I've been on a cruise and focusing on other things for a bit, but came back for at least a day to poke around!
I managed to complete some small infrastructure refactoring. My map loading code is pretty crufty so I am working on cleaning that up. There was a small design flaw in that npcs had a hard coded layer on which they were rendered. I ran into the bug when I was adding some detail to the map and wanted to add a few more ground layers. With the hard coded player layer (say that three times fast!), these new layers were being displayed on top of the player instead of underneath. I'm now assigning the layer assigned in the tiled map file - whatever layer the player spawn object is on is the layer the player will be set to; and when using a map transition, the player will be set to the layer the map destination object is on.