just assume as viruses have no biological processes or ways to control how they move, it would be unrealistic to have any control over virus gameplay. Really the only control would be editing how you would infect cells and then just watch as your virus tries to get lucky and hit a cell. So it would be even more boring gameplay than plant gameplay, and people already complain about sessile plants.

Also an excellent point. Any virus gameplay would be a dead end in terms of getting to the later stages.


Right, also, considering how simple viruses are. It’s very possible that they evolved independently from multiple sources several times.

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personally i think as a virus as soon as you infect your first cell you would gain control of it and immediately want to find a bigger cell to engulf you so you can have the cell reproduce before you pop it and then find a bigger cell get engulfed and repeat the process until you get to the biggest cell or infect a colony or even a multicellular organism or even a polynucleate
also @Violet you can already play as a parasite it’s just risky, what you gotta do is make a small highly poisonous cell that is fast and get eaten and then when the organism you are in dies you eat its organelles

How? That sounds like magic. On Earth isn’t the one kind of mind controlling thing actually a pretty complicated fungus, so there’s no way that a primitive (as in evolved pretty early on) virus could do the same thing.

Arguably some viruses seem to have evolved effects on the behaviour of their host in a way that increases the odds of their transferral and spread (somewhat similar to said fungus/fungi). That’s indeed not actually controlling the host though.

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irl viruses kill by taking over the biological machinery of the host so why not represent that

That’s not the same as controlling their actions (like mind control), just hijacking their cellular assembly lines.
I’ll let this be my final post on the topic as this is turning into another underwater talk where ideas are thrown out without any kind of thought to make sure they are actually good before bombarding others with them.

there are also viruses that can affect the host’s behavior

do you mean symptoms?

what i meant is more like rabies

Does the rabies virus control your body the way you control your body right now? Because that’s what would be the equivalent to:

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rabies basically controls your body as soon as it gets to your frontal lobe but humans usually die before then though

Well no, it does not, that was my point. The presence of the virus has a major effect on your brain, but the virus does not replace the function of your brain in controlling your body.

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i said basically as what it does is shut off anything for thinking or reasoning and puts the aggression center into overdrive thus drastically changing behavior and what better way to represent that than by for ai viruses replacing the host’s ai but not deleting it in case it survives with the virus ai and for player viruses letting the player control the host

I saw this post late but I was made aware of it due to recent replies. Personally I don’t think viruses should be playable since most people don’t even consider them to be living, and this is a simulation of life- not of robots. The thing that separates a virus from any disease-causing substance (like a toxic chemical or cancerous ashes, for example) is basically that it reproduces. They don’t eat or move on their own or grow or anything. They just create more of themselves. Which isn’t even that different from the process of a crystal creating another crystal of the same type. Simulating viruses is cool and all since unlike crystals they evolve and have a genetic code, but it doesn’t really fit with Thrive. Plus like others have said, the process of their evolution is just so mysterious it’d be hard to replicate and still say it’s ‘accurate.’


technically a virus is more like an organism that commits seppuku to reproduce also a self replicating robotic cell would still be considered alive as it reproduces and has metabolic patterns during it’s life cycle but it would be much more efficient as it would not move things randomly till they get to the spot they need to be it would have nanobots moving everything around and using light, electricity, or heat to navigate around the cell but it is still a robot

Viruses don’t have a metabolism. They don’t need energy at all.

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