From a professional standpoint, the turn around time from project creation to completion can be as little as a year. In todays day and age, many people expect to see games come out as soon as they are announced; which is why most professional studios keep their projects well hidden until late in development.
As an independent dev team, things work a little bit differently.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when estimating the time of AoC's completion:
1. The original Castlevania 3 took 3 years to complete with a masterful team, full pay, and the proper equipment.
2. Many tools the original team had (like the games MMC5 music implementer) have been lost to time. Our little team of Forgemaster's has to rebuild all of those tools from scratch. Many of us are not as experienced with the hardware as the original team was, so our work takes much more time.
3. Despite the fact we have fully mapped the games ROM and RAM addresses; every mod we produce has the capability of crashing the game entirely. Introducing new features also means combating new bugs, which takes time without a ton of extra ASM help.
4. None of us are paid for our work on this project, we rely on our volunteer work to help make AoC a reality. The CV3 team used almost every day of those 3 years to build up what many consider to be one of the best games on the system. AoC team only has vacation days, weekends, and any other free time we can spare. This is why were constantly looking for new Forgemaster's, every day counts.
Even 4 years of dedicated work can be considered optimistic by some. The teams come quite a ways since the games start a year ago. In that time we've done a whole lot, and I hope we can do a whole lot more in the years to come. With projects like this, endurance is key.
Keeping the spirit of AoC alive for 4 or more years is no easy feat, which is why its wonderful to see the support here on RHDN.
Thank you all for giving us the strength to keep moving forward!
Have a Happy New Year guys!