It has been a busy couple of months for Hexterminate, with loads of progress being done. Obviously I’d still prefer if I could work on it full time and bring you all the goodies that I can come up with (and there’s a lot of them in my head) but let’s cover the recent work.
Main sequence stars
Backgrounds make an important part of any space game and although I do love the background images in Hexterminate, I’m the first to agree that they can become repetitive. So I’ve decided to try and make them a little bit more interesting and looked into the wonderful world of procedural generation and how it could be applied into creating stars such as our own Sun.
Now, when the player enters a sector, there is a chance that the player will be fighting in the vicinity of a star. I couldn’t help but have some fun with this and these stars get their colour based on their surface temperature, effectively bringing to the game all the Main Sequence Stars of the spectral classes A, F, G, K and M.
Hexterminate sits on top of my own engine, written in C++ and using SDL, OpenGL and FMOD. The renderer itself was making use of an effects library called CGFX, which was deprecated a while back and was very intensive on processing time. This was causing some considerable issues and preventing me from implementing some more advanced techniques. After a month of development, CGFX has been stripped out, all shaders have been updated and the framerate is looking much better across the board.
The rendering quality has also improved, with some artifacts which were previously present (such as engine trails and scene objects being out of sync) having been fixed.
I’ve been going through the remaining placeholder models and replacing them with final quality models I’m happy with. Here are screenshots of the new models (reactor, auto-cannon and rocket launcher):
The Perk system
In order to increase the feeling of progression within the game, I’ve added a new perk system which allows the player to further customise how he wants to tackle the challenges presented to him (although if you are looking for a diplomatic solution, I’m afraid that only Gunboat Diplomacy is available).
The player gains perk points by destroying enemy ships. These perk points can then be expended into perks in several categories, with progressively greater impact in the game. From increasing the amount of space you have available for building your ship, to the number of ships your fleet can have or to unlocking secondary effects for your weapons, there are now quite a few additional options available to a Captain flying the Imperial flagship.
In this screenshot the Raider's flagship relies on shields to stay alive and mobile. However, my own ship has several ion cannons and is specialised in the energy perks. The last perk, "Overload", grants a small chance to disable the enemy ship's shields...
And that's all for today! Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@Hextermination) to keep an eye on the day-to-day of development.