Uhh... Have been thinking about it for longer than month. Decided to share, get Your point of view on that matter and put in some suggestions...
But before I will get to the point, I want to underline greatly that I am thinking about really LOOOOOOONG term suggestions.
So... As I remember, there will be many factions in Galaxial. But all those factions will be hummans, and they will be diffrented by certian bonuses or handicaps in stats (like one empire will get +25% to mining speed but -15% from ships HP on global scale, etc). That is cool! Really good! I love to have many factions, so that I can pick one that fits my playstyle perfectly... Or to deliberatly choose totally opposite one and try something really new ^^
However, as far as I remember (and please, do correct me if I am remembering it wrong) there has been some talk about adding some none humman empires as well - so that there will be more races than only hummans in whole galaxy. This has been considered only after main game is done (if at all - AFAIK). And that leds me to post this suggestion.
Let's imagine that other races will be introduced into Galaxial after main game is done, and it is time for expansions/DLCs (or second part?). And let's imagine that one of things that will get implemented ARE going to be diffrent races...
IF YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO READ IT ALL, OR DON'T LIKE READING MUCH - GO AT VERY BOTTOM OF MY POST AND READ TLDR. THANK YOU FROM ADVANCE ^^
Quite often implenetation of other races into strategy games means only implementation of another faction that will be diffrent by stats. There is litelary NOTHING that would REALLY diffrentiate Hummans from Non-Hummans. Let's look at... Hmm... My favourite 4x game! YES! I am showing my favourite 4x game as BAD EXAMPLE on how to do things! Keep that in minds please ^^ So... Let's look at Distant Worlds. That game has many diffrent races. But all that they are diffrent are only stats. One race is capable of quick reproduction, so that my planets get high population very fast, other race has supreme economy, and other is great at research... BOOOOOORING!!! I mean - not really boring. It is nice and good, but that seems to me more like diffrent factions from same race, than diffrent races to begin. What would make them really interestingly diffrent, is if each of them would have some unique gameplay mechanicks, that are changing seriously way we will play them.
But, but, but... If one race is good at research and other at economy, than Your way of playing them will be diffrent!
YES! It will! Slightly diffrent it will be. Exacly as diffrent as I would expect to be when playing diffrent faction of same race. When I pick diffrent race I do expect it to be played seriously diffrent (I also think that diffrent race should also have it's factions that will play slightly diffrent from each other). While stats are totally capable to provide slightly diffrent gameplay, it is diffrent mechanic that makes serious diffrentiation in gameplay.
Emm... Ok... But if You will make diffrent mechanicks for one race, and totally diffrent for another it would get so assymetric that I could feel like I would be playing totally diffrent game actually... >.<
Yes! I also don't want that! Do not get me wrong! I don't want TOTAL assymetry! I want still to feel that it is same game, with same mechanicks. Only that in some way this race is doing things diffrently than other races! Not better or worse! Diffrent is key word! Let's go for an example... RTS... Hmm... How about Red Alert 3? We have there three factions fighting with each other (Empire of Rising Sun, Alliance and Soviets). Every faction there is producing units in same way - they have diffrent stats, but are being produced in exacly same manner. Every faction earns credits (money) in same way - sure, their "cargo vehicles" are diffrent, but they use them in same way to transport ore from mines to refineries. BUT! But they all have diffrent ways of erecting buildings. Allies build them just like You do in every other C&C game - You order them, wait untill it is completed, and than You can choose place where You want them build, and they are build in matter of second. Soviets on other hand, first choose plance, than building is slowly being build untill it is completed - totally vulnerable to attacks, but is done faster than Allies would. Lastly Empire of Rising Sun is producing their buildings as vehicles that are deployable - they are build fast, and deployed fast... But are slow in movement and extremly fragile when attacked. That is ONLY one major diffrence in gameplay mechanic - and that makes sure that I feel that they are ALL DIFFRENT, but still from same game, from same universe.
Right... So WHAT do you actually suggest? Could You give any examples?
Yes! YES! I will add examples. However each example is a minor suggestion of nice gameplay mechanicks... Soo...
Here I will suggest some potential races that could made it into Galaxial with some mechanics that would really diffrentiate them from other races. All that in assumption that other races will be added AT ALL. If not - well, than consider this whole message as big loos of time ^^
I am not going to go into details - I will just present certian types of other civilisations. No names suggestions, no lore/backstory suggestions. Just raw concept - maybe some example from other games that used it.
Mechanical Lifeforms - yes, race of intelligent machines (MEKLARS from Master of Orion 3 for example).
Unlike other races, they would be not dependant on gaining food from planets. They do not breed like biological races - they are being build in assembly lines. So player would have to decide how much production would go on raising population, and how much on building stuff like planetary facilities or new ships. I imagine that decisions on that part would be made separatly for each planet, with some possible automatisation (like - "set this stance for all colonies" and "set XXX stance for fully populated colonies"). I also imagine that it is not "slider adjustment" where You can choose any production % You want to be dedicated for population increase - insted I imagine that there would be few stances (like 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%). Now - if player chooses to put all production into space ships, than pupulation would not raise at all. On other hand production set at 100% towards population should make it rise faster than biological races could do on avarange (keep in mind that proper balance would be needed to not make it OP or UP). Also, producing more population should cost resources that could be put elswere.
Swarm - fully biological race that evolved (or have been engenired) to be able to travel through space (Tyranids, Zergs...). Not intelligent civilisation - something that behave more like Ant Colony.
No goverment types diffrentation - only Hive Mind. No diplomatic relations with other races possible - everybody that is not part of Swarm is enemy, everybody who is part of it is ally (so if player would pick to play as Swarm and there would be few AIs that also have it - from the moment they get into contact, they are in permanent alliance). Moreover they do not research new technology - they must evolve in order to get better. So insted of getting "Research" points from Labolatories spread over their colonies, they do get "Evolution" points from certian actions. Those would be: colonising new planets, destroying enemy ships and loosing Your own ships. Apart from that "Evolution" points should be used in same way as "Research" points - currency to "buy" technology. Maybe some way to loose "Evolution" points would be nice - loosing a planet for example... Or fleets would require some special unit that would be always close to them (in same gravity well of planet) to "oversee" them, and loosing THAT would be setting Swar back in Evolution progress AND would make rest of fleet go totally berserk (as they are loosing connection to hive-mind).
Migrants - race that lives in gigantic space ships, not on planets (Hiigarans from Homeworld 1, Quarians from Mass Effect, most of Eldars from Warhammer 40000).
No ability to colonise planets. Insted they start with "Mothership" and need massive amounts of resources to build other ships capable of sustaining large population, provide military production, allow supply fleet with food and push foward research (let's call those "Massive Ships") - which should be protected from harm by fleets of normal ships. Insted of colonising planets, they do mine them for resources ("Mothership" and some other "Massive Ships" would be able to do this) they need, but decrease planet's value while doing that (planets would be getting "nice" debuff - the longer it is exploited, the bigger debufs would be, untill planet would get totally barren piece of useless rock). Building "Massive Ships" would take diffrent resources than those needed to build normal ships - hence mining asteroid would be still a thing that is needed. And... Fact that planet is currently owned and inhabitted by some intelligent life is not a problem when it comes to mining them - from technical point of view that is - from diplomatical it means declaration of war of course (or huge relations drop). Planets that are mined should regain their value in time IF option "unlimited resources" is toggled. But that should take REALLY long time, so mining same planet over and over again should definietly NOT be best idea.
I have provided three examples. I do hope that You like them... But those examples are only minor suggestions - keep that in minds. True suggestion, most important one is diffrent - that if other races will be put into Galaxial at some point, they should be diffrent not by some stats, but by some gameplay mechanicks that would made them feel seriously diffrent, but at same time still part of same game, same universe. Even if You do HATE all 3 examples - remember that their importance is... Meditore at best. They are suggestions, but they are first of all an example.
Too Long! Didn't Read: I suggest that IF other races than hummans will make it into Galaxial, than they should be diffrent by some gameplay mechanic, rather than by flat stats diffrences. Later on I put 3 examples of how such diffrence in gameplay mechanic could look like.