Devblog #26: Learning the basics

We bring you a new release, Thrive 0.5.2! What’s new? Well, for the first time in years tutorials are back! At last, we have an easy way to teach new players the basics of this game. Another big feature is the new interfaces, we remade the Editor, Patch map and Report screen UIs to finally match the rest of the game.

You can download the launcher below to get the newest version, and read on for more information.

Thrive 0.5.2

So, let’s see what’s in this new release. You can read the patch notes here or continue reading for a more in depth look.


Some of you may remember when Thrive had a tutorial back during the 0.3.X versions, well that’s back now! Now when starting a new game, you’ll play a movement and a resource collection tutorial. After that you can enter the editor where another tutorial will explain the function of the different screens and how to edit your organism. Of course, those who already know the game won’t need these, so you can easily disable them from the options menu even during gameplay. With this, we hope Thrive becomes more accessible for newcomers.

Editor UI

Now this is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Ever since we changed the main game UI we’ve been updating the rest of the game to match it. The only part of the game that still used the old style was the Editor and the Patch tabs, but not anymore!

The new UI features an animated MP bar, it shows how many mutations points you’ll have after placing a new organelle and flashes red when there aren’t enough points, it will even play a sound when you can’t place a new part. New hexes will also be highlighted so you can tell which organelles are new in your cell. New tooltips and sound effects were added to to several buttons too.

We also added values and tooltips to the ATP balance bars, making it easier to calculate your ATP consumption, the game will also a warn you when leaving the editor if your balance is negative when still.

Now, the Patch map and Patch report screens have also been revamped, the Patch map uses the new style, patches show their depth and light levels no longer exceed 100%. The report now is easier to read and it shows the current in-game year, between sessions 100 million years will pass. There is still a lot of work to be done on this UI, we want to add graphs showing the evolution of resources and populations on your patch, as well as icons to make everything more readable.

There were a few improvements in the main UI as well, the ATP and HP bar ends are now rounder, their colors are changed and also individual reproduction bars highlight independently when they are complete. There is a small bug when the first two bars deplete though, we hope we can fix it in a later version.

Auto-Evo algorithm

There’s a new evolution algorithm prototype in the game. Populations are no longer calculated randomly so now other species populations will change more accurately and you’ll see that in the patch report. This algorithm makes species actually respond to the changes in the environment too. As you can see, this is a step forward towards an accurate evolution simulation. We’ll see how this develops in future releases.

Options and Saving

Options can now be changed during the game. The volume sliders now change the volume better and there are new separate sliders for sound effects and ambience. All these options now need to be manually saved but we added a warning in case you forget to do so.

The saving menu has a few improvements as well. There’s a new button to directly open the saves folder, we added new cleaning buttons too to make easier to delete several old saves and the game now warns you if you want to load saves made in different versions, since compatibility is not guaranteed. With this we hope that the exciting task of managing save files has become easier.

Fixed errors and Balancing

Since we changed to Godot Thrive got a new very big issue, compounds and cells would spawn rarely leaving environments barren and with not much to do. We worked on that in the previous release and in this one things have improved much more. Now resources and AI cells are evenly distributed throughout the world instead of concentrated in one place when spawning, we also brought back marine snow with this fix.
Along with these, balance was changed a bit. Membranes have more unique stats, light levels no longer exceed 100 lux but photosynthesis has been buffed to compensate and we also buffed respiration.

Another thing we fixed were cell physics, they now match the cell hexes. Membranes are also fixed so they don’t glitch around the 0,0,0 coordinates of the cell. And finally, the Microbe AI is now more responsive.

More particles

There are new effects for toxins, these were shown months ago when we were working on the first particle effects and now they are finally in the game! This includes environmental toxins as well, previously displayed as floating X’s. With these, we are getting closer to removing the eternal placeholder 3D X’s from the game, once we change the Oxytosome model they’ll be a thing of the past.

Other stuff

  • Updated to Godot 3.2.3
  • With 125% Windows scaling text in the editor should no longer get cutoff
  • Auto-save happens after the stage fade in now to no longer have all dark screenshots
  • F1 now opens the help menu
  • Taking a screenshot now also happens when pressing PrintScrn (before only F12 took a screenshot)
  • Loading a save made in the editor while in the editor now works
  • Species name and color are now properly saved while in the editor
  • The game should now appear in Windows program list / task manager as Thrive instead of Godot
  • General code and documentation improvements
  • Osmoregulation change is now given as percentage in the membrane tooltips
  • Rigidity bar now moves as far as MP allows when clicking on it

As usual, we’ll have a release livestream later today where we’ll answer your questions about Thrive, talk about our future plans for the game and hopefully get consumed by silliness and absurd memes.