After a lot of testing, I decided a while ago to bring a two resource system back to the game. There are a few reasons for this change, and while I'm hesitant to add any more complexity to the game, some change was necessary. For one, I wanted to add a more gated resource to balance out the un-gated asteroid resource; asteroids are meant to be very common on most maps, which unfortunately also means that there would next to no limit to a player's potential ore income. The maximum collection rate for the second resource is tied to the number of large planetary bodies, which limits the player's ability to rapidly strip mine and spam units.
In summary, there are now 2 different game resources: ore and credits. Most units require a mixture of both ore (obtained from asteroids/scrap or planetary mines) and credits (obtained from scrap harvesting as well as from taxation and trade from planets.) Lower tech units as well as space station modules require primarily metal, while higher tech units and upgrades will require more credits.
Scrap metal deposits are placed in strategic locations on the map and are also spawned whenever space stations or ships that are frigate class or larger are destroyed.
Asteroid fields can provide a plentiful source of ore throughout the game.
The 4 types of available colony modules and their respective landing ships in the foreground. In addition to their specific roles, all colonies increase the planet or moon's population over time, leading to a greater commerce rating and more income in credits to the player who owns the planet. These colonies have been in the game for a while, but I've recently revamped their appearance and changed a few of their functions.
- Planetary Cannon: strong base defense (has a limited firing cone which changes direction as the planet rotates)
- Trade Port: enables trade between planetary bodies (see picture below)
- Atmosphere Factory: creates a breathable atmosphere if one doesn't exist, increases population growth rate and grants bonus efficiency to all colonies
- Mining Colony: provides a supplemental income of ore
When the player controls more than one celestial body that has a trade port colony, a trade route is automatically created between them and trade ships are periodically spawned based on each planet's commerce rating. Trade ships that make it from one planet to another will give the player a moderate sum of credits, however these ships are extremely vulnerable to harassment during transit.
I've fallen a bit behind where I'd like to be with the game, but I'm still focused on making a playable demo and then going into a paid alpha. Going forward, I'll be working a lot on improving the skirmish AI, and I intend to also post a smaller update as I finish updating the GUI and the last of the new space station models.