„New“ Concept Artist/a talk about inspiration


I‘m MirrorMonkey2. Some of you may know me from the community forums. I‘ve followed this project since 2013. Back then I created some aware stage themes. I am here to create (hopefully) helpful concept art for the microbe stage and, once my art skills have reached a sufficient level, art to promote Thrive with.

To convince someone to participate in a project as suicidally ambitious as Thrive, one has to sell him a grand vision of what that project could some day amount to. This is - in my opinion - best done by art. Olivers themes explain to the listener in a perfect manner the kind of game Thrive aims to be. The microbe stage soundtrack sets the tone of how the gameplay experience should feel. The themes for later stages give us and anyone who discovers Thrive a glimpse in what could one day come.
This kind of inspiration and mediation of a vision is vital to any project. We have plenty of music to communicate what Thrive will be, but we lack visual propaganda.
I claim that „The Disturbance“, „Romp“ and „Sea“, three digital paintings created by Sciocont five years ago, had a major impact on where Thrive stands now.

These are, as far as I‘m aware, the only pictures of the grand vision of Thrive. There is an abundance of Thrive concept art created by fans such as myself and I don‘t want to belittle any of it, but in my opinion these three are the only pieces which look finished, visually stunning and which hammer home exactly what Thrive is going to be.
If it wasn‘t for these three critters I would probably have lost interest or hope in Thrive somewhere along the way. But they remind me of the vision all of this is striving towards.
There‘s also a lot of beautiful concept art for the microbe stage and I‘m all for focusing on its developement, but, let‘s face it: Most people are firstly and foremostly hyped about the aware stage. In my estimation a few pictures like the Disturbance could potentially do wonders in outreach.
(NOTE: I‘m not nearly as good an artist as Sciocont, don‘t expect anything on the level of the Disturbance from me in the near future!)

Another area I‘m planning to tackle is composed of micorbe stage interfaces. How will players know where on the planet their species has spread? How will they know which biomes are where? How will they see where in the food chain their species is? This is an area that‘s missing from the GDD as far as I‘m aware and while this may not be the top priority at the moment I will try to brainstorm this nevertheless.

Finally: If anyone wants any paticular concept art of anything, just ask! I‘ll try my best.


That’s an astute observation I’m surprised we haven’t really put in focus earlier. I agree new concept art would be good to increase interest, though be aware it should relate to the game somehow and can’t just be random creatures in pretty landscapes - things like general aesthetics, interfaces, game screens, etc. are what we need if you can make them.

For instance, you could create a scene with an impressive looking creature but put it inside a mockup for the organism editor, or show game mechanics like senses in the landscape.


Hey MirrorMonkey and welcome to the team!

I think you raise great points and I’m excited to see what you have in mind! As you pointed out we are pretty lacking in terms of concept and promotional art and so if you want to work on that visual propaganda by all means. This will help so many other fields of development, like outreach and visualizing ideas for designers and artists and programmers to work on. If you want help or guidance on what to do the art on feel free to ask, I can think of some topics myself for example.


Yes, that would very much interest me. What are those topics that are in need of visualisation? Right now I can think of:
-planet map
-presentation of the food chain of the current biome
-tree of life to see how species are related
-debree (especially rocks on the surface of which some microbes can become sessile)
-transition from micorbe to multicellular stage

What did I miss? Which topics were you thinking about?


I think I too could be of help for those missing visual concepts if those are open for anyone to give a shot at.


Those are all awesome ideas! I was thinking pretty much along those lines. If you want to start work on one just pick one that you like and before you start run it by us to make sure it’s good, and if so then go ahead. Ideally concept art for the Microbe and Multicellular stages is most relevant right now, but if you want to try some in the later stages as well go for it.


Yeah, I‘m currently working on a encyclopedia page not unlike the Sporepedia from Spore. It‘s going to be relevant for all stages, but in the images I‘m working on it shows a „screenshot“ of the encyclopedia while in the microbe stage. What exactly do you mean with „make sure it‘s good“? I‘ll do a first draft to show you and then you can correct any mistakes I‘ve made.
As I said it‘s an in-game ecyclopedia, so it‘s only GUI, don‘t expect anything too flashy for this. I‘m going to upload it once I‘ve finished the first picture.

I don‘t have any authority here, but I think it‘s safe to assume that anyone can give any of them a shot. I‘m exited to see your work!


Ah perfect! We’re actually working on implementing a help/info/encyclopedia panel into the game soon so that’d be pretty helpful (and just as you said it’d be something across all stages like the Sporepedia or Civilopedia).

Oh my bad by “make sure it’s good” I meant make sure it’s relevant and applicable to the game.

Yeah by all means, if you want to try go ahead!


With the engine refactor it might be a good chance to redo the microbe editor, so if there are any ideas for that concept art about that would be good.