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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.

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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 ;)


Development Update #11: November 2013

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Finally it arrives!  Hope you all are gearing up to enjoy the holiday season! :)

The Video.

Well...I do have to apologize this time, but it's on YouTube's behalf.  This video looked awfully good on my hard drive but...I'm afraid YT has pulled some rather brutal compression and left the colors in shambles (more so than usual).  Try to look past the nasty color quantization...that's not part of the game!!  Sorry, not sure what I could have done to mitigate that :(

At least I got the duration right this time!

Here's November for You!

One AI to Rule Them All.

A brand-new A.I. built from scratch promises even greater intelligence than before, and this time with a natural, fluid reactivity that unifies short-, mid-, and long-term reasoning capabilities.  Mining is just the beginning.  With parallel reasoning / multitasking already implemented and delegation well on the way, it's simply a matter of time before this code comes to rule over all men.

One UI to Rule Them All.

Fashioned from the embers of last month's data editor, a powerful new interface framework will pave the way to a beautiful, unified nodal interface.  From simplifying interface code by ~75% to offering ease-of-use for all input devices, to potentially babysitting the kids and putting out household fires, the nodal interface has, quite literally, promised us the world.

One VI to Rule them All

Decades old and yet still looking slick as a damp cardboard box, this text edito-....oh, wait, no, that's not relevant to LT.  Sorry...but I couldn't think of any other way to carry on the epic trend :3 Vi is as close as I could come :P

(And hey, you get to see what my life looks like 24/7!)

November Retrospective

In October I promised to reach deep into that A.I. bag and pull up a winner.  Only time will tell whether that's what's happened here, but I'm fairly certain it's the case.  With an artificial intelligence that can already think on it's feet, make long-term plans, and understand the nuances of performing multiple actions at once, we're well on our way to the vision of a living LT.  Granted, there's a lot of gameplay left to implement before we'll see the A.I. really taking advantage of this radiant universe.

But the content is secondary - you all know by now, the magic is in the algorithms.

Speaking of which - this year, for Christmas, I'd like an artificial intelligence that understands how to use subordinates and hire mercenaries to climb to regional dominance.  Is it too much to ask? :)


Concerning Development Update #11

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Hey everyone, hope you're enjoying this winter season :)

I'd like to let you all know that the monthly development update / video, which would normally arrive tomorrow, will be slightly delayed this month.

I'm currently home with family for Thanksgiving, and am constrained to my laptop, which won't quite cut it for making the video :| I'll be heading back to the old coding cave on Sunday, and expect to be preparing the update as usual by Monday.

So, that being said, I would expect to see the update around December 3rd.  Apologies for the delay and thanks for your patience!! :)


Development Update #10: October 2013

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Boo!! :0

The Video.

Well shoot...I don't know how I let the time slip away from me like that.  Sorry, but this rather plump update video weighs in at just under 23 minutes....might want to grab a snack before you watch :P

I didn't realize how dark the system was when I was recording, so I recommend watching at full-screen!  It's not bad at all if you do so, but you might have trouble seeing what's going on if you watch on that tiny version.

Have a Look!!!

Grand Scales.

With the implementation of a full, double-precision-enabled rendering core, the LT Engine is now capable of handling distances and scale factors of truly-grand proportions.  For now, I've settled for 10x the old scales....but I'll leave the tweaking of that constant in your capable hands ;)

Full-Resolution Version

Grand Inventions.

With the conceptual foundation for the LT research mechanic in place and a tech tree widget on the way, it won't be long before the universe is alive with intellectual one-upsmanship!

Full-Resolution Version

Grand Tools.

Perhaps the LT engine's greatest technical achievement thus far is manifested in the LT data editor, a visual data viewing and editing tool that can take any piece of information in the engine, map it out structurally, and allow the user to traverse and modify it in real-time.  The beauty of the tool is not just that it makes for some cool eye candy - but also that it can allow easy editing of any of the in-game data types.  From a practical standpoint, this means that modding - at least data-based modding - will be as easy as loading data from external files that can then be edited easily in LTDE.

Full-Resolution Version

October Retrospective

Well folks, what can I say - sometimes when you reach into the old dev hat, you pull out a squirrel instead of a rabbit.  I was looking for more of an artificial intelligence rabbit this month, but I ended up pulling out a graphics-and-engine-tech squirrel.  Stuff happens :D  I gotta say, the engine has grown an immense amount in one month.  You can see some of that technology manifested in the data editor, but there's at least as much new tech that you can't see - and it's going to be hard at work helping me build the best game possible in less time and with less code.

On top of that, with the theory of research mechanics in place, I don't see how there can possibly be any more squirrels to get in the way.  So.  Who's up for another go at grabbing that A.I.?  I know I am ;)


Development Update #9: September 2013

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Hey everyone!  Sorry for the late upload today...a long day of traveling yesterday left me too worn out to pull the usual all-nighter :/ But here we are, finally...and I think this month will be worth it!

The Video.

I do have one apology this month: sorry for the absurd number of times that I use the word 'exciting' or variations thereof.  It was a good month.  I guess you'll pick up on that somewhere between the tenth and fifteenth redundant usage of it.

Watch The Video :)

The Summary.

At the risk of upsetting the previous months, I'd like to go ahead and call September the most productive month ever in LT development history.  It would have been a big month had the graphics features been the only focus.  But that wasn't enough for September.  September wanted more.  This crazy month went ahead and threw in a tremendous amount of A.I. to boot.

You know, I think I'll skip the "small list" this month.  There's just too much (if you want it, read the dev log weekly summaries).  Let's turn our attention to the big stuff.

The Dust.  Now With Personality.

What good is a cloud of dust if you can't get out of it and stare back in?  That's exactly the kind of question that we needed to ask ourselves last month.  But no longer.  The new volumetric rendering engine shows it like it is.

(Full Resolution)

The Flares.  Now in Existence.

Everyone loves to see bright streaks of light across the screen, right!?  No but seriously, for some reason they do look nice.  Now you can enjoy those lovely ion trails in more blinding glory than ever before.

(Full Resolution)

The Lighting.  Now Bending to Your Will.

With a shiny new dynamic lighting engine, the universe is more colorful than ever.  Sit back and watch as your weaponry lights up more than just the poor NPC in your crosshair.

(Full Resolution)

The Intelligence.  Now Planning Your Demise.

Using a state-of-the-art planning-based A.I. algorithm, the NPCs of Limit Theory are coming to life.  Dreaming, solving dreams, and figuring out how to exploit the infinite universe: it's all in a day's work for the inhabitants of LT.  Think you can keep up with them?


For a while there, you thought we'd never see the end of the high-level.  And yet, here we are, standing on the shores of a fledgling universe, gazing up at what may well be the beginning of the end.  And now that we look back, I guess it wasn't such a vast ocean after all.  The ocean's always bigger when you're trying to get to the other side, right?  But we're here.

Cryptic as it may seem, my point is genuine: the architecture is in place.  It's time to build this universe.  I, for one, am....'excited' :)