* Common abbreviations
- ASL: ASL
- CGoL: Cruel Game of Life
- CPK: Cruel Piano Keys
- EFM: experting for myself
- FE: Forget Everything
- FER: Foreign Exchange Rates
- FMN: Forget Me Not
- GoL: Game of Life
- GoLC: Game of Life Cruel
- KTaNE/KTANE/KT&NE: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
- LSD: least significant digit (same as modulo 10)
- LTP: looking to play
- MAH: Modules Against Humanity
- MSD: most significant digit
- PR: pull request
- RPSLS: Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock
- SN/S#: serial number
- TFKE: The Full KTaNE Experience, a collection on the Steam Workshop containing all playable modules and a bunch of useful tool mods.
- TP: Twitch Plays: KTANE
- TTK: Turn the Key
- TTKs: Turn the Keys
- TTS: text-to-speech
- WoF: Who’s on First
Alarm alarm clock
- 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
- — a battery holder with a D battery in it
- — a battery holder with 2 AA batteries in it
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.
Better Case Picker
In the vanilla game, there is only one bomb casing with 11 module slots.
A regular module that cannot be solved independently of other modules on the same bomb; a module that insists that other modules are solved first before you can solve this one.
Make sure to be subscribed to the Boss Module Manager to ensure that these modules work correctly when multiple boss modules are on the same bomb. Without it, a situation can arise where multiple boss modules all wait on each other, making the bomb unsolvable.
The following are some of the more well-known modules that require all other modules to be solved first (except for other boss modules). This list is not exhaustive.
The following are some of the modules that require some other modules to be solved first but usually not all of them:
Furthermore, there are a few modules that are not themselves boss modules, but are skipped over by boss modules due to their heavy dependence on the bomb’s timer. These include:
An item on the desk in the setup room, labelled “MODS”, that allows access to:
- the Mod Manager;
- the local folder containing the mod settings;
- the “mod manual”, an automatically generated PDF containing the manuals for all the installed modded modules. Serious players do not use this as a large PDF with hundreds of pages is unwieldy to use. Instead, the Repository of Manual Pages provides direct access to each module’s manuals with a search function.
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.
This mod is not generally played by serious players of KTANE. It is too disruptive to gameplay, especially if modules are present on the bomb that already require the defuser’s full attention. However, novice players frequently find the mod to be amusing for a short while, which is why it repeatedly comes up in conversation.
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.).
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:
An infamously challenging mission, for example:
(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:
A common way to communicate directions (or locations in a circular 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.
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.
Defuse disarm solve
Defuser profile veto profile, union profile
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.
- 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.
Elevator elevator room
Empty port plate
The setup is as follows:
- Time mode is enabled. This way, solving modules replenishes time on the timer.
- In Bomb Creator, the Factory mode is set to “∞ + global time”. This means a new bomb appears after one is defused, but any penalty resulting from strikes (lost time and reduced multiplier) will carry across to the next bomb.
Experting for myself EFM
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
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.
Free Play case
A mode of gameplay in which there is only one strike (thus allowing no mistakes).
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)
|Highlight a table row||Shift+Click|
|Highlight a table cell or an item in a list||Alt+Click (Windows)
|Change highlighter color||Alt+1, Alt+2, Alt+3, Alt+4|
|Enable/disable the highlighter||Shift+T|
Non-standard name for the letter I. The standard NATO name is “India”.
A particularly interactive module is one in which the expert must repeatedly ask the defuser for information on the module.
Typical examples of particularly interactive modules include:
- Gridlock, where the expert needs to repeatedly ask for pieces of information, as there is too much information to read out all of it;
- Horrible Memory, where every button press produces new information that must be provided to the expert;
- Microcontroller, where the defuser has to ask the expert for pieces of the solution at a time.
An interactive module ties up the defuser’s attention, which means a defuser can usually only do one interactive module at a time.
By contrast, a non-interactive module is one where the defuser can read out all information from the module to the expert, after which the expert will work on their own to obtain the solution, and then finally relay the solution back to the defuser. An example of a particularly non-interactive module is Radiator, which doesn’t even require any information to be read out, as the solution depends solely on edgework.
A common strategy is for the defuser to allocate several non-interactive modules to all experts but one and then play an interactive module with the remaining expert while the others work on their solutions.
Former name for expert profile.
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.
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:||%AppData%\..\LocalLow\Steel Crate Games\Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes\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|
|Linux:||~/.config/unity3d/Steel Crate Games/Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes/Player.log|
Manual manual page
A document that explains:
Some manuals may include an appendix.
All modules and widgets have a manual written by their authors. However, other players may have contributed additional modified versions of a manual, either to rephrase the explanations, to reorganize the information more efficiently, or to short-circuit some or all calculations. Such additional manuals can be accessed on the Repository of Manual Pages by clicking the down-pointing arrow that says “MORE”.
There are a few terms loosely applied to describe the various degrees of modification:
- “embellished”: The original manual but with information added.
- Example: Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock embellished manual adds a table row showing which signs beat each sign.
- “reworded”, “reorganized”: Still essentially the same manual, but with the information rearranged or rephrased to aid readability or accessibility.
- Example: Hunting reworded manual rephrases the explanations and makes the symbols bigger. The table is still the same.
- Example: Burglar Alarm rearranged manual rephrases the explanations and transposes the table (rows become columns and vice-versa). The information presented is still the same, just in a different orientation.
- “condensed”: A manual in which the information is severely abbreviated, to the point that it’s usually not readable to players who have not seen the original manual. The intended audience is players who are intimately familiar with the fundamental rules of a module and only need to quickly refer to specific conditions or instructions they haven’t memorized.
- Example: Forget Me Not condensed manual contains only the core calculation rules but leaves out all of the explanation.
- “optimized” or “lookup table”: Some or all of the calculation that the original manual demands of the expert has been pre-computed and the answers directly listed. Such a manual may also remove steps that are found to be unnecessary as they have no effect on the solution.
- “interactive”: Provides a web page for the user to enter the module’s information in a grid or some other structure. Although this employs dynamic behavior (like an app), it explicitly does not automatically compute any part of the solution for the user; rather, it is a digital equivalent to a paper template.
- Example: Hexamaze interactive manual simulates a transparent stencil that can be drawn on and then moved/rotated over the manual.
- “automated solver”: Any software that partially or entirely automates the role of the expert. The Repository of Manual Pages does not host any automated solvers.
- Example: An interactive demonstration of Conway's Game of Life can be used to solve the Game of Life Simple module and reduces the expert’s task to entering the puzzle, pressing a button, and reading off the answer.
Opinions on the legitimacy of such modified manuals vary widely between players:
- Some players prefer to play only with the authors’ original manuals, reasoning that they prefer to play a module according to its author’s intended gameplay and that any additional resources not provided by the author may, to some degree, constitute “cheating”.
- Some players allow embellishments to the original manuals. The logic here is that an expert with a printed copy of the page can scribble additional notes in the margins or elsewhere on the page.
- Some players use any manual available to them, as long as it can be (or could be) printed on reasonable amounts of paper. Similar to the previous point, such a player might argue that, in-universe, an experienced bomb defusal expert can and would print out such a page to improve their success rate and minimize deaths from detonations. Furthermore, such a player may prefer an optimized manual that distills out the module’s intrinsic puzzle and removes extrinsic obfuscations.
- Interactive manuals are often justified on the basis that they simulate what a sufficiently crafty expert can do with physical objects, including cutting paper into shapes or using erasable marker on laminated paper.
- Automated solvers are generally not accepted and are widely considered to negate the entire point in the game.
Modders wishing to create a manual for a new module have multiple options:
- You can modify the manual template in the KTANE modkit. Since you’re already creating a mod, you already have a copy of the modkit.
- You can download the template manual ZIP containing all the necessary files. Just rename and modify the template.
- If you’re adept with git, you can clone the KtaneContent repository from GitHub, take a copy of any existing manual page and modify it. This also allows you to submit your new manual as a pull request to the maintainers of the website.
- To generate a PDF version of your manual, use Google Chrome’s print feature (Ctrl+P). Ensure that the paper format is set to US Letter as that is currently the standard for KTANE manual pages.
A modification to the game that usually involves the addition of new content. Mods are hosted on the Steam Workshop. A mod can contain:
- modules (both regular and needy)
- widgets (for example, Two Factor)
- bomb casings (for example, Centurion)
- missions (for example, Mr Porcu’s module training missions)
- gameplay rooms (for example, Factory)
- setup rooms
- holdables (for example, Mod Selector, Bomb Creator)
- services (for example, Music Manager, Tweaks)
- sound packs
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|
|Linux:||~/.config/unity3d/Steel Crate Games/Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes/ModProfiles|
It allows the user, among other things, to enable or disable various gameplay elements:
To bring in modules that your experts wish to play, use expert profiles.
Usually each player wishing to play as expert uses the Profile Editor to create their own experting profile and sends it
to the defuser through the
#voice-textchannel. The defuser places the file in their mod profiles folder and then enables it in Mod Selector.
- To take out any modules, widgets, bomb casings, gameplay rooms and services that you as the defuser do not wish to use, create and enable a defuser profile. These take precedence over expert profiles.
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.
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
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 spoken in standard English instead.
|A||Alfa||N||November (sometimes Nancy)||0||Zero|
|F||Foxtrot||S||Sierra (sometimes South)||5||Fife|
|H||Hotel||U||Uniform (sometimes Umbrella)||7||Seven|
|I||India (sometimes Indigo)||V||Victor||8||Ait|
Needy module needy
Alternative name for setup room.
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.
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.
Objects which appear on port plates.
In the vanilla game they come in the following varieties:
- — Parallel
- — Serial
- — DVI-D
- — PS/2
- — RJ-45
- — Stereo RCA
These can only be grouped in specific ways on a port plate:
- — Parallel and serial
- — DVI-D, PS/2, RJ-45 and Stereo RCA
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.
(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
Repository of Manual Pages
This requires the Rule Seed Modifier (subscribe here).
To see this in action, compare these two versions of the Password manual:
- standard Password manual (shows the familiar words)
- Password manual with rule seed 2 (same puzzle, but with different words)
The defuser and experts must agree on the rule seed. The players can either manually enter a desired number in Bomb Creator, or have Bomb Creator choose a number at random by holding the “S” button for several seconds.
The default rule seed is 1. Using this rule seed will provide all the familiar “standard” rules.
A number used to:
- dynamically vary the rules of modules — see rule seed;
- allow multiple users to experience the same bomb (same modules with the same puzzles on them) — see Competitive Mode.
Generally, in computer programming, “seed” 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.
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. 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.
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.
Setup room office
The room that appears when the game starts and is not in an ongoing bomb.
In the vanilla game, the setup room contains the following items:
- the missions binder, allowing the user to launch a mission;
- the brochure, providing a gateway into the world of mods;
- the Free Play case, allowing the user to customize the number of modules, strikes and the starting time on the timer;
- a folder containing options to set sound/music volume, screen resolution, and to exit the game.
Additional items used in the setup room by almost all modded players include:
- the Bomb Creator, an advanced version of the Free Play case;
- the Mod Selector, allowing players to enable/disable specific modules, widgets, gameplay rooms and services through the use of profiles.
Used as a verb, for example: “I’ll shadow you on Adjacent Letters.”
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 defused 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.
Solve defuse disarm
Non-standard name for the letter S. The standard NATO name is “Sierra”.
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
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.
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.
- When a strike is earned, the timer does not speed up; instead, a fixed proportion of the remaining time (usually 25%) is deducted.
- When a regular module is solved, additional time is added to the timer. The amount of time depends on the difficulty of the module solved. This way, time lost from strikes can be regained.
- There is a “multiplier” value. With a high multiplier, the amount of time earned from solved modules is higher. The multiplier starts out high, but a strike reduces this value drastically, while a solved module only increases it slightly. This way, strikes are still very costly and the challenge of solving modules reliably is maintained.
This mode is widely considered to be more suitable (even essential) to playing endurance.
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
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)
- 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.
- Steady mode, time mode and Zen 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 (subscribe here) 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.
Non-standard name for the letter U. The standard NATO name is “Uniform”.
A rule in a manual which can make a module effortless to solve but occurs very rarely.
Former name for a defuser profile.
- The base game without any mods installed or enabled. The base game contains 11 regular modules, 3 needy modules and a fair amount of missions.
- A style of play in which only vanilla (unmodded) modules are used, even if mods such as bomb casings or Bomb Creator are used to increase the number of modules, widgets or strikes.
Alternate name for a defuser profile.
Short for Steam Workshop.