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This is a draft of the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for gltron.

If these answers don't help you, send mail to Andreas Umbach.

You can also submit your own questions/answers .

Concerning all platforms

Windows specific
Mac OS 9 specific
Mac OS X specific
Linux specific
Source code specific

Concerning all platforms

Question: The camera sucks. Sometimes, I can't see where I'm going

Answer: Press F10 to cycle through the different camera modes. Some modes allow you to use the mouse to move the camera around the lightcycle, and automatically keep the camera aligned with the current lightcycle directions. Also, you can use the left & right mouse buttons to zoom in/zoom out.

Question: The game runs too slow.

Answer: The game is really ment to be played with a 3d card. But you can try to start it with 'gltron -gwtbmx1'. That should do it on most systems. Also, I've written a small piece of information about performance of 3D games that you might find very useful.

Question: I want redistribute GLtron on a CD-ROM for my games collection/magazine

Answer: Sure, go ahead! GLtron is currently released under the GNU General Public License (should come with the archive). That means you're free to redistribute it, (you can charge money for it, and you can even modify it, as long as you make the modifications available in source form). As for future versions, that's very unlikely to change.

However, it would be nice if you notified me of the distribution, and provide me with a sample CD / magazine issue. My postal address is:

Andreas Umbach
Bitzihofstr. 44
8854 Siebnen
For those unfamiliar with the concept of free software and the GNU General Public License, see: What is free software

For clarification: The relevant paragraphs from the GPL are:

  3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it,
under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of
Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

    a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable
    source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections
    1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

    b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three
    years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your
    cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete
    machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be
    distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium
    customarily used for software interchange; or,

    c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer
    to distribute corresponding source code.  (This alternative is
    allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you
    received the program in object code or executable form with such
    an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)
That means: Just take the .exe and put it on the CD-Rom.

b) says that you should make a small note that the source-code is available from you on request (you can download the .tar.gz from my website), but I won't sue if you forget that.

I'll probably include the source in future binary distributions to make things even simpler.

Question: Where do I subscribe to stay informed about the latest & greatest development news?

Answer: Subscribe to the gltron-announce mailing list. It's very low traffic (only a few mails per year), but you're guaranteed to be informed when a new release comes out.

Question: Is there a way to add your own music to the game?

Answer: Yes, just copy any file you want to play (mp3, ogg vorbis, wav, or one of the various tracker file formats) into the 'music' folder, then start GLtron and select it by pressing left/right/enter on the 'Song' entry in the audio menu.

Question: I made my own custom model using the application XYZ. How do I include it in the game?

Answer: It's not possible yet. However, I'm working on it. The best way to speed things up is to send me your model (any format), preferably textured mapped, instead of using material definitions. I'm especially interested in models with high polycounts and/or high quality normal maps.

Question: How do you make an artpack?

Answer: Use your favorite image manipulation program to create a set of image files in PNG (.png) format, and name them accordingly. Look at the existing artpacks to see which textures you want to replace. Create a new folder in the GLtron art directory, and put your files there. Then load them in the game as you would load any other artpack. All the textures you didn't replace will be loaded from the default artpack directory.

Question: Will there be a version that's playable over LAN or even on the Internet?

Answer: Yes, network play is 'under construction'. We're aiming for a release by the end of 2004, and LAN play should be excellent. Internet play is likely limited to very low latency connections (= low ping), due to the nature of the game.

Question: How can I convert an mp3/wav to .it format? What is the .it format anyway?

Answer: Short answer: you can't. Long answer: .it is short for ImpulseTracker, which is/was a popular music creation tool in the demo scene (it's similiar to the .s3m format used by Unreal, and the famous 'mod' format). The good thing about all these tracker formats is that the filesize is really small, since you store each instrument once in the file, and then just add a list of notes it plays. Since you cannot really break an mp3 file into individual instruments, conversion is not possible. However, you can just dump .mp3, .ogg or .wav files in GLtron's music folder, and listen to those.

Question: How can I speed up?

Answer: If you have the 'Booster' game mode enabled (it is per default), just press and hold down the 'Booster' key (default: 'E'). You'll notice an increased pitch of your lightcycles engine noise, and you'll speed up.
Contributed by Kain ( blaher2000 (at) hotmail . com )

Question: Why does the game crash when I try to change my Key Settings? I get to the screen with players 1-4, but once I select, the program shuts down. I've tried re-downloading twice. HELP!?

Answer: There still seems to be a bug in the .ini file code that sometimes lets the .ini file (which contains the key definitions) get corrupted. I try to include a fix in one of the next versions. In the meantime, delete your gltron.ini (Mac: gltronPrefs.txt, Unix: ~/.gltronrc). Note: On Windows: Uninstalling and re-installing the game has the same effect.
Contributed by Blake Mills ( luggagefish (at) mac . com )

Windows specific

Question: It crashes on startup. I have no soundcard installed

Answer: Start it from the dos-window by typing gltron -s

Question: I have a voodoo 1/2 card, and the game is VERY slow.

Answer: Download the Mesa 3dfx dlls and unzip them into the gltron directory.

Question: I have a 3D card, but the game is VERY slow

Answer: Get the latest drivers from the homepage of your graphics cards vendor.

Mac OS 9 specific

Mac OS X specific

Question: How do I install an artpack on OS X?

Answer: First make sure you have StuffIt Expander installed, then download the .zip file, and double click it. This will create a new folder with the name of the artpack. Now Click on the GLtron.app icon, while holding down the ctrl key, and choose 'Show package Contents' from the pop-up menu that appears. Then go to the Contents -> Resources -> art folder, and drag the artpack folder their. Start GLtron and choose the new Artpack in the video menu, by pressing 'enter' or left/right on the Artpack entry.

Linux specific

Question: I have problems with GLtron and my sound daemon

Answer: I got a report that GLtron does not run with the KDE sound daemon. Sound daemons are nice to have if you have a cheap soundcard (good cards (e.g. emu10k1) allow multi-opening of /dev/dsp), since they allow multiple apps to play sound, but some of them introduce a lot of latency, which really kills the game experience. You have two options:

Question: I have a 3D card, but the game runs VERY slowly.

Answer: Either you don't have a 3d-accelerator or it is not supported by your OpenGL libraries. Mesa/3dfx users want to make sure they have set MESA_GLX_FX for 3D-Acceleration by either typing


setenv MESA_GLX_FX f
If that does not help and you are sure that you have a 3dfx card, you probably don't have compiled your Mesa with glide-support. Go to the Mesa-Source, and recompile with 'make clean; make linux-glide'. Of course do this only on linux systems. Reinstall Mesa, recompile gltron.

Source code specific

[ Home ] [ Download ] [ Development diary ] [ Artpacks ] [ Screenshots ] [ Documentation ]
[ Frequently asked questions ] [ Plans, possible improvements ] [ Developer information ] [ Links ]
forum (hosted by sourceforge)

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