Granted nothing breaks too bad, in 4.9 you'll be seeing Holstauruses, Futa Elves, and three animations: Catgirl/Catgirl, Catgirl/Male Elf, and Demon/Male Elf, as well as some minor tweaks and bug fixes.
I'm not positive if I'll have time to squeeze it in, but if I do you'll also get the neat new Holstaurus barn (S says it's still a WIP, but I like it :P):
By the way, for those of you who are curious about what our work looks like behind the scenes (and what we're spending all our time doing :P), I can give you a bit more insight into the process.
S starts by taking his original drawings and chopping up the pieces into small animate-able chunks; redrawing overlapping areas and joints as necessary. When he's done he gives me the sprite sheets filled with the various body parts, hair/ear/horn/etc variations, facial variations, and a full facial expression set for each of the facial variations, like so:
After I import the image files to Flash I vectorize them such that we get pixel-perfect vector versions of the sprites. It may seem somewhat ironic that we preserve the pixelation when we vectorize, but we're deliberately going for that retro 32-bit style. Making the sprites into vector images instead of leaving them as bitmaps allows us to scale and rotate the sprites much more fluidly for animations.
I make each individual part into a symbol with its own layer and reassemble the sprite, making sure to align it as closely to the original drawing as possible. Then, inside of each individual piece symbol I divide up the colors onto various layers and make them into their own symbols, then tag them such that my coloring function knows which symbols to apply particular color transforms to. Most hair and fur is just subjected to one over-all color transformation, but skin tones are divided into four distinct layers and color transformed separately in order to make them more exact. In order to divide the colors up correctly I often have to hunt them out pixel-by-pixel. As you might guess, this process can take many, many hours to do for every piece and piece variation, and it has to be repeated for each new pose, individual piece, or hand-drawn in-between that we make. There are well over a thousand such different piece symbols in the game currently.
I would say that's the thing that definitely eats up the most of my time, and unfortunately gets in the way of a lot of my other duties (like refactoring the code, writing dialog, implementing UI, designing poses, and animating). Luckily I've been thinking of a few solutions to this problem. The first one is the most straight-forward: get someone else to do it :P. I'm strongly considering having our fifth hire be something of a personal assistant for helping me speed up menial tasks requiring Flash.
Alternatively, perhaps a custom pixel shader could manage color transformations with much less prep work, though I'm new to using such things; particularly with Flash.
If any knowledgeable people might have other suggestions as to how I can manage color alterations/variations more efficiently I would love to hear them. Hopefully I haven't overlooked any obvious solutions!
Anyway, I should stop typing about my work and focus on finishing it now :P. To tide you guys over until the update here's a few designs S has been making for fun:
EDIT: It's looking like it'll be up around 5:00 AM PST. Sorry for anyone I'm making stay up real late :(.
EDIT: Sorry guys, still going at it but I've run into more difficulties (surprise surprise), at the very least it'll be up before 10:00 AM PST, hopefully much sooner.