Woo Ray! We got our 30th update out! Before I get into the meat of the update, I want to apologize for taking so long on this update. December was a really tough month for us, we had a lot of really distracting business issues that hit us all at once, plus a little burn out, and Allan was hit by some devastating personal news. Early December, Allan's sister Laura discovered she had brain cancer and had passed away within a week of finding out. I had never met Laura, but Allan was very close to her and from all the stories that Allan told me about her, she seemed like a really sweet person. Allan created a blog about her if anyone is interested in learning about what happened. http://lauralynne72.blogspot.com/. At first, we weren't sure if we wanted to discuss this but I spoke to Allan on Friday and since we are usually really forthcoming about what happens in the course of our lives, we should probably share this with everyone as well. If anything, it shows that life is short, far too short to be in a lame job or to be in a situation (both personal and professional) that isn't 100% fulfilling. Maybe this has the potential to spur change in someone that reads this post. That they can appreciate their friends and family more, or take a chance and work on something they dream about. That said, I'm glad that Laura was able to see Allan doing something that brings both success and fulfillment to his life. So, now about the update. Our updates have been getting really big lately. As we work on them, we keep adding new functions and objects until we start buckling under the stress of having to launch it the next week (then we cut back like crazy). This update is no different. I think its definitely one and a half updates, if not two. Similar to the many moons about Uranus, this update revolves around the Ice Hole. We use the temperature change mechanic to cause the Ice Hole to happen. You can pinch and stretch the sun to make the world hotter and cooler. When its cold, the pygmies turn into frozen statues that shatter when you touch them. When it's hot, they start sweating until eventually they burn an Ice Hole through the Ice Island (they explode on other islands). Pygmies can fish in the Ice Hole and catch a sword fish. If they try and eat it, they get gruesome death #1. You can also dangle a Pygmy over the Ice Hole and a squid will come out of it to try and catch the Pygmy. You actually play tug of war with the squid. If you pull too hard, you get gruesome death #2. If you let go, the Squid just eats him. Then, there is the Easter egg, if you find the right kind of object to stick in the Ice Hole, it will erupt in a deadly shower of icicles leading to gruesome deaths #3 and #4. In case it's not obvious at this point, December was a dark month for us. When I say gruesome, I would put it at the level of the underwater statue. We aren't pushing things farther than Itchy and Scratchy on the Simpsons yet, and they are still considered a PG show. One thing we really try to do, is to find ways of pushing the creativity with our updates, icons, marketing images, etc. I would put this updates skin pack in that category. Instead of a graphic skin pack, we are including a skin pack full of new dances for the Pygmies. This, by far, was most of the work for Allan this update. He animated 8 new dances and like he said in the blog. There are over 300 new frames of animation for the Pygmies. It's pretty big. We animated "Pants on the ground" (complete with hi pitched sound track that I sang), Beyonce Single Ladies (the pygmies are technically uni sex), The Chicken Dance (growing up I had to attend the yearly Italian festival where we were forced to dance this), The robot, the fan dance (the pygmy take off their shirts and dance around, you can see some butt for a little bit). The vampire has his own dance now, Staying Alive (ala John Travolta), and the pygmies have a Staying Alive backup dance so you can have them doing a little choreography when they are both on the screen. Finally, we added Smooth Criminal to the Zombies repertoire. Instead of hats, they use their skull caps (revealing brains in the process). As far as our next update goes. We have no idea what we will do next. It really seems like most of the best ideas come up while we are in the middle of working on the update and it's really hard to come up with stuff beforehand. In order to make it interesting for us, we want to do something different than a normal update. We have some general ideas as far as what that might be but it needs to solidify before we commit to it. One thing for sure, the next update will not be an ice island themed update. The two ice updates are way more than a typical update and it uses a lot more graphics than any other island. So, there wont be a trilogy anymore, it was more like two double packed updates instead of three normal updates. Oh and by the way, this state of the island was all written out on Friday but the browser crashed and I lost it all. lol. I needed to rest a little bit so I waited til today to re-write it all again.