Devblog #22: The Stabby Update

We’re back with another release for you, and just in time for Christmas! We present Thrive 0.4.3.

This new version includes the UI overhaul many of you have been waiting for, and a fan favourite, the pilus, letting you live out all your microbe-stabbing dreams. We’ve also improved existing features like the patch map with better patch condition displays and AI species spreading to other patches.

Download the launcher below to get the latest version, and read on for more information.

Thrive 0.4.3

Without further ado, let’s see what this new update brings.


We’re happy to deliver an organelle many of you have been waiting a long time for, the predatory pilus. This new external appendage will stab other cells to release their juicy innards. Take precautions near balloons if you happen to find any in a prehistoric microscopic tidepool.

New UI

It’s not wholly implemented yet (see: editor screen) but we’ve made a start at replacing the old UI with one that might (might) end up as the permanent one.

It’s rather swish with its transforming compound panels and circular bars. The environment gameplay screen is now less cluttered, clearer and more efficient, which will aid you in your quest to survive.

Appearance Tab

The old UI has a few final tricks up its sleeve though. For instance, we’ve added the appearance tab to the microbe editor. Now you can place specific membrane types on your cell and (drumroll please) customise its colour. The system is pretty rudimentary at the moment, but at least you can now keep up with the cells around you in their varied hues.

AI Patch Spread

In the previous release, only the player species could move between patches, triggered by the player’s own movement via the patch map view. Now you’ll see your old friends and nemeses follow you through the world, the next step on the road to a full evolution simulation.

ATP Balance Bar

Need help designing a cell that won’t immediately die of starvation? Well now you have some. The ATP balance bar in the editor tells you whether your cell can produce enough ATP for sustainable survival.

Dynamic Tooltips

Also new to the editor UI, tooltips now update to match your current patch, showing you how efficient a process will be in your neck of the woods.

Other Improvements

As usual, we made a bunch of fixes to improve the overall experience.

We’ve moved the game to a variable tick rate, fixing a bug where some users would experience severe delay between keyboard input and on-screen motion, making the game much smoother for everyone.

There’s also a new pause button as part of the UI overhaul, which (unlike many of the other buttons currently) works. In future, you’ll be able to use this to save creatures you find in the environment, or perhaps stop to contemplate your fate before you’re attacked by a load of pilus-wielding predators.

Other additions include: more patch details shown in the patch map, fix for undo not restoring removed cytoplasm, improved population increase tracking from escaping engulfment, organelle definitions moved to JSON format for easier modding, fixed right click freezing the game, and fixed ATP movement costs sometimes being incorrectly calculated.

The Future

With this release done, what can you expect in the near future?

New Developers

Very sadly, we’ve had to say goodbye to two long standing team members, TJWhale and Untrustedlife, who have left the team for personal reasons and to pursue other projects.

We’re therefore on the lookout for new members, particularly programmers and game designers, so expect more outreach activity as we seek to fill the voids in the game (and our hearts) they left.

Progress Update Pause

Due to busy schedules over the holiday season, we won’t be able to pump out progress updates for the next few weeks. They’ll restart come January though, so don’t worry, we won’t have died.


We’re looking to keep up our semi-regular release schedule with 0.4.4 in the new year, hopefully in three months’ time. We don’t entirely know what this will include yet, but with any luck it’ll be just as fully featured as this one.

And with that, we bid you farewell, and happy holidays!