FAQ back

Glossary

* Common abbreviations

Alarm alarm clock

A loud sound that obstructs the defuser’s ability to communicate with the expert(s) until the alarm is silenced by pressing the “Snooze” button. The alarm turns itself off on its own after a while.

This is one of the pacing events.

Appendix

  • In the vanilla manual: a set of pages near the end of the manual that describe how to read the widgets. Several manual pages for modules refer to these.
  • In the world of mods, an appendix is an additional page that is still part of the manual for a specific module, but not strictly required for solving it. These usually describe concepts in greater detail that may be unfamiliar to some readers, for example logic operators, lists of numbers such as prime numbers, rules of color mixing, etc.

ASL sign language

Short for American Sign Language. The defuser and expert(s) can see, but not hear each other and communicate exclusively through sign language. It is also possible to have one-way audio and use ASL only the other way.

This is one of the special challenges.

Battery

An object that appears in battery holders on the side of the bomb casing. There are two types of batteries: AA batteries and D batteries.

Defusers often read out the number of batteries and battery holders instead of the number of AA batteries and the number of D batteries. Experts can deduce the number of AA batteries and D batteries from this information:

  • If there are 4 batteries in 2 holders, all of them must be AA batteries.
  • If there are 2 batteries in 2 holders, all of them must be D batteries.
  • If there are 3 batteries in 2 holders, there must be 2 AA batteries and 1 D battery.

In general, if there are b batteries and h battery holders, then:

  • the number of AA batteries is 2(b − h), and
  • the number of D batteries is 2h − b.

Battery holder

A widget which can contain a single D battery or 2 AA batteries.

Better Case Picker

A former mod whose functionality has been incorporated into Tweaks.

Bomb

Can refer to:

Bomb casing

The shape of the bomb, which dictates the number of modules that can be played on it.

In the vanilla game, there is only one bomb casing with 11 module slots.

With mods, different bomb casings exist that have different shapes and colors, different numbers of slots for modules, and different locations for the widgets.

Bomb Creator

A modded holdable (subscribe here) that functions similarly to the Free Play case, containing more options for customizability, including giving access to functions of Multiple Bombs and Factory.

Brochure

An item on the desk in the setup room, labelled “MODS”, that allows access to:

Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down, The the bus mod

An infamous gameplay room mod (subscribe here) that requires the defuser to steer a bus while also defusing the bomb. It is loosely inspired by the movie Speed. The name of the mod itself is referencing a quote from an episode of “The Simpsons” cartoon series.

Cardinal directions

A common way to communicate directions (or locations in a grid-like arrangement) that relies on the markings of a compass rose. In this nomenclature, “north” means “up”, “east” means “right”, etc.

Contrasting with clockface directions:

  • This method is especially useful when angles of 45° are involved. For example, in Semaphore, “north-east” is an accurate direction, while using either “1 o’clock” or “2 o’clock” can cause confusion.
  • This method is not prefix-safe, as there are some directions (e.g., “north”) that are a prefix of others (e.g. “north-east”). As a result, an expert saying “north-east” may be misunderstood as having said “north” for a variety of reasons (voice cutting out, hesitation, stuttering, etc.).

Centurion

Created in mid-2017 to celebrate 100 modules, refers to:

Challenge

Aside from the usual meaning of “challenge” in English, this may refer to:

  • (also: special challenge) A gameplay mode which is specially constrained to add additional challenge to the game. Some such challenges include:

  • (also: manual challenge) A community challenge in which a mod creator publishes a regular module without a manual. The community examines the behavior of the module and uses data collection and logical deduction to determine the module’s rules and write a manual for it. Once the rules have been figured out in their entirety, the module becomes a normal module with a manual.

    Past challenges of this nature were, in chronological order:

  • An infamously challenging mission, for example:

Clockface directions

A common way to communicate directions (or locations in a circle-like arrangement) that relies on the position of numbers on the dial of an analog clock. In this nomenclature, “12” means “up”, “3” means “right”, etc.

Contrasting with cardinal directions:

  • This method is especially useful when angles of 30° or 60° are involved. For example, in Hexamaze, “2 o’clock” is a more accurate direction than “north-east”.
  • This method is prefix-safe as no clockface direction is a prefix of any other.

Clown Car

A special gameplay challenge in which two or more defusers, playing separate bombs, use the same voice channel and potentially share experts.

This is one of the special challenges.

Competitive Mode

A mod (subscribe here) that allows multiple defusers to experience the exact same bomb (same modules with the same puzzles on them).

This allows for teams to race against each other on a level playing field. Without it, a team may get lucky by receiving easier puzzles on some modules than the other team.

Countdown timer

See timer.

Defuse disarm solve

Defuser

The player who holds the bomb but cannot see the manual.

Contrast with expert.

See also experting for myself.

Defuser profile veto profile, union profile

A type of profile in Mod Selector that allows the user to veto (disable) specific modules, widgets, bomb casings or services.

Usually used to exclude modules the defuser chooses not to play.

Contrast with expert profile. Defuser profiles take precedence over expert profiles.

Diffuse

diffuse, verb

  • to pour out and spread, as a fluid.
  • to spread or scatter widely or thinly; disseminate.
  • Physics. to spread by diffusion.

Has nothing really to do with Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes; when you see this, the writer usually means defuse but got the spelling wrong.

Digital root

A mathematical operation used by some modules. The digital root of an integer can be calculated one of two ways:

  • Take the sum of the digits that make up the number. Then keep repeating that until you get a result that is only a single digit.
  • Subtract 1 from the number, take it modulo 9, then add 1.
Note that this means:
  • 0 is the only number whose digital root is 0.
  • The digital root for all other numbers is between 1 and 9.
  • The digital root doesn’t change if you remove 9s from the number. Therefore, you can make your calculation easier by removing all the 9s as well as any groups of digits that add up to 9 (e.g., 4 and 5). However, if you end up removing all digits in this manner, the answer is still 9, not 0.

Disarm

Edgework

The widgets plus the serial number on any particular bomb. This usually consists of batteries, indicators, ports, and the serial number. If modded widgets are used (for example, Two Factor), it includes all of those as well.

Elevator elevator room

A gameplay room that is technically included in the vanilla game but has some special status:

  • Without mods, this gameplay room is only accessible using VR (virtual reality).
  • The Camera Mover mod allows access to this gameplay room in regular play.
  • This gameplay room can also be played in Twitch Plays: KTANE.

Empty port plate

A port plate without any ports.

Expert

The player who reads the manual but cannot see the bomb.

Contrast with defuser.

See also experting for myself.

Experting for myself EFM

Assuming the defuser and expert role simultaneously by looking at both the bomb and the manual.

Despite not being in the original spirit of the game because it removes the communication aspect of the game, it has appeal because you still have to solve the puzzles on the modules within the time of the bomb.

Not to be confused with soloing.

Expert profile intersect profile

A type of profile in Mod Selector that is used to include modules.

Usually used to include the modules a particular expert chooses to play.

Contrast with defuser profile. Defuser profiles take precedence over expert profiles.

Explode detonate blow up

When a bomb explodes, the players have lost the game. There are two reasons a bomb might explode. The binder that appears on the screen after the explosion describes the “Reason for Explosion”:

  • If it says “Time Ran Out”, the bomb’s timer ran out before the team has solved all regular modules on the bomb.
  • Otherwise, it will show the name of a module. The bomb exploded because the maximum number of strikes has been reached by making mistakes, and the most recent strike (the one that finally set off the explosion) was caused by a mistake on the module shown. Note that this could be a module you weren’t directly interacting with, especially if it’s a needy module. For the vast majority of modules, you can find information about your mistake in the logfile.

Factory

A gameplay room (subscribe here) that provides additional gaming functionality on top of what the vanilla game provides, most notably the ability to play several bombs in sequence (a new bomb appears when one is disarmed). This also requires the Multiple Bombs mod and the Bomb Creator.

Free Play case

A holdable in the setup room that allows the defuser to run a bomb with a desired amount of regular modules and time as well as the option to enable and disable needy modules and/or hardcore mode.

The Bomb Creator is a replacement that provides greater control and more options/settings.

Gameplay room

A room in which a bomb (game) can occur. The vanilla game includes one gameplay room (which looks like a room in an underground bunker). The most well-known modded gameplay rooms include Factory and The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down .

GitHub

A website that hosts repositories.

Hardcore

A mode of gameplay in which there is only one strike (thus allowing no mistakes).

Highlighter

A feature on the Repository of Manual Pages that allows the user to highlight list items and table columns/rows in HTML manuals using keyboard-mouse combos:

Highlight a table column Ctrl+Click (Windows)
Command+Click (Mac)
Highlight a table row Shift+Click
Highlight a table cell or an item in a list Alt+Click (Windows)
Ctrl+Shift+Click (Windows)
Command+Shift+Click (Mac)
Change highlighter color Alt+1, Alt+2, Alt+3, Alt+4
Enable/disable the highlighter Shift+T

Holdable

An object in the setup room provided by a mod. Common examples include Mod Selector and Bomb Creator.

The Free Play case, the missions binder and the brochure can also be seen as holdables, but they’re provided by the vanilla game, not a mod.

Indicator

A widget on the side of the bomb casing which has a label and either a lit or unlit LED.

The vanilla game uses only 11 indicator labels (BOB, CAR, CLR, FRK, FRQ, IND, MSA, NSA, SIG, SND, and TRN). Widget Expander can be used to add NLL and more.

Indigo

Non-standard name for the letter I. The standard NATO name is “India”.

Intersect profile

Former name for expert profile.

Leaderboard

There are two separate types of leaderboards:

  • The game maintains leaderboards for every mission, including modded ones. These leaderboards contain the Steam account name of the defuser, and the scores are the best times remaining on the bomb.
  • Twitch Plays: KTANE maintains a different kind of leaderboard. These leaderboards contain the Twitch account name of the players, and the scores are point scores accumulated through the solving of regular modules. Each streamer has a separate, independent leaderboard.

Both types of leaderboards are displayed at the end of each bomb.

Logfile

A file that is generated by the game that contains information about the bomb and the modules on it. For the vast majority of modules, it includes the information on the module and the expected solution, thus allowing you to trace your steps and figure out your mistakes if you got strikes.

Use the Logfile Analyzer to read these logfiles more easily.

The logfile accumulates all the bombs you play within a single session of the game. The game starts a new file when it is launched and wipes the old one.

Assuming default installation paths, the logfile can be found here:

Windows/Steam: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes\ktane_Data\output_log.txt
Windows/Oculus: C:\Program Files (x86)\Oculus\Software\steel-crate-games-keep-talking-and-nobody-explodes\Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes\ktane_Data\output_log.txt
Mac: ~/Library/Logs/Unity/Player.log
Linux: ~/.config/unity3d/Steel Crate Games/Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes/Player.log

Logfile Analyzer

A powerful feature on the Repository of Manual Pages that displays information contained in a logfile in a graphical and organized manner.

Manual manual page

A document that explains:

Normally manuals are used by the expert(s) and aren’t supposed to be seen by the defuser.

Some manuals may include an appendix.

Mission

A preset game specifying a specific number of modules, strikes, and the initial time on the timer. The vanilla game provides several missions involving the vanilla modules, but mods can add new missions. They are all listed in the missions binder.

Missions binder

The holdable in the center of the desk in the setup room, labeled “BOMBS”, allowing the player to launch missions (vanilla or modded).

Mod

A modification to the game that usually involves the addition of new content. Mods are hosted on the Steam Workshop. A mod can contain:

Mod Manager

The game feature that allows users to browse, subscribe to/unsubscribe from, enable and disable mods. If mods are installed, the Mod Manager appears at game startup, but can also be accessed through the brochure in the setup room.

Mod profiles folder

The folder that contains the profiles used by Mod Selector.

To open the folder from within the game, simply click on “Open Mod Profiles Folder” on the Mod Selector. Outside of the game, you can open the folder as follows:

Windows: %APPDATA%\..\LocalLow\Steel Crate Games\Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes\ModProfiles
Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/com.steelcrategames.keeptalkingandnobodyexplodes/ModProfiles
Linux: ~/.config/unity3d/Steel Crate Games/Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes/ModProfiles

Mod Selector

A mod that looks like an iPad and sits on the desk in the setup room.

It allows the user, among other things, to enable or disable various gameplay elements:

Mod settings

Many mods have settings that can customize their behavior. For example, modules that involve colors sometimes have a colorblind mode. The brochure provides access to the local folder that contains the files in which the settings can be customized.

Module

A puzzle which is shown on the bomb and can cause you to get a strike.

Modules can be regular or needy.

Not to be confused with mod.

Modulo

A mathematical operation that returns the remainder obtained by dividing two numbers. For example, “13 modulo 5” is 3 because “13 divided by 5” is “2, remainder 3”.

Another way to think of it is to repeatedly add or subtract n until the result is in the range 0 to n − 1. For example, modulo 5 is the same adding/subtracting 5 until the result is in the range 0–4.

Another way to think of it is to consider how far the number is above a multiple of n. For example, “13 modulo 5” is 3 because 13 is 3 more than 10, which is the next lower multiple of 5.

Mr. Porcu’s module training missions Porcu training missions

A mission pack (subscribe here) used to practice modules.

There is one mission for every module in existence. Usual standard for regular modules is 5 modules and 60 minutes on the timer.

Multiple Bombs

A mod (subscribe here) that allows the player to play multiple bombs at once.

The vanilla gameplay room allows up to two simultaneous bombs. The Portal Gameplay Room allows up to 4. The Factory allows much more, which can be played simultaneously (up to 48) or in sequence (infinite).

Music Manager

A mod (subscribe here) that allows you to customize the background music during the game.

Nancy

Non-standard name for the letter N. The standard NATO name is “November”.

NATO Phonetic Alphabet NATO

An alphabet of code words used to spell words in a way that is unambiguous even when audio is poor.

The following table shows the complete NATO spelling standard, including the digits. However, in the KTANE community, the digits are generally not used.

AAlfa NNovember (sometimes Nancy) 0Zero
BBravo OOscar 1Wun
CCharlie PPapa 2Too
DDelta QQuebec 3Tree
EEcho RRomeo 4Fow-er
FFoxtrot SSierra (sometimes South) 5Fife
GGolf TTango 6Six
HHotel UUniform (sometimes Umbrella) 7Seven
IIndia (sometimes Indigo) VVictor 8Ait
JJuliett WWhiskey 9Niner
KKilo XX-ray
LLima YYankee
MMike ZZulu

Needy module needy

A type of module which cannot be disarmed, but poses a recurrent hazard.

Office

Alternative name for setup room.

Pacing event

An event that occurs randomly during a game to distract the defuser or add challenge to the gameplay. There are two pacing events in the game:

  • The alarm
  • When the lights in the room go out briefly and everything is dark until they come back on.

The game does not currently have any support for modded pacing events.

Porcu

The last name of the creator and maintainer of Mr. Porcu’s module training missions, often used as an abbreviation to refer to those missions.

Port

Objects which appear on port plates. In the vanilla game they come in the following varieties: DVI-D, Parallel, PS/2, RJ-45, Serial, and Stereo RCA. The mod “Multiple Widgets” adds the following: AC, USB, VGA, PCMCIA, Component Video, Composite Video, and HDMI.

Port plate

A type of widget which can contain 0-4 ports. The mod “Multiple Widgets” adds port plates that can contain up to 13 ports.

Profile Editor

A feature on the Repository of Manual Pages that allows users to create a profile for Mod Selector.

It is usually used to create expert profiles that indicate which modules a player wishes to include when playing as an expert. The player then downloads this profile (a .json file) and sends it to the defuser through the #voice-text channel on Discord. Finally, the defuser places the file in their mod profiles folder and can then enable or disable that profile in Mod Selector whenever they play with this particular expert.

Pull request

(Used on GitHub and not directly KTANE-related.) A proposed modification to a repository on GitHub. The repository’s author can choose to accept (“merge”) or reject the suggestion. Since mods are often hosted on GitHub, pull requests are commonly used to add functionality (such as Twitch Plays: KTANE support) to a module. Pull requests can also be used to add new manuals or other files or functionality to the Repository of Manual Pages.

Regular module solvable module

A module that must be solved to defuse the bomb.

See also: needy module.

Repository repo

Can refer to two different things:

Repository of Manual Pages

A website that hosts all manuals for KTANE modules and widgets as well as the Profile Editor and the Logfile Analyzer.

Changes to this can be proposed using pull requests as these are hosted on GitHub:

  • KtaneContent - Contains all manuals, the Profile Editor, Logfile Analyzer and other static files hosted on the server
  • KtaneWeb - Contains the C# code that runs the website.

Rule Seed Modifier Rule Modifier

A mod (subscribe here) that provides functionality that allows modules to vary their manuals and rules dynamically.

The user chooses a seed (any positive or negative integer), which will generate new rules for supported modules. The defuser must enter the seed through Bomb Creator, while the expert must use the correct manual using the same seed. The Repository of Manual Pages allows the user to enter the seed and be linked to all the right manuals.

All vanilla regular modules as well as Needy Knob support this, as well as a growing number of modded modules.

Seed

In computer programming, refers to a number that can kick off a random-number generator in such a way that it will reliably generate the same random numbers each time it is run off of the same seed. In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, this concept is applied in two ways:

Serial number

A code of letters and numbers on the side of the bomb casing. Most modules have rules/conditions that depend on this serial number.

The serial number has a few fixed properties:

  • It is always six characters that are either a letter A–Z or a digit 0–9.
  • The third and sixth characters are always digits.
  • The fourth and fifth are always letters.
  • In the vanilla game, the letters O and Y do not occur. The digit 0 (zero), however, does. The Widget Expander can be used to change this. At the time of writing, all modules consider Y to be a consonant, not a vowel, except for Cooking which has a footnote specifically to say this.
  • The digit 0 (zero) is an even number.

Service

A mod that modifies the game behavior in a way other than adding modules, widgets, bomb casings, gameplay rooms, setup rooms, sound packs or holdables. Well-known service mods include Multiple Bombs, Tweaks, and Music Manager.

Factory, while usually perceived solely as a gameplay room, technically also includes a service to allow it to interface with Multiple Bombs and Bomb Creator.

Setup room office

The room that appears when the game starts and is not in an ongoing bomb.

The vanilla game includes one setup room, which looks like an office. Several mods provide alternative setup rooms.

Shadow

Of an expert, to work to solve a regular module another expert is already working on. This is sometimes done in a case where all other modules on the bomb have been solved, so there is no other work left to do. If time on the bomb is short, the shadowing expert might find the solution quicker, allowing the bomb to be disarmed in time. If there are no strikes left to give, the shadowing expert provides a verification to increase confidence in the correctness of the solution.

Solo

To solve (a regular module) from memory while playing the defuser role.

Used as a verb, for example: “I soloed Anagrams.” “Dude, he can solo Tax Returns, it’s sick!”

Not to be confused with experting for myself.

Solve defuse disarm

Solved module

A regular module on the bomb that has already been solved.

Some module manuals refer to the number of solved modules (or unsolved modules) as part of their calculations/rules.

Sound pack

A mod that modifies the sounds used in the game; in particular, the strike sound, the bomb explosion sound, the alarm sound and others.

This does not include the background music in the game; see Music Manager for that.

South

Non-standard name for the letter S. The standard NATO name is “Sierra”.

Status light

A small bulb or LED on a regular module, usually in the top-right corner.

This light starts out dark gray to indicate the module is not yet solved. Once it is solved, the light turns bright green.

When a module registers a strike, it briefly flashes up red.

There are a few modded modules that subvert this standard behavior. Some modules have the status light in a different corner than the top-right, while others may use different colors/states to indicate whether they are solved or unsolved.

Steam Workshop Workshop

The website where all the mods are hosted and can be subscribed to.

When a modder creates a new mod, often they might upload it to the Workshop but keep it marked as friends-only so that members of the community can playtest it before it goes public. In such a case, make sure you are logged in to the website with your Steam identity to subscribe to such a non-public mod.

Strike

Refers to:

  • A mistake made while attempting a module.

    When it occurs, a strike usually produces a sharp buzzing sound and a red flashing of the status light.

    Strikes already registered are represented by a red, X-like symbol above the timer. However, this only shows up to two strikes, so you can’t tell whether you already have two or more than two strikes.

    If you are unsure why you received a strike, for the vast majority of modules, you can find information about your mistake in the logfile.

    Some modules require the number of registered strikes as part of their calculations/rules.

    A strike can speed up the timer.

  • The number of mistakes that will cause the bomb to explode. In standard gameplay, this is usually 3, although some missions reduce it to 1 (see hardcore), while the Bomb Creator allows players to set it to any number.

Time Mode

A gameplay mode in which the time on the bomb’s timer is increased when a regular module is solved.

See also: Zen mode.

Text-to-speech

A gameplay mode in which the defuser gives instructions to experts in a voice channel as usual, but cannot hear the experts directly. Instead, the experts type their responses/solutions in a text channel and the defuser has Discord read them out through a text-to-speech software.

In some cases, the defuser may stream their game on Twitch, which enables experts to see the bomb directly.

This is one of the special challenges.

Timer countdown timer

The ticking countdown on the bomb that determines how much time remains to defuse the bomb before it will explode.

Some modules require a specific action (such as tapping or releasing a button) when the countdown timer has specific digits in it or fulfills some other condition.

Above the timer, a small display shows up to two strikes already registered in the form of small X-like symbols.

The timer speeds up depending on the number of strikes already registered:

  • 1 strike: 1.25× speedup (so 1 timer second is now 0.8 actual seconds)
  • 2 strikes: 1.5× speedup (so 1 timer second is now 0.67 actual seconds)
  • 3 strikes: 1.75× speedup (so 1 timer second is now 0.57 actual seconds)
  • ≥ 4 strikes: 2× speedup (so 1 timer second is now 0.5 actual seconds)

Tweaks

A mod (subscribe here) that provides assorted functionality:

  • Better Case Picker: ensures you don’t get a super huge bomb casing when you’re only playing a small number of modules.
  • HUD: A display in the corner of the screen showing the timer, number of strikes and other information.
  • Edgework display: A display at the top of the screen showing the edgework in text form.
  • Time mode
  • Applies minor fixes to certain modded modules whose authors are no longer reachable to fix the modules directly.

Twitch Plays: KTANE Twitch Plays TP

A mod that allows players to play Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes through the chat on a Twitch stream. It requires a streamer to stream the game. The players then issue commands through the chat, which are automatically executed by the mod rather than a human.

Players are awarded point scores for solving a regular module, giving rise to a leaderboard.

Since this mod requires configuration by the streamer, it is not hosted on the Steam Workshop. Instead, its GitHub page provides a link to the latest build.

Two Factor

A modded widget (subscribe here) which displays a 6-digit number that changes every minute. Very few modules make use of it.

Umbrella

Non-standard name for the letter U. The standard NATO name is “Uniform”.

Unicorn

A rule in a manual which can make a module effortless to solve but occurs very rarely.

Union profile

Former name for a defuser profile.

Unsolved module

A regular module on the bomb that has not yet been solved.

Some module manuals refer to the number of unsolved modules as part of their calculations/rules.

Vanilla

Refers to:

Vanilla Rule Seed Modifier

Former name of Rule Seed Modifier.

It was renamed as there are now several mods that support rule seeds, not just the vanilla modules.

Veto profile

Alternate name for a defuser profile.

Widget

Anything that appears on the bomb casing, with the exception of the serial number; affects most modules. The vanilla game always places 5 widgets on a bomb, but this can be changed using Bomb Creator.

Widget Expander

A mod that:

  • Allows the letters O (Oscar) and Y (Yankee) to occur in serial numbers;
  • Adds NLL as a common indicator label and allows the occasional occurrence of indicators with random three-letter combinations beyond the standard ones;
  • Allows the user to alter the number of widgets that appear on the bomb. This functionality is obsoleted by Bomb Creator.

Workshop

Short for Steam Workshop.

Yes/no challenge

A special gameplay challenge in which one player (usually the defuser) is only allowed to say “yes” or “no”, so the other player (usually the expert) has to strategically ask the right questions to extract information.

This is one of the special challenges.

Zen Mode

A gameplay mode in which the time on the timer runs up instead of down. This way, the bomb will never explode due to time running out.

When used in Twitch Plays: KTANE, this mode also drastically reduces the point score earned for solving a regular module.

See also: time mode.