Ron Gilbert is an American video-game designer and producer. His games are focused on interactive story-telling, he is arguably best known for his work on several classic LucasArts adventure games, including Maniac Mansion and the first two Monkey Island games. While a student in 1983, he co-wrote Graphics Basic and he worked on action games for HESware, which went out of business, he afterwards joined Lucasfilm Games, was given the opportunity to develop his own games. He became known for inventing SCUMM, a technology used in many subsequent games. After leaving LucasArts, Gilbert co-founded the children’s gaming company Humongous Entertainment in 1992 and its sister company Cavedog Entertainment in 1995, where he produced games such as Total Annihilation for adults, he cofounded Hulabee Entertainment with Shelley Day, releasing children’s games between 2001 and 2003. After working with Beep Games between 2004 and 2007, he was creative director at Vancouver-based Hothead Games development studio between 2008 and 2010 doing some work for Telltale Games and with Penny Arcade.
In 2013, he announced that he would move on from Double Fine Productions, after releasing the game The Cave with them. In 2017, he announced Thimbleweed Park with Terrible Toybox, serving as writer and programmer since 2014. Ron Gilbert was born in La Grande, Oregon, as the son of David E. Gilbert, a physics professor and former president of Eastern Oregon University, he thought of himself going into a career for film direction. He became interested in games when he was thirteen years old thanks to a Texas Instruments TI-59 programmable calculator his father used to bring home, he found the ability to program games on the calculator interesting, citing an example of a Battleship-like game, included on the calculator, leading him wanting him to learn how to program other games. Gilbert saw the potential to program games as a creative outlet as he continued his studies towards the film industry. Another thing that made him approach the gaming world was Star Wars, his fascination with programming technology, which allowed gamers to interact with characters and situations, mixed with his love for telling stories, like that of "Star Wars", were his main inspirations to start making games.
The impact of Star Wars and his love for telling stories was so big that Ron Gilbert, at the age of fourteen, his good friend Tom McFarlane made a couple of films on a Super-8 camera. The first film they shot in 1978 was Stars Blasters. In 1979 they filmed Tomorrow Never Came, acted by Ron Gilbert, Tom McFarlane. In 1979 his parents purchased a NorthStar Horizon home computer. At the age of fifteen, he took his first steps in game programming, he used to analyze games for hours. Once the games were replicated he would start doing experiments with them, he used to look at Atari 2600 games' advertisements in magazines imagined what the game was like to play and tried to make them on his computer. Once the games were finished he used to bring his friends home to test the games and tell him what they did or did not like. Gilbert began his professional career in 1983 while he was still a student at Eastern Oregon State College by writing a program named Graphics Basic with Tom McFarlane, they sold the program to a San Francisco Bay Area company named HESware, which offered Gilbert a job.
He spent about half a year at HESware, programming action games for the Commodore 64. None of them were released. Shortly thereafter, Gilbert joined Lucasfilm Games, which became LucasArts. There he earned his living by doing C64 ports of Lucasfilm Atari 800 games. In 1985 he got the opportunity to co-develop his own game for LucasArts together with graphics artist Gary Winnick. Maniac Mansion was about a dark Victorian mansion populated by a mad scientist, his family and strange aliens. Gilbert created a scripting language, named after the project it had been written for, the Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, better known as SCUMM; the technology was used in all subsequent LucasArts adventure games, with the exception of Grim Fandango and Escape From Monkey Island. Despite being an internal production tool, the SCUMM acronym became well known to gamers since a location in The Secret of Monkey Island, the SCUMM Bar, was named after it. Gilbert created many successful adventure games at LucasArts, including the classic The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge.
In 1992, he left the company to start Humongous Entertainment with LucasArts producer Shelley Day. While at Humongous Entertainment, Gilbert was responsible for games such as Putt-Putt, Fatty Bear, Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam and the Backyard Sports series. Many of these games continued to use an offshoot of the SCUMM engine. In 1995, Gilbert founded Humongous' sister company for non-kids games. In 1996, GameSpot named him as the 15th on their list of the most influential people in computer gaming of all time. In 1997, Computer Gaming World ranked him as number 15 on the list of the most influential people of all time in computer gaming for inventing the SCUMM engine. While at Cavedog, Gilbert was the producer of Total Annihilation and worked on a game titled Good & Evil. Regarded as his pet project, Good & Evil was said to incorporate many differen
The Secret of Monkey Island
The Secret of Monkey Island is a 1990 point-and-click graphic adventure game developed and published by Lucasfilm Games. It takes place in a fantastic version of the Caribbean during the age of piracy; the player assumes the role of Guybrush Threepwood, a young man who dreams of becoming a pirate and explores fictional islands while solving puzzles. The game was conceived in 1988 by Lucasfilm employee Ron Gilbert, who designed it with Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman. Gilbert's frustrations with contemporary adventure titles led him to make the player character's death impossible, which meant that gameplay focused the game on exploration; the atmosphere was based on that of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride. The Secret of Monkey Island was the fifth game built with the SCUMM engine, modified to include a more user-friendly interface; the early releases of this game came with copy-protection. A cardboard wheel, named "Dial-a-Pirate", was provided, the player had to match the pirate shown on-screen with that of the wheel.
Critics praised The Secret of Monkey Island for its humor and gameplay. The game spawned a number of sequels, collectively known as the Monkey Island series. Gilbert and Grossman led the development of the sequel Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. LucasArts released a remake of the original in 2009, well received by the gaming press; the Secret of Monkey Island is a 2D adventure game played from a third-person perspective. Via a point-and-click interface, the player guides protagonist Guybrush Threepwood through the game's world and interacts with the environment by selecting from twelve verb commands such as "talk to" for communicating with characters and "pick up" for collecting items between commands and the world's objects in order to solve puzzles and thus progress in the game. While conversing with other characters, the player may choose between topics for discussion that are listed in a dialog tree; the in-game action is interrupted by cutscenes. Like other LucasArts adventure games, The Secret of Monkey Island features a design philosophy that makes the player character's death nearly impossible.
A youth named Guybrush Threepwood arrives on the fictional Mêlée Island, with the desire to become a pirate. He seeks out the island's pirate leaders, who set him three trials that must be completed to become a pirate: winning a sword duel against Carla, the island's resident swordmaster, finding a buried treasure, stealing a valuable idol from the governor's mansion; these quests take Guybrush throughout the island, where he hears of stories of the Ghost Pirate LeChuck, who died in an expedition to the mysterious Monkey Island, an act, meant to win the love of the governor Elaine Marley. Guybrush meets several characters of interest, including a local voodoo priestess, Stan the Used Boat Salesman, Carla the Sword Master, a prisoner named Otis, Meathook, whose hands have been replaced by hooks. Guybrush encounters the governor and is smitten, she soon reciprocates. However, as he completes the tasks set for him, the island is raided by LeChuck and his undead crew, who abduct Elaine and retreat to their secret hideout on Monkey Island.
Guybrush takes it upon himself to rescue her, buying a ship and hiring Carla and Meathook as crew before setting sail for the fabled island. When Guybrush reaches Monkey Island, he discovers a village of cannibals in a dispute with Herman Toothrot, a ragged castaway marooned there, he settles their quarrel, recovers a magical "voodoo root" from LeChuck's ship for the cannibals, who provide him with a seltzer bottle of "voodoo root elixir" that can destroy ghosts. When Guybrush returns to LeChuck's ship with the elixir, he learns that LeChuck has returned to Mêlée Island to marry Elaine at the church, he promptly returns to Mêlée Island and gatecrashes the wedding, only to ruin Elaine's own plan for escape. Now confronted with a furious LeChuck, Guybrush is savagely beaten by the ghost pirate in a fight ranging across the island; the fight arrives at the island's ship emporium, where Guybrush finds a bottle of root beer. Substituting the beverage for the lost elixir, he sprays LeChuck. With LeChuck defeated and Elaine enjoy a romantic moment, watching fireworks caused by LeChuck exploding.
Ron Gilbert conceived the idea of a pirate adventure game in 1988, after completing Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders. He first wrote story ideas about pirates while spending the weekend at a friend's house. Gilbert experimented with introductory paragraphs to find a satisfactory idea, his initial story featured unnamed villains that would become LeChuck and Elaine. He pitched it to Lucasfilm Games's staff as a series of short stories. Gilbert's idea was warmly received, but production was postponed because Lucasfilm Games assigned its designers, including Gilbert, to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure. Development of The Last Crusade was finished in 1989, which allowed Gilbert to begin production of The Secret of Monkey Island known internally under the working title Mutiny on Monkey Island. Gilbert soon realised; the game's insult sword fighting mechanics were influenced by swashbuckling movies starring Errol Flynn, which Gilbert and Grossman watched for inspirat
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (video game)
E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 adventure video game developed and published by Atari, Inc. for the Atari 2600 video game console. It is based on the film of the same name, was designed by Howard Scott Warshaw; the objective of the game is to guide the eponymous character through various screens in a cubic world to collect three pieces of an interplanetary telephone that will allow him to contact his home planet. Warshaw intended the game to be an innovative adaptation of the film, Atari thought it would achieve high sales figures based on its connection with the film, popular throughout the world. Negotiations to secure the rights to make the game ended in late July 1982, giving Warshaw only 5 and a half weeks to develop the game in time for the 1982 Christmas season; the final release was critically panned, with nearly every aspect of the game facing heavy criticism. E. T. is cited as one of the worst video games of all time and one of the biggest commercial failures in video game history.
It is cited as a major contributing factor to the video game industry crash of 1983, has been referenced and mocked in popular culture as a cautionary tale about the dangers of rushed game development and studio interference. In what was deemed an urban legend, reports from 1983 stated that as a result of overproduction and returns, millions of unsold cartridges were secretly buried in an Alamogordo, New Mexico landfill and covered with a layer of concrete. In April 2014, diggers hired to investigate the claim confirmed that the Alamogordo landfill contained many E. T. cartridges, among other games. James Heller, the former Atari manager, in charge of the burial, was at the excavation and admitted to the Associated Press that 728,000 cartridges of various games were buried. E. T. is an adventure game. The objective of the game is to collect three pieces of an interplanetary telephone; the pieces are found scattered randomly throughout various pits. The player is provided with an on-screen energy bar, which decreases when E.
T. performs any actions. To prevent this, E. T. can collect Reese's Pieces, which are used to restore his energy or, when nine are collected, E. T. can call Elliott to obtain a piece of the telephone, or the player can save the candy pieces for bonus points at the end. After the three phone pieces have been collected, the player must guide E. T. to an area where he can use the phone, which allows him to call his home planet. When the call is made, E. T. must reach the spaceship in a given time limit. Once E. T. gets to the forest where his ship abandoned him and stands and waits in the designated area for the ship to come, the ship will appear on screen and take him back to his home planet. The game starts over, with the same difficulty level, while changing the location of the telephone pieces; the score obtained during the round is carried over to the next iteration. The game ends. E. T. has three lives and if he dies within those three lives Elliott will come in and revive him. E. T. can get a fourth life.
It turns into a sprite from some games that Howard Scott Warshaw made, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark. The game is divided into each representing a different setting from the film. To accomplish the objective of the game, the player must guide E. T. into the wells. Once all items found in a well are collected, the player must levitate E. T. out of them. An icon at the top of each screen represents the current area, each area enabling the player to perform different actions. Antagonists include a scientist who takes E. T. for observation and an FBI agent who chases the alien to confiscate one of the collected telephone pieces, or candy. The game offers diverse difficulty settings that affect the number and speed of humans present, the conditions needed to accomplish the objective. Following the commercial success of the film in June 1982, Steve Ross, chief executive officer of Atari's parent company Warner Communications, started negotiations with Steven Spielberg and Universal Pictures to acquire the license to produce a video game based on the film.
In late June, Warner announced its exclusive worldwide rights to market coin-operated and console games based on the movie. Although the exact details of the transaction were not disclosed in the announcement, it was reported that Atari had paid US$20–25 million for the rights, a high figure for video game licensing at the time; when asked by Ross what he thought about making an E. T.-based video game, "I think it's a dumb idea. We've never made an action game out of a movie." An arcade game based on the E. T. property had been planned, but this was deemed to be impossible given the short deadline. After negotiations were completed, Kassar called Howard Scott Warshaw on July 27, 1982, to commission him as developer of the video game. Kassar informed him that Spielberg asked for Warshaw and that development needed to be completed by September 1 to meet a production schedule for the Christmas holiday. Though Warshaw had spent more than a year working on consecutive development schedules for games, he accepted the offer based on the challenge of completing a game in a short time frame and at Spielberg's request.
Warshaw considered it an opportunity to develop an innovative Atari 2600 game based on a movie he enjoyed, "provided we reach the right arrangement". Kassar offered
Nolan Kay Bushnell is an American electrical engineer and businessman. He established Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre chain. Bushnell has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame, received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Nations Restaurant News "Innovator of the Year" award, was named one of Newsweek's "50 Men Who Changed America." Bushnell has started more than twenty companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry. He is on the board of Anti-Aging Games. In 2012 he founded an educational software company called Brainrush, using video game technology in educational software. Nolan is credited with Bushnell's Law, an aphorism about games "easy to learn and difficult to master" being rewarding. Bushnell enrolled at Utah State University in 1961 to study engineering and later business. In 1964, he transferred to the University of Utah College of Engineering, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He was one of many computer science students of the 1960s who played the historic Spacewar! Game on DEC mainframe computers. Bushnell worked at Lagoon Amusement Park for many years, he was made manager of the games department two seasons after starting. He was interested in the midway arcade games, where theme park customers would have to use skill and luck to achieve the goal and win the prize, he liked the concept of getting people curious about the game and from there getting them to pay the fee in order to play. He would use his love for games and theme parks to help launch both Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters. While in college, he worked for several employers, including Litton Guidance and Control Systems, Hadley Ltd, the industrial engineering department at the University of Utah. For several summers, he built his own advertising company, Campus Company, which produced blotters for four universities and sold advertising space around a calendar of events.
He sold copies of Encyclopedia Americana. Bushnell's first marriage was to Paula Rochelle Nielson. Bushnell's oldest child, worked with him at uWink, his second marriage was with whom he has 6 children. Bushnell was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but is no longer an active member. A 1999 Time article described him as a "lapsed Mormon" and described him smoking a pipe, inconsistent with the LDS Church's health practice of the Word of Wisdom. After selling Atari to Warner Communications for $28 million, Bushnell purchased the former mansion of coffee magnate James Folger in Woodside, which he shared with his wife Nancy and their eight children; the Bushnells now live in Southern California. In June 2008 it was announced that Leonardo DiCaprio would portray Bushnell in the film Atari, an adaptation of Bushnell's life story. Despite the announcement, however, no progress has been made on the project. In 1969, Bushnell and colleague Ted Dabney formed Syzygy with the intention of producing a Spacewar clone known as Computer Space.
Dabney built Bushnell shopped it around, looking for a manufacturer. They made an agreement with Nutting Associates, a maker of coin-op trivia and shooting games, who produced a fiberglass cabinet for the unit that included a coin-slot mechanism. Computer Space was a commercial failure. Bushnell felt that Nutting Associates had not marketed the game well, decided that his next game would be licensed to a bigger manufacturer. In 1972, Bushnell and Dabney set off on their own, learned that the name "Syzygy" was in use, they instead incorporated under a reference to a check-like position in the game Go. They rented their first office on Scott Boulevard in Sunnyvale, contracted with Bally Manufacturing to create a driving game, hired their second employee, engineer Allan Alcorn. Bushnell bought out Dabney, forced out after Nolan told him he would transfer all the assets to another corporation and leave Ted with nothing. After Bushnell attended a Burlingame, California demonstration of the Magnavox Odyssey, he gave the task of making the Magnavox tennis game into a coin-op version to Alcorn as a test project.
He told Alcorn that he was making the game for General Electric, in order to motivate him, but in actuality he planned to dispose of the game. Alcorn incorporated many of his own improvements into the game design, such as the ball speeding up the longer the game went on, Pong was born. Pong proved to be popular. In 1974, Atari entered the consumer electronics market after engineers Harold Lee and Bob Brown approached Alcorn with an idea to develop a home version of Pong. With a marketing and distribution agreement with Sears, Pong sales soared when the unit was released in 1975. Using borrowed parts from Atari, having the main PCB printed up by Atari employee Howard Cantin, receiving further assistance from Atari employee Ron Wayne, two non-employees, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—both of whom had been involved in the development of the Atari arcade game Breakout—created and marketed their own home computer, they offered the design to Bushnell, but Atari had no desire to build computers at the time, instead focusing on the arcade and home console markets.
In 1976, Steve Jobs went to Nolan to
Don Daglow is an American computer game and video game designer and producer. He is best known for being the creator of early games from several different genres, including pioneering simulation game Utopia for Intellivision in 1981, role-playing game Dungeon in 1975, sports games including the first interactive computer baseball game Baseball in 1971, the first graphical MMORPG, Neverwinter Nights in 1991, he founded long-standing game developer Stormfront Studios in 1988. In 2008 Daglow was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for Neverwinter Nights pioneering role in MMORPG development. Along with John Carmack of id Software and Mike Morhaime of Blizzard Entertainment, Daglow is one of only three game developers to accept awards at both the Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards and at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Interactive Achievement Awards. In 2003 he was the recipient of the CGE Achievement Award for "groundbreaking accomplishments that shaped the Video Game Industry."
In 1971 Daglow was studying playwriting at Pomona College in California. A computer terminal connected to the Claremont Colleges PDP-10 mainframe computer was set up in his dorm, he saw this as a new form of writing. Like Kelton Flinn, another prolific game designer of the 1970s, his nine years of computer access as a student, grad student and grad school instructor throughout the 1970s gave him time to build a large body of major titles. Unlike Daglow and Flinn, most college students in the early 1970s lost all access to computers when they graduated, since home computers had not yet been invented; some of Daglow's titles were distributed to universities by the DECUS program-sharing organization, earning popularity in the free-play era of 1970s college gaming. His best known games and experiments of this era include: Baseball — A member of Society for American Baseball Research, Daglow created the first interactive computer baseball game, allowing players to manage the game as it unfolded.
It appeared ten years after John Burgeson wrote the first baseball simulation game, on an IBM 1620 at an IBM lab in Akron, Ohio. Daglow continued to expand Baseball throughout the 1970s, ported the game to the Apple II in 1981, adding graphics in 1982; the simulation model in the Apple version in turn was ported to the Intellivision in 1982 as the basis for Intellivision World Series Baseball. Star Trek — One of several popular Star Trek computer games played in American colleges during this era, along with Star Trek. Daglow's game was "the #2 Star Trek at most schools", garnering him fan mail after it was distributed through DECUS; the game printed out dialogue of characters on the Enterprise, describing the events of a battle with an enemy spaceship. The player could enter in choices, such as moving the Enterprise or firing phasers, the game would advance accordingly until one of the ships surrendered, fled, or was destroyed. Ecala — Improved version of the ELIZA computer conversation program.
This project paved the way for his work by suggesting new kinds of game interfaces. Dungeon — The first computer role playing game, based on the then-new Dungeons & Dragons gaming system; the game was expanded over the following five years. Spanish Translator — As he experimented with parsers he created a context-sensitive Spanish translation program. Killer Shrews — A simulation game based on the cult sci-fi film The Killer Shrews; the player has not many decisions to make, only when to try to escape the island during the simulation of the depleting of the food, there. Educational Dungeon — An attempt to make rote computer-aided instruction programs more interesting by taking Dungeon and making correct answers propel the story. In 1980 Daglow was hired as one of the original five in-house Intellivision programmers at Mattel during the first console wars. Intellivision titles where he did programming and extensive ongoing design include: Geography Challenge — an educational title for the ill-fated Intellivision Keyboard component.
Utopia — the first sim game or god game. Utopia was a surprise hit and received wide press coverage for its unique design in an arcade-dominated era; the game has been named to two different video game halls of fame. Intellivision World Series Baseball — the first video game to use multiple camera angles to display the action rather than a static playfield; as the team grew into what in 1982 became known as the Blue Sky Rangers Daglow was promoted to be Director of Intellivision Game Development, where he created the original designs for a number of Mattel titles in 1982-83 that were enhanced and expanded by other programmers, including: Tron Deadly Discs Shark! Shark! Buzz Bombers Pinball. During the Video Game Crash of 1983 Daglow was recruited to join Electronic Arts by founder Trip Hawkins, where he joined the EA producer team of Joe Ybarra and Stewart Bonn, his EA titles include: Realm of Impossibility Adventure Construction Set Racing Destruction Set Mail Order Monsters Thomas M. Disch's Amnesia Lords of Conquest World Tour Golf Super Boulder Dash Ultimate Wizard Earl Weaver Baseball — again teamed with Eddie Dombrower.
One of the earliest EA Sports titles, EWB was named to the computer game Hall of Fame by Computer Gaming World and GameSpy. CGW named it as one of the top 25 games of all time in 1996. Patton Versus Rommel Return to Atlantis In addition to Dombrower, at EA, Daglow worked with former members of the Intellivision team, including progra
Space Invaders is a 1978 arcade game created by Tomohiro Nishikado. It was manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, licensed in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Within the shooter genre, Space Invaders was the first fixed shooter and set the template for the shoot'em up genre; the goal is to defeat wave after wave of descending aliens with a horizontally moving laser to earn as many points as possible. Space Invaders was an immediate commercial success. Adjusted for inflation, the many versions of the game are estimated to have grossed over $13 billion in total revenue as of 2016, making it the highest-grossing video game of all time. Space Invaders is considered one of the most influential video games of all time, it helped expand the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry, ushered in the golden age of arcade video games. It was the inspiration for numerous video games and game designers across different genres, has been ported and re-released in various forms.
The 1980 Atari VCS version quadrupled sales of the VCS, thereby becoming the first killer app for video game consoles. More broadly, the pixelated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon representing video games as a whole. Designer Nishikado drew inspiration from games like 1976's ball-bouncing game Breakout and the 1975 shooter game Gun Fight, as well as science fiction narratives such as The War of the Worlds, Space Battleship Yamato, Star Wars. To complete development of the game, he had to design custom development tools. Space Invaders is a fixed shooter in which the player controls a laser cannon by moving it horizontally across the bottom of the screen and firing at descending aliens; the aim is to defeat five rows of eleven aliens—although some versions feature different numbers—that move horizontally back and forth across the screen as they advance toward the bottom of the screen. The player's laser cannon is protected by several stationary defense bunkers—the number varies by version—that are destroyed from the top and bottom by blasts from either the aliens or the player.
The player earns points by shooting it with the laser cannon. As more aliens are defeated, the aliens' movement and the game's music both speed up. Defeating all the aliens on-screen brings another wave, more difficult, a loop which can continue endlessly. A special "mystery ship" will move across the top of the screen and award bonus points if destroyed; the aliens attempt to destroy the player's cannon by firing at it while they approach the bottom of the screen. If they reach the bottom, the alien invasion is declared successful and the game ends tragically; the game will end if all the player's cannons are destroyed by the enemies. Space Invaders was created by Japanese designer Tomohiro Nishikado, who spent a year designing the game and developing the necessary hardware to produce it; the game's inspiration is reported to have come from varying sources, including an adaptation of the mechanical game Space Monsters released by Taito in 1972, a dream about Japanese school children who are waiting for Santa Claus when they are attacked by invading aliens.
Nishikado himself has cited Atari's arcade game Breakout as his inspiration. He aimed to create a shooting game that featured the same sense of achievement from completing stages and destroying targets, but with more complex graphics; the game has altered game mechanics. Rather than bounce a ball to attack static objects, players are given the ability to fire projectiles at moving enemies. Early enemy designs for the game included tanks, combat planes, battleships. Nishikado, was not satisfied with the enemy movements. Humans would have been easier to simulate. After the release of the 1974 anime Space Battleship Yamato in Japan, seeing a magazine feature about Star Wars, he thought of using a space theme. Nishikado drew inspiration for the aliens from a novel by H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, created initial bitmap images after the octopus-like aliens. Other alien designs were modeled after crabs; the game was titled Space Monsters after a popular song in Japan at the time, "Monster", but was changed to Space Invaders by the designer's superiors.
Because microcomputers in Japan were not powerful enough at the time to perform the complex tasks involved in designing and programming Space Invaders, Nishikado had to design his own custom hardware and development tools for the game. He created the arcade board using the latest microprocessors from the United States; the game uses an Intel 8080 central processing unit, displays raster graphics on a CRT monitor, uses monaural sound hosted by a combination of analog circuitry and a Texas Instruments SN76477 sound chip. The adoption of a microprocessor was inspired by Gun Fight, Midway's microprocessor adaptation of Nishikado's earlier discrete logic game Western Gun, after the designer was impressed by the improved graphics and smoother animation of Midway's version. Despite the specially developed hardware, Nishikado was unable to program the game as he wanted—the Control Program board was not powerful enough to display the graphics in color or move the enemies faster—and he ended up considering the development of the game's hardware the most difficult part of the whole process.
While programming the game, Nishikado discovered that the processor was able to render the alien grap
Pac-Man is an arcade game designed by Toru Iwatani and published by Namco and Midway Games. It was initally released in Japan as PUCKMAN in May 1980, followed by the United States in October of the same year; the gameplay involves the titular character in an enclosed maze filled with individual dots, or pellets. The goal is to consume all of the pellets while avoiding four multi-colored "ghosts" that wander around the maze; as the levels progress, the ghosts progressively become more aggressive, changing their behavior and patterns. If a ghost touches Pac-Man, he loses a life; the maze contains four large "power pellets", which gives the player temporary invulnerability, allowing them to consume the ghosts to earn more points. Throughout the game, fruits appear in the center of the maze, which can be consumed to earn more points. At the time of the game's release, the most popular arcade games were space shooters, such as Space Invaders and Asteroids, with the most noticeable difference being racing games and derivatives of Pong.
Pac-Man received a lukewarm response from critics but has retrospectively been regarded as one of the greatest and most influential video games of all time. It is credited with establishing conventions of the maze chase genre, spawning numerous clones and bootlegs, has since become a social phenomenon and an icon of 1980s popular culture. Pac-Man is one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, having generated more than $2.5 billion in quarters by 1990. Adjusted for inflation, all versions of the game have earned an estimated $12 billion in revenue; the success of Pac-Man led to numerous spin-offs, including more than 30 licensed ones, as well as several bootleg versions, as well as an animated TV series in 1982 and the top-ten single "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner and Garcia. It is one of the longest-running video game franchises from the golden age of arcade games, was included in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. According to the Davie-Brown Index, the titular character has the highest brand awareness of any video games character among American consumers, with 94% recognition.
The player navigates Pac-Man through a dead-end-less maze containing dots, known as Pac-Dots, four multi-colored ghosts: Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. There is a passageway from the left side of the screen to the right side, four Power Pellets spread out between quadrants, fruits that appear in each level; the goal of the game is to accumulate as many points as possible by collecting dots and eating blue ghosts, while avoiding the four ghosts. When all of the dots in a stage are eaten, that stage is completed, the player will advance to the next one. Between some stages, one of three intermission animations plays; the four ghosts roam the chase Pac-Man. If any of the ghosts touches Pac-Man, a life is lost; when all lives have been lost, the game is over. The player begins with three lives, but DIP switches in the machine can change the number of starting lives to one, two, or five; the player will receive one extra life bonus after obtaining 10,000 points. The number of points needed for a bonus life can be changed to 15,000 or 20,000, or disabled altogether.
Near the corners of the maze are four flashing Power Pellets that provide Pac-Man with a temporary ability to eat the ghosts and earn bonus points that way. The enemies turn deep blue, reverse direction and move away from Pac-Man, move more slowly; when an enemy is eaten, its eyes remain and return to the center ghost box where the ghost is regenerated in its normal color. The bonus score earned for eating a blue ghost increases exponentially for each consecutive ghost eaten while a single Power Pellet is active: a score of 100 points is scored for eating one ghost, 200 for eating a second ghost, 400 for a third, 800 for the fourth; this cycle restarts from 100 points. Blue enemies flash white to signal that they are about to return to their normal color and become dangerous again, the length of time the enemies remain vulnerable varies from one stage to the next becoming shorter as the game progresses. In stages, the enemies go straight to flashing after a Power Pellet is consumed, bypassing blue, which means that they can only be eaten for a short amount of time, although they still reverse direction when a Power Pellet is eaten.
Starting at stage nineteen, the ghosts do not become edible at all, but they still reverse direction. There are fruits that appear twice per level, directly below the center ghost box; this table lists each stage, the type and value of the fruit that appears, how long the ghosts are blue when a power pellet is eaten, how many times the ghosts flash before returning to normal: The enemies in Pac-Man are known variously as "monsters" or "ghosts". In an interview, creator Toru Iwatani stated that he designed each enemy with its own distinct personality to keep the game from becoming impossibly difficult or boring to play. Iwatani described the enemy behaviors in more detail at the 2011 Game Developers Conference, he stated that the red enemy chases Pac-Man, while the pink enemy aims for a position in front of Pac-Man's mouth. The blue enemy is "fickle" and sometimes heads toward Pac-Man, other times away. Although he claimed that the orange enemy's behavior is random, in actuality it alternates from behaving like the red enemy and aiming towards the lower-left corner of the maze.
Pac-Man was designed to have no ending.