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System Syzygy

System Syzygy is a puzzle game, in the style of Cliff Johnson's The Fool's Errand and 3 in Three, and of Andrew Plotkin's System's Twilight.


System Syzygy is licensed under the GNU GPL, version 3. System Syzygy is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

System Syzygy is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

The complete license can be found in the LICENSE file.

Building and running locally

To compile and run the game without having to install a release package, run:

$ cargo run --release

(Building/running in release mode is highly recommended for playing the game; the non-release build enables some otherwise-distracting features intended for development/debugging, and also there's one particular late-game puzzle that runs quite slowly in debug mode.)

Alternatively, if you want to invoke the built binary directly, use the SYZYGY_DATA_DIR environment variable to tell the game where to find its resource files, e.g.:

$ cargo build --release
$ SYZYGY_DATA_DIR="${PWD}/data" ./target/release/syzygy

Building a release package

The below instructions are for reference purposes. To install a pre-built release package, visit

Mac OS X

  1. Install the SDL2 framework under /Library/Frameworks/.

  2. Install cargo-bundle (version 0.4.0 or later).

  3. Run cargo bundle --release.

  4. Fix the binary's rpath:

    $ install_name_tool -add_rpath "@executable_path/../Frameworks" \
  5. Strip the binary:

    $ strip target/release/bundle/osx/System\
  6. (Optional) Remove i386 architecture from the bundled SDL2 framework:

    $ BUNDLE="target/release/bundle/osx/System"; \
        FILE="${BUNDLE}/Contents/Frameworks/SDL2.framework/Versions/A/SDL2"; \
        lipo "${FILE}" -remove i386 -output "${FILE}"
  7. (Optional) Sign the app bundle:

    $ codesign --deep --force --verbose \
        --sign "3rd Party Mac Developer Application" \
        --entitlements "data/osx/entitlements.plist" \
    $ codesign --verify -vvvv target/release/bundle/osx/System\
  8. (Optional) Create signed installer package:

    $ productbuild --component "target/release/bundle/osx/System" \
        /Applications --sign "3rd Party Mac Developer Installer" \
        "target/release/bundle/osx/System Syzygy.pkg"

Debian Linux

  1. Install SDL2:

    $ sudo apt-get install libsdl2-dev
  2. Install cargo-bundle (version 0.4.0 or later).

  3. Run cargo build --release.

  4. Strip the binary:

    $ strip target/release/syzygy
  5. Run cargo bundle --release --format=deb.


  1. Follow these instructions for installing SDL2 where Rust can find it.
  2. Run cargo build --release.
  3. Copy SDL2.dll to target/release/SDL2.dll.
  4. To create the zip archive, open target/release/ in Windows Explorer, select both syzygy.exe and SDL2.dll, right-click, and select "Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder".