Microbe stage objective

What is the final objective of the microbe stage? (aka what is the player trying to do?)
Is it having your species get a certain population?
Is it getting a specific organelle?
Is it having a microbe of a specific size?

The end goal will have something to do with creating a colony of cells which form the basis of your new organism as you progress to multicellular. How that actually happens we have some idea but aren’t sure of the details. The current plan is to use agents to both bond cells together and transmit signals between them, with the latter being things like run away from a predator or secrete a defensive agent.

There was some discussion of this a while ago but it might have been on Slack so I can’t find it. It’s an interesting topic to speculate and eventually come to a conclusion on though - how exactly are we going to make colonies out of cells? Will they all be the same species or different species working together? Can other cells secrete bonding agents to form antagonistic cell colonies? Is the player affected by the bonding and signal agents of their own species, with some level of forcing them to perform a certain action beneficial to the growing colony?

Interesting points @Oliveriver


  1. First you get a “summoning agent” which causes other members of your species to come and basically follow you around. I don’t think you should ever be forced to follow others around (because I don’t see that being very fun). I do think you should see other cells which “flock” by using this agent. When they are spawned they can be spawned in a group.

  2. I think a colony of a single cell type then has to use a “binding” agent to bond the members together into a basic multicellular organism. Maybe other species should be able to do this before you can, not sure. After this is done you have <10 cells bonded together still using flagella / cilia to swim. All the cells now act in lockstep, so if you release an agent then all cells release it as one and you get a huge cloud of it.

It’s no problem to have small colonies and single cells still playing together as they will behave much the same. The cells can stay until the colonies get big enought they become invisible.

(What would be really slick, though probably technically impossible, would be if, any time, you could press a microscope button and see the cells a creature is made out of. That’s probably too hardcore though.)

  1. Then you start specialising your cells into muscle, bone, nerve etc, ala this thread, (which is pretty long, td:dr; speciliase each cell by placing different organelles in them and use a pallette of specialised cells to create your multicellular creature).

  2. When you have done this you can start moving in the softbody style from this thread and then basically when you get big enough that flagella / cillia are no longer visible and no longer contribute meaningfully to motion the cells disappear and you end up with a basic creature editor (something like that).

That’s how I’ve been imagining it going anyway.

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So the idea is that:
The player gets an organelle that makes an agent that calls other npc player microbes
Then it would build another organelle to make them a colony
Then you would enter some sort of intermediary stage between microbe and multicellular where you have a colony but the microbes are still identifiable
When the player colony gets enough cells ou would enter multicellular stage
Npc microbes could be able to do something similar before and after the player does
Did i get it rigth?

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Yeah pretty much,

The agent system isn’t exactly finalised yet. As agents are types of proteins they are made in the nucleus and golgi body (I believe, seek better sources for bio knowledge :slight_smile: ). So the plan is to have an “agent gland” which stores up agents and then fires them out in a coherent puff.

So summoning and binding should probably be either rolled in with the combat agents system (you produce and manage them with the same interface) or some kind of option you can turn on in your nucleus, or something like that. I’m not sure whether it makes sense to have them as organelles (though that would work).

It’s almost unhelpful to think of a stage boundary, it’s basically completely continuous. So now you go to the editor to change the organelles in a cell. When you have a colony you can go to 2 editors. The first is the one we have now, a cell editor which lets you specialise the cells. The other is a colony editor which lets you place these cells you have into different patterns.

So I start with one type of cell and just lay it out into a (probably hex) grid. Then I can go in and make specialised versions. For example you cam make a muscle cell and a bone cell etc, by editing organelles. Then I can lay out muscle and bone cells into a hex grid and my creature will soft body waggle. Does that make sense? I may have explained it badly.

[quote=“tjwhale, post:5, topic:281”]
So the plan is to have an “agent gland” which stores up agents and then fires them out in a coherent puff.

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