Thrive Game Development

Development of the evolution game Thrive.
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 Prototype Subforum

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Overall Team Co-Lead

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Location : Canada

PostSubject: Prototype Subforum   Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:01 am

Why Prototype

This subforum is for showcasing any prototypes you guys make to show off cool theoretical game features and mechanics for Thrive. Prototypes are important for testing out aspects of the game before they enter production. You likely knew that already, but this gives us an important way to judge them -- We should learn something from them. Document the reasons behind major decisions, whether the reasons are important technical ones, or the guiding philosophy behind the prototype. Once a prototype has reached the end of its useful life, it's important to gather all our results together, so we know what the prototype is telling us. If in summing up we uncover more questions, those are often perfect material for new prototypes!

Important Guidelines

It's important that you follow these guidelines to ensure that your prototype actually helps the progress of the game:

  • Include the source code to your prototype
  • When we think of more things we'll add them


You can make your prototype for any stage of the game, regardless of what stage we are currently working on. There countless different mechanics you could make prototypes for, but if you cannot think of any here are some ideas:

  • Galactic formation: Showcase the creation of stars, planets, and nebulae. Include things like gravitational and orbital mechanics, binary solar systems, and more. 
  • Auto-Evolution: Demo one of the most defining of Thrive's features, the evolution! Create a basic ecosystem of evolving organisms, or challenge yourself and try to make something more complex to see greater results.
  • Trade simulator: Make a prototype to simulate the fluctuation of prices for resources from around the world, with dynamic supplies and demands. There could even be some player interaction, such as allowing the construction of buildings which either increase supply or demand, to see how the equilibrium responds to player influences.
  • Pathfinding: Pathfinding is always an issue in RTS games, heck, any game. You can make a prototype to try and nail down some solutions to this early, be it for microbe pathfinding, organism pathfinding, large scale pathfinding (think armies on the march), what have you. There are many options with this one.
  • Editors: Sure we have an early version of the Microbe Editor, but there is also the Multicellular/Colony Editor (still in its conceptual stages, but its basically a subset of the microbe editor for when you comprise more than one microbe), the Tech Editor, the Organism Editor, and the Planet Editor. Early prototypes of these editors, if done well, can have a tremendous impact on what they will look like when finally implemented.
  • Flight: Test what controls work best for flying organisms, how to make it dependent on the shape of the organism, and how it can come in many different forms (periodic flying, long distance flight, gliding, etc.)
  • Procedural Animation: Yes, the big one. Try and take the first steps towards tackling how the game will look at an organism and be able to decipher how it should move. This can apply to terrestrial locomotion, aerial locomotion, or aquatic locomotion. If you are more interested in technology, apply this to differently designed vehicles and how they will be animated.
  • Organism Senses: There are many different ideas for this topic. You could make a prototype to test camouflage and camouflage detection, or sound, or different light detections, or a combination of all senses. A prototype demonstrating how to indicate all the senses to the player distinctly would be quite helpful.
  • City Sim: Make a prototype to model the dynamic growth of cities, and if you want to make it exciting include road networks, population growth, and carrying capacity.

Obviously, these are just some of the multitude of options out there.

Look at how far we've come when people thought we'd get nowhere. Imagine how far we can go if we try to get somewhere.
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