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Monday, May 3 12:00 AM EDT

DevTeam Releasing Multiplayer Nethack and Counter-Hack Terrorist Mod

By Nikolaj Borg

More than seventeen years after Nethack 1.0, the popular dungeon exploration game will finally get a multiplayer edition counter-terrorism mod, called Counter-Hack, will be released by the end of May.

Counter-hackRoughly based on the popular Half-Life mod Counter-Strike, Counter-Hack pits two teams of sixteen players against one another. Assuming the roles of terrorists and counter-terrorists and wielding a wide variety of weapons, the players fight for glory on an online battlefield. There will also be a single player version of Counter-Hack where a player must save a shopkeeper held hostage by terrorist Uruk-hai.

The long-awaited mod is made possible by the new features of the new NetHack 4.0 engine. As well as turn-based multiplayer functionality, support for greater maps and 8-bit color has been added.

Peter Bentsen from the Nethack DevTeam admits the team has taken its time. "We've been working on this since 1992, but we didn't want to rush things. And it's been worth the wait. NetHack 4.0 may not have the graphics of all those fancy eye candy game engines out there, but it's more advanced than Half-Life by all standards. And still, it's able to run on all those machines that are not on the bleeding edge that Half-Life demands."

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One of the features expected to be popular among modders is the handy and flexible skin support. "Look at this terrorist from the Gay People's Front of Judea," Peter explains, pointing to a pink T. "All I have to do is change the color code, and he's a member of the slightly less pink Judean Gay People's Front. The hard part is to come up with names for all the 256 possible factions."

Several other mods are in development, including an Unreal Tournament 2004 clone with vehicle support, a handful of World War II games, and a Classic NetHack DeathMatch mod.

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