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Pac-Man creator shows off original sketches

Here's a pixellated treat for anyone who remembers drawing out graphical game characters on graph paper in the 8-bit computing days. Thirty years after Pac-Man was created, the ghost-gobblers's creator Toru Iwatani has revealed that he still has the original sketches of the bright yellow tablet muncher.

Not only that, but it looks as though he also carries them around with him, ready to whip out on demand. At least, that's what the guys from Dutch gaming site Control (opens in new tab) (Google Translation) found on the bus on the way to The Festival of Games (opens in new tab) in the Netherlands.

Iwatani got out his original sketches of Pac-Man, showing a few of the alternative designs that could have made it to the arcades. You might think he's a simple walking pie-chart, but Pac-Man's shape could have been quite different if a few pixels had been plotted in different places.

The sketches also show a diagram of the original maze, with the ghost routes plotted, as well as the position of the extra lives and scores. Interestingly, it looks as though Pac-Man might have originally only had three ghosts at the beginning, rather than four.

The fact there's a score in both of the top corners also suggests Iwatani had a two-player game in mind when he was first designing it.

According to Kotaku (opens in new tab), the red stamp in the middle is the Japanese gaming equivalent of a "top secret" stamp. We're guessing Namco isn't that bothered about its competitors finding out about Pac-Man now.

Control says it has some "surprising revelations" to come about Iwatani, so keep an eye on the site if you're a Pac-Man fan. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.