Archive for the ‘Server related’ Category

/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.

ssh nethack@hardfought.org

By K2 on March 12th, 2017 at 10:34 am EST

ssh nethack@hardfought.org… what does that mean exactly? It’s how you’d connect to Hardfought’s new NetHack game server using your preferred terminal. Yes, we have a game server again, and this time I’m hosting one of my all-time favorite games.

Details – the NetHack game server is being ran off of the same box that powers the website (see last news post right before this one). The resources needed to power such a server are orders of magnitude lower than what are needed to power an FPS-based game server such as what we’ve done in the past. Logging into the server using the credentials above starts dgamelaunch, which in turns allows you to register an account, and then gives you options to play several different variants that are being hosted. Current variants are:

  • NetHack 3.4.3 (NAO version)
  • NetHack 3.6.1-dev (bleeding edge, will be updated regularly)
  • GruntHack 0.2.0 (various bugs fixed and some new functionality added vs. original)
  • UnNetHack 5.3.1

More variants will be added soon, most notably NetHack 3.6.0 (stable), Fourk and FIQHack. You can view dumplogs, ttyrecs and player configs by going to the /userdata folder on this site. Games played are also tracked by the NetHack Scoreboard, and the server has just recently been approved for use in this years upcoming Junethack tournament.

Special note concerning GruntHack – I love this variant, I’ve been hooked on it since the Junethack tourney from last year. It’s a lot harder than vanilla NetHack, and the changes to the game are just *fun*. Unfortunately, this variant had all but been abandoned by the original author – they still host a server for it, but there haven’t been any updates in nearly five years, and there are some serious show-stopping bugs. The version I’m hosting has fixed the two biggest bugs (the spit/splash venom bug and the vibrating square portal being drawn off the map) that would cause a fatal crash. It also includes some added functionality vs. the original, such as hilite object piles/covered stairs option, custom monstercolors and autoopen doors. More to follow on this bit in the near future.

NONE of this would have been possible without the help from my friends from #teamsplat – specifically Tangles, our resident master programmer and bug-fixing guru, who showed me how to put all of this together and get it running. Also jonadab, who has provided extra content to our GruntHack variant, and elenmirie, raisse, Mandevil and oh6 who have play-tested and provided much-needed feedback and insights. Shout out also to Elronnd, kerio, dtype (who made the nao-server build available), FIQ and others in the community for their help and suggestions.

Come and play! All are welcome to join us in channel #hardfought on freenode.net, best place to find us should you have any questions/issues or just want to hang out and chat. See ya there.