Grand opening: the day after

Date: January 23, 2016 Posted by: Chris St. John In: Uncategorized

Picking up the plastic plates, confetti, and champagne glasses off the floor gave me some time to reflect on our launch yesterday.

What happened to the site?

Some of you may have noticed that the site went down for about 20 minutes yesterday, a few hours after the launch. I myself noticed that the site was becoming very slow to respond to requests, and the servers stopped appearing on the list. Finally I checked the web logs and found tons of requests coming from WordPress.

After doing a bit of research, I found that there is a known flaw in WordPress which allows an attacker to launch DDoS attacks against any site. So now I just reject any request that has “WordPress” in the agent header. I started the server up — smooth sailing from there. A big thank-you goes out to Aaron for holding the fort and answering all the questions that appeared on the blog while I was figuring that out.


The game received mixed reviews. Some people showed great enthusiasm for the progress to date. Others … did not. However, a good number of people in the room stepped forward to … kindly remind these folks of the game’s alpha status.

People reported bugs and issues, and described differences in the physics, so a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who helped.

Recent improvements

A few complaints stood out among the rest, so these have been addressed since yesterday:

  • WASD support: players can now use WASD to move and Space or Shift to kick, as well as the usual arrows+X
  • Grunting sound: a feature I thought would be awesome, which it was, until it became tiresome, which was almost immediately. It’s now gone.
  • Ghost issue: when players left the field, they left behind a ghost which players and the ball could trip over; this is now fixed.
  • When either team had 11+ players, room crashed when respawning players after a goal: limit increased to 40. A permanent solution is in the works.
  • Other stability fixes (null guards, etc)

Short term plan

I’m continuing my big physics refactoring, in order to address the jitter concerns further. I will publish these changes when they’re ready, and collect your feedback (is it better/worse, etc).

After that, I will be restructuring the site a little bit. The screen that currently shows the list of servers will also be used to join (or create) a room in the server you select. Then the game page will load and the list of rooms will be gone. There will be a button to return you to the server/room select screen, so you can join a new room.

With the list of rooms gone, there’s space for a list of players connected to the room. With this in place, I will start adding admin functionality. For starters, an admin will be able to appoint other admins, and make adjustments to the room’s settings (goal limits, time limits). Over time, admins will also be able to control the room by locking the teams, and assigning players to teams themselves. Admins will also be able to mute, kick, or ban players.

In the meantime, Aaron is hunting down more servers for us to use. He got one for us in Sydney, Australia, and is currently looking for others. I’ll get them running as they become available.


A number of you have sent fantastic long letters detailing your vision for what HaxArena could be. I’m sorry I haven’t been responding to every one personally, but rest assured that I am reading each one entirely, your ideas are being heard, and your kind remarks are very much appreciated. Keep it up!

Closing remarks

I am thrilled with how the launch went yesterday. Watching people who are actually talented at Haxball playing each other in HaxArena was a real treat for me. We collected a lot of great feedback in the survey (please fill it out if you haven’t already!), and by talking to people in the rooms. Drop by once in a while and check out the improvements; I’ll be making them steadily over time.

csj and the HaxArena Team

33 thoughts on “Grand opening: the day after

  • Janikowski/McGugan says:

    When is this gonna have custom map support and when will we see another update?

    • Aaron Smith says:

      We are trying to push out updates at least once a week, usually on the weekends. We have the custom map loader mostly working but need to do a couple things before we install it. May be another few weeks before it’s in.

  • KevElPeh says:

    I still need an acess code 🙁 How can I get an acess code?

    • KevElPeh says:

      I don’t know how to delete my comment, but I got an acess code via e-mail. I didn’t see it, because I get spam mails everyday (20-50/day), so I can’t read it. But now I see 🙂

  • Mariano says:

    Bug report: When i try to play haxarena with SRWare Iron (an browser like google chrome), i join a room and i dont see the screen, i just see the background, but when i play with Opera i see the screen.

    Good luck with this proyect!

  • Lek says:

    Linking/creating account with Facebook would be awesome for later!

    Keep up the good work and answering! Thank you.

    • Aaron Smith says:

      Already on the agenda 🙂

    • Thanks so much for writing this – hilarious enough to ease the trauma of reading about caesarean-by-fang. I started reading the books to see what all the fuss was about, and I genuinely liked the first one (sort of, sexual politics aside), but by the time I got to the fountain of blood, I just… couldn’t finish without help, so I came here. (Heard about your summaries from Fandom Wank.)

  • Petras says:

    How ball bounces and sticks to walls needs to be fixed. Especially when pushing it to wall, not kicking from distance. Right now doublekick lift is impossible, singlekick lift is weak. Horizontal straight double kicks are much harder to do and non straight horizontal doublekicks are weird.

    Basically what I want to say is you need to fix the walls. 1×1 and 2×2 the game is about tricks, 3×3 and 4×4 it is not so much about tricks, but any pro knows 90% of 3×3 4×4 Haxball is played in stadium corners (which is pretty close to walls).

    • Petras says:

      It would be much easier to explain with a video showing diffrences, but it would take maybe half a day to make 🙁

      If you find it hard to pinpoint what is exatcly wrong with the wall email me I can try to explain with images and .gif maybe.

  • Fito says:

    It seems you guys are working hard on improving the game, looking forward to hearing more news!

  • cole says:

    dude you guys are killing it. keep up the good work, big things are in store for this game

  • Guilherme says:


  • Cz says:

    Listen to me, dont put that shit of energy, is bullshit, just do betther the menu and that things, salu2

  • Stoyan says:

    Keep up the good work and keep us posted with any news around the game!

    • Jeneva says:

      It’s a real plaeruse to find someone who can think like that

    • – Dear Cynthia ~ Your little princess was PERFECT for her entire session! Oh, what a joy to play with her for hours! Enjoy every moment of her sweet newborn days! ♥ ♥

    • gocompare says:

      oOo Barbie your new blog is so high tech, me likey! I wouldn’t bother with two blocks if I had a gym downstairs either, this is why I can’t belong to a gym b/c I always find myself saying ‘I’ll go tomorrow’. Are you ever going to try Insanity again? I remember when you made that video of you and Jason doing it this summer, and I scared me into thinking I would NEVER do it lol.

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