You need to have Preium membership to be able to create games. Adding a password will make that game private, so then you must share the game URL & password with your friends.
I am just providing my one opinion here. There may be other players with other opinions.
The more players there are, then there is more unpredictable mayhem. Many players here prefer the unpredictability of human players over AI. There is nothing wrong with new players jumping into a regular game. Sometimes you can learn a lot from an alliance with a friendly veteran.
You can see the full range of human behavior, just like real historical wars. There can also be more creativity with role-playing.
If you want a quieter environment to learn the game, then less players could be preferred.
A great majority of games here run typically around one month. Some have been as short as a few days, and some have gone 9+ months. It all depends on the game settings, how many players, players’ skills, stars, % victory, HW starting distances, turn waits, turn jumps.
The game can be played without FA. Then you simply send emails to establish an alliance, to trade tech, cash, information, and fight common enemies.
FA requires a pre-payment fee & allows you to see the scan range of your ally, and allows you to fly through & help defend your ally’s stars.
For new players, really you can do whatever you want for your comfort level. My suggestions would be :
Dark galaxy = disabled
galaxy type = circular, or hex if you are more adventurous
If you have a lot of stars, then use “starting distance” = far
If you have a few stars, then use “starting distance” = close
Make sure the “starting stars” < “stars per player”.
Most turn based games here use 8 tick jumps, so for 7 of those ticks, you are blind & have no control & are unable to react to changing situations.
QUIT & AFK players become AI.
Most forum posts here from gamers usually say that they prefer players do not become AI, because the AI is less lively & less interactive.
Also I think a player that leaves, does not learn as much from the game.
Many veteran players will often take a new player as ally or teach a new player how to play stronger in the game, because most veterans ultimately prefer to play against stronger players.
I would suggest that if you want a player to stay in the game, send an email & negotiate a trade. Offer to give him renown if he stays in the game through the end.