Technology is amazing! Now you can tear a hole in the fabric of space and time itself to draw energy from the dissolution of the non-substance that holds universes apart - awakening ancient, twisted beings hell-bent on the destruction of all we know and love on the way - so that you can drive down to the store! Popular Engineering, Issue 251
Nanoreplicators. High-energy quantum realignment subordinate baryon-assisted low-end stabilizers. Superconducting hyperwave subspatial centrosystemic randomizers! All this technobabble and more can be yours with the Technology sphere! This sphere focuses on boosting your Technology score. In addition, you get access to facilities that can make money from the Machinery and Hi-Tech Goods commodities.
Access your Technology Operations screen by clicking the 'Technology' link that appears on your HQ page if you are operating within this sphere of activity. This screen displays all of your Technology-related facilities and allows you to manage these. Note that this is a different screen to the Technology summary screen accessed from the main menu. That screen displays your technology research budget and tech level details, and is available to all players regardless of whether or not they are operating in the Technological sphere of activity (see Technology).
Operating within this sphere of activity allows you to set your technology research budget to higher levels, increasing the rate at which your tech level will increase. You may also build a variety of technology-related facilities. These fall into two broad classes: research facilities, which generate no income, but will improve your research rate, and production facilities which generate income from the production of either hi-tech goods or machinery.
As with most facilities, technological facilities come in three sizes. The research facilities are:
The larger the research facility, the more of a boost it will provide to your technology research efforts. Note also that research facilities consume Hi-Tech Goods and therefore increase demand for this commodity on worlds where they are constructed. The flipside of this is that the maintenance costs quoted above are modified according to the price of Hi-Tech Goods - the higher the price, the higher the maintenance cost of any research facilities there will be.
The production facilities are:
The actual cost to build any facility is influenced by the distance of the site from your homeworld and the competence of your sphere leader. Maintenance costs are likewise affected by your leader's competence. Also, build and maintenance costs are reduced on poorer planets, and increased on richer worlds, due to differences in labour and materials costs.
Tech Production facilities do not boost your research, but will earn a steady income, and will prove essential if your House operates solely within the Technological sphere of activity, as this will be your only source of income. The amount of income produced is related to the size of the facility, and to the trade price of the commodity produced on the planet where the facility is built. Your production facilities will act as a supply of Hi-Tech Goods or Machinery on the planet in question, so you will need to try to avoid saturating the market, ideally by trading Hi-Tech Goods and Machinery from the planets on which you have tech production facilities, or by encouraging someone else to do so (see the Mercantile section for more details on trade goods supply and demand).
In order to construct a new facility, go to your Technological Operations screen from your HQ, and click on the 'plus' sign to the right of the appropriate facility type heading. This will open up a new row for you to select the planet and facility type, and name your facility to help distinguish it from others of the same type. Submit the new details by clicking on the green tick at the end of this row. Alternatively, you may go to the planet where you want the facility constructed, click on the 'View Facilities' link, and then use the link in the top right hand corner of the screen to build your facility. Once you have ordered the construction of a facility you must wait for it to be completed, which will take some time. To view the facilities you currently have under construction, you can follow links both from the Technological Operations screen and any planet's 'View Facilities' screen. This will also tell you how many game days remain before completion of the facility.
From your Technological Operations screen you can also upgrade an existing facility to the next largest type, by clicking the 'upgrade' icon which appears to the left of each facility's type. You can also dismantle a facility using the red cross icon, should you have no further use for this facility. In this case, you will recoup around one third of the original cost of building the facility, once dismantling is complete.
You can rename a facility simply by clicking on the existing facility name, which will make it amendable. Submit your new name by clicking the green tick that will appear alongside the input box.
As seen in the Rulebook
Technology is indeed amazing. As Ingram says, it's basically playing IN on easy mode. It's possible to break it terribly by abusing Tech Pyramids, which are an advanced concept covered below. Essentially, when it comes to Technology, you're not so much playing for profit as you are trying to keep up in the massive rat race which is your Tech level.