Nethackathon 2022

April 15th through the 17th, a group of 24 streamers will be playing classic roguelike NetHack for 48 straight hours on Twitch! Their site is at, and they’re on Twitter. Last year’s marathon can be found archived on YouTube.

They did a similar stream last year in the month of September, but this year they’ve moved it to April in order to space themselves better around the two major NetHack tournaments in June and November.

What is that? You don’t know anything about NetHack? Oh boy, I get to explain it again-it’s a venerable roguelike game that’s been in existence for 34 years! The first version of NetHack is older than the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It began during the presidency of Ronald Reagan! While there have been lulls in its development, and at least one major member of its dev team, Izchak Miller, passed away years ago, it’s still going, and it’s still being worked on. It’s notable for its high difficulty, the large amount of information a player must assimilate to be successful, and for its high degree of fairness (although sometimes it doesn’t seem fair)

NetHack comes across as like a solo adventure in an old school first-edition AD&D megadungeon. It’s full of monsters with weird properties, you have to figure out what your items do, and every game is randomly generated.

An Indie Dev Showcase

Hello everyone. I’m Josh from Game-Wisdom and I’ll be uploading my video series, the Indie Dev Showcase here for Set Side B, along with indie game reviews. Each week, I cover indie games on my youtube channel and then use these videos to highlight the many games I play. If you’re an indie dev with a game you would like me to look at, please reach out. This one, in particular, is my 100th video in the series, and I’m taking a look back at the many great and hidden gems of the indie space I covered, which is perfect for a site like this.

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1:14 Alwa’s Legacy
  • 1:48 Lumote
  • 2:54 BoyandBox
  • 4:11 Sky Racket
  • 5:08 Intergalactic Fishing
  • 6:38 What the Golf
  • 7:25 The Hex
  • 8:35 PokeyPoke
  • 9:48 Shapez.Io
  • 11:08 Keen One Girl Army
  • 12:34 Candy Raid The Factory
  • 14:06 Gloom
  • 15:32 Final Upgrade
  • 16:46 Professor Lupo: Ocean
  • 18:02 Webbed
  • 19:06 Dojoran
  • 20:08 Kunai
  • 21:17 Leap of Fate
  • 22:35 Quantum Protocol
  • 24:05 Time Break Chronicles
  • 25:09 Vision Soft Reset
  • 25:56 Morkredd
  • 26:50 Siralim Ultimate
  • 27:53 Loveland
  • 28:40 The Dungeon Beneath
  • 29:39 Hoplegs
  • 30:16 Boy Beats World
  • 30:59 Turbo Overkill
  • 31:40 Prodigal
  • 32:46 Ghostlore

Indie Gaming: Hyperbolica

The ceiling beams and walls in this screenshot are not curved! They only look warped because they’re in a hyperbolic universe….

I did a Q&A with the creator of Hyperbolica for Game Developer a few months ago. It’s out now, on and Steam!

It’s really an awesome idea: an exploratory kind of game set in a hyperbolic space. If you’re wondering how someone could even make such a thing, developer CodeParade did a great series of YouTube videos on how he made it. Hyperbolica neatly upsets many of your intuitions of how basic motion and rotation work. It uses the processes of playing video games to communicate ideas in a deeply intuitive way.

If this looks like your kind of thing, you might consider looking into ZenoRogue’s HyperRogue (SteamAndroid), which is a one-hit roguelike set on a hyperbolic plane. Or the similarly brain-bending Manifold Garden from William Chyr (SteamSwitchXboxPS Store).

The Mana World is coming to Steam!

The ‘Mana Launcher’ App appeared on Steam. Slated to be release on December 1st, this open source MMO has entered a new phase of development.

The Mana World (TMW) is a free 2d open-source MMORPG. With a team of volunteer developers, it has been a labor of love for a decade, and on April 5th they celebrated officially getting on Steam.

Explore the multiple unique universes. The Mana world team is focused on building detailed worlds, unique quests using classic retro graphics. Currently you will find four unique universes that are being developed into it’s own unique world.

It is my hope the community will blossom with its release to steam.

I am quickly reminded of Tibia online or Nexus: The Kingdom of Winds as I was learning the ropes. I was greeted with a few players willing to help me warm up to the universe and get started. TWM has a unique retro style questing system and a magic system not for the casual gamer. If you are looking for a new 2d home I would recommend exploring ‘The Mana World.’

It even works on ARM computers!

If you can’t wait until December 1st for the release of ‘Mana Launcher’ on Steam, you can download the client today at The Mana World and explore the magic of this retro-style MMO.

Windows 3.1 Turns 30

Windows 3.1 logo

Windows 3.0 is where it became obvious that Windows was going to be a big thing. Previous versions of Windows were novelties. Now Microsoft had something that looked as good as a Mac. MS-DOS had become the de-facto standard for computing, but its UI was a command prompt, great for power users but impenetrable for the average PC owner. Windows 3.0 began to change that, and Windows 3.1 was a substantial improvement upon that.

April 6th is the 30th anniversary of Windows 3.1, released in 1992. While many of its elements may seem unfamiliar to younger users-there is no Start Button, desktop directory, taskbar, Windows Explorer or web browser-millions of people got their first exposure to Windows here. It used a “Program Manager” to allow users to launch their software.

File icons don’t appear on the Desktop. Minimized programs appear there instead, at the bottom of the screen. And under the hood is MS-DOS, which would remain around in some form until Windows XP finally annihilated it completely in 2001.

Benj Edwards of HowToGeek spoke with former Microsoft VP Brad Silverberg on the version of Windows that many cut their teeth on.

Benj’s Twitter feed has some more discussion.

You can run Windows 3.1 in your web browser at

The file manager of Windows 3.1, called File Manager natch, has been officially remade for Windows 10 and later, and is available on the Microsoft App Store.

Welcome to Set Side B!

Our Mascot

Please watch your step, the floors have just been waxed….

We’re a new daily (we hope!) blog devoted to what I call the “flipside” of gaming: indies, retro and niche.

“Indies” are typically games made by small teams, but it matters less who makes or publishes them than how interesting their ideas are. A good example of a game that I consider indie that was put out by big names is Pocket Card Jockey for the 3DS; it was made by Game Freak and published by Nintendo, but its style and gameplay have that independent spirit we’re looking for and adore.

“Retro” games are older titles. The meaning of retro keeps expanding: nowadays, Dreamcast, Gamecube and even PS2 games could be considered retro, but it still seems to best fit that era when hardware sprites were the norm.

“Niche” refers to those side genres that have relatively small numbers of fans whose dedication makes up for their lack of size. Shmups, dating sims, visual novels, builders, roguelikes, pet sims, interactive fiction, all kinds of weird and fun amusements that remind us of the wide range of things that a video or computer game can be.

Of course, we’re far from the only blog these beats. For others, please consult our rather luxurious sidebar and links page. We will happily link to lots of things that other people have written. Spread the love, spread the word. Still, we hope to provide a wide enough range, and an engaging enough voice, that you’ll come back to us many times. Not that you have to visit us to read us: please avail yourself of our RSS feed, that can be found at

We were inspired to start this blog by the passing of the old blog GameSetWatch, which covered much of this same territory from around 2005 through 2011 or so. It still hung around in archive form until its current owner, Informa, custodian of the Game Developer nee Gamasutra family of properties, deleted it during a recent site reorganization. It can still be found on the Internet Archive’s ever-helpful Wayback Machine, for however long that survives.

Speaking personally (rodneylives, aka John Harris), GameSetWatch is where I wrote a series of articles for awhile, the roguelike column @Play. I will be resuming that series here and on our sister site RetroStrange.

A few other contributors should be showing their faces in the coming days, so please keep your eyes open for them!

We’re still getting some things settled so the look of the site may change a lot in the upcoming weeks. But for now, welcome to Set Side B!