Development Update #4: April 2013
Well hi there! Let's talk about April :)
Unfortunately, with the release of LTP only two days ago, I haven't had enough time to make a new video for this update - however, there's not really anything new to show over the LTP video. So, with the highest level of sorrow, I will direct you to the LTP official tutorial video, which I'm going to pass off as this month's dev update. It does show you pretty much all of the LT developments this month! Sorry for not getting around to making a new video :/
And I thought March was insane. Pshh. But April just blew it away. By a wide margin. Here's some of what happened:
- Ability to load and save the game
- Significantly improved combat AI
- Better graphics, particularly thrusters and weapons
- A main menu
- Massive cleanups in the engine (particularly stability and memory handling) to prepare for release
- Preparations for distribution (resource archive, installer, etc)
And of course...
- The first version of LT to be released to the world (well, some of it)!!!
LTP already features massive fleet battles of 50-60 ships ("Major Conflict" missions). The engine can, for the most part, handle these titanic clashes without any problem. But that's only going to get better, and the scale of the battles that you'll see in the final game is only going to be bigger!
Shooting asteroids has always been fun. But with everything up to frigates available in LTP, harassing asteroids has never been better.
Now, I've saved the best development of the month for last! I'm very pleased to present you with a nice surprise..
Introducing Andy Thompson, Art Lead!
I'll bet you thought you'd never see the day when LT would become more than a one-man team, but that day is here, and I'm extremely excited to introduce you this month to Limit Theory's new Art Lead, Andy Thompson! Not only is Andy my best friend, but he's also the most skilled artist that I know, and one of the only people on this planet that I would trust to handle the intense scope of LT.
When you see some of Andy's work, you'll know why I'm excited to have him on-board. Although he's only 20, Andy's already garnered some seriously-impressive credit in the art world, which I'll let him tell you about.
You might ask, why would we need an artist for a project that is fundamentally procedural in nature? Well, although LT is indeed totally procedural with respect to assets, those assets are modeled off of artistic visions. I don't generally just slap random code together and hope that it makes something pretty - I always have space concept art books by my side while designing the procedural algorithms. As you may or may not have noticed from gameplay footage up to this point, my attempts are still somewhat lacking in certain areas (*cough* ships..*cough*). But I blame it on my lack of artistic talent, not on procedural techniques! Andy's going to be working with me to build the best possible content creation algorithms, and he's going to be able to inject a level of artistic knowledge that I simply don't have. On top of content generation, however, there's still a lot of art-related work to do for LT, including interface aesthetics and layout, logo and branding, the t-shirt, the poster...you get the idea! The more of this that Andy can take over, the more time I will have to code...which will make me one happy camper!
Ok, enough of me talking, let's meet the man himself...I present to you Andy Thompson!
My name's Andy Thompson. Some of you may have met me on the forums, but for everyone else this is just a formal introduction! I've been involved with Limit Theory since its inception. I'm Josh's best friend IRL, and will be handling the art & creative direction, UI, and helping Josh develop systems for constructing beautiful space graphics!!
A little bit about me and my work - in case you were wondering. I've been accepted to Pixar's art internship program as well as Universal Studios post-production internship. I've won (2 gold & 2 silver) ADDYs. I did tour visuals for Skrillex, Zedd, Madeon, Nas & Speedy J last summer in LA. I'm currently doing contract compositing/modeling work for Vera Wang's commercial director remotely, working as a 3D Artist at a local game studio in Baton Rouge (Pixel Dash Studios), and doing various contract concept art, graphic & motion design for a variety of clients remotely. I'll be finishing up these projects and my semester classes this month and turning my full attention on Limit Theory.
I love games, I love Limit Theory, I know what it can be, and I'm really looking forward to being a part of this great community and continuing to work side-by-side with Josh to create the best game possible! I also look forward to hearing art suggestions, etc.. as I'm fully open to anything and everything. Feel free to contact me on the forums if you haven't already!
If you're interested in seeing some of Andy's non-LT-related work, I encourage you to check out his Instagram account, http://instagram.com/binarydream !
In the mean time, Andy's already signed up and active on the forums, and has made an introduction thread here: http://forums.ltheory.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=910. Feel free to drop in and say hi, or poke him, or really anything you like.
Remember last month when I questioned whether the trend of doubling productivity each month could continue? Well, the good news is that it did. April blew March away. If you keep up with the dev logs...you know what I'm talking about ;) But the real question is...can it continue even further!?!?!?
We shall see, friends. We shall see.
~Josh and Andy