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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.

Development Update #18: June 2014

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Ready for your monthly dose of space? :)  Please make sure to read the information concerning release date below!

The Video.

Thank goodness, I don't think we need any apologies this time!  The video's about the right length and there are no awful fumbles that I can see.  Head on over and enjoy!

See The June Development Update Here!

The Zones.

With a new procedural zone system, the LT universe is now packed with more content than ever before.  Explore massive asteroid and ice fields without burning your GPU to a crisp.  With dynamic, on-the-fly content generation, LT's zones offer a vastly more potent opportunity for exploration and discovery!

 

The Colonies.

A new planetary colony and landing mechanic offer a way to interact with various unique locations on the surfaces of planets.  Descend to military colonies to hunt for powerful weaponry.  Snag ore on the cheap from mining colonies.  Colonies create unique economic opportunities that can dramatically impact the surrounding system's economy!  Perhaps more importantly, it's just fun to land on planets! :)

 

The Modding.

With a new scripting language and built-in script compiler / executor, the LT Engine is now capable of serious modding possibilities.  What can you do with it?  Surely the possibilities are as endless as the universe itself.  Personally, I'm more excited than anyone to see what arises from the creativity of our very own community members :)

(Not really a feature conducive to screenshots, though, unfortunately!)

*** The Delay :/ ***

Definitely my least favorite part of this month, but I'm afraid we can't put off talking about the release date anymore.  As you can probably see, LT still has a ways to go before being finished, and with the slated release date of mid-2014 upon us, it simply doesn't seem that it's going to happen.

It was a really, really tough call for me to decide just what to do about the release date.  The obvious choice would be "late 2014."  Frankly, though, I absolutely do not want to have to push again.  For this reason, I've decided to play it on the safe side and opt for pushing the release to early 2015.  Rather than cutting it close, I want to ensure that we have enough time to polish LT into the gem that we all know it can become!

Truly, to everyone who has backed, I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies.  LT is coming along really, really well...but I'm just not going to be able to pull it out on the original timeline.

With the new release date in mind, I will be looking to launch the closed BETA near the end of 2014 for KS backers.  I'm hoping it can make a nice holiday gift for those of you who were generous enough to support at that level :)

If you have further questions or concerns about this shift, please feel free to take them to the forums where we will no doubt be discussing it.

June Retrospective

I came into June hoping to grab a handful of polish and content.  I came out with polish, content, and some new tech to boot.  Above all else, the zone system has got me seriously excited for the creative possibilities that we'll be able to unleash on the procedural universe.  The rest of the economy and AI content is, as always, underway and being developed.  But with ever-more technology fueling the content, we're getting closer and closer to that glorious day when you backers will finally get to dive in and wash yourselves in the nebulae of the procedural universes.

Once again, I'd like to sincerely thank you all for your patience and understanding, especially given this month's announcement.  You've all been so supportive of this little dream, and I vow to continue giving 100% to making sure that your support is not ill-placed.  Thank you for helping me build my dream game :)

~Josh

Comments

    1. Mark Hollingsworth on August 3, 2014

      wow still waiting for a refund? been over a month now since i requested it... all my messages to this guy have went unanswered over the last 6 months.

      Very disappointing.

    2. Matthew Roscoe on July 31, 2014

      Have you thought about opening it up to a closed alpha like Prison Architect? That way you can start getting actual game play feedback from users who can start submitting bugs. I love that we get to see it each month but I think that a pre-alpha would help you to work out some of the bugs and to provide the backers with a way to help you out again and calm our itchiness to actually try this out.

    3. Missing avatar

      Aaron James Smith on July 27, 2014

      If this game is released in early 2015 then i will be happy as you have not rushed to get out a sub par game. Keep up the good work and keep the updates coming.

    4. Mark Hollingsworth on July 13, 2014

      No worries, thanks for your honesty and updates.

      If you can just refund me my pledge that would be great. All the best.

    5. Bill Briggs on July 9, 2014

      @Josh, If that is the reality, then—by all means—take the extra time. As I originally posted, I have a concern. There is still plenty of time for the game to be completed and my concerns to be proved unfounded. I’ll be happy to be wrong. However, I’m a realist, and have some experience with Kickstarter projects. I hope you can maintain the detachment and call the game done when it is.

    6. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on July 9, 2014

      I would also like to iterate that the monthly updates go a long way towards keeping us in the loop and convincing me that you care about the project and your backers and are putting the needed time and effort in to ensure this is a good game.

      You've stayed on top of the project and ensured we know where you are at all times, without cutting corners or fudging facts, and it is appreciated.

    7. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on July 9, 2014

      The only thing I don't like about the delay is how excited I was to see you prove everyone wrong as a 1-man development team working on PCG and putting out a high-quality game in a year. How would all the big-budget studios feel then? If you can do it, it sets a higher bar.

      I'm sorry you failed, but if I'm being perfectly honest, I doubt many people expected you to meet the deadline you set. It's a classic KS mistake, and your original goal SOUNDED very ambitious to a great many people.

      I was really rooting for you, but I still want to play the game, so a wait is acceptable. Keep at it Josh, the product you're building is still exciting to anticipate.

    8. Missing avatar

      Cheeseman on July 8, 2014

      Thats alright, Josh. It is pretty clear that you have a pretty large scope and you need more time to finish it. Personally, I am alright with that and the delay is perfectly acceptable for me.

    9. Josh Parnell Creator on July 6, 2014

      No need to get into abstract arguments here - the reality is simple: LT does not fulfill the KS promises in it's current state. I'm working hard to get to the point where it does! As soon as LT has the feature set promised to backers, we will enter BETA and prepare for release :) Until then, it is not a matter of perfectionism or extra fluff - it's a matter of fulfilling the basic promises that were made during the funding campaign!

    10. Bill Briggs on July 3, 2014

      @Adam, I’m sorry that you miss the point of a producer. A producer’s job is to make tough decisions when those decisions need to be made—not to butcher games. That’s the problem with the Indy market—there’s no one to tell them that they have to finish. That’s detrimental to the game’s life and community.
      .
      Extra Credits, actually, just did a great bit about this situation (http://www.youtube.com/watch…).
      .
      And, in the case of Minecraft, as its business exploded it forced Notch to became the producer who finally said “No, we’re releasing it like this, and we can add the rest later.” He had distanced himself enough from the project to make a decision.
      I have Starbound, and it was a lot of fun when I first started, but, now, I’m playing other games because they kept adding more and more glitz and didn’t really work on the game itself. Only time will tell if Tiy will be able to make the same decisions regarding Starbound.
      .
      The issue is that it’s EASY for an Indy Game Developer to keep pushing the “final release” of the game back because they want to keep adding more and making it better. The fact is, if it doesn’t come out, it’s never a good game. Someone has to make the hard decisions and say “no, we need to get this to market.”
      .
      “He wants the game done and thankfully he doesn't have a producer ruining the game because of some arbitrary deadline.”
      Your statement makes the assumption that ALL games that have producers are ruined. Either that or you are certain that if he got a producer it would automatically ruin LT. Are you so jaded that you can make such a bold statement? I’ve played hundreds, if not thousands, of game that have producers (how else do you think we know what they DO?) and those games were spectacular. You also make the assumption that the producer is only profit- or deadline-minded. That is equally close-minded and incorrect—that’s, more likely, the distributor. Games with drastically-long development cycles aren’t, necessarily, any better than their “rushed-out-the-door” cousins: Aliens: Colonial Marines, Duke Nukem Forever, Star Wars: The Old Republic. Most games with long development cycles tend to run into the issue of technology passing them by.
      .
      My issue is that, as Josh’s first game, we don’t know what level of emotional detachment he has from the game and if he can make the hard decision to release the game when it is actually finished, instead of wanting to continue the development cycle indefinitely, postponing release likewise.
      .
      I am raising a valid concern. If the game NEEDS more work then, by all means, the production cycle should be lengthened. If the game is done and just needs polish then you set a deadline to give everyone a sense of urgency. If the game is done and you’re just adding more “thing” to make it better . . . get it to market.

    11. Adam Truncale on July 3, 2014

      @Bill Briggs That is why I like Indie developers; because there is not a producer chopping up games for profit. This game will be made the way he wants it. Look at Minecraft or Starbound these games didn't release complete but grew and developed over time. I could go on and on about this but I won't. He wants the game done and thankfully he doesn't have a producer ruining the game because of some arbitrary deadline.

    12. Bill Briggs on July 2, 2014

      My only concern with this situation is that, being a one-man dev-team, he doesn’t have a producer to finally cinch in the belt, drop the axe and say “no, we’re done. This is the end of development. Finish what you’re working on and submit it.” Because there is always ONE more thing that could be added. ONE more option to improve the game. ONE more piece of technology to make it better.
      .
      I am slightly concerned that he lacks the detachment from the project to make that decision.
      .
      I hope I am wrong, but it is a concern.

    13. Missing avatar

      Casuals on July 2, 2014

      If there's one thing Kickstarter has taught us, it's that making games takes a long time and making good games takes longer! Take your time and keep up the amazing work :-)

    14. Stefan on July 2, 2014

      It's amazing what you are doing, and you have already achieved much more than other Kickstarter campaigns that have more budget and more devs available. And I can hardly imagine anyone wanting an unfinished game published too early - we would buy so-called AAA titles then ;-) So take your time, and release when YOU think it's ready, because only then WE will be happy, too.

    15. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on July 2, 2014

      Fine with me Josh, take the time you need, we know you're working hard ^^ ":)

    16. Hendrik Valentim on July 2, 2014

      I backed to be in for the ride. Hey, the more video dev diary updates I get, the more value for my money !

    17. Missing avatar

      Lorenz Jugel on July 2, 2014

      As long as you continue to provide us with dev videos I have no problem with a delay. Hey, I gotta have some eyecandy and asteroid abuse in my life, or it wouldn't feel right anymore.

      I was already pretty sure this was coming, but I honestly don't mind. Josh, you work hard to keep us pleased, and we can tell from the quality of the game and your constant communication. Don't sweat it. Continue to make a great game. I can wait, and I'm sure others see it that way too.

    18. Missing avatar

      Valeroth on July 2, 2014

      Things look good. Don't mind the delay as long as we keep getting this awesome monthly updates! Don't burn yourself out.

    19. Chairman Wang on July 2, 2014

      I'd like to suggest that considering the delay from the intended release date, that all backers should get access to the beta. ;)

    20. Roq on July 2, 2014

      Ha! Told you it would take longer during the Kickstarter, it always does... Seriously though, take as long as you need until you are happy with the game. Besides I've already got my money's worth following the development updates and would much rather see some of those interesting ideas implemented than play something thrown out the door to meet an arbitrary deadline.

    21. Anthony Constantino on July 2, 2014

      @cornflafke I was in Game Dev for 10 years. We were constantly under the gun to get the games made in under a year and QA tested in less than 3 months from Alpha. 2 years would have had the project's plug pulled.

    22. Curtis Myers
      Superbacker
      on July 2, 2014

      Just want to repeat everyone else with a "Take your time", and as a backer of 160 odd projects, your are the most regularly updated and I really appreciate it. Does not feel like much of a delay since you have kept us informed and teased for all this time!

    23. Missing avatar

      flatsinki on July 2, 2014

      I'll echo what others have said and say that the constant and periodic nature of your updates which show measured improvement month after month makes this sort of announcement much easier to take and understand. Honestly, I felt the mid 2014 release date was a bit on the optimistic side in any case so this news is not a complete shock to me :)

      Besides, if it came out now then we'd be without the monthly update videos and your soothing Bob Ross like voice :D

    24. TanC on July 2, 2014

      I've waited all this time for a good space sim, I definitely can take more delays. As like what the others before me have said, quality is more important than meeting an uncertain deadline. Plus the videos are a great bonus every month too. I always look forward to that. Keep it up and don't burn yourself out Josh.

      Also I'm wondering if your school will be able to take the delay on your studies?

    25. Jedra7609
      Superbacker
      on July 2, 2014

      We can all see the game progressing which makes a delay easier to take. It will be nice to get something playable again after the pre-alpha so I will look forward to that. Keep on trucking Josh.

    26. Missing avatar

      Cornflakes on July 2, 2014

      Wooh! Update! Only 8 hours till i can watch the video! :D

      @Anthony Constantino

      Make something like this in 2 years yourself, THEN you can call it disappointing

    27. Missing avatar

      Victor Tombs on July 2, 2014

      Thank you for building my dream game, Josh :D

    28. Mikkel Georgsen on July 2, 2014

      @josh

      I'm enjoying the development videos and dev blogs as much as playing any game so the way I see it I get even more free content, both in terms of dev stuff and actual game content when it comes out :)

      WIN WIN

    29. JHewett on July 2, 2014

      Agree with saluk! Frustrating kickstarters are those that provide little or no updates, and announce delays without explanation. Keep going Josh - We support you.
      Have you delayed your studies further to work on the LT development? Still planning to go back?
      I notice SC announced a procedural generation team recently...maybe a future opportunity (once LT is completed of course)?
      :)

    30. NoNane09 on July 2, 2014

      I agree with everything saluk said. Normally this would be infuriating, but your awesome work with the DAILY (!!!) devlogs and monthly update videos keep proving to me (and many others) that you aren't wasting anyone's time. Excellent work Josh, and here's to more of LT!

    31. Missing avatar

      saluk on July 2, 2014

      With some kickstarters the delays are infuriating - because it is very hard to see where all the time has gone and why it is late. The way you have done the monthly updates, with rich videos full of content, and a very visible increase in quality every single month, I don't even see it as a delay. The game is moving along at a great pace, and it will be ready when it is ready. Thank you so much for how you have run the kickstarter - the communication makes a difference.

    32. Anthony Constantino on July 2, 2014

      2 years? Really? A little disappointing.

    33. Tomduril on July 2, 2014

      Agree with the comments below - better to have a delay than pushing it beyond what is good for the project.

      Love to watch your vids every month and to see the great progress you are making - so there is more of that comming up :D

    34. Adam Kath on July 2, 2014

      Quite aside from your considerable passion, as long as you still clearly show us progression, I think we are happy to wait until its where you want it to be.

    35. Bill Briggs on July 2, 2014

      I'm glad you've announced the delay. I, for one, was starting to wonder.
      .
      Please just make it the best you can--I'm in no hurry.

    36. Missing avatar

      Elodia7 on July 2, 2014

      Delay for a better game has my support 100%. Do what is needed for the good of the game!

    37. Matthew Shaver on July 2, 2014

      Its looking great and you are keeping us informed so I don't mind the delay.

    38. Iain Smith on July 2, 2014

      As the others have said, it's much better to hold back the release until you're happy with it. It's clear that you're still adding features each day and development hasn't stalled, so take all the time you need.

    39. Joshua Johnson
      Superbacker
      on July 2, 2014

      Don't worry, we have plenty of major publishers that have their release dates written in stone and as a result we get incomplete, buggy, rushed products, X-rebirth is probably the most painful recent example as I was hoping that would be a space sim that would hold me over until this game and others like star citizen and elite: dangerous come out.

      Space Sim fans are used to waiting for great games, we can wait a little longer, and I've backed over 210 kickstarter projects, out of which only about half a dozen have actually met their initial timeline (and those were the ones that were very late in production and were close to release anyway).

      Plus if the game were released now we wouldn't be able to enjoy these wonderful video updates, I hope you continue to do those after release if you implement any major new features.

    40. J.L. on July 2, 2014

      What Dean said -- and no one can predict how long any development will take, let alone software. (c:

      Your passion and skill is evident, I doubt anyone here think you won't make it.

      Personally I find it highly enjoyable to watch your video and hear how much you do burn for LT -- just don't burn yourself out, all right? (c:

    41. Missing avatar

      Dean McCraw on July 2, 2014

      To be honest I think everyone by now doesn't believe Kickstarter release dates. Well, any release dates, they'll always blow out.
      Take the extra time and make the game as good as it can be, that's what we're really after in the end.