Where is the money going exactly?

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There is no money, this game is entirely made of people who do this on their free time. The game developers, as far as I’m concerned, don’t want to make money of of this.

I’m sure there’s a game developer that could help you get started on what you want to do. But I’m not one of them, so I don’t know how that works.

So far, there is only Microbe Stage. And there is no kickstarter or indiegogo. I think this game is fine at the pace it’s going, the people who are making this game are doing it because they want to. It might take a while to get to a bigger game, but it will get there eventually

I don’t know, I have seen the majority of purely “open source” games simply cease after time and I don’t know that I or many other people would be willing to contribute to it without someone being able to show that there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel, because no one wants to contribute hundreds of hours to a project that isn’t going to go anywhere. The successful games like the ones I referenced before had at least some kind of initial funding so that the project could build momentum after some of it had been completed or have a dedicated team to create a stable physics engine and core graphics.

Understandable, but the game has been around for a while, though. And I don’t think the purpose of this is to make a successful game. That would be really lovely. This game is being made for people who want a game that is scientifically correct in how life would have evolved on other planets. So I don’t know if this game would stop being made, but it’s fun seeing it being developed.

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It’s being made by people who put in so much time and effort to this game, they couldn’t just give up on it. They work on this game when they can. They try to make this game as enjoyable as they can. It might take a while, but this game could really live up to it’s potential with enough time.

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Are you sure you aren’t confusing us with some other game? The team has been against asking for donations since the dawn of mankind 10 years ago, mostly due to the fact we don’t really know what we would do with it (it wouldn’t be enough to pay for devs for any significant amount of time, and most devs are studying so they wouldn’t work fulltime on the game regardless).

Hey buddy! You’ve definitely mistaken thrive for some other sort of game! I understand you may be a bit frustrated with the organic approach the devs take here, but I ask you to just hang in there and wait for the magic to happen. You mention the mainstream of approach at just throwing money at an idea and waiting for results but honestly like our friend mentioned earlier, thats not the idea with thrive.
Also a quick note about kickstarter, which I think a lot of people mistake as the one for all solution for everything - a lot of kickstarter projects don’t really end up as expected, especially video games. This proves that just throwing money at the screen wont actually make a good game. (otherwise thats what everyone would just do)
The guys here seem to be wanting to make a community game thats reflects the values of their members - something thats fun, but realistic and scientifically accurate. Just handing it off to some programmer would cause many problems, and not to say the least just remove some of the fun of being part of the team. Maybe in some later stages theyll need someone to help with a more solid glitch fixes when the game is bigger but as it stands the game is moving along well from the devblog posts!!!
I hope you understand that this is what the Thrive guys deal with on the daily, so just pocket that frustration and let it evolve into something else!


Its everyone’s game not just one party’s game. The whole point of Thrive is that anyone can come contribute in one way or another. There are programmers who have offered their time and service to the game and are sorting out the bugs and whatnot, and it would be a bit insulting to just throw them to the side for a paid programmer. I’m sure one of the developers has an opinion on this sort of topic as well so I’ll let them reply but I really urge you to realise that even accepting donations and whatnot brings upon a certain level of responsibility and can result in a lot of people feeling guilty if they dont deliver up to everyones (high) expectations.
I’m really glad you care so much about Thrive though!


Hi @GreatEscapegoat. First of all I want to emphasise what everyone else has been saying, which is that the money isn’t going anywhere because we don’t have any. You’re likely confusing us with Evolution, which took a load of people’s cash via Kickstarter and…didn’t do much.

This is true. I felt that way when I wrote it, both my own thoughts and input from other developers. But the points are still largely valid, even if their relative weighting is perhaps wrong. Maybe the negatives would have smaller impact than we expect while the positives are much more positive.

Where would we get that $50,000 exactly? Kickstarter? We have people like you annoyed at the progress of the game as it is. If they’d given their hard-earned money only to see it falling short, there’d be a considerably bigger backlash.

This is very much untrue. I for one care deeply about the game and this is why I get just as frustrated as you by the lack of progress sometimes. I’m not a programmer, but I have tried my best in the past to suggest and organise new initiatives to make it easier or more fulfilling for programmers to work.

One of these was, back in December when the project seemed in quite a dire state, suggesting exactly what you’re suggesting, that is the involvement of money. Note that the points made there aren’t as applicable anymore, as we’ve since tracked down our lack of progress over the second half of last year to other factors, as explored in our latest Devblog.

Sometimes I completely agree with you and think the team are only making excuses for not biting the bullet on funding. It would radically shake up how we operate and I know a lot of the developers and fans would find such a change in philosophy and work method unsettling. All of us believe that we can prove ourselves in our current state, given enough time. It’s understandable that the ‘given enough time’ part will put some people off.

We don’t hide how long-winded development has been and will probably continue to be. We’ve gone through multiple groups of developers as old ones lose interest, but the team has been pretty stable for a while now and we know where everybody stands. For the first few years of its existence, the project did not feature any programming whatsoever. Say what you want about our current state, but that’s one definite improvement. And really, when you think about it, the fact some of us have stuck around for so long proves that we are in fact far more dedicated to this project than you appear to make out. We all want a game that we can be proud of and many of us are putting in the effort.

I completely agree. We’re well aware of how unintuitive some aspects are but haven’t had the resources to deal with that fact alongside other things. If you’d like to stick around and give us your thoughts on this issue, we’re all ears.

Also correct, but as stated above, it’s not only our values that will have to change, but the whole approach towards the project. And yes, marketing is just as important as making the game. We spend a lot of our time thinking about how best to present this and find ways of telling people about it that aren’t going to make them say, “Just use Kickstarter you idiots”.

I should clarify what the current plan moving forward is:

At the moment, we’re waiting on a significant update to the engine, largely provided by @hhyyrylainen. The existing engine is buggy, difficult to work with and unwelcome for new users. Now, you may say this is an indicator of poor project management, but in my opinion the fact we’ve identified this problem and are working to fix it (and let me tell you the programmers are being thorough about it this time) is a good sign. Yes, so the project has made mistakes in the past. We’ve accepted that and moved on with something new and better, just as you insist we do with funding.

Once done, we intend to add several features focusing on user experience, such as more engaging combat, better help screens, options menus, perhaps a new control scheme and so on. Then when the game is stable, user-friendly and shows promise, we’re going to start seriously marketing ourselves. Right now any significant exposure is going to be met with exactly the response we’re seeing here. That’s not going to go away, but it should be less of an issue the more progress we can make.

With that new promise, we can hopefully entice new people to join and stick around, growing the team. We talk of exponential growth with each stage, which is perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but the principle is true: once we jump a few hurdles, things will flow much easier, people will have more faith in us, and the cycle will feed back on itself.

Also, I should point out that @JamesGames and @Alloquello , while we appreciate their replies here and they certainly mean well, are not developers and therefore don’t know our exact viewpoints on things. Please don’t take this out on them.

I can tell you’re pretty dead set in your opinion on this so all I’ve probably accomplished is making us seem like even bigger sticks in the mud. That’s fine. You can walk away and pay us no attention from now on. Many people do. Some people see promise and steps taken towards fulfilling it, and they want to see it through. We will gladly take any suggestions, although if you’re presenting them in a tone which implies we don’t know what we’re doing, they’re not going to go down very well. We’ve thought long and hard about every issue you raised, and while we don’t have answers to all of them, we know their pros and cons.


We don’t currently have a legal entity set up for revolutionary games. So right now if we accepted donations or made a kickstarter (which isn’t available in my home country for some reason) someone on the team would have to personally make it. So we would need to set up a non-profit somewhere (I’d really prefer any other country than USA to avoid lawsuits) to act as the entity that collects money.

Even then I think we should avoid a kickstarter and instead use patreon or some alternative to it for on-going funding. We could start off this slow, like first trying to cover all running costs of servers and domain names.

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The idea has not been discussed at all (at least I haven’t seen discussions about it). The main points would be: who sets it up, where to set it up (most of us are all in different countries, so this might be a bit difficult, also setting it up in a country with suitable laws would be the best) and what type of organization. The type is probably the most obvious one after the country has been selected as it will be some sort of non-profit. And of course who pays for the paperwork to be done, AFAIK where I live it costs (I was actually surprised how cheap it is) 85 euros (and then we would also have to register to the tax authority in order to hire people). And of course the rules will have to be written down like who gets to vote on issues and what issues need to be voted on before deciding.

So those points would have to be discussed before registering an entity that could act as the holder for the money to not have a case where someone just takes off with the money.

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I get that you aren’t happy with the way that development is going, but these guys haven’t promised anything and they haven’t taken anyone’s money. They’re just a group of people that decided to make something they wanted to make, they don’t owe you, me, or anyone else anything. It’s just a project of passion, they didn’t even need to share it with anyone, they just shared it so that they might attract more people to wanted to join their project of passion.


I think we all want to make sure both you and anyone reading this thread are aware of that, since if someone saw only the title of the thread they might think otherwise.

A fair point. While we have no formal expectations placed upon us with people donating money, there is a kind of implied expectation of delivering on what we tell people because they want a finished game. I personally doubt the game will ever be finished, but I feel strongly that even a couple of complete-ish stages would be fun, engaging and a considerable achievement.

All the planning and exploring that ‘never became anything’ are still valuable as wrong directions we can learn from. Developing ideas and throwing out those ideas for better ones is a major facet of game design, even if you’re supposed to do it a bit quicker than we have. Is the idea of doing everything for free one of those ideas? Maybe. We’re not ruling it out and will inevitably consider it again many times.

We want things to go as quickly as possible too, and we believe they can even without money in the picture. We’ve tried and will try many strategies for this. For the moment though, as said before, we’re waiting on the engine switch.

Most of this was touched on in the ‘Money and Thrive’ page. Our development model assumes that anyone can rock up and contribute as much as they want. How do we quantify that so we know what to pay everyone? While we have a strong preference for programmers as new developers, if talented people in any field come along we’ll appreciate that a lot. If we had to pay people, who should we prioritise? Programmers because they’re ostensibly needed more, or talented and dedicated artists or sound designers?

Things would also have to get a lot more formal, such as setting up an organisation as you suggest. Who does that? In what country? What then happens if they wish to leave? Until now we’ve allowed anyone, even the higher-ups, to come and go as they want, because they have lives to attend to and this is a volunteer project. I realise you’ll tell me that involving money will give them an incentive to stay, and I agree with that, but it’s not watertight. Being a largely anonymous internet team, we have to deal with the fact that everybody’s position is subject to them being around and wanting to help.

True. This doesn’t mean we still don’t have unique selling points though, because our specific game mechanics or ideas will still differ from those.

We’re reasonable people. Perhaps a bit crazy for thinking this whole thing is possible, but reasonable.

Each of us will have our own personal answer to this. Myself, I’ve learnt a lot about coordinating projects, game development, marketing, public communication and, most importantly, by composing music for the game I’ve learnt a trade in detail which I probably would have either abandoned or never progressed beyond amateur level in otherwise. So if the game has no future, I’ll be annoyed, but I’ll have still learnt valuable skills applicable to the rest of my life.

There have been many games that wanted to be ambitious and huge and in some cases scientifically accurate, but have fallen short of expectations or just flopped because it was rushed to production and lazily slapped together with a $50-$60 price tag. ( Im looking at you Spore, the Sims franchise, and No Man’s Sky) Revolutionary Game Studios is doing something different. They arent making promises they cant keep, they arent trying to get the game launched by a set date. They arent trying to stuff their pockets full of cash. They are doing it out of passion. We have two options: rush the game to production to make fans initially happy–but then they realize the game is lack luster and didnt meet their expectations. OR let the game grow and expand organically–let them try big ideas even if it takes 2 years to fully realize that one idea. If it makes the game great then its worth the wait. This game has the capability to grow and expand for years. Most games come out, get played, then die out in 2 years. Then a sequel to the game is made to recreate the same pattern. I think Thrive can break that pattern and really be a great game. Its basically becoming what Will Wright dreamed Spore could be. What Spore would have been *if it wasnt for EA cough cough

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Dlcs for a dlc that is it

Here’s an idea: GreatEscapegoat could join the team and make a detailed plan on how to set up a legal entity, weigh options of funding and how to allocate funds.
If there was a good plan and someone to organise it, there’s a greater chance that it might happen. I think part of the problem on that front is that no one on the team has any experience or sufficient knowledge on the subject to make it happen.

The original beta gameplay they showcased was (though unfinished), more complicated and accurate however, hyping up the people interested in those things too

I think you have great ideas but it is their project and they may do what they please with it after all.