This game is 64 bit! You know what that means? An INSANE amount of ram at our disposal limited essentially by your rig and wallet. (I think the limit is 128 Gigs of ram in 64 bit probably wrong though).
So on to how to make the greatest strategy game of all time. This is how Stardock, (David) takes down Firaxis (Goliath) and wins the acclaim of a generation of gamers. Make the game open to true modding via a .dll like Civilization 4. Let gamers change the rules. Let gamers decide the scale of the game. Maybe I want to show more detail in GC3. Maybe a gamers wants planets to rotate around stars. Maybe a gamer want to utilize moons and build on them like planets. Maybe a gamer wants to build on dwarf planets or comets like Sedna. Maybe a gamer wants to make really in depth tactical combat on planets. Maybe a gamer wants to make the entire planet a game. Let gamers determine the amount of players in a game. Maybe I want to play with 100 races. Maybe a gamer wants to put the predator, Aliens, Star wars, and Star trek races in a game? Klingons VS Predators? Storm Troopers vs the Federation? Borg Aliens? How F-ing cool would that be? It may take long turn times, but some people will gladly accept that tradeoff. What if there were two races on a planet? Maybe living harmoniously Maybe one is a slave race? What if that slave race revolts? Suddenly you're involved in a revolt on a "safe" planet and its not so safe anymore! What if you had the ability to try and contain said revolt? What if said revolt spread to other worlds where the enslaved race is enslaved? Not so Jagged Knife from GC2 anymore, but the end result could be the same! The important difference is the player has a hand in it, and it doesn't feel like a game breaking event. What if a gamer wants to break the orbit of a planet and move its orbit to a more habitable zone? Or use it as the ultimate planet killer? Let the gamer control the amount of hexes on a planet. Instead of having 20 or 30 max, Let's go 50000 and make every planet a game, complete with terrain, gravity, and natural hazards. What if I want to simulate the rise of the Empire from Star Wars on a single planet or Dune or Hoth? AT-AT's vs Transformers? Jedi vs Elminster? Let the gamer control diplomacy options. Let the gamer control government types available. Let the gamer control the UI and everything else.
This game would easily smoke CIV5 and CIV5 BE (CIV's remake of alpha centauri) and you will beat CIV 6 to market! They may not even be planning to make CIV 6 64 bit because they don't want to lose potential customers. This is a tremendous advantage for Stardock. You'd have the modders working and committed to you. An immeasureable resource with the time to pour love into the game. An army constantly creating new content and drawing new purchasers to the game for years. Of course you would have to impose some rules on the DLC and expansion packs. I bet a lot of modders would be glad to not step on your toes for the trade-off. Stardock really impressed me with the Elemental debacle. It's hard giving a game away, and I'm sure it hurts the bottom line. BUT you put the gamers over your bottom line! Who does that anymore? The Civillization series has become a rushed to market bug laden disaster every time. They've given up the name brand they once had. A solid, fun game off of the shelf? I don't hold out high hopes.