colour-yahtzee: Your craving can now be satisfied

I am amazed that, after more than two years of scraping the underbelly of the venomous toad that is the Internet, I have only found one text-based Yahtzee game. And I can’t find a home page or original source for it. And perhaps most ironic, it dates back to 1992, so it’s not terribly new.


I won’t go over the rules or the history, mostly because the game is practically traditional and probably needs no introduction. Besides, things like that are what Wikipedia is for. 😉

As for this rendition, it does a reasonably good job of adapting the dice/point game to a speedy text-based version, with some fundamental graphic elements. While it doesn’t do much to introduce you to the game — it seems to expect you already know the rules — if you’re a player of any measure of experience, it will be only a moment or two before you’re up and running.

And for fun, you can pit the computer against itself, and condense what should be an hour-long recreational event into a two-second blur of probability and game theory. So impersonal. … 😦

This rendition appears to be floating around the Internet as colour-yahtzee.tgz, and is a colorized update of the original 1992 version, if the readme files are to believed.

As it is, it won’t compile in Arch without some minor edits to main.c, and falling back on my notes, you’ll need to

  1. Replace #include <ncurses/ncurses.h> with just #include <ncurses.h>
  2. Add void abort(char *msg); beneath the last #include line.

I forgot where I copied that from, but thanks to the original fixer. I know I couldn’t have figured that out alone. 😳

As far as shortcomings, colour-yahtzee is a little unforgiving of long names, and will actually splice a long name into two players if you’re not careful. It also is a little confused by the prospect of one player facing off against five computer players, which I blame in part on the way the prompts are arranged. Asking how many total players and how many human players would simplify things.

Also remember that to make your dice selections, you’ll need to separate your choices with spaces.

colour-yahtzee, for all I know, might be the only extant text-based Yahtzee evolution, and it does a decent job for its age and design. It would benefit from the smoothing of a few wrinkles, and does seem to need a home, but aside from that your Yahtzee craving can now be satisfied.

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