Heeey thank you so much for your kind words! Honestly, I don't really want to think about how long it took me. But at least 4 years up to now, with lots of reworking and some pauses.
You're talking about the overworld, right? The Mode7 was kind of an homage to earlier RPGs but I totally get your point :D Coincidentally, I'm currently redesigning it, because the old Mode7-plugin I was using doesn't work with newer versions of the game engine. So I'll propably end up without the 3D :D
Thanks again for your comment! I really appreciate the feedback c: