This article describes design decisions that will be rediscussed before their implementation in the future, and as such are not final.
The Planet Editor is one of Thrive's five editors, and the last to be unlocked. It allows the player to edit a whole planet, including its ecosystem, atmospheric conditions, topography, and the like. The tools needed to unlock this editor are highly advanced, meaning that the player will be well into Space Stage before the possibility of unlocking the Planet Editor is available.
The Solar System
The solar system will start out as a planetary disk. Out of that planets will form, and smash into each other, all of that good Belgium. How it happens.That's basically how you'll have your solar system form. The PE, however will be making planets that are fully fledged.
In The Beginning
You're going to start out with a sizing table, how big you want your planet to be. This will decide size and gravity, however, gravity can be slightly adjusted with a small slider. Gas giants will be made in the same way they were in the old editor, by laying down layers of gases on top of the molten liquid core.
There will be an option to randomize rock layers and landforms on the planet.
Rocky bodies are going to start out as realistic as possible. They're going to be masses of black volcanic rock with cracks corresponding to the gaps between tectonic plates. Tectonics will be a part of your planet, and you'll have continental drift and all sorts of other things that come with the rifts like ocean trenches, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.
You start to create your planet by building with different layers of rock. You'll have a few panels of rock types- sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. You'll have a panel of each type with a few different types of rock on it.
The Rock Cycle will be active as well, so your planet won't stay a granite ball if you make it that way.
Basically, you will have brushes and paint. The brush you select will define how rock is placed, and the "paint" will be a type of rock selected from one of the rock palettes described above. You can also carve into your planet to create canyons, valleys, etc using different brushes. More brushes will populate in small features like hills, small lakes, bluffs, ground covering (except for organisms) etc.
You can pour water onto any point on your planet, and also plant springs. You can designate other liquids like liquid methane if temperatures permit*. Different layers of liquid can be poured on, as long as they are of different densities they will not mix.
You can paint biomes on to your planet using brushes. Each brush has a set of rules, and some biomes, including beaches and sea zones will populate automatically.
Static VS Dynamic
Static planets never change from original settings, geologically. In God mode, you should be able to pause organic evolution on a planet as well.
Dynamic planets can be affected by geologic activity, disasters, etc, and are constantly in a state of change, like our planet earth. Basically, random things happen to tectonic movement, random asteroids get hurled at your planet, etc.
That's all for now.
*Temperatures are designated by distance from the sun, geologic activity, etc.