I couldn't find the thread where they discussed the topic, but the thread where ~sciocont presents the final design is also missing, which is very strange because it was such an important thread for so long and it was always linked in the sidebar. On a sidenote, we will have to look into the old forums and see if threads are being spontaneously deleted.
Anyways, fortunately enough it was copied to this wiki page:
Now I remember that either in Slack or in the fan forum discussion someone mentioned that they didn't like the idea of having a list of parts that they add to their organism. Although it would be nice to be able to avoid that I'd have to disagree and say that we need a list of parts here just as we need function parts in the technology editor.
However, these parts will allow for incredible customization. Any part/organ that the player places they can customize. To use teeth as the example, they can be evolved over the years to become sharper, longer, flatter or wider. The idea for this in the original organism editor concept was that you could just click on the organ, and drag it into the shape you wanted it to be in. Alternatively, this could be handled by the system The_Creator proposed:
By which I mean the player would be able to select the teeth and open the grid to evolve their teeth towards a certain direction. After the player would make a change on the grid, the teeth would visually change shape to match that.
There's two scenarios for when a player enters the organism editor. Either A, they are going in with an organism they already have in-game, or B, they accessed it from the menu and plan to make a custom creature from scratch. For the purposes of this discussion let's assume the player is in scenario A, and moreover that this is the first time they are entering the OE after having entered the 3D part of the multicellular stage, meaning they are starting with an extremely basic organism.
The first thing the player can do is add, reshape, or remove bones. They will be able to click on a bone and open up a grid that allows them to customize the properties of all bone in the body.
Muscles will be procedurally generated onto all bones the player places. Players can add extra, but cannot remove past this base amount. As with bones, the player can open a grid for muscles to evolve their properties.
Fat stores can be brushed onto the organism. We can open have a grid for evolving fat as well.
Organs will be basic parts that are added to the organism. These parts can then be refined and customized in specific directions. We start with a list of basic organs like ganglia/brain, stomach, heart, lung, and then allow the player to customize the ones they place as they evolve. Some of these organs require a network of connections to the body. For example after placing the heart the player may want to evolve blood vessels. Instead of having the player physically draw these out, they will simply click a button that says something along the lines of "blood vessels" and it will be assumed that the body now has a network of blood vessels.
Lastly you've got skinning, where the body is procedurally wrapped in skin. The player can brush fur or feathers onto the skin. The player can also evolve the specific properties of each of these.
So from these, the tissues I can see being affected by the cell design in 2D multicellular are muscle, fat, connective tissue, bone, skin/feathers/fur.
I was thinking that one way we could calculate the tissue properties for the player is by having a secret palette of cells for each tissue type. The design of that cell basically defines the properties of that tissue. We don't show the default cells to the player, but we calculate what their tissue will be like based off of the difference from their cells to the default palette. For example we define the default muscle cell to be 10 hexes of cytoplasm, 1 nucleus, and 4 mitochondria. This default blueprint yields the standard muscle properties of X, Y, and Z (these could be anything from the strength the muscles produce, to the energy they consume, to how long they can endure, etc).
However, say the player designs their muscle cells as having 10 cytoplasm, 1 nucleus, and 6 mitochondria! Then the game would respond by looking at the difference between the player's muscle cells and the default muscle cell, and granting the player's muscle tissue increased endurance when they enter the organism editor (at the cost of greater energy consumption).
The big problem with this is, all cells in the colony are entirely customized. All cell types are also customized. How will the game know whether cell A is a muscle cell, a digestive cell, or a protective cell? I guess we could just compare each cell type to all of the default blueprints, see which one it is closest to, and calculate the differences to see what bonuses/penalties the player's tissues get. We could also allow the player to tag their own cells as the tissue it is.