I just wanted to say that I am amazed by the artwork in this game. So much richness and detail, everything looks unique (except Jungle/Xeno) that I was really truly shocked that you had drawn everything with only a 16 color palette!
I am still trying to master the optimal paths of developing my sector, but I've had a blast even in my struggles.
What does the difficulty level change? Does it just increase the chance of star systems turning up empty?