...when having both sidepanels open, we could get some trouble with space left for the star map ...
Here's a quick screen real estate test with the v0.2 system sidepanel and the tech screen cap that tyreth posted with some space left for a mini-galaxy map, at 1024x768:http://home.cogeco.ca/~toppingwebspace4 ... teTest.png
It's not a huge amount of of space... but it's not horrendously small...
...minimize the system sidepanel - minimized it would still allow selecting the star or planets(i thought about tiny radio buttons, instead of drag&drop) and would povide the most usefull info(meter values or something), but the planet pictures and everything else would be hidden.
It seems necessary to discuss the system sidepanel as part of this discussion, if the system sidepanel is to be integrated into the production screen... so I'll discuss it here, even though there have been other threads (to which I link)...
To start, I'm hoping the main / standard v0.3 system sidepanel is somewhat thinner than the v0.2 version... This would free up a bit more space for the galaxy map in the linked image.
IMO we should really think and justify any information we put on the system sidepanel: Does it really need to be there? Will it be useful very often for the player to have this info accessible with one click, or would two clicks be ok?
The most recent mockups for the system sidepanel:
http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 6741#16741
http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 6771#16771
Both are too wide, IMO. I made a mockup to illustrate this point:
http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 5946#15946
To make the sidepanel thinner, we could have:
1) Taller and thinner info boxes for each planet, thus making the whole panel thinner, leaving more room for galaxy view, whether a production panel is open or not.
2) Various tabs in the system view to switch between different displays of different sorts of information on the system panel. If you're looking at the system view for resource production info, you'd switch to the resources view, and it would display meter values and population and resource production of the planet and relevant specials. If you're looking at the system for defensive purposes, the relevant info would be displayed. Same for buildings info, or whatever else is necessary... maybe politics / culture / espionage, etc. In some cases, there might not need to be separate boxes of info for each planet.
Re: radio buttons:
I'm not sure what you mean by this... Radio buttons are usually a UI element with which you pick one from a group (which is ok) but which stays visible after your selection, allowing you to toggle / switch between options quickly... which doesn't really fit the idea of picking a place to build something, to me... If it's anything like the focus selection on the individual planet view, I'm not too keen... Can you explain / illustrate?
Re: planet pics on sidepanel / reduced scale version for production picking:
Despite all my talk of only showing what's important, IMO the planet picture and name are top priorities to show. I think the system and indvidual planets are best identified by a combination of planet name and planet appearance... meaning the image like we have on the sidepanel now. This could be reduced in size a bit maybe... esp. if it's rendered as I heard talk of possibly happening... but it should be there.
In general, some way to indicate what else of note is located on a particular planet might be good... ie. other buildings or specials, and a highlight / greying out to indicate whether the planet is a valid build location for things that have special requirements (if that's even possible in v0.3, I'm not sure...).
Before we can really decide what we need to show on a system sidepanel in general, or during production specifically (if different), we need to know what the player would need to know in order to decide where to build something... That probably means we need to know what sorts of things we'll be using to activate building effects groups... and what other ways buildings effects groups will be commonly modified by planet or system properties.
This is a rather complicated set of issues. It might help to get some more input on the forgotten aspects of the buildings model that we neglected whilst focusing on the effects stuff. I had a thread going and some wiki stuff that didn't get terribly much attention... but perhaps it can now?
I'm still waiting for more info about events from tzlaine, but the non-tech prerequisites for buildings at particular locations is relevant to this discussion... If we have them, which we should IMO, we'll need to show what buildings are already at or within some distance of a given location...
Perhaps we could have some marker on a system or planet that indicates for each effects group whether its activation condition is met by the particular build location...
I think this post is more than sufficiently rambly for now.