Reviving a thread that hasn't been posted to in nearly ten and a half years? Sure, why not!
Anyway, it's been 10+ years, surely some things have been made in the interim? What I really want is a space colonization game that has you colonize a solar system without FTL travel, but I do not believe such a game exists. All I can find are galactic-scale colonization games or games in which you colonize exactly one planet.
So, yeah. Probably out of luck, but I thought I might ask here, and see what others' thoughts were on the subject.
The time is right for this game. A couple of weeks back I was tossing some ideas back and forth with a friend about a hard scifi no-FTL travel 4X game. I may as well write down a digest of the conversation so I have a written record (original ideas donut steel)
- The player and all rival factions would start out on Earth, with a possibility that the different factions would represent various Terran powers and all have various bonuses and areas of expertise. Obvious contenders would be the USA, Russia, China but also (mega)corporations and ambitious billionaires like Elon Musk.
- Early game you would be restricted to exploiting the Solar system, scouting for good resources and jockeying for control over off-planet colonies and habitats. At this point you'd also be sending scout probes out to the star systems nearest to Sol and trying to get an edge on tech to try and be the first to get some extra-solar infrastructure established.
- Since there'd be no ftl communications at all at the start of the game your acitivities outside the sol system would be totally indirect. You'd dispatch missions to other star systems and wait for the years to tick by, in the dark about the success or failure of your endeavors. Eventually you'd receive signals sent by your extrasolar probes letting you know what's out there
- Even in the Sol system you'd have problems caused by the sheer scale and without heavy-handed military supervision or good communication and organisation tech your off-earth colonies are likely to start developing big ideas and may split off to form their own factions.
- Moving into the mid and late game you'd start developing more sci-fi tech which would have various ramifications on how the game plays out. These would include ansibles (entanglement based instant-coms devices) that would let you have direct control over your units in other solar systems, various degrees of terraforming, bio-engineering to enhance your pops and allow them to survive in hostile environments, various kinds of AI, mindstate upload and transmission to let you send your talented leaders remotely to the extrasolar colonies without needing to put their meatbags on a ship, and of course killbots.
We basically imagined it as a Paradox grand strategy game but in a hard scifi setting like The Expanse.