It isn't easy building a world.
I have been working on Balzu pretty much non-stop since I made my first post, but the work load is tremendous. All of the trees, rocks, flowers, etc., that you see in the screenshots (more soon) are hand-placed. The current surface area is about a quarter-mile in each direction, so it takes a couple of minutes to walk from one end to the other in-game. Over half of that area is dense forest, and it takes some effort and imagination to keep it from getting boring (limited as I am by existing speedtree assets).
In addition to the landscaping, I have spent a fair bit of time designing the improved NPC AI, which amounts to a personality overhaul. If I can get it to work, NPCs will not only have personalities which respond individually to the player's appearance, actions, and dialogue, but they will also remember what you say and do and begin to form an image of the player in their mind. Lie to an NPC a few times and, if they catch on, they'll stop trusting you. Designing this system has also required a complete overhaul of the Vanilla persuasion system (the 'spinning discs') which is now immersive and activated via dialogue. Players will now have a choice of up to 10 different persuasion tactics when talking to NPCs (context-sensitive).
I have also given some thought to some small starting quests the players can get from the NPCs, but these are mostly just ideas at this point.
More updates forthcoming.