Sheol branch ported to UnNetHack

•28. September 2012 • 1 Comment

Quoting Mikko Juola from a RGRN post:

I have ported my Sheol Gehennom branch to UnNetHack.

The code is on GitHub: and it is based on the latest revision of UnNetHack.

Sheol is a branch in Gehennom and it has an icy theme. The branch is designed to be challenging and is probably more so in UnNetHack than in vanilla NetHack. Sheol features new monsters, items, wall types and levels.

I wrote about Sheol before here. I thank everyone for their feedback.

This link takes you to the original Sheol posting:

There is also

NetHack-De 3.4.3-20120916a veröffentlicht!

•16. September 2012 • Leave a Comment

Eigentlich wollte ich erst zur vollständigen Übersetzung wieder einen Release veröffentlichen, aber heute habe ich die 94%-Grenze überschritten und gleichzeitig ist heute auch ARRP.

Deshalb habe ich kurzerhand einen kleinen Release zusammengestellt und die neue Version mit Paketen für Windows, Debian Linux und dem Quellkode zum Download bereit gestellt.

Frohes Hacken!

New tileset: Geoduck UnNetHack Tile Set Version 1.0

•13. August 2012 • 1 Comment

Geoduck has created a version of his well known tileset for UnNetHack 4.0.0.

It is a compact ASCII-derivative tileset with a width of 12 and height of 20. There’s also a simple 2x scaled version available.

You can download it and other tilesets for Vanilla NetHack and Slash’Em at

Here is an example screenshot of an UnNetHack tourist in Mine town:

You can also look how various tilesets (including Geoduck’s) look like on Pasi Kallinen’s NetHack tileset screenshots page.

Rogue Tournament 2012

•5. July 2012 • Leave a Comment

Just in time after you’ve finished playing in Junethack there’s another tournament over at the Roguelike Gallery to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the distant ancestor of UnNetHack that started it all: Rogue.

There is some discussion about this thournament on the Temple of the Roguelike.

Some Junethack comments on Roguelike Radio Episode 39: IRDC 2012 Retrospective

•23. June 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Roguelike Radio Episode 39: IRDC 2012 Retrospective has a piece (starting at about 8:10) about my Junethack talk on the IRDC, discussing mainly the start scumming issues we had last year and that I mentioned in my talk.

After listening to this part I feel the need to put forward more information about the situation we had in last year’s tournament.

One of the question was “Do you really get that much benefit from start scumming?”. In the NetHack community it is usually believed that the answer to this question is a clear “No” and start scumming is a waste of your time. Many even believe that every character is ascendable if you play carefully enough (but that takes much of the fun out of the game). You might get some small starting benefit from start scumming but in the end your actions are much more important.

So, for a normal player start scumming is not a good strategy. But there actually sensible reasons for start scumming. Well, as “sensible” as they can be within the context of NetHack games.

If a player is trying to ascend a game with conducts, it might even be necessary to start scum to be able to complete the game with the conducts you are trying to achieve.

Conducts are self-imposed rules in playing NetHack for making an ascension in NetHack more challenging (yes, there are people who find a normal NetHack ascension trivial and are voluntarily making it harder).

For example by trying to ascend while being blind the whole game (a so called Zen ascension). For doing this conduct you need a blindfold or towel in your starting inventory as vanilla NetHack doesn’t have any builtin support for this conduct. Therefore start scumming for the purpose of a Zen ascension for getting a mean to blind yourself on turn 1 is not considered cheating or abusive.

One of the two players responsible for about two-thirds of the 125’000 start scummed games during Junethack 2012 was trying to do a 12 conducts NetHack game (that means doing every conduct possible in vanilla NetHack at once!). For this he used a bot that automatically was starting lots of games and looking for certain conditions in the character’s stats and starting inventory. On IRC he said that because of the low probabilities he would need automatic rerolling for 8-18 hours until he got one game with optimal starting conditions.

We didn’t ban the users doing it because it is completely legit in NetHack and if the server admins allowed it we wouldn’t punish it either. For example only hides start scummed games on the website. The admin for implemented a dynamic time penalty that increased with the number of start scummed games but also didn’t completely disallow them. The only thing we did was preventing that start scummed games would bog down the Junethack server when new games got parsed and adding the number of start scummed games to the user page.

Darren Grey mentioned catering to the 99% or the 1%. I have no problem with the stupid ascension tricks of the 1%. Being able to perform these stunts is also part of the crazy appeal of NetHack, so we couldn’t just ignore or punish it and as long as it doesn’t bother the other 99% IMO it is none of our business to judge how people get fun out of NetHack.

In this case we only had to write special code to handle it but afterwards it was no problem anymore.

International Roguelike Development Conference 2012

•19. June 2012 • Leave a Comment

On the weekend from June 1st until the 3rd I was in London and on Saturday and Sunday I was attending the International Roguelike Development Conference 2012.

We had a fun time (it was maybe a bit chilly indoors and outdoors :)) and there were great talks (some will even have an impact of the future direction of UnNetHack) and discussions.

A special thanks goes to Darren Grey who did a fantastic job in preparing and organizing the event.

There is an episode of Roguelike Radio that we recorded live at the end of the first day and a retrospective recording that just went online yesterday. Ulf Åström has put up a short video and writeup about his trip to London and the IRDC.

I gave a talk about my experience of being part of the development team of Junethack, how it came to be, our reasoning of choosing trophies, and some of the problems we had last year during the tournament. I’m not sure how much I bored the people at the IRDC, but at least there were some laughs during my talk (and a really loud gasp when I talked about the start scumming problem we had), so I guess it wasn’t too bad, although I talked longer than intended. There will be videos put online from the event, so you’ll be able to judge by yourself.

The slides of this and the others talks that were held at the IRDC 2012 are already online at The source of my talk is available on GitHub.

Junethack 2012 – the 2nd NetHack Cross-Variant Summer Tournament

•1. June 2012 • Leave a Comment

The second installment of the annual NetHack Cross-Variant Summer Tournament called Junethack has started on Thursday June 1st 2012 at midnight UTC and will be running until the end of June.

Besides having fun, we want to encourage people playing NetHack forks in this tournament.

This tournament is trying to also appeal to players that get constantly mangled and beaten to death in unrealistic brutal situations by this sadistic game (that means probably you) by offering various non-winning achievements.

You can register at any point during the tournament so there is no hurry and you can play your games on any of the tracked public servers. You need to link your account from the tournament web page to make your games trackable on a server. The process is described on your user page after you login to the Junethack site.

The games confirmed for this tournament are:

There are no formal prizes for getting a lot of trophies but you will be allowed to brag as much as you like.

Our points of contact are and the #junethack IRC channel on the Freenode IRC network.

If you want to help out in the development of the tournament, you can check out our code from GitHub.

Also, please join our IRC channel so that we can coordinate our efforts.

Compared to last year’s tournament, which was held in July and August 2011, the following things changed:

  • Most of the streak trophies have been removed.
  • New games: GruntHack and NetHack4
  • New clan trophy: most trophy combinations
  • The tournament is in June (and will be in the future)
  • The tournament web site look has been slightly updated and bugs have been fixed

Happy hacking!