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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.
5,449 backers pledged $187,865 to help bring this project to life.

Development Update #1: January 2013

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)
1 like

Hey everyone! I'm very pleased to present you with some details on Limit Theory's progress this month!

Update Video

First, I'd encourage you to watch the video that I made to showcase some of this month's progress. If a picture's worth a thousand words, then this fifteen-minute video @ 30 frames per second is worth 27 million I guess there's really no point in me saying anything more, is there? :)


So much work was accomplished this month, it's quite hard to remember it all...but some of the major points include:

  • Laid down the framework for advanced AI planning and strategizing
  • Implemented a powerful, custom collision detection system
  • Overhauled the user interface
  • Began work on the command interface
  • Significantly improved graphics in many areas
  • Implemented shields
  • Replaced procedural model technology with far more advanced, elegant solution (implicit surfaces)

If you'd like a more detailed, day-by-day / week-by-week report of the progress, I encourage you to visit the "dev logs" section of the forums, where I provide a fairly excruciating level of detail concerning my development activity: .

If you didn't get enough from the video, or if you'd rather not watch it, here are some still shots to advertise all of the fancy new graphics, including...

Rockier Asteroids!

View Full Size

More Nebulous Nebulae!

View Full Size

Shinier Ships!

View Full Size

...Same Old Dev Team!

(yes, it's still Christmas in my office! Also, bonus points if you can spot a Tie Fighter...)


I guess it goes without saying that, for every visible improvement you can see, there are at least ten other internal improvements that you can't see. All-in-all, it's hardly even the same game/game engine that it was a month ago...and I couldn't be more excited to keep building it into the vibrant, procedural universe of possibility that you all pledged toward!

Thanks for watching, thanks for supporting, and thanks for helping me build the game I've always wanted to build!!!

As usual, if you have questions/comments/suggestions, feel free to post them here or head over to the forums and start a thread (after you search for similar threads, of course...)! :)


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    1. Velkaarn on

      Looking great!

    2. gandalf.nho

      Great progress, Josh!

    3. Melhelix on

      Oh man, oh wow.

      First off, I absolutely love your daily Dev Logs. They are always incredibly inspiring and very enlightening. I may have failed calc, but I can always understand what you are saying so, major bonus points on communication.

      Secondly, YES! Flying -underneath- shields! WOOO! I can only remember seeing that done in the Widowmaker series (books). Really super stoked to see it in a game!

      Keep up the awesome work!

    4. Matthew Brady on

      Looking very nice Josh! I am very excited for the pre-alpha!!!!

    5. Stormwaltz on

      The BGM is lovely. Sounds like Steve Roach or Robert Rich.

      Being able to fly under the shields is a neat tactical option. I don't believe I've seen it in a sim before. I also loved the detail touch of your shots bouncing off the fighters.

      The holographic view reminds me of the communicators in Star Wars, which is not a bad thing. It did seem difficult to see things farther away. I might want less falloff if I'm going to use the UI to plan fleet maneuvers.

    6. Styggron on

      Fantastic update Josh. Yep I spotted the Tie Fighter in the room there :-) Those asteroids are so much better now they look brilliant ! Keep it all up you're brilliant Josh !

    7. Raufgar on

      Excellent update Josh! Thanks for the update and keep up the good work, I can hardly wait for this!

      I did see one interesting thing in the video though, around 14.13, as you were maneuvering to the front of the 2nd cap ship, one of the small dust clouds sort of re-oriented itself as you passed by it ;)

    8. Karl Friedrich on

      Marvelous update! Keep up the outstanding work you do there!

    9. Willem on

      Thanks for the update Josh. Amazing progress, looking very good. I also loved the background music in the youtube video, if that music is any indication of the route the soundtrack is taking, then I am very excited. The music was perfectly spacey and dreamy. Looking forward to future updates, thanks again.

    10. Dan Ormond on

      So exciting!! :D Thanks Josh, everything's looking awesome!

    11. saige on

      Great update. The difference is truely amazing in such a short time.

    12. Missing avatar

      Owen Carow on

      Awesome! Always appreciate updates.

    13. Missing avatar

      Leonidas on

      great update. :-)
      2 quick things..
      this may have been answered elsewhere....
      1 - if your fighter bumps a dead fighter, does it just repel you, or equal force on both via realistic physics?
      2 - how hard(possible) will it be to create a tie fighter, x-wing, space1999, ncc1701-enterprise, or firefly like-looking ship?

    14. Ethan on

      Looks great Josh! Very pleased!

    15. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on

      Incredible! Totally awesome! Wow!
      Yes... more stoked than ever... man, that interface looks awesome! Those surfaces, asteroids, those shields!! ... Win, win, win :)

    16. Roq on

      Great update. Like your approach to making the world as real as possible. Such a fun project to follow and I'm glad I backed it. Not sure I could handle your grueling schedule though :).

    17. Josh Parnell Creator on

      Thanks for so much positive feedback!! :) Bahaha I never thought that little comment would spawn so much discussion on the technicalities of TIEs :D Clearly I have a lot of learning to do.

      @Lee - Yes! Technically, the surfaces produced by scalar fields are called implicit surfaces, because they are defined "implicitly" be setting the scalar field equation to a certain value. Like x + y would be the scalar field, x + y = 0 would be an implicit surface.

      @Bruce - Yeah, I definitely exaggerated the occlusion a lot...I'm thinking I'll just make that a graphics option. Seems like most games these days exaggerate it a lot, so I didn't want to be left out :p

    18. Fluffy Fiend of the Obsidian Order on


      It looks more like a TIE Advanced. A TIE Bomber would be wider to accommodate the extra cargo compartment next to the cockpit.

    19. Missing avatar

      Lee on

      Great update that follows up some of your recent Dev Logs really well. You mentioned implicit surfaces - are they related to the scalar fields method you mentioned in the Dev Logs?

    20. Sean Dozier on

      NOOOOT to get any nerd rage from any Star Wars fans here but, first video A-Mazing, second the aforementioned toy is on the tower of the computer and it is a Tie Bomber, the Bomber had the large circular chassis encompassed in the angular wings, the Tie Fighter had the "stop sign" esq wings and the Tie Interceptor had the "pointy" wings reminiscent of two triangles flipped on top of one another. Referenced here:

    21. Missing avatar

      William Hochella

      Definitely salivating for that alpha build more now...

    22. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on

      Now now Josh, don't be tricking us, that's not a Tie Fighter, it's a TIE Advanced! :p

      Will watch the vid later, I am pretty sure I'll be even more stoked than I already am, great, no, awesome job!

    23. Brian Uhrig

      Great looking nebula and 'roids, I'm with ya on the astroids. You mentioned icons for use in the tactical view on small objects. Maybe a toggle for an icon only view for ships? I'm thinking from a wargame POV where everything is symbology.

      Thanks again for the update! Already looking forward to next month.

    24. Missing avatar

      Lorenz Jugel on

      Looks great. I like the tactical "holoview" effect.

      Amazing update, as always.

    25. Akryum on

      Very nice update! :)

    26. BruceP - Chameleon Prime

      Thanks for the update, Josh. That Tactical/Quadrant view looks cool!
      A suggestion: I'd increase the brightness of the non-metal parts of the ships so there's not as much contrast between the different materials. Right now it looks a bit patchworky.
      Keep up the good work! :)

    27. Missing avatar

      Ozzie Orlowski on

      Thanks very much Josh. It's nice to see the game developing so well. Really looking forward to having access to the prototype/playable demo. Best wishes for continuous progress :)

    28. Ace Knight on

      Damn good update Josh, work is on the way as we can see it in this video. This project seems getting better and better.

    29. Mark Okke on far you're the best developer on Kickstarter that gives us regular updates. Your updates help us know where you are at in your development cycle and it also shows your passion. Thank you also for the video posts.

    30. Missing avatar

      Steve Palmer on

      Yer a one man army josh! :) i love the gritty mapping on the capital ship. Can't wait to see the final results.

    31. Missing avatar

      Raymond Lee

      I'm starting to think Josh is likely going to be the guy who will someday develop the machine intelligence that will destroy humanity... :O

    32. Josh Parnell Creator on

      @Kraken Ahh, thanks very much, I actually did a bit of research on Wookiepedia before posting, but there were so many Tie models listed I decided it wasn't worth the effort, and that I could probably just get away with calling it a Tie Fighter :P Guess I was wrong :D

    33. Epic Leather on

      Your Nebula Shots make the coolest desktops.... just throwing that out there, great job, I cant wait to play.

    34. Missing avatar

      Nathan on

      Thanks for the pointing out that it wasn't a Tie Fighter. I was about to do the same thing. :D

    35. Brian Rubin

      Beaten by the Kraken! DAMN YOU KRAKEN! ;)

    36. Kraken on

      Technically that's not a Tie Fighter, but Darth Vader's Tie Advanced x1.