Here we go. I've made some good progress in the last few weeks, getting several key systems in place. Most of the graphical systems are in place, though not finalized. I can switch levels, create and destroy effects and sprites, and my little guy can even shout at dragons (or bats).
Sprites, Items, Enemies, Text and Meme systems all working well.
I'm getting to the phase where I have enough systems in place that I actually need to start building the game proper, rather than just the systems for the game. Which means I'm delving into the world of game design - something I've never formally studied. The two books I'm working through right now are The Art of Game Design and Rules of Play, as recommended by the always wonderful Extra Credits crew. Pretty different stuff than programming.
Once I work through those books and put together a little more art, I should be ready to get a demo together.