Organelle Unlocks

There’ve been concepts floating around for how to introduce an element of progression to organelles for a while. I’ve also increasingly felt a need for organelle progression while playtesting the latest versions. After playing the latest release and thinking on it, I devised a system for how it could work.

Reasons for Unlocking Organelles

These are some of the reasons I felt an unlock system was necessary. I want to make sure to add such a progression system without hindering the player's fun, rather, I think if properly implemented it would greatly enhance it.
  • I feel like some mutations are currently too easy to achieve, and we don’t have any way to make them rarer. Even if we make something cost 100 MP to place, you can literally evolve it the first time you enter the editor. Realistically, there are many rare mutations that have only rarely occurred in nature. Adding a form of progression could make achieving these feel more rewarding. Please know that I am trying so hard not to sound like that EA “the intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment” quote right now :sweat_smile:.
  • Evolution in the later stages involves a lot of progression. Just look at the Aware Stage; you can’t just evolve wings as a jellyfish. You need to evolve a cartilagenous notochord first, and then from the notochord a proper bony spine. Then from the spine you evolve segmented vertebrae. Then you evolve a shoulder bone mantle, where two sockets begin to form as you evolve arms. And finally, feathers or flaps of skin on those arms to first evolve gliding, and then flying. Same with the civilization stages, you can’t just invent fire and then in the next generation build a steam engine. Whereas in the microbe stage, WHAM I am an iron respirator now. WHAM I’m a photosynthesizer now. WHAM I produce toxins now.
  • There is already a level of unlocking present in the Microbe Stage concept. Many organelles in the Microbe Stage are initially locked behind the nucleus. Mitochondria, Chloroplasts, and other endosymbiotic organelles need to be unlocked via assimilation (still only in concept). Agents, last we discussed them, are evolved via random unlocks, where when you first evolve an agent vacuole it generates a random agent.

The System - Random Unlocks

So what do I propose? Adding an ability to randomly mutate (AKA unlock) new organelles. Let me explain how.

Any mutation that involves a unique chemical or protein starts the game originally as locked. Let’s call this group of organelles “Protein Organelles”. This includes Metabolosomes, Thylakoids, Chemosynthesizing Proteins, Rusticyanin, Nitrogenase, and the Oxytoxisome. All of those provide a unique function or process as a result of a unique chemical or protein. Additionally, future planned organelles that represent unique proteins like Antifreeze Proteins and Pigment Proteins also fall into this category. This would mean that the player starts the game only being able to place Cytoplasm, Flagellum, Pilus, or Nucleus.

Well how would the player unlock these Protein Organelles? Three ways:

  1. Spend points in the editor to randomly unlock a new Protein Organelle. This represents the cell evolving the ability to create that new protein. This is very similar to the planned agent unlocking system
  2. Absorb DNA from the environment to randomly unlock a new Protein Organelle. Every time you absorb free floating DNA in environment, there’d be a chance to unlock a random new Protein Organelle. This represents the cell acquiring the genes to create a new protein from foreign DNA.
  3. Absorb/assimilate another cell to randomly unlock a new Protein Organelle it has. Every time you absorb/assimilate a cell, you’d have a chance to unlock one of the Protein Organelles he has unlocked.

Once unlocked, a player now permanently has access to that Protein Organelle. This represents that the genes for that protein now exist in that species’ DNA. A player can place it in their cell in the same editor session, or in the next editor session if unlocked via method 2 or 3.

If we set the MP cost at 60, it would mean the player could at maximum unlock one new Protein Organelle per generation, assuming no others are found via method 2 or 3. We could lower this cost if we want to increase the rate. Also we could make all Protein Organelles cost 40MP or less so that you could at least place one in the same generation you unlocked it (or perhaps we make the first one free?). We could make some proteins more likely to unlock than others if we wanted to balance how rare they are.

Gameplay Reasoning

These are the main gameplay reasons I felt made a random unlock system best:
  • It allows for truly rare mutations. It adds a guaranteed way to ensure that organelles based on unique proteins are uncommon, and therefore extremely valuable once evolved. If you have a rival that evolves a unique protein, it’s not as simple as just “Oh well I’ll just evolve it too in my next generation”.
  • It allows for rare mutations to be more rewarding and competitive. Anti-freeze proteins are rare among life, but it gives the species who have them the competitive edge to survive in harsher environments. This lets them live in areas with way less competition. If everyone can evolve them at any time, it’s as simple as a species just plopping one onto his cell and migrating into an ice shelf the very next generation. Without unlockable Protein Organelles, environmental barriers are not very meaningful.
  • A similar system was discussed for the agent system back in the day. Why? Because it’s a little too OP to allow the player to choose EXACTLY which agent to evolve on their very first try. Instead, you evolve a random agent, and if you don’t like it, you evolve it in future generations more towards what you want it to do. It was also planned for when the player evolves unique chemicals, poisons, hormones, and pheromones in the Organism Editor.
  • There are some mutations in nature that have very few downsides. A good way to balance these would be to make them randomly unlockable, and perhaps a lower chance to unlock than the other mutations. For example, Archaea use membranes made with Isoprene instead of Fatty Acids. This has no known downsides and simply allows Archaea to survive much harsher environmental conditions. The only reason Bacteria and Eukaryotes don’t have them is by pure chance.
  • Randomness adds a level of mystery to the unlocking. You don’t know all the possibilities of what you can unlock, so it adds a level of mystery and discovery as you unlock them. Meanwhile, in the current system, you already learn of all the Protein Organelles immediately the first time you enter the editor, so there is no mystery.
  • Randomness adds a level of variability and replayability. In civilization, you start on a randomized spawn. If you always spawned in the exact same spot on the exact same map, it would get boring and predictable. This random variability adds replayability, since in new games you will spawn on new and interesting maps. In the Microbe Stage, you might unlock different Protein Organelles in each playthrough (unless you grind and try to unlock them all before advancing to Multicellular).
  • It adds a way to set strains of species apart. For example, the evolution of a certain rare mutation could become a signature of a certain species and all its descendants. Look at how the production of silk has become a hallmark of many arthropod species, who likely inherited it from a common ancestor who evolved it.
  • It allows the game to be gradually introduced to the player. Instead of them opening up the editor the first time and seeing 100 mutations, they gradually accumulate more available mutations.
  • Finally, it just feels wrong to have so many organelles (particularly with unique abilities) unlocked to the player in the very first generation. If you look at the design documents, we have a lot of planned “Protein Organelles”. Do we really want all of them to be immediately available to the player from generation 1?

Scientific Reasoning

There are many scientific reasons behind such a system:
  1. Unique proteins are rare. For example, iron reduction as a means of producing energy has only ever evolved in one order of bacteria (Desulfuromonadales) and a species called Shewanella. Photosynthesis has only ever evolved 3 times in all of evolutionary history. Speaking of photosynthesis, it first evolved without producing oxygen. Then later, oxygenic photosynthesis was evolved which was more effective. Oxygenic photosynthesis didn’t require anoxygenic photosynthesis to evolve, it was just by pure chance that it evolved later. In an alternate universe, oxygenic photosynthesis could have evolved first, or maybe even not at all. However, in the current system, the player would never choose Anoxygenic Photosynthesis because Oxygenic Photosynthesis will always be available and always be a better option.
  2. This system only applies to “Protein Organelles”. Structures like cytoplasm, flagella, pilus, nucleus, vacuole, etc. are all excluded from this list. Why? Because the latter mutations use existing proteins and fats that are simply assembled into new shapes. That is something that is very easily done in nature, it is simply telling the DNA to take proteins and fats already assembled in one part of the cell to be assembled in a different shape somewhere else. In terms of evolution, that only requires small changes to the DNA. However, the evolution of new Protein Organelles requires the evolution of entirely new and chemically unique proteins that grant entirely new abilities or processes. This is something that is much more difficult in evolution, or in other words, requires much bigger changes to the DNA and is thus much less likely.
  3. Evolution always favours repurposing existing structures over evolving new ones. Therefore, the player is incentivized to find ways to use currently available structures/organelles to adapt to its threats over unlocking new ones. Unlocking new ones should only be in times of emergency when there’s nothing to lose, or in times of plenty where the player has no immediate threats and is willing to experiment.

As an example for the scientific basis for this: If you don’t have the genes to naturally produce, say, cyanide in your DNA, it’s going to be very hard (AKA extremely unlikely) to evolve a cyanide gland to eject cyanide on your prey. However, if your body ALREADY has the genes for that, it’s simply a simple reshuffling of your genes to have them produced in a gland instead of where it already existed in your body. Another example, an organism may evolve to repurpose stomach acid he already produces in his stomach, into a spit attack fluid to damage prey.


Long story short, anything that involves the evolution of a new chemical, protein, or molecule should require a random unlock first. This random unlock would be through spending points in the editor, or acquiring DNA from the environment or other cells.

I’m interested to hear your guys’ input, and whether this is a viable method to add some progression, rarity, and realism to the so called “Protein Organelles”.

EDIT: I put my reasoning in spoilers since the post was already long enough as is.


I had some free time, so I tried to draft up a concept of what the first method of unlocking “Protein Organelles”, where you do it in the editor, would look like. Please know that I am by no means an artist.

A new button would be added to the editor that would be used to take you to the “Unlock new organelles” or “Unlock new DNA” screen.

Once you click on it, it would zoom you in onto the hex of your cell where the DNA is located (the lines are supposed to show you zooming in). In prokaryotes this would be the starting hex, and in eukaryotes the nucleus.

Once zoomed in, you appear at the new screen where you can unlock new organelles. Here you can spend Mutation Points to unlock new “Protein Organelles”, and see the past ones you unlocked. Clicking Finish would take you back to the main screen of the Microbe Editor. I figured it would be cool for this screen to make you feel like you are physically immersed amongst the DNA inside your cell, so that you feel like you are making direct changes to your cell’s DNA.

Anyways, this is just a concept, I’m interested to hear what you guys think about the unlocking system overall?


So you have 9 gameplay arguments in favour of this system. I’d be interested to know what you think the downsides of it are?

Presumably all systems have strengths and weaknesses?


I think the main two reservations I had when spitballing this idea in my head were the randomness, and the point spending.

Whenever you introduce randomness, there’s always the chance that you don’t unlock the proteins you want. For example, I might want to get Metabolosomes, but by chance I roll three times across three generations and I never unlock it. A way we could counter this would be to allow more unlocks per generation. I also feel like it is okay to have this randomness, since some aspects of the game will by necessity need to be random. For example in the Industrial Stage I can’t simply choose for Coal to spawn in my country, it’s out of my control. Instead my agency is in handling the resources I do spawn with, and finding means to acquire the ones I didn’t via diplomacy, trade, or warfare. Except in this case it’s proteins like Metabolosomes or Antifreeze Proteins instead of resources like Gold or Coal. But that’s just my thought on it.

The point spending issue is this: Does it make sense to spend 60MP to unlock a Protein, and then still have to spend points to place it in your cell? Perhaps this could be solved by making the first copy free?

EDIT: Also, I know you asked about downsides, but I was just thinking that perhaps such a system could be combined with evolving agents? When you think about it the “Protein Organelles” are like internal agents that perform unique abilities inside your cell, whereas Agents proper are ejected out of the cell to perform unique abilities externally. Scientifically speaking, both are typically just proteins. It’s an interesting thought.

1 Like

I really like your concepts here! While I am typically against inserting too many factors that are out of the player’s control, especially when it comes to editing their cell, I feel you make some compelling arguments as to why we aught to implement a feature like this. In particular evolution in reality lacks intelligent design, species dont get to choose their traits and features, they just happen to acquire them through chance. I feel your concept here provides a decent balance between reality and player-driven evolution.

It seems you’re aware of the consequences of RNG already, as we know it takes away a player’s control which is both potentially exciting and infuriating. fortunately If this system turns out to be more infuriating than the former there are lots of ways we could remedy that with features that lend more player agency such as your thoughts on allowing players to have a free unlock each generation.
Others ways to counter this could include:

  1. Having the option to reroll once for a different gene if you dont like what you get for free or lesser price.
  2. Sacrificing some genes you dont use to roll for new ones instead of spending precious MP.
    There’s no doubt more ways we could give the player more control other the random outcomes but thats all I’ve got for now.

This concept also kind of tickles me in it’s bizarre similarity to “gacha” mechanics you often see in mobile games. Not a bad thing, mind you.


Definitely, I’m also usually against adding randomness to the editor. When I was first wondering about how we could add progression, I thought of random unlocks and my first reaction was to dismiss it. But the more and more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve started to feel like it would be the best way to add organelle progression, and create that balance that you described.

I think all three of those suggested stopgaps for player frustration, if the system turns out to be too frustrating, sound great!

I know, same here. I’m hoping that we can capture just enough of that feeling so that there’s this exciting “gamble” feeling whenever you unlock some new DNA. Imagine a new player who plays 3 times and never unlocks Rusticyanin, just by chance. Then, on the 4th playthrough, he rolls and unlocks Rusticyanin. On the 4th playthrough of the game, he still gets to learn about new organelles, and is able to play a totally new playstyle he didn’t know about before (feeding on iron instead of glucose).

1 Like

Yeah nice points. I agree randomness can be both fun and annoying.

Re the agents system the “lock and key” system has always bugged me as I think it’s probably too complex and general to be fun.

If we had specific, pre-baked, agents that would be much easier from a gameplay perspective and, as you say, they’d then fit more in line with how the editor works now.

There was in the past the thought of having the nucleus have slots which could filled with hexes of protein or agents etc which sounds a bit similar to what you are thinking. Not sure if there’s anything interesting in that direction.


This system makes sense if there are many possible proteins to unlock. Right now there are only 6 organelles and nothing would stop the player to grind as a single cytoplasm hex until they reproduced 6 times, which wouldn’t take too long anyway. Would it be possible to have editor sessions were no special proteins are unlocked to avoid this? Or better yet. If you don’t unlock new proteins, could the proteins you have be upgraded instead?

This could work well with this system imo, limited slots would force the player to choose which proteins they wanna keep and which they prefer to ditch out. And of course they could always add more DNA to have more slots.


It’s been a while, can you remind me again what the “Lock and Key” system for agents was? Is that where each agent has a randomly generated hash-code that determines its properties and what can resist it?

As DonGoro said, I feel like if we wanted a “Slot” system could fit in quite easily. It could be added as a cap for how many Proteins and/or Agents you have unlocked at a time.

This is true, but the player can already do this in the current system, unless we wanted to add a further layer of progression? I think this is where other restrictions may come into play. For example, this means giving up 6 turns of evolution, where you cannot respond to your changing environment with any changes in the editor for 6 generations. Also, even if you unlock all 6, your cell probably won’t be energy efficient enough to maintain all 6 of those proteins placed as hexes.

Additionally, we have quite a number of proteins planned. On top of the current proteins, we have quite a few proteins we want to implement, and quite a few more that have been mentioned but never agreed upon. These are some off the top of my head:

  • Proteins that grant environmental tolerance: Antifreeze proteins, heat resistance proteins, pigment proteins
  • Proteins for perception: Photoreceptor proteins, eyespot, chemoreceptor proteins, thermoreceptor proteins, mechanoreceptor proteins
  • Proteins for creating energy: Metabolosomes, thylakoids, nitrogenase, rusticyanin
1 Like

Yeah this was the last discussion re Lock and Key.

You have it right, the idea was that each organelle has a lock code and each agent has a key code and the closer they match the greater the effect. And then you can alter your codes over time.

It’s nice I think because it’s an adaptive system which is somewhat close to real protein binding.

However it’s also quite complex to explain and feels very un-gamey. Putting things in slots that have obvious effects might have a better and more obvious feel to it. Slots are also nice because they help with balancing, even if everything is good you can only have a certain amount.

One thing I’ve always quite liked conceptually is “everything is a placeable hex”. The reason being it unifies it all under one drag and drop interface. Like in kerbal when you add control systems you do it the same way as you add tanks or engines.

There’s also been that concept floating around for like the nucleus, or a nucleoid, only letting you place some capped number of hexes before needing to add another nucleus. That is sort of similar to slots I guess. It would also make sense of multinucleates which I think could be cool to include as they really exist and really it’s just dropping in more nuclei which I imagine is not so bad from a code perspective.

Also yeah the eyespot is one of my favourite microbial structures, I’d love to see that, pun not intended but enjoyed.

1 Like

I think I had a suggestion for eyespots at one point, which I dont think we discussed. My idea was that an eye spot could help your species migrate to sunnier patches. So instead of moving one patch, you would move two patches (dropping off some of your population in the patch you skipped) to simulate your species ability to follow the sun over the generations. Of course this would only really make sense when we implement a dynamic patch map that changes over time (and also maybe have far away patches hidden).

But yeah, im not sure if this is the place to discuss ideas for eyespots again :stuck_out_tongue:

An idea which I also thought about when it comes to organelle unlocking. I was thinking that a organelle upgrade/specialization could be used to unlock organelles. Say a vacuole could be upgraded to either be larger or contain a specific compound. You choose to upgrade it to hold a specific compound. In next editor session you can upgrade it again, this time you might have the option to upgrade it to contain toxins and then unlock toxin vacuoles. The reason why i thought about it this way, is to make the unlocking of organelles being kind of like discovering new tools without it being too random, so that the player still has a sense or urgency and hopefully surprise when they come across something new. I do like your idea for proteins, so this idea would probably only apply for non-protein organelles.

Come to think of it, I think it would actually be really cool to do it the following way:
Proteins are unlocked randomly like you suggested
Then organelles would be unlocked via endosymbiotic (if I understand it currectly) or by upgrading your proteins
Then unlock more specialized organelles through organelle upgrades/specialization



Oh right right, now I remember. Yeah, my initial impression is that I like the flexibility of the Lock and Key system because it allows for such a dynamic range of agent codes. However, as you mentioned I feel it does have it’s drawbacks. I like the idea of pre-set agents as well, but I’m not totally set on the slots system. I would prefer to aim for soft caps over hard caps wherever possible, perhaps with something like reduced efficacy for additional agents as you add more. Regardless, this is definitely a hefty subject worthy of its own thread.


On your point about organelle upgrades and specialization, that was actually exactly what I was thinking, and is also partially planned. As you mentioned, I think it’s best that Protein organelles have the random unlock system in the OP. However, other organelles would also have their forms of progression. Mitochondria and plastids (chloroplasts, chemoplasts, etc.) would be locked behind assimilation, unless the cell already had the proteins when they were a prokaryote. Many internal membrane based organelles (vacuoles, lysosomes, peroxisomes, etc.) would be locked behind the nucleus. We could have the external organelles (flagella, pilus, cilia) be locked behind a “cytoskeleton” organelle.

And then furthermore, many of these organelles could upgrade/crossgrade between each other. For example regular cilia (used for motion) could crossgrade to sensory cilia, or directional cilia. Pilus could crossgrade to injector pilus, straw pilus, ejecting pilus, etc.


A bit late to the party, but I’ll comment on some things.

This sounds very much like the perfect thing to accomplish with Organelle Upgrades

I don’t think this is a good idea, as a complementary method this would be fine, but if this is the primary method playthroughs after the first one will be too annoying as the player likely knows what kind of playthrough they want to go for next. So if the organelles you get is too random it’s going to feel terrible.

This is similar to the endosymbiosis idea where there wouldn’t really be premade organelles (or the eukaryotic organelles wouldn’t exist), instead the player goes around engulfing bacteria to unlock placing them in their cell.

Wouldn’t it be much simpler to just use an idea some community member suggested: make placing the first organelle of its type cost way more, and subsequent copies much cheaper.

@tjwhale’s philosophy is (was) to balance the game so that if you add useless organelles, you’ll die due to lack of energy.

Some randomness is good for replayability, but I think that randomness that really messes with the player are not good. For example if someone wants to do a “plant run” next, but doesn’t end up unlocking the random organelles they need, they are screwed.

I’ve seen a lot of complaints and let’s plays on 0.5.0 and 0.5.1 where the player simply doesn’t find any needed compounds for 5 minutes, that’s not fun. But that doesn’t really like happen to me. So the randomness in the spawn system makes it so that some players randomly have a terrible experience with Thrive and might drop playing the game before getting through it.

I’m all for adding unlock conditions for most of the organelles, so that the first few generations the player would only have like 4 choices of organelles.

It would be so easy to turn this system into lootboxes :laughing:

I don’t think this example really is fully the same. With the coal example and other kind of industry resource, you can work towards it. In the microbe protein case it’s literally just rolling dice and praying to RNG Jesus. No way for the player to have agency.

Based on the latest agent discussions I would like to go the route that you first get a basic agent, and then you can improve it gradually by spending MP in the direction you want. So that wouldn’t be random either.

A big part of Thrive is that the player is like an intelligent designer trying to beat evolution…

Have you read that organelle upgrades discussion I linked. It seems to be a pretty popular idea. One that I’d much prefer to added randomness.

Except if the player already has a specific run in mind.

From reading things posted in the Thrive community it already seems to be a thing that players recommend specific “runs” to each other, like “have you tried an iron run yet?” encouraging each other to experiment.
Randomness would make that a problem if you already have the general build in mind when starting a new game.

Good example of how organelle upgrades is a popular feature with a lot of suggested upgrade paths already.

You seem to be saying here that by having organelle upgrades and endosymbiosis, we wouldn’t need the randomness suggested in this thread after all?


You raise alot of good points here! Especially with how many players certainly seem to want to be able to have a great deal of control on what they evolve into. This is definitely something I would like to try making a poll on in the community forums or such to gauge the overall preferences of the community, assuming enough developers are in support of such a system. We could probably make some compromises should opinions be somewhat divided.
That being said, I agree with your apprehension of randomization of unlocking parts. As you noted it takes away from the control a player has over their species; and while that’s an exciting gameplay feature, we need to make sure that our community would enjoy such an element before depriving them of the great deal of control Thrive seems to have featured since it’s conception.
By the way when I said evolution in reality lacks intelligent design I wasn’t actually thinking about that goal of Thrive at the time, but now that you remind me, I suppose I should emphasize that it’s best we think pretty carefully on how we want to give players some control over the random outcomes from such a feature as I mentioned before. (I kind of like naggorath’s idea of there being seperate systems for the organelles and proteins but it could potentially be pretty jarring.)

Anyhow, I don’t believe I have seen that idea on making a larger first time cost to organelles but it seems like a nice simple way of encouraging players to think about what they are intending to do with their cell before committing to it. Though we would need a good way to communicate to the player that there’s a marked up cost on first purchase, I’m sure that wouldn’t be hard.
Organelle upgrades are something I’ve been eyeing for a while now, I really love the concept and they seem to be a great way to give players more means of customization and adaptation, as well as giving new flavors to parts and mechanisms. They also introduce that lovely gradual sense of progress that people seem to love. It’s not mutually exclusive from unlock systems though I’m sure you know, some upgraded forms of a part could potentially require a protein you dont have at the time, or the organelle itself may not be available for whatever reason. It’s alot to think about, and I definitely want to take the time to do so eventually.

On an unrelated note, I came up with a hastily drawn concept on how we could make a protein slot system work based on Nickthenick’s brief mention of how he would prefer if the system didn’t have a hard limit. I suppose I should take it elsewhere though as to avoid sidetracking the discussion



Very true, and many of those points were my main reservations while thinking of this idea. By the way, I should clarify that I was intending that this system would actually would exist alongside the organelle upgrades (which I definitely think are important to add). So for example, you unlock Nitrogenase, and then over successive generations you can spend points to upgrade it. I would definitely not want this to replace organelle upgrades at all.

Yeah, if it turns out that the randomness is frustrating, I was thinking that some of the stopgaps I mentioned and Buckly mentioned could be useful in reducing the RNG (if we do implement random unlocks).

Yeah this would exist alongside the possibility to assimilate organelles via endocytosis. If you are a prokaryote, engulfing other cells can unlock metabolosomes, thylakoids, pigment proteins, or antifreeze proteins if they have them. If you are a eukaryote assimilating other cells, then you can unlock the eukaryotic versions of those organelles: mitochondria, chloroplasts, etc. Organelles like antifreeze proteins would be on both lists since they’re not prokaryote/eukaryote specific.

That’s definitely possible, and I remember suggesting that as well in the past. The only drawback I see to this is that you can technically still place any Protein Organelle in generation 1, even if it costs 100MP. This means you can’t get the benefits of limiting rare and powerful proteins.

Yeah that’s very true. One thing that I want to clarify though is that these proteins are not the only means by which a cell can access a playstyle. For example, in our own evolutionary history the microbes in our lineage never gained “metabolosomes” as a prokaryote. Instead, current theory is that they evolved into eukaryotes as anaerobes, and then assimilated mitochondria and became aerobes. So a cell can always assimilate cells as a eukaryote to gain abilities, if they didn’t unlock them earlier as a prokaryote.

Also, there are some other organelles that also unlock in a randomish fashion as well, unless I’ve missed discussions where the concept on them have changed. The mitochondria has a chance to unlock upon assimilation of a prokaryote with metabolosomes, the nucleus upon assimilation of any prokaryote, the chloroplast upon assimilation of a prokaryote with thylakoids, etc.

But anyways, I’m not married to the idea of the system it definitely does come with its drawbacks.

Ooh, I’m excited to see your concept!


Are you talking about the future, or the current game?
All engulfing related organelle unlocks were removed. Players were very confused by needing to engulf 3 randomly floating around vacuole looking things to unlock things.

I’m familiar with the balancing @tjwhale tried to do so coming from that direction. Once again I want to mention that the game balance itself could make it so that going first for some really specific organelle just basically kills you because the cell ends up way too unviable.

Reading what the community thinks and reacting to it is a great process I think. In general I think that’s a core part of good game design, really taking time to understand how the game feels for you and others and then using that understanding to choose how to improve it.

One of the hardest things I think is understanding the new player experience, because we can’t unlearn what we know and become new players again. So it’s hard to find people who can have it and talk about it.

So yeah that aspect sounds great.

1 Like

Ohh okay, I hadn’t even noticed that. Are there still plans to have assimilation of cells required as a prerequisite for the endosymbiotic organelles?

Definitely, I think that would be an interesting insight into common opinion on such a feature.

That’s the way that endosymbiosis works, right? At least I got the picture that it is very similar process to engulfing to develop such and symbiotic relationship between species.

I’ve been asking for concrete endosymbiosis game designs and plans to be made for a while now.

Oh my bad, I thought it was already in the final concept but it could have been something discussed during the previous set of developers.

From what I understand, the plan was to have all endosymbiotic organelles locked by default. Then, anytime you assimilate a cell with the corresponding proteins (such as thylakoids for chloroplasts), you have a small chance to unlock the corresponding organelle. The original chance was something like 1/50 but obviously that’s a number we would need to discover through testing and balancing.