Thanks for all the positive feedback for this new project I'm developing! I've been working on adding the NPCs into the game - they function on a basic level and I'm happy with how they look!
The depth for objects such as the foliage and the creatures themselves are working properly now also, so you can walk behind things as opposed to them being static tiles before!
UPDATE: Just an update (16/02/2015) - I've added NPC dialogue into the game! It needs refining obviously and there will be much more of it (and dedicated dialogue for different characters, not just these generic NPCs), but it's a start! Notice how they turn and face the player when communicating as well as stopping free roam when the player is nearby.