My question is, is there some kind of to do list or priority chart, or any kind of timetable? I ask for two reasons; I'm really interested in the inner workings of fan projects such as this and also I'm selfishly looking to withhold playing until this is 'done'.
First off, I definitely understand. Not even just game modifications, there are a couple commercial games that I'm holding off playing more of until they release their final updates (which have been announced, so I know that a finished state is coming).
Unfortunately, this project has no such organization or planning. I do have a rough to do list (just a text file) that I occasionally write stuff in, or go back and check stuff off in, if I know it's something that I won't get to for a while, or that I might forget about otherwise, but things I think about regularly I don't write down. The to do list is as rambling and non-committal as that previous sentence. I started on this project roughly a year ago and only assumed it'd keep my interest for a few months; I intended burn out to dictate when it was "done" but somehow it became part of my daily routine to keep messing with it. I don't expect to go another year, but I have no reason to set a fixed cutoff date, so I either have to lose interest or run out of ideas (or like, something catastrophic has to happen).
That said, if you played it now, or you played it in 3 months, you may not even be able to spot the changes; the remaining "big" stuff from me that I know I want to do is only big in that it's a lot of work, but may not even be visible to eagle eyed veterans. Examples:
- fixing shadow layer interaction for a single tile in Pure Land
- minor art fixes on the world map
- art variation for another player weapon or two (like I did with flails)
- out of bounds map visual issues on remaining maps
- add some missing palette interaction for Functional Fashion (poison, stats screen, etc.)
- resolve saber buff palette interaction issues with status effects (engulf, dying, etc.)
Other authors may come up with something that makes waves, but that'd then be outside the control of this project (example: Mop's Ancient Cave project for Secret of Mana is amazing; it's a randomizer with various modes ranging from letting you keep the game world at its vanilla layout all the way to generating new rooms).
The only thing gameplay-wise that I have in mind is getting New Game Plus balance fixed up, and that's not even relevant for a first playthrough. On top of that, I've always kept any changes I've made compatible with vanilla saves, and made accommodations so that other peoples' work included in Turbo is as well (I'm looking at you "Item Limit Increase" -_-).
So truthfully, I'd encourage you to just go for it and play now; with what I currently have in mind, it wouldn't likely matter if you never snagged a newer version, and treating the current release (200102) as if it was the last shouldn't have you missing out on anything major. I'm also not aware of any bugs at the moment so now is also good for that reason.