Forum:A Nethack-dedicated console?

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Oh dear. I'd pay whatever it takes for someone to make a NetHack-dedicated device... I don't care that many may think "bah, I can play a rogue-like anytime on my Smartphone". Well, that obviously would show that they don't understand the need for a big keyboard/ASCII screen combination.

Long story short; I've been trying for a long time to satiate this Roguelike-angst? of a NetHack portability. And even though there are currently many interesting and well ported (on hand-held devices) options out there, (being the Nintendo DS one of my favorites) all the known alternatives lack the most important hardware feature, which is a full (or at least medium) size keyboard, because a virtual keyboard, well, doesn't feel the same...

I have not tried an ultra compact computer for which I know versions of NetHack have worked before (like the Psion5, Ben NanoNote or Zaurus handheld) but having looked at them they give me the impression they wouldn't be very comfortable to play with. I mean Nethack deserves a quality keyboard, which I know makes it even harder to turn into a portable, but at least a decent size keyboard would do the trick.

So far I've tried two alternatives that I would love to be able to make them work with NetHack, but I'm afraid I don't have the technical knowledge; I bought an Alphasmart Dana (Running PalmOS) but the game version (PalmOS version) doesn't use up all the screen wide-size and it gets chopped height-size (too narrow 70x20 characters[560x160 pixels]) it's a shame because the device has a great quality keyboard, and it feels fantastic to type on. Later I bought a Quickpad pro (That runs DOS) Nethack didn't work (I tried many versions of DOS NetHack) but I managed to run the original Rogue... unfortunately the screen is not big enough (again, perhaps Rogue as well as NetHack requires 24x80 characters minimum and this device has 60x16 lines only [480x128pixels]), so that was another broken dream... Both devices run forever on regular AA batteries and the LCD gave it the Old-school feeling I was looking for :(

I've researched about "resizing" the layout of the game, but it seems that is not possible without "re-coding", and I don't know how to do that. Does anybody have any suggestions, or have heard about this idea before? Does anybody have the knowledge to tweak NetHack so it would "fit" into one of these devices? HELP!

Otherwise I guess my next step would be to find a Chinese manufacturer that makes keyboards and/or LCD screens and see if they understand this crazy dream of mine. Who knows? Maybe it is feasible to manufacture a medium quality all-in-one Keyboard/Screen with our Legendary Favorite game? I'M SERIOUS! What do you say? Would you buy a Roguelike Dedicated (minimalist) machine? Should I start a Kickstarter with this Idea? ——Kingeorg (talk) 09:30, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

i used to play on an HTC s620 (excalibur) which would seem to be exactly the device you're thinking about.
it runs windows mobile, and the port for that is pretty much straight vanilla.
(there not being a port for android which isn't entirely rubbish is the reason i don't play anymore.)
you can pick one up for about £40. any help? -- 12:50, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
I too want a NetHack-dedicated console. Some possible items that have WiFi, a physical keyboard, and can run whatever Linux you prefer, that I was looking at:
  • Nokia N810 - about $40 on eBay
  • Nokia N900 - about $110 on eBay
  • Zipit Wireless Messenger (Z2) - about $40 on eBay
  • … I'm sure there is a lot more out there.
Thoughts? Anybody actually use a dedicated NetHack device?
-- Winny (talk) 05:23, 28 November 2017 (UTC)