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Pygame Readme Version 1.8.0rc1 Python Game Development by Pete Shinners


Pygame is a cross-platfrom library designed to make it easy to write multimedia software, such as games, in Python. Pygame requires the Python language and SDL multimedia library. It can also make use of several other popular libraries.


You should definitely begin by installing a binary package for your system. The binary packages usually come with or give the information needed for dependencies. Choose an appropriate installer for your system and version of python from the pygame downloads page.

Installing from source is fairly automated. The most work will involve compiling and installing all the pygame dependencies. Once that is done run the "" script which will attempt to auto-configure, build, and install pygame.

Much more information about installing and compiling is available in the install.html file.


If you are just getting started with pygame, you should be able to get started fairly quickly. Pygame comes with many tutorials and introductions. There is also full reference documentation for the entire library. Browse the documentation from the documenantation index. docs/index.html.

On the pygame website, there is also an online copy of this documentation. You should know that the online documentation stays up to date with the development version of pygame in svn. This may be a bit newer than the version of pygame you are using.

Best of all the examples directory has many playable small programs which can get started playing with the code right away.


Thanks to everyone who has helped contribute to this library. Special thanks are also in order.

David Clark - for filling the right-hand-man position

Ed Boraas and Francis Irving - Debian packages

Maxim Sobolev - FreeBSD packaging

Bob Ippolito - MacOS and OS X porting (much work!)

Jan Ekhol, Ray Kelm, and Peter Nicolai - putting up with my early

design ideas

Nat Pryce for starting our unit tests

Dan Richter for documentation work

TheCorruptor for his incredible logos and graphics

Thanks to those sending in patches and fixes: Niki Spahiev, Gordon

Tyler, Nathaniel Pryce, Dave Wallace, John Popplewell, Michael Urman, Andrew Straw, Michael Hudson, Ole Martin Bjoerndalen, Herv� Cauwelier, James Mazer, Lalo Martins, Timothy Stranex, Chad Lester, Matthias Spiller, Bo Jangeborg, Dmitry Borisov

And our bug hunters above and beyond: Angus, Guillaume Proux, Frank

Raiser, Austin Henry, Kaweh Kazemi, Arturo Aldama, Mike Mulcheck, Rene Dudfield, Michael Benfield, David Lau

There's many more folks out there who've submitted helpful ideas, kept this project going, and basically made my life easer, Thanks!

Also a big thanks to Roger Dingledine and the crew at SEUL.ORG for our excellent hosting.


Pygame is obviously strongly dependent on SDL and Python. It also links to and embeds several other smaller libraries. The font module relies on SDL_tff, which is dependent on freetype. The mixer (and modules depend on SDL_mixer. The image module depends on SDL_image, which also can use libjpeg and libpng. The transform module has an embedded version of SDL_rotozoom for its own rotozoom function. The surfarray module requires the python Numeric package for its multidimensional numeric arrays.
Todo / Ideas (feel free to submit)
  • transform.skew() function
  • transform.scroll() function
  • image filtering (colors,blurs,etc)
  • quake-like console with python interpreter
  • game lobby. client, simple server, and protocol
  • surfarrays should be able to do RGBA along with RGB
  • draw with transparancy
  • draw large sets of primitives with a single call
  • drawing offsets, perhaps as subsurfaces
  • new scale2x, scale3x, and scale4x from hiend3d
  • switch Numeric to numarray (see docs on how to do both)
  • audio resampling


This library is distributed under GNU LGPL version 2.1, which can be found in the file "doc/LGPL". I reserve the right to place future versions of this library under a different license.

This basically means you can use pygame in any project you want, but if you make any changes or additions to pygame itself, those must be released with a compatible license. (preferably submitted back to the pygame project). Closed source and commercial games are fine.

The programs in the "examples" subdirectory are in the public domain.