Now that a demo's been released, what's next? Well, I had originally planned to finish adding the NPCs, and add some more disasters, and work on the spawning system. But it seems like people are wondering why they can't talk to the NPCs*. So, I'll be working on a conversation system. This will work on a node-like framework, combined with a check to see if the NPC is helpful or unhelpful. So they'll have a default response depending on if you're asking them something while they're helpful, asking them something while they're unhelpful, telling them something while they're helpful, or telling them something while they're unhelpful.
Then, of course, they'll have specific responses to particular subject. So, for example, if you're asking the Janitor about the strange plant thing, and he hasn't warmed up to you, he might just grunt. But, if you're friend to all undersea janitors, he might tell you where he last saw it.
Obviously, this will take a moderate amount of work to add in unique responses for stuff. Plus, I'm going to try to hit 12 different disasters by the next demo. So I'm thinking it'll be about two weeks before another one hits, but if that changes, I'll post it here.
EDIT: Turns out adding conversations was a lot easier than I had expected. Well, adding the framework was. I still need to write all the responses and stuff, but that just involves writefagging, not programming. There are now 2 (two!) backstories that can be uncovered by reading the right notes and showing them to the appropriate people.