1. How do you produce buildings? If you build them from pp, then can I do manufacture focus to build farm upgrades then switch to farm focus and keep the buildings. What about facilities that provide a constant bonus (independent of pop) if I build them but outside of foucs?
There are two types of buildings. One is boring old infrastructure that you need to produce stuff. These are built and maintained by the colony's economy (from the untaxed wealth). Infracture can be improved with technology and upgrades, but they will be pretty generic to minimize micromanagment. If there is a choice between two types of incompatible factory upgrades, for instance, the player would make the decision once for ALL her factories, rather than a thousand times.
The second type of building is either military or some reasonably building with some special effect. These buildings are built and maintained out of the imperial treasury.
For addtional flavour, we would also try to put in technologies that have empire-wide economic effects without having to construct or upgrade any buildings.
Since infrastructure is built with wealth, you don't NEED an industrial focus to build up a farming world (though perhaps a minor focus in industry could help you expand the economy faster, or support heavy-duty planetary defences more efficiently). It is true that you will lose some investment in infrastructure if you radically change the economic focus of your colony, but you aren't supposed to change focus often anyway.
2. Whats the deal with that money loophole? A colonly produce 20 food and 20 BC and conusumes 20 food and 20 BC, why not forget the money and say 20 food -20 consumed = 0; what's the money for? Now if you want wealth for the sake of maintenence... just say 20 produced a net 20 wealth and just forget consuming wealth part.
There is no money loophole as far as I am aware. Money exists for the cases where a colony is not trading all its production to pay for food and minerals. When a colony is a net importer of resources, it pays a price. When a colony is a net exporter, it gets a benefit. Wealth flows to resource planets so they can expand their economy.
As for calculating net wealth, I am calculating net wealth. I add up production and I subtract consumption. I'm not proposing that resources are magically converted to wealth. It's just an easy way to calculate who pays and who gets payed.
3. Research is a resources so why buy it when it is produced by research foucs planets?
Government pays for research so research planets will have the wealth needed to expand, upgrade and maintain their labs. Research planets that are good at generating research get payed more so they expand faster.
4. I don't like to overdrive food and min and research--doesn't make sense. At any rate, overdrive should always have diminshing effect. Why wouldn't you want to work at max efficiency right from the start?
Nothing ever gets overdriven unless the government spends more on a colony than it collects in taxes. Only then does the government (not the local economy) experience diminishing returns. The steepness of the diminishing returns curve depends on the amount of local industry. So if you're going to build expensive stuff, build it on an industry world.
5. I wouldn't be too quick in saying that no fiddling as an option is necessary. What if the AI has to decide whether to build a +20 food for 100 cost or +10% for 200 cost or +30 food for 150 cost? Each has its own advantage and disadvantages.
We design the system so the planetary AI's decision are always dead obvious. Less like a decision and more just an equation. At any given time, your empire will have the current model of factory, lab, mine and farm available to be built. If the planet has money to spend on factories and some factories are of the old model, it will start upgrading them. If all factories are of the current model, it will start building new ones. We design the technologies so this is always the best decision to make anyway. If there are interesting or difficult tradeoffs to be made, the player decides that once for the whole empire.
6. Trading should be more player dependent. If trading is totally done automatically, I pretty much know your finanicial situation because you are giving me this exact amount and not anthing else which I can just backtrack; empire econ should be top secret.
Probably there will be two types of trade. One is 'closed': "I'll exchange 100 food for 200 minerals each turn." Another is a more open trade agreement, where you exchange to meet each other's needs each turn if possible (and possibly some other mutual benefit). While in the second case you do get information like: "He has extra minerals and a shortage of food", it would be hard to keep that information from a real trading partner anyway. If enemy spies are so dense they can't notice empty supermarket shelves you probably don't have to worry about them stealing top-secret plans for your Zoomba-Cannon prototype.
Some building might not be in focus but are important like government buildings or planetary defense but not important enough to be classified as wonder. Under EA-like proposal, defense will go away in time because of lack of maintenence which I think it is lame.
This is not true. Well, I'm sure you think it's lame, but that's not how the model works. Only excess economic infrastructure left over from some change in focus will be scrapped for lack of maintenance. Government buildings (of which there will be few) and planetary defence are built and maintained by the government and will be maintained until your government goes bankrupt. I see non-military government buildings as much more plentiful than wonders, but not something you need to build three of on every planet. More like 'which three systems in my empire should be trading centers?', 'where should I put my imperial academy?' and 'do I really need two espionage training centers?'
Again, many economic effects can be decided once at the empire level: 'Build weather control systems on all agriculture focus planets? Cost is 70 BC (840 total) and 5 BC per turn (60 total) Y/N',
Or even simpler: "Your scientists have developed weather control technology, +25% food production on worlds with major agriculture focus, +10% on worlds with minor agriculture focus"
Note that making it easy to implement a decision does not make the decision trivial.
What if you conquer a planet that is both mineral rich and provides a research bonus? Does that mean you have to chose.
Well, you do have to choose in that you can't select both mining and research as the major focus. That's the kind of decision a space emperor has to make
Also, in regard to micro, a synomyn for classification is dev plans.
As far as I know, major and minor focus is in. I for one welcome our new focus overlords
Some ppl will complain about crappy AI is in managing buildings and the fact that you can't modify building quee will irritate those ppl more.
My strategy is to make the part the AI controls so simple that its decisions are obviously optimal. Growth and maintenance of colony infrastructure is only a bit more complex than automatic growth of the population.
The difficult decisions are what planet classifications to use, what taxes should be, where military and special buildings should be built, what economic breakthroughs to research, etc. If people are upset that the brain-dead, obvious part of the game happens automatically... <shrug>
Anyway, I hope this post has cleared up a few foggy areas about the proposal.