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NetHack

NetHack

Postby Psygnal on Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:24 pm

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Back in 1987 a startling gaming phenomenon was born. NetHack. It was a text based game of incredible depth which allowed you to travel randomly generated dungeons in search of the Amulet of Yendor. The number of possible permutations was stunning, and the game has been something of a cult hit ever since.

I played this for years on old computers, from my ancient Amiga500 on up - and was recently thrilled to discover a port of the game for Android phones. I may never have to download another phone game again.

If you've never tried NetHack, I urge you to give it a go. If the text graphics are a bit too retro for you (they do take a bit of getting used to after years of pixel shading and 3D) you can download tile-sets to get the game to run in 2D, isometric or full 3D view - though the purists will insist you at least try your hand at the original ASCII.

This is a hard game. It will take you a long time and a fair bit of research to beat it, but it's definitely a trip worth taking if you like your dungeon crawling games and are more concerned with gameplay than graphics.

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Re: NetHack

Postby Cruin on Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:49 pm

I'm surprised you could mention a retro ASCII-style adventure game without referencing Dwarf Fortress as a free, modern alternative.

If you haven't checked it out before, go take a look and be blown away. There's even the occasional live online course you can take to learn how to play, lol. For the rest of us, there's plenty of wikis and tutorials to help navigate the interface and game-world. It also has a pretty active modding community with some neat stuff that can really add to the game modes.

Some have compared DF as retro version of Minecraft... someday that may be true - and in some ways it still is as it predates MC by a couple years. While MCis easier to learn and use with hidden layers of complexity, DF has a much more fleshed out environment to interact with and explore, more game modes and not to mention a very steep learning curve (way worse than EVE's imo).

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Re: NetHack

Postby Psygnal on Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:42 pm

To be honest, my exposure to Dwarf Fortress is limited to... well, basically a post I've read about it. Oddly, that's what got me looking for NetHack on the Android - though it never occurred to me to see if there was a DF-->droid port.

There's Angband (?sp) too, come to think of it... but

Now that I'm familiar with the ASCII, I'll have to admit to preferring the tilemap mod versions. There's actually a pretty good 3D version of the PC NetHack too.

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Re: NetHack

Postby Cruin on Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:58 am

I still really love the Rogue-style games, dated or not. Got a few for the iPhone and a few more on the PC. And of course the newer hack and slash spin-offs like Torchlight still have some fun value, but nowhere close to the same level of difficulty.

Though there is an upcoming 360 game I'm curious to try, Dark Souls, sequel the PS3 exclusive Demon's Souls. Demon's Souls was most notable for it's over-the-top-masochistic difficulty and word is that it's cross-platform sequel is going to be even more brutal.

The whole Rogue fascination is the one bright beacon of hope I now have for Minecraft. Notch, the creator, has been blogging and also recently did an interview with PC Gamer about his love of Rogue-style games and bringing those elements into Minecraft. While I still enjoy the crap out of MC's freestyle gameplay, I'd love the option to play it with some goals and structure as well. Adding XP levels, bosses, dungeons, possible perma-death, etc. all sound like a good start to me.

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Re: NetHack

Postby Psygnal on Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:41 pm

I still haven't really got into Minecraft - though I'll admit I've been tempted to download it a few times. Other than the trial of the freebie version, which underwhelmed me, all I've seen are some interesting looking Youtube videos.

The graphical (lack of) complexity for Minecraft however would REALLY fit the Nethack concept quite nicely, I think. I could really see myself getting into a Minecraft Roguelike.

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Re: NetHack

Postby Psygnal on Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:56 pm

Cruin wrote:I'm surprised you could mention a retro ASCII-style adventure game without referencing Dwarf Fortress as a free, modern alternative.


I almost hate to admit this, but this game is horrifying in ASCII. I'm going to have to look for a tileset for it, I think. I guess I'm not as much of a purist as I originally imagined. :)

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Re: NetHack

Postby Cruin on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:57 am

Psygnal wrote:
Cruin wrote:I'm surprised you could mention a retro ASCII-style adventure game without referencing Dwarf Fortress as a free, modern alternative.


I almost hate to admit this, but this game is horrifying in ASCII. I'm going to have to look for a tileset for it, I think. I guess I'm not as much of a purist as I originally imagined. :)

Psyg'


Lol, I had to do the same thing. I still get a kick out of retro, but ASCII is not so fun to look at anymore. There's a modder looking to port the visual side entirely over to isometric sprites sans SNES, which would look fantastic imo.

For now though, there's a few tilesets around. I ended up going with Phoebus' Graphic Set - I like the look of it, and it has a fair amount of customization to choose from. There's another little tool that simplifies some of the task management called Dwarf Therapist; it's one of those addons that once you try you couldn't imagine playing without. And there's dozens more around depending on how much of the vanilla experience you want to lose.

If you're interested in a tutorial/walkthrough there's this one: http://afteractionreporter.com/dwarf-fo ... tutorials/ . It's not 100% current since the latest build, but still the best I've seen so far. The wiki is nice for referencing individual things, but not so good for understanding the bigger picture.

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