This post is split into two parts: what we want for 0.3.1, to be released as soon as this and bug testing are finished; and what we want from cytoplasm in the final game.
So a cytoplasm organelle has been planned for a while now, and according to @crovea it’s relatively simple to do but nobody’s gotten around to it yet. Effectively it’s a blank organelle, which will require its own definitions and an extra organelle panel in the left-hand scroll section.
My question to the programmers is this: are you planning the simple route of adding a cheap blank organelle that just adds size to the cell and consumes small amounts of ATP, or are you going to have it be a base organelle which needs to be placed before adding others? My thinking is that the latter might be too complicated a concept for players to handle until we get a tutorial or better GUI in place, but the former doesn’t serve much purpose.
Either way, I guess it adds things in place for future modifications, and since it’s the last part of 0.3.1 left I’m hoping it can be completed within a couple of days.
For the future, we need something that actually serves a function. To an extent, even a blank organelle that does nothing but change the shape could be a creative tool, but it seems redundant simulation-wise. If membrane generation stays similar to what it is now, you don’t even need cytoplasm to build a shape - you let the membrane algorithm fill spaces in for you.
Here’s every major mention of cytoplasm in the GDD in relation to itself and other mechanics. Of course these things can all be changed, but I think they serve as important reasons why cytoplasm is so important.
[quote]Osmoregulation is the process by which a cell keeps concentrations of water and ions constant inside its membrane given changing outer conditions. In-game, this happens passively, as each cytoplasm hex consumes small amounts of ATP. Effectively this means that an otherwise blank cell would eventually lose all ATP reserves and die.
When a cell stops producing ATP, even if all other organelles are turned off, their ATP reserves will still drain as ion pumps in the membrane perform osmoregulation. Eventually, ATP levels will drop to zero. Since there is no more energy available to maintain water concentrations, water will flood down the concentration gradient into the cytoplasm, putting pressure on the membrane and quickly breaking it.[/quote]
[quote]The first choice in the organelle list is cytoplasm, a relatively cheap option with a different functionality to all other organelles. When the player hovers over a hex when cytoplasm has been selected, it partially lights up to indicate cytoplasm can be placed (with symmetry active, all hexes in matching positions in each sector light up too). This only occurs for hexes connected to part of the microbe’s existing structure, and doesn’t occur when there are insufficient Mutation Points to add cytoplasm hexes. Cytoplasm provides very little actual benefit besides allowing other organelles to be placed. When the player clicks anywhere cytoplasm can be placed, that hex turns white. Cytoplasm cannot be added to a hex bordering an external organelle – external organelles must be removed first, with the associated Mutation Point cost. Cytoplasm can be removed by right clicking, while left clicking brings up cell wall upgrade options.
Other than cytoplasm, there are two varieties of organelle available here: internal and external. Adding either of these requires the placement of an organelle hex placeholder. This is an arrangement of hexagons linked together which must be placed over existing cytoplasm within the cell. All external organelles are only a single hex in size, and their orientation is adjusted in the ‘Appearance’ tab. Both are subject to the adding, removing and moving rules of Mutation Points.[/quote]