instead of all the individual systems being separate actors, you split each galaxy into a number of territories, perhaps using ClymAngus's maps. If you've got alliances in there already, this might not be too difficult to do: just make all worlds within one region (e.g. the Iron Stars) part of the same alliance.
Thank you, Disembodied
You're right onto the spot. At the same time I'm debugging my "one action each 10 frames" engine, I'm designing the scoring system allowing to define the relationships between neighbouring systems.
I wondered where I could find those regions. Are they officially defined in the code? In some oxp?
I've the same question for commercial roads: are they officially defined in the code? In some oxp?
it might be easier for the game (and the player) to handle interactions when there are only 6 to 12 major actors per galaxy.
2 different issues there.
Concerning the game, I specifically wanted to make an oxp in the spririt of the open Oolite: everything happens, not depending on the player. And I don't want to pre-define major players. I'd like them to emerge, from the predefined constants of Oolite, from some cold rules, from some other oxps, and maybe from some player actions.
Concerning the player, well, when I'll make the "news" part, I'll restrict the quantity of news. I don't want the player overwhelmed by news insignificant to him.
On a related note, if I were to design a real news system for a galaxy, there would be a delay in news propagation (something around: Sum on a road between 2 systems of ((period of max release delay) + (travel time between 2 intermediary systems)).
I wonder if this would be a useful game mechanism. I can't see how, currently. Maybe to avoid perfect planification by the player.