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An RPG, RTS, and sandbox space exploration game all-in-one.  Explore, trade, build, and fight in a beautiful, procedural universe.
An RPG, RTS, and sandbox space exploration game all-in-one.  Explore, trade, build, and fight in a beautiful, procedural universe.
An RPG, RTS, and sandbox space exploration game all-in-one. Explore, trade, build, and fight in a beautiful, procedural universe.
5,449 backers pledged $187,865 to help bring this project to life.

LT & Josh are Both Alive and Well! / "Why the half-year silence!?"

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*crackle* Incoming Transmission! *bzzzzz*

Warmest greetings Limit Theorists!  It's been way too long since we last spoke, so this is going to be a rather massive update to finally fill you all in on what's going on with life, LT development, infinite universes, and me.  Please bear with me since I've got a half-year to catch you guys up on!  Before we get started, two things:

First, I'd like to say that I'm sincerely, deeply sorry for how long it's taken me to work up to this update.  It'll be by far the most personal update yet (which scares me), since the com silence and derailment of RTB was due entirely to personal issues of a serious nature.  It's a really rough subject for me to talk about, especially to an audience of 5,500.  But I'm ready, and you all deserve answers.  When I explain it all, I hope some of you will find it in yourselves to forgive me for the time it took me to step out of the shadows.

Second, as a bit of a TL;DR before we even get into it, I want you all to know right now that LT development has been and is continuing at full speed, as of several months ago.  So let's just get it out of the way right now that I've not abandoned the project!  In fact, I've been working hard to create a healthier, more productive, and more professional development atmosphere for LT.  More on that later....but first!  Story time.

What follows is a cringingly-personal account of what's been going on in my life (hence, in LT development, since that's my life).  But in the spirit of full transparency, I'd like to share it.  I've already shared gory details on the forums, primarily because I felt more comfortable disclosing preliminary info to a smaller circle until I made it back into good enough shape to step back into the light of KS updates.  So.  Let's get into it.

Chapter I: The Dark Days

The last time you heard from me was during RTB.  The Road to the Beta was designed to be the beginning of the end for Limit Theory's dev cycle.  Ultimately it, along with a solid year of unhealthy work habits, spiced up with the onsetting of some pre-existing conditions unknown to myself, ended up backfiring and, ironically, was the beginning of the end for my sanity.  I wish that were a joke, but it's not really.

In preparation for the third chapter of RTB, I was pushing harder than ever to deliver several new pieces of game content that I thought would really please you all (it included a working custom ship editor...to give you some idea of how hard I was pushing).  Unfortunately and much to my surprise, roughly a week before the deadline on RTB 3.0, I very suddenly started to experience new, strange, and scary things, mentally speaking.  I'm not going to go into more detail than that...but the point is that it threw me into a world of panic.  It also disconnected me from objective reality for an extended period of time (again, I won't go into detail about what that entails).

Retrospectively, I can basically summarize it as such: the mental health issues that had been creeping up on me for about half a year, combined with my drive to wrap up LT finally came to a head and set off a mental condition that drove me into a very scary place.  Again, I don't want to dwell on that too much, but in hopes of making my absence a little more understandable, I'll just say that these weren't garden-variety anxiety or mood issues -- what I experienced was frightening and ultimately disabled my ability to work effectively for roughly three months.  I still woke up every morning attempting to code, but, to be perfectly honest, my mind was so far gone that I accomplished little.

In what seemed at the time like just a matter of days, three months of my life blew by without any sign of the Josh that you've all come to know.  Not surprisingly, I've very little memory of that time.

Chapter II: The End of the Dark Days

By some miracle, the thought "something is very wrong" entered my head one day.  It must seem so overwhelmingly obvious from an outsider's perspective.  But from inside the belly of that kind of situation, and being in total isolation, it's nearly impossible to actually recognize and do something about it -- hence three months seeming like days. But finally, the realization hit me.  The very next day, I moved home to Louisiana and told my parents that I needed help from medical professionals.

The next two months were consumed by trying to get that attention and make headway in figuring out how to diagnose and 'fix' me.  Towards the end, after long last and with the right treatment, I started to feel Josh coming back again.  It was a long and arduous process, but the moment that I felt the first flicker of light return to my mind was one of the most beautiful moments in my life.  I'll never forget it.

The dark days were over.  The recovery to full-speed was far from complete, but the shroud had been lifted.

Chaper III: The Beginning of the Golden Days

Fast forward another two months or so -- more doctors appointments, new treatments -- and I was back.  Back.  Not back to the frantic Josh that had taken hold of LT development during the last few updates and RTB.  Back to the calm and inspired Josh that wrote the original KS pitch.  Back to seeing the beauty of the big picture.  It was incredible.  If any of you have ever been through something similar (and, statistically, out of 5,500, some of you almost certainly have), you may know what a cathartic feeling it is to be 'back' and only then realize how far you'd drifted from being yourself.

Despite continued treatment, I knew I had to change my habits to make sure this kind of thing would never happen again.  I needed to keep my eye on the finish line, not lose track of the big picture.  I needed to keep the full vision and beauty of my dream game in the forefront of my thoughts at all time, and make sure I never slid backwards.

Rather coincidentally, it was at this exact time that I learned of an organization in my very own hometown that was looking to give small tech companies the facilities, mentorship, and office space that they need to succeed -- all for next-to-nothing (it's all part of Louisiana's push to bring the entertainment and tech industry down here.)  Two weeks later, I had applied to this organization, been accepted, and had moved all of my equipment into my very own office to dedicate purely to LT development.

And so began what I now call the Golden Days -- the days in which LT development as well as the developer are both being handled as they should be.  Work and life are now separated, work hours are reasonable and fixed.  If it's Monday through Friday and between 8am and 7pm, you can bet that I'm in that office plugging away to finish this wonderful project!

Hindsight is 20/20, but I know now that this is the paradigm shift we needed.  Not a different update cycle, not a new technical gizmo to make development faster or more elegant, and certainly not MORE ALL-NIGHTERS!  No, what we needed was for me to act like a sane person, separate my work from my personal life, establish a normal sleep schedule, surround myself with mentors and friends who tackle similar problems, and act like a professional working on a professional project rather than someone hacking on a smaller indie game.

I've got to give a loving shout-out to the Louisiana Tech Park, whose existence and support has changed everything about LT development.  I love them.  And to think, I'm paying about half of what my rent was in Tennessee for everything they provide.  Wow.

Moving Forward at Full Speed, Albeit Quietly

So now that you all know the full story, let's talk about what's happening from here on out.  I'm going to stay in touch, (much more so on the forums than on KS, so if you'd rather see me more often, get on the forums!)  But I'm not going to establish a regular update schedule. Right now I'm in the thick of finishing development, and I'm going to keep my focus split about 95% on development and 5%ish on community interaction.  In other words: I'm playing this part close to the vest.

I'm sure some of you still miss the monthly videos and the daily dev logs, but, looking back, part of my problem was that my burning desire to see smiles and happiness from you guys in response to my updates shifted my focus away from the thing that's most important: producing the game of my dreams.  Yes, it was my standards that caused me anxiety, so I take full blame for maneuvering myself into an unhealthy place, but that's just part of me that I can't get rid of.  So, for now, my solution is to keep my focus where it belongs!

Phew, is anyone else tired of serious talk?  Me too!  I think it's time for some fun stuff, yes? :)

Tour of Limit Theory Headquarters!

As I said above, I'm playing it close to the vest right now for good reasons.  Which means I don't have much eye-candy to share with you.  The next time you really see LT will be...a happy moment for everyone ;)

Still, I can't leave you all without something pretty to look at!  So instead of LTcandy™, I took some time to take a few shots of the 'LT Headquarters,' aka my office where I get in the LT zone every weekday.  Naturally, the graphics monkey wanted to decorate the office a bit to make it inspirational for coder Josh ;)  LT HQ is chock-full of positive space vibes!  Don't forget to read the captions!

Limit Theory HQ Gallery

Grand Opening of LT Flickr Gallery to the Public!

I've slipped up once or twice on the forums and mentioned that I've got a massive, private Flickr gallery of LT shots dating back to the prototype.  Since then, I haven't heard the end of "how 'bout a glance at that gallery?" :P  So...why not!  A lot of it is stuff you've all seen before, but some of it is new (new as in old shots that weren't released publicly).  There's also a bit of content that was coming with RTB Chapter 3 (yes, I'm going to let you all puzzle over what "Observatory" means, and why there's colored paint on some ships).

Despite it not being exactly 'new,' it's most definitely shiny, and it's also pretty neat to travel back in time through what has been.  I'm still trying to locate all the LT development shots from before the prototype (I mean, like, going back to day one).  Hopefully they'll turn up at some point, and when they do I'll upload them as well!  So, without further ado...enjoy the 600+ shots!

Official Limit Theory Flickr (flickr.ltheory.com)

Conclusion

It's been a rough year for me and LT.  But now you all know the truth behind my disappearance.  I really hope you'll grant just a teensy bit of empathy with regards to my failure to communicate effectively during the past months.  But let's look at the positive side.  I hit my wall, I hit bottom, I hit the point at which I thought I'd never get back and never be able to write a coherent line of code again....and, with the help of professionals, conquered it.  In a big way.

If ever there was an 'ultimate test' for Limit Theory, it was the first half of this year.  And yet, here we are, on the other side, still alive, and with a better development set-up than ever before.

All I ask now is that you all keep doing what you've been doing for so long -- trust me.  LT is my passion, my full-time job, and my greatest dream.  It's coming, way later than any of us wanted it to, but by God it's going to be something truly special.  Once more, with every fiber in my being, I thank you all for making it possible.  Now let me get back to my dev machine so I can go fulfill my end of the bargain! :)

<3 Josh

PS ~ Anyone else find it weird that the last update was #42?  And it was the one that took so long to recover from?  Weird.  Also, anyone else notice that the place where I work has the same abbreviation as LTP, the Limit Theory Prototype?  Ok ok, enough reading the signs for now.

Dragonbait, Cha0zz, and 176 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Domme on January 30, 2017

      The Game is still in development: http://forums.ltheory.com/viewtopic.php…
      Josh presented the game at PAX South as a member of the Louisiana Technology Park: http://forums.ltheory.com/viewtopic.php…

    2. Claude M. on December 1, 2016

      This is ridiculous...

    3. Johannes Musikant on October 24, 2016

      Ahem, this project is dead now? It's been another year now ;)

    4. Steve Mellan
      Superbacker
      on September 22, 2016

      @Jacob the link seems to dead end mate ?
      What's happening with this project Josh ? Information yearly after what has already transpired simply isn't good enough !! An update for all of your backers is sorely overdue, please respond.

    5. Brad Devlin
      Superbacker
      on September 6, 2016

      How about releasing an alpha for us very patient backers?

    6. Dave Woods [Owner of the Daffy Duck] on August 23, 2016

      Well, it's getting close to a year of silence this time around

    7. Missing avatar

      Sean Murray on August 8, 2016

      I assume this whole thing is dead by this point?

    8. Adam Truncale on June 18, 2016

      What I'd like is just access to his dev builds. I understand they might be buggy, but I'd really just like to fly around in the universe he has created.

    9. Missing avatar

      Domme on May 2, 2016

      Since there are no status updates on Kickstarter, other backers may be interested in this thread in the official LT-Forum, where the recent statements of Josh about the development of Limit Theory are gathered: http://forums.ltheory.com/viewtopic.php…

    10. Missing avatar

      Dwight Lyle on April 4, 2016

      Well... damn...

    11. Missing avatar

      Richard Tee on March 13, 2016

      Josh, it's time. We need to see the game now. I know you've had a hard time and we all sympathize. But we funded your project and it's time you delivered on it. When will we receive the game that you have been given $188,000 to produce?

    12. Jon Ford on March 9, 2016

      I'm glad you're feeling better, that's good to hear. Any news on the game development front?

      Hope all is well, take care!

    13. Gary Siu on January 24, 2016

      Hey Josh, glad to hear you are back on the wagon. It's be good to hear from you even if there's been no apparent progress. Hope you have a better 2016.

    14. Missing avatar

      Asher M Cerka on December 16, 2015

      Josh, I just wanted to extend a hand for what little I can do so. I obviously can't understand exactly what you've gone through during this ordeal, but I can certainly sympathize with going through mental issues and how it can derail development of a game. I hope we'll both eventually see the games we're putting together released.

    15. Patrick Wyss on December 15, 2015

      Wow! I feel bad now. Bad because I already gave up on you. In the silent time first I was impatient, then a bit angry, then a bit frightened that something might have happened to you... and to my big shock: then I just gave up on you. In order not to make me feel bad for not checking if you are OK, not even trying to do anything, some part of my brain created a story of you having found a girl, having a good time with a different aspect of live...
      And then I nearly forgot. Until today when my friend asked me about kickstarter and what projects I supported till now. And I wanted to show him the screenshots of the project that sadly failed... and then I saw this post!
      My heart is jumping!
      Thank you! Thank you for staying alive! For not giving up! For not running away with the money! For everything!

      But there is one thing. It comes from the time when I thought my money was gone and I'll never see nothing for it (except the screenshots and videos). I have a request. A request that I feel is fair, because we all are still with you and want to enable you to live your dream and still trust you. Some of us would probably even throw in more resources if needed.

      The request would be:
      a) to get an executable that I can run on my machine. I don't care what I can do as long as I can see the amazing graphics.
      b) I'd like to have a promise as well: That if you ever quit you will open source what you have done until then. So that someone else (or the community) can pick up the amazing work. And please have some automatism (e.g. Google Inactive Account Manager) doing it for you.

      I know this is a lot I ask. But 187K$ is also a lot. And: if you quit (for whatever reason because there are a lot of legitimate reasons) then you probably wouldn't mind if your work is being continued and there is a legacy that will shine on for a long time, maybe forever ;-)

      Thank you so much for everything!
      You are amazing!
      All the best wishes from my heart!

    16. Andrew Phillips on October 20, 2015

      Having been through something similar - although I imagine not as drastic myself, I'm glad that you had that moment of realization and that you went back to a positive environment where you could get it.

      Glad to hear you're in a better place!

    17. Missing avatar

      Nicholas Mitchell on October 14, 2015

      Life life don't worry. Keep on being an inspiration to us all. Bless you!

    18. Elciled on October 14, 2015

      Hey, late comment but thanks for sharing all that... it's very inspiring to me, and I'm very glad you were able to turn things around. Not sure exactly what happened but I feel like I can relate quite a bit. Take care and I hope everything goes well.

    19. Duncan Jaffrey on October 6, 2015

      Josh is in da house. Hope all continues to go wall mate.

      I for one am very happy to give you the time you need to follow a reasonable schedule and bring your vision to life, safely.

    20. Missing avatar

      Andrew Roberts on September 26, 2015

      I have been waiting patiently for this game and am glad everything is going okay with you josh! Look forward to seeing the genius of your creation! Keep up the good work!

    21. David Forster on September 26, 2015

      I am glad you are okay, Josh. Your office looks great, and you look happy on the pictures :)

    22. WALTER SANCHEZ on September 24, 2015

      Josh during these months of his absence was unavoidable at times not lose faith but nevertheless hopes keeping your back ... now fills me with great joy to know that you have recovered and been able to return to continue the development of LT ... to maintain balance and hope everything can be consolidated and brought to fruition ... I have followed this project with passion because I share a lot and I really like the idea of the kind of universe you have us promised ...

    23. Shaul Kedem on September 24, 2015

      Oh Wow Josh, I admire the way you managed this! Hope the rough patch is behind you. Its usually the talented ones who are caught in this.

      Also: Stop reading the signs! simply live! enjoy and forget all the background noise!

    24. Patrick Chapman on September 24, 2015

      I realize some will feel otherwise and I only moderately invested in you game cause a one person show can run into problem. I know the kinda place you were and not everyone wants to talk about it. I am glad you recognized where you were, did something about it, came back, and got moving again. Not everyone manages that.
      I am also glad you are now committed to better work-life balance.
      I hope to see LT out.

    25. Missing avatar

      coder1000 on September 23, 2015

      Best wishes Josh!

    26. Missing avatar

      mitras2 on September 23, 2015

      Hey Josh
      Great to hear that your back and healty again. Thanks for your brave and very honest update. I got quite worried (about you, not about the project) after you have disappeared for such a long time. So I'm really glad to hear that you are back and that you also have a good place to work now.
      I wish you the best of luck, fun and blessing for your LT.

    27. Adam Jorgensen on September 23, 2015

      Glad to hear you're going better Josh. Keep up the awesome work on LT (although not at the expense of any more sanity points please :-)

    28. Jordan Louis on September 22, 2015

      Well, I don't care about the absence. I'm just glad you're ok now, and that you've gotten everything you needed to reclaim the person you once were!

      Mental illness is no laughing matter, and I'm speaking from experience here.

      Thank you so much for your awesome, inspiring work on this beautiful thing you're bringing into the world.

      Josh, I wouldn't mind picking up Spoot's $77 pledge if you end up refunding it, if you have some way of transferring it and accepting my payment for it. Drop me a message if you're cool with this.

      Thanks again!

    29. Thomas R. Moen on September 22, 2015

      Excellent! Welcome back and take care!

    30. Kraken on September 21, 2015

      Welcome back Josh. It's good to have you back.

      Best wishes from France.

    31. Missing avatar

      Valeroth on September 20, 2015

      So glad you are back! This has long been one of my most anticipated projects on KS, but I recall telling my wife early on that I was afraid you were going to burn up and burn out at the rate at which you were doing this on this project. I was sad you went silent and assumed that had come to pass (and apparently it had). It's great to see you've recovered! I think you are very talented and have a promising future. But yes a proper work and sleep schedule is essential! Keep up the good work (at a health pace)!

    32. Brad Candy on September 20, 2015

      Bloody good to hear your feeling better Josh, super happy to hear you are back working on LT! I am very much looking forward to when you release it and we can all play :D

    33. Quinton Armarego on September 19, 2015

      glad you're better. look after yourself and produce a product you are proud of.

    34. Josh Parnell Creator on September 19, 2015

      Spoot, I have just contacted about this issue via KS PM. Let's discuss in private rather than here.

    35. Missing avatar

      Spoot - Nicolas Cage of Phoenix Rising on September 19, 2015

      Since you are still not awnsering on any messages I send you trough various mediums, I will repost what I once said:

      Re: The End of the Dark Days.

      Postby Spoot1 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:51 pm
      It is good to know that you feel better and eager to go back to work some day.

      As the days without updates passed so did my trust in you and this project. When I first saw LT I was highly inspiered and seduced by the beauty of the idea, so I put my pledge (77$ which is a lot of money for me ) trough kickstarter and after you reached your goal we both agreed on a contract which can be looked up in the kickstarter terms of use. As I respect your health concerns and your well being you have to respect me as the counterpart of the contract. This contract was highly disregarded ( https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use#section4 ) in not meeting the deadline (release is still in limbo) nor fullfilling your responsibilties towards me as a backer (communication,progress etc.). Therefore I would ask you very kind and with all due respect that I want to step back from the contract and would welcome it if you refund me (I can contact you on kickstarter to verify myself). I cannot beleive in nor support this project for the lack of the trust base I encountered when I put my plegde.

      Sincerely Spoot

    36. Reyhan Sadaka on September 19, 2015

      Glad to hear you got that stuff sorted. Mental Health is Serious Busniess(tm)

    37. NobleBrutus on September 19, 2015

      Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

      It will be worth the wait, don't worry.

    38. Lionel Cordier on September 19, 2015

      I feel this game just took a new turn. It's gonna be awesome. So much efforts will definitely be rewarded. Can't wait!

    39. Missing avatar

      Tamajyga on September 18, 2015

      Thank you for this update Josh! And thank you for your passion! Take care of yourself!

    40. RMH on September 18, 2015

      Take it easy Josh, This is the only KS I've put so much faith into. I know you'll make something beautiful, take all the time you need.

      I've been in the same Depression, Anxiety, Personality Disorder boat for over a decade, so this hits so close to home. Do what you need to do for you to function before all else!

      LT is and will be the coolest and shiniest game for a long time!

    41. Missing avatar

      Alter Ego on September 18, 2015

      Hossa! Welcome back!

      Take it easy, enjoy live and thank you so much for the update.

      Good times ahead :-)

    42. Haldurson on September 18, 2015

      I've been dealing with anxiety and depression on and off for most of my life, but went undiagnosed until about 10 years ago, when things got so bad I was unable to function at my job (I was a systems analyst). So I can very strongly relate to what you went through.

      Anyway, it's great that you are doing better now.

    43. Missing avatar

      Keith on September 18, 2015

      Welcome back. I'm really glad you're in a better place.

    44. bryt on September 18, 2015

      Rest easy Josh. You are correct to assume some of us have been through it too. Speaking from experience, I think you are doing the right thing. Take care of yourself first, and LT will be better for it. I don't want to play LT knowing your mental health was sacrificed for it. Long term you have to realize that you have a great mind with so much more to offer this industry, so don't burn out here. Good luck with the final push!

    45. Avram Eisner on September 18, 2015

      I'm glad that you got help for your mental health issues. I have had to deal with my fair share of them, and I know how difficult it can be to reach out for help while you are suffering from them. And I can totally relate to your experience of what it's like to be 'back' and feeling like yourself again.
      Can't wait to play Limit Theory!

    46. Missing avatar

      Sam Carton on September 18, 2015

      Thanks Josh. So glad you found your way back. Sounds like you've got a healthier work schedule now. Take your time and keep making the game of your dreams. I look forward to playing it, no matter when it comes out.

    47. Missing avatar

      Domme on September 18, 2015

      Thank you for sharing your personal and private experience of the last months with us. I'm glad you are back on track and in an healthy environment, so hopefully you can enjoy working on LT till the end of the development cycle. I wish you the best.

    48. Missing avatar

      Adauli, Red Wizard of the Obisdian Order on September 18, 2015

      Good to hear your back but please avoid to overwork your self from now on as no one is helped if you do so.

    49. TanC on September 18, 2015

      Posting in the forums and I'll post here again. I'm glad you're back and I hope you'll stick to that office schedule. No overtimes! ;)