Devblog #23: Engine change part 2

Another release coming at you, here is Thrive! Wait, why isn’t it 0.4.4? Well that’s because after this release we are going to make some huge changes to the project. We are changing the engine once again, and we hope this time is for good.

While this isn’t a regular release, and certainly it isn’t the biggest one we’ve done, it brings a few new features for you to enjoy. Read on to see what’s new and what have we planned for Thrive’s future…

New engine

As we said, we are changing the engine and as some of you know that takes a lot of time (remember the one and a half years hiatus between 0.3.4 and 0.4.0?) and effort. The graphics engine has always been a problematic part of this project and after a lot of tries we’ve come to the conclusion that there aren’t any good open source options out there. That’s why we are reimplementing Thrive in Godot.

This means that we have to redo everything in the game, and that is going to take a while. There’s already a tech test version available in the forums, the good thing is that this version is playable in more devices, including those with Intel HD Graphics and Mac, and if there aren’t any complications further versions would remain compatible.

Another advantage of Godot is that it’s more user friendly and easier to learn. We are also changing the main coding language to C#, so if you or someone you know hasn’t joined Thrive because of the choice of the engine or the programming language, now is the time to reconsider. We’ll certainly need more programmers for such a huge task.

We remind you that hhyyrylainen has a Patreon, and by donating to it you’ll help Thrive develop faster and also receive some juicy and exclusive perks. Once we reach 500$ per month he’ll be able to work part time on Thrive, which will ensure continuous development, something essential for the engine change.

As you can see we have a big task ahead of us, we appreciate any help we can get. In the meantime here is a smaller release with some things we managed to make after 0.4.3.


Even if this release is smaller we still have a few neat features for you.

Cell walls

This release’s highlight are cell walls. They were introduced last patch, but this time they have an actual impact on gameplay. Depending on their toughness, they will make your cell more resistant to toxin or physical damage, some like Calcium carbonate and Silica even increase cell’s health and most of them decrease osmoregulation cost . They have their drawbacks of course, generally the tougher they are, the more they will slow down your cell and also make it absorb nutrients slower. In the end you’ll have to choose which one is the best option for each environment. For further customization you can use the Fluidity/Rigidity slider to tweak your stats even more.

Balancing tweaks

With the new changes in gameplay we need to balance the game, there were changes in the compound absorption rate to adapt to the game’s tick rate, making it harder to starve to death. Also the movement speed debuff cells receive when engulfed has been increased, so it’s easier to catch them. And speaking about engulfment, eating your own species is now prevented properly. We’ll bring cannibalism back once we figure out how it would affect your species population.

We hope these tweaks make the game more enjoyable.

Small fixes on the editor

There were some minor fixes on the editor. First off, when entering the patch report the external effects on species populations are now grouped according to their type and the species they affect, making that easier to read.

The New cell button is now disabled when not in freebuild so players can’t start from scratch after they’ve already evolved. Another important fix many players have asked us is that now undoing organelles placed on cytoplasm properly restores it, now your Mutation points won’t go to waste for such a silly bug. Finally, when hovering over the editor UI the selected organelle hex won’t appear under it, that was a tad annoying.

Other fixes

  • Reduced movement jitter
  • Updated winning text
  • Adjusted Pilus sound

After 0.4.3 we tried changing the engine to Diligent and that has caused some leftover issues. Most of these are related to the camera aspect ratio causing things to be slightly the wrong shape and affecting the cursor to world position math. Since we want to change to Godot solving these is not our priority, we won’t be using Diligent after all, so we apologize for any issues you may find. Reporting them won’t be much helpful since we are going to remake the whole game after all.

What’s next?

We intend this engine change to be the last one, Godot is a good open source engine with a lot of documentation and and active community as well as being much easier to work on than our current engine. With this we hope to attract more people into the game, something we’ll need if we want to make the engine change as quickly as possible. We’ll keep reporting progress with weekly progress updates during the coming months as usual.

We invite you to join our livestream later today as we address these and other questions.