A major part of Thrive that has as of yet not really been implemented at all in the game is the CPA system. The player is going to interact with the CPA system through microbe and editor gameplay. But how is he going to have insights into the system?
I assume once the planet generator, auto-evo and so on are implemented, there will have to be a kind of in-game encyclopedia for the player to see the data of his current save. How intense is the solar irradiation on his planet? Where on the planet does his species live? How does the food web of the biome his species inhabits look? All of this and more could be communicated to the player through this sporepedia-like in-game encyclopedia.
I‘ve come up with two „fake screenshots“ that illustrate how I imagine this encyclopedia. The concepts are far from perfect, but they‘re the first step.
The first shows the map of the players home planet, here named ORP-7309.
On the right side of the map there‘s a bar where the player can toggle what should be displayed and what not. On the bottom there‘s a feed which documents the major changes that occured on the planet during the last few generations. Within this feed, the names of species and biomes are links to their respective encyclopedia entries, so the player can easily navigate the encyclopedia. On the left side there‘s the interface for navigation within the encyclopedia. There‘s three levels of analysis at which the player can look at the save data: Planet, biome and species. Right now the player has selected the planet level. Here there are again three sub-pages: The planet within its solar system, general information about the planet and the map, which is currently selected. In the top right corner there‘s the icon to close the encyclopedia and to resume microbe or editor gameplay.
The second image I have as of yet shows the food chain of the player species‘ home biome.
Here the player has selected the biome rather than the planet level. Within this page there are two sub-stages: One for general information about the biome (average temperature, irradiance, total biomass etc.) and one for the food chain.
There will ideally be a system which determines which species is the predator of which. It could maybe register how much of a given species‘ diet is comprised of another species and once this is above a certain limit (for example 10%) there will be an arrow from the prey species to the predator species. Which species is shown on which level is determined as follows: If a species doesn‘t prey on any other, it‘s a producer, so it‘s on the bottom level (for example Irida Pseudacorus). If a species preys exlcusively on producer, it‘s a primary consumer (like Agais Agenta). If a species preys on at least one primary consumer, it‘s a secondary consumer (such as Brayura Cymata) and so on. Brayura Cymata also preys on Fluvita Carcinum, but its ranking is determined to be one level higher as its highest level prey. Like in the feed on the planet map page, the names in the food web are also links to the respective species‘ page.
Regarding biome names: I think it would be ideal to eventually have a system to generate biome names that make sense for a human. The system could scan the planet map and assign names to continents or oceans. Then it could name the biomes by these terms. So if there was a „Xeculian Ocean“ an abyss biome in it could be named „Xeculian Abyss“. If needed compass direction prefixes could be applied to for example differenciate the East-Xeculian Abyss from the North-Xeculian Abyss.
More images of other encyclopedia pages like the tree of life will follow soon. What do you think of the ideas? Have you any suggestions for pages that are still missing? Should the sturcture of the selection bar on the left be altered? Does it even make sense to discuss these things or do they still lie too far in the future?
As these are my first contributions on here: Is this helpful? Should I continue to make these? Constructive criticism is much appreciated!
EDIT: For the record I should say that the map is made using an online generator and some of the icons on the left side are from online icon collections.