My primary goal:
To create a game I dream of (a hybrid of a 4X and RPG with an open, self-evolving world)
There are (as of 2008) no tools that would allow me to achieve my goal in a sane amount of time. No free engine meets my needs, no a 3d modeling program I feel comfortable with. MilkShape is too dumb, Blender is too complex.
My intermediary goal:
To create an engine/toolset that would allow me to reach my main goal.
My secondary intermediary goal:
To create a simple game (a clone of OpenArena with added emergent gameplay mechanics similar to these of AoS) to gain experience and sharpen try my engine/toolset on a real task.
My experience in the field:
1. A working 3d FPS for MS-DOS (died at the stage of technical demo)
2. Modeling and animation for jDoom (cacodemons, imps, et cetera).
3. Writing the particle effect scripts for jDoom (everything was lost due to rehaul of the scripting engine)
4. Creating MODs for Neverwinter Nights 1 and Morrowing, with, uh, intimate knowledge of their scripting engines.
The regular grid of square blocks is done to death nowadays, as are grinding resources manually using pickaxe and building block by block.
No, my game shall be grander, its voxel world smooth (relatively: I'm still enamored with the low-poly terrain in the first Unreal and Quake 2). It shall allow placing smooth walls at arbitrary angles, as well as digging smooth arbitrarily oriented cavities. There shall be no pickaxe as well, a servitor golem available from the start to do your biding.
And there shall be floods like Terraria has, but better, more epic.
And there shall be flowing lava and a spell to trigger eruption resulting in a 200-meter volcano. With lava flooding your opponent's dungeon and killing his doods.