Greebo has finished off our TDM lockpicking system; the last major feature yet to be finished. Lockpicking in TDM is (I say modestly) great fun. It is immersive, challenging, and yet does not require any special 'suck in' animations or gui overlays.
Angua has added code support for sleeping AI, which essentially works like sitting AI below. AI can be set to sleep on map start, or can walk over to a bed, lay down, and go to sleep (and later get up) as part of their patrol.
Oh, one small but neat feature: The player now has the ability to swing on hanging ropes. By holding down the attack key and moving forward and back, the player can swing back and forth, gaining momentum to jump across chasms or the like.
With lockpicking and combat nearly complete, we've now reached a new phase in the development of The Dark Mod. We decided a while ago that we wanted to release TDM sooner rather than later. We could keep working for years adding more features and better assets, but we believe the community would be happier if we released a fun but unpolished product this year, rather than wait another two years or more for everything to be perfect.
That means, if all goes as planned, the TDM beta will be released this year, probably sometime in the fall. It will have bugs and rough edges, but those of you who played the St. Lucia demo have seen how fun TDM missions can already be (and that code is already half a year old). Unfortunately we've had to make decisions about what is necessary for the release and what can wait until later. Things like our beloved vine arrow and certain AI models, for example, will not be part of what we're calling TDM 1.0. Work will continue on the mod after release, however, so those things will eventually be added through regular updates, much like the way Dark Radiant is.
The next few months are going to be devoted to getting all our existing features into a user-friendly state. There are hundreds of things to tweak, polish, improve and organize to get ready for a release. We also have half a dozen mappers working on small but playable maps (using Fidcal's pre-made "mapper startpack") which will be ready for release.
Thanks, everyone, for your support, and we'll keep you updated as we get closer to our (undertermined) release date!