(Barons of the Galaxy is still in development. The features described in this guide are subject to change.)
In Barons of the Galaxy you will start a corporation somewhere in the starting solar system of Sol by placing your Corporate headquarters. There you will begin to mine resources and produce other goods that are to be sold to the nearby cities for profit. Resource locations have different values, transportation and political factors to consider. Higher level products require several varying sets of resources to manufacture and often require cooperation and trade with other corporations to be profitable. You should also realize that nearly every asset your corporation owns, structures, military units and even stagnant product, has a significant upkeep cost associated with them which can un-expectantly overwhelm novice players and force them into bankruptcy. These considerations and how well you manage them will be the foundation to your success or failure.
As you profit from your sales you can expand your corporation by producing more and more structures and construct several types of military units.
You should expect to be affected by random events in your local area which occur on a regular basis.
These events can significantly, although usually only temporarily, affect your game for better or worse.
You will also be involved in voting for different outcomes of events that affect the city or planet you are in.
Many of these events have a cooperative or competitive quest-like nature them and are often tied to a particular industry which you may be involved in.
How you handle yourself through the changing market values of your products as well as interact with the other players who are also using their influence to affect events is the foundation of the game play in Barons of the Galaxy.
Barons of the Galaxy is not played in real-time, it is turn-based, which means you spend most of your time setting structures to produce different things or setting your military units to transport and sell resources in a loop and then watching the results unfold over time. Most of the interface is designed to give you an overview of what is happening with the prices of goods and the activities of the other players around you. Event and even combat are not resolved instantly usually giving you plenty of time to be notified and react appropriately over the next few turns.
There are 5 major tabs to the game interface. Each one will be explained below.
The Viewscreen tab displays the galaxy and allows you to zoom in to any location by clicking on it. The controls on the right allow you to zoom out, move one space in any direction or search for anything in the galaxy by name. There is also a navigation trail which shows you which areas of the galaxy you are currently looking at. The "Overlay" checkbox toggles an overlay so you can easily see the grid of locations. It also shows a thick line on planets to show you were the boundary for ground units is. Just above these controls are three small buttons which are used for bookmarking locations. One allows you to enter the current location as a bookmark, the second toggles the list of all your bookmarks and the third toggles whether the bookmarks are displayed on screen or not.
On the left side of the Viewscreen there is another set of tabs which will show you different kinds of information overlaid on the Viewscreen. There is a "Display..." checkbox at the top of each of these screens which allow you to keep the overlay of one screen as you look at the others. For example, you can have all the industry be displayed along with all the demand. The different screens are explained below:
The Asset screen is where you can see and manage all of your structres, ships, ground units, products and items. On the left side are search controls, you can enter an assets name or filter the asset list by categories. Clicking on an assets name on the grid will take you to a details page where you can do different things depending on the type of asset. At the top of the screen you should see an image representing the asset and next to it you will see the assets statistics if appropriate. For Structures and military units you will see the assets name, its type, the cost per turn to maintain and also a set of attributes such as Hit Points and amount of space it occupies. Military units will also show attack, movement, cargo and hangar bonuses.
Depending on the asset type you will also see one or more of the following tabs which are explained below.
The Corporate tab displays information about your corporations day to day business. It has several navigation links along the left side, each of which will be explained below:
When queuing up orders for an asset, usually a military unit or transport, you may link some orders to a custom variable you have created to make it easier to change several orders across different units at once. For example you can go to Assets >> Manage Variables and create a "MyDelivery" variable for a Location (let’s say a delivery location of New York that your transports loop to) then set that variable in several different units Move To Location order. Now when you want all your transports to loop into Houston instead of New York you can you can go to Manage Variables and edit the coordinates of your "MyLocation" variable. All orders linked to that variable will change to the new location if possible. If you attempt to update a variable that would set an order or structure to something it cannot do, for example a Chemical Factory with a variable set which changes to Cotton, that asset simply will not be updated. You can set custom variables for Locations, Product Types for Production, Buy, or Sell order, and Production Rate for Structures. Orders that are linked to a variable will typically display "(x)" to signify they are linked to a variable. It is possible to set an order or structure to something different than what the variable it is linked to is showing. Such an aasset will change back if the variable is updated for any reason.
There is a simple forum style communications tab in which you can send direct messages to eachother or post publicly in "Channels" that are attached to every System, Planet and City that is created in the game. The features will be simple and access limited. Free accounts may not be able to post outside the cities they are based in and be limited in posts per day. Posting at the planetary or system level may be reserved for rulers only. Events will also post messages in this system.
The Tutorial tab will guide you through the first few days of setting up your corporation. Once complete, it will offer a searchable guide on every aspect of the game.