iNetHack and related projects are in limbo

Back in July it really felt like a good idea, I was in the mood for it and thought I have the time, but many things have changed. I played prototypes on the iPad but I can’t get it to the point where it’s ergonomic. Hovering over the screen aggravates pretty much the same muscles that for a guy like me are already strained to the max. If you put it on the table and control everything from one or two small touch areas (so your arms can rest) you have to look down all the time. The smaller devices have their own problems if you want to push ergonomics to the max. Due to some health related issues I have to reduce my time spent before the computer (that’s probably why I started to focus on ergonomics in the first place).

To make a long story short: I currently can’t justify spending time on iHack related things. This may or may not change at any time. All the source produced so far is on github if anyone’s interested.

19 thoughts on “iNetHack and related projects are in limbo

  1. Kevin

    Dirk, You’ve done an amazing job so far with iNethack and Slash’em! Sorry to hear you have to put these to rest for now. I agree that it is a difficult task to make these games user friendly on iPads and iPhones. They are just too complex for their own good 🙂

    Rogue was simple enough to boil down to “Rogue Touch”, but even it is not ideal. That’s why I’ve been focusing my spare time on writing new roguelikes designed for a handheld touch screen interface. Still challenging of course!

    If things go well, maybe I can try to enhance iNethack based on everything I’ve been learning this past year. But it’ll have to wait until my consulting and other game designs wrap up 😉

  2. Jason

    Health comes first… and since you can’t just drink a healing potion, sounds like some time away is in order.

    Wish I had some programming skills – I’d offer to help out.

    As an aside, I’ve spent far more time with Nethack HD than any other app. Most amusing moment so far was on an international flight, trying to explain Nethack to the flight attendant. Thanks. 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    I love Nethack and I have tried several different Nethack GUIs on Linux and Windows and all but the basic xnethack are pretty much unusable.
    But Nethack HD works great. It’s fun to play and the controls don’t get in your way. It makes all other games on the iPad obsolete 🙂
    So, thanks for your effort and I hope your health will get better soon.


  4. Anonymous

    Yes, thanks for the good work! The availibility of nethack for iphone was one of the reasons to get this phone. yup 😉

    best wishes!

  5. Anonymous

    Somebody please add gamecenter support! ok, that’s probably totally important but would be funny. I think…

  6. SonnyB

    I’m liking the nethack HD on iPad. It has the occasional crash, but the game being played is usually intact on restart, so no big deal. It’s been along time since I played it , I used to waste hours on an old IBM XT on nethack back in college in the late 80s. I do need to find where the name setting is hidden so I can change it. Seems like that should be in the startup questions when you pick your character.

  7. RBjakeSpecial

    NetHack and Slash’EM are my favorite games on my iPhone. Thank you for all your hard work.

    I hope you pick up the project again when life is easier. I’ll keep the blog bookmarked!

  8. shul

    Hi Dirk,
    Any chance you’d add some docs about how to compile your source? it would be a shame if all of this will go to waste..

    I have downloaded the git repo, ran and opened the project (in xCode 3.2.5 pre release – iOS 4.2) but it fails on version.c check of the file “dungeon”.

    I’d really appreciate it if you could look into it and give us – who will continue your work – a stable ground to do so,

    Thanks 🙂

  9. Dirk

    I’ve added win/iOS/README with instructions. Since it just worked for me and you did everything right I assume that your beta xcode might have screwed something up, although the dungeon version error usually means that something with the bootstrap didn’t work out. Please try again with a stable xcode. If that doesn’t work you can contact me at me ATTT dirkz DOTTTT com

  10. benkort

    Had my first ever Nethack ascention last weekend, and I did it on iNethack! Great job on the app!

    Question though. I never figured out how to pull out portions of my items out of a bag. For example, if I had 41 potions of holy water, I might only want to pull out one to avoid being burdened, but I couldn’t figure out how to. I’d pull out all 41, use one, then put 40 back in. Is there something I’m missing?

    Thanks for the hard work. I really enjoy the app.

  11. Dirk

    If swipe doesn’t work in formal item dialogs (like ‘D’) then it’s probably not in there, sorry.

    Congrats on your ascension! Any details on that? Haven’t checked on rgrn in a while, in case you posted there.

  12. Briangbaplayer

    I couldn’t download this either. Are these aps going to be down as long as they are in limbo? I hope not. I really want to try the iPad Nethack and iPod Slash’em.

  13. Aman

    Hi, A Man Zed writing you again.

    Migrating from Win32 boxes toward Mac OS X starting tomorrow when my Mac arrives. Mostly for work, but some play will be involved.

    I’ve run across a few of your different projects now, iNetHack, Slash’EM for iPhone (no iPad yet).

    I plan to try to get your Cocoa port of Slash’EM to run. If that fails, I’ll try to compile Slash’EM for Qt or X11. Hope you’re health has improved! I’ve said it before, but thanks for your work!

    Your handiwork has helped entertain me after I broke my leg, requiring 3 screws. I still have 8.5 weeks on crutches to go. Best to you!


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