This looks like it will be awesome!
But what IS the gameplay...?
Oh man, I am so tired. It's the last week of classes (next week is finals week) and I've been having extended drop-in times to answer questions while also grading remaining assignments and I am _tired_. I need a nap.
I've been thinking more about the gameplay of the game, trying to visualize in my mind what the game might look like. I want to keep it relatively small and simple, possibly generating one "big" map to explore and procedurally placing items in the game world. I might end up just going for an iterative approach with building this up, adding a few things and then figuring out what to add on.
Another thing I'm thinking of doing is trying to prototype gameplay in something like Scratch... If I can make it fun in Scratch, I can probably make it fun in C++.
But I"m still having trouble visualizing the game in my mind, how I want it to play, how I want it to look, etc. I'm still very much in the experimentation phase.