Microbe Stage Design Document

Welcome to the Thrive wiki! This is where developers of the Thrive evolution game can share information, and likewise have it presented to visitors. Note that the wiki is currently a WIP, and some of the content here is inaccurate, but we are currently working on fixing that to make this wiki hold only mature spec.

Thrive is inspired by many games, including the concept behind a PC game called Spore. Though Spore was initially billed as a realistic, scientific game about evolution, the final product got watered down until it had practically nothing to do with science or reality. Thrive aims to succeed where Spore failed. It also takes inspiration for many other games from rogue-likes to grand strategy games. However, we plan on doing our own game and we are not making a clone of any other game.

Thrive is a free, open-source game created by an online community of dedicated volunteers. Our team seeks to accomplish two major goals: create engaging, compelling gameplay that respects our players' intelligence, and remain as accurate as possible in our depiction of known scientific theory. It plans to encapsulate the player in the wonders of the universe, and to allow them to manipulate the virtual world around them in any way they please. Our game will contain multiple editors where players can create and modify technology, culture, organisms, and entire solar systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

This thread on the forums (http://forum.revolutionarygamesstudio.com/t/important-read-before-posting/50) contains our FAQ's, near the bottom of the first post.

Here is a page on How to Download and help with it.

Get Involved

If you're not a Thrive developer and are wondering how you can contribute to the project, register on our forums and check out GET INVOLVED on the forum. For contributions to the wiki, look here.

If you've been sent from the forums and already have permission, you can jump right in and start editing this wiki. Check out this page to get up to speed with how to contribute.

Due to the titanic scale of this project, we are releasing it in segments, based off of the different stages of gameplay. The current stage in development is the Microbe Stage, which is about midway through production. The current release can be found here.

If you are interested in joining this incredible project, and can donate any amount of time at all, please read this page and join the team: http://revolutionarygamesstudio.com/get-involved/. All skill-sets are always welcome, especially programmers, and any contributions would be greatly appreciated.


Thrive's goal is to give the player the experience of the evolutionary progression of a species from a eukaryotic single cell to a thriving civilization.

Microbe Stage

You begin the Microbe Stage a minute cell in the primordial soup that is the chrysalis of life on your planet. Here, the player first experiences the Organism Mode, only having control of their one cell. The world is three-dimensional, but the camera is locked to a top-down perspective. Your goals are to acquire the nutrients you need to survive, which are processed inside your cell by the compound system, and to compete against the other cells you encounter. As the generations pass, Auto-Evo evolves you and the other microbes around you. You can also take evolution into your own hand at any generational interval through accessing the Microbe Editor. To progress to the next stage, you must assimilate a specific enzyme that allows your cell to bond to others of your species, allowing for the development of multicellular organisms.

Multicellular Stage

The Multicellular Stage takes you from a basic organism to a more advanced species with more complex organ systems. Upon beginning the stage, the camera unlocks itself from the top-down perspective and rotates to allow three-dimensional movement and observance. However, you will still be locked in the Organism Mode. Again, procedural evolution plays an important role in developing your species and the species around it. If you ever wish to make direct edits to the evolution, you can now use a new editor, the more fully-featured Organism Editor, to intervene. This stage transitions into the next once the your organism passes a certain threshold of intelligence.

Aware Stage

Once entered into the Aware Stage, evolution continues to play a significant role. As one of the longer stages of the game, the Aware Stage sees the competition of the player's organisms with others over niches in different Biomes. Gameplay continues until members of your species, natural inquisitiveness becoming intelligence, begin to think. Having reached sapience, the next stage begins.

Awakening Stage

The Awakening Stage takes your species through its first steps towards civilization. Communication advances, and species members interact more with their environment, eventually picking up on tool use and social structure. Evolution no longer persists at this stage, since the timespan begins to reduce from millions of years into thousands. Communities of your species form tribes, and the cooperation between species members unlocks the Strategy Mode, which finally lets you escape the confines of a single organism to control the tribe at large. This stage also introduces you to many of the civilization elements of gameplay, such as the PCG, the Tech Editor, and the Nation Editor.

Society Stage

The Society Stage begins when you form your first Society Center, or city. This stage builds upon lots of the gameplay mechanics introduced in the previous stage, adding a lot more depth and engagement as the species develops. Discovering Record Keeping unlocks the ability to view the Research Web, although it did run behind the scenes in the Awakening Stage. It also allows your nation to invest into certain fields of research. Populations are introduced at this time.

Industrial Stage

The Industrial Stage continues the development of civilization from the past stages, but sees revolutions in all aspects of the nation. It begins when you discover Steam Power and several associated researches. Technology leads to a boom in population, science, warfare, production, agriculture, health, etc.

Space Stage

The Space Stage starts when you first launch a ship into space. Finally, the whole galaxy is your oyster, where you can pursue conquest, trade, colonization, exploration, and more. As you progress ever further technologically, highly advanced Researches unlock God Tools, tools which enable you to make major alterations to the galaxy.


Upon reaching Ascension, your species, having transcended space and time, is transformed into energy and you unlock all the God Tools. These "God Tools" allow for easy manipulation of entities within the game- merging together the editors and gameplay to allow the player to reshape their universe from within. You also unlock a fully-featured Observer Mode at this point, which allows you to detach from your species altogether and simply roam and explore the galaxy, homing in wherever you want, to observe the development and progression of other species through evolution and civilization.

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