I like there being neutral races, because it offers some potentially interesting choices with respect to how to annex them (propaganda, economic takeovers, slow immigration of loyal races, religious conversion...)
I see, thanks, that's the feedback I'm looking for (what is fun and what to keep).
It sounds like you're making a distinction between the race and the state
Well... yes... or maybe. Multiracial empire is one of my ideas. But I feel I'm missing something very important here and that it is not the core of the game.
Maybe let's look at it from the point of view of planets & gameplay ignoring the races for a moment.
In that game you should claim like 1/3 of the map (the central part around your home world) very fast and very early, it's like the core of your empire that stays loyal to you most of the time. Then the next 1/3 should be claimable with a modest effort (propaganda, diplomacy, culture, economic take over). And the last 1/3 should be some sort of frontier/outskirts with planets resistant to joining, the breeding ground of pirates, separatists, rebels, strange & dangerous aliens, the use of force would be primary form of conquest in that part.
Then some disaster comes (in forms of very aggressive aliens) and they start conquering/annihilating planets (no matter who owns it) and the player try to stops them in a tower defence style (so neutral planets are useful as an expendable cannon fodder that slows enemy without any negative effect to us (it's not our citizens/factories that are annihilated)).
Then there is some internal separatists uprising and some of our planets turn rebels and want to leave the empire which we need to stop as well.
That's how it should look like from the gameplay point of view (I don't know how/where races falls in here...)
Colonization mechanic - it should be fast at the beginning, like 1 planet per turn, and the immigration to new planets should be fast as well (and growth rate on empty planets too blazing fast - until they reach modest numbers). Let's say your empire colonizes one planet each turn automaticaly. They go by the distance from your capital. You can also click a planet and set "colonize", it will be colonized first or click "do not colonize" and it will be never colonized (so you only prioritize or disallow colonization). The neutral races could colonize separately.
Once a planet is colonized it gets an "empire join check" and it either joins the empire instantly or not (if it was colonized by citizens of your empire you get a +50% bonus to instant joining).
Edited by Acharis, 13 July 2014 - 02:13 AM.