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Commodity: Limit Theory Dev Diary Shows Dynamic Markets

We are all tired back here.

Someone needs to tenderly stroke the asteroids and wing tips of the latest Limit Theory development diary. If Craig was here, he’d probably be bouncing up and down with excitement about the game’s procedural ambition, its electric-coloured interface, and developer Josh Parnell’s relaxing voice. Craig isn’t here though. Instead you’ve got me, and I’m trapped in a post-bank holiday mental fug. I’m going to stumble through this introduction like I’ve never written a paragraph before and quickly point you to the new video down below, which shows the newly implemented simulation of the game’s commodity market.

The first three-and-a-half minutes of the video are apologies, but after that it gets into depth about the economic make-up of a solar system. There are lots of confusing graphs which show the rise and fall of material prices over time. Parnell spots the rising price of one commodity, buys it before it reaches its peak, and then tries to sell it to turn a profit. It goes wrong – the game isn’t finished yet remember, and things like storage menus don’t work – but I like the idea that I can make a living in Limit Theory without ever firing a laser, as long as I can get enough starting capital to become a space-city trader. A singleplayer EVE Online is strangely compelling.

Parnell also makes clear that looking at these graphs is optional, but it’s important that these systems exist to underpin everything else that’s happening in the game. If you’d rather impact the markets the old-fashioned way, the video also shows plenty of spaceships flying about to either mine asteroids or to carry out a little piracy by attacking those mining ships.

My favourite part is near the end though, when the camera lingers for a moment over a space station as dozens of little dots – each one a spaceship – docks or undocks with it. I want to just sit and watch the AI do its thing in this game. Can I have it as a screensaver?

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Graham Smith

Editor-in-chief

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