Making everything mesh...
So I got thinking about the resources in Gal Civ... The Game brakes them down into Galactic and Trade resources. However I think we need to look at three resources Global, Galactic, and trade...
I break down the Global Resources as the base resources that run everything:
One of the things that bugs me about the game is that Globals are very closely knit together... but the rest are almost completely untied...
I think Gal Civ III would be vastly improved if we take a look at one of the other recent games the Stardock has produced.
That game being Offworld Trade Company.
In offworld trade company everything has a monetary value. If you need Carbon, but do not make carbon, you can buy it from a global pool. if the global pool gets too small, the cost goes up. If the pool gets too large, the cost goes down.
In Galactic Civ the Diplomacy Trade screen does not make much sense. It is hard to know the value of the trade resources, or even the Galactic Resources. I am also not sure the AI does a very good job of knowing the value of what it has... or what it wants... and will often vastly over pay for somethings while underbidding for other things.
So I think the economy in the game should be set up so that everything has a Credit value.
Early in game the Bazaar can function as a limited black market. Sell some things or buy some things at ridiculous prices.
Diplomacy techs can improve the barter value of your goods... or reduce the "tariffs"
A unique wonder could be built as a Global Exchange.... that would give players a small cut of every trade.. or lower the cost/raise the value again.
and in the Diplomacy trade screen you can see credit values for the items you are trading...
Basically I can talk to the Torians and sell them 5 Elerium for 500BC (market price) or go to the black market and buy 5 elerium for 650BC.. or sell it for 400BC
The more tech you get the closer the trade value comes to actual market price, but direct trades between nations should usually be a better option than the "market"