With HEXTERMINATE having been out for a while and the bulk of the issues resolved, it is time to talk about what will happen to the game in the long term.

Although the game is has been released, development will be carrying on for a long time to come: HEXTERMINATE is one of my two hobby projects and one that has an ever-growing list of things I’d like to do.

Before we go any further, let me just make one thing clear: these will all be free updates and available to anyone who has bought the game.

So, lets have a look at the backlog for a broad overview of where development time is going.

Engine updates

The engine HEXTERMINATE uses is homegrown and was started a very, very long time ago (a cursory look shows the first copyright notice in it dating back to 2014, but the first files were probably created in 2006 or so). Over the years it has been updated as necessary and chunks have been rewritten to allow for easier development.

One of the systems that needs some love is the renderer. Although sufficient for what the game currently does, it is quite primitive and had large chunks of OpenGL boilerplate code which is completely unnecessary nowadays. Previously using OpenGL 2 and relying on extensions, the engine has now been updated to use OpenGL 3.3. This is unlikely to cause any issues to anyone who has bought the game, as most cards this side of 2010 will support it, while considerably simplifying any work which touches the rendering system.

These first updates will be available in the upcoming release, Build 16.

Continue reading →

Recon

As usual, recon starts with nmap across all ports:

# Nmap 7.80 scan initiated Mon Sep 28 20:01:12 2020 as: nmap -p- -T4 -A -oN nmap_full.log 10.10.10.198
Nmap scan report for 10.10.10.198
Host is up (0.070s latency).
Not shown: 65533 filtered ports
PORT     STATE SERVICE    VERSION
7680/tcp open  pando-pub?
8080/tcp open  http       Apache httpd 2.4.43 ((Win64) OpenSSL/1.1.1g PHP/7.4.6)
|_http-open-proxy: Proxy might be redirecting requests
|_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.43 (Win64) OpenSSL/1.1.1g PHP/7.4.6
|_http-title: mrb3n's Bro Hut
Warning: OSScan results may be unreliable because we could not find at least 1 open and 1 closed port
Device type: general purpose
Running (JUST GUESSING): Microsoft Windows 2008|7 (85%)

We can see there is a HTTP server on 8080, and an unusual service on 7680. The page itself looks simple enough:

While exploring the page, we initiate a gobuster run on the website. There are quite a few entries which get returned, including an /ex folder which appears to contain an older, somewhat broken version of the website.

Continue reading →

After a couple of months of development, the Infinite War update is ready. With it, HEXTERMINATE gains a new game mode with procedurally generated galaxies and brings new challenges to the players.

In this new game mode your objective is to capture the homeworlds of all the factions. To assist you with this, you can boost your defenses with powerful starforts and use probes to keep an eye on the Empire’s enemies.

Additionally, you’ll find new modules you can customise your ship with:
  • Antiproton cannons are a new, devastating weapon type.
  • Quantum state alternators work in conjunction with the antiproton cannons, as well as providing a way of defending against them.
  • Ramming prows are armour modules which greatly increase the efficiency of the Ramming Speed ability.

You’ll encounter them on ships belonging to a new faction: the Hegemon. You can expect the most challenging battles in the game if you’re going against them, as well as new mechanics to master.

You can find HEXTERMINATE on Steam:

Good luck, Captain.

After a few updates over the last couple of weeks which addressed the issues some people were having with ramming, development time is shifting to the Infinite War update. I thought I’d give you an overview of what is currently being worked on.

Infinite War game mode

In addition to the Campaign mode which you are familiar with, the Infinite War mode will procedurally generate a new galaxy for you to play. In its default settings, the size of the various factions will be randomised; some of them might not even be present.

However, you’ll also be able to create a galaxy with settings to your liking, deciding which factions the galaxy will be populated with and how large the empires are.

The Infinite War mode is meant for experienced players, as it will be possible to create galaxies which will be extremely difficult – or impossible – to be victorious in.

A new faction

Enter the Hegemon: a faction which will only be present in the new Infinite War mode. The Hegemon will be the end-game faction, fielding large capital ships which will test both your flagship and your skill. They will make use of the various strategies you’ve seen from other factions, such as the use of particle accelerators and will bring a few tricks of their own via the new modules.

New modules

The principle of the new modules is fairly simple: you (and the AI) have a new weapon which can figure projectiles in one of two configurations (lets call them Red and Black) and your shield needs to be in the matching configuration to block those projectiles.

So if your shield is in the Red state and someone fires a Black projectile at your ship, it will go through. Otherwise, it will be nullified.

To achieve this, we’ll have two new modules: the Quantum State Alternator and the Antiproton cannon.

Quantum State Alternator

  • Increases the damage resistance of the ship’s shields by 25%.
  • There can only be one Quantum State Alternator installed in a ship.
  • The QSA has two quantum states. These can be cycled through by pressing space bar and this switch is instantaneous.
  • The quantum state affects the shield and any antiproton cannons installed.
  • A shield with a QSA will block any antiproton projects which are in the same quantum state.

Antiproton cannon

  • This is a large, very slow firing weapon. Rate of fire likely 1 projectile per 4 seconds.
  • The projectile goes through shields, unless the ship has a Quantum State Alternator. In that case, the shot is blocked if the QSA has the same quantum state as the antiproton cannon.
  • If the antiproton cannon hits a shield with the same quantum state, the shot dissipates harmlessly.
  • Otherwise, the projectile instantaneously destroys the module it hits and EMPs anything surrounding it.
  • This weapon exists in two variants: a prototype one (artifact) and a Hegemon one (legendary). The prototype variant might have an even slower rate of fire.

The next steps

The new game mode is already under development and some preliminary work has begun for the assets required for the new modules. If it all goes well I’ll have some screenshots to share next time.

Thank you for reading!

Well, that was a ride! Actually shipping the game and seeing people playing HEXTERMINATE has been a rewarding experience. The community which has been taking shape in the forum has been very positive and constructive, crucially contributing to tackling some particularly critical bugs in a timely fashion.


With four patches released over the past week, covering crashes, progression issues and people with enormous monitors (Hi Brian!), the coffee stock has taken a noticeable hit.

The road ahead

Having fixed the most critical bugs over the course of the last week, development will be split in two ways:

Regular updates

As the previous week has seen several updates go out, you can expect continued support covering stability & progression fixes, as well as quality of life tweaks to make the game more enjoyable to play.

On the roadmap for the coming week:

  • Further tweaks to ramming, to take into account the mass difference between the ships.
  • Ensure fleets which are jumping into the current sector do so safely, so they cannot immediately collide with other ships.

Major updates

In parallel to the regular updates, development will start on a large update which will bring in new features and more complex modifications. To be clear, these are free updates, not paid DLC.

The still embryonic plan includes:

  • A new game mode, Infinite War: while the Campaign takes the player through a structured route, Infinite War will procedurally generate a new galaxy and populate it with the various factions. This should greatly increase the game’s replayability.
  • Additional anomalies: to increase the complexity of the Infinite War galaxy, certain sectors will have modifiers regarding how ships and modules behave. The Campaign already has a black hole where shields do not work particularly well, so this will get developed further.
  • New faction: a new faction will be added, specific to the Infinite War mode.

Thank you for reading and I hope you keep enjoying HEXTERMINATE for a long time to come.