HEXTERMINATE – Towards a Linux build0
With holidays and birthday season out of the way, it’s time to let you know what’s been happening in HEXTERMINATE land.
Linux support & Proton
Being stuck on holiday with a laptop that only runs Linux Mint, I thought I’d try to get the game running on it, as the majority of the code was meant to be portable anyway.
That was the theory.
In practice, it required quite a substantial amount of work to get the game compiling, nevermind actually running. Right now it does run and it is playable, although there are some graphical artefacts and sound doesn’t work. However, this led to some interesting discoveries which will affect everyone, leading to better performance and fewer memory issues.
Currently, native Linux support is scheduled for Build 19 (so, not this one but the one after), but the many fixes that have been done to the engine will likely allow the game to be run through Proton in Build 18, rather than just displaying a black screen.
While working on Hyperscape, one of the issues I’ve run into is that some of the post-processing needs to be disabled in certain circumstances so the screen remains readable and doesn’t display banding artefacts. It wasn’t actually possible to toggle effects without a restart, so the post-processing system has been re-written. This will also allow players to toggle individual effects from the settings screen, while improving overall performance.
Since I was in the area, I’ve improved the glow effect (used by engines, shields, projectiles, etc) as it had various issues, as well as adding an optional vignette effect.
Resource loading and stuttering
Depending on the hardware you have, when starting the game the initial movie would stutter and you might see various frame drops when starting to play. This was due to a background thread which was busy loading resources, but might cause stalls for one reason or another.
The loading has been changed, with a loading screen now present between the initial movie (which can now be skipped) and the main menu. This results in a slightly longer time between starting the game and getting to the main menu, but addresses all stuttering issues caused by resource loading.
All the functionality needed for the Codex is in place and I’m just adding articles to it at the moment. It’s quite good to have this in-game, as it has been in my wishlist for a long time.
The Codex will be part of build 18 and will progressively expand as more content is added to the game.
Work on Hyperscape has started, but it’s still a little too early to share screenshots. The current work on that front is focusing on the Hyperscape visualisation itself and we should be able to share more details for the next post!