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Procedural Tech Trees: Limit Theory Dev Diary


To recap: Josh Parnell's lovely looking Limit Theory is a space game in the style of Elite: trade, shoot, live, SPACE! He releases a monthly dev diary charting his progress, and each video has thrilled me. This, the tenth in the series, is probably the most exciting one yet. To put that in context: previous videos have shown how the game will procedurally generate the universe in a Dwarf Fortress story-building fashion, and a morning's worth of work that generated planet surfaces. This video talks about the tech tree and the modding UI, and you just have to watch it. He's procedurally generated tech-trees, and the modding interface is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Researching the tech tree is as much about exploration as it is about tech: the nodes on the tree branch off as you keep digging down into their effects, enabling you to create incredibly specialised equipment. The game will keep building on the nodes procedurally. As long as you have the research capabilities, you'll be able to keep adding to the tech tree.

Then he drops the modding interface bombshell: Limit Theory was initially not supposed to be moddable, but Josh has worked on a visual UI that'll allow players to expose the live data and modify it. Everything is represented in organic menus that swirl around like electronic ferns. The shape of the data should help players determine what bit of data they're looking at, and as you click on each node you'll drop deeper and deeper into the game's code. It's incredible.

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