A bit of an update! Fleets are somewhat implemented now. I've set up a starting fleet for each empire, and implemented drawing of fleets in galaxy screen. You can see a couple of screenshots of this in action:
Zoomed out:http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/ ... ot11-1.jpg
Zoomed in:http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b102/ ... shot12.jpg
Right now, those fleets don't actually have any ships. I plan on implementing pathfinding, "end of turn", and movement during end of turn phase, then implement exploration of stars with those empty fleets, as they're actually tangible than a list of ships that you won't actually see in battle any time soon.
As I worked on the galaxy stuff, I realized that there's a few features that's not present in any of the MoO series. Those are:
1. The ability to select a starting star system. If you want to do a 2v2 for example, I think it'd be nice to have the option to either have your home star system set randomly, or being able to pick a spot that's near your ally.
2. Star density options. By this I mean how close the star systems are to each other. Right now I'm using a "factor" of 4 in my algorithm. WHat I do is take a square root of the total number of stars, then multiply it by that factor, and I got a 40x40 possible spots for a 100 stars game. If I increase this factor (say, to 10), then the stars can be really far apart, each star are randomly placed, but with a rule that they have to be a minimum of 2 spots away from the nearest star. This could make fuel technology really important, and incorporate the concept of establishing outposts to increase fuel range.
3. Individual difficulty setting for each AI player. In all of the MoO series, there's only one difficulty setting, and it applies to everybody. In Beyond Beyaan, you will be able to pick the difficulty setting for each AI player, as well as their race (possibly even being able to customize their perks and weaknesses?). You can also pick random for that element of surprise
4. Spying as an investment, not random luck. I think that spying should be considered as an investment. The more you put in, the more payoff it will be. The way I'm thinking, there will be "levels" of infiltration, with the lowest as being merely "Inside the empire", and the highest in "Trusted Elite Circles" (think of a spy within White House for example). If you get caught spying, you drop down a level. Counter-spying investment will counter their investment in spying. So if your investments outweight theirs, it will be very hard for them to advance a level.
I'm planning on incorporating those features, I feel that this will make for increased replayability of this game. You can tweak the galaxy to be more dense, making fuel range less important, or to be more sparse, making fuel important. You can set up locations for epic showdown with your friends, or randomly select a position and go from there. You can customize the AI's options. Spying will be fun, instead of a major pain in the butt like in Moo 2 and 3 (I hated how their spy system is set up). I've loved the spying system of MoO 1, but feel that it can be improved on.
What do you think of those features? Would those improve the game's replayability? Make it more fun?