Currently, games with more than 8 players do not show an avatar row. There have been some vision impaired players having difficulty with shapes. Hitting the ‘B’ shortcut key helps with colors but not with shapes.
I suggest having an avatar row that allows for 64 players. Here is my Paint job suggestion.
The avatar row would have a second row of shapes. This would allow mouse click to select the group of shapes that an empire belongs to, in addition to also allowing the selection of color on the Empire screen or any screen that needs it. The selected shape group would be white, highlighted and larger, while the unselected shape groups would be grey and smaller.
This could partially aid the vision impaired players, and make it quicker & easier for all players to find that ally for emails and trade, or find that enemy to backstab.