Type: 4X game that's basically an open love letter to every strategy game I've ever enjoyed. For the sake of not having to come up with five or six additional alien races I'll discuss it from the point of humanity.
Setting: It is the year 2050 and the various galactic-ready races have begun to develop a natural need for a unified one-world government is on the minds of the most powerful nation states. You are appointed the Commander in charge of that initiative. For example as humanity you are placed in by the U.N. character for world peace (at any cost).
Using the most advanced tech your race can bring to bear you either wage war or use diplomacy to bring the various nation-states under your auspices. One of the first tech trees would unlock at this point (Warfare). Using money, power, and persuasion you create a one-world government. However, once your new world order is created you use your popularity to create a new unifying government for the planet. This would also bring in the Collateral Damage mechanic, more later.
You then get the ability to reorganize the world as you see fit:
Republic: A military driven Startship Troopers style republic
Monarchy: Think Imperium of Man, lots of centralized power
Democracy: Basically what the UN was trying to do with a World Senate. Lots of power, but power is fickle, especially the larger the empire is.
Federation: A trade driven corporate collection of various trade unions.
Fundamentalist: Basically like Civ it's a polite word for police state or fascist.
Theocracy: Fundamentalist religion driven.
At this point the government and trade tech tree would open. It would also teach you how to keep power. While your government type will never change again many parties will appear. Various types of governance have more than other. Fundies for example only have three. Theocracy might have three, monarchy will have about 5 that reflect various houses vying for the crown, and republic will have about five. Democracy and Fed will have about 10 reflecting the volatile nature of democracy and commercial interest.
Anyway, now that the world is conquered the whole of mankind turns its vision upward, and the first truly great space-faring ships are formulated. This unlocks the third tech tree (ship tech, which is not the same as military, more to come). The first ships are primitive. Dirty vision tramp freighters setting out to colonize the solar system. One of the things I want to do is have every kind of planet usable in some way. Asteroids, Gas giants aren't livable but they're usable. This is when the last tech tree (for now) gets unlocked (infrastructure deals with stuff like academies, mining, etc.)
So humanity starts with the moon, then Mars (Mars is considered arid and livable). None of the races will have a terran, ocean, jungle, or desert planet in their starting system (or their preference for example). Well, this time would introduce you to the civil war aspect, the "Imperial Control" stat, and ship-to-ship, ship-to-ground combat.
An un-avoidable spat of unrest will rock your empire. Your empire splits in half with you getting the remained so you'll have an advantage. At this point you might have primitive fusion and planet-buster nukes as well as some standard metal armors (tungsten for example). You'd usually fight the government the government sort of opposite of yours, or random, but not yours.
Once you have quashed the rebellion or the rebellion has quashed you (yes it would be possible to lose, but you'd get an option to keep playing as the people who beat you if you want, just for funnsies)
After taking the last settlement (ie. planet, asteroid mine, whatever has the ability to produce some kind of colony ship) you get an event that tells you that your scientists have discovered a way to navigate the perils of time dilation. Each race has its own form. I haven't nailed them down exactly, but humans will either have some kind of broadcast technology or some kind of space lane thing
Other methods include:
Warp drive (traditional take a chunk of time-space with you)
N-space nodes (point to point but without gates but an inability to put it where you want)
Stasis Catapult (put them on a deep freeze in some gel and shoot them close, or later, past the speed of light in a straight line toward the system that's incredibly fast but has a small margin of error (requiring more turns to "hone in" on the system you were aiming for.
Some other stuff, at least seven.
Anway: The galaxy is out there for you to colonize. At this point the tech trees (which have already randomized and name-changed somewhat to reflect your government will get the last tree which is probably the smallest (xenoology dealing with alien races, speaking, communicating, cohabitation). Then it goes the way of most game. Conquer using science, war, diplomacy, or trade, or wonders/culture.
Mechanics: So yeah, it might be a micromanage fest, but I want it to be in a way that's heuristic, intuitive. It uses the standard production/gold/science/food mechanics (because honestly I haven't found one that does it better for TBS).
I want the science-fairly on the hard side. No ships made out of suns or living metal or some of the more mystical elements.
It'll also be pretty damn dark, I want to use the Endless Space way of doing battles, cinematic but more opportunity to use cards, and an ability to pause outside of multiplayer. This would double for ground operations too. You see your men running across a surface of a planet, you see the mechs, tanks, and whatnot.
Another thing: System Synergy. This is a concept of organizing solar systems in your empire to get shit done as it expands. For instance Sol will start out a bit varied, but the pressure to make it a government based system will be pretty overt. Say your next system has lots of asteroids and arid planets. What's the best thing to do. Mining system. All the buildings should reflect maximum exploitation possible. It is one of the Xs after all. So you'll have whole systems funneling food to the empire.
Some other mechanics. Ships are rare. Even the most basic is a massive undertaking. Now this becomes easier as you advance and get more resources and all, but even with whole systems geared as shipyards there are still limited caps on fleets and fleet size. The key to protecting your empire isn't a fleet in every system. The key is a garrison on every planet.
There are also unique heroes (most come from your race until you research something in Xenoology) that can run systems or fleets.
The essence of combat and destruction: Planets can be blown apart or made uninhabitable pretty easily. You as a ruler are assigned a score based on your general tendencies toward either destruction or temperance. Yes, you can plant your battleships over a planet and bomb it back into the stone age. It's quick, it's efficient, the world learns to hate and fear you (especially if there are no military installations on the planet other than a barracks (the most basic needed to station troops there). You get certsain bonuses and penalties based on the magnitude of these scores.
So taking a system. Systems are not conquered immediately. It'll be an endeavor (this is to give your opponent time to react since fleets are small but generally fast). They're still limited by what they want to do though. Yeah, they can blast your troops of the planet from orbit, but what do they want or need.
So I've been picking at it some more, and I've come up with some new ideas:
So we have:
Numerous Races who you have to take from planet, to system, to galaxy.
A robust choice of government structures and political parties.
A combat system that entails not only controlling ships and space stations, but the planetary garrison.
The idea of aligning systems to produce a function.
So new stuff:
Trade routes and lanes. In general if there isn't an enemy fleet parked above your system you've got a route. Broadcasters (warp gates whatever you want to call them) would need a gate in the system. This is what allows resources to flow to your bureaucratic systems. Everyone else would need at least one comm relay in the system. It has to deal with how many turns of movement it is from a government sector whether or not they need a relay, but since gov systems would be costly and contribute no raw resources to your empire it would balance out making one every few systems
Well, here's some problems that can happen with that. If you lose contact with a system for about a hundred years or so (pretty unlikely seeing as enemy ships would be trying to take it. It could go into medieval-stasis state (just for fun again). In general your empire is only as good as its roads.
Also: Tech discoveries at least in the military and ship sector are somewhat randomized. Everyone'll have access to core tech, but humans have a greater chance of getting aircraft carriers as a dreadnought class than other races, but have a lower chance of getting higher-end plasma. They could, but you're playing against the RNG. Everyone has access to some kind of dreadnought though.
Civil wars can happen, but I don't want it to be a game-ender. You can call a cease-fire or even get your rebelling faction to ally itself against a common foe.
You can beat the game several ways: Diplomatic (creates a Hegemony), Conquest (Capture all enemy held systems), Empire (control 80% of the systems, not a big believer personally, but why not), economy (control a vast amount of wealth total not in your treasury), and tech (a predictive computer or control over black holes none of that transcend to energy stuff . I'm thinking about some culture, great wonder based thing too.
Also, because I'm a big sucker for customization you can name not only the systems but each of the planets in you (default is system name I, II, III) want. Depending on what they produce the most they'd also get a special prefix like if you were all production for ships
Gemini Shipyard Instead of just Gemini. You could rename the special stuff too. So it could be Gemini Imperial Drydock or something.
I would also work on something that fleet managing a breeze. However, I believe in moving small amounts of ships so that's half the battle right there.
Also, I would offer some civilization portraits and the ability to upload your own. I hate making custom races and having to select from the small pool of preexisting portraits.
Ooh, another neat idea. Maybe each planet could be broken into four sections each section would have certain number of squares. Improvements have to be put into squares. All land based facilities would need a certain number of squares (one to four), the number of squares changes based on the size of the planet or heavenly body. Asteroid fields and gas giants would be small or tiny, for instance.
I was thinking you could control all this through the scroll wheel on mouses (and yes it's mouses when you're talking about the device) to zoom to the varying levels of governance. I want as few menus as possible.