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Cart #pakupaku_maze-5 | 2022-01-16 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

1.13 Update

New: The game now has Mode A and Mode B. In Mode A, Paku-paku will continue to travel in the same direction until it hits a collision. When a user gives vertical input while Paku-paku is traveling horizontally, it will continue moving horizontally until it comes to an intersection where it can turn vertically. In short, this is closer to the original Pac-Man. Mode B is the same as before, Paku-paku will only move when an input is given, and will come to a stop when there is none.

I thought about this and it came to my mind that since the game looks so similar to Pac-Man, players would also expect it to play like Pac-Man. So I felt like an option should be there. Mode A feels more fluent when turning corners as a result, whereas Mode B still makes it easier to ambush the ghost by camping next to a power pellet. As a result of this change, the game now saves 8 high scores, 4 for each ending multiplied by two modes.

New: There is only one key and its spawn position is now randomized. After repeated test plays I inevitably came to know where things are by heart, and I realized that I placed the keys too close to the exits, making 70% of the play field pointless to visit in any given run. Sure, I didn't want to make the game too hard, but maybe this was made too easy. Although there's only so many rooms to explore, I think this can still be a tad frustrating so here are the room coordinates where the key can spawn.

(5,1), (2,1), (6,1), (3,2)

Fix: The door bug is now fixed. After a bit of fiddling I gave up and decided to hard-code door coordinates, so all four doors open when there's no pellet and Paku-paku has a key.

1.12 Update

  • The About page is updated to have a simple sprite animation to explain the game flow.
  • Known issue: the exit door at (3,0) is open when Paku-paku enter the room with a key, and it can be entered to see the ending. There might be other bugged exits.

1.11 Quickfix

  • The player can turn corners more easily. If the player is one pixel short of being able to move, it will just move player so they can turn. Getting caught in the corner can still happen if the player is off by two or more pixels, but I hope it's a little better than before.
  • The walls better represent collision. The discrepancy between the visual representation and box collision definitely made the experience worse.
  • Fixed another oversight, the game was trying to move player diagonally which resulted in the player facing downward when moving left when the analogue stick was pointing down-left, for example. Now the player only faces the direction it's heading.
  • The ghost will blink for 45 frames (1.5sec) before the power pellet effect runs out and it becomes dangerous again.

I'm still thinking of how I could make its movement a little more fluent. Hmmm...


Pakupaku Maze is a dungeon crawler, starring a legendary hero who was cursed by the evil demons to become a yellow circular blob that is unable to leave any room unless he eats all the cookies that are on the floor. Alternatively, you might say it's a Pac-Man clone.

The game's based on an idea I had several years ago, what if Pac-Man can leave this maze and explore other areas. It was a pipe dream at the time, but now I can make it and see how it turns out. The entire game is made of 30 screens, and there is one key and four exits which lead to different endings. Don't worry, the key will work on any door. The game will save four high scores for each ending.

There's only one ghost, and this ghost isn't as smart as the original Pac-Man ghosts because I wrote its AI. I was too confused reading about A* and felt it could bog me down for days if not weeks, so I prioritized finishing the game with what I can write. I thought hard about adding a second ghost, but having a second ghost would crowd the screen too much and make the game too difficult.

Player's starting location is randomly chosen among 5 possible options, which I hope would extend the game's expiry date. I'm quite pleased with the end result here, and it's my first game that's not built off from a tutorial project. One day I'll do a Pac...no, Paku-paku Roguelike with randomly generated mazes...

And yes, it's possible for Pac-..no, Paku-Paku to go transgender during the game. Well, there's an item that puts a bowtie to make it look like Ms Pac-Man.

P#104528 2022-01-08 05:56 ( Edited 2022-03-06 23:36)

Nice! I really like the concept. I found I kept getting hung up at T-junctions - if I pressed the new direction button early it was fine, but if I pressed it even a little late I'd be at a dead stop. Maybe adding an extra pixel or two of "grace" here would be helpful?

Also, I don't know if you've ever read about how the ghosts work in the original Pac-man, but if you haven't it's super interesting: https://gameinternals.com/understanding-pac-man-ghost-behavior . No need for A* :)

One other thing about the ghost: I think it could use some sort of indicator for when it's about to become dangerous again, like the flashing state in the original.

I'm looking forward to giving this one another go!

P#104529 2022-01-08 06:44

I noticed that about the movement.. the player is in fact exactly 8x8 pixels wide as far as collision is concerned, I'm not sure how I'd be able to make it "ignore" a couple of pixels without making it wobble in the corridors. Maybe I can force the x and y to multiples of 8? I can experiment around it but I'm not sure if I can pull it off.

And yeah, I researched into the original Pac-Man ghost behaviors... and couldn't really figure out how I'd make it go around an obstacle to a destination.

Making the ghost flash -- that's a great point and it's a complete oversight of mine. I think this is something I should be able to do, so I will!

P#104530 2022-01-08 06:56 ( Edited 2022-01-08 06:58)

Yeah, I think that for the collision thing you'd have to do some snapping to the grid at intersections only, I agree that you definitely don't want corner wobble! Now that I know that I have to hit the new direction much earlier than I think I'm usually fine, but it was a bit of an adjustment.

Also, I just realized: when did Pac-Man learn to stop? (Not a criticism, just a thing that I suddenly realized!)

P#104533 2022-01-08 07:48 ( Edited 2022-01-08 07:50)

Honestly I never liked how Pac-Man would just keep travel in the direction until it hits a wall, and you'd have to keep changing directions in the same place if you want to lure the ghosts (like while standing just in front of the power pellet..) I guess I never thought of recreating that aspect of it.

But maybe I can make two modes, where mode A keeps the original movement pattern and B only moving when there's a player input. I think that's doable

P#104534 2022-01-08 07:59 ( Edited 2022-01-08 08:03)

Do what you think is right! If Pac-Man stops in this game, then maybe that's just how it is. :) It's just something that I didn't notice at first that suddenly hit me.

P#104535 2022-01-08 08:06

same complaints as Luchack - turning is really not fun, keep getting stuck. There is no point in pac-man moving by half a tile, eg need a bit of input buffering to register a turn slightly before it's allowed.

P#104546 2022-01-08 13:32

Trying this out now, @katiusza. I'm noticing that if you tap the direction to turn while in a corridor, it does not cache it as other PC-driven Pac-Man games do.

This makes it difficult to turn. If you like the way it is I would add an option at the start of the game to either keep it the way it is or to turn on "smart" turning where you can cache the direction to turn and it WILL turn that direction when the corridor allows the player to.

If you can add this, I'll deem the game playable and fun and you'll earn my gold star.

P#107683 2022-02-26 07:15 ( Edited 2022-02-26 07:17)

In Mode A, if a direction is being pressed, the player will turn as soon as they are allowed to. I'm sorry but I can't see the point of caching a tap input, for two reasons.

  1. It's easy to unintentionally input more than one direction using an analogue stick.
  2. The player may change their mind and wish Paku-paku to stop as it hits collision.

I used the Famicom port as reference as I added the Mode A, and it does not seem to cache such input either. The D-pad needs to be pressed as Pac-Man comes to corner.

"I'll deem the game playable and fun and you'll earn my gold star." 

I appreciate the feedback, but I don't remember commissioning design to anyone, nor am I submitting a homework to a teacher.

P#107684 2022-02-26 07:46 ( Edited 2022-02-26 08:04)
P#107697 [hidden by admin]

I don't know what you mean by "just now added". This is when Mode A was updated. Unless you have no idea what you "precisely wanted" in the first place, since you most likely played the same exact game in the same exact mode, and one moment you found it unplayable and the next it's precisely what you wanted.

I'll hide your comments. It's not a big deal if you just misunderstood something. But pretending you knew it all along and changing your words is disgusting.

P#107799 2022-02-28 04:06 ( Edited 2022-02-28 04:19)
P#107800 [hidden by admin]

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