Finished the quick-bar functionality, although some of the back-end stuff is still kinda iffy. The bar along the bottom is the quickbar; you can right-click on a button, and a spell-book will pop up (the side-scrolling bar in the second screenshot). You can choose a combat skill from this spellbook to assign to the quickbar button.
Did a little tinkering around with materials and lights, as well. Wanted to see how well it would handle lots of little lights, so I created a lava-type block and assigned a point light to each instance. Surprisingly, my home-computer handles it well. I don't have profiling or debug console output enabled to get real numbers, since I'm not anywhere near the framerate-optimization stage yet, but it "feels" fully playable even zoomed out with lots of lava on-screen. I doubt I would use anywhere near that many actual light blocks in production, so I think that I can probably get away with using lots of point lights like this for the occasional volcanic level.
The material is just the same old gray stone block from the previous screenshots, with a second pass of an additive red texture over the top of it. Nothing special at all, just testing out some techniques.
I'm reconsidering (again) the 2-mode design I've been thinking about. I just don't like multiple mode gameplay. I'm just worried about the pacing. If I have all gameplay take place in the same turn-based mode, then I worry that it will make some things (exploration, travel with multiple companions/party members, etc...) more tedious than it needs to be. The combat most is a fairly basic turn-based system, where each combat-ready unit gets it's turn per round, with a given number of movement points to use. I don't really have any plans to complicate the core loop too much, so if you have multiple minions summoned, then each round you'll have to order them to move. I could go with a much smaller modal system (like the Spiderweb RPG games use, among others) wherein the party is in a party-travel mode when no enemies are in combat range, but that amounts to a complication of the core turn-based loop, so I probably won't do it that way unless it turns out that I just can't get the pacing right.
Maybe I'll need to put together a gameplay test with a party and turn a few select people loose on it for some feedback. I'd hate to get too deep into the combat before I find out that the pacing is just too glacial.