Te Tuhi Video Game System

Links: Git repository | Mailing list | License (GPL) | Download | Original exhibit

This program turns still pictures into video games. It is free software, licensed under the GPL (version 2 or greater), and written primarily in Python and C.

The software was originally written for an exhibit at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Manukau City, New Zealand. That exhibit borrowed the gallery's name, which the software has inherited. It is almost, but not entirely, appropriate: in Māori, te tuhi means something like “the inscription” but it seems to refer to writing rather more than drawing. Thus the name will probably change sooner or later.


  1. Before you start, you'll need Python, GCC, Pygame, the Python Imaging Library, PyYAML, and the Gnu Scientific Library. These might not be available on all operating systems.
  2. You can either download a tarball from Sourceforge, or (preferably) get the latest code from the GIT repository. If both of these sound hard or inexplicable then I am sorry: the code is not quite ready for you. The next step is likely to be trickier.
  3. Compile the C modules in the directories c, img-c, and perceptron. make && make python-install is probably sufficient in each case.
  4. Try ./tetuhi path/to/some/image.jpg. If everything is working, a window should pop up with a game in it.
  5. But it probably isn't working, so at this point you should subscribe to the mailing list and ask there. Actually, you should have done that to start with.

Test pictures

Also on Sourceforge is a tarball of test images. There's also a set of sounds, but that is a huge download.


The program can run in different modes. (use ./tetuhi --help for clues, though not all options work). The simplest way is to call tetuhi with the name of the file you want to play, but it can also be used in “exhibition” mode in which it takes pictures upon the press of the joystick button. The exact way it takes pictures varies, and is largely up to you.


Join the mailing list, register with Savannah, join the project, and check out the GIT tree.