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It doesn't work, what now?

The following frequently asked questions along with answers will provide you with some solutions to common errors, problems or misunderstandings when you try to compile, use or get otherwise involved with Pingus.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

Where can I find more levels?
Last update:21. Jul 2003 [Up]

Foreword: Every level that isn't reachable via the GUI in Pingus is unsupported and might be completly broken, if you want to try them you are on your own.

Beside the 22 tested and cleaned up levels of the first island that come with Pingus, there are also around 120 levels that might be playable and another 100 levels that are incomplete at the moment. These levels can be found in the data/levels/playable and data/levels/wip/ (wip = Work in Progress). The levels in playable/ might be playable, but there is no guarantee for that, they havn't been tested, might be broken due to engine changes, might be far too easy or far too hard or simply incomplete. The wip/ directory contains levels that are not playable at all, some of them might even lack entrances or exit, so don't even think of 'playing' them, instead they can be used as framework for levels you want to create yourself with the level editor. That said, yep, Pingus contains a fully working level editor, it might not be 100% bug free, but it was used to construct all the levels that you can see in the game. So don't hesitate and try it out and build your own levels.

Where can I find the Windows version?
Last update:21. Aug 2003 [Up]

A official Windows version of 0.6.0 got never created and never will be created, but we hope to provide one with 0.6.1, which will be equal to 0.6.0, but include fixed fonts, corrected text and a few minor bugfixes.

How can I get Pingus?
Last update:15. Dec 2002 [Up]

Pingus is Free Software under the GNU GPL, that means everybody can download it, distribute it, modify it and even distribute modified works, as long as the source code is still provided (checkout the GNU GPL itself for more details). That also means that Pingus is available at no cost from this webpage and will be available for no cost from this website in the future. But it also means that Pingus is available from other websites and places, for example most GNU/Linux distributions contain a (sometimes outdated) version of Pingus, there might be some shareware sites which contain a version of Pingus and you can even buy game-packs which contain Pingus.

But the latest version that you can get from this site is the only version that is supported, so if you have another version and have some problem, the only answer you might get is that you should get a new version from this site.

How much does it cost?
Last update:14. Sep 2003 [Up]

As the question above answers, Pingus is available at no costs from this webpage. However you are welcome to make donations to Pingus via Paypal. Pingus is after all a voluntary project and if you don't have the time to help with developing it, you are very welcome to help with a little money.

Which Pingus version should I use?
Last update:15. Dec 2002 [Up]

As the previous answer told you, Pingus is available from a number of places, that also means that not all places will have the most current versions, some will probably ship an outdated version or an not even working version. So if you want the newest version the official Pingus webpage will always be the best place to search for a new one.

If you are a gamer it is strongly recommended that you use only the version that is marked as playable and stable, all other versions, be it the current CVS or a beta-snapshot release, are not recommended since they will either spoil the story, new levels, gadgets and other things or confuse you with unfinished, buggy features. CVS or beta-snapshots might also delete your savegames, game statistics or do other thing that ruin your fun.

If you want to test the current development version, want to search for bugs and are prepared to find bugs it is of course recommended that you stick to a current CVS checkout or the beta-snapshots, since testing the stable version will not be of much help a few weeks after the release, since most bugs might already be fixed by then in the development versions.

If you are a developer and want to look at the code its recommended that you stick to current CVS, it might not always be 100% correct and compile correctly, but it should always be pretty close to it. If you encounter problems, just contact one of the authors and the problem might be fixed within a few hours.

How to compiling Pingus?
Last update:15. Dec 2002 [Up]

Under GNU/Linux Pingus should compile like most other software, a simple ./configure && make should do. To install Pingus type make install, but that is not recommended with the development versions, since it might not work or worse do ugly things to your file system layout, you can just run Pingus directly from the source tree, so there is no need to install it.

But be warned, Pingus need ClanLib and Hermes to be correctly installed and to have the right version, so it might not be really trivial. Unless you are a developer or beta tester it is therefore strongly recommended that you stick with the binaries that are provided in the download section of this site. If you want to compile Pingus on Win32, you will need Microsoft Visual C++ Version 6 or higher, project files are in the Pingus source tree. But again, you need ClanLib and Hermes, so it might not be really a trivial task. Pingus will currently not compile with Cygwin or Mingw, sorry, porting help is of course welcome.

I tried compiling it, but something didn't work
Last update:15. Dec 2002 [Up]

First of all try to find out at which point it 'didn't work'. If it failed at the ./configure step, you might be missing a correctly installed Hermes or ClanLib, the file config.log might provide you with more information. If it fails at make time it is most likely a bug in the source, such as some C++ construct that requires a g++ larger than 3.0, some simple typo, a missing include or other things that might not show up on the developers machine, a bug report is very welcome in such cases. Make sure that you include the exact error message and version of Pingus and ClanLib in your bug report.

If Pingus compiled fine, but failed at startup with a message like Couldn't open, you most likely haven't run ldconfig after installing ClanLib or /usr/local/lib is missing from your /etc/, in that case ldconfig won't look at the correct places to find the libraries.

Why is Pingus still not done? Many years have past and it can't be that difficult to write a simple Lemmings clone, can it?
Last update:22. Dec 2002 [Up]

Well, there are several factors which took Pingus to take that long and still cause many delays. First of all Pingus was my first larger C++ project, so it was after all a project for myself to learn C++, but that also caused a lot of things to be done wrong which I needed to rewrite or fix at a later point. Pingus also as the problem of being over-engineered at a few points, to much abstraction at places way it doesn't make sense and only causes problems. So in the end there was lot of cruft collected in the first two years which needed to be cleaned up in the next years. At this point the code is a lot cleaner than back than, but still has some ugly points in it which needs to be fixed before the next release.
Beside the ugly-code issue one also has to see that Pingus is a huge game, it isn't a small game like a simple Tetris clone. It contains close to 800 unique graphics, 200 levels and 50'000 lines of code, all these aren't created over night. It might have been possible to create this in a year, but motivation comes and goes and so there where month were simply nothing happens and weeks were large parts of the code got restructured or rewritten.
Beside all that its you that could make the development go faster by contributing something to the project. You don't need coding skills for that, play testing the beta versions alone could be a big help if you send in helpful comments.

Pingus runs to slowly, any way to make it faster?
Last update:22. Dec 2002 [Up]

There are multiple ways to tune Pingus speed. First of if your computer is to slow and runs at 24 or 32bit color depth switching it down to 16bit might give you a boost of around 50% percent, depending on your hardware. X11 doesn't allow switching color depth at run time, so well this is a bit ugly.
If you can't switch down the color depth, don't want to or it is still to slow you can switch down Pingus to 640x480, that can be done by starting it via:
pingus -g 640x480
If that still doesn't help you can run Pingus in fast-mode, it disables all costly particle effects and the background, thus Pingus will look more ugly, but will probably be a good amount faster. Fast-mode can be turned on with:
pingus --fast-mode
You might also play with the min-frame-skip and max-frame-skip options, both should result in a more uniform frame-rate, even so it will be a bit more jerky, but playability can be increased by that non the less.
You can also of course combine all the above and with 'F11' you can enable the frame-counter which should help you optimising the game. If you have a good configuration for your system, please mail it to Ingo Ruhnke along with a description of your system. At a later point all this might probably get auto-detected and the fast-mode also contains lots of room for optimizations, so if it is still not fast enough not all is lost.

Copyright © 1998-2003 Ingo Ruhnke, <>