To make the game as good as it can be, we need to be able to work on the game full-time. Currently we're working on it part-time, whilst we keep ourselves in food and housing by working day jobs.
We'd like to be able to devote all of our time to this game, and if we're going to deliver it within just shy of a year, we're going to have to give up our current jobs and support ourselves until the final release.
We're also in need of some new equipment, as some of our current hardware is very old and slow, and is frankly slowing down the development speed.
Currently there's only one set family type, with randomized names selected from a long database of the most common names. The work involved in making animations specific for different sprites is fairly daunting, but it's something we'd really like featured, so hopefully it'll be a feature in the future.
If it features in the game, there will be options to have difference races and sexual orientations.
Each family member has a unique set of randomized stats at the beginning of the game. These increase with each task they perform. They won't 'level up' exactly, as it's a bit more complicated than that. The game will feature ways to increase the ability of a given family member's skill in a certain field.
Yes, currently the player will be able to add more rooms to their shelter, given they've scavenged enough supplies to be able to do so. Currently the game runs on a Z axis, so more rooms in the shelter will be layers going backwards.