Kickstarter >> Limit Theory: An Infinite, Procedural Space Game by Josh Parnell


It is with a heart of lead that I write this announcement. Not in my darkest nightmares did I expect this day to ever come, but circumstances have reached a point that even my endless optimism can no longer rectify. I can not finish Limit Theory.

After six years, I am finally at the end of my means. Financially, I am beyond the initial investment and have exhausted most of my personal savings. But significantly more troubling is that I am entirely out of energy -- emotionally, mentally, even physically. Every year that passes sees me becoming more desperate to make good on the dream with which you all entrusted me, but each such year I grow less and less capable of doing so as my mindset falls further away from that bright, beautiful hope that powered me from the beginning. I am not what I once was.

Despite what felt like an incredible amount of progress in the last year alone, Limit Theory remains frighteningly far from feature completion. It is my own fault, for having underestimated at every turn the amount of work that goes into such a creation. It is my own fault, for having overestimated my own cognitive resilience and for believing that no number of setbacks would ever inhibit my ability to bring a passion project to life.

I don't know how to make this right. For years now, I've been running on pure loyalty to you all -- it has been quite a long time, if I'm honest, since I was actually working from a place of inspiration -- yet even with the purest of intentions and the deepest desire to honor my commitment, I find myself unable to bring about miracles. No matter how hard I try, it's not enough to bring LT to fruition, and this pattern of failure has evicted all self-confidence and hope from my mind, leaving only doubt, anxiety, and despair. Some days I think to myself "how absurd that a game should make me feel this way," and I realize just how unfit I have become to build a source of joy. I wanted so, so badly to make you all proud. To bring you all joy. There are no words to properly convey how sorry I am that I have failed you all.

I imagine I could go on and on with this gushing of negativity -- the years have left me with no shortage of it. But I don't think much good will come of it. Those of you who have followed the project closely, you already know how much I have put into it; how I have given 110% of myself. Trying isn't the same as doing, so I don't expect any thanks for it, but I hope you all do know just how hard I've tried. I've simply got nothing more to give.

So, what now?

Well, I will prepare the source code for release. It's not a working game, and in my frenzy to get things working I've left huge swaths of code in a half-refactored or half-complete state. But releasing it is the least I can do. I don't imagine it will be of any use to anyone, other than as a monument to a failed dream. Perhaps those who are interested in game engines will glean a thing or two from the engine, as it is a fairly solid piece of engineering, much more solid than the Lua game code.

For the moment, though, I wanted to get this off my chest as soon as possible. It has been the most painful, difficult decision of my life, and I'm sure that there will be no shortage of blowback. But I simply cannot continue to destroy myself in search of a feat of which I am not capable. When I began this project, I felt that anything was possible. Here now, at the end, I must swallow the painful reality that: I, too, am human. I am limited by time, I am limited by finances, and I am limited by mental & emotional stamina.

One last time, I would like to thank everyone who contributed. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for believing in Limit Theory. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to try for something wonderful. One last time, I am so sincerely sorry for having let you down. I hope, at the very least, that some of you have enjoyed the ride as I've pitted my brain over the years against one challenge after the next.

I'll be in touch when I have readied the source code for release.

~Josh