Well, basically here is where we are at:
Nearly all area construction is complete, the starting area needs to be polished for final release, maybe over the course of one week. The area recently discussed with the design changes is now complete, I need to decide if I still want to do any low lighting effects, after the next play test though. The escape route after the final boss is going to be reworked some to improve it with some additional graphic elements that I've already created. As is the game is beatable start to finish.
All sub areas are complete.
Minor palette fine tuning will occur in a few area.
3 Areas complete, 1 area needs only a couple worked, 1 area needs about 4 enemies redesigned. The sub areas use the same sprites as the parent (main theme) areas. I can usually knock out sprites for an area in 1 to 2 sittings. The mini bosses still need to be reworked. The final boss is complete, I may revisit it a little just before a final release to polish more but it's good.
Kind of a final layer of area details, I have already designed what will be added. A lot has already been worked into the game. I'm currently getting started on adding text where needed. A few graphics elements still need to be created but nearly all is complete.
Optomon has shared a few tracks here at RHDN but he's completed more. The music for the starting area is really good. He still has some tracks in progress at the moment. The music still needs to be added to the master copy.
ASM design and implementation:
Snarfblam is buttoning up the final ASM additions to the game, just like the level design it's nearly complete. All of the new elements have been demonstrated (in our group) and most have been implemented to the master copy of the project.
We're moving toward creation of the in game map, it's going to be more detailed than previous in game map systems. Snarfblam is developing a custom editor for it's construction. The graphics and build will take about a weeks worth of sittings to complete.
The title screen and mission screen are not developed yet, I have plans for the mission screen but M-Tee has expressed interest in designing the title screen something that he is exceptionally talented at. It may or may not be in the play test 2 game patch.
The ending is not developed yet but again it is fairly designed but needs more attention before it is implemented. This and the title screen are really among the final stages of development, my primary focus has always been on the actual game environments and gameplay first. I plan on putting all involved with this games development in the final credits.
Several extras have been added to the area's, Easter eggs, and even a hidden area if players want to search for them as a fun extra. Hints will be included in the read me file provided. Area item counts will be provided as well for those that wish to achieve 100% item acquisition, just a number of pickups without specific details. There is more pickups in this game than the original Metroid.
Rest assured that we are working hard to get this game completed. As with all game hacks pin pointing an exact release date is difficult since we all do this on a volunteer basis. Sometimes real life events limit our availability to work on our projects. The best we can do is set goals for ourselves and share them publicly. Our goal has been a late summer release but we may see a fall release in the end. I can confidently say we are in the last 15% of development, maybe even 10%. We have already put hundreds of hours of work into this project and we're determined to see it through to the end.