A few problems have to be solved gameplay-wise.
1. It's hard to know where to buy ship upgrades, and new ships. And this seems unbalanced. This must be fixed. How about a DMV in govt building? This would tell you authorised sellers of ships in a sector. Also, maybe you could have to register a ship? =) Also, there could be some kind of Weapons Registry in the govt building which works similar, but tells you authorized weapon sellers.
2. I need to fix the starfield rotation. So bloddy simple but annoyingly broken, and for /ages/. Most don't notice it but basically, stars rotation is just wacky. Also along these lines, I have to implement a transform for when you enter a planet, so that the control vectors get transformed by the planetary rotation.k
3. Colorification. Not 100% sure if this is the right time yet, but basically I need to do a few things. Convert all .bmps and so forth to .pngs, but at the same time, compute the mean hue for them and rotate so that hue = red. Then, when I load .pngs, I can specify what hue I want them loaded as; however, the colors themselves will be part of autogen somewhere. So the idea is, you choose a color scheme for say, a planet, which may involve say 2 complimentary colours and a contrasting one, and then you rotate the loaded images to that, so they match up nicely. This improves the overall coherence of things immensely. I can also use the same mechanism perhaps to get more mileage out of atmosphere maps. I can do this for cities as well, just everything basically.
4. Stars. I need to work up the star autogen so every sun doesn't look the same.
5. City/planet/system types. I figured out last night that one really cheap way to give vex more variety (a lot more) is to work out a couple more building types and create mining colonies. This can be done by looking at abandoned systems and creating special type of cities, with minimal autogen work. Other types might be research stations, or pirate hideouts. So some systems will be used by pirates, some will be mining systems, etc., so not every system is a simple "inhabited" or "uninhabited" type.