gdc 2011

Looking Back On A Classic: Pac-Man

by Ben Reeves on Mar 03, 2011 at 06:09 AM

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Game Developer Conference, so developers of some of histories more influential games have gathered to talk about the past. Pac-Man creator, Toru Iwatani, shared his own personal story about working on Pac-Man.

Mr. Iwatani designed the game from the beginning to appeal to girls. He decided that girls liked to eat, so therefore he wanted to create a game about eating.

The original design for Pac-Man didn’t include any enemies, but the game was boring, so ghosts were added.

Pretty colors were used for the ghost so that they wouldn’t be scary and in hopes that they would appeal more to girls.

The power pellets that make the ghost vulnerable to Pac-Man’s champers are supposed to be big cookies.

The game is so simple that researchers have actually taught gorillas how to play it.

The original Pac-Man consists of only 24 kilobytes of code.

Mr. Iwatani boss at Namco wanted to make all of the ghosts red, but he pushed to keep them all different colors with different AI patterns.

For the first time, Mr. Iwatani also showed the following production notes. They provide an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the original Pac-Man.