I decided that before I jump into new screens like research, I better focus on finishing up the screens that I have so far. This means debugging serious bugs, cleaning up bad code, optimizing where I can, and fleshing out missing features.
What I've accomplished so far are those:
Each empire now maintains a list of contacts that is updated each turn. If new contacts are made (overlapping influence), they are added to list of contacts, and the sitrep reports establishing contact with those empires. If contacts are lost (no more overlapping influence), the sitrep reports losing contacts.
Radar is now working. It's not like your regular radar. How it works is if any fleet is on a grid cell that you have either dominant or secondary influence on, it's visible to you. I need to implement end of turn filtering, so all fleets on all human owned influence are visible, while hiding the other fleets.
Influence map now only shows the influence of your empire, and the empires you are in contact with.
I've found a way to optimize text drawing, and as a result, I was able to improve some display issues. For one, the star's name is now centered under the star. Here's an sample (ironically, when I generated a galaxy to take a screenshot, the random name generator created "Yay" as the star's name :D)
Related to text drawing stuff, I also was able to add a new UI component, the textbox. You now can type in names for your ship design. Here's a screenshot of it (the | is flashing at end, indicating that the textbox is selected and you can type into it)
I think there may be other bug fixes, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I'm feeling good about those screens being fleshed out and improved. But I'm also very tired, it's midnight and I need to go to bed.