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acRobot is an open source Cinch bot which brings the acronym game to IRC. The bot will give the letters of a (fictional) acronym, and the players need to come up with a definition for it, after which they can vote for the best submission.

There are already plenty of acro IRC bots and scripts around, though I felt like writing my own in Ruby, using the Cinch library, since I feel it's easier to add features to code I've written myself, in my favourite language.

Configuration instructions

acRobot is written to generate its own config file when it can't find an existing one.

  • Install Cinch: gem install cinch (or check
  • Clone the git repo: git clone git:// && cd acRobot
  • Run the bot: ./bin/acRobot.rb
  • Open the newly created config file: open ~/.acro_bot_config.yaml
  • Change the network(s), server details, nickname, channel name(s), and make sure you set :enabled to true for the networks you want to join
  • Run the bot again: ./bin/acRobot.rb

Note that you can also pass an alternative config filename: ./bin/acRobot.rb ~/.acro_alternative_config.yaml



  • Configurable network profiles
  • Multi-server (1 script to start multiple bots)
  • Multiple game modes (3-6 letter words based on wordlists (mixed or specified), 4-6 random a-z letters or 3-5 random 'easy' letters)
  • Game mode can be specified at start of the game, or a random game mode can be chosen
  • Keyword-based acronym submission (!submit <acro here>) (channel and query)
  • Keyword-based acronym voting (!vote <acronumber>) (channel and query)
  • Context-based acronym submission and voting via PRIVMSG to the bot
  • Acronym theme suggestions
  • Score list
  • Voting allowed only to acronym submitters
  • Points only being awarded to those who've voted
  • On-join notification


  • Cross-server games (allowing players to participate in the same game across multiple servers)
  • Multi-lingual support
  • Command restrictions based on hostmask
  • Command restrictions based on channel access level
  • High scores
  • High scores per game mode
  • Configurable required game score
  • Duplicate acronym prevention
  • Queueing/merging of responses
  • Flood control
  • Dynamic submission period duration based on acronym length
  • Dynamic voting period duration based on amount of submissions
  • Changing your vote
  • Optionally disable public acro submission
  • Optionally disable public acro voting
  • More game modes


See the TODO.markdown file.

Notes on Patches/Pull Requests

  1. Fork the project.
  2. Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  3. Add tests for it (even though I don't have tests myself at the moment). This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  4. Commit, but do not mess with gemspec, version, history, or README. Want to have your own version? Bump version in a separate commit! That way I can ignore that commit when I pull.
  5. Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.
  6. You'll be added to the credits.


Thanks go out to:

  • m0d of, for running the TMAcro bot several years on
  • The Chat4All ( and Esper ( IRC Networks, for offering a place where I can run and test my acRo bot.
  • The Cinch developers, for creating an easy to use IRC library.
  • Flashcode, for developing the awesome WeeChat IRC client:


Copyright (c) 2011 Filip H.F. "FiXato" Slagter.

See LICENSE for details.

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