No, really — it is!
Everything that needs to be in the game is so; what’s left is just visual and interface polish. ‘course, both the visuals and the GUI design are in need of some serious polishing.
Anyway: Distant Star now has an awesome technology tree; players (human or AI) can browse the tree and select new technologies to research. Researched techs affect all aspects of the game: ship combat, empire management, exploration, etc — and choosing to research one technology may prevent you from researching others. Choices, choices.
Furthermore, the technology system is entirely data-driven; technologies, with their costs, dependencies, and effects, are loaded from XML. Even the tech tree display is automatic; it uses a simple tree layout algorithm to render itself. What this means is that I can step away from the technology system entirely, either outsourcing it to someone else (anybody feel like helping?) or pushing a newer, better tech tree in a post-release update.
More progress after the jump:
I’ve got a few (basic, boring) menu screens built. The only nifty thing about them is the title music, an absolutely perfect unlicensed track I found over on ccMixter. Oh, lovely internet musicians…
If you’ve played Civ V, this notification system ought to look reeeeal familiar: