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Gas and energy (abstract) for a strategy game

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It's for this game (the Emperor focused 4X in space I was writing here about the last 3 or so years :D)


Important premise is that the player does no manage planets (abstracted + obligatory automation), so the player can only give toips what should kind of industry planets have and it take a while for it all to adjust. Simply speaking the player makes an edict "make more mines in the empire" and/or designate a specialization of a specific planet as mining and that's it. There is a lack of precision (it's intentional).



1) Gas

You have various planetary specializations (food, minerals, production, services, gas extraction). I have a problem with gas. It fits well with the game as a resource so I want to keep it but it's flawed in purpose. I'm using it as a fuel for ships (in a very abstract way, a % of ships perform worse in combat/skip turn if there is shortage) but it's weak (gameplay wise) and is doubled (as a limiter of ships quantity I use already manufacturing capacity so I don't need gas to double it).

So, I was thinking of some sort of gas being the fuel the economy (energy source) or something else? In such case you would desire to have a certain ratio of gas to production facilities (farms, mines, etc), which, I don't know... isn't so great I suppose... Not sure.


Ideas? Advices?



2) Power planets (energy source for planets)

It's anothrer thing (actually it could double the gas as energy source so probably it's incompatible with the point above). I would like for planets to have power plants :) Somehow energy infrastructure fits the game I suppose. But, since player can't build those manually (as written at the very top - the player does not manage planets) I was thinking of a "technology level of energy source on a planet" like a planet starts with a steam powered plants, then goes to nuclear, then fusion, etc. You would just need to enable that technology (classic research mechanic) and then planets update their plants level over time (how? can the player affect it?) which would let's say provide a bonus to all production facilities efficiency.


Not sure it would make sense, I could just drop those powerplants...



I know this description is messy, but the topic is quite difficult :) Well, maybe you could think of something.

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1. What is weak with the gas mechanics? Its not clear. You could skip gas altogether and just have energy. Both planets (depending on how much tech/industry there is there) and your fleet may drain energy. (gas-powered spaceships seem a little low-tech, especially if you have normal "gas" that is also used in planet industry).


2. Do you need powerplants IF you have gas? What do they add to the gameplay? It seems a bit too low-level for your abstraction level. Also fusion is already nuclear. (call them fission and fusion instead for a better scifi feeling).

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Yeah, I will drop powerplants.


Planets (as planets) and cities (so sort of population) will consume energy.

Sources of energy: Gas in converted to energy, also rare resource (Civ 3-5 style) Uranium grants energy.


I wonder about possible energy related technologies (if you have ideas post):

- gas burning enchancer - gas to electricity conversion efficiency +X%

- energy conservation - cities need X% less energy

- fussion reactors - doubled electricity from uranium resource

- maybe some sort of: insulation - cold planets need less energy (but it's confusing if it means cities or the planet)



The mechanic can still be changed/adjusted, so post if you have a good idea.

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Making gas more efficient in a scifi game is not very realistic though... We have it already at max. Or is the gas some kind of scifi gas that cannot be fully understood? Then tech advance in its field makes sense. 


Otherwise your tech makes sense i guess. But are whole planets either cold or warm? That seems strange to me. If you dont want insulation tech to be city-specific just pick something else for energy saving, like mass transit tech.


You could have other resources grant bonus to energy as well, such as heavy water/deuterium, plutonium etc. Or some scifi stuff.


I think you can skip electricity and just call it energy. Its more general and high-level and would suit the style of your game better. Or you want to make it more different than gas?

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The production rate of gas, or more precisely starship fuel, limits the size of actually deployed fleets (consumption is proportional to fleet size), while the production rate of starships (presumably constrained by the production rate of starship raw materials) limits the available ships that can be potentially deployed: the speed with which reinforcements and replacements and new fleets can go into battle and the speed with which new starship designs (either researched improvements or sudden changes of plans) become available.


Gas and construction are two unrelated and complementary limitations to fleets; there is an obvious third one, recruiting and training a vast space navy (who can be quantitatively and/or qualitatively inadequate for the fleets the player could build and deploy).


Regarding energy, i suggest a sharp distinction between various types of fossil fuel, which a planet can run out of, and renewable sources, which can have specific trouble (e.g. during an ice age hydroelectric plants just die, solar and wind plants might be relocated away from glaciers at reasonable expense, geothermal plants are probably fine).

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