The Thrive Project is an ongoing project to create an open-source evolution game inspired by Spore but more based on science and realism than on humor and age-friendliness. The Thrive team consists of a few dozen regulars, including multiple programmers, artists, and musicians, and the project manages itself through forums and a wiki. Originally, most members of the Thrive team arrived at the project through the Sporum (where the Evolutions! hoax, discussed in detail below, was originally posted), though today, many members originate on other sites.
The project's head, sciocont, was a fairly well-known Sporumer before he mostly retired from Spore to pursue other projects (primarily Thrive.) The Thrive team also includes several fairly high-profile Sporeons, including Pezzalis.
This project's origins lie in a hoax: fake "screenshots" from a supposedly Spore-like game entitled "Evolutions!" The hoax, originally intended to spur Maxis on in the further development of Spore by encouraging them to believe that plausible competition existed, was only realized to be a hoax days after it was originally posted (though many who saw the thread were suspicious from the beginning.)
Strangely enough, the hoax attracted such attention that the individual originally responsible for the hoax (known to the Thrive team as Sven) decided to launch a team dedicated to actually producing the Evolutions! game he had imagined. The Evolutions! team, consisting of several interested Sporumers (including sciocont) actually went off and started a forum and begun trying to figure out how to build such a game.
Unfortunately, most of the Evolutions! team found Sven difficult to work with. Declaring him a poor administrator, these disaffected individuals formed a break-off group. It is this group that evolved over time into the Thrive team as it is today.
Sven's followers remained on the Evolutions! forums and continued talking without making much progress. Eventually, their activity shrank down to only two or three semi-active members with little science knowledge or programming experience, and it was overrun by spambots. Sven then shut down the forum, presumably realising no progress was going to be made.
Due to the project's enormity and reliance on team members' free time, little progress has been made so far. This has led to several members leaving the project over time, but their work still remains for use by the current team. In March 2013 a Reddit post led to a huge surge in activity, and since then progress has skyrocketed in comparison to the previous three and a half years of development. Several prototypes and a podcast have been released, a new website was published, plenty of music and art continues to be made.
At this point, much progress has been made on its Microbe Stage. A variety of organelles and NPC species, as well as a dynamic metabolism, are among its features. To see this new version, see here: 
Old versions (Warning: Ad-ridden old forum): http://thrivegame.canadaboard.net/t1276-thrive-releases
Sven Comes BackEdit
In July, Sven came back in a bid to revive Evolutions!, setting up this thread: . Here, and on some other websites, he has been behaving with hostility toward Thrive, claiming that Thrive was essentially stolen from him. A few Sporumers pointed out the hoax, but one took it seriously. Eventually, members of the Thrive Subreddit caught wind of the affair, with one of them setting up this thread: . The Sporumers mistook this as an attempted attack on them, and responded in "kind." After the original Reddit poster attempted to clear up the confusion, a Sporumer came and cleared up the confusion on the Sporum side of the conflict.
Recently, Sven has made moves to recruit Sporumers, making claims similarly to the first time around. Some Sporumers have called him out for this, knowing what he has done in the past (such as attacking [Ashkelon] in this thread: ). However, the majority know little of the what has come before.