Making the Paid Releases Special

While I’m still skeptical about actually getting enough signatories for Steam, we know for a fact that the release is happening. Last I heard we’re going to ask for money, and while a core idea at Thrive is to not lock down thrive itself, I feel like there could be a few things that we could sprinkle into a release to make customers feel like they’ve gotten something special instead of just getting scammed out of a few bucks:

  • Challenge Worlds: procedural patch maps might be a ways away right now, but it would be easy enough to dink around with them temporarily to generate some pre-gen save files that could show off more unusual ways to play and let players get the most from the mechanics we have. I’ve already tested that these work in local, so I’d be happy to make them myself.
  • Making of Thrive: feels like something people always package with special editions. I’m pretty new here, but I’m sure there’s some old stories about ideas that aren’t going to make it in, art that nobody would find today without a bunch of digging, or a special podcast we could do just for folks who bought the game. We’ve got a decade of history going into this, so we might as well do something with it!
  • A special title screen or end credits thing that we don’t put in the main game
  • A montage of every time someone said “smeltal the meltal”

in my opinion pre-gen maps would probably be a good placeholder for procedural patch maps.
i think however a making of thrive would take a lot of research and work, there is so much to unpack if we are to go back to the beginning. it would be amazing though, I have always wanted to see someone like Fredrik Knudsen do a down the rabbit hole about thrive :stuck_out_tongue:

There’s actually other open source games already on itch:

For the itch version I think we shouldn’t really offer any extra gameplay content there. Just the download through it.
I don’t want to start trying to come up with that exclusive content or some such thing in the main game, that aren’t like store specific. But I kinda like the idea of coming up with extras to include with the game.

For the steam release though there’s 4-ish things that can be offered:

  • Cloud saves (hopefully easy to setup with steam)
  • Achievements in steam (we first need to implement the achievements in the base game)
  • Trading cards (if we get an artist to draw those)
  • And finally steamworkshop support (I’m thinking of tackling some background work for this real soon by starting to implement a mod loaded backend)

And I don’t think these will hinder the game experience for non-steam users, so in my opinion those exclusive “features” will be fair game for the steam version of thrive.

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I have no idea on how the workshop technicly works, but something very simple would be a feature to share microbes and subscribe to others. I don’t know if a feature like that is going to be used, but at least it’s simple to implement :smiley:

That would be different I think. Anyway we don’t even have like a design for how that would work (can you just load creatures in freebuild?).
Mods distributed through steam workshop is simpler:

  • We need modding guides / at least a basic tutorial
  • Setup the workshop so that people can upload their mod files and when downloaded goes to a right folder
  • The game knows which folders to look for mods in

Other than the part about making the mod loaded and instructions on how to make mods, that’s simple (hopefully).

We could actually do that, as steam workshop isn’t just for mods.

It’s a community content hub and in many games it’s used to share things like custom levels made in level editors or other such things.

We could very well use it to share player’s microbes, custom planets, scenarios, and so on.

Being able to load in things like that is something I could see being fairly popular, especially sharing custom worlds/scenarios as players love to challenge each other in that way.

I have no experience in setting up such things however so I have no idea how easy or difficult it might be…

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