A sentiment I’ve seen shared by others is that thrive could be a great educational tool. From what I experienced in biology, teachers really want you to know stuff like “glycolysis produces a net of 2 ATP.” While that is true in IRL, in thrive, glycolysis produces whatever the balance team says it does. We also seem to treat stuff like glycolysis strangely acting like it is a singular continuous process. In real life, glycolysis is a process that can happen as much as the cell wants (up to a point). It is also a process that always produces a net of 2 ATP.
To fix this issue maybe we should balance the game based on changing the rate a cell can do the processes instead of changing the processes themselves. We would need to boost the amount of ATP in a thrive cell a lot, but I’m not sure about doing that to real-life numbers as those are in the billions.
I would be all for this. The reason that our processes are just random numbers with no regard to actual physics is because the rate is based off of ticks instead of any actual amount of time.
So right now, the rate is governed solely by how much is consumed at once, instead of the time it takes to do so.
Being able to adjust the rate of consumption itself would not only make the numbers more grounded in reality, it would also potentially be easier to balance instead of constantly tweaking consumption versus product.
Edit: I should mention that this might complicate things in regards to the availability of compounds though. It would undoubtedly be a major rework of how metabolism interacts with every other related feature.
With the DayNightCycle it adds a conversion between IRL time and in-game time. Could that in-game time be the thing you are missing? Actually basing everything on that time would allow for running the game at different speeds. (A highly requested feature)
Edit: Yep I agree. This would be a huge change to a lot of the in-game systems.
I say it’s very much worth prototyping if it’s not too much effort. Something like that could potentially even carry over to the later sim-heavy stages where waiting for construction or troops to travel might be a big factor.
Oh goodness, probably not so intense at such at an early stage. We haven’t really decided on if we want to be turn-based or not. Discussion of the civ stages has not really taken place. I personally suspect it might be somewhere close to Stellaris in function, but I acknowledge the possibility of a turn-based progression, or even some manner of unorthodox fusion.
A prototype in the present would just need to involve tying the processes to the in-game time, and maybe if whoever making the prototype feels like going the extra mile, trying out a fast-forward feature.
Welll… Not exactly. That number acts as a multiplier that directly multiplies the inputs and outputs to simulate an increase in process speed.
So if photosynthesis produces 0.01 glucose per tick, setting that number to 2 makes it produce 0.02 glucose instead. This final number is shown to the player instead of the original process numbers as well, so for all intents and purposes, photosynthesis produces 0.02 glucose.
So yes, it increases the rate, but by multiplying the inputs and outputs and thus changing them.
I suppose the biggest issue there is cosmetic though.
But isn’t that inconsequential? I mean surely people learned how to multiply and divide chemical equations in school? If it’s too bothersome someone could take an hour or two to make the GUI divide the shown process numbers by the lowest input / output value to show the “base” numbers.
Actually I would argue that displaying reduced forms in the gui would make things worse given that players would not clearly see the speed of the process, which is what matters for cell osmoregulation.
As such, I definitely disagree with it, as it doesn’t bring much anyways, given that we’re already hiding some reactants & products. From a purely formal perspective, it is worse than this coefficient issue. Similarly, we have constant reaction rates which isn’t even remotely true in general (although I don’t know for the specific cases of biology).
What hh pointed out is the right way to go: having reduced forms in the process definition (for clarity to the source code reader), and the desired rate in the organelle definition.
That being said, I would also state that while Thrive can arguably be educational, it isn’t a textbook, nor is designed to replace one; more precise information (and especially canonical forms) belong to the Thriveopedia, if anywhere.