Hello everyone! Welcome back to our Developer Diary – a little later than usual, apologies for the delay 🙂
We keep mentioning a new galaxy we’re getting ready to launch and the new gameplay to come with it (which won’t be implemented into the existing galaxy) but without going in to any details…
Now seems like a good time to change that 🙂 We won’t go into the numbers just yet though as we’re still working on balance – but by the end of this post you should have a good idea of what’s on the way.
Planet surface to matter more
Right now in the game the population cap for a colony strongly depends on the size of the planet. But in the next galaxy the composition of the planet’s surface will also play a big part… We’re adding new parameters for each civ to reflect their affinity towards land or water and to what degree.
For example, if your civ isn’t a fan of water and you choose to colonize a planet that’s one big ocean – that colony is gonna struggle. Surface composition won’t have as strong an effect as temperature but it’s definitely something you’ll have to keep in mind 🙂
New climate station to manage water
Just as you construct climate stations now to tilt a planet’s temperature towards the comfort zone of your civ, you’ll be able to research and build a new type of climate station that will enable you to manipulate a planet’s land/sea balance in your civ’s favor and allow them to prosper.
Farms and city centers
Farms are currently responsible for extending the maximum population that a colony can support AND contribute to its growth rate.
But a new ‘City Centre’ building will instead take over half of the responsibility and determine growth rate. Farms will now only determine the maximum population size a colony can support.
Also, farms and city centers will only affect your own civ’s population cap/growth rate (any other population on the same planet won’t benefit from their construction).
How corrupt is your empire?
As an empire grows it becomes harder to police: bribery, blackmail, embezzlement and smuggling will rise and need to be kept in check. There was a heated debate amongst the team around whether to represent this in the game and if so how. The result is a new empire-wide ‘Corruption’ level.
Once an empire reaches a certain size corruption will begin to grow. Corruption will have a negative effect on the happiness level of each of an empire’s colonies. Which means in order to continue to expand, the happiness on existing colonies needs to be maintained/increased. Otherwise, unchecked expansion will lead to thriving colonies falling into chaos and disarray.
To maintain a colony’s happiness, good strategic construction/upgrade decision making will be crucial. Trying to build everything on one colony will be difficult and the role of a colony may need to be more specialized.
To begin with it won’t be possible to counter corruption itself – but it’s likely we’ll add something to the tech tree…
The Syntis aren’t affected by happiness – but they’ll have their own challenges to continue their expansion. To be able to extend their control network across even more planets, they’ll need to research and implement new technology unique to them…
Fleet control centers
Each fleet has an upkeep cost in credits. It means that players need to weigh up the ongoing cost of having the fleet against putting those credits to use elsewhere e.g. building new structures on a planet.
But getting the balance right isn’t easy. And in the current Alpha galaxy players are in a logistical muddle of having to manage a never ending conveyer belt of new ships – which is far from fun!
Our first step to improving things is to introduce a new structure – the Fleet Control Center. Initially, an empire will be able to manage up to a set number of fleets without any. But to be able to manage more fleets you’ll need to build additional fleet control centers (you can build one per colony).
There’s also a twist on this for the Syntis included in their own new tech tree branch (to recognise their inherent specialization with tech amongst the civs).
Let us know what you think in the forum
We’re confident that these changes will improve current gameplay and add a new depth to strategic planning. Some of the changes discussed above have been floating around the forums already so may be old news to some of you. But if you have any feedback make sure to let us know in the forum – we’re keen to hear it!
Thank you all and see you next time 🙂