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Cymons Games


September 22nd, 2009

November 14th: EXTRA! ASCIIpOrtal 1.2 is out! Re-download for a decidedly enhanced experience.

Download ASCIIpOrtal

Discuss on the ASCIIpOrtal forum

Digg ASCIIpOrtal!

See high res text graphics. Master physics bending puzzles. Escape the test chambers. Play ASCIIpOrtal!

ASCIIpOrtal is a unique puzzle game. You can create custom maps so even when the game is over the fun doesn’t need to end. Use a text editor (or the mostly functional map editor by Mads Lund) and share the maps you create on the ASCIIpOrtal forum.

ASCIIpOrtal is by Joe Larson with sounds designed by Steve Fenton. Original concept inspired by Increpare’s Portile game, Super Serif Bros, and Valve’s Portal. Source code is included in the zip. Simply unzip and play.

Original Videos/History

The ASCIIpOrtal development thread is where I determined to document the development process and publish interim builds in and still exists, documenting some of the cool things that have happened since. When it got to the point that I didn’t want folks playing it out and getting bored with it (about the time I added the actual portal mechanic) I stopped publishing interim builds and made a video showing it off. That video went crazy popular and can be found here:

I followed it up with another video :

Which brings us up to present day.

Download Links:

In windows simply download, unzip, and play.

Download Windows 1.2c binaries and source

Download 1.2c source code

Download Linux-32 1.2c binaries (by Sam Heybey)

Download Linux-64 1.2c binaries (by Sam Heybey)

Outdated Version

OSX Binary. 1.0 is still available at ModDB

Download Dingoo Binaries (for the Dingoo personal media player)

Tip Jar

If you like ASCIIpOrtal or Cymon’s Games please consider a donation or purchasing a t-shirt. Even just $0.99 for the download would be appreciated.

ASCIIpOrtal Mens tee by Cymon. $17.99
ASCIIpOrtal Mens tee by Cymon.
ASCIIpOrtal Womens tee by Cymon. $17.99
ASCIIpOrtal Womens tee by Cymon.
Men and Womens ASCIIpOrtal The GUI is a lie tee by Cymon. Available from
Men and Womens ASCIIpOrtal The GUI is a lie tee.

More at…

125 Responses to “ASCIIpOrtal”

  1. Brandon

    I built a 32-bit Linux binary. You are welcome to have it.

  2. Josh

    Brandon, could you possibly post a link to the 32-bit linux binary until he gets it up on the site?

  3. Mantari

    This was a triumph.

  4. Aklem


  5. mike

    game looks pretty lame… lode runner did it better

  6. Brendan

    In 32 bit Ubuntu I got the error ./asciiportal: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
    You might want to mention that the game depends on the package libsdl-mixer1.2 (the game works fine after installing it).

  7. scott

    @mike your a [edit], this is an awesome game. Very well done Cymon. I love how you managed to get a build for the major Os’s :D even linux 64 bit. Your gonna need a map upload section or something where i can upload my maps with a screenshot.

  8. Pif

    Your enthusiasm in the demo videos is an inspiration for me to get back into game programming. Might even jump in on one of your projects if I have the free time someday. :D

  9. Joe

    No need for slander. I agree with mike. Lode runner was awesome.

    And share your maps here. In fact there’s already some new ones there for you to challenge yourself with.

  10. ENKI-2

    Is there a source tarball? This seems like the kind of thing I’d enjoy hacking around with. Though if it’s closed source I guess that’s okay…

  11. Joe

    Source is included in every binary. The code is universal (hopefully), just link it to SDL, SDL_Mixer, and PDCurses (set to run through SDL), which by the way…

    @Brendan above, doesn’t the source say that it depends on SDL, SDL_Mixer and PDCurses? I thought I put that in there. My apologies if I didn’t.

  12. Ratfink

    My one complaint: the music is in .mp3 files, .ogg would be better and also would allow it to be packaged with music in most linux distributions.

  13. Wesley S.

    The mirrors seem to be fried. Anyone able to upload it somewhere else?

  14. stephen

    The music is awesome. Great game.

  15. Markus

    I already love this \o/

    But you made the same mistake every single person who produces free games and uses an QWERTYU keyboard has… expect everyone to have Z and X as neighbors…
    *looks at his poor little QWERTZU keyboard and starts crying* :’(

  16. Joe

    @ratfink .oog music… yeah I coulda done that. In fact it wouldn’t be to hard to just recompile it with oog files if you were so inclined. I just wish I had taken the time to make the sound file’s names in an external datafile. I knew it would have been a good idea at the time, I just didn’t want to do it.

    @Wesley, the mirrors are fine. It’s just 10 megs of data.

    @marcus Dang it, I should have done x and c, huh? Well, lots of solutions. You could use zero and period, you could just use space, or you could recompile the program. I’ll fix that for the update.

  17. Eliot Frost

    @Markus I see your QWERTZU and raise you a Dvorak.

  18. dylan

    it turned out better than I dared to hope. The puzzles are fiendish! Each one stretches your brain just a little bit more. Yes, Lode Runner was wonderful, but IMO this does more (mindbending) with less (graphics) – quite a feat! Tip jar donation on its way…

  19. kwikrick

    I loved it! Built a linux 32-bit version from the 64-bit tarball (easy enough, but nice to see someone’s posted a 32-bit binary already). Thanks!

  20. Wesley S.

    @Joe Sorry, download speeds were around 9kb per sec, (Now that i think about it, probably was my connection), but i finally got it down with the Down Them All firefox extention. I’ve gotten a chance to play it. I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

  21. Markus

    You could still make z and y do the same thing or read in a config file with keycodes. That way everyone can have it their way.

    Heh. :)

  22. ozzy

    i have found a glitch, is there an e-mail address we can forward glitches to?

  23. Joe

    If you want to sign up on the forums (fast and free) and post it in the ASCIIpOrtal developement thread or start a bug report thread, that’d be great. Or you can use the easy to use contact form, or you can just post it here.

  24. Adam

    Very cool! Two bug reports which I’m too lazy to investigate in the source:
    1. No sound — I get “open /dev/sequencer: No such file or directory”
    2. There’s a strange bug in the portal mechanic visible on level 10:
    a. from the start square (0,0), aim straight up and shoot blue
    b. aim right and shoot yellow
    c. take one step right
    d. keep aiming right and shoot blue
    e. take another step right
    Observed: You end up two squares right of your starting spot, (2,0), and the yellow portal can’t be seen
    Expected: Actually I’m not sure what to expect here, but there shouldn’t be any way to go from (0,0) to (2,0) given the lines of sight.

  25. Joe

    #1, What version was that that you’re playing?
    #2, anything like this: Yeah, it looks like you can shoot through portals while standing in the walls, which is a really big bug and I’m upset at myself for not finding before. The next version will fix that.

    Also, if that’s the way all linux version run, yeah, that’s real slugish. Gotta do something about that.

  26. MrBrown

    Just as a side note, period and zero are seperated too on a German keyboard unfortunately

  27. TerSia

    I’m using the Linux-32bit version but I can’t manage to open a portal. Balls seem to explode against the walls without opening portals. Or maybe I’m missing something in the gameplay??

  28. TerSia

    Ok I was just too impatient :-) Everything’s ok now !

  29. sebsauvage

    Do you plan a user maps repository ?
    That would be really nice.

    (If possible, rating each level difficulty would be even nicer)

  30. Joe

    @Mr. Brown: I just can not win here.

    @sebsauvage: I don’t have anything in-game to keep the maps, for now. At the moment this thread is the maps repository, Tho I haven’t seen much happening there!

    Come on, people, does no one have any new maps? Is everyone afraid of making text files in their “extralevels” directory?

  31. sebsauvage

    Oh no ! Not in game.
    Just a simple website to share maps (map name, author, screenshot, difficulty, comments).
    You could even propose a “map pack” download (simple zip file with all additional levels).
    The forum thread is not very handy to publish maps.

  32. Dave

    Great game! Thank you!

  33. Lallander

    Found two errors with the mac build. Firstly the numberpad doesn’t work, and secondly when you resize the window it messes up. The first time it corrected itself after a few minutes, the second it went flat grey. Would it be possible to have it increase the font size to fill the window instead of just showing more of the map?

  34. nupanick

    Is this in any way related to PortalZZT? I once made a ZZT world based off Portal.

    Maybe I should copy all the levels I designed for that game and put them in a level pack for this one!

  35. Joe

    @Lallander Apparently Ubantu has a problem where the numberpad only works if it’s on before the game starts. Near as I can tell that’s a consequence of the library I’m using and not anything I can do about it. It’s one of those “good to know” but I actually didn’t compile the mac build because I don’t have a mac. Here’s looking forward to the online version fixing this maybe.

    @nupanick Do you mean this Portal ZZT: ? If so, no.That’s top down, this is side view, and I never even heard of this video before I started.

    But any excuse for map packs is good in my mind.

  36. DUKE_NUKEM992

    Coll=) Very Very Very clever game=) Valves Portal sucks ?D

  37. Justin B

    Hey Joe,

    Justin B COO Of here loved the game and wish you would have won at contest we provided the Dingoo A320 for. But now to the good stuff would love you to port it to the dingoo. Below is a link to the SDK to develop apps for the A320. If you need me for anything or assistance don’t hesitate to e-mail me at or support@

    Here is the link to the SDK:

    Also How to Compile Tutor:

    Love to see others also develop apps and games for the Dingoo A320…. Also just a plug we sale the A320 and accessories to North America.

  38. Joe

    I don’t feel bad at all about the person I lost too. He totally deserves it.

    There are lots of cool things planned for ASCIIpOrtal, and a portable build just might be in the works. But there’s some technical debt to play first. I sense that porting it to the dingo may be a bit more than just moving the code into a new IDE. Learning a whole new IDE is… daunting. But I’ll get there eventually.

    Tho, having a dingoo would be nice motivation.

  39. Tsu0

    I love this game. You could develop a J2ME version, since the controls are simple. And perhaps add customizable controls.

  40. Skywalker

    game is amanzing!
    build a java version for mobile phones please!!!

  41. James

    Thanks for the mac version, loved every minute.
    Only change I would like is holding the key to run immediately, i know why you didn’t but I think it would make it more playable.

  42. Spell

    2 Suggestions:

    1. Could you please make an “NoViewThroug”-Portal-Mode? It’s often very confusing when you can
    2. It would be great if the looking-through would be recursive :> (so you can see what behind the portal is which you see through an portal)

  43. Joe

    @skywalker – Easier said than done. Way eaiser. This is C++, that’s Java. It mean an entire rewrite. Possible, but not very likely, sorry. Not any time soon anyways.

    @James – Actaully, I’m gonna fix that run thing in the bug-fix build, coming soon(ish).

    @Spell – So you are simultaneously suggesting more and less portal views, is that right? The “No Portal View” view is actually really easy to do, but not worth doing, honestly. Trust me, I played it that way. Seeing your character jump when you enter a portal is kinda jarring. If it were a game like the other 2D portal games where the view is fixed that might be okay, but ASCIIpOrtal’s scrolling view doesn’t lend itself well to that.

    As for the recursive view… gee wiz, man, do you realize how hard it was just to get one and you’re asking for multiple? I thought we were friends. Just kidding. Naturally I tried doing that the first time but because the new view is in a different part of the screen I had trouble calculating where it goes on screen. It’s a thorny problem, in truth, but one I may visit again.

  44. kieran

    yeh guys ASCII portal is such a great game but i saw a vis on youtube about a map editor plz can any one give me some help with that i really need it plz reply

  45. Aklem

    May i be a beta tester? i have expierience with c++?

  46. Addisen

    Downloading. Nice work!

  47. Ratfink

    I wish someone would build a 1.1 Linux 32bit version. I would try, except that I don’t have pdcurses and don’t want to mess around with getting that to work right now. When both Linux builds are out, I’ll put this version on

  48. Brandon

    Joe asked me to build a 32-bit linux binary, and I did. He’ll probably put it up pretty soon.

  49. Brandon

    Joe asked me to build a 32-bit linux binary, and I did. He’ll probably put it up pretty soon.

    Until then, you can get it at this temporary link:

  50. Ratfink

    Okay, I have the new version. I see several bad things:

    1. The new running is bad, I liked it better the way it was. Mostly it’s too slow, but I’m also just opposed to making it non-curses by principle. Also, I’m pretty sure it’ll break a level in my map pack to have running slower..
    2. The new font is bad, they hyphen is off-center and that makes the aim look a bit messed up.

    There are good things too:

    1. I like the fixed vertical flinging.
    2. Making you go through a portal as soon as you step into it is wonderful.

    All in all, I’m not really sure if the good things out-weigh the bad ones. But it’s nice to see that you’re working on it still.

  51. Ratfink

    Oh, also I see the music is still .mp3. I believe .ogg has better compression and is a free as in freedom format. But if you wanted that changed you’d need to ask the creator for an .ogg version, or you’d still have the .mp3 compression stuff on top of the .ogg slightly less bad stuff.

  52. Brandon

    The 32 bit Linux download link is broken. It should link to:

  53. Joe

    The sound you heard was my hand hitting my forehead.

    I’m a software tester. You don’t expect me to test my own stuff before I commit to it, do you?

    And Ratfink, you can fix the font by renaming or deleting pdcfont.bmp.

    And it doesn’t run any faster. It just runs sooner. Yes, it’s the first, and only time, that it deviates from curses compatibility, but tell me 1 old action based text game that didn’t try getting around that. That’s my justification. I’ve played all the new maps in this new build and they all work just fine, beginning to end. Some are even easier, tho I don’t think anyone would dare say they’re easy.

    As for the sound thing, this was a bug fix version, and that’s a design choice, not a bug. I don’t know if I’m going to go with oggs for the next version or not. As long as the sound plays, who cares.

  54. Ratfink

    Well, the sound actually doesn’t play for me, which is why I care. And I’m pretty sure you now run at the same speed as boulders, and in the previous version you ran twice as fast as boulders.

  55. Brandon

    Running is pretty slow. And jerky. Take level 2 of extralevels, for example. At the end, you have to quickly run off a cliff. If you just hold the right arrow key down, you will fail. The only way to complete that level is to repeatedly press the right arrow key.

    I think the problem is that asciiportal uses keyrepeat to continue moving, and this causes an initial stutter, and you can’t control how fast the character moves. I think a better solution would be to detect when the key goes down, and when it comes back up, and to move the character one space every x number of frames in between.

  56. Ratfink

    I have submitted version 1.1 to The Linux Game Tome now. It should appear there soon.

  57. Joe

    I’m wondering if these timing and control issues aren’t related to the way I handled timing in the game, in conjunction with the keyboard repeat ting. Unfortunately, I don’t know what the solution is either, aside from getting that online version up and running ASAP.

  58. Brandon

    I think the best solution for asciiportal input would be to have SDL do it. I’ve been looking into it, and it seems that PDCurses has no way to determine when a key goes up, except for special meta keys such as shift and alt. This makes it not suitable for handling action game input.

    As for PDCurses input, I liked the handling in 1.0 better than 1.1. The shorter delay is great, but now moving is too slow and jerky.

  59. Joe

    I had it all set up to do that, but backed out when I thought I found a one line solution. Ah, well, try again.

  60. Skyler

    I like the idea, and the video’s look great, I’d love to play it, but my arrow keys are broken.
    Is there anyway you might be able to either have the option to set your own controls, or release a version using WASD, or you know just something to that effect?
    Thanks :D

  61. Ratfink

    Yeah, I think that having wasd and the arrow keys at the same time would have no ill affects as these keys aren’t used by the game at all I think. That could be a nice feature really.

  62. Ratfink

    Again, compiling this is a bit out of my league. Could someone pleeease make a Linux 32bit build of 1.2?

  63. Jonny D

    Shirt idea: “ASCIIpOrtal is pISCAtOrIal”
    Makes no sense… but it’s fun.

  64. Erus_Iluvatar

    I’ve compiled a 1.2c 64b and will do a 32b tonight, but where can i upload it?

  65. Erus_Iluvatar

    D’ailleurs ya une faute dans le makefile:

    cat ASCIIpOrtal-linux-Makefile.txt | sed ‘s/al_/ap_/’ >> makefile

  66. Batmanifestdestiny

    I love this game! I love the way you ACTUALLY USE MOMENTUM, as opposed to most other portal “clones” I’ve played. I’m making a map pack as we speak!

  67. Nerd42


  68. astroraptor

    If this were for DS, I would never put it down.

  69. Alex

    I Love ASCIIpOrtal! Great game! Thanks developers! Good luck and creative successes!

  70. Tom

    Joe, this was my first time playing ASCIIpOrtal. Now I understand why everyone was in an uproar about it not being in the games of the year list. This is freaking amazing!!!! Thanks so much for designing this! What a mind trip.

  71. Joe

    @Tom: Ooh, your gravatar made it here too. Cool.

    @astroraptor Hmm, a DS version…. Might actually be a possibility. I just need to get me a DS.

    It’s been a bit quite around here, tho from time to time the feedback keeps rolling in, all positive.

    I’m gearing up to do the next version of ASCIIpOrtal, ASCIIpOrtal online. It will play in a browser, feature a map editor, and if I can manage it, allow you to share your levels through twitter and facebook with easy links to your made levels. I’ll also be making static versions and releasing the source code speciffically for compiling portable versions like the DS homebrew, dingoo and Pandora. The betas will be available through Cymon’s VIP section details coming soon-ish.

  72. Ratfink

    WOO PANDORA! I want to get one of those when they’re released.

    On topic: Will there be a way to upload maps to ASCIIpOrtal online?

  73. Joe

    @ratfink …Um, details have yet to be worked out.

    Chances are there’ll be some sweepting changes to the map format to do things like eliminating the switch/door cap and other things. So being able to upload your levels will require a conversion tool, and I just don’t know if I’m up for that on top of everything else. On the other hand that means all the levels I’ve got so far may have to be re-done by hand. So which is better?

    I’ve still got a ton of technical hurdles to overcome first, so things aren’t going to happen overnight, but I’ll keep you all posted either here or on the forums.

  74. sh228

    I am trying to build a v1.2 linux 32-bit binary, without much success. I’ll need an e-mail to send it to when I get it working, though.

    BTW, I may be able to make a map conversion tool if you give me a map in the new format.

  75. sh228

    Anybody know of a Xaw c header box.h?

  76. sh228

    v1.2 linux binaries will be ready within 10 minutes.

  77. Noise

    I too, would adore a DS version of this

  78. Joe

    Well then, all I need is someone to send me a DS and a Supercard One and I’ll make sure the next version has a DS version.

  79. bas89

    How do I get that sdl1/pdcsdl.h ? I searched for it using “yum provides” but I can’t find a package which provides it. libsdl-dev and libsdl-mixer-dev is installed.

  80. Joe

    It’s in PDCurses. Download and you have to compile the sdl1 directory yourself.

  81. Ratfink

    @bas89: yum? Do you use Fedora (or some similar system)? I do. The easiest way to compile ASCIIpOrtal for me is to rename the file with “makefile” in its name to Makefile, replace the filename in it that starts with al_ with a similar one that starts with ap_ , then just type “make”. It should get everything for you.

  82. Dirk

    Where are the levels saved for later continuing (i always have to start from beginning after quitting)

  83. Joe

    You should be able to use the “select level” option. It will even go as far as remembering the highest level you’ve gone.

  84. Dirk

    No, it doesn’t that’s the reason why i ask. Plus: I can’t find a configuration file or folder in my home directory namend .ascii*

    ASCIIpOrtal version: 1.2c-1
    uname -rm: 2.6.32-ARCH x86_64

  85. Joe

    Well, use a valid e-mail when you write a comment here or have a webpage i don’t have to add an exception for and I can try to contact you to see if I find figure out what exactly the problem is.

  86. Dirk

    It IS a valid mail address and you only need to add an exception if your browser does not have the CAcert root certificate ;)

  87. Brandon

    Unless it has changed in 1.2, then levels are saved in the same directory that the maps are in, in the file save.dat. So if you are using the regular maps in the “~/asciiportal/maps” directory, the save file is “~/asciiportal/maps/save.dat”. In some cases this directory might not be writable, such as if you installed it into /usr/local/share/asciiportal/ . If the directory is not writable, I think you would lose your progress.

    Fortunately, the format of the save.dat file is very simple (assuming nothing has changed in 1.2). It is a text file with the number of the last level you completed. For example, the contents of my save.dat is “49″. There is no new line at the end of the file, it is only 1 or 2 bytes.

  88. Dirk

    @Brandon: I had mail contact with Joe but he didn’t answer so i’m going to make my answer public. He wrote “some reason the game isn’t writing that out, then that’s your problem.”

    My answer to this very short statement got really long (hopefully it fits in this comment *g*) and defines my point very well :)

    As answer to the statement i wrote:

    It’s my problem, but it’s the programmers fault.
    Sorry to say it that direct.

    The fact is, that there are guidelines for almost ALL operating systems, and they got ignored by programmers since forever!

    Even Windows has a user data directory and a variable for this: it’s called “%APPDATA%” and is available since Windows 2000 (afaik). Under Linux it’s “$HOME” since forever.

    There is nothing wrong in using this variables instead of hard coding the saving path. Rather it’s wrong to hard code such stuff! Because in almost all modern operating systems there are user access directives. Users can read and write in their assigned home directory and can only read from directories outside their homes.

    So, if i install the game in the designated directory for games in my distribution (for some reason it’s “/opt/programname/”, because it got not installed from the repos but from the user contributed packages section – otherwise it would be installed in /usr/bin/ and so on – readonly directories, too), my users only have reading permissions.

    Another problem by hard coding the save game file is, that only ONE SINGLE USER can play the game normally. All other users are using the same file containing the same save data. All modern operating systems ale multi user operating systems, why do all users have to use the same save game file instead of their own save game files?

    Or do you want all users to store their own copy in their home directories? On my system /home is mounted as “noexec”. This means that it is not possible for my users to run programs from their home directories for security reasons

    No, this is not uncommon and it is not uncommon, too, to use a multi user operating system with multiple users.

    Conclusion: Because of hard coding the save game file path to a directory normally not writable, the (of course GREAT!) game is not playable by more than one user without having one copy of the game for each user – but even then they can not play, because they can not execute programs from their home directories.

    You should totally fix this bug, so that the save game path is no longer hard coded to an unwritable directory! It’s not only because of me, but because of the progress: All Linux applications store user data in the user home directory and by now nearly all windows applications do this, too!

  89. Joe

    Did I really say it like that? “that’s your problem.” I mean you quotated it, so that must be the case. Wow, I’m a jerk.

    I thought I said I had no idea why it was happening, and not having set up a linux system to test it out on myself I couldn’t help you much with it. You found out where the problem is, and even found the solution. Good job.

    Now, it’s not as trivial a solution as just changing the hardcoded line… well, it is, but it isn’t. What I’d have to do is create a directory in, in your case, the $home directory for each map so your maps aren’t sharing the save data, probably better an asciiportal sub-directory.

    I thank you for the heads up. Yeah, it’s something I should have done in the first place maybe, but at this time I don’t plan on implementing the fix because the next version of ASCIIportal will have some big sweeping changes that will negate this problem entirely. Would that I had time to fork the code, bug fix the old code as I develop the new. However, I don’t even have time for one of those at the moment. [sigh]

  90. Dirk

    I’d create a subdirectory (“%appdata%\asciiportal” in Windows and “${HOME}/.asciiportal” in Linux) and store the progress for each map pack in a file with the same name as the map pack.

    This would work as a dirty workaround fix for the forked code.

    I’m really looking forward to a multi user capable version of ASCIIpOrtal that only writes data in user writable directories (is this – however it’s done – included in the sweeping changes you wrote about?)

  91. Joe

    Yes, and no. Multi user capable is not an explicit goal of the next version, tho it will likely fall out as a result of the fact that the next version will play in a browser. Still got to sort how to store local data like that in Alchemy, there’s going to be an extensive learning curve attached to this challenge, but there it is.

  92. Dirk

    In a browser? Are you serious? Probably as a Flash application using DOM storage? Besides DOM storage and Cookies there are no other possibilities for a browser to store data without user interaction.

    Or do you plan to run a server and use the browser only as client having the server liable for storing progress data?

    It’s your program, but PLEASE think about converting the game to a browser application twice.

  93. Joe

    Okay mister negativity mcgrumpypants, I guess you don’t want a level editor that you can share your level’s with others instantly. Why don’t you hop on the forums where I’ve been talking about this for… wait… I know I’ve mentioned it there somewhere… hidden in some…. Know what, I’m starting a topic right now.

  94. Dirk

    What’s wrong with level sharing right now?

    And why not create a functionality so that users can put their level sets in ${HOME}/.asciiportal/levelsetname/ (resp. %appdata%\… in Windows).

    That would be the easiest way i guess.

    Making it a browser application (Flash?) could be the worst mistake in developing the game.

  95. Wings Of Moronism

    Why not make a “scorpion” enemy (the @ symbol)? Unlike a rock, a Scorpion is deadly in all directions. Landing on it (unlike landing on a rock) kills.

  96. Joe

    @WoM Good idea. Self propelled but deadly from all sides. I like it.

    Tho the @ symbols on the screen might confuse the roguelike folks out there. But who cares, they don’t have exclusivity on the ASCII character set (or the ANSI one for that matter).

    @Dirk Making it a browser application could be the best idea in development of any game. You’ll just have to wait and see.

  97. Dirk

    A browser is a browser, not a game client.

  98. sh228

    @Dirk Yet it can _be_ a game client. I think it would be a great idea to make it a browser app. Downloadophobes would love it.

  99. Dirk

    @sh228: A browser used as game client can never be as good as a dedicated game client. And u still need to download the game i guess (hope!), because some of my systems are not online all the time.

    I guess, it’s already decided that ASCIIpOrtal will be transformed into a browser application (Flashgame?). If it gets a client/server system it would be great, even if browser applications suck.

    Did i already mention that there is no save way to store game data in the browser? On my systems i delete LSOs on a regular schedule and cookies are gone after each browser close. You can’t count on data storage in browsers at all: LSOs are considered as malicious and DOM storage does not work in all browsers! This limits the possibility to store game data, huh?

    Having a client/server architecture it’s easier. The server stores all data for each user (maybe identified via personal login?) – and done.

  100. Joe

    Dirk, man, you have so much your own ideas about how I should be doing doing this it amazes me you haven’t taken the code and fixed all the problems yourself. You seem to think you know what you’re doing.

    Seriously, you’re not providing any solutions, just complaints and/or stating opinion as fact. I’m kinda getting tired of it.

  101. Dirk

    Giving suggestions normally helps people to think about things. Let me know if i can help u with coding, i know Python and a very little Java.

    And yes: I know what i’m doing because i saw several good applications in business environment getting worse by turningthem into a browser application. And yes: I know what i’m coding, because i love standards and multi-user applications (because i have multiple users in a multi-user environment).

    Do whatever u think, if u think that is the right way, but please don’t destroy this great game.

  102. File Renamer

    Thanks for the mac version, loved every minute.
    Only change I would like is holding the key to run immediately, i know why you didn’t but I think it would make it more playable.

  103. Videogameget

    I love this game that i making a mod right now! this is great! now think with portals rofl!

  104. y3rac

    @dirk Flash isn’t the only technology that allows running games. Take a look at these google experiments

    All of them is in javascript. Plus, canvas and svg in html5 seems to offer similar functionality. Search “canvas vs flash vs html5 vs svg” at

  105. Wings of Moronism

    I almost forgot about this site for several months… If @ is not suitable for a “scorpion” enemy, then maybe a snake (S)? Also deadly in all directions, it is invincible against the rock (turning the snake into a _ for a second). No need to add it to the main levels, just pull it into the Editor

  106. Shaker

    I love that Game! :) Would be great if it would come in a browser!

  107. Connor Hacker

    Epic Can’t Load Map Editor

  108. Andrew Pennebaker

    Really cool. Trouble is, I can’t get a portal to stick on any of the walls in level 2, so for me the game in unplayable. I press z and x, see the portal splat against a wall, but the portal always disappears.

  109. Joe

    @Andrew, still works for me. Portals only stick to the white walls. Are you alternating pressing z and x? You can only have 1 portal of each color at a time, so if you’re repeatedly firing only the blue one it’ll keep disappearing. Use the space-bar to automatically alternate.

  110. fabione

    What a wonderfull ascii game. I downloaded it !!!! ;-) sorry for my english

  111. izm

    Actually, there is no %appdata% in Windows 98 so the game could become unplayable on this system.

  112. Joe

    This game runs in Windows 98? Wow.

    If you’re running windows 98 you may want to go to and try the latest version. It uses appdata, tho I’m not sure what it’ll do on Windows 98 now.

  113. izm

    I downloaded the latest version ant it works in windows 98. It doesn’t create the .asciiportal directory and doesn’t remember how many levels i solved but this can be fixed by adding appdata to the system in autoexec.bat.

  114. Filip Szczepa?ski

    Hello, what licence is this under? I don’t see a licence included with the binaries or the source.

  115. Joe

    Filip Szczepa?ski, check again. The beginning of every source file has the license on it. Open them up in any text editor.

  116. Dotelpenguuin

    Can this be run in a normal text shell? Bash/etc.

    I get a segment fault when running outside of X11. but I noticed there is a command switch for standard 80×24.

  117. Epicoder

    Asciiportal uses SDL for both sound and visuals. You can clone and compile the beta source from it has an experimental nosdl port. However, it’s sorta flaky and doesn’t have sound.

  118. tyler roberts

    is it possible to use some other font as the in game font?
    like to design a font that has more detail and use it in-game

  119. Joe

    Your answer, Tyler, depends on how much programming you’re willing to do. If you’re willing to download the source code (available on github), and set up the tool chain then you’re in luck because ASCIIpOrtal uses PDCurses for SDL which has the ability to define a font file in the form of a black and white bitmap. If you’re not willing to to do that then I don’t think it’s possible.

  120. tyler roberts

    that’s good to know but for some reason I remembered the font file was in the same folder as the executable?

  121. Joe

    There might be. Have you tried editing that file? As I remember it was kind of fiddly and very specific. I found several fonts that I tried out as well, not sure if I packaged them but they’re available with PDCurses for SDL if I remember. I should mention that I’m pretty far removed from this code right now. There’s a chance that the font bmp is loaded on run time. Give it a try and tell me what happens?

  122. tyler Roberts

    I found out why I remembered it like that.
    the dingoo linux version has a bitmap font file!

  123. Joe

    Google “ASCIIpOrtal walkthrough”.

  124. hampa

    no walkthrough on lvl. 22 or if there is?

  125. Joe

    hampa, I’m really trying to be patient with you but all these things are question that you could have answered with a few minutes of research yourself. When this is done I’m deleting all your comments and my responses so as to not clutter things up for the future.

    Right there a video series of every level of ASCIIpOrtal being beaten. Since you want level 22 I’ll be you’ll find it in the video called “Let’s Play ASCIIpOrtal [18-24]“, since 22 is more than 18 but less than 24. Here, I’ll even link you the part so you can jump directly to it:

    Takes the guy a few tries but he manages to do it.

    Now good luck and please do your research before you post another comment.

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