Space Exploration would be a large branch of technologies stemming from Tall Construction and Advanced Network Infrastructure as a complement of the Alien Tech route. It would unlock many new buildings heavily featuring spaceflight, which acts as somewhat of a different setting for gameplay. Spaceflight mainly focuses on the construction and usage of two new entity types: Spacecraft
act as a sort of vehicle/resource hybrid, costing lots of civics and money as well as hundreds of thousands of units of other resources to construct. Some major difference between spacecraft and existing vehicles is that they actually take a large amount of in-game time to be created, and afterwards, they have to be "stored" in special buildings between missions. Many different types of spacecraft will eventually be made available through later Space Exploration techs, covering a wide variety of purposes and costs. All off-planet actions involving spacecraft take place in the form of missions, which basically comprise of you giving a spacecraft a set of instructions, providing the proper supplies, launching it, and watching the outcome. Possible missions could vary from sending infantry carriers at a rival world to constructing modular space stations in orbit to automatically delivering resource shipments to settlements who purchased your GBOT contracts. Though reusable, spacecraft consume quite a lot of resources each mission, mainly in the form of fuel. Almost all rockets run on a base fuel type simply known as Rocket Fuel derived from Oil and Crystalline. More advanced types might also use up Helium 3, Uranium, Robots, or even a small quantity of Alien Artifacts.
are a more permanent building analogue, anchored in orbit around a planet. Even more expensive than spacecraft, they also take time to be manufactured and must be stored in specialized facilities prior to deployment. There are a wide variety of satellites of different sizes and purposes, ranging from (relatively) simple telecom rigs to orbital bombardment platforms to entire research stations. For initial setup, satellites are deployed into orbit by spacecraft, but from then on, they generally require little maintenance.
As mentioned before, interplanetary trade
would also be affected by these new mechanics. Rather than letting magic transfer their resources across the quadrant, settlements now have to develop rockets or outsource them in order to sell resources on the GBOT, which will also take some time to arrive at the recipient colonies. Gifting capacities now only determine gifting capacities towards other settlements on the planet. Fortunately, trade is still possible without having to touch Space Exploration at all with the help of a middleman, the Galactic Freight Corporation. With the GBOT, a new building called the Galactic Freight Cargo Pad that facilitates trade is also unlocked. Operated by the Galactic Freight Corporation, this building generates a little passive income from rent, but all of it will go back to Galactic Freight when you're paying off the exorbitant customs charged for each trade shipment. The main benefit of going with the GFC is ease of operation; you don't need to generate your own rocket fuel or use software to map out travel routes. With your own spacecraft though, you will be able to conduct higher volume trading at a faster rate as well as stave off shipping fees.
Possible research branches:
- Astronomy (requires Tall Construction and Advanced Networking Infrastructure with a Level 2 Settlement, Space Exploration gateway tech)
- Rocketry (requires Astronomy, unlocks rockets)
- Satellite Construction (requires Rocketry, unlocks satellites)
- Zero-Gravity Biology (requires Astronomy, gateway tech to other stuff including possible tourism)
- Space Habitats (requires Zero-Gravity Biology and Satellite Construction, unlocks larger satellites and structures)
- Advanced Spacial Defense (requires Advanced Security and Satellite Construction with a level 4 settlement, unlocks weaponized spacecraft and satellites)
Let me know what you think of this idea!