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First NetHack Cross-Variant Summer Tournament

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the gather-'round dept.

Classic Games (Games) 43

bhaak1 writes "The first — and hopefully annual — NetHack Cross-Variant Summer Tournament called Junethack started last Sunday and runs until the end of August 14th.This tournament features Vanilla NetHack and several of its forks: SporkHack, UnNethack, AceHack and as a special bonus game — never seen on a public server before — NetHack 1.3d, the first version of the game called NetHack, released 1987. There are various achievements to gain, even for those poor souls that can't win this complex and sadistic game. The source code of the tournament management and website software is available for hacking on GitHub if you prefer hacking code to hacking monsters."

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no comments? (5, Funny)

eyenot (102141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853394)

because everybody else on /. ran off to join the tournament.

ADoM (2)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855004)

People are still playing ADoM, and they're doing it on PuTTY (telnet/SSH) servers. Come join us at #adom on irc.freenode.net !

Re:ADoM (1)

PwnzerDragoon (2014464) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855042)

ADOM always was my favorite rougelike. Not that there's anything wrong with Nethack, it's just that ADOM is clearly superior.

BTW, the pseudo-sequel to ADOM, JADE [www.adom.de] , finally got a public release in the last couple weeks. There's not really much game to it, it's more just a taste of what's to come, but it's good to know it's not going to end up vaporware after all these years.

Re:ADoM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36856990)

Hey, aren't you the moron that said that there's no such thing as an 18-bit CPU?

Re:ADoM (1)

eyenot (102141) | more than 3 years ago | (#36886278)

holy shit, JADE is released? fucking no WAY!

Yes but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36853418)

Does it run Linux?

Re:Yes but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36853478)

It's not like anyone give a shit.

Re:Yes but... (1, Offtopic)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853512)

Nethack has a finite number of levels of finite size, and the total is well below what you'd need to run Linux in stones on the ground or whatever other form of 'computer' you wanted to make. So sorry, Nethack does not run Linux.

Timely. (4, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853464)

>started last Sunday

Slashdot. Yesterday's news next week.

--
BMO

Re:Timely. (4, Funny)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853502)

Hey, you have to give the editors time to vet each and every story before it's posted. The kind of journalistic integrity that we Slashdotters demand takes a lot of time and effort. Do you think they just sit around all day, giving every story a rubber stamp of approval? That way lies dupes, trolls, thinly-veiled advertisements, and inflammatory nonsense. I for one am glad that they... oh never mind. I can't keep up this level of irony.

Re:Timely. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36853888)

It does take the editors some time to determine if the story is sufficiently related to Bitcoin before approving it.

Re:Timely. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36854488)

They must have missed that this tournament doesn't have a bitcoin prize, but that's an easy mistake to make.

Re:Timely. (1)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 3 years ago | (#36854322)

>started last Sunday Slashdot. Yesterday's news next week.

Well of course. All the editors joined this past week, so it took this long to actually get the story out.

Re:Timely. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36854816)

Speaking of slashdot and nethack, why doesn't this site talk about D&D more?

I know it's mainly become a tech site, but wasn't it originally supposed to be about fun nerdy stuff like linux, D&D, lego and whatnot? It's barely been mentioned since Fourth dropped, do you really think there's been no D&D news? There is a 'games' section.

Especially nice if its vintage awesome mega-dungeon stuff like in nethack. My campaign learned a thing or two from it, yes it did.

Re:Timely. (2)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855152)

I think it's because 4th edition came out, and it was basically an entirely different game from the ones that came before it, with a few references back. It's not necessarily a bad game, but it's not a continuation of the previous versions, and it rather split the playerbase (between the ones who keep playing 3rd edition or variants of it, and ones who've moved onto the new game). If Wizards hadn't called it Dungeons & Dragons, there wouldn't really be a problem. As it is, though, it's a bit like, say, Python 2 and Python 3; a mess that's hurting the game in general.

Re:Timely. (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855328)

I know it's mainly become a tech site, but

No... listen to some morning radio call in talk shows, and study their format. Then you will perfectly understand what Slashdot is.

Nostalgia burst. (1)

Sinthet (2081954) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853482)

Time to join and do nothing productive til the 14th.

Oh boy (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853556)

I sunk 4 years into vanilla Nethack before I finally ascended. Don't think I have it in me to take on many variants...which are needed because Nethack wasn't complex enough already?

Re:Oh boy (1)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853618)

netback is basically a solved puzzle at this stage, there's a calculated optimal amount of moves to win. humans are only a couple of hundred turns away from it, I think its like 2k or so turns.

Re:Oh boy (2)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853658)

It was me who calculated the optimal number of moves to win, at 2016. (I'm not completely convinced that the calculation is correct, though.) The current human records are 2135 with bones-stuffing (i.e. deliberately suiciding an advanced character to drop a whole load of valuable items into the game where another character can pick them up), and 2596 without any bones abuse, both by Maud. (For those wondering, the realtime record holder is Sayo (an alternate account of Adeon), with 1 hour 16 minutes.) It's obviously impossible to beat 2000 turns as that's the earliest you can enter the Quest. (For more information, see http://nethackwiki.com/wiki/Speed_ascension [nethackwiki.com] .)

I'd say that speed-ascension is far from solved. Maud can only get runs that fast when he gets incredible amounts of luck (only around 1% of games are lucky enough for him to even bother trying to speedrun them, he generally quits the other 99%), for instance; and different ways to do things are being discovered all the time. The polyself-based strategy all speed ascenders use nowadays is only a couple of years old, and very different from the way a normal game plays.

Re:Oh boy (1)

hoover (3292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855590)

Ascension in 2k moves? Incredible. I've been playing nethack since the late 80s / early nineties and haven't even managed to find the damn wizard (and if I found him, he'd probably kill me ;-)

Re:Oh boy (2)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853620)

My own variant AceHack (which has been unexpectedly Slashdotted, it seems; I'm glad I'm not hosting it myself) is designed to improve the interface, while keeping the gameplay the same or slightly easier. (Most of the other variants are indeed designed to make the game more complex/harder.) It's also something of a protest against the way that vanilla NetHack is effectively unmaintained nowadays; although it is apparently still being developed (I've got replies to bug reports as recently as last week, including descriptions of what they changed in response), the repositories aren't public, and so nobody can actually benefit from the changes. So I'm trying to make an improved version without, hopefully, offending too many people (although some of the changes have still managed to annoy subsets of players; that's typical of anything, I guess). This tournament is quite healthy for the game's ecosystem, in a way; rather than playing vanilla over and over again, it can advertise some of the more actively and publicly developed variants, and also the public servers on which many of the community play nowadays. (In particular, telnet://nethack.alt.org [alt.org] , or http://alt.org/nethack [alt.org] , is one of the most popular public servers nowadays, and many people play there in preference to locally; it's just one of the servers on which the tournament can be played.) So in summary, the major advantage of the forks is that (other than SporkHack) at least they're still under development in a way that people can actually play them, unlike vanilla. My own fork AceHack is unfinished and still in alpha (SporkHack and UnNetHack have both had releases, and at least Un is likely to have more releases in the future), and we've been trading code and ideas between the forks reasonably freely.

Re:Oh boy (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36872984)

Thanks for your post.

Several things:

1. I'd say that at this time, the Dev Team is more damaging than contributing to the continuing existence of Nethack.

2. Why do you say that Sporkhack is no longer developed?

Re:Oh boy (1)

bhaak1 (219906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36880470)

The main developer of SporkHack has been busy and the second (the same that also admins NAO) doesn't code game changes only level compiler and UI improvement.

This one also said a while ago that "SporkHack is in hibernation" [google.com] on RGRN.

So, SporkHack's developers are surely still around (if there's some security issue they'll react) but at the moment SporkHack is effectively not being developed.

Re:Oh boy (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853654)

I dunno. I'm one of those Dwarf Fortress people too. It's one thing to die in Nethack because you fell on the dead cockatrice you were holding. It's another thing to play Dwarf Fortress and find out that one of your guys is running around missing an eyelid because of combat damage, or that you've gone an insane, inspired quadriplegic dwarf who keeps trying to sneak out of his bed to go work on whatever the hell it is that's inspiring him to create, so that his caretakers keep having to drag him back.

PLAYING games? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853578)

I would be much happier with a contest to design and program clever variants of my own rather than playing them.

Re:PLAYING games? (1)

Denor (89982) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853756)

Something like the Seven day roguelike [roguelikedevelopment.org] ?

My greatest accomplishment (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853616)

I've made the observation online many times before, but I consider the time that I Ascended a Wishless Tourist in Nethack a greater personal accomplishment than my bachelor's degree.

Re:My greatest accomplishment (3, Funny)

BobNET (119675) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853998)

I would have had my degree a year sooner if I hadn't wasted all that time playing Nethack.

I would have ascended in Nethack if I hadn't wasted all that time getting my degree.

These comments sound all too familiar (1)

Alan R Light (1277886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36858428)

I sure wasted a lot of time playing Nethack. But I enjoyed it.

Nethack?! (1)

StupiderThanYou (896020) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853708)

Why not play a real game [angband.oook.cz] ?

Re:Nethack?! (2)

bhaak1 (219906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853802)

The Angband people are only jealous that NetHack is better at grinding even though this is the main game feature activity of Angband.

Just read this easily followable grinding guide for raising the perfect pudding in NetHack [google.com] . ;-)

Re:Nethack?! (1)

StupiderThanYou (896020) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853954)

Whatever. I just couldn't let a NH thread go without at least a token religious war ;)
Nice link, btw.

I haven't played that for years... (3, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#36853786)

But I still remember the gist of the game...

You type in something like: jjkkljjkk

And the response is something like: "You killed your dog"

Picture from the event (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36854566)

You have entered a room full of nerds!

@@@@@
@@@.@

Dkleinsc the Stripling St:03 Dx:05 Co:10 In:12 Wi:14 Ch:01
Dlvl:1 $:2000 HP:10(10) PW:0(0) AC:10 Ex:0

Re:Picture from the event (1)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36863046)

On second thoughts, make that:

Dkleinsc the Stripling St:03 Dx:05 Co:10 In:12 Wi:14 Ch:01
Dlvl:1 $:2000 HP:10(10) PW:0(0) AC:10 SEx:0

Why not Slashem? (1)

chthon (580889) | more than 3 years ago | (#36854906)

Which is just Super Lots of Added Stuff Hack - Extended Magic? Although in my experience it is a little bit too difficult compared with Nethack.

Re:Why not Slashem? (1)

bhaak1 (219906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855212)

It's quite simple. We didn't find anyone that runs a public server with Slashem on it. It wouldn't be a big problem to add a new public server. The way the code is written, we can add other servers and even count all games that have been played on those servers since the start of the tournament.

For the difficulty of Slashem. It really depends what you play and how.

Slashem has hard roles but on the other hand there are also roles that after an initial difficult phase are much easier than any role in vanilla NetHack. There are also game features that haven't been thoroughly thought trough and that can be easily exploited.

Re:Why not Slashem? (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855214)

nethack already had everything but the kitchen sink - and then they added the kitchen sink. slashem is just like nethack but with 12 additional types of kitchen sinks...

Re:Why not Slashem? (1)

hawk (1151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36864688)

It was for variants with *development*.

Slashem isn't developed; it's aggregated :)

Linley's Dungeon Crawl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36855412)

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has been doing this for years.
The next tournament, for release 0.9, will be in August. Unlike Nethack, Dungeon Crawl is actively maintained. There's a huge emphasis on improving UI and eliminating monotony.

The source: https://gitorious.org/crawl/crawl
To play:
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/
http://crawl.develz.org/wordpress/

Re:Linley's Dungeon Crawl (2)

bhaak1 (219906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36855554)

And the other NetHack tournament /dev/null/ [devnull.net] has been doing it before Crawl since 1999.

Junethack is loosely based on DCSS' tournament model. We're using existing public servers (we only need access to the xlogfile with all the game information and the options file for verifying the player's identify which on most public servers are public anyway).

We don't think that we are directly in competition neither with the DCSS tournament nor /dev/null. One of the goal of this tournament is raising awareness of NetHack forks (like e.g. my fork UnNetHack [wordpress.com] ), as NetHack hasn't seen a release in too many years, even though the DevTeam still claims that they are working on the mythical next release.

Whereas /dev/null offers vanilla NetHack with some additional challenges where some have to be solved in-game (e.g. Pac-Man level) and others out-game (in Zapm or Kingdom of Loathing).

We are actually on quite good terms with the DCSS DevTeam. I have even met some of them in real life and there are a lot NetHack players enjoying both NetHack and DCSS. I encourage everybody who likes NetHack to give DCSS [develz.org] a try. I will also be playing again in the next DCSS tournament.

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