FAQ

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About the game

What is Open Surge?

Open Surge is an open source retro-style 2D sidescroller inspired by old-school games. Join Surge, Neon and Charge and save the world from the evil Gimacian the Dark! The latest release is 0.2.0 (MM DDth, 2012), featuring: -- not really, as we haven't released it yet ;)

  • One level: Sunshine Paradise.
  • A nice story with charismatic characters!
  • Physics: slopes, loops, etc.
  • Translations to multiple languages.
  • A level editor and a moddable engine.
  • Great performance even on old computers!
  • The complete source code!

Open Surge is written from the ground up in C language, using the Allegro game programming library. It's being developed since August 2008, and it is free software.

Open Surge is available for Windows, Linux and other platforms.

Check out our Game Design Document.

Where can I download it?

Check out the download page.

Also, please take a look at the bleeding edge releases.

Who develops the game?

The game started to be developed in August 2008 by Alexandre Martins, a computer science student from Brazil. The development team has been growing up over the time, and now we also have artists, musicians, translators and other people over the Internet working on the project. Check out the developers page for more information.

Why doesn't Open Surge support feature [xyz]?

Because no one has taken on that task yet. Open Surge development is driven by the tasks that are important to the individual developers. If there is a feature that is important to you, the best way to get it implemented is to undertake the task yourself or sponsor a developer.

Note: taken from the ffmpeg FAQ ;-)

Can I help?

You most certainly can.

See: How can I help?

I love Surge!

Marry him.

Other questions

If you have any other questions, feel free to post it on the forums or send the developers an e-mail.

Playing the game

How can I control the characters?

Using the keyboard, the important keys are: directional arrows (movement), space bar (jump), left ctrl (change character), enter (pause) and esc (quit). You can also use a joystick.

How do I play using a joystick?

Plug your joystick before starting the game. Launch the game, go to the options screen and set the "Use gamepad" option to "YES".

Alternatively, you may press F6 to enable/disable joystick input.

How can I reconfigure the controls?

If you want different buttons for tasks like jumping, pausing the game, etc., you need to reconfigure the controls.

Open config/input.def using a simple text editor like Notepad or gedit. Follow the instructions.

How can I make my own levels?

See: How to make a level.

Are there additional levels?

Yes, check them out!

How do I install new levels?

New levels come in a package (usually a .rar or .zip file). Decompress it to the folder of the game. A new file should appear in the levels/ directory (e.g., levels/super_cool_level.lev). The same procedure goes for installing new quests. If you use Linux, an alternative approach would consist on decompressing the package to the $HOME/.opensurge folder.

After you installed your new level, go to the "Stage select" screen (at the options screen).

What is a quest?

A quest is a list of levels. Go to the "custom quests" screen (at the main menu) to see the installed quests (and play). If you want to make a quest, check out the quests page.

What is a MOD?

It's a modification of the game made by users. MODs can be surprisingly different from the original Open Surge game: early modifications ranged from simple sidescrollers to platformers with ninjas and RPG elements.

See also: Introduction to Modding

How do I take a screenshot?

Press the "Print Screen" or "=" key. A screenshot will be saved in the screenshots/ folder.

Troubleshooting

The screen size is too small!

Go to the options screen (at the main menu) and increase the graphic resolution.

The controls are strange! My character keeps going left or right!

This is happening because the joypad input is enabled. In order to disable it, please press F6 during the game.

The game is too slow!

Before taking any further action, we highly recommend that you close any other programs running on your computer. Restart the game after that. If it doesn't solve, try:

  • At the options screen, decrease the graphic resolution to the minimum.
  • Not fast enough? Enable fullscreen.
  • Still slow? Run the game via command line and pass the following parameters:
opensurge --tiny --fullscreen --no-font-smoothing
  • Not good yet? Try:
opensurge --tiny --fullscreen --no-font-smoothing --full-cpu-usage --color-depth 16 --show-fps
  • (advanced) You can play around with other command line options. Type
opensurge --help

The game has no sound! (Linux)

If you're compiling Open Surge from the source code, make sure you compile it with OpenAL enabled (on the directory of the game, run ccmake .). If this is the case, this problem shouldn't occur.

Games made using the Allegro game programming library can't play sounds on some GNU/Linux distributions (like recent Ubuntu releases) due to a problem with pulseaudio (check out the full explanation). We'll show you a workaround.

  • First of all, please open a terminal and go to the folder where the game is located.
wget http://opensnc.sourceforge.net/home/misc/liballeg.so.4.4
  • Install the alsa-oss package. In Debian-based distributions (like Ubuntu), type:
sudo apt-get install alsa-oss
  • Create a file named opensurge_with_sound in the game folder. Using a simple text editor (like nano, gedit, kate, etc.), write the following contents to it:
#!/bin/bash
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=.:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
aoss ./opensurge $@
  • Finally, turn opensurge_with_sound into an executable by running chmod:
chmod +x opensurge_with_sound
  • Now you're ready to go. Whenever you want to play, run opensurge_with_sound:
./opensurge_with_sound

The gameplay is choppy!

This most likely happens due to an experimental feature that optimizes CPU usage. In order to fix it, please open up a terminal and type:

Windows

opensurge.exe --full-cpu-usage

*nix

$ ./opensurge --full-cpu-usage

See also: The game is too slow!

Technical questions

What are the dependencies of the game?

The dependencies of the latest SVN revision are:

Under *nix, you'll also need OpenAL and ALURE (with VorbisFile enabled)

In a regular installation of Allegro 4.4, JPGalleg and loadpng and LOGG are already included by default.

I've found a bug!

If you've found a bug you think had escaped our attention, make sure you have as much information about when it occurred as possible. Tell us the steps to reproduce the bug, situations where the error won't show, etc. You can report the bug on the forums or contact the developers directly.

Advanced command line options

There are a few interesting options that are not directly available to the user, such as using different color depths (16, 24, 32 bpp). Open a console/terminal and type:

opensurge --help

I can't compile the game!

Once you download the source tarball, read carefully the readme.html file. It contains detailed compiling instructions for many platforms. If it doesn't solve your problem, feel free to ask on our forums or contact the developers.

I'm compiling it, but how do I change the installation folder? (Linux)

cmake -DPREFIX=/path/of/your/preference .

Don't forget the little '.' at the end.