1. Josh had LT going in a couple of modes at PAX South. One (what I think of as the "demo reel") was a looping sequence of stills from earlier incarnations of the game, showing some of the features seen in the development videos -- LT as it will be. The other, which I think Josh showed me mostly for my benefit, was the very minimal "live" version of LT as it exists currently, which he's still working on.
The Limit Theory Prototype (LTP) was a reduced-feature-set implementation that showed off some very early ideas about star system graphics, asteroids, flight mechanics, combat, station docking, ship component trading, ship component configuration, and missions. That sounds like a lot -- and it was! -- but it didn't try to address any of the relatively much harder (from a performance perspective) questions of multiple wormhole-connected star systems, non-combatant AI, asteroid-based resources, research, object fabrication, procedural ship and station generation, project-creation by NPCs, factions, player conversations with NPCs, market-based economies, planetary colony management, planet-based landing sites for colony interactions, fleet management gameplay, and level-of-detail scaling across an entire procedurally-expanding universe of star systems.
It's an architecture that can support all those additional features (which reasonably could be considered necessary to deliver the gameplay experience that Josh described in his Kickstarter) that distinguishes what Josh is working on today from the LTP. The Prototype was very valuable as it showed off what a small part of the actual Limit Theory might look and feel like, as well as demonstrating to potential backers that Josh actually does know how to code. But it was far from being the Real Game, or a suitable platform on which the Real Game could be built.
In fact, let me stress that last point. While I don't know everything about LT, I think I'm not wrong in saying that it was never
an option to try to extend the LTP into the full Limit Theory. The prototype was never designed to have all the "hooks" necessary to do all the other things; it was never going to be a platform capable of handling all the multi-system and simulation stuff. If Josh had wrongly tried to go that route, just hard-coding everything, the resulting product would have been a disaster to try to maintain or extend, if it even would have worked at all.
For the kind of dynamic, massively simulated and yet highly responsive world that Josh requires to make the game he wants, there was never any responsible option but to design and build it from scratch. It's just an unfortunate fact that this is Really Hard To Do. But I've never known anyone with Josh's level of programming capability. I think he can do it.
2. On pictures... it did occur to me. But once we got to talking, I just plain forgot to ask!
I'm more of a words guy, anyway.