My previous idea of having a system window on left with list of planets and "information" window on right of it was a good start, but it still didn't sit well with me. After brainstorming a bit, I think I hit on a good display window that will reduce tedious clicking. I've started on it:
Top left is the system name and information. Box below that is your empire's resources of all sectors in the system. Below that is list of current projects (it will be slider based, so you can prioritize a project over others)
On right of the three boxes will be the list of sectors. I may shrink the window, but for now it's giving me some room to work in. The idea is that you can directly control the system and all of its sectors from this window. If you want more information on a sector, you double click on it, and it will pop up a window with more details.
Note that I used "sectors" instead of "planets"? I've changed to a system where each system have a list of sectors that you need to explore before you can utilize them. Sectors can contain at most one item, or nothing. So you may find a planet, some ancient derelict, a space monster nesting ground, pirate cache, etc. I really want to enhance exploration part of the "4X", and this is one approach. You may be thinking, "wait, won't that make it tedious clicking on each sector to explore?". My answer is that I plan to implement a queued orders system for fleets. So you can shift click all sectors in a star system, then shift click next star system to explore, and it'll explore those in turn, with the sit rep reporting any interesting stuff that they discover.
Each sector will have its unique control displayed in list of sectors. For example, a sector that is empty would just say "Husnus II - Empty Sector" and is very short in terms of height, while a sector with a huge planet of 20 regions will display all of the regions. I plan on adding two types of planets, the "region" based one and "slider" based one to support modding :)
With this sector system, it enables me to add "fleets in sector"meaning I can have fleets stay in a sector to hide from the enemy if they haven't explored it yet This mechanism in turn enables me to have space-based races that don't live on planets. To produce stuff, they'd have to be in sectors, feeding on asteroid belts or other space junk.
You can see in my commit feed that I've already changed to this system, but with only "Planet" item in sectors. I also decided to change my "Design Document" to "To-Do List". So you can see what feature I'm currently working on, and what other features I've finished or are planning on implementing in the future:
If you don't see features that you'd like implemented, feel free to comment about them!