For a few gameplay problems (related to some organelles directly producing ATP, which they probably should keep doing for realism) I came up with the general solution that we could have an organelle to turn ATP into glucose. That way cells could store energy. This also makes vacuoles more useful.
Any ideas what that organelle could be called (what real thing to base it on)?
I think we’ll need a slightly new feature in the process system so that that organelle won’t try to eat ATP while the microbe is struggling, it should only convert energy to glucose when there’s an excess and plenty of remaining glucose storage.
I do actually think that there’s no need to create an “organelle”, I mean almost all metabolic pathways in bacteria occur either in cytoplasm or in the cell membrane. The gluconeogenesis pathway does convert some metabolites into glucose. The glyoxylate cycle is even more powerful being able to eventually convert any metabolite into glucose, though this pathways has only being encountered in some plant seeds.
Maybe it could be easier to implement some kind of “metabolic pathway management” into the game where you could implement key enzymes into the organism’s genetic code.
The gluconeogenesis enzymes are actually allosteric, meaning they are self-regulated via coenzymes and substrate concentration, thus this pathways actually does only occur when the glucose concentration is low, so that is actually very realistic at a scientific level.
Adding new organelles is easy to do. Introducing entire new category of new game mechanics is much more difficult.
For example a protein slot system that was being designed, never got done: Passive Enzyme/Protein Slots System so anything like that, if we want it in the game soon (relatively speaking, nothing in Thrive is really fast), will need to be reworked as an organelle.
Well then, probably the most important enzyme in this pathway in eukaryotes is FBPase-2 Phosphofructokinase 2 - Wikipedia, though I will need some time to figure out if it’s the same in the case of bacteria.
Many of the prokayrotic “organelles” are actually just modeled after a single protein. We just for simplicity call all of the placeable things in the microbe editor organelles in contexts where it doesn’t matter. For example rusticyanin is an “organelle” available for prokaryotes in the game that is just named after a single protein.
If we are to add something like this, I feel it would be better implemented as an upgrade to present parts instead of a standalone organelle of it’s own. Mostly because there’s just not any organelles that solely specialize in synthesizing sugars. Typically sugar synthesis is performed at the site of energy production, that is, within the same organelle that collects the energy to begin with. I might be wrong though.
Whatever the case, I have some reservations about allowing all parts to ultimately produce glucose, as it might make all the metabolism set ups ultimately feel “samey”, with all of them coalescing into the same “collect material to build up glucose stores, and mitochondria to burn them” niche that chemosynthesis currently occupies.
It’s been intended that each form of diet be quite different from each other gameplay-wise to keep things interesting, and the game much more replayable. This change might undo that for better and for worse. It would probably be fine as an upgrade to thermosynthesis post-overhaul though.
Edit: I didn’t mean for that to come out so harshly, I just want yall to consider the ramifications of implementing this feature.
Well, I couldn’t find any major differences between gluconeogenesis in eukaryotes and prokaryotes so this process does arise naturally from Glycolysis (EM pathway) and it is pretty much self-regulated.
Although, there is actually a pretty famous pathway called Cori cycle (Cori cycle - Wikipedia) where the lactate is regenerated into glucose via gluconeogenesis, so if this organelle needs a name it could be something like:
again, take in mind this pathway converts almost exclusively glycolytic metabolites to glucose. The glyoxylate cycle (Glyoxylate cycle - Wikipedia) is much more flexible though much more unusual in nature, but it can convert practically any 2C organic compound into glucose, just in case you are looking for something a little bit more exotic and (as this pathway happens as an alternative of the TCA/Krebs cycle) it would make complete scientific sense to have it just as an upgrade of mitocondrias (or metabolosomes).
Here’s a more advanced explanation of the gluconeogenesis pathway that I think might help
Is it not more interesting to have parts that require a different strategy? Iron chemolithoautotrophy currently requires a different setup to perform well, emphasizing storage capacity, which makes it an interesting alternative to the other diets. Introducing the ability to convert the product into glucose eliminates this unique aspect and cause the game to lose replayability. The different diets would just be flavor at that point.
I’m not against the idea of allowing other parts to produce glucose under certain circumstances, I just don’t want every part to become homogeneous Hence the upgrades style, unattractive as that may be.
I would much rather find a different solution to any problems with rustycyanin.
Well the 2 people who’ve bothered me about this topic over the past year or so, clearly seem to disagree.
This is not a feature I super want, so I’m fine with just leaving this discussion as is and seeing if this feature request is made again in the feature. Though we now know some potential scientific explanations we can use for this gameplay feature if/when we decide to implement this.
Alright after much deliberation, I’ve decided that I am okay with this going forward. The addition of this part will potentially make the game more approachable, and make the more alternative diets more feasible in later stages.
Players that prefer the more classic builds will always be free to continue doing so, assuming that the new part doesn’t end up much more appealing in the eyes of autoevo.
Sorry for jumping headfirst into the way of this originally…
Okay, so we can move forward with thinking about this some more.
Here’s basically what I think is required and is pretty much uncontroversial:
We need to add a new protein type organelle
The organelle needs a process that converts ATP to glucose but only if the ATP balance is currently good (maybe full on ATP for at least one second?), and glucose storage is not full (or maybe even like lower than 50%?)
The organelle needs to scale its speed to not cause ATP to drop which would immediately disengange it
Probably a good idea to do some tweaks to the ATP balance and compound balance displays to not make this organelle really confusing there.
Now that I list these out, this is definitely not a good first organelle for someone to implement as it needs quite elaborate new system features to allow it to work well.
What I’d still like to get some opinions on are:
What’s a good name? I saw someone in the community suggest RuBisCO as the name / thing this is based on
And I guess that is it, though once we’ve implemented this we’ll definitely need some balancing, and once again probably need to open another issue about eventually updating auto-evo to take this into account in its calculations somehow.
I think something like a carbon-fixing protein might be accurate and similar in terms to the nitrogen fixing plastid. …Though that might also be somewhat problematic and confuse players with similar names.
Mentioning RuBisco is important as an explanation, and it’s also pretty distinct from the others so it will be easily recognized once players learn what it does. My concern is that it would not quite fit into the naming scheme of the other parts. It’s also worth noting that the other part names convey an unspoken possibility of “alternative chemistry” where as RuBisco is a very specific protein rather than a generalized concept.
Well carbon fixing is going to be incorrect anyway to use when someone eventually wants to put silicon based life into the game…
Wikipedia says that RuBisCO is the first step in binding carbon into energy rich molecules, so it is already pretty general.
Rusticyanin is named after a a specific protein. I don’t see a problem from that viewpoint on naming something RuBisCO. If we use the pattern “x-fixing protein” too much that’ll make really boring and easy to confuse names. So I’m personally in favour of naming it RuBisCo.
Hello, I have been a little bit busy lately and couldn’t respond earlier.
I do really hate to say this, knowing that you have already made your mind in this topis, but unfortunately RuBisCo is already being used in the game. RuBisCo is a carbon-fixing protein, this means that it uses the CO2 on the enviroment to generate Glucose/Glucolitic metabolites wasting ATP. In other words, the Calvin cycle - Wikipedia, which is indeed part of the photosynthesis so actually RuBisCo is already being “used” when the player gets the Thylakoid organelle (or the Chloroplast).
Whenever I have more time I’ll try to research more on this topic, though I really believe that Gluconeogenesis + the glucoxylate cycle is the only metabolic pathway that serves this purpose.
I guess if no one has any better names the organelle will need to be called “Glucose phosphatase” (maybe stylized as Glucose-phosphatase). To make the name look a bit more like the ones we already have I dropped the “6-” part of the name. That should be fine, right, as a slightly less specific name?
And the process can be Gluconeogenesis, which is a good name in my opinion so no alternative name would need to be come up for that