I think the change in plan is so that the NPC team (Keir) can work on the Security NPC Police Force more.
However, I don't think the offer is completely closed. It is most likely that if you convince Keir that your case is worth it - i.e. submit a good reason for those NPCs and submit good images - it will be approved despite the deadline having changed.
If that fails, you could always agree to help out the NPC team in exchange.
It's mostly just a matter of holding those in charge to consistency with their word. I fully appreciate the time, scale and scope of the projects being taken up by those in charge but on behalf of the players we also need to know that things that are said by the admins are also held to.
"Combat will be out some time next year." -Credited to countless developers over 10 years.
I think the problem was they simply got more requests than they could possibly handle and decided there was no way they could keep it going for 10 days. Like Neth said, if you really, really want to do it, there's a way for you to get them done (it's Keir, he's a whore for just about anything!).
Keir is technically not an Admin, for the record. Neither am I, if anyone who is confused about that is reading this thread. But that's off-topic.
While people who post on the Sim News generally mean what they say, unforeseen circumstances can mean that offers need to change after they have been made. I'm guessing the volume of response caught Keir by surprise, and he thought that leaving it open the full 10 days would be too much. Or he thought that everybody who wanted it had responded more quickly than he thought.
Either way, he did say that it would not be the last opportunity for it (if I'm reading that right) so if you pick up and hold on to the NPCs, hopefully you won't have to wait too long.
"May the Grace of Ara go with you, and His Vengeance be wrought upon your enemies."
I can understand getting swamped, it happens to all of us at one time or another with things of course. But go ahead and say that - "due to the massive input of the NPC family project we are forced to end the program and work through what we have...etc etc".
Thanks for posting this, Selene. I was also taken aback by the 10-down-to-4-day change, so you're not alone.
I'm also happy to see development for the game continues, rather than the project being dropped altogether. Heh, with 4003 active members, I'd hate to see the number of requests that have swamped the NPC team. Thanks for the opportunity for input, guys. :-)