What I liked in the Shard of Infinity was the feeling coming from it. Clearly FS1 style with some mysteries like Ancients, beams in shivan ships, Knossos, new warships designed in FS1 style... I guess it was set in Reconstruction era, huh? Or even alternate timeline? I'm kinda tired of shining, next generation warships like TEI fleet. With addon of dyson sphere from one screenshot and some coherent writing, it made me extremly curious what story and secrets lies behind this particular setting.
Yeah it was Reconstruction Era (in a sense*), I brought in some ships from Inferno: Alliance
like the Tyr and the Antaeus to fill roles that were useful (e.g. because the Ancients had no shields I made expert Jousters, which meant you had to kill them either at long range or really close range; which Flak-turret are just good at)
*It was basically meant to be a separate time line, where the Ancients had found a Dyson Sphere of older construction with a technology on it that let them wait out the destruction of their Empire in a sort of suspended time. However as the Dyson Sphere was damaged and the Ancients really didn't know what they were doing (part of their backstory) they resolved to "recruit" another species to help them, try to first conquer the Vasudans then luring a GTA counter attack into a trap. After the Terrans escaped the trap, a science team consisting of GTI holdouts then opened one Knossos devices the Ancients used to suppress the natural jump nodes and the Shivans flooded in (until the Ancients finally managed to shut down the portal again). At the final battle above Dyson Sphere would then damage it futher causing it collapse on itself and similar to the end of Transcendent eliminate the timeline in which it existed.
Originally there was also a lot more events that hinted on the damaged "time machine" concept by having alternate timelines "bleeding" into each other, but ultimately that was scrapped (or rather I decided to make a dedicated story out of it which I didn't finish yet). Similarly there is still an element in there that the Shivans might not even be "contemporary" Shivans of the reconstruction period.
On a mechanical level, you might know that I don't like time travel stories due to the problems with agency, stakes and that the ability to time travel actually would fundamentally alter the concept of causality for the time traveler. The reset to default at the end was a stab at that - 30+ missions and in the end non of it even mattered.
Also as you might imagine, the Star Trek: Voyager two-parter "Year of Hell"
was a major source of inspiration.