Thrive's gameplay is divided into 7 stages (plus a sandbox mode) across a species' entire progression from prokaryotic cell to galactic god.
Currently, only the Microbe Stage is implemented, and it's still in development. All the next stages descriptions are based on concepts.
- Main article: Microbe Stage
Microbe Stage is the game's first stage. The player controls a prokaryotic cell in the sea, the main objective is to collect nutrients to reproduce, the environment has a 2D perspective. In the Microbe editor, the player can edit the organism and move it into another patch. The stage ends when you become a multicellular organism with adhesion proteins. This is the only stage implemented and it's still in development.
- Main article: Multicellular Stage
Multicellular Stage is Thrive's second stage, coming after the microbe stage. It starts when the player cell become a multicellular organism. The stage will be divided into two parts: Early multicellular and Late multicellular. The early multicellular has 2d perspective with the same gameplay of the previous stage, it's possible to specialize cells of the colony, and later on divide the organisms into categories, as time goes one, it will gradually change into the Late multicellular, that has 3d perspective and the categories would turn into organs, the player is introduced to the Organism Editor. The stage ends when the player cell evolves a nervous system. It is still not implemented, although some features of early multicellular are currently being developed.
Aware Stage is Thrive's third stage, coming after the multicellular stage. It starts when the player's organism evolves a nervous system and ends with the player reaching a high level of sapience. This will see the player have to evolve in a complex ecosystem, carving out their own niche. Editing your species will see you not add parts, but sculpt it like clay. It is still not implemented and is not currently being developed.
Awakening Stage is Thrive's fourth stage, coming after the aware stage. It starts when the player species achieves sapience and ends with the creation of a Society Center and some form of Agriculture. Although it starts out like Aware, it gains more RTS mechanics once "language" is accessed, and the Tech Tree becomes visible once Record Keeping is invented. It is still not implemented and is not currently being developed.
Society Stage is Thrive's fifth stage, coming after the awakening stage. It begins when the player makes his first Society Center. The stage is highlighted by researches, the ascension of religions and cultural practices, and larger, more strategy based conflicts. It is still not implemented and is not currently being developed.
Industrial Stage is Thrive's sixth stage, coming after the society stage. The world is now completely visible and asked, technology rapidly advances, communication is instant, and the game is now fully Grand Strategy. It is still not implemented and is not currently being developed.
Space Stage is Thrive's seventh and final stage, coming after the industrial stage. It focuses on the player heading into space, expanding their galactic empire and making contact with other alien races. It is still not implemented and is not currently being developed.
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Ascension is comparable to "winning" the game in Thrive. Once the player enters an "Ascension" gate, the species is transformed into energy and given god like powers.
|Gameplay Stages & Editors|
|Thrive's gameplay stages||Current||Microbe Stage|
|Future||Multicellular Stage · Aware Stage · Awakening Stage · Society Stage · Industrial Stage · Space Stage|
|Stage editors||Microbe Editor · Organism Editor · Nation Editor · Tech Editor · Planet Editor|