Thrive Game Development

Development of the evolution game Thrive.
 
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 A new approach.

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Hughie72
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PostSubject: A new approach.    Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:21 am

Guys, why not have separate teams, one works on microbe, one works on Multicellular.

That way, when microbe is done, Multicellular will already be halfway done.


please give this a glance, i think that i might be onto something here.
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Atrox
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PostSubject: Re: A new approach.    Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:20 am

Hughie72 wrote:
Guys, why not have separate teams, one works on microbe, one works on Multicellular.

That way, when microbe is done, Multicellular will already be halfway done.


please give this a glance, i think that i might be onto something here.

Because we barely have a team working on microbe (AFAIK).

How many programmers are even on the team now?
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Earthium Prime
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PostSubject: Re: A new approach.    Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:22 pm

https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive/graphs/contributors I think about 12 people have worked on it since it's creation.
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MitochondriaBox
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PostSubject: Re: A new approach.    Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:22 pm

Atrox wrote:
Hughie72 wrote:
Guys, why not have separate teams, one works on microbe, one works on Multicellular.

That way, when microbe is done, Multicellular will already be halfway done.


please give this a glance, i think that i might be onto something here.

Because we barely have a team working on microbe (AFAIK).

How many programmers are even on the team now?

Less than 10, I reckon. Maybe even less than 5. Do we count the ones that work on the website and forum?

EDIT: Hm. About 12... Well, there was this guy named Bashinrox who had to leave (he did lots of algorithms), there was a CaptainKeen or  summat (made a basic prototype, one of the 2D ones). And there's certainly others... Do we count developers we haven't heard from in a while?

EDIT 2: Not to say it's the end of the world or something. Rovio had a downward spiral for a few years, reduced to 12 members, before releasing Angry Birds and hitting gold.
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moopli
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PostSubject: Re: A new approach.    Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:02 pm

We have about 3.5 programmers, one of which (crovea) actually has had time to work lately.

We have one guy on top of that who helped us with the website (including hosting it!), but that's all he worries about, so we don't bug him unless the website is down, and I more or less have taken up all the basic sysadmin responsibilities.

We also have people working on prototypes, but not the core game, so they probably don't add to this count.

Developers who aren't on the team right now don't count -- they won't be getting us from where we are now to where we will be, and that is what this count is about.

So anyway, having cleared that up, on to Hughie's suggestion. Team size isn't the only reason it won't really work -- there's a lot of integration needed between each stage (since we're aiming for seamless transition between game mechanics), and the engine has a few problems under the hood taht would be much harder to iron out (I think) if we were doing multiple stages concurrently.

One thing we can do, however, is make prototypes of other stages concurrently with Microbe game development. That has the benefit of parallelism (ie, ironing out issues with mechanics, code structure, etc beforehand) and fewer downsides (no need to reuse code that is bad in hindsight). We're already doing that a bit, but we could certainly do more of it.
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Fangchamp
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PostSubject: Re: A new approach.    Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:52 pm

how many dev. stages do you think microbe stage will need to be considered "complete"?
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moopli
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PostSubject: Re: A new approach.    Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:01 pm

It really depends.

If you mean well-polished complete, then that may take a while (5 releases?). If you mean beta-ready (like, with all the foundational mechanics in), then that might take just two releases.

Here's my reasoning:
* We need bacteria and compound clouds to overhaul the compound-acquisition mechanic. These, along with other gameplay-focused tweaks (like some nebulous AI improvements, I think), are slated for the upcoming release.
* Then, we need the species/population model to be ready for at least a minimal auto-evo simulation. The prep work could be part of the upcoming release, but the auto-evo work probably needs more time than that. Of course, we might just hack together a shitty but slightly-functional auto-evo for the current release, then go through and start fixing things for the next.

With two updates for those, and the polishing and bugfixing that we'd put in after each prerelease, we would probably have handled most of the fundamental game mechanics that we want.

Now, as to the intent behind your question (or at least, to link it to the thread topic), I don't think we'd be able to jump right into developing the next stage right after "finishing" Microbe. The engine currently just wouldn't really handle that all too well, so we'd probably have another release or two in which we do a lot of work to overhaul parts of the engine, and toss in some less-programming-intensive gameplay improvements (new graphics, gameplay tuning, more organelles, etc) while we're at it.  So I guess, no matter how you look at it, we're still quite a few releases away from starting Multicellular. Of course, I make no mention of how long each release will take, so you can always hope that we'll release more often ;)...
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