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Re: The End

#122
Long time lurker, first time poster.

All I can really say is "Bummer". Not hugely surprising to me given the projects history, but still a bummer.

Takes courage to open up the way Josh has both now and previously, so kudos for that.

What impressed me more however is his simple and honest decision to release the source code. Hopefully some folks can make something out of it but if not, at least he's giving people the chance. It's worth remembering that this started as a kickstarter and those backers didn't end up getting what they backed for. By at least releasing the code, Josh can in some way try and make up for that and as he always has, maintain the projects transparency. And knowing what we know of Josh, I imagine keeping the code and one day trying to sell it or licence it or even make something more out of it would entail certain moral (if not legal) considerations. This way, some day, there may still be a game for those backers and the rest of us to play. And if not, at least the chance was there.

Good luck to you Josh.
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Re: The End

#124
Well I might be a bit late to this wake, this news hit me in an already rough state. So much so that I actually started vomiting at the news. It took me a few days to do some soul-searching and figure out how to move forward.

Limit Theory, its promise, its design, and Josh "wonderboy" Parnell very literally saved my life. Though not a backer, I came across it at a dark time in my life and the Daily updates in 2014 were quite literally the only reason I didn't commit suicide, the promise and the dream was just too great. And it is because of that, that I refuse to let the dream die, because to give up on this dream is to give up on the hope that has driven me personally to keep on going.

If I had the financial means, I would not contribute $20, I would contribute $20,000,000. And I strongly encourage anyone with the means and the ethical commitment to keeping the project open to invest. Josh of course needs a WELL DESERVED rest, but giving him a team to work on this and future projects, well... There have certainly been larger investments in less promising projects with less potential value to the world with more dubious people in charge.

Josh, your ONLY failure was in not accepting more help and more money. You have a community that has begged to give you more money, and have contributed enormously in the various ways that they could. Even in this "end" 99% of the community and the KS backers are THANKING you. Where else has this ever happened for a failed kickstarter?

December 4th Soliloquy
When others ask about LT, moddability often comes up. Invariably, I bring up Limit Theory's suggestions sub-forums at some point, typically bragging on it as being "surely on of the best places on the internet to find inspiring, space-game/sci-fi ideas of remarkable breadth and depth, elaborated on by people of singular imagination and intellect." Since the KS closed at the end of 2012, there have been >1,000 topics and >20,000 posts in this subforum alone. It is a remarkable place -- one that I wish I had the time to read front-to-back. But that's just it: I don't. I don't even have enough time to read all of the beautiful, elaborately-thought-out gameplay suggestions generated by you all, much less implement them.

What I can do? What I'm really good at doing, as this whole process has taught me, and perhaps, what it is that I love doing above all else: it's probably not game design, it's probably not even procedural nebula algorithms :ghost: ...no...building things that allow other people to realize creation with ease, simplicity, and power...now that is the kind of thing that can get me out of bed in the morning. And that's exactly what I/we have done. We've built something that can take a high-level, simple description of a new gameplay mechanism, and do everything that needs to be done behind-the-scenes to let that mechanism play nicely with a thousand others, in the presences of tens of thousands of entities stretched across a boundless universe. We've built something that renders many of your suggestions doable in a few hundred lines of Lua or less. And THAT...I'm proud of that :)

And this is my dream for Limit Theory: that it ships as the vision you all supported in 2012 + the modding capabilities that have since become a core feature, and that, in 10 years' time, it has become something utterly and totally beyond that which I could have done myself or with our small team in the same amount of time. I really can't wait :)
Limit Theory the game, became for me only a first step, a proof of concept, a proof of efficacy for something that I have come to believe is not just a video game, but something downright important for the world: The ability for a single person or a small team of people to make complex, dynamic, living virtual worlds with far more ease than typical game development. As AI and automation increasingly threaten every profession, there is an increasing need not only for new jobs, but for new experiences, escapes from the bullshit of meatspace, and for people to find purpose through creative work. It is my sincere hope, my sincere dream that eventually, Limit Theory and the Phoenix Engine will be but a stepping stone to a world where creating a virtual multiverse is as easy as writing a poem...In that a single person can do so rapidly and a dedicated team can create something that makes even the best games of today look downright quaint.

That said, I have a few suggestions on how to move forward in a way that I think offers a best-possible outcome.
  • Put together a list of what has been achieved, and what you feel remains to be done before what you feel would be the game promised in the kickstarter. And also a supplementary list of things you would have liked to see LT someday accomplish (That way the community has some larger goals to work towards).
  • Gather a team and start a patreon to support them and the continued development of the project.
  • Release the code in a way that requires a % of any commercial revenue to be invested back into furthering the project, developing new and better tools for making development more accessible and giving a stable income to vetted developers. But also in a way so that anyone who relies on donations to keep everything they receive.
  • Release a few editors to allow non-coders to manipulate a few of the existing pieces, especially the content Lindsey worked on.
  • Release some of the shiney in a way that allows us to make desktops and screensavers and appreciate now, the ambiance and atmosphere of this wonderful procedural multiverse...The AI and ships can be added in later ;) :monkey: .
  • Don't give up. You might not have been able to do this by yourself, but that does not mean you can't do it. Rome wasn't built in a day, and it wasn't built by a single man.


And Josh, we love you. Know that you alone inspired dozens of people to dream of things that would not otherwise exist. I hope that is some consolation <3


Also, you now have time to read all our suggestions :ghost:
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Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Imagination Fertilizer
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can
Post

Re: The End

#125
Hyperion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:34 pm
Limit Theory the game, became for me only a first step, a proof of concept, a proof of efficacy for something that I have come to believe is not just a video game, but something downright important for the world: The ability for a single person or a small team of people to make complex, dynamic, living virtual worlds with far more ease than typical game development.
I endorse this vision, and I wish to sign up for your newsletter.

(Also, and more importantly, please know that you've made friends out here you can talk with anytime.)

OK, back to the encomia.
Post

Re: The End

#126
Flatfingers wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:50 pm
Hyperion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:34 pm
Limit Theory the game, became for me only a first step, a proof of concept, a proof of efficacy for something that I have come to believe is not just a video game, but something downright important for the world: The ability for a single person or a small team of people to make complex, dynamic, living virtual worlds with far more ease than typical game development.
I endorse this vision, and I wish to sign up for your newsletter.

(Also, and more importantly, please know that you've made friends out here you can talk with anytime.)

OK, back to the encomia.
Thanks Flat, I appreciate that. As good as people on the forums have been, I personally find more value in the wonderful conversations in the IRC that keep my nights at work interesting and fun.

As for a Newsletter, I have been working in the background on something I call the Hyperverse Project (Hyperverse because it contains multiverses of settings that generate universes, and also because it strokes my username ego :ghost: ). I will release a writeup sometime in the next few days once I have my thoughts so far organized into something less messy.
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Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Imagination Fertilizer
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can
Post

Re: The End

#127
Hyperion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:34 pm

That said, I have a few suggestions on how to move forward in a way that I think offers a best-possible outcome.
  • Put together a list of what has been achieved, and what you feel remains to be done before what you feel would be the game promised in the kickstarter. And also a supplementary list of things you would have liked to see LT someday accomplish (That way the community has some larger goals to work towards).
  • Gather a team and start a patreon to support them and the continued development of the project.
  • Release the code in a way that requires a % of any commercial revenue to be invested back into furthering the project, developing new and better tools for making development more accessible and giving a stable income to vetted developers. But also in a way so that anyone who relies on donations to keep everything they receive.
  • Release a few editors to allow non-coders to manipulate a few of the existing pieces, especially the content Lindsey worked on.
  • Release some of the shiney in a way that allows us to make desktops and screensavers and appreciate now, the ambiance and atmosphere of this wonderful procedural multiverse...The AI and ships can be added in later ;) :monkey: .
  • Don't give up. You might not have been able to do this by yourself, but that does not mean you can't do it. Rome wasn't built in a day, and it wasn't built by a single man.


And Josh, we love you. Know that you alone inspired dozens of people to dream of things that would not otherwise exist. I hope that is some consolation <3


Also, you now have time to read all our suggestions :ghost:
LOL, Hyperion, I missed what you said at the very end, but now I see it, good one :P :D

Josh, I missed the Kickstarter for LT by about a month, and I even wrote a letter asking to be allowed into the coveted "backers" list.
I have tried on numerous occasions to get an in, but life, as they say, had other plans.
Like Hyperion, I had my moments where I reckoned if I left this life, I wouldn't see LT form into this beautiful universe where I could dream big, or even just soak in the ambience and amazing star systems that is, now, LT.
And just like love, it lives on inside me as a dream, to someday hope to see it living and breathing on my living room 50" plasma tv :D

I have been reluctant to add my two cents here, as I wanted to impart knowledge and love and trust that it will all work out.. but I'm not as confident at words as Flatfingers and Hyperion, so I'll just be me.

You have a dream, and you have now reached an insurmountable set-back, for today.
I do feel your pain, and were it me, I'd scream and shout, and cry my eyes out that it had beaten me up so bad. And then, I know, I'd have peace and a weight would be lifted.
Hyperion's suggestions are the most astute, and as life has taught me, rather sillily easy on how to continue.
I remember you saying, Josh, that there is code in there about markets that is unique, and you didn't want to share it with the world.
Your concepts are sound, but in this mean world, time and money are the two things we humans eventually run out of either one or the other (or both).

So, thank you for allowing me to dream.
Thank you for your video dev-logs which I still watch to this day. They are sumptuous and like eating a custard donut, but not putting on the weight.
Thank you for your wonderful tech-logs that give my inner programmer (somewhere inside me) to gush and wonder and ooh and ahh about your beautiful logic.
And as always, look after you first. If you're not healthy, you cannot perform well.

xo

P.S. I fondly remember these wonderful words from Kung Fu Panda (the first one)
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why they call it the present.

P.P.S. This is probably a lovely reminder of how simple everything is.. want an easy way to meditate? watch this <3
YAY PYTHON \o/

In Josh We Trust
-=326.3827=-
Post

Re: The End

#129
Hyperion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:34 pm
Hyper's Big Post
I took some time to think on all of this, and I'm going to respond now - as a regular forum member, not as an ex-community-manager. My CM hat is off right now.


Spoiler:      SHOW
Hyperion wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:34 pm
If I had the financial means, I would not contribute $20, I would contribute $20,000,000. And I strongly encourage anyone with the means and the ethical commitment to keeping the project open to invest. Josh of course needs a WELL DESERVED rest, but giving him a team to work on this and future projects, well... There have certainly been larger investments in less promising projects with less potential value to the world with more dubious people in charge.
This is the first part of your post I begin to disagree with. Josh hasn't decided what he wants to do with his life yet, and I don't think we should put any sort of pressure on him until he does. When I last heard, he simply wanted to go back to university to finish his schooling. This doesn't mesh well at all with "giving him a team". :P Wait until he's distanced himself enough to think clearly, then we'll ask again and see what he wants to do.

Josh, your ONLY failure was in not accepting more help and more money. You have a community that has begged to give you more money, and have contributed enormously in the various ways that they could. Even in this "end" 99% of the community and the KS backers are THANKING you. Where else has this ever happened for a failed kickstarter?
Voxel Quest, for one. It was a project I tried to help bring to life, but unfortunately Gavan didn't get as far with it as he wanted to, and the funds ran out (similarly to LT).

Limit Theory the game, became for me only a first step, a proof of concept, a proof of efficacy for something that I have come to believe is not just a video game, but something downright important for the world: The ability for a single person or a small team of people to make complex, dynamic, living virtual worlds with far more ease than typical game development. As AI and automation increasingly threaten every profession, there is an increasing need not only for new jobs, but for new experiences, escapes from the bullshit of meatspace, and for people to find purpose through creative work. It is my sincere hope, my sincere dream that eventually, Limit Theory and the Phoenix Engine will be but a stepping stone to a world where creating a virtual multiverse is as easy as writing a poem...In that a single person can do so rapidly and a dedicated team can create something that makes even the best games of today look downright quaint.
This already exists: RPG Maker, for instance, is a means for a single person or small team of people to make games with more ease than typical game development. Yes, RPGMaker's games are simpler than LT, but as with anything, increasing complexity on one side will also increase it on the other side: No matter how good of a "game building system" Josh comes up with, it would never be easier to make a unique game in the LT engine than it would be to make one in RPG Maker's engine. It will always be daunting and complex. The games might be "better", but they will also be fewer in number. The faster and easier you make it to create new games, the more similar they will be to each other. There is a trade-off. You can have two of the following: low similarity, ease of creation, high complexity. That's a law as much as any other triangle formula, and you can't really get around it. :P

At best, the Phoenix engine could be turned into something akin to Unity, but with less generalization. It is a space game engine, and it will stay that way. :P Any game made in it will have to remain a space game, more or less.

Put together a list of what has been achieved, and what you feel remains to be done before what you feel would be the game promised in the kickstarter. And also a supplementary list of things you would have liked to see LT someday accomplish (That way the community has some larger goals to work towards).
I have such a list, and I'll release it if Josh gives the go-ahead. I'm still bound by NDA until a year from now, so I need his permission to make that public on the forums.

Gather a team and start a patreon to support them and the continued development of the project.
This is the part where I begin to seriously disagree with you. Limit Theory has made Josh miserable. As you read in his Kickstarter, he has no passion left for the project; the past six years have drained it dry. Continuing to work on it in any way will only make it worse for him, not to mention he's probably not even in a good headspace for something like this. It is not something he would want to do, nor is it something that he would do.

Next, in order to support a team of, say, eight people, you're going to want to be gathering around $15,000 a month, bare minimum. This simply isn't feasible, and it won't happen. This is around six times what Josh has been living off of for the past six years, not even counting how much he's paid the people he hired. It will not happen.

Release the code in a way that requires a % of any commercial revenue to be invested back into furthering the project, developing new and better tools for making development more accessible and giving a stable income to vetted developers. But also in a way so that anyone who relies on donations to keep everything they receive.
Personally, I think it's a terrible idea for Josh to release it in a way that will bring in funds. Firstly, it would be impossible to enforce. Secondly, releasing the code under a free-to-use public license is the best thing for Josh and LT, in terms of PR. I'm all for releasing the code, to be clear. Thirdly, making people essentially "pay" to use Josh's code (especially in a way that scales based on how much they make) is not a good way to encourage aspiring developers to try to create something.

Finally: I solidly believe Josh needs to take a break and distance himself emotionally from the project enough to clear his head. Then, he can come back and re-evaluate the situation. In doing so, he may find that he doesn't want to release the code after all - that he wants to make something of it in the future. This would be understandable. If/when he releases it, it is no longer "his" and he will feel little drive to ever work on it again.

And yes, I do know he said he was readying the code for release. However, he is in a very broken state of mind right now. He is viewing things in a tremendously "different" perspective than he would if he was clear-headed. Holding his words stated under duress to be "law" is just as preposterous as believing that something someone says at gunpoint must be how they truly feel. He has severe anxiety and depression. I would not be surprised if he's been at risk of suicide. The pressure of 5000 people, and fearing how they will react, is also a very powerful "motivator". Anyone with any comprehension of compassion could understand all of this, I think, and would agree. :)

In short: Let Josh get in a better "headspace" first, and then let him re-examine the situation. If he chooses to go ahead with releasing the source code, that is good, but I guarantee he will not place any price on it (which is how it should be).

[*]Release a few editors to allow non-coders to manipulate a few of the existing pieces, especially the content Lindsey worked on.
This is almost certainly going to happen, I think, as part of the rest of the source.

[*]Release some of the shiney in a way that allows us to make desktops and screensavers and appreciate now, the ambiance and atmosphere of this wonderful procedural multiverse...The AI and ships can be added in later ;) :monkey: .
This is a lot of extra work - at least several weeks, possibly two or more months. I don't think this is really an option. In its current state, LT's planets are no longer "pretty" in the same way that they used to be. There are no more ice asteroids, and only the nebulae have survived unscathed. He might potentially release the earlier versions of LT with the source, in which case it might be viable. Otherwise, it likely is not.

[*]Don't give up. You might not have been able to do this by yourself, but that does not mean you can't do it. Rome wasn't built in a day, and it wasn't built by a single man.
[/list]
I'm not certain, but I think you may have missed the part where Josh has a strong aversion to continuing the project. I'm fairly sure that at this point, he just wants to put it behind him, and not have the painful reminder of what he likely views as "the failure of a dream" and "six years of lost time".

Also, you now have time to read all our suggestions :ghost:
I actually doubt this to be the case, too. He is probably looking for a job, or a way back into university - or, more likely, both. That's a full-time pursuit, and we make a lot of suggestions. :P
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Re: The End

#133
Talvieno wrote:
Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:34 am
I solidly believe Josh needs to take a break and distance himself emotionally from the project enough to clear his head. Then, he can come back and re-evaluate the situation.
I would disagree with this. First, there would be always something in his back, something he would still need to do. That is mentally stressful and not a good thing while cleaning a head. Second, it will get harder to come back to the code with passing time, especially if he gets something new started, like university or a job or whatever. So if the code is not released now, it will probably never be released.
So I would just release it asap in whatever state it is and move on for good.
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Re: The End

#134
I actually don't disagree with that sentiment, as long as he releases it right away "as is", without trying to clean or polish it. Unfortunately, I don't think he's doing that at all. I think he wants to "make it presentable" first, which I don't feel is good for his mental health.
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