Up, not North

Pac Machina

Pac Machina is a project I’m working on that will be a playable, mechanical adaptation of the classic video game Pac-Man. Well, to be honest, it’s going to be an electromechanical adaptation; I just don’t have the chops (or the time) to make an actual, completely mechanical version, much as I’d love to, so I’m “cheating” by having the game logic programmed into a microcontroller. The entire cabinet themed as an “alternate history” Pac-Man, and I’ve got all sorts of grace notes planned for it (which I’m keeping under wraps for now). My dream, if I can make the finished product half as awesome as I hope it will be, is to auction the cabinet to raise money for Child’s Play.

So far I’ve done a lot of planning and a little bit of prototyping. I have a functional (but ugly) prototype of the two-axis gantry that will be the central mechanism that moves the characters around. For something little more picturesque, there’s the chomping Pac-Man mechanism, “The Pactuator.” It has its own detailed build page (and its own case, because I liked it so much I wanted to hang it on my wall).

I have a lot more detailed plans for very aspects of the game, but I think it’ll be more exciting to reveal them as work progresses. I’ll be blogging as I go on this site, so if you’re interested in the project please come back often or, better yet, subscribe to my RSS feed!

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