Category Archives: ipad

Performance issues in iOS 4, especially for iNetHack

Just wanted to say that I’m aware of iNetHack’s performance issues on iOS 4. This forces me to change plans and port it to iHack as soon as possible. Before that I will release some Slash’EM bugfixes, which will hopefully add iOS 4 fast app switching (at this stage there are still major problems with it, but I don’t want to give it up yet), since Slash’EM and iNetHack will (hopefully) soon share the same exact iHack UI code.

(Universal) iPad support will have to wait a little bit longer :(. My original plan was to address this first with Slash’EM (since this is what I currently play, vampiric necromancers ftw!)

First known NetHack HD Ascension, Wizards ftw!

At least it’s the first one I’ve heard of, courtesy Sean. All the more amazing since a shortcoming in the UI code created a challenge itself 🙂

Here’s his comment from another post:

“I just spent 45 minutes typing up an ascension post and then the site crashed and lost it when I tried to post.”

“Long story short: Chaotic elven wizard ascended with just over 4,000,000 points. I made one huge mistake and left my spellbooks behind before entering end game thinking I wouldn’t need them, but when the Crystal ball couldn’t be used to detect traps I had to search for them the hard way taking way too long and forgetting Magic Missile by the time I was done the plane of air. This did lead me to discover that charm monster is my new favorite spell however, so there was some benefit.”

It’s certainly not the first ascension on an iDevice, the beta forums have had a couple of ascension posted for iNetHack 1.3. I’m waiting for a Slash’EM ascension now 🙂 If you did it, please post details (the more the merrier) here (don’t forget screenshots!) or give me a ping if you posted on rgrn (did I mention screenshots?).

Current state of iNetHack, Slash’EM, NetHack HD, NetHack Cocoa

Update: To clarify things:
Eventually there will be both a Slash’EM and iNetHack in the app store, both universal, with a very similar UI. iNetHack will remain vanilla NetHack, Slash’EM is based on the latest stable release (Vampire) with the force-patch. Once that is done NetHack HD will be removed.

I just realized that the current situation of the NetHack and Slash’EM ports might be a little confusing 🙂 So here’s some detailed information:

Slash’EM (iPhone/iPad | Source)
Has been in development on and off for about five months (eternal beta?) and is nearing a release. The UI is different from iNetHack, there are no shortcuts, and the consensus from the beta forum seems to be that it’s a more efficient UI. A public release for iPhone is in sight. After that I have plans to modify it into a universal app (with basic UI changes) so it will make use of the iPad’s screen estate and special controllers.

iNetHack (iPhone/iPad | Source)
I consider its current codebase obsolete and it will get replaced by the Slash’EM UI. I don’t fix iNetHack bugs because most of them are already fixed in Slash’EM or a non-issue there due to the different UI. I accept them though for the time being and will address them one by one as soon as it gets its new codebase.

NetHack HD (iPad)
Developed completely in the dark without device or beta testers, it has quite some issues, including UI and performance (I only ran it shortly last week on an actual iPad and I wasn’t thrilled). It will be pulled from the store as soon as Slash’EM and iNetHack go universal. It currently has no public source distribution and there won’t ever be one since it’s already obsolete.

NetHack Cocoa (Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6)
Has (minor) issues of its own which will get addressed but has low priority for me since I’m focusing on iDevices.

I hope this clarifies some things. The google code repositories will very likely be moved to github. Well-done patches are always welcome.

(i)NetHack ready for iPad launch

I haven’t really made an official announcement about this, so here it is:

I have ported NetHack to the iPad, it’s fully playable and it is ready for the iPad launch. I don’t have any details about when and how 3rd party native iPad apps can be released, so I can’t give assurance for a launch day release :(, but it will be queued for review as soon as there is a queue available for me. I will use the remaining time until then to add more polish and gimmicks, then polish again.

The one thing I couldn’t really do for 1.0 is play it on a real device. I may have gauged processing power wrong (which might lead to performance problems), touch controls might be too small or too unwieldy (I remember I had to rewrite touch behavior in iNetHack a couple of times until it felt right). I was also the only one playtesting it, so I might have overlooked a couple of things.

I for one can’t wait to play it with my fingers instead of mouse and keyboard, while sitting or lying on the couch 🙂

If you want any tileset to be included now is the time to tell me about it. It must be 32×32 though. So far I have included Absurd, Chozo/ChozoB, default windows tiles32 and nh3d (which is apparently based on Aoki-2k5 and vanilla terrain tiles).

Is the iPad a viable Roguelike platform?

I was very excited yesterday about the release of the iPad (and had been for a while). While at first quite underwhelmed, I can think of a couple of killer-apps for the platform.

One genre I’m not quite so sure of is Roguelikes. After all, a decent desktop port can be played quite well on a laptop. But while still hunting for bugs and implementing new features for the new Slash’EM port, I realize that an iPad port would eliminate most of the difficulties I had so far while tailoring it to the small device (assuming a UI with minimal keyboard use).

Since most readers here are roguelike players (I guess), here’s my question: Will you buy an iPad? Please vote on the main page!