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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 #13: January 2014

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Ready to start the year off with a bang?  Good.  Let's go ;)

The Video.

It may have taken forever to upload (as usual), but I think you'll find this one to be loaded with goodies, and not just of the shiny variety!  So what are you waiting for?

Go meet your new HUD.


With a more-powerful-than-even node-based UI driving the HUD, you'll be able to stay in touch with your ship, your subordinates, and the infinite universe like never before!  Concepts like full-screen, pop-out widgets and multiple workspaces help to maintain a clean and manageable flow of information directly into your retinas.


A simple but functional implementation of active scanning shows off the power of the interface, as well as the importance of information in LT.  Those who believe that knowledge is power will no doubt spend a great deal of time hunting for hidden signatures among the stars.  Go ahead, take the reins and see what's out there.

...Shiny ;)

What would a month of LT be without more graphical fidelity?  It would be an embarrassment.  Luckily, this month is not without graphical advancement.  A subtle but beautiful new aberration effect, a totally-revised HDR bloom, and integration of SMAA (a cutting-edge antialiasing technique) make January's universe the most beautiful you've seen yet!

January Retrospective

January was the first month in which we saw a real connection between the world and the player (at least, since LTP).  The HUD is that connection, and with a solid framework in place, the window is now open for a whole new level of interactivity.  Having built the scanner gameplay and UI in about a day, I hope I've at least partially convinced you that powerful tools are the key to building a great game.  With the completion of this month, those tools - the UI, the renderer, the HUD overlay, the node interactions - have never been in better shape.

Going forward, I can only reiterate what I said last month: 2014 is going to be big.  I hope you'll all agree that we're off to an auspicious start :)


James Herbert, Wolvie, and 24 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Spoot - Nicolas Cage of Phoenix Rising on

      @Josh Jep, i downloaded it and updated with 1.1 when they were released. I wasn t actually flashed, and lost the hype that build up trough the kickstarter campaing. The steering was inhandy and at that point i kind of regret the backing on this tier.

      You are right with the Prototype/Pre-Alpha build , i got that wrong i tought Prototype-->Alpha--->Beta . Recent updates impressed me and i wanted to test that.

      Sincercly Spoot

    2. Missing avatar

      Valeroth on

      Things are looking great! I can't wait to try it out. Few questions: Can you move items around in the hud? Can you create your own workspaces? or are they predefined? Can the Hud be damaged? (Like as the ship takes damage will your hud start malfunctioning?

    3. Willem on

      Scanner and HUD is looking wonderful Josh. Just one suggestion on scanner (as many others have noted) is for filters, i.e. "scan for asteroids", "scan for ships", etc. Also an idea for combat: when dogfighting with enemies, require the player to initially identify or tag the enemy with the scanner, but after that the scanner stays "locked on" to the target so that you get that effect you had with Freelancer where the red arrows/icons on the edge of your screen shows the general direction of the enemy. In other words, it combines the best of both worlds: spherical radar system with linear straight scanner. The same can go for any objects discovered in the world. First these must be identified by linear/straight scanner, but once done these are "remembered" via some system (to be implemented) that converts this information into a 3D/spherical grid representation (i.e. your map with the nodes on it). This allows one to do some exploration whilst still having the convenience of a radar system (as expressed via the map).

    4. Kahuna Kevin on

      The scanner is great but needs to represent 'general' information via different colors, for example scanning a planet might represent minerals in a certain color (blue?), cellular life forms in another (green?), potential threats (red?), energy or waveform signals (yellow?), etc. It's then up to the player whether or not to investigate further based on the general info.

      Once you get closer, maybe close range scanners can show a zoomed up HUD holographic of the (still far away) object being scanned with hard points or points of interest that can be moused over for detailed info. Planet details, mineral specifics, ship info right down to crew life form type and weapon/tech capabilities (providing they don't have jammers to block scanning), etc.

      That would really tie in the basic long range scanner and the Holographic HUD. ;)

    5. Josh Parnell Creator on

      @Spoot - The Prototype tier was intended to be a pre-alpha combat prototype, and it was released in April 2013 - have you already downloaded it? There is no "alpha" tier, as prototype is not the same as alpha (again, it's a pre-alpha combat prototype, as described in the rewards)

      @El Boletaire - Of course there will be a beta before release :)

    6. Missing avatar

      Spoot - Nicolas Cage of Phoenix Rising on

      Put that under your youtube video, but i will do it also here : I'm one of the few alpha backers and i m feeling kind of cheated on, we see all thes cool features in your videos but still you don t release a patch for our prototype/alpha acess.

    7. El Boletaire Underave on

      I'm very excited every time I see a limit theory update, this game is gonna be awesome.

      But I am worried because I paid for a beta that I have not heard mentioned at any time... When are we, the beta backers, going to have access to the beta?

    8. Missing avatar

      Alter Ego on

      OMG I feel so blown away.

      I sincerely hope the game has multi-monitor support, in a sense that the HUD is not automatically stretched over all monitors but is e.g. fixed on the middle monitor with a three monitor setup.

    9. krayzkrok on

      It's so refreshing to see a developer use their imagination rather than stick with tried and tested methods. The scanner is one of the most exciting things you've shown so far Josh, and I hope that you'll develop unique signature patterns to help add variety (eg. pulsed signals for certain engine types, bursts for natural phenomena, perhaps even encoded transmissions, unusual patterns that will grab your attention and demand you go and investigate etc). Much as I think Elite Dangerous looks stunning, this still has me equally if not more excited because Josh is killing it.

    10. Steven Langevin on

      Another great update. I agree with how great the progress is shaping up. Keep up the great work, so excited for this game!

    11. Missing avatar

      Raymond Lee

      Loving the hud - really liked that green swampy looking planet in the background at the end... :D

    12. Missing avatar


      Thanks for the update, that HUD does indeed look amazing!
      Also, I really appreciate that you went over how it performs on your other computers thus far, maybe this laptop can handle it after all! :D