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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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And So it Begins

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)
1 like

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful holiday season, and are staying warm and dry, hopefully with some hot beverages or something of the sort :)

Full-Time Development...As of Right Now!

When I embarked on this project, I told you all that I would be working 40 hours a week on Limit Theory while continuing my studies at school. As LT continued to gain momentum, I began to realize that, although I might could pull it off in parallel with my studies, I simply can't take the risk and jeopardize the product that you all have given so much support for. To that end, a few weeks ago, towards the end of my fall quarter at Stanford, I arranged to have my official leave of absence begin immediately.

What this means is that I won't be going back to school until the game is released. Now, for those of you who might be concerned about my studies, rest assured, this is not the same as dropping out! In fact, Stanford makes it incredibly easy to put your studies on hold for a few years, because it's a rather common thing to do around Silicon Valley. And that's what I'm doing, but I'll be going back as soon as I finish and release Limit Theory.

More importantly, what this means is that the intense development of Limit Theory has already begun! With over a year of nothing but LT to work on, I'm confident that I can deliver every bit of the vision that I pitched to you all. As you can see, I'm already tucked cozily into my coding cave, and won't come out until I have the game in hand:

For those that would like to keep a close eye on development, you can check my daily logs that I post on the forums ( to see exactly what I'm up to on any given day. I also recommend checking the blog occasionally (, as I will post bigger updates there. If you're interested in more technical tidbits, you can follow my personal blog (, where I post more frequently, but not necessarily just about LT. Finally, I'm going to plan on doing monthly video updates, which I will announce via Kickstarter and post via Youtube. These will be somewhat similar to the gameplay demos that I was pushing out during the campaign, except more focused on the new features for each month.

You can expect the first monthly update to arrive toward the end of January. I don't have much to update you on for December, considering that the KS just ended!

The Prototype

For those who backed for access to the prototype, rest assured that getting it into your hands is currently my top priority! Over the next few months, I'll be focusing most of my efforts on combat mechanics and hammering out everything that will be necessary for a fun and playable combat prototype. As I've already let slip several times, my current estimate for the prototype release date is sometime in March. Obviously I can't set that in stone, but I think 2.5 months will be the right amount of time to deliver a quality prototype. Naturally, I'll keep everyone posted as time moves forward.

The Forums

As I've said before, now that the campaign is over, the best place to find me (and your fellow LT players) is on the official Limit Theory Forums: . I'm quite active there, and really enjoy reading the numerous discussions surrounding ideas for the game. If you'd like to remain a part of the strong LT community while you wait for release, head on over!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I hope you're all enjoying yourselves! It's pretty hot down here in Louisiana (my home), but, thankfully, the weather in space is much more enjoyable!


An Incredible Ending to an Incredible Experience

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)


Did you hear that? That's the sound of our initial goal being obliterated into billions of tiny fragments by the massive ion cannons of supportive space sim fans. Well done everyone, that last-minute surge was incredible! Left us at almost 4x the initial goal. You guys are awesome.  But...

Too Bad About That Last Stretch Goal...

Yeah, it's a real shame, I was really hoping to hit $200K so that we could add seamless planetary landings, multiplayer, and ship interiors/walking to LT.  I know you all were too...but that's OK, at least we got carriers, right? Wait, why is everyone sad about not getting carriers?  Maybe you guys were confused about the stretch goal levels...let me remind you..

Hopefully that clears up the confusion ;)

Thank You.  Thank You All.

I still remember shaking from fear when I clicked the submit button a month ago. I had no idea what the world would think of my little project, my little universe. I just hoped that maybe a few space geeks out there like myself would sympathize and chip in a few bucks to help me code up the space simulation game of my dreams.

Almost $190K and 5.5K backers later, I'm simply shocked. I'm in awe. Truly. To know that so many people share my dream of living in procedural sandbox of's humbling, inspiring, and immensely exciting.

It's been an absolute pleasure to run this campaign, meet and talk to you all, and listen to the overwhelming amount of excitement, cool ideas, and overall positive feedback that you've given.  But of course, this isn't the end! I hope each and every one of you will come on over to, where we're already hard at work discussing a billion-and-two different gameplay ideas. I'll continue to be active on the forums and email, so don't hesitate to contact me there!

I really appreciate the risk you all took in investing your hard-earned money in Limit Theory, especially during the holiday season. I plan on repaying each and every one of you to the maximal extent by delivering every bit of the game that I promised (as well as high-quality physical goodies to those that went for the higher tiers)! I will not forget your generosity.

And, that being said, if you'll excuse me, my compiler is waiting for me.  I'm sure you aren't funding me to write eloquent thank-you notes, are you? ;)

I'll be in touch soon with more details concerning where we go from here, etc. Again, thank you all so much, and Happy Holidays / Merry Christmas!

~ Josh

The Final Stretch and the Super-Secret Tech Demo

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Galactic Domination...Now in an Organized Fashion

I hope you're all ready to create and manage a faction, because I know I am, and we've now officially hit the goal!!!  It seems like just yesterday that we hit planetary's incredible how much steam this project is picking up here towards the end!  Who knows where we'll end up??

Super-Secret Tech Demo #5

Yep, I said #4 would be the last one, but I was wrong!  I spent the last week slaving to get the engine running as smoothly as possible on my laptop so that I could record some more footage.  It worked!  I'm pleased to say that performance of the LT engine has more than doubled over the past get ready to play on under-powered machines if you'd like to do so!

Thankfully, I've got a lot to show this time.  It's the longest tech demo yet, mostly because I've had more time to work now that school is out.  But I'm not going to tell you what's in the've got to watch to find out!  I'll just say that...maybe it will provide some inspiration for getting to the $200K goal! :)

Don't forget to watch in 1080p...this one took a whopping five hours to upload!!

A Month in Retrospect

Let's take a look at what's happened this month in terms of Limit Theory development, shall we?

  • Ship/station Editor
  • Tactical Interface
  • Landing
  • Carrier Prototypes
  • Station Generation
  • Asteroid Base Generation

In the beginning, I asked you all to believe me when I said that everything I had shown so far was representative of only 3 months of work, and that I could finish in a bit more than a year. Over this one-month period, I hope I've managed to substantiate that claim in your eyes!  Of course, the only real proof will be when I deliver the finished product to you...but I hope the tech demos have given at least a glimpse of the pace of LT development that is to come.

In fact, I'd like to go even further, and let you know that the development that you've seen over this past month has been unusually slow for LT.  Why?  Because at least 50% of my time has been devoted to keeping up with the KS campaign, answering PMs, comments, forum posts, Q/As, etc.  Furthermore, it was the month of final exams/final projects at school, so that took up a bit more time than usual. With those things in mind, I hope you'll believe me when I tell you that a typical month for LT is generally even more fruitful than what you've seen this month :)

Off to the stars we go! Will we be riding in carriers along the way? Only time will tell!! :)


Carriers and the Meaning of Limit Theory

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)

Congratulations to everyone on hitting that planetary ownership stretch goal! I'm sure you're all excited to build your empire! I'm really interested to see what happens in the last few days...particularly because I'm so enthused about being able to run my own faction. But regardless of where our total ends up, we've already garnered more than enough support to make Limit Theory a reality, so everyone should rest easy knowing that they'll be playing it in due time! :)

The $200K Stretch Goal Appears!

Docking Bays and Carriers won by an absurd margin on the forum stretch goal poll, so there's really no question that it should be next! Get ready to be able to carry your ship collection with you, because if we hit this goal, you'll be able to purchase and build ships with internal hangars that will be able to hold smaller ships (scouts, fighters, corvettes, perhaps even destroyers). You'll be able to use your carriers to repair, refit, and transfer cargo to/from docked ships, which would usually only be possible by landing on a planet or space station. In addition, you'll be able to use carriers to switch to piloting other docked ships, which, again, would usually only be possible at a planet or space station.

This opens up a whole new world of exciting gameplay possibilities! Imagine having your whole collection of fighters to choose from when a battle begins. You can pilot your carrier, then switch to one of your docked ships, go out and participate in the fight, then return, dock, repair, and carry on piloting the carrier.

As with the previous two stretch goals, this one will come as a free, post-release content update, so it will not ship with the first release of LT, but will come for free at some point in the months thereafter. Again, this is to ensure that I have enough time to properly implement everything without pushing back the release date of LT!

New Wallpapers

You can get the full-res versions at

New Badges

Yes indeed, I'm trying to see if I can set a record for the number of KS badges produced by one project.  I think I may have already set it...we're now at 17 badges, so let me know if you know of any project that has more than that!

The Meaning of Limit Theory

Maybe you've already read the short little snippet that I wrote concerning the back story of Limit Theory and the meaning of the name, but I'm guessing most haven't. Well, I'd like to share a little bit of the "story" of Limit Theory, because it turns out that the meaning of the name runs a significant bit deeper than just two cool words that I pulled out of the air!

Limit Theory isn't just the name of the game. It's also the abbreviated name of a philosophy, which happens to be the philosophy that forms the back story for the game. The Theory of Nonexistence of Extrinsic Limitation, or Limit Theory for short, says that all limits, all things that oppose you, all challenges, are fundamentally located within your mind, and nowhere else. In other words, the only real limits are within yourself, not within the external world. This mentality directly implies that you can somehow overcome any limit simply by making the appropriate internal change.

To understand how radical of a theory it is, imagine applying it to a situation in your life. Let's say that you've got a corporate job that you're kind of lukewarm about, and that your dream job has always been to become a musician and travel around Europe on tour. Big dreams, but Limit Theory says that the only thing stopping you from doing so is yourself. It says that, if you feel that something external - your boss, financial situations, social obligation, etc - is the thing keeping you from doing so, then you are wrong. Limit Theory posits that a limit is, by definition, internal to your mind. Now, maybe it's true, maybe it's not. But the point is that the mentality, regardless of whether it's objectively correct, encourages one to take action. It encourages one to question whether anything is actually opposing progress towards a dream, or whether it's simply a mental unwillingness to take action.

So why does this theory matter? Well, it forms the back story of the LT universe. The explanation for why you have space ships, space stations, faster-than-light travel, etc. in LT is that you come from an extremely advanced civilization. How did they get to be so advanced? Simply-put, they were the original founders of the Limit Theory philosophy, and the greatest proponents of it that the universe has ever seen. They were rabid idealists, believing firmly that all limitations were internal, and that, with enough mental fortitude, any problem would eventually yield to the mighty fist of intellect. And they were right. They terraformed planets that should have been living Hells into magnificent Edens. They produced hyperdrive engines that made the laws of physics bow before them. They sung their song of idealism from one corner of the galaxy to the other, using technology that should have been reserved for gods, not men. And they did so because they believed in the theory of nonexistence of extrinsic limitation.

So that's the backstory. But it goes even deeper than that, because, as you might have guessed already, Limit Theory isn't just the philosophy of the civilization in the game. It's my personal philosophy.

Let's apply it to a situation that comes a bit closer to home. Let's say that you're a 20-year-old college student, and you want to make a space simulation game with a massive scope. Perhaps other people will tell you that it's too much work for one person. But suppose that you believe in Limit Theory. Then you believe, regardless of what other people might say, that the only thing standing between you and the finished product is your mind. You believe that with enough hours of work, thought, code, research, can succeed.

Perhaps the ultimate, mind-bending irony of the whole thing is that successfully producing the game Limit Theory will be the ultimate proof of the philosophy with the same name. Over the next year-and-some, I intend to complete that proof and show you all that my philosophy is valid, at least with respect to this application!

And there you have it, just thought I'd let you all know that the name is actually a lot richer than your average "select a handful of sci-fi-ish words" space game title! you believe in the theory of nonexistence of extrinsic limitation? If so, maybe you should stop reading this, and go achieve your dreams! ;)


"It's Too Big to Be a Space Station..."

Posted by Josh Parnell (Creator)
1 like

We're so close to unlocking planetary ownership...I can almost taste the world domination!

Procedural Space Station Tech Demo

Over the past week, I've been doing a lot of internal work on cramming even more functionality into LT's procedural engine, in the form of various geometric algorithms that make procedural stuff easier than ever before! To test it all out, I took a shot at writing a space station algorithm yesterday. I'd say it's quite promising!  Have a look:

Regrettably, this will probably be the last tech demo of the campaign. I know, I's sad that I didn't get to show more (well, I mean, ship editor + tactical interface + station builder isn't too shabby, I hope you agree). Unfortunately, I'm packing up and going home for the holidays on Saturday, so I won't have access to my desktop machine for a while. I'll still be able to work on LT, but won't have enough power to record and edit high-def videos anymore. I'll try to keep some screenshots rolling in, though!

Limit Theory on Multiple Monitors

A rather esoteric feature, but a fun one, nonetheless: multi-monitor support.  Limit Theory has it. Let's face it, when you're exploring an infinite universe, a single monitor just doesn't always cut it...

The Never-Ending Stream of Backer Badges

Here are some badges of your favorite procedural space station technology :)

Thank You!!!

260% and climbing. This is just insane...I never would have thought so many people would be excited about Limit Theory!!! I hope you're ready for a fun ride...because I can't wait to see where LT takes us :)