You would need to scrap the less important features, such as 2x, closest non-hostile target, escort select, etc. Basic controls need to come first. Heres what I'd say...
D-Pad up = Thrust
D-pad left/right = turn
D-Pad down = afterburner
A = Fire Primary
B = Fire Secondary
X = Multipurpose, see below.
Y = Cloak/decloak
R = Closest Hostile
L = Cycle Seconday
Start = Pause, open menus.
Select = Hold this and use A, B, X, Y for escort commands (formation, hold position, attack, defend), and R, L, or Start for recalling fighters. Probably have to sacrifice the ability to give commands to each escort type unless it is added to the menus (see below).
Touchscreen = If its unpaused, it allows you to target ships and planets as well as send hails. When paused, gives you access to all menus (map, player info, etc).
Could either use the touch screen for all navigation for menus or use the arrow keys + A or B for selecting tabs on the top screen the touch screen for navigation below. Either way, touchscreen would be needed for mapping systems. If former is used, problems with putting all the menu commands in the touch screen arise, but all the text, such as current outfitters, could be placed on the top screen. The later reverses the pros and cons. Maybe make it an option?
Planet interface would show the main planet screen below, using the touch screen to select the tabs. Could also utilize the aforementioned tab selection menu system for shipyard and outfitters navigation. If not, the top screen would be used. Same pros and cons arise.
X works like this. If you are near a planet/station/hypergate/wormhole, it is set to land/dock/enter. If you are near disabled ship, it is set to board. If you are past the hyperspace range, it is set to jump. Some issues arise though. However, probably set landing and boarding priority. If a disabled ship is over a planet, you'd have to target the planet to land. So, priority order is board > land > jump. No selection needed except what is aforementioned. Hitting X does nothing if you are not near a planet/disabled ship and are too close to the system center or do not have a destination selected. Finally, if the ship is blowing up, X could be used for ejecting.
This format sacrifices non-essential commands, like X2 speed. However, such things could just be toggled in the menus. Cargo jettison would be a menu command too now, as would self-destruct (replace button holding with a "Are you sure?" prompt). This format should cover all the games basics and make most of the commands available.
Edit: Might wish to add that during regular gameplay the touch screen would display target information and the radar.
This post has been edited by JoshTigerheart : 19 June 2006 - 10:36 PM