A little White Noise

Reader, and blogger on things Calvinistic and other stuff, Lee Shelton IV, doesn’t just have a numerically cool last name. He has skills of an artist (if you think that sentence is grammatically incorrect go here).

He has started a whiteboard cartoon blog called “White Noise”. And I’ll be following along.

 
So far he has zombies, politics, venn diagrams, and pacman. How could I resist?

The best thing is the lack of comic sans.

World’s Biggest Pacman

Check this out. Waste at least a day of your time. You can even contribute your own level design (I haven’t. Yet).

Each of the squares on this page is a playable, and connected, level.

Minimalist Game Characters

A handy visual guide to game characters – provided you can identify them. From a Flickr user called Lishoffs.

You can buy it as a print here.
This operating system icons as Batman villains design (by Lishoffs) is also pretty clever.

Exploded diagrams of popular 8-Bit game characters

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These are pretty cool. Designing a world beating game character now seems surprisingly easy… thanks to Chris Kuma’s exploded schematics of your favourite game character from the 80s and 90s.

Pacman Biscuit Cutters: Munch a ghost without a powerup

I like these.

Look. They work.

Game Theory: Understanding the mechanics of Pacman

Well. I’ll never look at a game of Pacman in quite the same way again.

Its mysteries have been revealed by these two links – firstly the Pacman Dossier – basically a textbook on Pacman, and secondly, this study of the mechanics, and individual personalities, of the Pacman ghosts – which draws on material from the first.

The ghosts have three movement patterns, each individually calibrated. These patterns are determined by what mode they’re in – chase, scatter, or frightened. And these modes switch based on time cycles in each level. The modes determine what a ghost will do as it approaches an intersection.

“The diagram above shows a simplified representation of the maze layout. Decisions are only necessary at all when approaching “intersection” tiles, which are indicated in green on the diagram.

When a decision about which direction to turn is necessary, the choice is made based on which tile adjoining the intersection will put the ghost nearest to its target tile, measured in a straight line. The distance from every possibility to the target tile is measured, and whichever tile is closest to the target will be selected.”

Here’s what happens in Scatter mode:


Each ghost has a pre-defined, fixed target tile while in this mode, located just outside the corners of the maze. When Scatter mode begins, each ghost will head towards their “home” corner using their regular path-finding methods. However, since the actual target tiles are inaccessible and the ghosts cannot stop moving or reverse direction, they are forced to continue past the target, but will turn back towards it as soon as possible. This results in each ghost’s path eventually becoming a fixed loop in their corner. If left in Scatter mode, each ghost would remain in its loop indefinitely. In practice, the duration of Scatter mode is always quite short, so the ghosts often do not have time to even reach their corner or complete a circuit of their loop before reverting back to Chase mode.

Shirt of the Day: The making of a Pacman Ghost

Ever wondered where those Pacman Ghosts come from? This shirt design (currently up for voting on Threadless) has the answer.

The pixels will inherit the earth

They are coming. Watch out. I make a resolution to stay in high resolution.

If the Pac fits

A wearable, playable, Pacman outfit is sure to go down a treat at your next costume party.

Via Walyou.

Pacman in stopmotion

I’ve posted something like this before. It may even have been this. If so, it is worth repeating. If not… well, it’s worth posting. Clever.

Sketchman

There was a time, long ago, when computer games could be sketched on single pages. In pencil. Those were noble times. Simpler.
Here are some of Toru Iwatani’s (the game’s designer) planning drawings for Pacman. In 8-bit glory.

Pacman skeleton found in desert

He’s REAL!

Well, not really. But this is cool.

Pacmania: Google’s Pacman costs world billions

As reported the other day, to celebrate Pacman’s 30th birthday Google created a playable Pacman version of its logo. It’s now permanently available. The playable logo is estimated to have consumed 4.8 million man hours globally.

RescueTime is a program that monitors online usage. They extrapolated their data to reach that figure.

Here’s the baseline:

Our average Google user spends only 4 and a half active minutes on Google search per day, spread over about 22 page views. That’s roughly 11 seconds of attention invested in each Google page view. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but next time you do a search, count to 11- it’s a long time.

Here’s what the study found:

The average user spent 36 seconds MORE on Google.com on Friday.. Thankfully, Google tossed out the logo with pretty low “perceived affordance” – they put an “insert coin” button next to the search button, but I imagine most users missed that. In fact, I’d wager that 75% of the people who saw the logo had no idea that you could actually play it. Which the world should be thankful for.

If we take Wolfram Alpha at its word, Google had about 504,703,000 unique visitors on May 23. If we assume that our userbase is representative, that means:

  • Google Pac-Man consumed 4,819,352 hours of time (beyond the 33.6m daily man hours of attention that Google Search gets in a given day)
  • $120,483,800 is the dollar tally, If the average Google user has a COST of $25/hr (note that cost is 1.3 – 2.0 X pay rate).
  • For that same cost, you could hire all 19,835 google employees, from Larry and Sergey down to their janitors, and get 6 weeks of their time. Imagine what you could build with that army of man power.
  • $298,803,988 is the dollar tally if all of the Pac-Man players had an approximate cost of the average Google employee.
  • Happy Birthday Pacman

    Pacman is thirty today. Google is celebrating. You can play it on the homepage.

    I’ve written quite a few Pacman posts over the years. Here they all are.

    Celebrate by baking a Pac-Cake…

    An alternative Pacman Movie

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    I posted a Pacman Movie trailer a while ago (I can’t find it – it had a guy in a yellow motorbike helmet). This one is more intense.

    PACMAN: THE MOVIE TRAILER from Therefore Productions on Vimeo.