this is all probably too much and not necessary for the game but it’s just some thoughts that have been itching my mind
-alternative biochemistries: essentially, be able to make planets with different biochemistries than earth’s that require the player to use other molecules and such to make life (for instance, a titan like planet requiring azotosomes for cell memberanes; yes i know that azotosomes were deemed unfeasible on titan, but this has more to do specifically with titan’s conditions itself than something with azotosomes specifically)
-membrane builder/customizer: designing the cell membrane based on your choosing; ik that you can add stuff like rigidity/structure to customize the cell membrane, but im thinking stuff like specific receptor proteins or pump proteins and stuff that could pepper its surface and yield different functions, e.g. what kind of molecules enter the cell and how much of them (this could especially be interesting in habitats with varying salinities and whatnot). More importantly though i’d be super interested to see this be used for the membranes of organelles too.
-idk what to call this one, but maybe also there should be aspects of how the membrane interacts with molecules around it; charge particles for instance usually have a much harder time entering the cell membrane so perhaps that could change how the cell collects resources that are charged that way, or maybe allow for new means in which the player can customize their cell as to change how their cell collects these resources or interacts with particles of different sizes/charges.
-on the note of the last suggestion, organelle editor. essentially, in addition to editing your own cell, you can edit its organelles as well. for instance modifying, idk, mitochondria to change for instance how well they metabolize in certain conditions; maybe you could make them better at fermentation over respiration or something yk. this could be done for other organelles as well like the nucleus and maybe modifying ways it does transcription/translation.
-custom organelles/organelle builder: basically being able to create your own, alternative organelles for your cell; lets say for instance you’ve come up with a way to create a chloroplast as a non living organelle, instead of how eukaryotes achieved photosynthesis via symbiosis. or let’s say you want to figure out how ti make a prokaryote that can function at the same levels of complexity as a eukaryote, but of course without a nucleus or at least with an alternative to it. or let’s say you’ve come up with something entirely new for your cell you wanna try out.
-protein editor. the idea is to be able to create custom proteins that each preform anspecific and unique function for the cell. this isn’t to say that you’d have to build the protein by amino acid and stuff, but rather you could make a new protein for some amount of evolution points and give it a function yk. in addition to this you can adjust where proteins/substrates etc are located, like on specific organelles or on the outer membrane for things like intra and intercellular and extracellular communication.
-organelle “evolution”; one thing i don’t like about current thrive is how you just can get a nucleus, for instance. you don’t have actually develop and build an organelle, you can just gain one. which i think goes against how slow and gradual evolution of organelles, for instance the nucleus, develop. instead, say, you have to go in the organelle builder and gradually construct step-by-step a specific organelle; maybe you can’t just obtain a nucleus, but maybe you can start gradually, beginning idk with putting a membrane around the genome.
-abiogenesis/pre game: the idea here is that you start the game not with a cell but instead among a “primordial soup” of biochemicals which, in order to really start the game, you have to piece together like a puzzle to build your starting cell. this could allow for some interesting early game customization as well. every time you lose, you then have the option to start again at the “primordial soup” and build something new to begin with.
-viruses/viroids: sort of branching off of the abiogenesis concept from earlier, perhaps the game could incorporate viruses and viroids either based off of how you constructed dna or any other genetic code to begin with, or perhaps they could form throughout the game based off of “rouge dna/rna” from the cells in your world. i think viruses could make for a fun extra challenge and maybe even introduce some entirely new stuff into the game if things like endosymbiosis is ever added.
well that’s it, honestly y’all can probably just ignore all this but if y’all have any suggestions or ideas id love to hear them!