I’ve been hunting down articles covering game engine design that last few days. Primarily, to find out what tools and approaches these game developers have used successfully.
Eventually, I found this article on the development and design of the game engine behind the Mac game Deimios Rising. There are some really great ideas and the developers go into some pretty nice details as to how they got their 3d looking backgrounds and sprites in their 2d game without using a tile-based game engine.
The approach taken in this game is similar to what I have in mind for my game design. Though, I’ve been planning something much more simple, their method seems to have worked very nicely to produce a solid, good looking, fun game.