I like such experiences: Something is easy to code but it has a big impact! Because I don't need the face colors for rendering a Lightwave Object in my iLiNX-engine, I use them for the implementation of Smoothing Groups. Faces with the same color belong to the same Smoothing Group and faces that are black don't get smoothed. As I texture objects mostly in 3D-Coat this fits perfectly in my workflow.
After I finish the shadow generation and the implementation of postprocessing shaders (glow/bloom), I have to decide myself for a physics engine. At the moment I'm looking at different engines. The Newton Game Dynamics seems like the best choice. The engine has to be flexible enough to handle a world around a spherical planet.
About a year ago I coded the physics part of my iLiNX engine. It moves objects correctly around a planet, applies gravity to the game objects and calculates collisions between the planet and game objects. Maybe I use it for a first simple game. But it would boost my creativity, if I could use a fully fledged physics engine.
I was also able to simplify the Lightwave 3D/3D-Coat/Photoshop/iLiNX-workflow considerably! The checklist of what I have to keep in mind is now about half as long. In the future I need to exercise the workflow so it becomes second nature. But this will be pure fun!