This article describes design decisions that will be rediscussed before their implementation in the future, and as such are not final.
The Tech (or Technology) Editor is one of Thrive's five editors. It is used to edit technology, or anything created by the player's species. It is unlocked sometime around Awakening Stage, and can be used to create anything from a stone axe to a starship provided the player has the right Function Parts.
The Tech Editor has a great deal of planned features, the least of which includes the creation of technological objects for a given species, once that species reaches the level of sentience required. Objects created in the Tech Editor (TE) are referred to as Tech Objects, or TOs. These TOs are created from Function Parts (FPs), which are unlocked by the researching of certain technologies from the Research Tree.
Once these FP's are made available, they can be selected and used in the editor using typical mouse controls, each of the parts following the typical suggested usage. As such, this would equate to a 'format equals function' style of construction, where certain FP's would be required in order for any Tech Object to be constructed.
In the game, the tech editor would be used by the player to emulate the technological progression of their species. After a Tech Object has been created by the player, it can be created and used by members of the target species immediately, assuming the necessary resources are available. By doing this, a complex progression occurs over the span of the Awakening Stage similar to the gradual progression of technology in what can be assumed to be every sentient species. Eventually, the Tech Editor would lead to the apex of Technology, and into the next stage of the game, depending on where the player may be at that point, whether the next stage be Space Stage, or Industrial Stage.
The current concept for the Tech Editor uses a click and drag interface, and is very much similar to and based upon the Organism Editor. The player will be able to select objects to place into the workspace with the mouse, or simply drag objects onto the workspace from the sidebar. Inside the workspace, the left-mouse button will be used to select one or multiple objects, as well as using the transform tools that appear when an object is selected. The right-mouse button will be used to open up a menu of options for the selected object.
The camera will be moved by using the GUI or scrolling the mouse wheel to zoom and holding the mouse wheel and dragging the mouse to pan.
The Tech Editor is navigated through the use of tabs, again similar to the other editors. Each tab will contain different objects and allow the player to build up different parts of their Technologies. The tabs are as follows.
|Structure||This tab is for supports and the internal skeleton of the tech. Contains different beams, boxes and shapes of that nature which can be created out of different material types.||These will support the surfaces and Function Parts laid onto them internally, allow the Tech to stand on it's own, holding the external walls up and holding the internal parts together.|
|Surfacing||The surfacing tab is for the smooth surfaces of a given Tech Object, and so would contain typical materials that can be applied over the Structure as a covering.||While the surfacing does serve an aesthetic purpose, it's also primarily useful for prevent the internal parts from receiving damage during use of the Tech Object.|
|Systems||This tab contains all the Function Parts that are placed onto the structure.||This is the heart and soul of the more advanced Tech Objects, as it determines functionality based on it's Function Parts, as the name would suggest.|