I have released version 1.1 of my SMACX AI Growth mod. This started as a mod about "realistic" growth; industrial democracies actually slow down growth, according to UN data. I changed the social engineering choices to be more nuanced about growth. Also they are more of a "game of inches" where gaining a +1 actually means something, instead of nearly every choice giving an overpowered +2. Future societies are readily attainable midgame and are not overpowered. I've totally recategorized all the techs into more "pure" arrangements of Explore, Discover, Build, and Conquer. That was a marketing pitch by Firaxis; what they actually provided in the game, was a whole lot of Conquer techs. These make up the bulk of the tech tree now. "Explore" really means colonization and growth internally to the AI. Techs have been adjusted accordingly: facilities that make people happy, are now (misnamed) "Explore" techs. I became interested in making the AI more challenging, based on some old posts about someone setting faction foci to Explore and Conquer. Almost all factions do this now. All the factions have been modded to be better rounded and not have such extreme penalties, which generally just make the AI play poorly. The Aliens have been stripped of whatever powers I could, such as armor and free recycling tanks, to make them more comparable to "normal" factions. Some things about Aliens are hardwired and cannot be modded though. Secret Project techs take longer to obtain. Secret Projects that many considered overpowered, like the Cloudbase Academy, are moved later in the tech tree. Fusion, Quantum, and Singularity engines are moved to the end of the tech tree, as IMO they are game breakers. The vast majority of the game takes place in the fission era. This will give you a reason to actually design units and consider their cost tradeoffs. To give the AI more breathing room from human predation, Enormous 80x160 and Giant 128x256 map sizes are defined. The world generator settings have been tweaked to make faction placement pretty much error free on Enormous maps at least. Giant maps still have problems which I can't solve. There's a crossover threshold between these two sizes when the bugs start appearing, like getting stuck on 1x1 islands. I determined this empirically. You may have problems on Giant maps, or you may not. Missiles can now hit anywhere on the planet. Mutual Assured Destruction is a reality now. Full details on all of the above are available at the site linked, and of course by trying my mod! It took a PERSON MONTH to produce, as in that could have been a month's worth of paychecks. So I hope you will try it, maybe even like it.