So, as for the demo news: We have increased scope a little bit and are working on several things right now.

First of all, we really want to make a good impression to start with, so we are working pretty heavily on the intro experience.

Cutscene work in progress for our feel.

We want to have a short but powerful intro to bring players into our world. This also involves changing up one of our starting ideas a bit,
instead of dropping players into a calm situation (our starting village) for exposition we want to move more toward an action start that also
showcases basic game controls in a controlled environment: we will have more on this later, as we are still putting this part together.

Also, we are implementing shopping (part of our increased scope!) as we feel that having collectibles is a big part of a game experience, except unlike old games like Castlevania or Ninja Gaiden where you simply collect for score, we want players to actually be able to use the things they collect. This is taking the form of several upgrades we are working on for the demo.

Testing out various shopping interface things, (pet rock not in final release)

Speaking of upgrades, we are also going back to our first character a little bit and trying to make his spritesheet and movement set a little better:
Daisuke is our first character, who actually was part of another scrapped project that then got put together first thing into this one. We have gotten
better at spriting and animation (and found our feel a bit better) so now Daisuke’s simple, more static stuff feels a bit out of place. So, we are going
to replace some of his core animations (notably we are working on figuring out a good slashing animation and trying several things, see picture below) in order to bring him more up to par with the other characters. Another part of this is the need to separate out some of his animation components properly for upgrades, since its now planned to do things like blade replacement / extension, etc.

Evolution of Daisuke’s slash.

As for the demo itself, we are now aiming for a late October target (may as well say Halloween right?). We have most of our level playable as is, but we need to do a bit of polish first and get this new stuff / intro in, and get our level 1 boss AI hooked up as well.