/dev/null/nethack Tribute Tournament

By K2 on September 23rd, 2017 at 2:30 am EST

Countdown to the /dev/null/nethack Tribute Tournament

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The longest-running NetHack tournament, and one of the longest-running online game tournaments ever, the /dev/null/nethack tournament, was cancelled and retired for good this year by its host, Krystal. He had been running the tourney since 1999, but over the last couple years it was uncertain if the tourney would even be held, but at the last minute there would be an announcement from Krystal that the /dev/null/nethack tournament was on again. But during last year’s tournament, Krystal made an announcement that it would be the last unless he got a significant amount of help from others, and solicited emails from anyone willing to contribute.

Several people responded that they were willing to help, but a coordinated effort never got underway. In response to the call for help, Tangles took the /dev/null/nethack source code and ported it over from NetHack 3.4.3 to 3.6.0 with the hopes that it would be accepted and used for this year’s tournament. Members from TeamSplat tested it; it worked, and it was basically ready to go. Messages were sent to Krystal regarding it, offers of help were sent, but from the end of the 2016 tournament Krystal maintained radio silence. Over the last couple of months, a group of us deliberated over what to do if Krystal did not surface and didn’t run the tournament this year.

And then nine days ago, Krystal posted this tweet on twitter – six weeks before the next tournament was to start. I asked what the intent was, if he would mind sharing the source code for everything so others could continue the tournament, or if he wanted to see it retired for good. He replied with the latter. We agreed to honor that request.

However. There was much deliberation, and a group of us decided that hosting a one-time only /dev/null/nethack tribute tournament would be a Good Thing™ and that people would want to play in the tournament just one more time, knowing that it’d be their last. So, that’s what we’re doing. Tangles has continued work on the 3.6.0 port as well as getting ZAPM up and working, and fixing critical/crash type bugs since. Mandevil is working on the web portion, getting the scoreboard and clan management pieces in place. Several others from the community have been play-testing, offering advice on what to include, what to leave out or leave alone, etc. I’ll host it all here at Hardfought and maintain the NetHack port and tournament scoreboard as it’s running.

We have both the NetHack 3.6.0 port and ZAPM up and running from a couple days ago, and is accessible via the dgamelaunch menu as you SSH into the Hardfought server to play. Social media posts on reddit and Facebook have already been made regarding the work we’re doing. I’ll start work on a tribute tournament specific page on the site here once we’re able to start making the scoreboard and challenges page visible. In the meantime, I’ve added a countdown timer to this page for when the tournament will kick off – midnight (PST or pacific standard time) on November 1st (7:00am UTC). Even though the Hardfought server lives on the east coast USA, kick-off time will be PST in keeping with tradition.

More updates will follow as we get closer to the tournament start time. Any questions, ideas or feedback, post them here on the forum, on /r/nethack (reddit) or find us in #hardfought on IRC (freenode.net).


Wrap-up of Junethack 2017

By K2 on July 10th, 2017 at 7:38 pm EST

About ten days late on this, but oh well ;)

Junethack 2017 has come and gone, This years tournament was much more cutthroat than previous years. Teamsplat (the team I play with) came in 2nd place overall, ending our 1st place reign from the last few summers. A new clan, Order of the Cockatrice, came out of left field and dominated the tournament at about the half-way mark. Clan Dislexiapater took an early commanding lead, with two of their members tying for 1st place in overall individual trophies, but wound up taking 3rd place overall as a team.

Lots of new talent compared to what I’ve seen in the past. Much tighter race to the top, which I believe all playing were happy to see. Had a lot of fun, and am already looking forward to next summers tournament.

Server bits – the Hardfought NetHack server saw a significant amount of use during the tourney, and in my mind, we’ve proven that we’re a legitimate, quality NetHack server that the community enjoys playing on. Received a good amount of constructive feedback, so improvements are in the works to make what we have here even better. SporkHack is now hosted here, and we’ve been fixing some bugs and adding functionality to that variant, with more fixes to come. Tangles also just recently pushed a significant fix for curses interface across multiple variants, greatly reducing the lag experienced when using that interface.

Thanks to all for the games, the banter, and the competition. Looking forward to the same next year!


Junethack 2017

By K2 on May 30th, 2017 at 12:35 am EST

The Junethack NetHack + variants tournament for 2017 is about to begin. Registration was opened up about 24 hours ago, and the month-long tourney will start at midnight (UTC) on June 1st. Hardfought’s NetHack server has been approved as an official server for the tournament – you’ll see Hardfought as an option when assigning servers/variants to your profile. Very excited, and looking forward to seeing how our server holds up. If you’re playing this year and use Hardfought as one of your server choices, be sure to join #hardfought on irc (freenode.net) – the bot will announce games, and if you have any issues, being in the channel will be the best way to get help.

I earned a few trophies last year, will see if I can double that number this go-around ;) Happy hacking all, and good luck in the tournament!


Hardfought NetHack server updates

By K2 on April 29th, 2017 at 12:55 am EST

Lots of updates here over the last 4-5 weeks, plenty to share…

NetHack variants – we’ve added a few more games to the mix, those being NetHack Fourk 4.3.0.4, FIQhack 4.3.0, and dNetHack 3.14.0. The authors for both Fourk (jonadab) and FIQhack (FIQ) have been very proactive to fixing bugs and tweaking gameplay in preparation for this summers’ Junethack tournament, so if you’re interested in playing the latest and greatest versions of these, we’re the place to do it. There have been regular updates to NetHack 3.6.1-dev as well as GruntHack, and Tangles has been busy fixing the curses interface across a variety of variants, along with squashing bugs as we find them.

Scoreboard – thanks to dtype, we now have scoreboard functionality like what NAO has (top scores and Z-scores). All seven variants now have their scores and Z-scores tracked, with links to each games’ dumplog (Fourk and FIQhack dumplog links are currently broken, it’s on the list of things to do now working). It checks the xlogfile of each variant every few minutes. As long as you score 1000 points or better, you’ll show up. You can reach the scoreboard via the top menu under ‘NetHack’.

Miscellaneous – I’ve upgraded the servers hardware, and have added a real-time server status panel that displays CPU load, memory and bandwidth usage as well as a couple other bits (see ‘Server Status’ in the top menu). I’ve also added a web-based IRC module that allows connection to our IRC channel on freenode.net. There’s also a web-based hterm process that allows playing NetHack and any of the variants we host, through our website. If you’re keen on saying ‘screw it’ to productivity at work, you now have the means to do so.

More to come as we near the Junethack tournament, so stay tuned.


Website revamp (again)

By K2 on March 23rd, 2017 at 12:05 am EST

It’s about that time again. The bridge plugin (WP-United) I have been using here for years to integrate WordPress and phpBB 3.0.x had been abandoned years ago. WordPress kept updating, and luckily it did not break the plugin. The messageboard however, could not be upgraded any further. And as more WordPress updates kept coming out, the more sloppy patches I’d have to cobble together to keep the site running normally. I’m tired of fixing errors only to have more crop up to take their place, and I want to bring the theme up to something that’s inline with current standards (mobile friendly being a big one).

So right now, WP-United is gone. In it’s place is BridgeDD Pro, and it’s doing its job nicely so far. Cross-posts and user integration appears to have transitions seamlessly. This post will be the first test after the fact, verifying a lot of different functionality. The debug log so far is empty, which is good… haven’t seen an empty one in years ;) The WordPress portion of the site looks fine, although the sidebar widgets could use some work. The messageboard, while functional, needs some serious attention theme-wise. And eventually I’ll upgrade it to 3.1.x some point soon.

Lots to do…

EDIT – forums look much better now. This new bridge basically disables how the forum parses its theme and template files. You’re forced to hand-jam a few files to tell it where to look. Still some work to do, but we’re in a much better place.

EDIT #2 – forum has been updated to phpBB 3.1.10, which fixed a lot of other back-end issues not outwardly visible. I’ve also identified a small issue with why replying to a comment via WP to a cross-posted post wasn’t working. I’ve been hanging on to this theme *forever* which is causing the issues, it’s time to find a modern theme and edit it the way I want it to be. Still lots to do ;)