Just a quick update on my progress.
I had a really lucky break, as an independent game company sent me permission to use their graphics for my personal use. About 250+ top-down views in exactly the format I need with a consistent style. See, it never hurts to ask politely.
With that immense hurdle out of the way, I already did some testing on displaying the graphics and calculating movement, line of sight, line of fire, angle of impact, the usual. Man, do I wish I had paid better attention at the University math lectures...
Still, it's mostly 2D, so I can work through it with the help of Google and my trusty pocket calculator that I had since 10th grade.
For storing my data I opted to use XML in conjunction with an XML schema for easier development. The UML diagrams are finished for all the basic classes and their implementation is almost finished.
Yes, I do UML. I like it. Sue me. Plus I only work on the project a few hours a week, if I don't document things now, it'll only end in disaster.
The display is in a state that I'm now starting work on the basic mechanics. This, of course, is the really tricky part. But given the progress during my two weeks vacation (yeah right, vacation from software development in order to ... well .. develop software) I think I might actually get something playable in the end.