Previous stage: Aware Stage
Next stage: Society Stage
In a nutshell: You start with a creature beginning to discover the use of tools and must rapidly improve them to survive and outcompete competition. It ends upon the construction of your first Society Center.
The Awakening Stage begins when the player’s species achieves sapience. However, at this point, little changes, other than the ending of evolution for the player’s species. Strategy Mode is still locked, the Nation Editor is locked, and Society Centers don’t exist. The initial transition is mostly symbolic, and the substance of the change is gradual.
What is enabled, although not at first visible, is the Research Web. The Research Web cannot be viewed until Record Keeping is discovered. Interaction is also automatically discovered. Researches cannot be directly researched at this point. Instead, the actions that you carry out, such as communicating or interacting with the environment, now have a chance of discovering new Researches or Inventions, in effect developing your technology. This is the effect of having discovered Interaction. For example, using objects in the environment as tools runs the chance of discovering the invention Tools.
The Language invention allows the player to task other members of their species to do specific assignments. Every time a task is assigned, Cooperation has a chance of being discovered. Cooperation builds upon Language by allowing other species members, at this point advanced enough to be called tribe members, to discover Researches as a result of their own actions. Remember, before this, only the player’s organism could discover new Researches. This frees up the player to take more of a management role in their emerging tribe.
The Strategy Mode is also unlocked with the invention Cooperation. This allows the player to finally detach their perspective from that of the specific individual they were playing as, and instead zoom out to access the species from an RTS perspective. They can give orders to the different units of their tribes, and they can control multiple at the same time. Organism Mode is still available, and at any time the player can select a tribesman and begin playing as them in Organism Mode, with access to all the same abilities as before.
The next big milestone comes with Communities. All members of your species automatically become assigned as Labourers, the very first Population (Pop for short), and the Nation Editor panel is unlocked. Nevertheless, it is still very limited at this time.
Crafting unlocks the Tech Editor, as well as the Artisan Pop. However, none of your population can become Artisans until Collective Residence is discovered, explained in the Society Stage entry. Tools allows Tech Objects made by the player in the Tech Editor, which are tagged as “Tools”, to be equipped by members of their species.
Social Tradition unlocks Procedural Culture Generation, leading to the spawning of Arts in your nation.
Work has not yet started the Awakening Stage.