The idea of taking a submarine gameplay back into space works perfectly.
I really like the graphics and the old-fashioned syle. Very good writing too, I was amazed by the two scripted quests I encountered (a story of Kandinsky paintings to recover and the disappearance of an exploration ship). Too bad they stop quickly for more classic automated quests.
I had a few CTD (one every few hours), always after playing for a long time (memory problem ?).
Some personal suggestions:
1 - You could work on ship speed and time management: at the speed the ships go, the planetary systems are relatively small and the battles are too fast. I would suggest the general idea to :
- slow down the vessels considerably and increase the acceleration of time for journeys accordingly;
- have longer, smaller-scale and more strategic battles.
2 - add ships with different gameplay (for NPCs at least):
- fighter/gundam squadrons (such as aircraft for submarines): low range but ability to detect and shoot down vessels
- cruisers, very “noisy” (always visible) but very powerful (like boats for submarines)
3 - Complicate / add gameplay elements in the piloting of ships:
- crew management?
- life support systems?
- damage management/loss of hull integrity (combat and accidents related to chance or lack of maintenance)?
- consider that the faster you go, the more “visible” you are?
- maximum speed depending on the distance from the star (the further away you are, the faster you can go)?
- other weapons: mines, decoys, cannons, etc. ?
The icing on the cake would be to have a little celestial mechanics: planet movements or even the effect of gravity on the trajectories of the ships