0.4.2 Features Discussion Thread

Let’s get started with planning 0.4.2! The release plan for 0.4.2 was:

I don’t think that out of these anything else except the combat overhaul and maybe the agent production should be a priority. Oh and the microbial biomes separation would be also a priority.

Other than that there are still the engine issues with the movement lag some people experience. And the The GUI library situation which I’ll be tackling. The loading screens and CPA system is also something I’d like to improve as right now the game locks up when generating new stuff.

Tentatively this release could be around the first week of July. I’ll try really hard to have time off this summer so I’ll have more time for thrive just before that release window. I’ll update the release plan thread once we decide on the features.

So let’s get the discussion started.

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I agree largely with what you’re saying. Maybe the podcast is a chance to discuss some of this stuff?

Personally I think it would be a good idea to focus the next release almost entirely on separating out the biomes / adding the patch map in. I think there’s two big reasons for this:

  1. It gives way more gameplay, exploring a whole planet with lots of different areas with different environmental parameters sounds interesting, going to the surface to see the photosynthesizers etc.
  2. I don’t think we can fix organelle gluttony until we separate the biomes. Right now why not add 10 mitochondria + 10 flagella to your cell? You won’t run out of ATP but will burn loads of glucose, however glucose is abundant (from clouds, iron, H2S and sunlight) so you don’t need to worry about it.
    I think the main goal of the microbe stage is to have each editor session be a thoughtful time where you try to solve the problems that came up while you were swimming around. So if your prey is too fast you might choose to be faster, if they are big and strong you might choose to become a small and efficient scavenger etc.
    I think it’s the limited energy sources in each patch which will drive the evolutionary competition for resources which will define the game, so until we have that we can’t really make the game deeper.

Because this is a big task I tried to break it down (there were already some subtasks in the github list which is good) and I think it will be pretty much a full release of work, maybe with adding in the pilus or a couple of other small things like that.

  • Gui for patch map
  • Gui for patch report
  • Patch report which tells you what has happend in your patch in the last timestep, change in species and change in conditions
  • change global environmental conditions over time - decrease glucose for sure, maybe alter 02, c02, keep it simple
  • layout patch map, have a data structure to store patch conditions and species + populations
  • allow species to split
  • allow species to move between patches
  • allow player to move between patches
  • freebuild editor - select any patch to play in + edit with large amount of mp
  • get each patch to spawn compounds and species based on its patch conditions, e.g. iron concentration should dictate how many iron chunks spawn and their size
  • start with just a single species in a single patch

there are also these things but they may be too big for this release:

  • procedurally generate patch map
  • auto-evo, species respond to patch conditions when they evolve
  • climate conditions of the planet change over time and this changes the patches, like some patches can freeze over or defrost, some can change light levels etc

So I think there is a lot to do in order to seperate the biomes, it will pay big dividends and I think it’s hard to imagine going much further without doing it. I’d be interested in other people’s thoughts on this.

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I agree. There’s a ton of different parts in making fully working separate patches. A lighter version of patches could maybe have been combined with other big features. But I think it’s a good plan to focus the next release on patches (it could even be nicknamed the patches update).

Maybe the curse will finally be broken? That’s been an open issue on Github since 2014…

If this is then done then I think at the same time a background CPA system should be started. The current completely random system would need major changes to make it respond to different patches. And I think it’s not worth the effort if it isn’t combined with a basic CPA implementation.

Bit of a shame to leave the pilus out (which has been asked a lot in the past), but I think the patches themselves (as you describe them) are a huge feature needing a lot of work. And I’ll also be working on some of the big engine issues so at least initially features for this release will need to come from other people, I hope I can get the engine things done before the release is close so that I also can work on these features then. And I’ll also work on the GUI change, which might be a bit tricky with the timing for all the new GUI parts.


I agree wholeheartedly with @tjwhale. The patch map is a pivotal feature that will give a lot of things that are already there more of a reason to exist, like the multiple different energy sources for example.
But at the same time, calls for the addition of a pilus are very loud. While for me personally this isn‘t a huge priority at the moment, maybe we should consider this too as it‘s very popular with the fanbase.
On the other hand, the patch map is quiet a large feature and maybe we should just concentrate on that.


How difficult is the pilus? Does it need engine changes like a different shape collision mesh? I agree it’s a cool feature both for how much impact it has and how many people are keen on it.

I think colonies would be a feasible feature and would add some geography to the biomes.
Other than that i think gameplay should be expanded a bit, currently the game’s strategy is swimming to the nearest cloud and pressing a button once in a while, while avoiding predators, which is a bit too simplistic imo (especially since the starting hex of cytoplasm is perfectly caoable of thriving without too much challenge).

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I agree that the patch map should be prioritized for this release.
The freebuild editor if we implement it in the way tjwhale wants it will require seperated patches.
I’m excited to work on this.

@tjwhale yes the pilus needs a cone shaped collision mesh for it to work, which is engine stuff. Other then that it shouldnt be too difficult.

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And I’ll also be working on some of the big engine issues so at least initially features for this release will need to come from other people, I hope I can get the engine things done before the release is close so that I also can work on these features then. And I’ll also work on the GUI change, which might be a bit tricky with the timing for all the new GUI parts.

Eh, it may end up with me and you doing the brunt of the work as usual. I am graduating in may though so things will be hectic.


I guess one thing related to the gui change is that if we wanted to switch it this release then the backend would have to be built out and then the whole gui would need to be rebuilt in the new system. I think that sounds like quite a lot of work.

It might be easier to do the new bits of gui we need in the old system and then in a later release move the whole thing over once the backend is solid. Though maybe this is duplicating effort.

There is definitely some wasted work if some part of the GUI is done twice. But if the timing doesn’t work out, then it’s a must to do new GUI parts with the current system. (Maybe) luckily it seems that most people, including me are busy ATM and so no one is ready to start making the new GUI now, before I can do more work on a new GUI system.

I’ll start moving and making issues to the 0.4.2 milestone on Github now. I’ve set initial due date on it to be July 06, 2019. I’ll also update the release plans thread.

Right now as the population changing is completely random, I’m not sure how well spreading to different patches would work. I think what will happen is that there will randomly be all kinds of species in all patches instead of species that have adapted to patch they are in.

But I think I now got all the issues (and a few extra technical ones) added to a milestone: https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive/milestone/12

If I missed anything, let me know.

Yeah that looks like a pretty good list.

I agree that it might be a good idea to have some level of auto-evo responding to the patch conditions. It will be pretty immersion breaking to have photosynthesizers in the abyss.

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