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"GnomeHack is by far the coolest game for Gnome!"

Latest News

  • 28 October 1999 --
    GnomeHack 1.0.4!
    This release fixes a few packaging problems, comes with an autogenerated .spec file that _should_ work out-of-the-box that properly depends on bzip2, has a few minor bug fixes, fixes up some bugs reported via the Debian bug tracking system, and works just fine with the October Gnome release.

    Source code and .deb packages are available now on a debian mirror near you, but can also be grabbed from

    Have fun and please let me know if you have any problems.

    For those building RPMS, you will need to apply since it seems I screwed up the .spec file again. sigh. Many thanks to Fred Richardson for the quick fix!

    Another Update!
    For those _not_ building .debs or RPMS, to get the GNOME desktop files into the right spot you will want to build with

    	./configure < foo > --enable-alt-desktopdir= < bar >
    or apply the following patch to
    	-       DESKTOP_DIR='${datadir}/apps/Games'
    	+       DESKTOP_DIR='${datadir}/gnome/apps/Games'
    Thanks to < > for pointing out the problem.

  • 17 September 1999 --
    GnomeHack in the Press!
    By virtue of my employment at Lineo I just got a copy of the October 1999 Linux Journal (which happens to have a cover story on Lineo). Upon opening it up to page 8, I was startled to see a screenshot of GnomeHack! Seems they have an editorial called "Games Focus->Dungeon Crawling" with a brief overview of the most popular RPGs. And of course, they included GnomeHack. Wohoo! GnomeHack is famous!

  • 11 September 1999 --
    Dax Kelson's RPMs have moved a bit. If you want RPMs, visit

  • 26 July 1999 --
    Dax Kelson has graciously built RPMs for gnomehack, and has majorly fixed up the horribly messed up SPEC file I had put together, to make building future RPMS much easier. Thanks Dax! All RPM users are invited to visit:, where Dax has kindly placed his RPMS.

  • 25 July 1999 --
    As some folks have noticed, the menu window (used for things like displaying your inventory) pops up twice. This stupid bug is entirely my fault. To fix it, either grab the latest from CVS, or you can adjust the file win/gnome/GnomeHackMenuWindow.c and in the function ghack_menu_window_display() you will want to uncomment all the commented out code. I was testing something, and foolishly left these lines commented out for the 1.0.3 release... Oops!

  • 24 July 1999 --
    After much delay, I am pleased to announce gnomehack 1.0.3. This version has a ton of bug fixes -- you should (finally) be able to properly save games now, and it should never, ever, crash (no, really ;). Source code and .deb packages can be grabbed by visiting: and .deb packages should also be showing up shortly on a Debian mirror near you.

    Please try things out, have fun, and let me know if you have any problems.

    Job Opening
    GnomeHack is in need of some assistance from a individual with RPM package development skills, and an RPM based system. I have put together a .spec file for RPM based systems which is supposed to make the the RPM do all the nifty stuff the .deb package does, but I have no idea if it is even close to working, since it is completely untested. Please email Erik Andersen or the GnomeHack mailing list for more information on how you can help.

  • 7 May 1999 --
    For those of you using RPM based systems, David has now made an updated RPM that fixes the "unable to save the game" bug. The first set of RPMs were missing a save directory...

  • 5 May 1999 --
    For those of you using RPM based systems (i.e. RedHat, Suse, Caldera, TurboLinux, etc...) RPMS are now available (thanks to David ( at Also, the .deb package is now included (as of yesterday afternoon) into Debian unstable (potato) along with the rest of Gnome so you can now grab GnomeHack from your favorite Debian mirror.

  • 4 May 1999 --
    Ok, here goes. I hereby release GnomeHack 1.0.2 (and there was much rejoicing!). This release should be much more stable, and playable than the last release. Thanks go out to Tony, for finding the elusive seg fault, and for the many other folks that have been giving me feedback and encouragement. Mark Whitley and John Gotts give some great bug reports and stack traces. Rosina Bignall, Adam Moyes, and David Seidel have also given a bunch of bug reports and general feedback as well. Many thanks!

    Anyway, here is the list of what has changed:

    • Finally(!) got the strange seg-fault fixed -- many, many thanks to Tony Taylor. (Tony, you rock!)
    • No more gtk/gnome errors when the game ends.
    • The top-10 scores now show up when the game ends.
    • The RIP window when the game ends is much nicer now.
    • When stats increase, the show in green for a few turns. When they decrease hey show in red.
    • Added in a "pet mark" (a heart) to help you distinguish your pets from other monsters.
    • Reworked the map window code so that zooming in and out is now really fast (and doesn't use malloc any more).
    • Updated some key handling to be more correct.
    • Dialogs now default to "Ok" instead of "Cancel" when appropriate.
    • Added key handling to dialog boxes (like Yes/No).
    • Worked around a bug in gnome_dialog_set_parent.
    • Menu dialogs (like inventory) have much better formatting.
    • Fixed a long standing off-by-1/2 bug in the map window code.

    Source can be grabbed from gnome CVS (nethack), or can be downloaded from here, and the .deb package for i386 can be found here.

    Job Opening
    We are in need of immediate assistance from a individual with strong RPM package development skills and a willingness to help. Telecomuting is encouraged. Salary is limited to good feelings and respect from all. Please email Erik Andersen for more information.

  • 27 April 1999 --
    Last night I fixed a few more bugs. There was a subtle off-by-1/2 bug in the map code that has been there forever that is now fixed. I'm still working on tracking down a strange and quite rare problem in the gnome-canvas idle routine...

  • 25 April 1999 --
    Hi all,

    I've done a bit of work on GnomeHack this weekend. The Menu dialogs (like the options, inventory, help, etc...) are now much better formatted. I also fixed up a few potential seg faults in that code. I have been getting some reports of map window related seg faults, so I did an overhaul of how the map window handles the background image. This removed the need for doing any mallocs for the map background and made the zoom _really_ fast. I also fixed the problem where the main window always wanted to be 800x600. Now you can resize the window to whatever you want, and it will stay that way. I think I fixed a few other things, but I can't remember what... Anyway, your help in testing would be apprecieated. I'll probably be making another point release this week.


  • 15 March 1999 --
    I am pleased to announce the release of GnomeHack 1.0.1.

    A number of improvements and bug fixes have been made since the 1.0.0 release -- We've fixed a few crashes, much better key handling, widget focus fixes, much better and automatic installation, and a few other things. You shouldn't need to read the installation instructions anymore...

    In particular, being a Debian developer, I am pleased to announce that I have now packaged up GnomeHack in .deb format to make it easier for you to waste your time playing. :)

    Source can be found in gnome CVS, or can be downloaded from here, and the .deb package for i386 can be found here.

    Many thanks to those that sent in bug reports and patches since the last release, including: Me (of course ;), Jeff Garzik, Tony Taylor, Havoc Pennington, Dave Seidel, Justin Hawkins, Dan McGuirk, and Matthias Warkus. I Hope I didn't miss anybody...

  • 14 March 1999 --
    Well, I'm almost ready for the 1.0.1 release of Gnomehack. There are a bunch of bug fixes, and some major improvements to the build and installation process. And to top it all off, I have packaged it up as a .deb so everybody (using debian) can try it. If somebody wants to pack this up as an rpm, that'd be great! It should be pretty easy now that I have set up all the hard stuff. That would be worth delaying the release for, otherwise, unless you guys find some nasty problems, I'll be cutting 1.0.1 tomorrow and shipping off the .deb.

    Have fun and sorry about my getting scarce. My new job is keeping me very busy (but it is sure a lot of fun!).

  • 3 March 1999 --
    Since release we have receive some very nice comments. Thanks! If you are using GnomeHack, feel free to send a note to the mailing list -- we'd love to hear of your suggestions, comments, feature requests, and horrible deaths.

    A number of fixes have also gone in since the 1.0.0 release -- Havoc Pennington let us know about a way to capture arrow key press events so they don't change the widget focus (before pressing the arrow keys changed to focus to the zoom widget, and then started zooming. ugh)., and that is now implemented. Dave Seidel gave us some extensive and very helpful bug reports that let us fix a crash when two items were at a single spot. Tony fixed that one. Dave also let us know about the console messages that would never be seen. Now all messages go to dialog boxes. He also let us know about some key handling problems with meta keys (like Alt+p, Alt+f, etc.), and some problems with running diagonally with the numeric keypad. Those are now fixed as well. Lastly, Matthias Warkus gave us a nethack.desktop file so GnomeHack will now show up in the panel when installed. Works nicely -- especially with the no-more-console-messages fix.

    BTW, it is important to read and follow the directions when installing GnomeHack, or you won't be able to save your game...

  • 19 Feb 1999 --
    Release day!!! No. Really this time! As I tried to tag the source in CVS, cvs crashed and left the nethack tree locked. It took till the afternoon to get it fixed (thanks to Elliot Lee and Dr. Mike).

    Anyway. Here it is! GnomeHack 1.0.0 is officially released now! (and there was much rejoicing!). Please folks, try it out and have fun. We have put a lot of work into this game, and I really think it is the best game for Gnome so far (IMHO -- if you disagree, you are welcome to your wrong opionion :)

    To make life easy for everyone, I have placed a tarball here.

    To make it compile, you will need gnome-libs, with gtk 1.1.16, glib 1.1.16, and imlib 1.9.3 (as well as normal things like libX11, libXpm, etc :) The complete instructions on compiling and installing GnomeHack can be found here.

    If you have any problems, suggestions, or even better -- working patches, please send email to the gnomehack mailing list. If you have bugs to report, please use the GNOME Bug Tracker.

    Have fun, and happy nethacking!

  • 18 Feb 1999 --
    Release day!!! Today I'll be making the 1.0.0 release. It is now completely playable and should work just fine. There are still plenty of features to add in, but those can be added in future releases...

  • 17 Feb 1999 --
    I fixed the missing menu icons problem, fixed the "?" help menus, added accelerators to the inventory/menu window, and generally fixed up things I noticed that were acting strangely. The game should now be fully playable -- even without a mouse. A bit more testing and this will be ready for a first release!

  • 16 Feb 1999 --
    Tony fixed the wierd random seg faults(!), and I fixed some other problems. The list of things needing to be fixed before the long anticipated first release is getting to be very short (see the TODO list above). The game should be quite stable now, so if you've been thinking about trying out GnomeHack but you were waiting for it to become stable, now would be a great time to try it out. We'd love to hear some feedback. Hopefully we can quickly finish up the last few things and get a first release out the door.

  • 30 Jan 1999 --
    We've been working on the menu window which is used for things like the inventory window (new screenshot added above). Jeff did a lot of the grunt work, and I worked on some of the debugging (not done yet -- multiple selections seem to crash the game, but single selections work fine now). I hooked up the menu bar so it actually works. And of course, a few other bug fixes (and bugs probably) were added.

  • 16 Jan 1999 --
    I got the formatting of the window to be a bit cleaner with more room allocated to the map. Resizing the window now gives the map extra space. Tony fixed some problems with keeping the screen centered when zoom!=1.0. I also implemented the inventory window, so now you can see the cool stuff you have collected (screenshot added above). It is still a bit rough, and only pops up the first time at the moment. Probably a stupid bug and easy to fix... Oh, and I added in a menu bar with all the commands in the game in it. Very few of them are hooked up yet, but you can still use the keyboard or mouse to play.

  • 10 Jan 1999 --
    Tony got the map working with some nice scrollbars, and added in code to keep you centered on the screen. He also added a "zoom" feature as well that lets you look at the map with the tiles as big (or small) as you'd like. Very cool! I got the status window to do the highlighting of changed values properly, and (ta-da!) fixed the key input code (again). It works much better after this round of fixes. The game is now getting to be very playable -- as can probably be seen from the updated screenshot.

    On a different note -- if you are reading this from the web, you have probably noticed that I have changed where I host the GnomeHack web page. I have changed my ISP in preparation for getting my DSL connection to the net. It will be very fast (much better than my puny modem) -- and not too expensive.

  • 5 Jan 1999 --
    The game is now playable (sortof ;-) I got the input code working. Mouse selection is still wrong, but the mouse events are noticed and can even be used to move (as long as you don't care much where you are going ;-). Keyboard input seems to work just fine too (Wahoo!!!). Please send email to the gnomehack list if you notice problems (you will notice problems).

  • 4 Jan 1999 --
    Tony got the map window working, and I got the status window working. Next I'll be working on the input code, and we should have this thing playable!!! I've posted a new screenshot -- in case you havn't noticed.

  • 2 Jan 1999 --
    GnomeHack now compiles and runs -- but is not yet playable. It now will start up, show the main window, display the Player Selection dialog, and let you select a role for yourself. Unfortunatly, after selecting a role, not much else works.

  • 15 Dec 1998 --
    The conversion process (from C++ to C) is continuing quite well. Also the gnome-libs API was frozen today! This will help us greatly by providing a stable, non-moving target (although most things we currently use havn't changed much). We've gotten a _lot_ done on the conversion process. I just got the new and improved version to compile for the first time today! This means we'll be able to make a new screenshot soon...

  • 25 Nov 1998 --
    Well, the conversion process has been slow so far, but is gaining a bit of momentum. If case you didn't know, we are changing GnomeHack from using C++ and Gtk-- to just using C, Gnome and Gtk. We are hoping to get the thing running by the end of this weekend, since we have a few people getting time off for the thanksgiving holiday. We won't be done, but we at least hope to have it running as well as it was before the change to C.

  • 11 Nov 1998 --
    Several things have happened over the last month. First, Jeff Garzik has converted things from using straight autoconf, to now use automake. This makes the builds much cleaner. Great Work Jeff! Another Really big change, is that we have decided to switch to using straight Gnome and C, instead of using Gtk-- and C++. I believe that Gtk-- will eventually end up being very cool and usable, but for now it is too unstable and a very moving target. This change will make development easier, and should make it compile faster too... We are now in the midst of porting the code from C++ and Gtk-- to using C and Gnome.

  • 12 Oct 1998 --
    It seems my one week trip became a three week trip. Ugh! Anyway, I am finally home now. We now have a REAL mailing list! Lets be sure to put it to good use. Info on subscribing is a paragraph up. I just subscribed myself. Hopefully now we can get some real work going on this thing, and finish up the rough spots.

  • 19 Sept 1998 --
    Thanks to Tony, the map window is working much better, and now actually displays the right pictures. And I fixed up some of the event handling and whatnot, so it is getting much more playable. I will be out of town on business this week, and I don't know what sort of email access I will have. If you have comments and ideas, mail away and I'll get to them when I can. If you have patches to submit, I'm sure Tony will be glad to merge them in.

  • 16 Sept 1998 --
    Gnomehack is now playable!!!!!!!!! I just updated the screenshot to reflect this. Wonderful things are afoot. Granted, gameplay is somewhat crippled at the moment, but it is at least playable! Hopefully we'll get a 0.1 release out this week.....

  • 6 Sept 1998 --
    I now have it where it not only compiles, it displayes first the main window, then the class selection dialog box. It allows you to select a class, and the game the proceeds to welcome you to nethack (via the message window). Now if we next allow it to accept and process key events, the game will be playable! I just got a patch from Tony, but I am too tired to apply it now. I'll try it in the morning.

  • 3 Sept 1998 --
    It compiles! Wahoo!!! I just had to fix the script and do some touch-ups to the Makefile. Now with all that done, time to make some cool windows pop up and such.

  • 2 Sept 1998 --
    Work is starting up again on GnomeHack. It has been a long time without any news showing up here, so it is time to break the silence. The big new is that 1) I am now feeling healthy and am working on GnomeHack again, 2) I now have help! A big welcome goes out to Tony who has joined the effort. Thanks to him, gnomehack can now actually compile (at least in theory -- doesn't quite for me yet). He has contributed a lot of fixups, and has worked with nethack before under OS/2. Just the kind of help this project needs.

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