November 16th, 2015
Kimny wrote:I don't know how many other different ways I can say I believe in him, I trust he is telling the truth, I trust his character, I like him, it's not a personal critique. Really, it's almost like it's necessary to spend paragraphs apologizing before making a criticism. And even I repeating all that in all posts, still one replies that I think Josh is lying, another replies saying I shouldn't distrust his character, another says I should shift to my personal life, you now reply as if I were trying to offend Josh.
I explained extensively in the other posts that on the contrary, I don't want to mix personal and professional. I really like Josh, trust him, etc, etc (second time in a post). I just think he has been in error in what regard not giving one piece of information during 1 whole year. Of course that is worth criticizing. And it's normal to criticize it. He is a professional, LT is a funded game. Sometimes it seems that taking 1 screenshot in an year, or even less, talking a couple of lines about the concrete game in an year, is to put super pressure or to ask Josh something very unusual. Indie developers certainly do not update on their games all the time as Josh did. Also as I said many times now, that's fine and I think he was very right in his change towards focusing in the game (I also have to repeat that all posts...). But it is not true that is normal and acceptable that indie developers go a full year without anything remotely concrete and behave as if it that was a plain fine decision instead of something to apologize for. Much less is usual that people are ok and even repeat in the developer's place that "progress is being made", that we should only thank Josh for everything nice he has (indeed) done so far or for not unplugging our critiques from a forum at the official page of the game!
It's very simple: he's been doing choices and following paths that deserve critics just as we would do with any developer. THAT is just what I meant by it's time to criticize Josh's approach to it. JUST that. But anyway, from now one I will reply with a signature that repeats automatically:I trust Josh's word, character and passion, I like him and admire him personally. Yet critique some of his decisions as I would do to other professionals (and that's a sign of respect). Btw, that's the third time self-justifing all that in the same post....
Hey Kimny, welcome
I like your mixture of respect and critique. I've no problem with it at all, and agree with you that it's been a rough and very-much criticism-worthy ride since last year. That's just the hard truth of it -- next time I make a game I'll be sure not to put myself into that position. But this time is difficult, I've made mistakes, had to go through mental issues, and had to spend a lot of time recovering from them and unraveling some of the poor decisions that I've made within the LT codebase during the time that I was losing my good judgement.
So the truth is, no, I don't have anything to show at the moment, at least not graphics wise. But there is a tremendously-good reason for that Spoilers!
Since people are getting angsty again, let me give some more detail on what I've been doing with LT. It's quite technical but very, very important to actually being able to finish the game. So remember how I used to have this concept of testing 'individual features' in sandboxes using LTSL? Right, well, that was all well and good. But at the end of the day, it actually wasn't
all well and good, because, LTSL used the entirety of the game engine (liblt.so , liblt.dll, liblt.dylib depending on platform). It had no choice, because the game engine was one big blob. That means that, while each sandbox may only have called on particular features of the game engine, the entire engine was still there, in the background. Way too stuff was affecting the sandboxes simply because the engine wasn't separated, it was 'monolithic.' Changes to improve the functionality of one sandbox would end up cascading through the entire codebase and, far too often, breaking other functionality in other sandboxes. It was remarkably frustrating and time-consuming.
I've spent the past few months, in particular, completely changing this problem. LT is no longer a 'monolothic' engine but rather a compartmentalized ('micro') engine, comprised of many interlinked object files, each of which are independent from most others. Blah blah blah, technicalities. Why should you care? Why am I not able to show screenshots of this?
Here's the beauty: there are no screenshots
of the game simulation, of the AI, of the core game logic, etc in isolation -- and yet, I can develop them in isolation because one does not need graphics to develop any of these critical pieces of the game!! 'Sandboxes' are now simple console programs that give me readouts of market data, faction stats, etc etc. They have no concept of graphics. OTOH, the asset generation algorithms, which are a heavy WIP at the moment (I hope to be able to show you all some output as soon as I finalize the structure of the algorithms), need graphics but no other concepts from the game. They are simple graphical sandboxes to view single models, just like Maya or something of the sort.
So. The game? Here's the deal: you won't actually see
it until the component pieces are finished. At that point, we will wrap the player interaction layer over all the components, and that will be the LT alpha.
That's a high-level look at what's going on right now. Frankly, I'm really excited about it. On a day-to-day basis, it makes me a lot
more comfortable to be able to work towards a specific goal without touching code that needn't be touched. In general, it makes me quite a bit more productive. It might sound like another one of my little 'perfectionist' tendencies, but, in fact, if one considers the complexity of a monolithic engine vs. a micro engine, roughly-speaking, it's the difference between quadratic O(n^2) time to develop and linear O(n) time -- that's because the separation of dependencies ensures that touching one piece of a micro engine doesn't cause a cascade effect that breaks all the other pieces. This is the epitome of the "wall of separation" concept that every good CS student should learn, but which I really failed to do well during my first attempt at structuring the LT engine.
"Ok ok ok very technical, much wow, BUT I STILL WANT TO SEE THE GAME AND STUFF." I know. Once I have asset generators in good shape, I'm going to stop being so stingy. I will be showing example assets as they come out of the pipeline when that pipeline is of sufficient quality. But
, once again, as I have hinted at before, the next time you see a shot of the whole game
(not just graphically, but including interaction and gameplay) will essentially be very, very close to BETA.
Did that make any sense?? I hope so!
I just want to add one more thought. For those of you who remember the original "Limit Theory" and where the name came from (the Theory of Nonexistence of Extrinsic Limitation
-- scroll down to "The Meaning of Limit Theory"), it is actually critical that I implement the philosophy of Limit Theory in my work on Limit Theory. This game cannot be brute-force made by one person. It is only by the coalescing of a million tiny 'insights', the breaking down of a million tiny mental barriers, that a game like this can be feasible for a small team. Naturally, most of those insights are not graphical, but technical (or artistic-technical). We're all tired of hearing about the technical, but, at the end of this project, when Limit Theory is out and in your hands and you're making your way through a beautiful universe doing whatever you please, you'll have one and only thing to thank for that: those insights. Not a hundred artists, not a massive development team with a massive budget, but an engine and game built off of 3+ years of recursively searching for elegance in each piece of the game. When you are playing LT, you should thank the Limit Theory
The dev style is the embodiment of Limit Theory
, and the release of LT is intended to be a 'proof' of sorts. The name was chosen as such from the beginning to reflect this concept
Again, for those who haven't been with us since the beginning, go back and read the post I linked. It should tell you all you need to know about what's happening right now. I am searching for the final insights that I need Link to original: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=4640&p=114850#p114850