GDD (Microbe): Appendices

Here you’ll find comprehensive lists of various in-game assets and items, such as compounds and organelles, as well as a glossary of common terms.

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Glossary


  • Agent – A chemical signal made by a microbe which isn’t found naturally in the environment and can perform a specific function. Agents can be used for offence (such as by reducing the efficiency of an enemy’s organelles, preventing it from metabolizing properly and leading to its death) or communication (such as binding agents used to keep large colonies intact).
  • ATP – Adenosine triphosphate, the chemical used for energy transfer within cells. In Thrive, ATP is equivalent to a microbe’s energy store. It is used up by some processes and produced by others, and must be continually produced to prevent a microbe’s death.
  • Auto-Evo – The algorithm responsible for the evolution of NPC species, which takes place automatically, and links in with the compound system and population dynamics.
  • Behavior – Anything to do with AI processes, such as the neural networks responsible for the evolution of NPC intelligence, or the behavior subset of the editor, where the player can change the AI of their own species.
  • Biome – Any area of habitat with similar properties. Biomes are treated as discrete locations within the game world, with the player able to gradually move between them. Only the player's own biome is fully rendered, with others simulated abstractly.
  • Cell – See Microbe.
  • Compound – Scientifically, any substance made from two or more elements chemically bound together. In-game, compound may refer to a single element too. A compound is anything which can be used or produced by metabolic processes, where compounds are combined or split to perform different functions. A species’ effectiveness at collecting compounds determines its success through population dynamics.
  • CPA – See Compound, Population Dynamics and Auto-Evo.
  • Darwinian – Our current best theory on the process of evolution through natural selection. It states that random mutations in an organism can make it more or less successful at exploiting its environment, out-competing other species to pass on its genetic information to future generations.
  • Editor – The game scene where the player can make evolutionary changes to their organism and its behavior.
  • Environment – Where most of the game takes place. The player controls an individual of their species to explore, collect compounds, and interact with other species or members of their species. Microbial environments may include tidepools or hydrothermal vents.
  • Fossilization – In science, the preservation of an organism’s remains. In-game, fossilization refers to saving any encountered species for later use.
  • GUI – Graphical user interface. An overlay allowing the player to interact with the game through buttons, icons, or panels.
  • Hydrothermal Vent – A volcanically active crack in the seabed through which geothermally heated water escapes. Hydrothermal vents are thought to be one possible birthplace of life on Earth, and still harbor rich ecosystems today. Hydrothermal vent is a possible environment location, influencing the natural concentration of compounds and aesthetics.
  • Lamarckian – A rejected theory for evolutionary biology which states that a population’s development is governed by a species’ actions during its life. For example, according to Lamarck’s theory, a giraffe which spent a long time reaching up to get food from trees would have offspring with longer necks. The theory breaks down when you realise one implication would be that parents who’d lost a limb would give birth to offspring with that limb lost as well.
  • LAWK – Life as we know it. Refers to our current best understanding of scientific theory and possibility. Occasionally a mechanic may be introduced which doesn’t abide by LAWK, but these are generally included for gameplay value or variety, and can be turned off.
  • Metabolic – The set of life-sustaining chemical transformations performed in the cells of organisms. Examples include aerobic respiration (where glucose and oxygen are converted into carbon dioxide, water, and energy) and protein synthesis. In-game, the metabolism is directly simulated inside microbes.
  • Microbe – A single-cellular organism, the only type of organism in-game.
  • Mutation Points – A budgeting system for evolutionary change to prevent extortionate changes within a single generation. The player is limited to a fixed level of Mutation Points for each editor session, and changing anything (adding, removing, moving or upgrading organelles, membranes, coloration, agents or behavioral blocks) requires a certain amount of Mutation Points.
  • NPC – Non-player character: any microbe in-game not controlled by the player.
  • Organelle – A specialized unit within a cell which performs a specific function. Organelles are placed and upgraded in the editor. In-game, they might have an ability which uses or produces ATP, converts compounds through metabolic processes, or other.
  • Population Dynamics – The system which determines a species’ success based on its effectiveness at collecting compounds for energy production. Rates of compound consumption are fed into the population dynamics algorithms, and population dynamics feeds into Auto-Evo, deciding which species evolve or go extinct.
  • Procedural Generation – Producing content through an algorithm rather than pre-rendering it manually. Procedurally generated systems are random but are based on developer-assigned algorithms, and can be used to create natural-looking items or landscapes.
  • Species – All individuals genetically identical to each other. New species may be formed through repeated evolutionary mutations.
  • Symbiosis – Cooperation between multiple species in the interests of survival. Examples of real-world symbiotic relationships include clownfish and anemones. In Thrive, symbiosis can occur procedurally as different species develop interdependent strategies for survival, or it can be created manually through specific agent signals.
  • Tidepool – An area of flooded beach or shallow ocean harboring large amounts of marine flora and fauna. In-game, a tide pool is one possible environment location, influencing certain gameplay characteristics. Tidepool may often be used to refer to the microbial environment as a whole, not just the single biome.
  • Toxin – See Agent.

Agents


Agent Upgrades Effect Target
Attacker Neutralizer Neutralizes all attacker type agent clouds its cloud comes into contact with, removing their effect. Attacker type agents
Bioluminescent Agent Decreased ATP use Stored in a vacuole, making it light up with constant ATP draining. Can provide “sunlight” for nearby photosynthesizers.
Bonding Signal Attaches two or more cells of the same species together to form a colony. Nuclei
Carbonate Releases calcium carbonate into the environment, solidifying to form solid structures. Made from calcium carbonate, unlike all other agents.
Carbonate Digester Increased speed Breaks down carbonate structures into their constituent compounds. Calcium carbonate
Chloroplast Inhibitor Increased inhibition Slows processing speed for a short period. Chloroplasts
Cilia Attacker Increased speed Reduces health level, eventually turning off the organelle. Cilia
Cyanide (Inhibitor) Increased inhibition Slows processing speed for a short period. Made from the compound hydrogen cyanide instead of the usual agent production method. Mitochondria
Flagella Attacker Increased speed Reduces health level, eventually turning off the organelle. Flagella
Inhibitor Neutralizer Neutralizes all inhibitor type agent clouds its cloud comes into contact with, removing their effect. Inhibitor type agents
Kinase (Attacker) Increased speed Gradually wears down a membrane and cytoskeleton until a cell bursts. Cytoskeleton
Lure Signal Sends a message attracting nearby cells, either as a lure or a signal of high compound concentrations. Has no effect on the player. AI can evolve a different response. Nuclei
Mitochondria Attacker Increased speed Reduces health level, eventually turning off the organelle. Mitochondria
Organelle Digester Increased speed Breaks down floating organelles into useful compounds. Floating organelles
Paralytic (Inhibitor) Increased inhibition Slows processing speed for a short period. All movement organelles
Signal Neutralizer Neutralizes all signal type agent clouds its cloud comes into contact with, removing their effect. Signal type agents
Slime Blocks engulfing edges. Stored in slime gland, a specialised vacuole which explodes upon contact with an enemy. Engulfing edges
Stimulant Increased stimulation Increases processing speed for a short period. All internal organelles
Thermoplast Inhibitor Increased inhibition Slows processing speed for a short period. Only available if LAWK toggle is disabled. Thermoplasts
Toxin (Attacker) Increased speed Reduces health level, eventually turning off the organelle. All internal organelles
Warning Signal Sends a warning to all nearby cells that a predator or other danger is near, making them swim away. Has no effect on the player. AI can evolve a different response. Nuclei

Biomes


Biome Visuals Effects
Hydrothermal Vent Dark; reds and grays Little sunlight; prevalent heat spots; rare light spots; rare but large rock formations; fast currents; high compound concentrations; sessile bacteria
Shallow Ocean Bright; blues and whites Lots of sunlight; prevalent light spots; rare heat spots; few rocks; medium currents; medium compound concentrations
Tidepool Bright; yellows, blues and greens; biofilms Lots of sunlight; prevalent light spots; rare heat spots; many small rocks; slow currents; high compound concentrations; cyanobacteria
TBC TBC TBC

Compounds


Symbols are used to represent the compound in all in-game text or labels (such as in the compounds panel). Color determines both the symbol color and the color of that compound's clouds.

Compound Symbol Color Weight Notes
Agents Cross Variable TBC All agents (except some discussed in the agents table) are covered by a single compound for the sake of simplicity, made by the same process using the same reactants. Agents will eventually break down into their constituents when left in the environment.
Amino Acids Angular chains Purple TBC All amino acids are covered by a single compound for the sake of simplicity, made by the same process using the same reactants. Amino acids are only found in the environment when a cell bursts.
Ammonia (NH3) Circle with three protruding circles or sticks Yellow 17
ATP Lightning bolt N/A N/A ATP cannot be found in the environment and has no weight. It is simply produced and used up whenever energy is transferred within a cell.
Calcium (Ca) Bone White 40 Rock surfaces are gradually worn away to produce calcium.
Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) Bricks Cream 100 Solidifies on release into the environment, bonding with nearby carbonate particles to create solid structures.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Parallel lines Red 44
Glucose (C6H12O6) Hexagonal ring Green 180
Hydrogen (H2) Flames Orange 2
Hydrogen Cyanide (HCN) Two medical pills Brown 27
Lactic Acid (C3H6O3) Muscles Maroon 99
Nitrogen (N2) Dumbbell shape Dark blue 28
Protein Meat Pink TBC All proteins are covered by a single compound for the sake of simplicity, made by the same process using the same reactants.
Oxygen (O2) Bubble shapes Light blue 32
Water (H2O) Water droplet N/A N/A Water is found throughout the environment at all times, both inside and outside cells. It provides a constant influx into the compounds system.

Organelles


All assimilated organelles have a small chance of success, but will mostly fail.

Organelle Function Source Type Upgrades
Agent Secretor Secretes stored agents into the environment using no ATP. Only external organelle which can be placed over cell wall. Available from game beginning External Predatory pilus
Bioluminescent Organelle Alternative to vacuoles containing bioluminescent agents. Lights up with constant ATP draining. Provides “sunlight” for photosynthesizers. Assimilation of bioluminescent bacterium Internal Reduced ATP use
Cell Wall Upgrade to the membrane/cytoskeleton. After several generational mutations provides protection from pili, engulfing and osmolysis. Prevent placement of all external organelles except agent secretor. Available once chloroplasts or thermoplasts unlocked Periphery Increased strength, osmolysis protection
Chloroplast Photosynthesis. Greater yield in light spots or light biomes. Assimilation of cyanobacterium Internal Faster max speed
Cillia Small omnidirectional movement using small amounts of ATP. Available from game beginning Periphery Lamellipodia, increased movement speed
Cytoplasm Provides cell structure and simple processes like anaerobic respiration. Also allows some pseudopodial movement. Consumes a little ATP. Available from game beginning Structural
Endoplasmic Reticulum Enables protein and agent synthesis, constantly consumes ATP. In cell by default, no more can be placed Internal
Engulfing Edge Allows smaller cells (without slime glands) to be engulfed by the edge where it’s placed. Consumes ATP for digestion. Available from game beginning External
Flagellum Large unidirectional movement using large amounts of ATP. Available from game beginning External Increased movement speed
Golgi Apparatus Required for agent secretion. Constantly consumes ATP. In cell by default, no more can be placed Internal
Lamellipodia Allow surface crawling and attachment. Mutation from cilia Periphery Cilia
Membrane Keeps all cell contents inside cytoplasm and acts as attachment surface for external organelles. In cell by default, auto-added with cytoplasm, cannot be manually placed Structural Cell wall
Mitochondrion Performs aerobic respiration to produce ATP. Available from game beginning, two in cell by default, assimilation of respiring bacterium Internal Reduced ATP use
Nucleus Control center for all cell functions. Camera always focused on nucleus. In cell by default, no more can be placed Internal
Predatory Pilus Pierces enemy membranes to burst other cells and release nutrients. Also acts as an agent secretor. Relatively heavy. Available from game beginning External Increased length, agent secretor
Slime Gland Specialised vacuole which stores slime agent. Bursts on contact with an engulfing enemy and blocks their engulfing edge. Regenerates afterwards. Consumes ATP. Unlocks when slime agent developed Internal Reduced ATP use
Thermoplast Thermosynthesis. Greater yield in heat spots or hot biomes. Disabled when LAWK toggle on. Assimilation of sessile bacterium Internal Faster max speed
Vacuole Stores agents using some ATP. Maximum storage capacity for each hex. Come in various shapes and sizes. Available from game beginning Internal Reduced ATP use

Processes


Process Formula Location Speed
Aerobic Respiration 6(O2) + C6H12O6 – > 6(CO2) + 6(H2O) + 38(ATP) Mitochondria TBC
Anaerobic Respiration C6H12O6 – > 2(C3H6O3) + 2(ATP) Cytoplasm TBC
Agent Synthesis TBC Endoplasmic Reticulum TBC
Amino Acid Synthesis TBC TBC TBC
Carbonate Synthesis 2Ca + 3(CO2) – > 2(CaCO3) TBC TBC
Locked-Up Conversion Any compound -> Locked-up version Cytoplasm TBC
Photosynthesis 6(H2O) + 6(CO2) + Sunlight – > 6(O2) + C6H12O6 Chloroplast TBC
Protein Synthesis TBC Endoplasmic Reticulum TBC
Thermosynthesis 6(H2O) + 6(CO2) + Heat – > 6(O2) + C6H12O6 Thermoplast TBC

Music


Track Scene Link
Vigeo (Main Theme) Title Screen https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/vigeo-main-theme
Vireo (Extended Main Theme) Promotional Material; Credits https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/vireo-extended-main-theme
Vigent (Main Theme Suite) Extras
Genesis Opening Cutscene https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/genesis
Into the Tidepool Loading Screen https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/into-the-tidepool
Cellular Exploration Loading Screen https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/cellular-exploration
Hydrothermal Loading Screen https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/hydrothermal
Silence Underwater Environment https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/silence-underwater
Unicellular Organisms Environment https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/unicellular-organisms
Microscopic Environment https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/microscopic
Tidepool Landscapes Environment https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/tidepool-landscapes
Angels in a Bubble Environment https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/angels-in-a-bubble
The Saga of the Puddle Environment https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/the-saga-of-the-puddle
Flagellum Editor https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/flagellum
Mitosis in Progress Editor https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/mitosis-in-progress
The Cradle of Life Editor https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/the-cradle-of-life
Small Beginnings Editor https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/small-beginnings
A Microbe’s Lullaby Editor https://revolutionarygames.bandcamp.com/track/a-microbes-lullaby

Sound Effects


Environmental sound effects have their volume modified depending on their distance to the player, whereas interface type sounds have consistent volume. All environment sounds also apply to the editor test area. Interface sounds only play when affecting the player, not NPCs. There are likely to be many more sounds needed, but this list is a start.

Sound Scene Type
Agent Secretion Environment Environmental; one shot
Agent Damage Environment Interface; repeat (plays once every set period for the duration a microbe takes damage)
Agent Inhibition Environment Interface; repeat (plays once every set period for the duration a microbe is inhibited)
Ambiance Environment/Editor Interface; continuous
Button Click Unavailable All Interface; one shot
Button Hover/Click All Interface; one shot
Disaster Environment Interface; one shot; various types for different disasters, some last longer
Endocytosis Success Environment Interface; one shot
Engulfment Environment Environmental; one shot
Extinction (Game Over) Environment Interface; one shot; likely to be somewhat musical in nature
Insufficient Mutation Points Editor Interface; one shot
Microbe Bonding Environment Environmental; one shot
Microbe Death Environment Environmental; one shot
Microbe Division Environment Environmental; one shot
Microbe-Microbe Collision Environment Environmental; one shot; volume scales with impact speed
Microbe-Surface Collision Environment Environmental; one shot; volume scales with impact speed
Movement 1 Environment Environmental; one shot; plays with substantial change in linear or angular momentum
Movement 2 Environment Environmental; one shot; plays with substantial change in linear or angular momentum
Movement 3 Environment Environmental; one shot; plays with substantial change in linear or angular momentum
Multicellular (Victory) Environment Interface; one shot; likely to be somewhat musical in nature
Organelle Collection Environment Interface; one shot; overridden by endocytosis successful
Pilus Stab Environment Environmental; one shot
Selection/Placement Editor Interface; one shot
Selection/Placement Invalid Editor Interface; one shot; overridden by insufficient Mutation Points sound
Surface-Surface Collision Environment Environmental; one shot; Environmental; one shot; volume scales with impact speed
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