There has been a little bit said, at least: One of the main things in the way of releasing NPCs was not having the animations updated yet. With the animations installed (which seems like it might be in the next update or the one after it), there is one less major roadblock to full-fledged NPCs. There has also been a lot of talk about how ambitious the AI system is and how Indie Stone wants to make them very complex. Hope that helps!
how would I go about doing that? I dont mind giving out my sprites, I am no pro. I have a long way to go to be near where i'd like to be in the realm of art, and my programming is even farther behind. I have, however, been collecting ideas for games and comics since I was a kid, but I have none of it made... I really need to get to work.
You need to mine from the first type of Dark Mine first to the the Pentlandite. Only the steam machine upgrade to the Dark Mine will need that.
Lvl1 Dark Mine
EDIT: Oh the steel beam! Use the search Junkyard to find a steel beam ...