The Silent One wrote:
Expanding the width of both the information and build list boxes is a good idea. As Geoff stated, this would overlay the star and also some planet graphics, but as they don't show crucial information, that's no particular problem.
The planet pics likely are crucial information (size, environment, specials), and are necessary to be clickable in order to pick where to produce something.
The star isn't important, as far as I know so far, though moving it to the right a bit would remove the issue of it being covered up.
Also, the expanding of the build details (at top) panel is more important than the expanding the buildable items panels (at bottom). The details has nearly unreadable smushed up text now. I was thinking of expanding this panel, and moving the planet panels down a bit so that the scrollable bit of the sidepanel is below the height of the detail panel, so covering up planets at the top isn't an issue.
At the bottom, the buildable items list is still usable if slightly less wide than the panel at the top. The only difference is probably how much mini-description can fit into the panel without a horizontal scrollbar.
As for system information, I believe a resource summary is useful to have as a means to judge the systems value.
I'm not saying it isn't useful, I'm questioning whether it's useful enough to warrant using up the screen space it takes. The basic info is available elsewhere, and you said it yourself later:
As the space on the sidepanel is rather limited, we'd better leave out redundant information.
Also, while mouse-over on planet resources could show local effects on resource output, mouse-over on the system resources could reveal system-wide effects, e.g. of buildings, random events, blockade etc..
Showing system-wide effects (which encompasses all of buildings, specials, events, techs) might make sense, but there aren't really any system-wide effects directly relevant to resources. Resources are produced on planets, not systems, so effects relevant to resources don't apply to systems.
That's not a reason to remove all system information though, and I'm not suggesting that. I would expect some non-resource info we can't yet predict to be necessary to be shown. I've not seen a good justification for ships or other military info though... eleazar's thoughts on this would be appreciated, as he seems particularly keen on having it.
As for resources specifically, blockades are the best reason I've seen so far to show system resource summaries... and if blockades are implemented in a relevant way, it seems like enough reason.
While I don't see the need for specific information about military forces, it may be useful to show if there are other forces than your own at the system, and if there are, your race's relationship with them (like friendly, neutral, hostile).
The military forces at a system are already shown by the fleet icons on the map, and the info in the fleet windows that those icons bring up. If there were ground troops, they'd be per-planet, and total system numbers wouldn't likely be relevant. Is there system-specific information about military forces that is better put on the sidepanel than the fleets window?