After work today I was thinking that I see myself in a similar position as John Twiddy: coding tools that a graphician would use to design the graphical elements (locations, sprites, animations) just as Hugh Riley did back in the day.
I am quite sure that Hugh was feeding back user-experience and suggestions to John, in order to make it more effective to use his design tools. It probably was a steep learning curve, but look at the result 🙂
Graphicians interested in helping: this is a call for you! Get in touch, let’s discuss where we could get with this.
I can get you started on the requirements of the isometric engine and you can take off and design some static locations the way you prefer on the platform you like. We can then follow up together and grab elements out of your scene in order to make them reusable and rebuild the scene that way. I seem to have found indication of a similar approach followed back in the day in LN and LN2.
The idea is not about creating a game overnight or before a story is even written, but to get familiar with the tools and make sure they are tailored and effective for you to use 🙂