Pac-Man is a labyrinth action video game developed by Namco and debuted in arcades in 1980. To prevent defacement of arcade machines, the original Japanese title of Puck Man was altered to Pac-Man for worldwide distribution.
Midway Manufacturing distributed the game in North America as part of a licence arrangement with Namco America. The player takes control of Pac-Man, who must consume all of the dots inside a maze while avoiding four different coloured ghosts. Pac-Man can consume giant flashing dots called “Power Pellets” to momentarily make the ghosts blue, allowing him to devour them for additional points.
The creation of the game began in early 1979, with a nine-man team led by Toru Iwatani. Because most video games at the time featured themes of war or sports, Iwatani intended to design a game that could appeal to both men and women.
Although the picture of a pizza with a piece missing served as inspiration for the Pac-Man design, Iwatani has stated that he also rounded out the Japanese symbol for the mouth, kuchi.
To appeal to younger players, the in-game characters were developed to be charming and bright. The original Japanese title Puckman was taken from the main character’s hockey-puck form, and it is now Bandai Namco Entertainment’s mascot and brand image.
Pac-Man was a critical and commercial smash, spawning many sequels, merchandising, and two television programmes, as well as a hit single by Buckner & Garcia.
The franchise continues to be one of the highest-grossing and best-selling games of all time, with total sales of more than $14 billion (as of 2016) and 43 million units and has a long commercial and cultural impact. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time.
Pac man Gameplay
Pac-Man is an action maze pursuit video game in which the player guides the titular figure through a maze. The goal of the game is to eat all of the dots in the maze while evading four different coloured ghosts chasing him: Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), Inky (cyan), and Clyde (orange).
The player progresses to the next level when Pac-Man consumes all of the dots. Pac-Man will lose a life if he comes into touch with a ghost; the game will terminate after all lives have been lost.
Each of the four ghosts has its own artificial intelligence (A.I.) or “personalities,” with Blinky pursuing Pac-Man directly, Pinky and Inky attempting to position themselves in front of Pac-Man, generally by cornering him, and Clyde switching between pursuing and evading Pac-Man.
Large flashing “energizers,” or “power pellets,” are placed at the maze’s four corners. The ghosts will become blue with a dizzy face and reverse direction if you eat these. For extra points, Pac-Man can eat blue ghosts; once eaten, the ghosts’ eyeballs return to the maze’s centre box, where they “regenerate” and continue their usual activity. When you eat many blue ghosts in a row, you get more points. Blue-coloured ghosts will flash white after a specific length of time before returning to their original, fatal form. When you consume a particular number of dots in a level, a bonus item – generally a fruit – appears beneath the central box, which you can eat for bonus points.
With games like Space Invaders and Breakout, the Japanese video game industry had exploded in popularity, resulting in a torrent of comparable titles from other manufacturers attempting to cash in on the success.
Arcade games, Watani believed, appealed exclusively to males because of their vulgar visuals and violence, and arcades, in general, were considered unsavoury surroundings. Iwatani’s next aim was to design a nonviolent, upbeat video game that mostly attracted women since he felt that drawing women and couples to arcades would make them appear to be more family-friendly.
Watani began to consider what women like doing in their spare time, and he chose to focus his game on eating, based on women’s fondness for desserts and other sweets. Pakkuman was his first game, named after the Japanese onomatopoeia word “paku paku taberu,” which refers to the mouth opening and shutting in rapid succession.
The game that would become Pac-Man began development in early 1979 and took a year and five months to complete, making it the longest video game ever made at the time.
Watani solicited the assistance of nine other Namco personnel, including composer Toshio Kai, programmer Shigeo Funaki, and hardware engineer Shigeichi Ishimura, to aid with production.
With its use of easy gameplay and charming, beautiful character designs, the game was designed to appeal to a “non-violent” audience, particularly women.
When the game was being created, Namco was working on Galaxian, a game that featured a then-revolutionary RGB colour display that allowed sprites to use many colours at once rather than the standard colourful strips of cellophane at the time.
Watani was able to dramatically improve his game with brilliant pastel hues, which he believed would help attract players, thanks to this technical achievement. Iwatani got the idea for energizers from Popeye the Sailor, a cartoon character who gains temporary superhuman power after eating a can of spinach.
It’s also said that Iwatani was influenced by a Japanese children’s fable about a creature who ate monsters to protect children from them. Pac-maze-chase Man’s gameplay, according to Frank Fogleman, co-founder of Gremlin Industries, was inspired by Sega’s Head On (1979), a similar arcade game that was popular in Japan.
Pac man Release
Puck Man’s location testing began on May 22, 1980, in Shibuya, Tokyo, to a largely good response from players. The game had a private screening in June, followed by a countrywide release in July.
As a result of the game’s popularity in Japan, Namco began making preparations to introduce it to other nations, primarily the United States. Namco America made a lot of alterations to the game before presenting it to distributors, including changing the names of the ghosts.
The most serious of these was the game’s title; Namco executives were concerned that vandals would change the “P” in Puck Man to an “F,” resulting in an obscene name.
Because it was closer to the game’s original Japanese title of Pakkuman, Masaya Nakamura decided to rename it Pac-Man. The game was distributed in Europe under both the names Pac-Man and Puck-Man.
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