Talk:Dunnet (video game)

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Cool. I didn't know about "dungeon-arpanet". This game's hard, btw, for random newcomers like myself. I walkthru'd it, and must say it's a nice bit of work. I'm sure I missed out on tons of stuff. There's a second walkthru ([1]) that can be used in the case of link rot, and maybe added now for backup. It's not as good as the current one. --Falos 17:01, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Maybe there should be some sort of spoiler warning here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Simen 88 (talkcontribs) 21:39, 11 July 2006

Too much info?[edit]

Is it really necessary to give so much away here? Since the game is so "easily 'hackable'", perhaps it should be left to the player to "hack"?


Ron (The author of Dunnet) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aviators99 (talkcontribs) 05:19, 27 August 2006

Thanks for taking out the superfluous spoilers! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aviators99 (talkcontribs) 06:49, 31 August 2006

Discussion of article removal[edit]

Please discuss here. -Aviators99 Ron Schnell — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aviators99 (talkcontribs) 22:23, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Note that Dunnet is also a standalone (LISP) video game. It is not only for Emacs. There is also a web version. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aviators99 (talkcontribs) 22:36, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

User_talk:Czar#Dunnet_.28Game.29 – czar 13:36, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

pulling factoids from the WP:RS which have some depth, ~50% from 2005, and ~50% from 2013.[edit]

2005 MacWorld burst[2] covers:

  • #01. screenshot: opening scene of the game (player spawns at the dead end of a dirt road)
  • #02. simple commands: get shovel, dig rock, attack bear, east, inventory, save, restore, help, quit
  • #03. duration of game ("a few hours")
  • #04. explanation for modern readership that text-adventures are old-school retro-gaming from back-in-the-day
  • #05. imagination required ; play with an open mind, which is how you 'draw' the scenes your character finds themselves in
  • #05. ships with OSX
  • #06. keyboard required , verb-noun parser technology , shortcuts allowed (for instance E is shorthand for EAST)
  • #07. each scene/room in the game is described textually, rather than using graphics (the imagery is in your mind)
  • #08. game is about exploring, solving puzzles, and unspecified "additional objectives" discovered along the way
  • #09. fun, in their own way, when given a chance
  • #10. part of emacs, open xterm, type emacs -batch -l dunnet
  • #11. "sort of hiding inside" aka game is an easter egg, too
  • #12. text adventures were considered leading edge, back in the day
  • #13. mentions Colossal Cave Adventure as first true interactive fiction game , if you like dunnet you'll prolly like that too

2013 LifeHacker[3] covers: repeats of #2 (albeit with variations take shovel && go east), #4, #5, #10, and #11.

  • #14. several examples of English which the simple parser in the game cannot understand: punch tree, push boulder, pick up, what did i find?
  • #15. two more scenes from the game: on the dirt road, at the fork in the road
  • #16. gameplay is pretty intuitive
  • #17. there is no auto-mapping feature (use pencil & paper as a workaround)

2013 CultOfMac[4] covers: repeats of #1, #2 (plus "look trees"), #4 ("think more primitive... a text-adventure"), #5, #10 (albeit mistakenly calls it "the kernel of the OS"), #11 ("secret game"), #14 ("hit tree with shovel"), and #16 ("pretty easy").

  • #18. dunnet has a surreal cyberpunk theme
  • #19. dunnet is one of only a few games that ships with OSX (besides a "lackluster" chess game most people already know about)
  • #20. written by Ron Schnell
  • #21. runs on all modern UNIX-like OSes (not just OSX)
  • #22. the major twist is that the player learns they are walking around inside a UNIX operating system , aka they are exploring a simulacrum of a simulacrum
  • #23. mentions Zork and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (video game) as classic text adventures akin to Dunnet in basic mode of gameplay

2013. Kotaku[5] covers: repeats of #4 ("retro"), #5, #10, #11 ("secret"), #14, and #15 (copyvio).

  • #24. mentions The_Hobbit_(1982_video_game) for ZX Spectrum as another classic 1980s adventure game
  • #25. retro-gaming has "nostalgic" travel-back-in-time appeal for older gamers, but can also be a "curiousity" to gamers born after text adventures were already obsolete (in both cases, partly as a reminder of how far gaming tech has advanced in ~30 years)
  • #26. implicitly, shows some international press interest, not just coverage in the USA

2007. AppleMatters[6] covers: repeats of #4, #5 (implied), #10, and #21.

  • #27. this game is extremely addictive

There are also some WP:NOTEWORTHY factoids that will generate some of their own sentences, but these are the bulk of the facts that the WP:RS decided were worth coverage (and in some cases worth repeated coverage). (talk) 20:06, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

  • The Dunnet port to eLisp implements a 'major mode'[7] inside Emacs; the theoretical possibility of using an 'implicit [major] mode' to create an adventure-like videogame inside Emacs was discussed in a 1980 MIT thesis by Craig A. Finseth, which in 1991 was revised for publication as a book -- it is unknown whether Schnell decided to port Dunnet from MacLisp to eLisp after reading or hearing of Finseth's MIT thesis slash book, or came up with the concept of an eLisp-based text-adventure independently.[8][9]
  • Following Apple Computer's conversion from their proprietary MacOS to their UNIX-based OSX operating system in 2001, which resulted in Emacs being shipped to millions of people that were unlikely to have used it previously,[citation needed] Dunnet has often been described as a hidden or secret game,[22] or as an easter egg,[23] although unlike typical easter eggs Dunnet began as,[[24]] and can still be played as,[25] a standalone videogame.

Above are some example-sentences, which are sourced to WP:NOTEWORTHY mentions in WP:RS cites. The prose can almost certainly be tightened up. (talk) 14:51, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Request for editing[edit]

Due to WP:COI I am humbly requesting a reviewer make the following change to this article:

  • old The game enjoys certain popularity because since 1992 it is part of the default packages in many versions of Emacs.
  • new Since 1994,[1][2] the eLisp version of Dunnet (first ported in 1992[a]) has shipped with GNU Emacs; the game also[when?] was included[b] with XEmacs.
  • approx. diff: The game enjoys certain popularity because since 1992 1994 (first ported 1992) it is part of the default packages has shipped with in many versions of Emacs GNU Emacs and XEmacs.

  1. ^ Ron Schnell (1992-07-28). "dunnet - text adventure for e-lisp". 
  2. ^ Ben Wing. "A Tour of XEmacs". Archived from the original on 2000-06-19. Retrieved 2015-07-27. Most of the actual editor functionality is written in Lisp and is essentially an extension that sits on top of the XEmacs core. XEmacs can do very un-editorlike things; for example, try running XEmacs using the command xemacs -batch -l dunnet. 


  1. ^ Richard M. Stallman (1994). "GNU Emacs Manual". p. 314. M-x dunnet runs an adventure-style exploration game, which is a bigger sort of puzzle [compared to the other puzzle-games that ship with GNU Emacs]. 
  2. ^ Richard Stallman; et al. (2015). "GNU Emacs manual, 17th edition, updated for Emacs 24.5" (PDF). pp. pdfPage#24 aka printedPage#2, as well as pdfPage#429 aka printedPage#407. ISBN 978-0-9831592-5-4. Acknowledgments. Contributors to GNU Emacs include ...Ronald S. Schnell.... ...M-x dunnet runs an[sic] text-based adventure game. 

The changes would make the article more WP-appropriate. If the replacement-sentence is acceptable, please also add Template:notelist to the appropriate subsection of article. Thanks, Ron, author of Dunnet'83 and Dunnet'92. p.s. See discussion at User_talk:, if you like.Ron Schnell 02:36, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

  • (here via a note on my talk page) The change is a little too terse and dense with citations. Any way to expand it into separate sentences with citations at the end of each? (If you ever need more feedback, I suggest leaving a note at the popular WT:VG.) I am no longer watching this page—ping if you'd like a response czar 16:31, 14 October 2015 (UTC)