Disagree to the late game idea. High level players have lots of ways of getting resources. New player here, about 12 hours in. On the latest game I've just spent about eight hours looking for Laterite, and still not found any. I've done loads of research, and I'd be quite happy to trade a couple of thousand bytes for a one off scan to show me where some is. As it is, I'm stuck, as aluminium is just about essential to progress.