For a quick, placeholder tutorial, this is my suggestion:

The first time you click New Game, it takes you to the tutorial screen, which is a dark background with white text, with occasional pictures, reading:

On a distant alien planet, millions of years of meteor impacts and volcanism have led to the development of a new phenomenon in the universe… life. These simple microbes reside in the deep regions of the ocean, and have diversified into many species. You are one of the many species that have evolved.

To survive this hostile world, you must collect compounds from your environment and evolve each generation to compete against the other species of cells.


Change Orientation : Mouse cursor
Movement : WASD


Compounds exist in coloured clouds in your environment. Move your cell over these clouds to absorb them (provided you have enough room in your cell to store it). (Insert picture of compound clouds).

The colour of the cloud identifies which compound it is. The different compounds are:

White – Glucose
Pinkish Red – Amino Acids
Dark Red – Proteins
Yellow – Ammonia
Light Blue – Oxygen
Dark Blue – Carbon Dioxide


ATP is the energy of your cell. (Insert picture of ATP display on UI). ATP is used by your cell to move and to stay alive. However, you cannot find ATP in the environment. ATP must be harvested from compounds in your environment.

Every cell is composed of cytoplasm. Cytoplasm allows a cell to turn glucose into ATP (in a process called Glycolysis), so absorbing glucose clouds a common way for most species to make ATP. Cytoplasm also serves as storage for compounds you collect.

Mitochondria can produce much more ATP from glucose than you’d get from glycolysis, but they also require oxygen. A cell with mitochondria will want to absorb glucose clouds and oxygen clouds. (Insert picture of a mitochondrion).

Chloroplasts allow glucose to be produced from exposure to sunlight (at the cost of carbon dioxide). Then, the cell can use this glucose to produce ATP (either through its cytoplasm or with mitochondria). (Insert picture of a chloroplast).

Vacuoles are used for storing compounds you have collected. Your cell is already able to store compounds in its cytoplasm, but vacuoles are far more efficient. (Insert picture of vacuole)

Toxin Vacuoles produce toxins (called OxyToxyNT). Toxins can be used by the cell to attack other cells.Toxins are produced from just oxygen. Once your cell has built up some toxins, press E to eject them (and try to direct it to the cell you want to kill). (Insert toxin organelle picture)

Your cell can also engulf smaller cells to consume them. Press G to enter engulfment mode, and move over a smaller cell to engulf it. Engulfment mode slows movement and consumes ATP at a steady rate.

Reproductase is what your cell uses to reproduce. You must have at least 5 to reproduce. Reproductase is made from oxygen, glucose, amino acids (made by your cell from ammonia), and ATP.


Every time you reproduce, you will enter the Microbe Editor, where you can make changes to your species (by adding, moving, or removing organelles) to increase your success in the environment.

Each generation, you have 100 mutation points (MP) to spend, and each change (or mutation) will cost a certain amount of that MP.

At the bottom of the screen it will say “Click to continue” or “Press spacebar to continue”.

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That’s a great tutorial, but I think that it’s something more suited for a wiki. It’s just a huge wall of text, and that will probably deter people off.

Anyway, since the underlying mechanism of a tutorial will be the same, regardless of what we put in the text boxes, I think I’ll just script it now. I doubt it will take more than a couple of days.

If you don’t mind, I’d like to still use your text, just cut it down a bit and put it into separate boxes.

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Go ahead

Can there be a line in the mitochondria section that says “The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell”?

I think that instead of any arrows we should have a flashing dot. And anytime the player does something new, accompanying the flashing should be a little jingling noise.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. It might not be the most descriptive/nicest looking tutorial, but we needed something before we got all of the features in. Forgive the lag, I blame my recording tool


This is great until we can get a more organic tutorial, other then that i can’t really comment because my internet is being so bad at the moment that all I’m getting is a colorful fuzz, though i get the gist of what you’ve done… Australian internet… hmmm. although one thing now i think about it, you can probably get rid of some of the flavor text to shorten some of the dialogue boxes or we risk having people just click though them all when they see a wall of text.

Nice work! This is a much better tutorial than I thought we’d be able to add for this release.

Inevitably, a couple of things:

  • I mentioned this on Slack, but the font should be changed for all large blocks of text. The Thrive font looks great for titles and button names, but in paragraphs, lists and tooltips it’s unreadable. There are a couple of redundant font files in the Thrive download - maybe one of the sans-serif fonts would work (like the compound list)?
  • I noticed you’re using the same help panel for everything, which leads to it getting stretched. If you give me the dimensions you used, I can make some non-stretched panels if you want.

Thanks! I’ll try to use one of the non-Thrive fonts. As I mentioned on the slack channel, the compounds list actually uses the same font; it’s just easier to read because its only one word.

I’ll send you the dimensions when I have some time, do you want all of them, or just the ones that are stretching the most?

Probably all of them, but it might be a good idea use the same sized panels in multiple places so there are fewer overall.

Are you sure it’s worth it? I mean, we’ll probably be using a completely different GUI design in the next few releases.

Had this really great idea:


Awesome, some good use finally for the tooltips.

There’s something about the Thrive font that makes it unappealing to me when used in long sentences. For single words it looks good, though.

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Yeah, I tried, but I couldn’t change the font and color for tooltips :frowning:

In the Thrive looknfeel file, there’s a section where tooltips are defined. I presume changing the font there changes it for every tooltip.


Could you give me a list of all the panel dimensions you need? If some are relatively close, it would be more convenient to change all of those that are similar to the same size.

Also did you ever get around to changing the font via the looknfeel file?

I’m currently using this font:

Here is a list of all the dimensions:

    ("{{0,500},{0,390}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,260}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,220}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,400},{0,80}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,500},{0,140}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,500},{0,100}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,140}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,140}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,160}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,80}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,220}}", "Size")
    ("{{0,600},{0,100}}", "Size")

I just copied and pasted the lines, so as you can see, there is quite a bit of extra information.

Edit: Oh wait, did you mean change the font for the tooltips? I’ll do that right now.

Edit2: Okay, fixed the font.

I might have to make the ThriveGeneric dimensions bigger to fit them all in, but I can otherwise easily add all those panels to the game files without stretching. I’ll edit this post when they’re done.

I’ve thought about this for a bit and come up with a simpler solution: one panel without borders. The shadow effect made getting the dimensions correct difficult, so I abandoned it and the borders completely and went with a simplified box which won’t ever look stretched.

Here’s the updated png, and I’ll send the imageset file via Slack. All you’ll need to do is change your layout file to say “GenericPanel” wherever it currently says “HelpPanel”.