FAQ - General

Be sure to also check out the official ChronicLogic Pontifex FAQ and Pontifex II FAQ.

Who made the games?
The Author of Bridge Builder/Pontifex is Alex Austin/ChronicLogic and this is not the official Bridge Builder/Pontifex page. This is just an unofficial fan site.

Who made this page?
Read the About section.

I start Pontifex II, but only the 'Exit' menu option works. What's wrong?
Buy your own legal copy of the game.

 FAQ - Hardware problems

Hardware problems:
Some problems with running Bridge Builder have been reported when using ATI video cards and some 3dfx voodoo cards. (blank screen, PC hangs, blurred characters, game running too slow, various error messages etc.) You might also encounter problems while trying to run the game under Windows NT or 2000.
The common solutions are:
- Get the newest drivers for your video card at
- Install DirectX. (Especially if it says 'Cannot create direct input.')
- Try running the game under Windows 9x/ME.
- If you experience random crashes, try closing any memory-resident programs before running the game.
- For some Voodoo video cards, the following seems to help in certain cases:
Copy c:\windows\system\3dfxvgl.dll to the Bridge Builder folder and rename to opengl32.dll

Help! It's running too slow!
Here are some answers for you (especially for Windows XP users) - thanks mendel:

Short version:

If Pontifex/Bridge Builder is really slow on your system, you probably only have software support. You need to download and install new drivers to enable hardware OpenGL support. Use www search engines to find them. This will make all OpenGL games faster on your machine.

Long version:

Q: In both Pontifex and Bridge Builder, I get display errors and the games run incredibly slow. I have a fast machine, so it's nothing my computer can't handle. Can this problem be attributed to Windows XP?
A: Windows XP supports OpenGL out of the box. Unfortunately, this is done using a software renderer that lets your CPU do all 3D calculations and renders it using the usual windows output. It does not use your video card's hardware functions at all. Of course, this is incredibly slow, and can also lead to display errors.

Q: So how can I let OpenGL programs make use of my 3D hardware?
A: You need to download and install display drivers from your 3D card manufacturer that enable hardware OpenGL support. This speeds up OpenGL applications enormously and (hopefully) fixes the display bugs.

Q: But Windows XP includes drivers for my video card?
A: But Microsoft doesn't like OpenGL, so these have no support for it. (Some WHQL-certified drivers from hardware vendors don't, either - as was the case with the 12.40 Nvidia Detonator re: TNT2 cards). I can only guess this is so that users think OpenGL is crap - which it is definitely not, only M$ doesn't like it. They prefer for game developers to write for DirectX, which means programs can be easily ported to the Xbox, but not so easily to Linux (which supports OpenGL, too).
If you think this is too much effort just for BB or Pontifex, be assured that a) these are great games ;-), and b) any other OpenGL game you might try will run slow as well unless you get OpenGL installed properly.

OpenGL resources: - Checks & updates your OpenGL drivers - Lots of OpenGL info, helpful message board - OpenGL info tool; submit a report!
Google - use your chipset name and OpenGL as keywords

How to make Pontifex II run faster and use less resources
(also how to fix the 'white props' problem with Voodoo cards):

Reduce the size of the texture bitmaps to 128x128. The simplest way to do this is to download the low-res texture pack (also read the instructions). Altrenatively, you can resize the .tga images in the 'texture' folder yourself (there's a nice forum post with instructions on this by mendel).
Doing this is generally recommended for low-end systems. The reduced textures don't even look that bad :)

If you experience other problems, check out the forum and try posting your question.
Info on how to report problems correctly is available here and here.
Please don't send me problem-related e-mail since I don't have the time to help everyone myself. Use the forum instead.

 FAQ - Gameplay

Is there a 'full version' of Bridge Builder?

How many levels are there?
Bridge Builder has 15 levels. The pontifex demo has 10. The full version of Pontifex has 48. The Pontifex II demo has 3. The full version of Pontifex II has 40. You can download many more in the Bridge Builder and Pontifex levels sections (I don't know of any custom Pontifex II levels yet).

I've solved level XX of Bridge Builder, why is the next level not available?
At first, you only see 7 of them and the rest gets unlocked as you progress through the game. You have to solve the levels in the "Start Game" menu, if you save the bridge, then load it, then solve the level, it doesn't count.

Help! I can't solve level XX!
All original levels as well as all of the ones on this site is solvable. Example solutions for almost all levels can be found in the bridges and the record sections. There are solutions for all Pontifex levels on this site and this site. Record bridges for all Pontifex Map Packs are available on DarkWolfNine's Unofficial Pontifex Records Website. I you just want hints, post a message in the forum.

Bridge Builder doesn't recognize my saved bridges!
The game only "sees" 24 bridge (.brg) files at a time. To handle more files, you have to move/delete some of them. A convenient way to manage a big amount of files (like your solutions to the different map packs) is to make copies of the game folder for each group of bridges.

In Pontifex I and II, I can't reach some anchor points. Help!
You have to move forward or backward to reach the other planes. Switch to complex mode and use the R and F keys to do that. In Pontifex II, you can also use Shift-R and Shift-F to move the mirror plane.

Can I make my own maps/levels?
For Bridge Builder, you now can create your own levels using a Level editor of your choice. Keep in mind that you can't use custom filenames, you have to replace existing levels. Just rename/move the original level files (and the corresponding bridge files) or make a copy of your game folder altogether.
Pontifex I and II have integrated level editors, just select 'New Level' from the main menu.

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