A lot of this will be menu-driven; trading, talking, inventory, and the like. But the character must move through the world, and this action must be both intuitive and aesthetically pleasing. So what to do?
I do not have a lot of time to crunch scores of graphics, so I think an isometric game is out. Something top-down (a la Gauntlet) would be ideal, because I could have one sprite which I continually rotate. Flash 8 allows things like drop shadows to be dynamically generated, so the lighting could remain fairly realistic.
However, I have recently become aware of something called "Raycasting", which may allow me to have something like a first-person view for the world-travel part of the game, and possibly also for random encounters and combat. I found an example done in Flash 8 (the link to which I seem to have misplaced) which includes the source file, which I am in the proces of tearing down, prior to re-building it to suit my needs. One of the things I want to change about his engine is the fact that it doesn't really allow for variations in the terrain, other than simple color.
A few months ago I put together a Flash 8 height map (color-substitution version here), which I may cannibalize in order to add genuine terrain varation to the raycasting engine. Time will tell if this actually works.
So there it is: The two most technically challenging parts of the game - the other being the Miersenne Twister - are already well underway. In a couple of more weeks I may be able to post a screenshot, or maybe even a rough demo version.