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Thrive is an in-development Early Access open source evolution sim, much like life itself it continues to evolve and a new release version 0.6.4 brings changes to ensure the foundation is solid.

With the release the developers do say there's not a lot new to show in terms of gameplay, because it was focused on a "massive rework in the functionality of Thrive’s background processes" which includes a "brand new physics engine complete with better performance". So while they can't show much that looks new it should be "smoother sailing from here on out". Given all the changes it should provide better performance too!

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Some of the big changes include:

  • Refactored the entire microbe gameplay code to use an Entity Component System (ECS) architecture and a different physics engine (Jolt). This took up the vast majority of the time spent on this release. As a result of this many things in the game will feel slightly different and there will definitely be new bugs that have slipped past us. We will attempt to quickly fix any new bugs introduced with this change.
  • The game performance is now 20-100% better than before thanks to the ECS and physics rework (different benchmark parts have different improvements, and different gameplay conditions also have different performance gains).
  • Improved auto-evo performance by about 50%.
  • Added a native C++ library for Thrive that has the physics engine integration for now but we can in the future move computation heavy parts of the game there that might benefit performance.
  • Added two new context specific microbe tracks that can play instead of the normal microbe ambiance when in those specific patch types.
  • Added Thriveopedia pages for each of the organelles currently in the game.
  • Added early multicellular freebuild mode.
  • Improved the visuals of the organism statistics panel and added / updated related tooltip icons as well.
  • Added 3D panorama backgrounds for various patch types for the late multicellular underwater part. These were completed a while ago but were never accessible in game until now.
  • Various AI improvements.
  • Lots of bug fixes.
  • + lots more.

They're also looking to eventually port it from Godot 3 to Godot 4.

You can buy it on Steam to support development or download it direct or via Flathub.

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