Okay so for my final progress update of the month....
I e-mailed all of my voice actors, both new and reprising, their scripts for ACT 1, and I had two reprisers confirm for ACT 2, as well as one new character confirm for ACT 2. I am super excited. Hopefully next month, I can open auditions for ACT 2. As for the game itself, I have almost finished the first quest, just need to get to the cutscene after you finish it and continue from there.
Implementation of a digital assistant NPC that downloads into the lead character's mobility uplink device. I settled on a cross between the Alexa system from Amazon and Cortana from Halo in terms of design.
Completely redid the tutorial segment. It now occurs during the flashback sequence prior to the start of the actual storyline.
Complete rewrite of the opening chapter. Instead of an evening presentation gone wrong it is now a material analysis job gone wrong, kind of like in the first Half-Life.
Started to implement difficulty selection.
Started updating enemy balance and completion rewards. Cash/XP accumulation is half of the database definition (which is calculated with plugins) to cut down on editing time and the escape chance calculation is nerfed severely from the default to accommodate the actual enemy/crew agility split.
Implemented midpoint connections to access zones. Beating the pants off a midpoint boss or solving a puzzle in certain locations will open a portal that leads back to the dungeon entrance (and vice versa).
Decided that my writing style will have a slight edge to it. I already have the "d word" in there but for extra punch I ended up throwing in some liberal use of the "s word" and "a word". I don't intend to be that extreme with it, of course - the closest thing I have to a culture-specific insult is the "b word" (and that's only for character design reasons), otherwise there's no "f bombs" or "n word" references to be had with this.
Finally settled on the interface for my transport skill implementation, and programmed an evac skill to go with it.
Metastone item added for quick return to the dungeon entrance if all else fails.
Various fixes and improvements.
As a side note I was originally planning on being done with the game by now, however with the creative shift and other changes beyond the original scope of the project things are probably going to take longer than anticipated.