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    Limit Theory developer releases source code for canceled space sim and officially shuts down project

    Limit Theory, the ambitious space sandbox that ceased development in 2018, has written the final chapter in its long-running development saga. Creator Josh Parnell published the source code of the project, allowing the community to play what exists in the game.

    “The time has finally come to release the source code that I promised many years ago. Today I will be releasing four open source repositories on GitHub representing three different periods in LT’s development history.

    The first is the 2013 Limit Theory prototype, which Parnell says “is actually the most playable thing I have to show.” The prototype allows players to “buy and outfit ships, complete simple missions, and manage fleets.” Meanwhile, the rest of the Github repositories are from the later development of Limit Theory, with packages split between engine code and gameplay code. “The Phoenix engine may still be of interest to anyone who wants to understand how to use it,” says Parnell. The other package contains LUA code written in the last years of the game’s development, but the actual playability of the code is limited to “some flying and aimless shooting”.

    In 2012, Limit Theory was successfully launched with $187,865 in funding. Development initially went well, but came to an abrupt halt in 2018 when Parnell ran out of both funds and the will to continue with the project. “I overcame my initial investment and depleted most of my personal savings. But much more disturbing is that I have absolutely no energy – emotionally, mentally and even physically,” he wrote in 2018. “With every passing year, I am more and more desperate to fulfill the dream you have entrusted to me, but every year I become less and less able to do so.”

    While the project has been shut down for years, the release of the source code marks the official, final end of Parnell’s work and relationship with the game. “I am ready to finally close this chapter of my life, the chapter that I have held on to in anguish for the past three years,” he writes. “I think you’ve all moved on and it’s time for me to do the same.”

    While it’s deeply sad that Parnell wasn’t able to fully realize his Limit Theory ambitions, the release of the source code at least means that all of his work has not been in vain, allowing the community to get a taste of the developer’s vision. And who knows? Maybe someone will take Parnell’s engine and build something more comprehensive out of it. The Internet can be amazing.

    As seen on PlayGround

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