I am making a new topic for this so we can discuss it without cluttering up https://forum.revolutionarygamesstudio.com/t/0-4-4-features-discussion-thread (so this is sort of a reply to Buckly’s post there).
You could load any cell template file into the freebuild editor. I am thinking there would be a button (perhaps in place of the current “new cell” button) that would bring up a list of templates to select from (which would be stored in a folder in the game directory, such as
Data/MicrobeTemplates). The “new cell” button’s functionality could be replaced by having an “empty” template be shipped with the game (and perhaps some other ones could come with it too). The player would also have the option to save their current layout as a template, whether in freebuild or not (the button for this could be in the template selection list in freebuild and in regular gameplay just replace the load template button).
I didn’t think about loading cell templates for non-player species, but since it is freebuild, I think that would be cool (might want to see what others think about this though).