pingK pong

As some readers may know, we like the game pong and awkward versions of it. (see also pong.mythos.) Apparently other people share this passion …as e.g. viennese computer science students (called emcgames), who did this great pink pingk pong.
Unfortunately it seems the game is for windows only.
kotaku called pingK an Electric Kool-Aid Acid pong, however this is a strange kind of acid sound in the video … or lets say the truth: i think it is better to switch the sound off.

9 Responses to “pingK pong”

  1. iceland Says:

    A game in the spirit of modern physics depicting a world where the physical constants are changing over time :-)

    The sound… oh well… but turning it off completely is not an option since it would mulct you of the ever so sweet pong-beep.

  2. nad Says:

    true. oK keep the sound on :-)

  3. Chris Chiu Says:


    I’m one of the makers of it (specifically some programming, some art/ideas, and the music/sounds).

    The physical constants don’t actually change, but the physics itself is deliberately not trying to simulate real-world-physics, but to have a consistant “world of physics” in itself (where “physics” is too big of a word for it, frankly). In essence, it needs to be played to see why that makes a difference – some matches seem totally crazy after some time, when the ball gains on rotational effect.

    Some of the sounds were deliberately made “annoying”, although I’m a bit sad that you didn’t seem to like the music itself. But there’s some help in that – since this was a 1-day coding project, we forgot to made the music looping, so after a while, the music will just stop.

    Chris Chiu
    Co-Maker of pingK

  4. nad Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I like to be honest when I give my opinion about music. (Tim hates
    this, but still keeps asking my opinions :-))
    and yes – may be I was ironically exagerating a bit, when I
    suggested to switch off the sound. may be this irony didnt come out.
    (11 pm….)

    It is just that I think the music is the weakest point in the
    overall impression.

    it weren’t actually the “annoying” sounds which I found annoying
    – on the contrary – I even like these “annoying” pong sounds….in
    particular I like the “smacky SCORE whip” :-)

    i think the beginning of the music is good enough, it works well
    together with the sounds. just then – about when the
    panpipes set in (after the beats) – it starts getting a little dull
    (especially with the strings), the whip sticks out too much because
    the background (panpipes and strings) are too much of sweet carpet.
    And the chords/harmonies are rather intensifying this trend. I got the
    impression that there was not overly much care put into this second part
    and last not least – the missing end or adjusted loop makes this
    impression not better.

    but as I wrote – overall I really like your pong! Especially the
    “flower power part” where everything wobbles away or the
    defocus part” :-) great anarchic.

    Concerning the physics – as I understood with “rotational effect” you mean
    that your ball starts sometimes to move on circles. (?) Did you try the
    geodesics in our torus pong (ToPong)? I find they are even harder to play
    than circles. These orbits are actually “straightest lines”
    (or shortest lines) on the torus. So the physics depends on where we are :-).

    (And in fact….if your ball would be charged and if you would have a magnetic
    field perpendicular to your game plane then the orbits where actually
    indeed circular…:-))

    (…and if you are drunk than the plane would indeed start to wobble…:-O)

    With your pink and black aesthetics you are actually hitting a current
    trend in graphics design
    – don’t know if you were aware of :-)

    It would be interesting for me to hear your motivations about
    why you had chosen the PC as a platform. Are there some extensions planned?

  5. Chris Chiu Says:


    “pingK” is our entry to the “Graphics meets Games” showcase of the Eurographics 2006 conference (the second-largest and prestigious scientific conference on computer graphics, after the Siggraph), which takes place in Vienna in September.

    Originally pingK was made mostly during a hangover of one of us (Georg) when he and the programmer, Alex, visited a talk about avantgarde/arthouse game design. After that, they just said “let’s make an avantgarde game!”. The first pingK was far simpler though, without the powerups, just with the very weird rotations/circling that can occur.

    For the “Graphics meets Games” showcase, we originally wanted to create a very different game, set under water, also with an avantgarde feel to it (basically being something along the lines of “Cloud”, a freeform play game). The music you hear was actually made for that game, and I think it fits better there.

    Unfortunately, we started too late, so a day before the deadline, we knew we wouldn’t make it, so we changed our plans and basically revisited that idea of pingK and made it into an even weirder experience.

    It was then completed within one day, and with still a few issues and bugs in there that we still hope to fix. Since it’s impossible to compose another piece of music in just a few hours (and I had enough to do anyways), I just put that piece of music in there despite it belonging to a different game. I think the ORIGINAL piece of music that was in the first version of pingK would be far more annoying than any of the sounds. The old version can still be found here:

    The PC was chosen as a platform simply because the target machine at the conference is a PC (just out of curiosity: for which platform would you like pingK for?). As for extensions, we don’t know. Right now we’re trying to create our original planned game without the hard time constraints of deadlines, hoping to submit that one somewhere else.

    Either way, I appreciate your constructive criticism, it’s a good thing since I’ve only had positive feedback to that music so far, so knowing things I could improve definitely helps! By the way – did you actually hear the whole piece or just the part in the video? (the piece is around 8 minutes long)

  6. nad Says:


    It is always interesting to hear how a game comes into being…seems as if
    you have to feed Georg some more Heurigen !

    Concerning the music: I heard the whole track while plaing the game.

    music is a very subjective thing.

    And well I just find that this sort of dream house kind of music is too plain for your relatively anarchic and vivid almost psychadelic game.

    Like I could imagine that the music could also be “interactive”, i.e. that the music changes
    (moderately) just as the visuals. But well this is complicated, aslo in terms of programming.
    And certainly not feasable in one day…

    Concerning the platform: We like it platform independent. This is also important in terms of preserving your own code. I guess you were aware of this but yes sometimes this is not so easy to realize. ToPong runs with a Java webstart application….as you may have
    noticed. How do you like it?

    In principle I work on Linux with Ubuntu, but I have a dual boot partition, means in
    principle I can see MSoft stuff but I have to reboot…so I do this only for very special
    cases like your game :-)(or the Issey Miyake flash 8 site… )

    Our new author Steffen Weissmann called Tim this morning and told us about another
    cool pong, called Plasma Pong. We were almost preparing a blog entry to this…
    however someone was faster…winner of the todays blogpost pong is
    -> Etienne Mineur!

    Etienne Mineur by the way is the creator of a great pong himself:
    Goto, scroll with the red bar back to 1997
    then you can watch the video: Ono-Sendai cyberspace with a
    “word pong” (unfortunately non-interactive…)
    at the end of the video. For the video, click on that icon:

  7. Chris Chiu Says:

    Yeah, I’ve already tried Plasma Pong, after I’ve read about it in a recent issue of the “GEE” magazine (

    As for platforms, yeah, generally platform independence is something desirable, but we haven’t really put that much effort into platform independence so far (considering Alex prefers to program in Delphi, portability is also a bit more complicated than on C++, despite there being a “Delphi for Linux”, Kylix). There’s various other reasons (graphics drivers for instance) that add a whole new challenge to portability, so we just didn’t touch that issue (yet). Because of the driver issue (Linux drivers getting new OpenGL features very late, and so on), we opted for the approach to just program for Windows, but there, as good as we can – to avoid the risk of being a “jack of all trades (or platforms), but master of none”.

    We had the idea of dynamic music too, but, again, time constraints :) As I’ve already said, it’s probably more suitable to a more tranquil, laid-back game, which it originally was made for.

    About ToPong: a really interesting idea! It took me some time to get used to the unusual “spatial configuration” though :)

  8. timh Says:

    Dynamic music is allways difficult (even with no time constraints :-) ). Up to now ToPong is merely a proof of concept (only a very plain gameplay and we did not even start to think about music there…). We will soon post something about the technology (i.e. the 3d viewer jReality) behind it. More precisely when the corresponding website gets relaunched.
    stay tuned. The portability was a main reason to set up that viewer in Java. Together with the JOGL OpenGl bindings one gets quite far. The Linux driver quality depends on the vendor. NVidia drivers usually are quite good and up to date. Plus if you want portability using the very latest features is a “no no” anyways :-)

  9. randform » Blog Archive » Computerspielemuseum Berlin Says:

    […] Due to recent discussions about pong the randformblog reader may know already about the exhibition pong.mythos and his curator Andreas Lange (see left image on the left, together with manager Dr. Klaus Spieler). However Andreas Lange’s main work (in fact he majored in religious studies) is the curation of the Computerspiele- museum (museum for video games) in Berlin. […]

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