Planetary production, measured in billion credits, is the sole output of colonies in the original Master of Orion. The player manages each colony by selected how much of its production is invested in various domains: shipbuilding, planetary defenses, industrial development, environmental development, population growth, and research.
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Planetary production is measured in BC’s (billions of credits) and is a measure of a star system’s resources and building potential. The production can be used to build new ships and missile bases, create new factories, remove industrial pollution, and research new technology. The production is displayed on the right side of the screen in terms of actual and total resources. The total resources are shown inside parentheses. The total represents not only the sum of colonists and factory production, but also the revenues from existing trade routes and funds transferred from the Planetary Reserve. The actual production is the amount of resources remaining after maintenance, trading, tribute, security, espionage, sabotage, and colony transport costs are deducted from the planet’s total production. The actual production are the resources that can actually be used to build ships, bases, and industry.
Colonies produce one unit of production for each working factory and half a unit for each colonist. When the game starts, only two factories can be manned by each colonist. Any excess factories beyond the control of the population can not be operated and generate no production. Improved robotic controls will allow the colonists to control more factories, but they must first be researched.
The total planetary production is reduced by the amount of ship maintenance, trading, tribute, espionage, and sabotage that the player has allocated. Be careful not to allow the ship maintenance to grow to a point where colonies cannot afford to produce any new ships or missile bases.
Planetology technology increases the amount each worker produces. In the beginning, each worker produces only one-half a BC per year, but by the time the 50th level of planetology is reached, each worker is producing two BCs per year. This extra production bonus is particularly useful when forming new colonies.
Mineral rich planets have an abundance of heavy metals necessary for construction. Ship production, missile base construction and new factory construction is doubled on rich and tripled on ultra rich planets. However, ecology and technology spending are unaffected. Mineral poor planets, on the other hand, have constructions halved on poor and cut to one-third on ultra poor planets.