Damn, I wasn't able to meet my deadline; spring break ends today for me T.T
As a postmortem, unfortunately I was bogged down with the issue of formalizing emergent behaviors without losing the individual behaviors themselves. A good example is combat: Combat is done with exchanges of shots between individual ships. On one end of the scale, I could model individual ships and simulate a fight. However, even for a 4 vs. 4 battle, there are a total of 4^16 possible exchange patterns (there are 4 possible pairings for each of 4*4 possible pairs of ships), meaning I would need to construct a program, come up with balance, implement AI behaviors, etc... On the other end of the scale, I could model ships as masses with attack/defense values. However, it makes that same 4 vs. 4 battle unbearably boring. In previous rulesets I have gone with the latter, but assigned a lot of flavor values to individual ships, but the system was never put to a real-world test.
The two main issues affected by this were combat and economy. In hindsight, completing combat first may have been better than trying to complete economy first, as I am more familiar with combat, and could have used the lessons learned from combat in application to the economy. However, CF is designed to have a heavy focus on the economy, so I chose to tackle economy first.
Several issues arose with trying to implement a serious market economy, but actually the largest was trying to create a consistent system that would neither magically "gain" or "lose" money. If the system of trades was inconsistent, it would lead to undesired inflation/deflation and create serious and unexpected imbalances in pricing and trading. For that I needed to model not only how much money each individual sector of economy had (hence why I introduced development values), but how that would affect the flow of money. I also needed to grapple with the concept of credit (i.e. from banks), supply vs. demand (and how the act of satisfying demand would change the demand itself), etc... I suspect that in order to have created a consistent system, I would have needed to deal with linear algebra and linear differential equations.
Probably from here, I'm going to draft up an isolated set of combat rules and do a test of those. Expect to see CF: Unending War soon!
tl;dr-ers will be shot on sight.
"I have measured your 'fun', and science has quantitatively rated it a three." ~Lord Tim (Data Realms Fan Forums)