Membranes characteristics


Hi, with this post i would like to know your opinions about membranes, how they works, why player should choose one instead another, how to create them.

I image membranes as a structure, so they could be in the editor as another sub-section of structure section.
I think that as organelles membrane should cost mutation points, corresponding on their characteristics and give different powers.

So here my stats about membranes:

Single membrane: default membrane cannot be added
perform: engulfing, eating compounds.

Double membrane: can be added in editor.
cost: 50 mutation points.
perform: increase hp of x value.
give a chance (in percentage) to avoid toxins damage.
consume more ATP than single membrane.
decrease speed.
requirements: single membrane.

Wall membrane: can be added in editor.
cost: 90 mutation points.
perform: increase of hp of x value (higher than double membrane).
give a chance (in percentage higher than double one) to avoid toxins damage.
consume double ATP than single membrane.
considerable decrease speed.
requirements: single membrane.

Chitin membrane: i don’t really have any idea maybe increase store capacity and speed of eating compounds.

In my idea double and wall membrane are to different kind of gameplay, with wall membrane you probably play aggressive, always try to kill other cells and take their compounds, with double membrane you play both aggressive and also quite eating compounds, could be best balance but most aggressive cells can still kill you.

Staying in single membrane will give you advantage in speed, on the other hand fast microbe with toxins, or big cells can easily kill and eat you.

In appearance section player should have option to change membrane color, maybe also choose which one instead of get back in structure and select it?


I feel like membrane type should go in the appearance section.


I like the ideas though.


My Idea:
Single membrane: default membrane
To switch back to it from another membrane it costs 90 mutation points.
perform: engulfing, eating compounds.

Double membrane: can be added in editor. (Via appearance section)
cost: 90 mutation points.
increase hp by 33%
50% chance to avoid toxins
consume double ATP than single membrane.
decrease speed.
requirements: single membrane.

Cell Wall: can be added in editor.
cost: 90 mutation points.
perform: increase of hp by 50%
Perform: pilus defense percentage of some kind
consume same ATP as single membrane.
decrease speed 50%
requirements: single membrane.

Chitin Cell Wall: can be added in editor.
cost: 90 mutation points.
perform: increase of hp by 33%
consume same ATP as single membrane.
decrease speed 33%
requirements: single membrane.


I like it. I actually had a somewhat similar suggesetion a while back. I proposed that a cell could have several types of membranes with different properties (for instance “chitin wall” at the back and “acidic membrane” at the front. In this example the acidic membrane would be the only surface area capabale of engulfing, while the chitin wall would be unbreakable if engulfed (You would need pilus or toxins to shatter it) and incapable of holding surface organelles (flaggelas and such).


Sounds like a lot of nice ideas.

One thing I wondered about is a spectrum / slider rather than a binary choice. So you can choose a value for the cell wall from 0 to 100, where 0 is super thin and fragile but very light and 100 is super thick, robust and heavy. Maybe moving values would cost 1MP per amount moved (so going from 0 to 100 would cost 100MP but you could do a little 5pt adjustment for 5MP).

The hp of the cell wall and the amount it slows you down could then also scale, this allows the player to tune the cell how they want. Reducing damage and giving more hp are generally the same effect. For example 100hp and 50% damage is the same as 200hp and 100% damage.

Would a tougher wall use more ATP? I’m not and expert, isn’t the value of a thicker wall that you can do less osmoregulation and that saves you energy?

In terms of having different areas of the cell do different stuff I am concerned it would be hard to see. I play reasonably zoomed out and it’s already relatively hard to see what organelles a cell has, let alone if the cell wall is broken up. However I do think there is a lot of good potential gameplay in having a tough zone and a weak zone, that could be pretty fun.


I agree with @tjwhale that the membrane should be controlled via a slider. You start in the middle, with a normal membrane. In one direction there‘s rigidity, so a cell wall, and in the other direction there‘s fluidity, so a thin cell wall. Cells with a very fluid membrane would basically be amoeba-like. That means faster, because the membrane‘s lighter, good at engulfing, because a „fluid“ membrane can wrap around prey more easily. Obviously the thinner the membrane, the more fragile it is.
I think the mutation point costs all of you propose are way too low though. Do we really want a species to go from the most fragile membrane possible to the sturdiest cell wall there is?
I propose to increase the costs the further you stride from the starting point. If you want to make your membrane thicker the first time it might cost 10MP, the next time 20MP, then 30, 40 and so on. This way we have some gradual progress through the generations.


I like the idea too of slider, appearance should be an area in which each player can express his own creative.
But i think there are some problems.

1 - Now membrane are like 4 static type, also in models, if we use slider parameter we should change the model with this parameter?

2 - Membrane should have some parameters, like for organelles, how we can decide to set that parameters if is not static choice? Maybe we could use this slider thickness number and use it as main operand that change other parameters like mass, capacity of engulf ecc…

Finally i do not think that change membrane should cost every time more, it’s my opinion but giving freedom i think could create more opportunity for creation, dynamic situation in which player use brain to adapt his own cell to new challenge, if do it cost every time more, or we reduce challenging or we not prevent player to change as many time he want membrane.


One way of dealing with having 4 models is to lay them out in a line. So if your membrane value is 0 -100 then it could be 0-25 = thin membrane, 25 - 50 = normal, 50 - 75 = double membrane and 75 - 100 could be a thick wall. The effects could be continuous (hp = membrane value, for example) but the models suddenly change at these values.

I’m not totally sure what chitin is and how it makes things different, does is make tough walls?

There could be multiple sliders or multiple different things you can choose however I quite like what you are saying @Dak28 of just having one thing to choose and everything else derived from that.

Also we can do several passes on this if we want. So maybe first time round we just introduce one thing you can change and then in a future patch we could add more options if people think the system is really cool.


I‘m not sure if this kind of reposting is appreciated, but I just found some great concept art of this in another thread (Prokaryote Gameplay)

I thought it might be helpful to put this here. What‘s the point of good concept art if it‘s not visible where people discuss the exact things that concept art explains?
Sadly I don‘t know who created this.

I think this general idea, coupled with a slider, provides the best option. It‘s still a two way slider, but the balancing is more interesting than a simple defence vs speed slider. This way it‘s more defence vs speed vs engulfing.

As you can see in the table above, this could be quiet balanced if we do it correctly.