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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#151
Hyperion wrote:Josh's ability to meet deadlines is very much in doubt.
Actually in my view it's Josh ability to estimate that's in question. I have no doubt about his ability to deliver. Estimation, on the other hand, is virtually impossible for LT simply because it's one guy doing something that no-one has ever done before. Thus far Josh has announced targets by naming a date that seems comfortably far off into the future, insofar as I can make out. This kind of estimation always falls victim to Hofstadter's Law. The only kind that really works involves the establishment of engineering norms and the like, in order to scientifically project the completion of work whilst factoring in all of the variables. Even then it's touch and go on any project of great complexity.

In the RTB update Josh said:
Josh wrote:Well, the official release date of the Beta is, as of now, "as soon as humanly possible." What this means is that, if tomorrow I miraculously wake up with 10x as many neurons and am able to implement every remaining facet of LT in a casual 8 hours, then the Beta comes out in two days. Yes, you could rightfully point out that it's an awfully fancy way of saying "when it's done" -- but I hope that you all can see that it's more genuine than that. The truth is, I can't put a date on it with confidence (let's face it, I'm new to this and, thus far, have been pretty awful with dates). But what I CAN do is what RTB promises to do: shift the focus entirely to game completion, and show you that we're moving significantly closer to that unknown date every week. I still do have every intention of hitting early 2015, but, like I said, I'm not going to get more specific about dates.
I think you've got to be pretty determined to find a deadline in there to read this as anything but: it's done when it's done.

Which at this point is the right answer as far as I'm concerned. The key point is making progress on the game, not meeting arbitrary dates.

On the topic of Josh working on the UI vs. whatever other thing he "should" be working on: I can only echo what Axefrog wrote above, which match my sentiments exactly. I also recommend that everyone read the latest article linked to in the "LT in the news" thread and reflect on what it is about LT that impresses the writer.
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#152
RTB exists in part because Josh was not prepared to allow another delay. How do I know this? He said so:
Having already been through two major delays, shifting dates simply isn't going to cut it anymore. Something must change, and that something needs to be more than the target beta release date. You guys are (I think) itching for the beta. I, more than anyone, am itching to get LT 1.0 in your hands. For this reason, I've decided that it's time to take action and shift gears. It's time to finish this game. And that's what this development shift is all about :)
It's time to finish the game.

The release date is still early 2015, as stated on the quote you provided. Clearly, this date still may not be met, but I think if it isn't then we need a new one. I say this because without a release date, even 'as soon as possible' is subject to perfectionism, since it makes for a soft deadline. From personal experience, 'as soon as possible' is very easy to become ''I'll put one more day in to make it just right", and indeed as we saw with the fiasco (boondoggle?) if there's a soft deadline, chances are it's not going to be met.

This is why I view the RTB not as a deadline extension tool, but as a tool to meet the deadline.

You may think it's ironic that I say this, but I think it's a little disrespectful to him to say that the deadlines he's set in the past are arbitrary. It's also a bit inaccurate:
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!
That does not look like an arbitrary attitude to me. He may have been mistaken, or as you say, poorly estimated it, but it's not arbitrary.

Speaking for myself, I'm entirely happy if he decides to extend the deadline one more time. But, in my humble and forumitic opinion, I think he needs one.

Lastly, he is not some lonely pioneer of gaming. In one sense, he's doing what Braben did so many years ago with Elite. That's awesome. But it doesn't make him a special snowflake. He's certainly special, but it doesn't mean we should treat him like doting parents. What he's doing is not commonly done, but it's a funded project nonetheless. Saying that this project exists outside the bounds of human estimation is a shiny wrap to obscure the observation that his perfectionism often gets in the way of meeting a date he has previously set. This is demonstrably true with the recent videos, which have thankfully now ended.

Deadlines are important; maybe not overpoweringly so, but they're not something you just wave your hand at and say "don't worry about it".
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#153
Unfortunately some people do get crazily upset when specific deadlines are not met, regardless of the reasons. "When it's done" might well be a double-edged sword, but it probably causes less grief for the developer than the alternative. If people aren't anticipating a release date, they won't be attacking him when it comes and goes without LT.

A public "when it's done" statement also doesn't mean that deadlines and milestones don't exist privately.

Personally I'm not fussed about the date. I'd like the best game that Josh can make, and I don't much care if it's released in 2015 or 2017, so I'd actually be disappointed if notable cuts were made in order to hit an arbitrary date. I want LT to be a good game substantially more than I want it to be released by date X, because ultimately that's going to be all that matters. No one ever looks back on a game and says happily "That game kinda sucked in the end; but OH BOY did the developer ever nail that release date!"

(But then I also don't happen to believe that Josh will just work on it indefinitely until it's 'perfect' without our intervention. I think he has limits, so I feel that there are deadlines at work regardless.)
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#154
Employee 2-4601 summed things up nicely. I don't really have much to add, except to say that whilst "outside the bounds of human estimation" is a nice reductio ad absurdum, it doesn't change the fact that estimating how long it will take for a 22 year old student who's never written a game before to develop an unbounded space combat simulation/game from the ground up that applies procedural generation in a root and branch manner and includes realistic market dynamics, sophisticated AI and a bespoke coding language is, IMO, an exercise in futility. (Actually it's a testament to the lad that we think he can do it at all.)
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#155
On a completely different topic: I've been surprised not to see more chat about Josh's use of a single metric, "integrity", to show ship health. Personally I really like this kind of simplicity, but given the large amount of time spent talking about components and hard points and repair and all that jazz... I thought there would be more discussion over the use of a single number.
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#156
mcsven wrote:On a completely different topic: I've been surprised not to see more chat about Josh's use of a single metric, "integrity", to show ship health. Personally I really like this kind of simplicity, but given the large amount of time spent talking about components and hard points and repair and all that jazz... I thought there would be more discussion over the use of a single number.
Josh did mention that his initial RTB push on the UI was focused on the starter ship experience.

It's not unreasonable that a single "health bar" value -- even if the graphic in Josh's recent example was for a big ship -- is just the starting point for the small starter ship, and bigger ships will eventually get more detailed status interfaces.
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#157
Very balanced and reasonable view, 24601.
mcsven wrote:On a completely different topic: I've been surprised not to see more chat about Josh's use of a single metric, "integrity", to show ship health. Personally I really like this kind of simplicity, but given the large amount of time spent talking about components and hard points and repair and all that jazz... I thought there would be more discussion over the use of a single number.
Good point, this. It does bug me, but I can't think of a better way to represent integrity which would still keep most people happy?
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#158
Scytale wrote:Very balanced and reasonable view, 24601.
mcsven wrote:On a completely different topic: I've been surprised not to see more chat about Josh's use of a single metric, "integrity", to show ship health. Personally I really like this kind of simplicity, but given the large amount of time spent talking about components and hard points and repair and all that jazz... I thought there would be more discussion over the use of a single number.
Good point, this. It does bug me, but I can't think of a better way to represent integrity which would still keep most people happy?
Suggestion: Divide ships into several sections which can be destroyed independently of each other. Hull integrity gives a general overview of the ship as a whole. Health and shielding for each section is also available via a ship diagram.

Conclusion: The ship diagram is currently not being displayed because it isn't finished or not coded into the game.
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#159
I admit to looking for a dev update every day - each morning before the comics, but with my first coffee - and while I'm looking forward to a dev update, when there isn't one I understand that Josh has i. Possibly slept, which is great, ii. Worked on what he wants to work on, which is awesome and most importantly iii. Not worrying about writing an update which means to me at least, he's focusing on the completion of the game without having to document his actions for public criticism review.

I admit to always look forward to the next update, even when watching the newest video; so the important thing is for Limit Theory to be completed in a state that Josh as sole developer and owner - no one who backed the game has any real veto or say in what Josh does or doesn't implement in the game at launch it's more of a sounding board - can be proud of.

Which is refreshing in the age of Early Alphas that barely has any content at all but you can still get your hands on it and see the vast amount of work and effort still to be done and wondering why a contentless game would be released in the first place.
Life is about memories, the more the better.
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#160
Just to say i'm very, very happy for the current focus on the GUI.

It had always been one of my biggest concerns for LT, as for all the awesome of the video dev logs, the user interface was always very bare bones. So this new focus on the users ability to interact with the games systems is exactly what is needed, especially as we head towards a public beta, you (we) are going to be happy that the GUI is getting this attention!

I think once this is in a state that Josh is happy for us to play around with, the next concern might be things like ship handling in the context of combat etc? Off course there is so much potential all over the place in LT that it could easily be something else, but for player testing/beta i think that user interaction aspect should be the main drive to push towards?
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#162
Hyperion wrote:Now I see why joshmonths were so long, joshweeks are 9 days :think:
:lol:

JoshTime is indeed a strange and mysterious thing, Hyperion. No man can hope to understand it in a lifetime (perhaps least of all, myself).

The great thing about RTB, though, is that it brings that whole "exponential cascade" of productivity (which used to happen during the last week of the month) around every single week!! It's mighty rough on the psyche of a starry-eyed young programmer ( :ghost: ), but by god, it sure does bring the presents :squirrel: It's like LT Christmas every week down here in the coding cave! :monkey:

And I like Christmas :squirrel:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: The RTB discussion thread

#165
JoshParnell wrote: It's like LT Christmas every week down here in the coding cave!
Thursday, December 25, 2014

Not much of a day folks... I've been hit with another round of ye olde winter maladies. This time with extra head fuzz!! :crazy:
No doubt, it has been a rather disappointing homestay in terms of amount of work done. I'm not sure what to make of this. But I know that, one way or another, there will be a day of reckoning
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! :D

I spent the greater part of the day on the road, headed to my Dad's side of the holiday celebrations. Luckily, there was still some quality work time to be had once everyone went to bed ;) Not a lot, but still some.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Summary

Merry Christmas! :D This year, I asked Santa for the strength and wisdom to build a fast and robust CSG algorithm. Apparently I did something bad this year, because I didn't get it.
I certainly hope these weeks are going better than your Christmases. :lol: ;)
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