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sage12

Hands off economy (planetary improvements)

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A 4X game in space with many, many planets. I don't want the player to deal with economy of an individual planet (building farms and factories) due to micromanagement but I want the player to be able to affect the economy in some indirect way (taxes, decrees, industrial focuses). Also immersion is a factor here (private sector handling these boring things is cool to me and makes me feel like a real Emperor :)).

 

 

What I have now:

The AI (planetary governor) builds infrastructure automaticly, how much it can build depends on taxes (low taxes = a lot of new planetary infrastructure). It can build cities (houses population), farms (produces food - not possible on all planets) and factories (produces goods/ships/etc). What to build is decided a random factor (quite high), planet type (fertile planets tend to have more farms), Empire wide food availability (if there is a food shortage the "food price" goes up and more people/investors find farming profitable), overcrowding (more people means more cities are needed).

 

So, it's quite simplistic and fully automated.

 

I wonder how to proceed from here...

Like, in what other ways the player can affect these (without dealing with individual planets - globally instead), if it should be more complex (like light & heavy factories, powerplants), if there should be a more complex supply & demand system (different food types that population eats, consumer goods, machinery production to boost factories output).

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Why do you even need those different facilities types if the player doesnt deal with them anyway? Is it just for flavor? A planet could just show the output (like +5 food, +2 prod) no need to list all the factories, farms etc. This would be calculated from the planet type, governor focus and some "development level". You can maybe set how much resources are alotted to the planet in terms of food (population growth) and production (increases development level over time). These are drained from your empire income and spent by the planet.

The risk is otherwise that you build a lot of gameplay system (buildings, supply/demand system etc) that seem cool but doesnt tie into the actual gameplay/interaction with the player. And that the parts of the game that DO involve the players direct control suffers (such as overall management, decisions regarding war/diplomacy, research whatever) suffer as a result.

If you have limitless resources i'd say you can add many details for the sake of flavor, otherwise focus on what's important first, and if you have time over add (mechanically not very important) bells and whistles then.

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