Reproduction System Overhaul


Completely agree with what moopli says.

  1. I was thinking that a good idea for right now would be to make all cell processes work close to complete efficiency, and then in the future releases, we could “downgrade” them and allow the player to evolve them back to an optimum efficiency. So for now, DNA should be kept as a separate stage.
  2. I’m currently working on procedural movement for the organelles, so it shouldn’t be too hard to scale, say, mitochondria along the y-axis and then when they get too big, split them in half.
  3. Yeah, so we could create a process that simply uses up protein and fatty acids to show that some organelles are constantly being reused. Alternatively, we could add an extra cost to digesting food obtained by phagocytosis (the cost of making the lysosome).


Okay, so I’ll try to implement new reproduction system when I have time. This is what I understood from the above discussion, correct me if I’m wrong:


  1. Every organelle has a set compound cost; a bin of fatty acids and protein that the cell is unable to access.
    a. When the cell is “birthed” into the environment this bin is half full.
    b. When the cell takes damage, the affected organelles bin is partially emptied. If the bin is completely empty, the organelle is shut off.
    c. When the cell has an excess amount of fatty acids and protein and has full health, the organelle bins are filled up.
  2. The rate/proper functioning of the organelle is proportional to the bin fullness.
    a. If the bin is half empty, the organelle functions as expected.
    b. If the bin is completely full, the organelle functions at double efficiency (e.g. twice the storage for vacuoles, twice the rate of photosynthesis for chloroplasts)
    c. If the bin is less than half empty, the organelle must have been damaged, so it doesn’t work as well. 1/4 the bin is 1/2 the processing efficiency.
  3. Organelles change visually proportionally to the fullness of the bin.
    a. If the bin is half empty, organelles are normal size.
    b. If the organelle has been damage (less than half full), it starts to turn red, and if the bin is completely empty the organelle becomes black.
    c. If it is more than half empty, the organelle is scaled, so it looks bigger.
    d. If the bin gets filled up completely, the organelle divides into two different smaller organelles of normal size. These organelles stay at half-empty bins (unless they are damaged by toxins) and never go above half empty, so once an organelle divides in half, it will stay like that.

S, G2, M

Once the player passes the G1 phase (all organelles have divided) and has enough compounds for the next phases, the “divide” button pops up. In real life, the cell spends most of its time in G1 and if it enters the S phase, it usually goes all the way through mitosis, so I think it’s okay to mush these into one stage.

Pressing the button will take some more nucleic acids, fatty acids, and protein from the cell’s storage, and the cell will divide.


We will completely ignore any organelles that are added in the editor, and will assume they cost nothing. Alternatively, if this poses a problem for CPA, we can just add it to the reproductive cost from the S phase.

Pressing Finish

Finishing takes you back to the environment. You have half the number of organelles as the big cell you broke off from (which doubled in size during the G1 phase). In other words, the cycle repeats itself.

Future Release Plans

What do you mean ignore any organelles added in the editor? Do you mean in this instance as an example?


That’s a nice way of representing the CPA “locked” compounds bin. What it’s designed to represent is Protein, Fats and Amino Acids locked away inside the structure of the cell so yeah, having a little bin for each organelle would work fine for that.

It might be worth getting the final list of compounds from the CPA master list and using those. Like you need to store more DNA to be able to divide your nucleus etc. Though you could set up the system first and then change the compound list later.

Well what would health mean in this case as presumably overall health is gone and “organelle bin fullness” is now the measure of health? The way it works in the CPA is that some percentage (I think 10%) of your compounds are locked away each time step. This means that the cell is always locking protein away and if protein is low the amount locked away is low too. In the CPA prototype with the thresholds the thing that tells the cell to make more protein is protein being below the “low threshold” so, if that’s what we’re going with, you’ll need to keep locking protein away until it gets below this threshold, otherwise the cell won’t make more.

Do you want to have this “growth mode” where you are locking compounds away be toggleable? Might be nice if the player can turn it on and off if they want to fight or are going through a period of starvation.

The CPA prototype is fine with the changing blueprint. Basically a population is measured by the number of compounds it holds in it’s locked bin. If it’s blueprint changes (like another organelle is added) then the population number is just scaled down proportionally so the amount of compounds the species holds stays the same. The chief control over the CPA system is conservation of compounds, we don’t really care if it’s in 1 million tiny cells of 1 gigantic one, so long as we keep track of compounds in and out of the species, then we know it’s under control.

All sounds great!


When you divided you lost a certain amount of compounds to the second daughter cell that you had to synthesize; however, the number of compounds you lost only includes the compounds required to make the organelles present in your cell, and does not include the compounds that would be locked in any additional organelles. But as @tjwhale mentioned this shouldn’t be a problem.

One system overhaul at a time :stuck_out_tongue: We’ll eventually represent health with something that takes into account atp, organelle health, vacuole storage, etc… but for now we will just have an HP bar as in the previous versions. This isn’t a big deal since the only combat mechanics present are engulfment (which affects the whole cell) and oxytoxy (which doesn’t target anything specific and just lowers health).

I guess we could make it a hotkey, but I don’t really see the point. Growth will always have the least priority, and the only time it is used is if the cell is in optimal condition with full health and large amounts of ATP. I cannot think of a time when turning growth mode off will be beneficial. But then again, growing should be treated just as any process—takes in compounds and increases organelle size as a product—so if you can control rate of respiration, you can control growth rate.


I’ve actually changed my mind on this and I support not having a growth mode, provided we can make sure the cell will keep it as a low priority and not let it interfere with the essential processing for staying alive.


I agree with Nick, I don’t think visual growth is necessary.

If this is effectively wrapped up for the time being, could someone update the GDD at some point? I’ll have some free time soon (I hope) so I can do it then, but I’m not sure I completely understand it. @TheCreator do you have Wiki editing ability? If not Nick or I should be able to give it to you. If anyone does update it, make sure to check the other pages for references to the reproduction system, to make sure everything stays coherent.


I agree with Nick**


I do not have wiki editing ability, but I’ll happily edit the wiki if someone grants it to me. As for the growth mode, I have a feeling you (@oliveriver) and @nickthenick are taking about different things. We agreed on not having a defined growth mode and a defined play mode (which is what I think nick is what nick supported in the beginning but now isn’t); the cell simply grows whenever it has excess compounds that it would otherwise vent (throw out into the environment), which in my opinion has nothing to do with visual growth. Though feel free to correct me.

On the other hand, not having visual growth is more trouble that it’s worth. If an organelle fills its bin completely, we add a second organelle to the cell. As a result, the number of organelles would slowly double, and the membrane would stretch to accomodate them.


Yeah to clarify I do support visual growth, what I’ve decided against is a mode to toggle for growth. On the one hand it would give the player a tactical choice between growing and survival, but on the other hand I feel like it’s an unnecessary feature if the cell will be smart enough to prioritize it’s own compound use anyways.