Saturday, December 22, 2012

Building Ms. Pac-Man machines - fascinating factory footage

Just puts 1982 in perspective, doesn't it? I almost can't see a Ms. Pac-Man game without smelling pizza because I saw them in Pizza Hut restaurants so much.

Also, keep your ears sharp for a Bosconian machine playing in the background. Yes, they had to test the games post-assembly, so at least some of them could say "My job is to play video games." Although they look bored as mud doing it, because let's face it, it's still a job.

Incidentally, Ms. Pac-Man was never conceived in the halls of Midway Games. Instead, rogue hobbyist programmers created mod kits - exactly like the indie gaming mod community today - and sold conversion kits for existing arcade games. When they made such a kit for Atari's Missile Command cabinet, Atari sued, but dropped the suit in exchange for an agreement from the makers - General Computer Corp in this case - to not make any more mod kits to sell to the public, but to come work for them instead. Ms. Pac-Man started out as a mod kit for Pac-Man called "Crazy Otto", which they sold to Midway, whom turned around and sold it as Ms. Pac-Man.

And now you know.