I want to clear a misconception. Content is not the same as assets. It's not the same to have a working area where all NPC are males and most buildings are untextured or just placeholders than having an area fully modeled and textured, with males and female NPCs with the correct clothing, filler NPCs, banners moved by the wind, particles, flavor overhead text, etc.
That is the difference between a "working" game, and a full, polished game.
One year full time with 15-20+ people. We work part-time and there is only 4 of us. It's not an excuse but an explanation of why things take so long.
Anyway, let's use the demo as an example of the indie process. We promised the demo by March and we had a playable demo by March. That was easy. Now, "playable demo" meant that there was the arena district, that you can explore it and talk to the arena master, fight in the arena, loot, sell, buy stuff, get proper skill points, increase skills, etc. Almost everything. Just a few tweaks and we're done. Not quite.
First, tweaking the combat system took a very long time. Nick worked his ass off, "processing" changes and spitting out new builds every day. I posted some feedback earlier. Did we have a combat system before? Of course we did, but we never tested it extensively and played it for days and weeks until you hated the fucking thing and cursed the day you started working on the game. It took a long time, but now it's really fluid and enjoyable. Now, it's exactly what I wanted it to be. Trust me, I can't wait to share it with you guys. It's very hard to work on something for years, dying to show it fully, and not being able to because the game isn't ready yet.
According to Annie, "it's shaping up to be really awesome … graphics solid and consistent and the scale of the city was really impressive", but maybe she's being nice.
Second, the little things. Everything and anything goes there. Sounds and music, which we are still working on, AI, which still requires tweaks (previously we were talking about combat mechanics, rules, and numbers), menu commands, camera control, running, animation tweaks, problems we didn't foresee, and all kinda bugs from visual to scripting to mechanics.
The mechanics are complex, so it's easy to tweak a few things and fuck a lot of things up. Here is a recent example. We changed aimed attacks: legs damage from normal to damage assigned to fast range of the equipped weapon. Well, crossbows don't have fast or power attacks for obvious reasons, so when an crossbowman tried to shoot you in the legs the game crashed. Why? No fast damage.
No we have Vista issues. We tested the game on 12 PCs, none of them had Vista. You can load the game, but when you start combat, it crashes because Vista replaces your character ID with something else.