Geoff the Medio wrote:
I suggest implementing universal recursive structures of systems.
Right now it's fixed star->planets one-to-many relation.
A better would be anything->anything relation.
star with several planets, one of which also have planet (or asteroid belt) around it
blackhole with 2 stars around it. one of stars also have some planets, some of which (gas giants) also have asteroid belt and some tiny planets around it
huge planet (that for some reason didn't become a star, i.e. due to being populated by mindless ln2 overclockers) with small star around it
That would be a large increase in code, interface, and user mental model complexity with relatively minimal gameplay / strategic benefit. FreeOrion is a game, not a simulation.
Code complexity? Nah, I doubt it. I can do it myself when I'll have some free time.
Interface complexity? Nope, it will become simpler, because on right UI panel there will always be just one object. And we can put additional information about it or make current info less compact and more readable (so there will be no need to hover over growth icon to see details).
Zooming in is not hard and is intuitive - we do this all the time in galaxy map. Child object can also be shown on parent's UI panel as shortcuts (galaxy map will zoom in and center on object). Production queue will also be more readabke - upon clicking on item galy will zoom and center on specific planet, not on system with 5 planets so that you need to also search needed planet amongst them (sometimes will also need to scroll).
Mental model complexity? Star->planet->asteroid is intuitive to anybody familiar with how space works. And nobody memorizes galaxy map anyway because it's impossible. Players memorize systems, not planets, so nothing will change for them.
Gameplay / Strategic benefits - I already described increased strategic variability. Also now we are basically limited by engine - we can only add a moon to planet as planetary bonus. It would be much better to add moon as actual object that can have outpost or even be colonized. It COMMON situation in space. Even in our solar system some Jupiter's moons are small planets with athmosphere, alien outposts and even native life. "Resonant moon" "Tidal moon" bonuses doesn't nearly compensate.
Doubke-star systrms are actualky really common. Blackholea with stars too. Gas giants almost always have own planets and asteroid belts. Right now all of this is impossible due to engine limitations.
Yes freeorion is not simulator, but the more realistic it is - the better.