Devblog #29: Shining Cell Colonies

This month’s update brings some long awaited bug fixes to our favorite cell collecting feature, binding agents, to provide a much more enjoyable and stable cell colony experience. In addition this release will allow you to carry over your old cells from the previous version, allowing you to continue where you left off without starting anew. Keep yourself alert, because our upgraded autoevo algorithm will ensure that rival species will be much more adaptable and capable to better compete with you, while our reworked spawn system will ensure that you find a healthy balance of the compounds you need to thrive. Finally, to put the cherry on top, we have new wonderful graphical improvements to make our cells truly shine, as well as giving our familiar iron chunks a new textured look. This, and much more await you in our latest release!

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


Thrive 0.5.5

If you want a summary of what this version brings, here are the patch notes for this release.

Binding Agent Fixes

This update includes a variety of bugfixes dedicated to improving your experience with binding agents.

Colony physics have been improved, and colony members should experience less rotation issues. The player cell and AI cells should now properly reset to their normal state after unbinding a cell in unbinding mode. Players should now be properly prevented from entering the editor while in a colony, though it seems there is still a bug that can allow that. Colony members should no longer spontaneously detach from the player, and the uncontrollable drifting experienced by colonies should no longer be encountered in most cases.

Spawn System Improvements

We gave our spawn system a touch of love recently, with a bit of a rework to improve it’s function.

The spawn system now uses a bag approach that attempts to spawn objects from each category more fairly and evenly which along with other spawn system tweaks should fix iron not spawning where it should. The caves are once again open for business! Additionally, the spawn rates slow down when the player is still, so you shouldn’t be seeing entire asteroid belts generating around your cell anymore.

Save Upgrade System

You won’t have to leave your cells behind with this update, as we have improved the saving system.

We now have a save upgrade system that allows upgrading 0.5.4 saves to this version. If this is kept up to date we can hopefully keep save compatibility for a long time. You may also Drag and drop a save onto the game window which will load that save. You are also now prevented from Saving or loading if it’s already in progress, this fixes a crash with rapidly pressing the quick save and load buttons.

Abilities Hotbar

This update includes a new hotbar that allows players to quickly reference and activate the abilities of their cell. This feature will make it easier for new players to understand what their cell can do, and how to do it.

The hotbar updates each time the player changes their design, so it will only show abilities the player is currently capable of performing. The associated keys displayed on the icons also update accordingly.


We have improved the textures and lighting of cells and iron chunks, making the presently microscopic world of Thrive a more beautiful place.


Iron chunks now have a wonderful surface texture that makes them much more visually pleasing and distinct.

Not only that, but all membranes now feature lighting effects that give cells an entire new visual angle. The direction of light remains consistent as the cell rotates.

Misc. changes

  • Fixed an organelle related crash in the editor which happened for example when undoing and re-placing the nucleus
  • The help menu now uses compound icons and shows the current key bindings for actions referred to in it
  • Fixed the ATP and health bars becoming stuck sometimes. Also ATP bar should now stay full better without quickly changing between being full and almost full.
  • The ATP and health bars now remember the max values when the player dies, instead of reverting to showing the default values
  • Tweaked AI to hopefully avoid cells spinning around in a position where they were trying to engulf a chunk
  • Added audio output device selection to the options menu
  • The AI is now much more likely to move immediately after spawning
  • Processes can now run at fractional speed to allow running them for example when only a little bit of input compound or output space is available
  • Added an option to disable the GUI light on the editor button. Please report if disabling this feature helps you if you previously experienced the bottom right of the microbe GUI sometimes having parts of it disappear
  • There is now a separate icon for species in graphs when they go extinct entirely versus just from the current patch
  • Auto-evo now models different energy sources better, which should result in better evolved species
  • Unbinding ESC from actions is no longer possible as it was not possible to get that binding back
  • Undo and redo buttons are now disabled while moving an organelle
  • Fixed organelles being marked as moved incorrectly if re-placed at their current location, allowing then to do a free proper move
  • Fixed a crash happening if the load game menu was exited, re-entered and load pressed
  • Pressing ESC in the options or load menu when opened from the main menu, now goes back to the main menu
  • Fixed options menu tooltips not showing when accessing it from the pause menu
  • Compound amount labels in the GUI now update on language change
  • Reworked the compound names in translatable strings to allow overriding the default text, required by some languages to make sentences including compound names more natural.
  • Percentage values now use the translation system
  • Freebuilding label in the MP bar now reacts to language change
  • Updated translations
  • Key prompts now update the shown keys on keybinding change
  • Fixed crash in duplicate player cheat after loading a save

What’s next?

Thrive is presently on course to arrive on the stores of Steam and However in order for this to happen, all past contributors to Thrive must sign our CLA form in order for Thrive to conform to steam’s policies. If any past contributors have questions or are interested in signing the CLA, please contact us for further information on how to do so.

Additionally for those who would like to support the development of Thrive financially, our donation campaign is still ongoing. The campaign will end on 11.9.2021. Donators who contribute at least 20€ (23.37 USD) will have their names listed in the game’s credits as long as they provide us with their alias.

Regarding Thrive’s next update, we intend to put more focus on chipping away at our substantial backlog of features and fixes that have been consistently pushed back throughout our releases. In addition, we still have our eyes on the implementation of signaling agents that will make forming colonies easier by calling over your friends.

If you would like to ask us questions about Thrive, you can do so in this thread. We’ll answer them in a new Thrivestream starting later today.