Visual only, Makes map look like old maps
All known Space = World Map
Sectors = Regions
Systems = State/city maps
A holographic "map" monument in space, showing not-to-scale versions of the local system, local cluster of systems, the empire which controls the monument, etc
Not quite sure how history generation will go, but it would be awesome if we could tinker either with Global PCG variables, or discrete entities.
For example pausing history gen at a certain spot and just granting some faction 5 more fully developed core systems and 10 more partially developed periphery systems... Other Variables include : Culture Vectors, TechTree, Infrastructure priority, Tall vs Wide, xenophilia vs xenophobia, vengefulness, etc...
Or manipulating the Global "Faction Stability with expansion" variable to cause factions to splinter at smaller stages.
I suspect this would need a sort of Omniscient map of a large area arouynd the starting system before actually starting the game, making history gen sort of like an interactive version of the Dwarf Fortress Parameter menu, where you can change a few discrete variables or maybe even the whole seed used for history gen at any point.
This takes history manipulation and gamifies it.
You get control of a faction in the history gen mode, and you can change variables, but you have to earn points to do so. you don't directly control the faction, but you can assign it priorities at the highest level, such as "Colonize this system" or "Build a warp lane highway from this system to this system" or "Wage economic warfare on this faction" or "Focus on these n tech branches".
I think it would be really cool to go from CIV:LT in a faction you guided for a thousand ingame years and jump into regular LT and explore it
The Invisible Hand
You ARE the blackbox. You control/manipulate the generation of various resources, the success rate of research, the gaussian mean of price valuations. You can let them flow dynamically, or you can adjust them, lock them in place, cause a goldrush here, an economic collapse there. Nothing more, nothing less.
Life is but a single chapter in existence. Death brings you to a completely new universe from which you cannot return, the new universe is finite, and comes with some very distinct spoke-sectors surrounding and connecting only to a hub system with the grand City of the Dead, ruled by an infinitely powerful, but relatively unconcerned Lord of Death that serves as a policeman for the city.
Spoke regions include
- A Dark and gloomy region comprised of systems with wandering holographic ships going about their business but you can't interact with them in any way, but they and you and other npcs who died can trade at stations (aka Gothic Graveyard)
- A Burning region full of lava worlds and space in these systems is whipped by violent flares and waves of plasma (aka Hell)
- A Bright and colorful region with systems rich in resources, healing zones, and excessive use of bloom (aka heaven),
- A Valhalla like region, where great battles are always occuring as ships spawn to defend the region from other ships which spawn to invade it. The player can join the defenders but not the invaders. The invaders can "capture the flag" of the defenders, stop their spawning, conquer the whole spoke out to the city of the dead, try to invade the city, only to be invariably beaten back with ease by the Lord of Death who restores the balance. The defenders can also win and "capture the flag" of the invaders and temporarily halt the invasion before after a time a new portal opens somewhere in the spoke and the war begins again.
- A Karmic region, where a random culture vector has been selected as the "Ideal way of being" and the closer your culture stats are to that ideal, the better you will be treated by the inhabitants, the further away, the more hostile they are.
- A Journey world through many systems, that form many paths, but all eventually lead to a portal that reincarnates you into a normal LT universe. The systems are filled with "hungry souls" that are individually weak, but swarm you, and can only be pacified by feeding them different resources. "Angels, Demons, Guardians", very strong AI that never leave the system, and help you, attack you, or send you on impossible missions/quests throughout the underworld before letting you pass through to the next system. Occasional heaven/hell systems, occasional random-physics systems, occasional "Shrines from the living" that give small amounts of free random resources.
If you die in the underspace, you reincarnate in the City of the Dead as a standard weak ship. No research takes place in the underspace, but a huge range of tech and components are for sale by the Lord of Death, to outfit you for whatever you plan to do.
The different regions exist simultaneously, and can interact with each other, never connecting directly to one another but always through the City of the Dead. It's totally possible to set up a business transporting goods from heaven to hell, or recruiting warriors from Valhalla to help you make it through to the reincarnation portal and so on.
Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can