Update 0.44.0 is now out via the auto-updaters. Further work will continue on these new features, and there will be a bunch of smaller, more frequent updates for the next couple of weeks or so.
First thing to note is that Shift-Right Clicking on things now creates a permanent job for that character. This way you can set up your base to run a little more autonomously with dedicated workers, engineers and medics that can also defend the base or fill in for other jobs without any micromanagement.
There is a major overhaul to the items and artwork. Many items are being phased out and replaced, and you may find some of your gear (like straw hats) looks wrong, they need to be replaced. NPCs will also be geared-up wrong, so you will need to import your squad into a new game world to fix everything up and re-initialise all the factions. Your characters will also look randomly different, you can find plastic surgeons in bars so you can customise them.
High on my priority list for the following updates will be walls, and item/clothing/armour crafting.
Females are being worked on too, I'm still waiting for all the final artwork.
Audio work too has just started and will progress in the background, so look forward to that.
Here is the complete changelog for the new update:
0.44.0 "Culture and stuff"
-New AI Job system. Shift-click when giving an order and it will become a permanent job for that character. Eg shift-rightclick on a half finished building and he will become an engineer, helping out with all building jobs that appear. If you give him an order he will do it, then go back to building when he is done. Jobs can be removed in the orders panel in the bottom right.
-Character AI jobs are also loaded and saved
-Face customisation added to character editor
-Hair for characters
-Wandering traders should now work and buy stuff from your shop counters. They don't want your crappy looted swords though, they want food and booze and trade goods.
-Totally new male character model
-Entirely new bunch of armour and clothing, replaces most of the old stuff
-You can find plastic surgeons in bars, basically they just re-activate the character editor for you.
-Clothing and armour can modify your speed and combat skills
-Clothing worn by some factions is tagged as a uniform. This reduces the re-sale value, and in future updates will have diplomatic effects too.
-NPCs are now more random and unique-looking
-Traders no longer permanently run out of money
-Fixed the negative research progress bug
-Game pauses during character creation, so you don't get attacked
-Map screen now shows player towns again
-Fixed AI problem where characters would run back and forth without doing anything