Bingeling explained to me that population affects colony build times, a fact I was previously unaware of.
Out of interest, I decided to test the effect more closely, and this is what I came up with.
Since I ran the tests described below I have done further tests which established that:
1. Planet population also effects the build time for planetary facilities, i.e., the higher the population (up to around 10 billion), the faster the build time.
2. Planet quality does not have any significant effect on colony build times. Planet quality does affect the rate of population growth (higher quality >>> higher growth rate), so there is an indirect, but relatively small, effect on build rate from planet quality.
I started a new pre-warp game playing as the humans, saved the game, then instructed my sole colony to build a large space port. I noted the starting population of the colony (2639m) and the build time. I then reloaded the save game and repeated this test with different population sizes, using the game editor to adjust colony population.
I performed a similar test, but instead of building a space port, I built a constructor at the colony.
I performed another similar test, this time building a destroyer at the newly constructed space port.
In no case did the planetary leader have any traits affecting construction time. The colony at all times had an ample supply of resources, so resource supplies had no influence on the results.
The results were as follows:
Starting Pop/million Build Time/Days Relative increase compared with lowest build time
500 819 405
1000 588 291
2000 423 209
2639 371 184
3000 353 175
4000 310 153
5000 279 138
6000 254 126
7000 237 117
7500 230 114
8000 224 111
9000 213 105
10000 202 100
[Edit: I amended the table slightly as it was presented incorrectly. The lowest build time I could achieve was actually at 10 billion, so I think that's the cap, but it might be a little higher.]
I found that 11 billion population resulted in the same construction time as 10 billion, so the effect is capped somewhere from 10 billion to 11 billion.
When I repeated the test, building a constructor instead of a space port, this yielded the same relative percentage results as shown in the above table.
When I repeated the test, building a destroyer at the space port, I found that the colony population had no effect on space port build time.
I've also added a chart displaying the results in the table above (I hope this has come out the right way up; had problems with this in the past).
Colony population has a significant effect on colony build time (but not space port build time). For example, a colony with about 2 billion population will take over twice as long to build something as a colony with 10 billion population.
Draw your own conclusions!
< Message edited by Osito -- 5/2/2014 11:42:47 AM >