Game history

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NetHack 3.4.3NetHack 3.4.2NetHack 3.4.1NetHack 3.4.0NetHack 3.3.1NetHack 3.3.0NetHack 3.2.3NetHack 3.2.2NetHack 3.2.1NetHack 3.2.0NetHack 3.1.3NetHack 3.1.2NetHack 3.1.1NetHack 3.1.0NetHack 3.0.10NetHack 3.0.9NetHack 3.0.8NetHack 3.0.7NetHack 3.0.6NetHack 3.0.5NetHack 3.0.4NetHack 3.0.3NetHack 3.0.2NetHack 3.0.1NetHack 3.0.0NetHack 2.3eNetHack 2.2aNetHack 1.4fNetHack 1.3dHack 1.0.3Hack 1.0.2Hack 1.0.1Hack 1.0

Behold, mortal, the origins of NetHack according to the bundled history file...

Jay Fenlason wrote the original Hack with help from Kenny Woodland, Mike Thome, and Jon Payne.

Andries Brouwer did a major re-write, transforming Hack into a very different game, and published (at least) three versions (1.0.1, 1.0.2, and 1.0.3) for UNIX(tm) machines to the Usenet.

Don G. Kneller ported Hack 1.0.3 to Microsoft(tm) C and MS-DOS(tm), producing PC HACK 1.01e, added support for DEC Rainbow graphics in version 1.03g, and went on to produce at least four more versions (3.0, 3.2, 3.51, and 3.6).

R. Black ported PC HACK 3.51 to Lattice(tm) C and the Atari 520/1040ST, producing ST Hack 1.03.

Mike Stephenson merged these various versions back together, incorporating many of the added features, and produced NetHack version 1.4. He then coordinated a cast of thousands in enhancing and debugging NetHack 1.4 and released NetHack versions 2.2 and 2.3.

Later, Mike coordinated a major rewrite of the game, heading a team which included Ken Arromdee, Jean-Christophe Collet, Steve Creps, Eric Hendrickson, Izchak Miller, Eric S. Raymond, John Rupley, Mike Threepoint, and Janet Walz, to produce NetHack 3.0c. The same group subsequently released ten patch-level revisions and updates of 3.0.

NetHack 3.0 was ported to the Atari by Eric R. Smith, to OS/2 by Timo Hakulinen, and to VMS by David Gentzel. The three of them and Kevin Darcy later joined the main development team to produce subsequent revisions of 3.0.

Olaf Seibert ported NetHack 2.3 and 3.0 to the Amiga. Norm Meluch, Stephen Spackman and Pierre Martineau designed overlay code for PC NetHack 3.0. Johnny Lee ported NetHack 3.0 to the Macintosh. Along with various other Dungeoneers, they continued to enhance the PC, Macintosh, and Amiga ports through the later revisions of 3.0.

Headed by Mike Stephenson and coordinated by Izchak Miller and Janet Walz, the development team which now included Ken Arromdee, David Cohrs, Jean-Christophe Collet, Kevin Darcy, Matt Day, Timo Hakulinen, Steve Linhart, Dean Luick, Pat Rankin, Eric Raymond, and Eric Smith undertook a radical revision of 3.0. They re-structured the game's design, and re-wrote major parts of the code. They added multiple dungeons, a new display, special individual character quests, a new endgame and many other new features, and produced NetHack 3.1.

Ken Lorber, Gregg Wonderly and Greg Olson, with help from Richard Addison, Mike Passaretti, and Olaf Seibert, developed NetHack 3.1 for the Amiga.

Norm Meluch and Kevin Smolkowski, with help from Carl Schelin, Stephen Spackman, Steve VanDevender, and Paul Winner, ported NetHack 3.1 to the PC.

Jon Wätte and Hao-yang Wang, with help from Ross Brown, Mike Engber, David Hairston, Michael Hamel, Jonathan Handler, Johnny Lee, Tim Lennan, Rob Menke, and Andy Swanson developed NetHack 3.1 for the Macintosh, porting it for MPW. Building on their development, Barton House added a Think C port.

Timo Hakulinen ported NetHack 3.1 to OS/2. Eric Smith ported NetHack 3.1 to the Atari. Pat Rankin, with help from Joshua Delahunty, is responsible for the VMS version of NetHack 3.1. Michael Allison ported NetHack 3.1 to Windows NT.

Dean Luick, with help from David Cohrs, developed NetHack 3.1 for X11. Warwick Allison wrote a tiled version of NetHack for the Atari; he later contributed the tiles to the DevTeam and tile support was then added to other platforms.

The 3.2 development team, comprised of Michael Allison, Ken Arromdee, David Cohrs, Jessie Collet, Steve Creps, Kevin Darcy, Timo Hakulinen, Steve Linhart, Dean Luick, Pat Rankin, Eric Smith, Mike Stephenson, Janet Walz, and Paul Winner, released version 3.2 in April of 1996.

Version 3.2 marked the tenth anniversary of the formation of the development team. In a testament to their dedication to the game, all thirteen members of the original development team remained on the team at the start of work on that release. During the interval between the release of 3.1.3 and 3.2, one of the founding members of the development team, Dr. Izchak Miller, passed away. That release of the game was dedicated to him by the development and porting teams.

Version 3.2 proved to be more stable than previous versions. Many bugs were fixed, abuses eliminated, and game features tuned for better game play.

During the lifespan of NetHack 3.1 and 3.2, several enthusiasts of the game added their own modifications to the game and made these "variants" publicly available:

Tom Proudfoot and Yuval Oren created NetHack++, which was quickly renamed NetHack--. Working independently, Stephen White wrote NetHack Plus. Tom Proudfoot later merged NetHack Plus and his own NetHack-- to produce SLASH. Larry Stewart-Zerba and Warwick Allison improved the spellcasting system with the Wizard Patch. Warwick Allison also ported NetHack to use the Qt interface.

Warren Cheung combined SLASH with the Wizard Patch to produce Slash'em, and with the help of Kevin Hugo, added more features. Kevin later joined the DevTeam and incorporated the best of these ideas in NetHack 3.3.

The final update to 3.2 was the bug fix release 3.2.3, which was released simultaneously with 3.3.0 in December 1999 just in time for the Year 2000.

The 3.3 development team, consisting of Michael Allison, Ken Arromdee, David Cohrs, Jessie Collet, Steve Creps, Kevin Darcy, Timo Hakulinen, Kevin Hugo, Steve Linhart, Ken Lorber, Dean Luick, Pat Rankin, Eric Smith, Mike Stephenson, Janet Walz, and Paul Winner, released 3.3.0 in December 1999 and 3.3.1 in August of 2000.

Version 3.3 offered many firsts. It was the first version to separate race and profession. The Elf class was removed in preference to an elf race, and the races of dwarves, gnomes, and orcs made their first appearance in the game alongside the familiar human race. Monk and Ranger roles joined Archeologists, Barbarians, Cavemen, Healers, Knights, Priests, Rogues, Samurai, Tourists, Valkyries and of course, Wizards. It was also the first version to allow you to ride a steed, and was the first version to have a publicly available web-site listing all the bugs that had been discovered. Despite that constantly growing bug list, 3.3 proved stable enough to last for more than a year and a half.

The 3.4 development team initially consisted of Michael Allison, Ken Arromdee, David Cohrs, Jessie Collet, Kevin Hugo, Ken Lorber, Dean Luick, Pat Rankin, Mike Stephenson, Janet Walz, and Paul Winner, with Warwick Allison joining just before the release of NetHack 3.4.0 in March 2002.

As with version 3.3, various people contributed to the game as a whole as well as supporting ports on the different platforms that NetHack runs on:

Pat Rankin maintained 3.4 for VMS.

Michael Allison maintained NetHack 3.4 for the MS-DOS platform. Paul Winner and Yitzhak Sapir provided encouragement.

Dean Luick, Mark Modrall, and Kevin Hugo maintained and enhanced the Macintosh port of 3.4.

Michael Allison, David Cohrs, Alex Kompel, Dion Nicolaas, and Yitzhak Sapir maintained and enhanced 3.4 for the Microsoft Windows platform. Alex Kompel contributed a new graphical interface for the Windows port. Alex Kompel also contributed a Windows CE port for 3.4.1.

Ron Van Iwaarden maintained 3.4 for OS/2.

Janne Salmijarvi and Teemu Suikki maintained and enhanced the Amiga port of 3.4 after Janne Salmijarvi resurrected it for 3.3.1.

Christian `Marvin' Bressler maintained 3.4 for the Atari after he resurrected it for 3.3.1.

There is a NetHack web site maintained by Ken Lorber at

The NetHack General Public License applies to screenshots, source code and other content from NetHack.

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