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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  HUNT (6)


hunt - a multi-player multi-terminal game


Playing Hints
See Also


hunt [-bcfmqSs] [-n name] [-p port] [-t team] [-w message] [ [-h] host ]


The object of the game hunt is to kill off the other players. There are no rooms, no treasures, and no monsters. Instead, you wander around a maze, find grenades, trip mines, and shoot down walls and players. The more players you kill before you die, the better your score is. If the -m flag is given, you enter the game as a monitor ( you can see the action but you cannot play ).

hunt looks for an active game on the local network. The location of the game may be specified by giving the host argument. This presupposes that a hunt game is already running on that host: see huntd(6) for details on how to set up a game on a specific host. If more than one game is found, you may pick which game to play in. If no games are found, hunt will exit.

If the -q flag is given, hunt queries the local network (or specific host) and reports on all active games found. This is useful for shell startup scripts, e.g., csh’s .login.

The player name may be specified on the command line by using the -n option.

The -c , -s , and -f options are for entering the game cloaked, scanning, or flying, respectively.

The -b option turns off beeping when you reach the typeahead limit.

The -t option aids team play by making everyone else on your team appear as the team name. A team name is a single digit to avoid conflicting with other characters used in the game. Use a team name consisting of a single space ('') to remain on your own.

The -p port option allows the rendezvous port number to be set.

The -w message option is the only way to send a message to everyone else’s screen when you start up. It is most often used to say "eat slime death - NickD’s coming in".

When you die and are asked if you wish to re-enter the game, there are other answers than just yes or no. You can also reply with a w to write a message before continuing or o to change how you enter the game (cloaked, scanning, or flying).


hunt only works on terminals with at least 24 lines, 80 columns, and cursor addressing. The screen is divided into 3 areas. On the right hand side is the status area. It shows damage sustained, charges remaining, who’s in the game, who’s scanning ( the *’ in front of the name ), who’s cloaked ( the +’ in front of the name ), and other players’ scores. The rest of the screen is taken up by your map of the maze. The 24th line is used for longer messages that don’t fit in the status area.

hunt uses the same keys to move as vi(1) does, i.e., h, j, k, and l for left, down, up, right, respectively. To change which direction you’re facing in the maze, use the upper case version of the movement key ( i.e., HJKL ). You can only fire or throw things in the direction you’re facing.

Other commands are:
f or 1 Fire a bullet (Takes 1 charge)
g or 2 Throw grenade (Takes 9 charges)
F or 3 Throw satchel charge (Takes 25 charges)
G or 4 Throw bomb (Takes 49 charges)
5 Throw big bomb (Takes 81 charges)
6 Throw even bigger bomb (Takes 121 charges)
7 Throw even more big bomb (Takes 169 charges)
8 Throw even more bigger bomb (Takes 225 charges)
9 Throw very big bomb (Takes 289 charges)
0 Throw very, very big bomb (Takes 361 charges)
@ Throw biggest bomb (Takes 441 charges)
o Throw small slime (Takes 5 charges)
O Throw big slime (Takes 10 charges)
p Throw bigger slime (Takes 15 charges)
P Throw biggest slime (Takes 20 charges)
s Scan (show where other players are) (Takes 1 charge)
c Cloak (hide from scanners) (Takes 1 charge)
^L Redraw screen
q Quit

The symbols on the screen are:
- | + walls
/ \ diagonal (deflecting) walls
# doors (dispersion walls)
; small mine
g large mine
: bullet
o grenade
O satchel charge
@ bomb
s small slime
$ big slime
> < ^ v
  you, facing right, left, up, or down
} { i ! other players facing right, left, up, or down
* explosion
  grenade and large mine explosion

Other helpful hints:

  • You can only fire in the direction you are facing.
  • You can only fire three shots in a row before the gun must cool off.
  • Shots move 5 times faster than you do.
  • To stab someone, you face that player and move at them.
  • Stabbing does 2 points worth of damage and shooting does 5 points.
  • Slime does 5 points of damage each time it hits.
  • You start with 15 charges and get 5 more every time a player enters or re-enters.
  • Grenade explosions cover a 3 by 3 area, each larger bomb cover a correspondingly larger area ( ranging from 5 by 5 to 21 by 21 ). All explosions are centered around the square the shot hits and do the most damage in the center.
  • Slime affects all squares it oozes over. The number of squares is equal to the number of charges used, multiplied by slimefactor as set by huntd(6) (default 3).
  • One small mine and one large mine are placed in the maze for every new player. A mine has a 2% probability of tripping when you walk forward on to it; 50% when going sideways; 95% when backing up. Tripping a mine costs you 5 points or 10 points, respectively. Defusing a mine is worth 1 charge or 9 charges, respectively.
  • You cannot see behind you.
  • Cloaking consumes 1 ammo charge per 20 of your moves.
  • Scanning consumes 1 ammo charge per (20 × the number of players) of other player moves.
  • Turning on cloaking turns off scanning — turning on scanning turns off cloaking.
  • When you kill someone, you get 2 more damage capacity points and 2 damage points get taken away.
  • Maximum typeahead is 5 characters.
  • A shot destroys normal (i.e., non-diagonal, non-door) walls.
  • Diagonal walls deflect shots and change orientation.
  • Doors disperse shots in random directions (up, down, left, right).
  • Diagonal walls and doors cannot be destroyed by direct shots but may be destroyed by an adjacent grenade explosion.
  • Slime goes around walls, not through them.
  • Walls regenerate, reappearing in the order they were destroyed. One percent of the regenerated walls will be diagonal walls or doors. When a wall is generated directly beneath a player, he is thrown in a random direction for a random period of time. When he lands, he sustains damage ( up to 20 percent of the amount of damage already sustained ); i.e., the less damage he had, the more nimble he is and therefore less likely to hurt himself on landing.
  • Every 30 deaths or so, a ?’ will appear. It is a wandering bomb which will explode when it hits someone, or when it is slimed.
  • If no one moves, everything stands still. But see the simstep configuration variable in huntd(6)
  • The environment variable HUNT is checked to get the player name. If you don’t have this variable set, hunt will ask you what name you want to play under. If you wish to set other options than just your name, you can enumerate the options as follows:

        setenv HUNT name=Sneaky,team=1,cloak,mapkey=zoFfGg1f2g3F4G

    sets the player name to Sneaky, sets the team to one, sets the enter game attribute to cloaked, and the maps z to o, F to f, G to g, 1 to f, 2 to g, 3 to F, and 4 to G. The mapkey option must be last. Other options are: scan, fly, nobeep, port= string, host= string, and message= string — which correspond to the command line options. String options cannot contain commas since commas are used to separate options.

  • It’s a boring game if you’re the only one playing.

Your score is the decayed average of the ratio of number of kills to number of times you entered the game and is only kept for the duration of a single session of hunt.


The -S option fetches the current game statistics.

Two groups of statistics are presented: the first group of statistics is that of the clients currently connected to the game, and is reset each time the client rejoins, while the second group of statistics is on all players (dead or alive) by name, and collected over the lifetime of the game daemon.

The meaning of the column headings are as follows:
Score the player’s last score
  how many shots a player ducked
  how many shots a player absorbed
Faced how many shots were fired at player’s face
Shot how many shots were fired at player
  how many of player’s shots were absorbed
  how many of player’s shots were ducked
  how many slime kills player had
Enemy how many enemies were killed
  how many friends were killed (self and same team)
  how many times player died
Still how many times player died without typing in any commands
Saved how many times a shot/bomb would have killed player if he hadn’t ducked or absorbed it
  current connection state(s) of player: 'p' for playing, 'm' for monitoring


  game coordinator




Conrad Huang, Ken Arnold, and Greg Couch;
University of California, San Francisco, Computer Graphics Lab


To keep up the pace, not everything is as realistic as possible.

The historic behaviour of hunt automatically starting huntd(6) is no longer supported.


We thank Don Kneller, John Thomason, Eric Pettersen, Mark Day, and Scott Weiner for providing endless hours of play-testing to improve the character of the game. We hope their significant others will forgive them; we certainly don’t.
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