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Re: Don't release the code yet

#16
AusSkiller wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:01 am
Just the code? Or assets too? If it's just the code then TBH I wouldn't care if it was never released, it would take far too long to build up enough assets to do anything with it, but if it has the assets then it might be worth getting the source, I'm sure I could get it to the point where I can have some fun with it at the very least.

But releasing it all publicly might not be the best thing, it would probably be worth getting in contact with some smaller publishers first to see if they would give you a modest budget with which to finish out the game or at least hire some devs to hand it over to if you would rather move on. Failing that if you are really done with LT you could license the source out to backers properly giving them a full commercial license for source and assets to use them to make and release games based on it, that might motivate some of the coders and artists here to do something with it.

If you do want to release it publicly please at least get it to the point where it can be compiled and run without crashing first.
Whats your definition your an asset?

Apart from the music, the game does not need assets.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#17
yeh, right, the music...

Could it be something to send as a "mp3"-CD electronically to all backers?
That would be a nice souvenir, and perhaps somebody (Josh himself, as a hobby besides or until a new occupation) can tweak the code to make a "landscape"-screen saver (generate a new planet and randomly fly toward it for a while, then revert).

You know, sort of a massively scaled-down project that allow to release something quickly that showcase some of the work done?

:think:
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#18
AusSkiller wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:01 am
Just the code? Or assets too? If it's just the code then TBH I wouldn't care if it was never released, it would take far too long to build up enough assets to do anything with it, but if it has the assets then it might be worth getting the source, I'm sure I could get it to the point where I can have some fun with it at the very least.
I don't think there are any real 'assets' in Limit Theory. I am not sure any more about the textures, but otherwise everything should have been proceduraly generated. An exception is the music, which was not planned to be procedural.
AusSkiller wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:01 am
If you do want to release it publicly please at least get it to the point where it can be compiled and run without crashing first.
I guess that is part of his mentioned preparation for releasing the code.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#22
So..... I still don't understand...

Where are the Executable files?

I would think Lin has a couple and probably Adam?

Did Josh overwrite his .exe's ? Lose his hard drives?

How was LT running in the dev videos?!? In Unity? Some test bed?

You would think he has hundreds of .exe's or sys bootloader ABI OBJ compiles laying around?!
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#23
RedDwarfMining wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:18 pm
So..... I still don't understand...

Where are the Executable files?

I would think Lin has a couple and probably Adam?

Did Josh overwrite his .exe's ? Lose his hard drives?

How was LT running in the dev videos?!? In Unity? Some test bed?

You would think he has hundreds of .exe's or sys bootloader ABI OBJ compiles laying around?!
The code is either on a private github or some other storage medium. Everything was running through Josh's engine. Over the past six years the engine has been redesigned to accomplish Josh's needs. I don't see any evidence of old code being overwritten or of Josh losing a hard drive.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#24
Would it be more viable for Josh to scrap the idea of a game, and instead just make an engine other companies could use to make games? It seems like a lot of work went into solving problems other engines couldn't do, would there not be any value in this? Note: I am not a programmer and do not know if this is a viable idea or a good one.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#25
I think many of y'all are not understanding the point the codebase is at - obviously, it hasn't been publicly talked about by the only person who knows, Josh, but reading the devlogs tells me these things:

1) LT currently exists as an engine that is capable of rendering a star system procedurally, and having a basic understanding of what the system contains in terms of planets, moons, asteroids, ships, etc.

2) There are various core modifications that have basic support for a living economy.

3) There are some code modifications that have basic support for flying around, shooting, and having some AI ships to shoot at.

That's it.
There isn't a basic game that Josh can compile and release to everyone, that'll play a bit and then crash, or that'll let you do missions but only up to level 5, or that'll let you fly around a repeatable universe but no larger than 10 systems, or any other game - if you're expecting this, you've missed the point.

The point is that what exists is mostly command-line executed with only enough graphical support to work on the current feature in question.

Sure, it's probably possible, with time, to get it to a point where you can enter a seed and generate a bit of a universe, but the sheer amount of work to get from there to something like a game, is enormous.
Think of the starting sequence, of having to create a basic ship, of having to have modules to create a ship from, of rendering all those modules, of having a base to fly from, launch sequences, landing sequences, and then, actually having something to do - anything - when you're out.
None of those things exists at all, and apart from the recent game show demo that had you already flying a simple ship in space (with no internal concept of what the ship is, or is made of, or what modules it has, etc.), and shooting at stuff, there is really nothing else of LT that exists.

The old prototype was built on a years-gone version of the engine that does nothing of the current feature set, and the game show demo is the only things that ever really existed that could be said to be a game - and to get back to that state may be unworkable given the advances in engine technology that Josh has made since then anyway.

Any releases that Josh may make in future are going to need poring over to get to do anything at all, until and unless the community gets to a point of understanding deep enough to figure out how to create this starting sequence. There are no 'lost EXEs' or 'codes' that exist, that's the reason why the project is being terminated.
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Mind The Gap
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#26
Ateerix wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:14 pm
Would it be more viable for Josh to scrap the idea of a game, and instead just make an engine other companies could use to make games? It seems like a lot of work went into solving problems other engines couldn't do, would there not be any value in this? Note: I am not a programmer and do not know if this is a viable idea or a good one.
As other people have said here, unfortunately, making an engine is not even just as simple as writing some code that solves problems others don't; it becomes a whole business in its' own right, and requires a great deal of support as well as more functionality than we have in the LT engine currently.

All the current engines came about after a game was released that was built using it, and the companies decided that what they had was general purpose enough and powerful enough to be used in other games of that genre, in order to prove that it was complete and viable. No-one would choose the LT engine without that anyway.
--
Mind The Gap
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#27
RedDwarfMining wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:18 pm
So..... I still don't understand...

Where are the Executable files?

I would think Lin has a couple and probably Adam?

Did Josh overwrite his .exe's ? Lose his hard drives?

How was LT running in the dev videos?!? In Unity? Some test bed?

You would think he has hundreds of .exe's or sys bootloader ABI OBJ compiles laying around?!
For the versions of "LT" that I had available (namely the PAX demo and similar):
Getting LT to run was a complicated process that required an open DOS prompt and several lines of code entered prior to the actual execution, to tell it where everything was. You also needed to compile both the engine and the executable prior to actually trying to run it. After that was done, it would run - but still, could only be executed from a DOS prompt. In addition to this, to get the stuff to compile at all, I needed to make some tweaks so it would actually work on my computer, which is Windows, instead of Josh's Linux. Some of that felt complicated in itself, and is probably beyond the realm of a "normal" gamer, I would think.


In short: it's not quite as simple as sending you a *.exe file. :P Unfortunately enough. It simply wasn't at that point yet. The Kickstarter prototype, however, was an executable, so it would've run as you expected - although you'd still need folders for assets and things (different config files, algorithm settings, sounds, whatever else).


In short: Ringu is right. He has a very solid idea of the state the game currently exists in - or at least, that it did when I last saw it. However, there is also a lot of stuff that hasn't been ported yet, and it's been a good while since I was actually able to run it all (it became very Windows-unfriendly after Lindsey left, and I don't know enough to be able to make it work on WIndows). It may have changed significantly since I saw it.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#28
it became very Windows-unfriendly after Lindsey left

Ahh...I'm starting to understand what happened..

Josh didn't just kill one Husnock.....he annihilated the entire Husnock race.

Hopefully someone can share the LT prototype executable/installer? I would hope that's still around?!?!

Tip: When your receive a large financial settlement/lottery/kickstarter pledge......RUN to a financial consultant! Even a mediocre one could return 5%...A good one 10% and a great one 20%!

140,000$ should generate 1,000 + a month income.

9 out of 10 lottery winners are broke after a year!
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#29
RedDwarfMining wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:42 am
it became very Windows-unfriendly after Lindsey left

Ahh...I'm starting to understand what happened..

Josh didn't just kill one Husnock.....he annihilated the entire Husnock race.

Hopefully someone can share the LT prototype executable/installer? I would hope that's still around?!?!

Tip: When your receive a large financial settlement/lottery/kickstarter pledge......RUN to a financial consultant! Even a mediocre one could return 5%...A good one 10% and a great one 20%!

140,000$ should generate 1,000 + a month income.

9 out of 10 lottery winners are broke after a year!
Your math seems off, 140,000$ * 7% interest (the currently touted expected returns long term per year on S&P500) is 9,800 which divided by 12 would be 816.67 per month approx. This is also assuming you'd use the excesses to stabilize during economic downturns and that the tax man isn't going to take his piece of the pie (he will), so a more accurate estimate would be 500 a month of actual cash. Where I live (Canada), that would likely result in food for a month. Considering he's gone almost 6 years since the launch of the kickstarter, he's stretched that money out really well, far better than 90% of the population imo.
This is my signature, there are many like it but this one is mine.
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Re: Don't release the code yet

#30
Now that we've had the weekend to decompress a bit after the sad news, I'd like to suggest a few practical things regarding the LT code.

First, the one question that drives everything else is this: is the current code sufficient to form the base for a playable game?

Is there enough of the necessary architectural/engine plumbing implemented so that other developers can focus on building actual gameplay features? Or are there hard problems remaining to be solved so that core gameplay functionality systems can be added and still deliver good performance?

My guess is that, in addition to the project code not being productionized (as Talvieno described), there are numerous gameplay systems and support systems whose core engine structures have not been completed at this time: procedural star system generation; a dynamic closed economy that's fun and inflation/deflation-resilient and handles a procedurally expanding universe; NPC faction behaviors (creation/hire/fire/expand/fail); tactical dogfighting (including "terrain" in space and ship management); operational fleet RTS; strategic empire management (including factional control of political zones); NPC AI that remains both plausible and surprising across all of those levels as new star systems are added; level of detail (LOD) processing so that all those things can be both simulated when a player-controlled asset isn't there and can be reconstituted into details when a player-controlled asset is there; planetary colonies; mining; object fabrication processes to create products for markets; research; attractive and functional GUIs to manage every one of these systems; a save system that fully and quickly saves the entire state of the game universe; a working mod management system... and I'm sure I'm leaving out some other features that are important for any working/fun space game to have.

The question I'm asking is not, "Have those gameplay systems been implemented?" but "How much architectural stuff absolutely must still be solved and coded in order to support adding all those gameplay systems?" THAT is what we don't know because Josh never shared that detailed project status information publicly. (This isn't a criticism; just a fact.)

So the first thing, if anyone's serious about creating a more-or-less working version of Limit Theory, is to answer that question. Step 1 is to generate a complete project asset inventory: all of the code itself; all of the compilers and libraries and tools needed to compile and run and test and debug and profile that code; all licenses; all supporting resources (including François's soundtrack assets); and all documentation. (VERY important additional action here: who owns each of these assets? Specifically, beyond basic copyright, what legal ownership rights are asserted by Josh over each of the assets he created? If we're serious about trying to finish LT as a distributable application, this step cannot be skipped.)

Step 2 is to assess the status of all these assets: are they sufficient (and there must not be any interminable geek arguing over which tools are perfect) to complete an LT that runs natively under Windows?

Step 3 is to assess the status of the code itself: of the core requirements, to what extent is each completed? How much required architectural stuff remains to be coded to a working state? Where is the list of gameplay systems to be coded? What is the status of each one of these? Is there any project management information stored somewhere, e.g. in Trello?

Finally, if after answering all of the above questions nothing has jumped out to cause a reasonable person to conclude, "Nope, this really is impossible," then there's a last practical question that ought to be answered: how should "Let's Complete LT" projects be administered?

Free-for-all, where Josh drops all the existing code into a public git, declares all of it public domain, and anybody can do anything with it?

The One True LT, where all existing assets go into a private repo; one person (such as Talvieno) becomes the de facto owner who can invite specific people to access the LT code; and finishing the game is managed as a small private group?

Or something in between those options?

I'd still like LT to become a thing if that's possible. But that means someone has to do the work to answer the questions: 1) Is it possible? 2) How can it be done?



Those are the questions about the code. Now I'd like to briefly consider: what about Josh?

Obviously (I hope it's obvious), before anything else there's Josh's health and happiness. Nothing I say next means I know what's best for him on those counts, or that I think my opinion in this area matters.

But maybe there is something useful that might be said about Josh as a programmer.

Ateerix wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:14 pm
Would it be more viable for Josh to scrap the idea of a game, and instead just make an engine other companies could use to make games? It seems like a lot of work went into solving problems other engines couldn't do, would there not be any value in this? Note: I am not a programmer and do not know if this is a viable idea or a good one.

I'd like to very gently suggest that this is mostly backwards.

As I closely watched Josh's progress on LT over nearly six years, I cannot escape the conclusion that it is an unbounded focus on engine programming that did LT in, and left Josh feeling so down today.

Ateerix, I do think you're onto something important when you talk about Josh's gift for "solving problems." The insights and code solutions Josh came up with are legendary.

The trouble is that "problems" always exist at multiple levels. And someone who's gifted at problem-solving at one level is rarely equally gifted at solving problems typical to the other levels.

Josh appears to be a world-class low-level coding maven. When presented with a specific piece of software functionality that needs a simple, performant, maintainable code solution, I would give that problem to Josh without hesitation and know that the resulting code product would be a thing of beauty.

But I'd also put a time limit on delivering that working, tested code solution.

And I'd have someone else make sure his code integrates as needed with other/existing code.

And I'd have someone else design the overall system, including its component requirements, and keep team members focused on building those specific components.

And I'd have someone else manage the whole project, including both task prioritization and time limits per task, with engine features well-defined in pre-production and built out to a basic functional level first thing in production, with the bulk of production development time allocated to building gameplay-specific systems, then features; then integration and playtesting; then polishing.

Some of those someone elses might be the same person. But none of them would be Josh.

Working as part of a team, on solving software problems that are bounded by function and time, would, I believe, be the best application of Josh's talents. He could focus on using his eyeball-popping gift for solving specific problems in code -- unleash the graphics monkey! :monkey: -- while knowing that all of his efforts were going into a product with a serious chance at being completed and working well.

None of this is a criticism of Josh, either as a person or regarding what he accomplished with Limit Theory. It's a recognition that there are, in fact, limits to human competence. We can't be great at everything. To create complex new things, we need other people whose gifts complement our own.

I hope, if Josh takes away nothing else from Limit Theory, that this is something he will come to appreciate soon -- not as a sad reflection on human limits, but as a practical reason why working constructively with other people is tremendously satisfying: it's how great new things get made so that people can enjoy them.

Because I really, really want to see what amazing new things Josh helps to create.

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