Someone is turning visitors to the Plus International Design Festival in Birmingham, England into ghosts and using them in their own, twisted sphere hunting maze game. Pac-Man Plus is a live-action game of Pac-Man where one player dresses as the titular hero and two players dress up as ghosts trying to eat them. The twist here is both the ghosts and Pac-Man are controlled via 1-way wireless headset by players overseeing the action, allowing the maze-bound to experience life from the viewpoint of a video game character not in control of his own destiny. I imagine fear, paranoia, and shouted obscenities being the order of the day. The festival only runs today through the 21st, but the Pac-Man Plus team hopes to bring the game to events across the UK and around the world. Hit the jump for information on festival tickets as well as an in-depth FAQ about the game itself.
PAC TO REALITY
INTRODUCING 'PAC-MAN PLUS'. IT'S PAC-MAN, ONLY FOR REAL...
Admit it, it's a dream come true. Your chance to actually live a computer game. You could buy a skateboard and attempt to rail grind between buildings, but that leads to something called 'being dead'. Jacking cars in reality comes with an unwanted side quest in a place called 'jail'. Pac-Man? Where are you even going to find GHOSTS?!
At the Plus International Design Festival (http://www.youplusus.net), taking place October 17th - 21st at Wild Building, 93-96 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5SR. We'll also supply the power pills and big maze to run about in, as a 1980s videogame classic comes alive before your very eyes.
Is it art? Who knows/cares. Is it going to be brilliant fun? No doubt about it. Pac-Man Plus gives you a host of amazing options. Maybe you want to be a ghost, and chase down the hero and make him eat his own head with a wibbly blip. Maybe you want to be Pac-Man, and feel the terror of having your destiny in a player's hands. You can't move on your own, Player 1 will tell you where to go. Pac-Man doesn't think, he just does. What if Player 1 has been drinking? Your life is literally in his hands. Perhaps you want to wield the same power as you usually have in gaming, seeing the bigger picture and giving Pac-Man the information he needs to stay alive.
How is it going to work? A player dressed as Pac-Man will enter the maze, and lying in wait will be two ghosts - Blinky and Inky. Pac-Man's movements will then be directed via a one-way headset linked to another player outside the maze (the Controller), who will be watching the action top-down on a large projection screen. The goal of the game for Pacman and his Controller will be to collect the four Powerpills inside the maze and then stay alive! The high score table beckons....
Tickets are available from http://www.youplusus.net/?page_id=88
If you need any more information it'd be an excellent idea to email [email protected] and ask for it. Before you do though, check we haven't already answered your question below. But the release ends here formally, in case you're bored already. Come and play with us, it'll be great.
Q & A
Q: I want to be a woman. Can I be a woman? A: We hope you're asking if you can be Ms. Pac-Man. And yes you can! We'll have a bow on hand to feminise you where required. If you didn't mean that, umm, you're weird.
Q: How many players are needed for Pac-Man Plus? A: Five. There are three players in the maze (Pac-Man & two Ghosts) and two players outside, directing proceedings. One of the players outside the maze is linked to Pac-Man via a one way headset, so the player can control Pac-Man, but as we all know, Pac-Man can't speak back to the player. The other player outside the game controls the Ghosts.
Q: Is there any skill involved in Pac-Man Plus? A: The game controller is the key person in the game. They need to give the directions to Pac-Man in a quick, but clear manner, and always from the perspective of the Pac-Man, not simply from what they see on the projector.
Q: How many lives does Pac-Man get? A: The same as you would in real life if some GHOSTS KILLED YOU. That is, one. No second chances. Dead = game over.
Q: Are there real 'dots' in the maze? A: Nope. The lack of dots is a change that we've had to make from the original game. However we've added a few gameplay elements that will make up for the lack of dots - this is Pac-Man Plus after all.
Q: Are there really "Powerpills" in the maze? A: Yep, but nothing that you need to involve the police about. There are pills to grab as Pac-Man moves around the maze.
Q: How do the ghosts "eat" Pac-Man? A: The ghosts simply have to touch Pacman to effectively 'eat' him and end the game.
Q: How do the other ghosts know when Pac-Man has eaten a Power Pill? A: A sound will be played that will notify the Ghosts that Pac-Man has eaten the powerpill. Then the hunted becomes the hunter and ghosts brown trouser it.
Q: How long does a game usually last? A: Like in real Pac-Man, the game can last from five seconds to five hours, however we're confident that if the ghosts and their controller work together Pacman won't last for more than 10 minutes.
Q. What is the objective of the game? A: The objective of Pac-Man Plus is to collect all the powerpills and then survive for as long as possible.
Q: Can I play? A: Of course! If you can make it to the Plus international Design Festival 2007 http://www.youplusus.net/ you can take your turn.
Q: Are you planning on doing Pacman Plus at other events? A: We would love to do Pacman Plus at other events across the UK and even across the world. Please feel free to get in touch if you can think of an event that would suit the project. Email us at pacmanplus [at]mail.com
Q What is next for the Pacman Plus A: Technology - that's what! At the moment the projection of the game is a direct presentation of what is happening in the real world - in the future we would like to combine the real world game with computer technology to produce an augmented reality version of the game, complete with dots!