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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 #12: December 2013

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, all that good stuff!! :) Please make sure to read the *** section concerning release date below - it's important!

The Video.

Just one apology today: there are a lot of annoying microphone sounds :( I suppose I was a bit high-strung during this narration, and perhaps wagging the mic a bit too furiously while speaking.  Hope you can enjoy all the same!  This one's a nice, juicy update and clocks in at 20 minutes ;)

Sink Your Teeth Into December!


HDR nebula generation / rendering, new metal, new motion effects, and significantly-improved dynamic lighting make December's iteration of Limit Theory by far the most visually-appealing ever.  At this point, LT is truly the vibrant, atmospheric universe that I always wanted from a space game.  I don't suppose the graphics engine will ever be 100% complete, but I'd certainly be proud of it if released in this state!


With 3D, holographic models now an integral part of the nodal interface, your interactions with the LT universe have never looked so smooth.  But the graphics are only an appetizer to the main course: underneath the hood, a set of powerful new features including window-splitting, node dragging, categorical filtering, and searching promises to provide more control than ever before over your game.  A game of great depth demands an interface of greater simplicity.  In that regard, I have high hopes for our nodal UI!


The very last few days of the month saw the final and perhaps most pivotal component of the LT AI fall into place: delegation.  With NPCs now grasping the concept of utilizing others (including the player) in their plans, we are about to witness a universe of cooperation, control, conflict, and, most importantly, opportunity.

*** Slightly Slower... ***

With 2013 finally exhausted, I'm growing a bit anxious about the slated release date of "early 2014." What I'd like to do is move my official estimate to "mid 2014." I honestly feel that an early 2014 release would require cutting corners, and at this point, we've come too far for that kind of thing!

I'd rather not construct excuses for you, as the reality is a very simple one: LT is a big project! I sincerely apologize for not meeting the original timeline. For better or for worse, I would sooner compromise on the timeline than on the vision and the features that I promised to you all.

At any rate, I hope you'll believe me when I say that I'm still totally on top of LT and pouring my everything into building this lovely space game, day after day, month after month. You need only take a peek at the dev logs if you're not yet convinced of my sincere love for it and the fierceness of my motivation to deliver!

Concerning funding, you needn't worry - there's still more than enough left to sustain development for however long it takes. The money that you all so generously pledged will allow LT to become a reality, and I will, of course, never ask for more. Of that I am certain!

Thanks for your understanding :)

December Retrospective

I went into December having high expectations.  I'll be the first to admit that I would have liked to see an NPC post a contract before a few hours prior to the update video x_x Nonetheless, we came out of it with a heck of a lot to show, and I'm downright ecstatic for what the new year holds, especially in terms of seeing some real fun emerging from the NPCs.  AI really kicked my rear for several months there, but, (fingers crossed), that beating is coming to an end!  On top of it all, the graphics are plain lovely, and I can easily lose hours these days immersing myself in those fluffy nebulae.

It may take a bit longer than expected, but by God, Limit Theory will be the game I always wanted to play.  I hope you'll share that sentiment! :)

2013 Retrospective

Wow.  Who would have thought a year could go by so fast?  Not I!  But 2013 hasn't left us empty-handed.  Far from it.  We've seen upgrade after upgrade to the graphics pipeline - new fog, new metal, new nebulae, new stars, new lens flares, and a thousand other things.  But we've also seen the the coming and going of several interfaces, culminating in the most recent achievement of one-interface-to-rule-them-all.  We've seen the rise and fall of many an AI, and finally the success of an artificial intelligence that's capable not only of planning a life for itself, but also engaging with others to better itself.  We've seen the conceptual mechanics of research, construction, factions, large-scale historical simulation, and more.  We've seen two official releases of LTP, twelve update videos, and a whopping 425 daily / weekly dev log entries (yes, that's a bit staggering.  At 15 to 30 minutes a pop, I'll let you do the math...)

But most importantly, we've seen a vision turning from the intangible wind of inspiration into a concrete reality of ones and zeros.  Much has been done, and much remains to be done.  Of one thing, however, there can be no doubt: each month we come a long, long way...and I see no evidence of that pattern letting up any time soon!

Ladies and gentlemen, as the new year rolls on in, I would like to make a New Year's resolution to you.  2014 will dwarf 2013.  That is all.

Stick around, it's gonna be a fun year ;)


Jeff Horton, Brett Camper, and 48 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Łukasz Kamiński on

      Well, to be honest it says "Estimated delivery: Jan 2014", not "early 2014", but I guess its better to wait, rather than getting unfinished game. I just hope there won't be DNF again.

    2. Jason S on

      Yes take the time you need to do it the best you can

    3. Peter Baltzer Hansen on

      you go take the time to do what it take to get this project to a state you want it to be published in :) even if that is late 2014 or later, you always keep us up to date and in the know, so I trust you to deliver, even if i have to wait a little more... and in the event, opening up for early access to get 'beta' testers isn't such a bad idea either...

      as for the AI, awesome! too many ai's just leave the player out, so it will be very nice to see it actually try to figure the player in to their plans

    4. Velkaarn on

      I always prefer a completed game to a rushed project so don't worry about pushing the release date. You've always plenty to show when you update so it's a pleasure to read these. Happy new year!

    5. VortiK on

      The project is looking better and better every month. You're doing an awesome job, really. After the debacle of X Rebirth release, your decision to postpone release to properly polish is spot on. Don't be afraid of taking such decision. Can't wait to see what 2014 will deliver !

    6. Missing avatar

      Valeroth on

      Things are looking great.

      Will PC's be able to leave contracts for NPC's as well?

    7. Silver on

      I don't have any problems with the extended development time - I've played games that were rushed, and even though they had great potential, it was never realized. I'll gladly wait for the original vision of the game to become reality.

      P.S. I think you're going to go far in the industry after LT hits the market. Keep up the good work. :)

    8. Missing avatar

      Domme on

      Thank you for the update. I like the reflections from weapon shots on the Station, this helps to immerse in the game.
      I'm also very keen to see more of the AI-development, because what's better than a beautiful universe? A living beautiful universe. ;-)

      Take your time with the development, I would not mind a second annual update video, if the game pays back. :-)
      Happy new year!

    9. KevinP on

      Best wishes for 2014. Take your time and release a product that you are happy with. I am patient and find your regular updates very reassuring.

    10. Taragon on

      The UI looks amazing. Don't worry about taking more time, remember, you can only launch once, and first impressions are everything

    11. Mikkel Georgsen on

      @Josh - I didn't even know about a release date and to be honest I didn't care - I'm enjoying the development as much as any game as of late to be honest.

      Getting a peek inside your mind while developing LT is value enough for my pledge level - so the game I take as a bonus :)

    12. James on

      Awesome stuff as usual.
      Keep up the good work, and have a happy new year!

    13. gandalf.nho

      Looking better and better

    14. Missing avatar

      Alter Ego on

      Great update. Excitement builds up. Window-splitting looks awesome, having a few ideas about that but I guess the forum is better suited for any kind of feedback.

      Luckily I'm a busy worker so, you know, even if the release date slips by a year, I usually won't notice. Being busy has at least one bright side :p

      Thanks Josh!

    15. Willem on

      Thanks for the update Josh. Interface and game are looking wonderful. And don't worry about release dates to be honest. Take as much time as you need; that's the whole point of KS: is to offer developers like you the opportunity to develop on your own timeframe (within budgets of course) and not rush the game. Take as much time as you need to do Limit Theory justice. I am looking forward to what 2014 has in store for LT.

    16. Missing avatar

      Tamajyga on

      Thanks Josh! Take all the time you need to finish this incredible game! And thanks for your continuous effort!! And happy new year to you and your family!!

    17. Missing avatar

      Sam Carton on

      Happy new year, it's looking great so far!
      Keep it up Josh, I don't mind waiting. You obviously have put a lot of yourself into the game already, and I don't want to see the rest rushed.

    18. Felix on

      Amazing looking so far Josh! I know I dont mind the release being pushed back, and I cant wait to play your finished game!

    19. TanC on

      Awwww yissss! More delays means more dev logs for me to read. THEN we'll finally have a nice dev log novel. :D

      Btw, watching the video made my jaw drop and I just died on the spot. It's all cool now, I've came back from the dead to post my approval. :)

    20. Josh Parnell Creator on

      Hey guys I really appreciate the understanding. You all are the best :) I won't let you down!!!

    21. Missing avatar

      sheng on

      Happy new year josh!
      I never really expected this to release on time, you're extremely passionate about this project (yay!) so I was expecting something or another to hold you up.

      Keep up the good work alright? I would rather have a good game released late then an incomplete game released on time.

      You're probably my favorite dev :)

    22. Roq on

      Enjoy watching this project - and hope you will take all the time you need to make a great game... mid 2014? likely it will run on to 2015 at least I would think, judging by other projects. Just hope you can take that much time out of your studies. Didn't expect it to release on schedule anyway :).

    23. Jörn Huxhorn

      Oh... and sign me up for Limit Theory 2. :D

    24. Jörn Huxhorn

      Awesome update. This may be kind of egoistic but I hope development will take longer than middle of 2014 - since I love the dev logs and will miss them badly.

      Happy new year! It's 00:04 where I live. :)

    25. JHewett

      Happy new year Josh (and all)!
      Yeah - I agree with the others - take your time.
      Kickstarters running late is pretty much par for the course.
      It gets frustrating when there is no updates for a while, but who on earth could accuse you of that? With new updates every month we at least get the satisfaction of seeing the project evolve, and we know how hard you are working. Make sure you take some time for yourself over the holidays to re-charge your batteries mate :)
      Actually I think you spoil us - I am going to start expecting the same level of communications on all the projects I back in the future!

    26. Missing avatar


      Man, this game keeps getting more and more beautiful, which is only surpassed by how awesome everything else about the game is. I'm getting more and more doubtful that my piddling laptop will be able to handle this game, but it matters little; I got my money's worth already just through updates. :)

    27. JimM on

      Take all the time you need. A mediocre product delivered on time will be remembered as a mediocre product. An awesome product delivered late will ultmately be remembered as an awesome product.

    28. Rhett Howell on

      As an addicted daily reader of the daily updates, I am truly impressed that the fervor with which you started this project hasn't diminished at all!! Your natural ability with the UI, graphics and the ability to summon an AI out of the ether blows me away. Happy new year and I can't wait to see what the new one brings!!! Enjoy the day off and have a beer - you've earned a hell of a lot more than that.

    29. Steven Langevin on

      Josh, Happy New Year from an early backer. Each month you astound with your progress. Please take your time and continue to make this the best game it can be. Thanks for your ongoing transparency and dedication. A great year for LT's development and can't wait for mid-2014!

    30. Missing avatar

      Victor Tombs on

      Thanks Josh! Mightily impressive update video on many levels and a sheer delight to watch. I will wish you Happy New Year (again!) and add more thanks for the terrific work you have done on LT over the year. Really pleased you have officially announced the delay and I echo the words of all those who are prepared to wait for as long as it takes for you to deliver the LT you are "satisfied" with. :)

    31. charnode on

      Nice progress, Josh. The game looks stunning and the AI front sounds incredibly promising.

    32. Akryum on

      Happy New Year!

    33. E. G. on

      Take all the time you need, I hate it when stuff gets pushed out the door due to some arbitrary deadline. Happy new year! Take care!

    34. Maarten Dijkstra on

      Happy New Year! It's already 2014 where I am (New Zealand) and this update was great to wake up to.
      Take the time you need, we all want it to be the best it can be. And man, it's looking amazing already :)
      Fantastic work Josh. Be proud of what you have achieved so far.

    35. Missing avatar

      Robert Silesius on

      "Inventory"? You mean cargo hold, right? Anyway, looking nice as always. Happy new year! :)

    36. Alpan Yıldırım on

      A lovely surprise, Josh -- 40 minutes to 2014 where I live! Thank you for all your hard work and -- as always -- impossibly frequent community interaction this year.

    37. Mobius on

      totally happy with a mid 2014, that will give me plenty of time to get Elite Dangerous out of my system. your doing a dam fine job, and happy new year.

    38. Wilhelm Fitzpatrick

      Take your time, and build the thing you want to build. We'll all be here when you are done.

    39. Missing avatar

      Jess Hallsworth on

      You've done an amazing job of keeping us in the loop and I for one have no problem with you pushing back the release date to make sure you release something you are happy with.

      Keep up the good work!

    40. Lord Drakonor on

      Mid 2014 suits me just fine!! Keep at it Josh!!

    41. Paul Southcott on

      Don't worry about pushing the release date back, that's fine. If it comes down to cutting corners or delaying the release by a few months, I'm sure everyone would rather you do the latter.

    42. S. van Hengel on

      Happy New Year Josh get started partying.