There's few game designers whose names alone perk my interest, but Sid Meier is one of them. He's the videogame industry's avuncular Werther's Original dispenser, popping sugary, plastic-wrapped hexes into the hands of young designers everywhere. I met him once and I can't remember if he was sat in a rocking chair, but let's assume that he was.
I am now rocking because Firaxis have announced Sid Meier's Starships, a new game set after and within the same fiction as the recent Civilization: Beyond Earth. Speaking to Gamespot about the announcement, Meier explained that it would be st in space, would feature "dynamically generated tactical combat", and that the focus would be "starship design" and "interstellar adventure, diplomacy and exploration." There's an animated trailer below.
Aside from being set within the same universe as Beyond Earth, the games will also enjoy "cross-connectivity" of some sort. It's anyone's guess what that means, but if I had to guess, I'd say it'd be something to do with those player-created ship designs.
Unlike Beyond Earth, Civilization proper or XCOM, it sounds like Starships was made more directly by Meier and a small team. That's the structure Meier has been working within for some time, producing Ace Patrol and its sequel. Much like those games, Starships is coming to tablets as well as PC, which might say something about the scale (or budget) of the game, or it might mean nothing at all.