Release planning for 0.5.9 (and

Time for release planning again as 0.5.8 has been released.

I think the approach I took last time of basically just putting things people actually want to work on into the milestone, didn’t really affect things. So I think that’s a fine approach to keep for a while.

There’s at least one really serious bug with translations being able to crash the game in 0.5.8 so we need a patch release anyway. And besides that I want to update us to the latest Godot version, and see if the Steam integration can be made differently to make that version work for people who use the outdated OS Windows 7. I want to also try one recent performance improvement suggestion and add performance options to select the game entity limit.
As optional extra stuff I think it would be awesome to get the dynamic MP done (I think I finally want it enough to actually help finish it myself, and get the early multicell editor also work with it), and to do some small modding improvements. And finally maybe a new sample mod would be a bit of fun. I’ve been thinking about making an actually difficult challenge mode: random organelles get added each editor cycle that you can’t remove.

As for 0.5.9 I don’t really have anything else than working on the even later prototypes on my agenda for that release.

Here’s the milestones I created (and put a few things in):

For reference if anyone wants to find some (concrete) work items to suggest here’s the planning board, where I threw quite a lot of stuff back into the backburner as having it in the higher priority columns doesn’t seem to help:


I think I’m personally going to focus heavily on cilia, and get those done… Since I feel like that’s something that I could feasibly do in the 3 months given.

I’ll just need someone who can program to help out, and probably learn some level of programming myself…

I’d like to put my money where my mouth is and finally get into programming. I’ve been building myself up to it for a while, and given I spent a year as a software developer a while back, I think I’ve got the skills for it. Although I never used C#, I did a lot of work in Java, so…close enough.

Unfortunately I won’t have time for anything until I’m free of university (I’ve only been around so much this last week due to Easter break). That will be the end of May. So I can’t help with a 0.5.8 patch, but should get at least something into 0.5.9.

I compiled a list of things I’d like to work on, roughly in order of estimated difficulty so that I can work on them in order as I get up to speed. Some of them are things I’ve personally wanted to see in the game for a while, so they don’t really match the list of priorities. If anyone wants to tell me something here should not be prioritised in the near future, please do.

  • Adjust some sound effect volumes.

  • Finish my alternative movement control scheme mod. The actual code changes are done, I just didn’t get time to package it into a proper mod (probably using Thrive Harmony).

  • Pause hotkey. I seem to pause the game a lot, and it’s annoying not having this as a hotkey. To avoid player confusion, this would come with a GUI element when the game is paused telling the player to press the key to unpause.

  • Some basic Easter eggs, from this list or elsewhere.

  • Improve the visuals of the chemoreceptor line. Currently it’s too thin and visually uninteresting.

  • New game settings screen, including a functioning LAWK toggle, but only placeholder planet generation. The planet generation seems the hardest part of this, and I’m of the opinion that it’s not necessary to implement in order to include this screen, and can instead be added later. There’s scope to include a few other things here, such as rudimentary difficulty settings.

  • Providing LAWK gets implemented above, add the thermoplast.

  • Add fossilisation. This was a feature planned eons ago, where players could select species from their environment when the game is paused and save them for later viewing in either the freebuild editor or a content library (similar to Spore’s). Given that we have both pausing and a method to generate PNGs from species in the game now, this may not be massively difficult. Or it might be. I don’t know yet.

  • Slime. Ok, hear me out. This is another agent, and one planned a long way back. Once the player adds a slime secreting organelle, they produce slime (or mucus or whatever a more scientifically accurate description would be), much like the way they currently produce OxyToxy. They can then release it into the environment, creating a cloud. Cells which swim through this cloud are temporarily slowed and temporarily can’t engulf. I think this would be a good addition for two reasons: a) it sounds fun, and b) it would nerf engulfing, which can get OP at times.

  • Day/night cycles. Probably requires more design work than coding to be honest, but I’d like to see it in the game soon, if only so we have a reason to add bioluminescent organelles.

  • Adjust membrane maths to create cell shapes closer to their hex design. Definitely tricky, but I am doing a maths degree, so maybe I can give it a shot.

I highly doubt I can get through all of this before 0.5.9, and it may be more fruitful to ignore some of these and jump on other issues. But if we’re talking about things people want to work on, then this is my list.


As Thrive steadily gets more and more attention, it’s becoming steadily clear that there are some sore spots in it’s current state. I believe that at this point, an improved spawn system is imperative for Thrive if we want to help keep more players engaged, as it’s current implementation can throw off the interest of many less patient players. Thus I am classifying it as highest priority.


Following the slime point, we really need to implement a proper agent system. Even if that system is backend code instead of all the jazz we talked about in that thread.

The most important thing to add to Thrive would be a new programmer. I would suggest you use whatever you think would be easy to finish as an onramp and work forward from there.

I was planning on working on multicellular AI for this release, but I also want to see the spawn system fixed, so I’m going to take a crack at it over the next couple days. I have a new job starting after that, so I may have to drop the work and pass it on to someone else, but I’ll be able to communicate that clearly if it happens.


These are all really cool projects! I’m particularly excited to see how you tackle planet generation, because of the different climates, terrain, etc that can come from them.

Fossilization and Slime also sound really cool! I can’t wait to see how your projects work out! ^^

I really want to bring Natural Selection into the game fully. Maybe as a togglable option between it and Auto Evo, but in a game like this, it has to be an option.

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Just to clarify, I said implementing the new settings screen excluding planet generation. Or maybe just adding placeholder visuals for it.

I’ve mentioned this before, but whatever the evolution algorithm ends up being, it will be called Auto-Evo. It’s too ingrained in the game’s identity to replace that name.

Very much agree with this. If it hasn’t been fixed by the time I feel I’m ready to work on it, I’ll probably volunteer to help.

Ohhhh gotcha! Sorry sometimes my brain mixes up words. Still exciting work though!

While this is probably a discussion for another thread, I think AutoEvo in its current form should also stay in the game. I believe having two entirely different algorithms with the same name would get very confusing.

I’ll try finishing the engulfment revamp as it unfortunately didn’t make it into the newest release. And with the new dev cycle time available maybe I’ll also work on new lysosomes organelle to complement the rework.


I dont want to make any empty promises as much as i can so patch map and some colony/multi bugs where possible.

I can make a lysosome organelle model for you if it helps.

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Related to the mod improvements I mentioned I kind of wanted to work on, includes bundling Harmony directly with Thrive, and making an example mod using Harmony.

I wouldn’t expect it to be. I kind of want to myself reimplement the way Spore stored creature data in the PNG. This would be a pretty interesting thing to work on, at least for me. My initial guess is that they either embedded JSON or binary data in the file metadata or just appended at the end of the file. These both likely break if the image is uploaded to some site that does resizing or metadata stripping.

I’ll put the sector spawn system PR in the 0.5.9 milestone. Maybe that’ll help.

Unless the “natural selection” mode is extremely slow, which I assume it will end up being. Enough so that the game is not really playable in its current state. If any kind of simulation can be made fast enough, it should replace the current auto-evo algorithm as a better version. But yeah, that would still be called auto-evo.

5 posts were split to a new topic: Saving species in an image file

That will certainly helps, though I probably won’t start working on it until sometime but if you want you could model the lysosome (and maybe icon?) soonish so I could have it ready made once I finally need it.

Yeah I can do that for you! Gimme a few days and I’ll sort something out.

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This is something that has been imagined for awhile. Anyone working on a random patch graph generator? Given patches get randomized names now it is high time this gets added, with some options (eg, “i want a frozen planet” → hit start game → new menu for making some pre game choices → choose ice planet → get a patch map with several ice shelfs generated → start game )
It would certainly require design work, and an algorithm for generating sensible patch graphs.