With the design for squadrons/combat resolution basically finalized (not yet implemented, getting there...), I've been thinking about planets/systems. The current system of managing projects and production just don't feel fun, it feels more tedious. Since I want the game to be enjoyable to play, and not tedious at any phase (end-game or newly started), I'm re-vamping the economy design.
While thinking about the economy, I thought, why not separate the economy into three levels: Planet-wide, System-wide, and Empire-Wide?
Planet-wide projects will include buildings that enhances production output, terraforming, missile bases, planet surveys, etc.
System-wide projects will include starships/system ships, stargates, and other massive projects.
Empire-wide projects will include research projects, super-massive projects similar to Death Star from Star Wars, etc.
What this means is that I will need to re-design the project list screen, planet list screen, planet/system window in galaxy view, and research screen.
So here's my proposition, I would like your feedback on this, since this will be the final design for the game:
Merge the system view and planet view into one big screen the same size as other screens like ship design, and make it show after double clicking on a system. In this screen, you will see a list of planets on left, as well as the star. Selecting the star will give you the star system project management in right area. Selecting a planet will give you the planet management instead. In planet management, you will be able to handle outputs of each race individually, and select the current planet project. In system management, you will be able to select which system project to build.
Revamp the planet list so that galaxy preview is removed, and planets are listed on left, with better filter options below the list. On right will be the same screen from the planet management in galaxy view, so you can manage each planet from either planet list screen or system window in galaxy screen. The "Production Sliders" for setting output of all selected planets will be removed, but this is offset by being able to manage each planet from this screen.
Replace the projects list with "Star System List" screen, this will look similar to Planet List screen, but instead of managing planets, you manage systems and their current project. On left will be list of systems, with some filter options. On right will be the same screen as system management in galaxy view.
Re-do the research screen so it's now "Technologies", basically an encyclopedia of researched technologies.
Add a new screen: "Empire Management" that allows you to handle empire projects and view your empire's operations information such as finances.
Now, the tricky part, where does the production for each of the three levels of economy comes from? This is where I may need feedback on. The goal is to keep things simple and easily understandable. I don't want a complex economy system that's hard to comprehend like MoO 3 (heavy foot of government, planet/system/empire tax rates, etc).
Should resources be now on an empire-wide level, with the planet that both produce and consume them be the maximum efficient use of resources? (numbers are made up, just giving an idea) For example, if a planet produces 10 food, and requires 10 food, it is equal. But if a planet requires 10 food and only produces 5, it has to import from another planet in the same system, it consumes 12.5 total (the extra 2.5 is from 25% penalty of importing it from another planet in the same system, 50% if different system. So 5 * 25% = 7.5 food imported from same system, 10 if from different system)
If the resources are now on empire-wide level, then pollution management will have to be internalized similiar to MoO 2, by reducing the production output of all fields (not just industry) due to it not making sense to "import pollution cleanup". Commerce will also need to be internalized due to the annoying disabled "End of Turn" button, so all production will output revenues automatically. Industry will be introduced as a new output for planets, and production will consume industry in all three levels of economy, with planet projects taking first priority, systems second, and empire last. Research will be removed since researching is now an empire-wide project.
So each planet will have five sliders: Farm, Industry, Planet Production, System Production, and Empire Production, with the productions consuming Industry points for projects. Then in System, you can add projects, so it's possible to have more than one project, and you manage how much production goes into each project. Same for empire screen.
The pros of this setup:
Less micromanagement with handling sliders/output
No more annoying disabled End of Turn button, if you don't generate sufficient commerce, the production will be penalized because it is used to pay off the debt.
Population growth is now mostly separate from food slider, it was confusing, so now if there's sufficient food it will grow normally, otherwise it just starve. No fancy tweaking to maximize pop growth.
No management of pollution, it's now all internalized, and pollution reduction technologies will simply improve production.
Convenient screens for managing planets and systems
Able to focus all output into one research project, or spread them out across multiple projects. Can research two items from the same field at the same time.
Resource handling are internalized so no need for supply ships (the 25% and 50% penalty are to pay for "shipping and handling" when importing either food or industry)
Cons of this setup:
A bit more micromanagement with handling projects - especially when buildings are added. At this stage, there's only terraforming projects for planets. But for mods that adds buildings, things will be different.
What are your thoughts on this economy system? Suggestions for improvements? This isn't final, but I feel that it will be a lot more fun and less tedious in many areas.