I've learned a few important things from when I made Darkened Dreams.
Number 1: Make sure that the save file and other data storage doesn't make it a pain to add anything new.
Number 2: DON'T MAKE OBJECTS IN CODE!!
Everything was hard-coded in. That meant that I had to write code for every single thing in the game. The maps were especially terrible, since I had to go through and fill in every single thing for every square. This included which directions you could travel in. This made maps take FOREVER to make and left them prone to error.
Now, I'm making a game-making program where I can make and store items, maps, npcs, monsters, etc. It slows things down a bit to start, but I am convinced that it will make things much faster and nicer in the end. Especially since it means that Peter or Fox could also make stuff for the game without having to learn programming.
The basic plan behind the Item Maker part of it is finished, I just need to put in the rest of the details for all the different item types.
Peter made a rough mockup of what the game may end up looking like. The top right corner of the game is the map (which is going to be very different). Below it is where bad guys appear. The player shows up full-size, and pets, summoned creatures and hero allies show up behind. Commands will not be issued through text anymore. This GUI will probably change as we think about it more and actually get the game working.