pac-mannerscool

(11 comments)
November 13, 2007

The video game magazine The Gamer's Quarter has message boards I've been hanging out at for a while now. They have an ongoing Share Your Banner thread where they solicit 500x100 video game related banners from people. 500x100 is an odd aspect ratio, and regulars on the site seem to like finding oddball and compelling screenshots and associated gaming materials.

These are (kind of bad snapshots, I didn't have a scanner handy) taken from the book "Programmers at Work", from the interview with Toru Iwatani, the inventor of Pacman. They are doodles he made over the course of the interview in his dayplanner:





(click for full size, each is a bit shrunk to fit here.)

I always like behind-the-scenes type sketches like these. The first is showing how the image of Pac-Man evolved from the Japanese word for mouth (along with the old "he took a slice from a pizza, and there was Pac-man" story,) the second is why they didn't add eyes to Pac-Man (then they'd want to add glasses, maybe a mustache, etc -- though some bootleggers did just that with the game that became Ms.Pac-Man) as well as how friendly the ghost monsters are, relatively speaking, and the final one shows some of the "ghost psychology", since a relentless, head-towards-the-player attack would be boring.

Article of the Moment
NY Times on How T-Mobile's iPhone killer ain't. Short answer: it's the software, stupid, and since they say they're using Windows Mobile I'd have to agree.

iPhones are frustrating sometimes; it benefits from a design that seems very unwilling to compromise, but sometimes features get left out. A lot of people would like to see a little counter showing you how many characters into a 160-character TXT have been typed. I wouldn't be surprised if that has been dismissed as "clutter", no matter how useful people would find it.

Quote of the Moment
"The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time." --Willem de Kooning. (Yes, another damn quotationspage.com QotD.) I'd upgrade that to "the trouble with not being independently wealthy".