Since posting my note about my break I have spent a lot of time working on planet creation. The main galaxy has about 10,000 planets. Of that, 160 are in a habitable zone and will be open for ground exploration. Over time, more planets will be added that allow ground exploration. But as it stands now I have to manually generate each planet. The randomizer is pretty good but the design of the planets is intentionally simple, the only real purpose in exploring a planet is for the sake of mining for raw materials.
I had not intended to launch the game with planet exploration but it started to bug me so I put some time to make it possible.
With the planet stuff off my mind, I've started to revisit the main game panels. These have gone through many concepts starting with a style based on the Star Trek LCARS stuff, then I moved in a slightly different direction that based them a little more on control panels from the Apollo space crafts but I've finally settled on screens that are largely based on the PDP family of computers from DIGITAL Equipment Corporation. But even with this major shift in design inspiration, the game panels have gone through numerous changes. I've finally settled on what I consider the main status area which appears at the top of every game screen for easy access. My next post will show some concept art that improves on previously released artwork from the game.