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/dev/null/nethack Tournament Preparations

By Arkady in News
Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 07:34:53 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

/dev/null's Second Annual NetHack Tournament, to be called /dev/null/nethack 1900 in honor of the infamous Y2K bug in the high scores file, will begin at midnight (Pacific Time) on October 31st and will run to midnight November 30th.


(To get back to a dispute that was running when K5 went down: yes, I'm the admin at /dev/null, but /dev/null/net is not a profit group and no money is involved; we just do this for the giggles. So though I'm promoting something, and I'm involved in it, I don't think this is just advertising. There, now we have some continuity back to July ... ;-)

For this year's Tourney we'd like to expand with a bit more public participation. As many of the 300+ players last year were on other continents (including roughly half of the winners), we're looking for volunteers to run gaming servers elesewhere than North America. The minimum system requirements are:

  • 1) a multi-user NetHack installation (thus, probably, a Unix of some sort; the /dev/null server will be an OpenBSD 2.7 system)
  • 2) sufficient speed/disk/memory to support 250 player accounts and 25 concurrent players (ours will be a P133 with 64M of memory and 1.5G of disk)
  • 3) a dedicated Internet connection (our is on dual 384-512k DSL)
  • 4) since NetHack needs real user accounts, we'd recommend that it be a dedicated system (the players will need to be entered in /etc/passwd to play on the box)

Remember, before volunteering, that anyone with admin level access to a game server box is not allowed to compete. So don't volunteer to host if you want to be a contender. Please send an email to the NetHack Admin if you're interested.

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/dev/null/nethack Tournament Preparations | 22 comments (8 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
Dedicated accounts? I guess not. (4.25 / 4) (#14)
by WWWWolf on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 09:05:45 AM EST

Nethack doesn't seem to need "real" user accounts (perharps one dedicated account, but definitely not separate accounts for separate players); There are many telnettable Nethack servers out there and in those authentication is done with scripts of some sort.

(I don't know if I'm going to participate in the tournament, but interesting, anyway... =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


Re: Dedicated accounts? I guess not. (4.00 / 3) (#15)
by Arkady on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 01:17:50 PM EST

In order to manage saved game files properly, NetHack needs the users UID to be distinct. If you use the other (default) option for saved game storage, you can only have (if I remember correctly) 26 saved games at any time. Last year, we averaged about 300 stored games, so we had to recompile with the unique UID option.

Now, it's been a year since the last Tourney, so I could well be misremembering exactly how that option worked. Please correct me if you know differently.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Re: Dedicated accounts? I guess not. (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by bee on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 05:59:09 PM EST

I run a private nethack server (no I won't be volunteering it for the contest because it's not on my machine), and I'm pretty sure that the 26-user limit is on concurrently-playing games, not on saved games. For games in progress, nethack keeps a separate file per level per game, and it used to use letters to distinguish them in the filenames, so that the first game would have files named alock.1, alock.2, etc., second game block.1, and so forth. This made for a limit of 26 concurrent games, naturally. However, looking at my running server, it looks like this scheme has been abandoned in 3.3.0, and lock files are now of the form <uid><charname>.<level>, which 1) should get rid of the 26-running-games maximum, and 2) limit users to one active game per uid per name.

Granted, I haven't had >26 games running at once on my server, but I see nothing other than machine and network resources that would keep a server from running as many games as possible.


[ Parent ]
Re: Dedicated accounts? I guess not. (3.00 / 1) (#18)
by Arkady on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 07:27:40 PM EST

The alock.[yadda] files are what become the save game files, using that scheme, hence that I referred to them that way. I think it has a bigger impact as a limit on save games than concurrent players, since we rarely had more than 30 concurrent players last year anyway, but we'd have around 200 saved games.

Both of these naming schemes for the lock/save files have been available for several versions; which one is the default is different in different distributions of NetHack, however.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Nethack version? (4.50 / 2) (#19)
by YellowBook on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 08:49:57 PM EST

Will you be running Nethack 3.3.1? Some of the bugs in 3.3.0 are show-stoppers, but I think most people would like to have the new 3.3.x stuff rather than play 3.2.3..

Oh, and this reminds me, I never got my 'consolation prize' for my promising Archaeologist being killed 'by a trickery' in last year's tournament ;)



Re: Nethack version? (none / 0) (#20)
by Arkady on Mon Sep 25, 2000 at 05:38:18 PM EST

Yellowbook!

I've still got your trophy, of course, since it was the first one I made, but we never asked for your mailing address for it, did we? Send me your mailing info and I'll get it shipped out.

Ever so sorry. Sorry, sorry, sorry. ;-)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
tournament (none / 0) (#21)
by wildmage on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 07:06:11 PM EST

When does the tournament start? How do I join?

-------------
Jacob Everist
Memoirs of a Mad Scientist
Near-Earth Asteroid Mining

Re: tournament (none / 0) (#22)
by Arkady on Tue Sep 26, 2000 at 07:57:45 PM EST

The Tournemant: will begin at midnight (Pacific Time) on October 31st and will run to midnight November 30th ;-)

We'll post a signup URL in New here at K5 (assuming we get past moderation for that ;-) and on the newsgroup rec.games.roguelike.nethack as well. It'll all be focused around the Tourney web site at /dev/null (last year's closing page is there now; we expect to have this year's info by mid-month).


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
/dev/null/nethack Tournament Preparations | 22 comments (8 topical, 14 editorial, 0 hidden)
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