We've made some progress on the animation front - we had a forumite (Miros) step up and start experimenting, and a lot of his animations can be seen on the forum and we've had a few other offers of help too. And our main coder Croax has also braved... I think we're up to four or five natural disasters now, to work on the mod.
So... we're gonna be revising our release schedule. As Fatcat commented it has been three years (yes, one of those +1s was from me - the entire mod team is that guy). We don't like that. You don't like that. Everyone wants more Tyranids. We're hoping (and I know we've said this before, but it really does look like we'll be able to do it) to run a public release of 0.5b1 (yes, slightly new numbering system, the old one was confusing people).
To repeat what I've said before, the 0.5+ series are only going to work on Soulstorm. After 1.0 we will probably look at making it work in Dark Crusade, but that'll be a challenge all on its own.
What we've got is the new build system (as I may have mentioned previously, it works, at the moment we're fleshing it out so all the buildings that can use it do use it). It's probably not going to be a good measure of what the full 0.5 beta will feel like, because it won't have the UI update to make the build menu permanently accessable, but it'll give you some idea of where we're headed. It'll also completely break the AI, so you won't be able to play against the computer for a while. Yeah, we know, that kinda sucks. Our new code will take the AI team a bit of time to create a working AI for (if they can).
It also will have the balance changes we made after 0.45-SS, so, you know, yay balance!
That should be coming soon. It's looking like it may be a few weeks away at our current rate. But again, I said this last year and the year before and was proven wrong (admittedly, they all involved several natural disasters and team member losses, but you know... and by that I mean people having to leave the team, not people dying... that's horrible, why would you think that?!). So, fingers crossed.
Hopefully if we can get that done there'll be a 0.5b2 with UI updates and AI to follow it up. That should take significantly less time because the AI team are indefatiguable Necron programmers, and we have Gorb to help us with UI coding.