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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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