Ludum Dare 33 — August 21st-24th, 2015 — Theme: You are the Monster

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by Shaun LeBron - Compo Entry

Coordinate the four ghosts, which adhere to the actual AI from the original Pac-Man arcade. Your only power to catch Pac-Man is to choose which ghost is allowed to move per turn.

In this game, you must learn to exploit the deterministic behaviors of your ghosts and Pac-Man in order to catch Pac-Man before he gets his fruit.

THE POST-COMPO VERSION linked below fixes A.I., improves animation, and adds more levels.

Downloads and Links




alkazar says ...
Aug 24, 2015 @ 1:30pm

Turn based pacman! Very neat concept!

onilink_ says ...
Aug 25, 2015 @ 8:35am

Too bad it is so short, the concept is fun :p

DanteDouglas says ...
Aug 26, 2015 @ 9:50am

This is fantastically innovative. Huge fan. Wish there was more!! This is something I would pay for an entire version of.

Aug 29, 2015 @ 2:34am

Really liked the game concept and a clean style.

puppetmaster says ...
Aug 30, 2015 @ 9:10pm

Awesome cool concept for a puzzle game! Nice presentation, and tutorial. First 5* for theme and innovation! Congrats for your entry!

Jod says ...
Aug 30, 2015 @ 9:36pm

Very slick graphics. The compo version really benefited from some music, as seen in the post-compo version.

Teesquared says ...
Aug 30, 2015 @ 10:26pm

I never realized how difficult being a ghost can be. Interesting take on Pac-Man. You have an innovative idea and gameplay system here.

superfluous says ...
Aug 30, 2015 @ 10:26pm

Very cool concept. I'd love to see if it holds up to being a completed game.

Sparrow says ...
Aug 30, 2015 @ 10:44pm

Absolutely brilliant! Good work.

Aug 30, 2015 @ 11:51pm

a spectacular idea. I think that everyone's behaviour is a *little* tough to read right now, but with a little bit of additional feedback, this is very well on it's way to being a stand-out puzzle game that I could see myself happily losing hours to.
I don't often suggest that people expand on LD games out of respect (I personally prefer to leave my products alone after a game jam) but I think it would be really tragic if you didn't further explore this idea and flesh it out into something more complete.

Arg410 says ...
Aug 30, 2015 @ 11:57pm

Great API, I've never heard of clojure or leiningen until now. Maybe i'll mess with them, always love a new programming language!!!!

GaTechGrad says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 12:59am

This game is really convoluted. I would have rather seen an original concept, rather than ripping off Namco's PacMan. I think if it was in real time rather than turn-based, then it might have actually been fun to play.

veoviscool12 says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 1:37am

I really, really love this game. I think the concept is fantastic, and I love the way you solved the AI vs. Player input problem. Graphics are great, and the path arrows make it easy to visualize what's going to happen next. My only complaints are that it's really short (I want more! >:|) and that it's hard to remember which ghost does what at times. I get that this could be part of the challenge, but maybe an optional toggle that shows a little pop up with a short description of what each ghost does. Overall, I loved this game, and it's really polished. Great work. :)

Aevek says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 1:46am

Really cool idea to use the AI algorithms of a game and force the player to think inversely. I liked the concept enough to try the post-compo version, and you had already implemented everything I was about to suggest, so great job!

Mach60KAS says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 1:55am

I really love the idea behind this game - it's extremely unique! My main issue is how short the compo version is - which is we're all rating. Still, I think the improvements you made to the post compo version (path visualisation, music, levels) are very well handled. Excellent work!

jwin says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 5:11am

This is an awesome idea, very cool to play with the AI and try to devise a strategy!

The levels in the post-compo do a good job of exploring the idea further, although I think it would take even more levels before I really felt like I got the hang of it.

Benjamin says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 6:45am

The core idea is neat, and the tutorial is pretty good but you should have focus on finishing it. I mean very few is missing here. Just designining 2-3 more level would have been enough.
A number on ghost would also be great to memorize the control faster.
Sometime a game is unfinished just because we describe it as unfinished. People dont know all the thing you wanted to add to your game. Just package it as finished and most of the time people will think it is.

If you want to make a post-compo versoin, the level of this games would be easier to design if you create a solver which try every combination of ghost move to check if the level can be finished.
Once it's done you just have to add/move/remove ghosts or square to check if a solution exists and how complex it is. I used this method to create my LD25 entry ( )

Aug 31, 2015 @ 7:52am

Very interesting game~! well done!

grywhttl says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 7:56am

Awesome concept! I'd like to see it developed fully

khahem says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 8:30am

Excellent and very interesting interpretation of the theme with a nice polished look.

I'm wondering if balance and gameplay richness could be improved in a more "tower-defensy" setting, where failure and success comes more progressively, through repeated planning errors vs. efficient defense design.

01101101 says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 9:00am

Very very cool idea! I've read the Pacman Dossier in the past and immediately programmed a clone as well because these AIs are just great :) Also that page where you can play the original pacman with the ghosts paths visible is pretty neat!
Too bad you couldn't complete your LD game in time, it is original, well executed and quite fun! :)

Aug 31, 2015 @ 10:31am

There were a fair few Pacman games in this LD, and also in the 'You are the Enemy' competition, but this is by far the best take on it I've played. It was really enjoyable

Shaun LeBron says ...
Aug 31, 2015 @ 2:17pm

Hi, the reason I didn't add any more levels in the post-compo is that I discovered an exploit in the mechanic that can break the game. It becomes really easy to guard intersections, or just sit on the fruit. I don't have any more time to try to rebalance it somehow.

Thanks for all your comments

tanjent says ...
Sep 1, 2015 @ 5:14pm

This is a really cool concept. Really slick presentation as well.

Vennril says ...
Sep 3, 2015 @ 11:48am

That was amazing! Great idea and very well executed. Loved the insight on the ghost AI.

I would totally play a complete game of this :)

BUNN1E5 says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 9:33pm

Really cute. I wish it was longer. However, because there was only ever on piece of fruit I could easily put one ghost on the fruit and make it impossible for Pac Man to win. Though it still was a great game!

abcdef65g says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 9:34pm

Lovely concept and idea, I really enjoyed it. A whole new take on a classic. And I did open up and check your source, very well written, specially considering the time frame for the game making.

wooltech says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 9:43pm

Nice method of making a reverse pacman.

Drauthius says ...
Sep 4, 2015 @ 10:10pm

Would have been better if you skipped the in-depth tutorials and instead completed a single level. But interesting concept!

ChuiGum says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 4:19am

Turned based Pac-Man was really cool! Super innovative! Great job! :)

treeman says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 8:29am

Very neat, nice idea!

dunin says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 8:30am

Cool concept and really instructive!
You ran out of time but you have a great game to develop!

Tselmek says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 10:53am

Really nice concept, wish there was more levels (in the original version). Needs some music but good job nonetheless!

KeyboardCat says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 10:56am

Interesting game ! Really good work !

randoman says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 2:19pm

This is great, it mixes two things I love: puzzles and AI. I would love to see more levels!

David Yates says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 2:38pm

Really cool idea, and I love that you used the original Pacman AI. This seems like such a simple idea and obvious in retrospect, but I've never seen it done before: it's brilliant and contains deep possibilities.

Sep 5, 2015 @ 5:37pm

Really cool concept! Makes playing the ghosts so much more fun than playing pacman.

dancingmad says ...
Sep 5, 2015 @ 11:11pm

I had a lot of fun to play your game !
Mechanics are awesome.
Great job !

Sep 11, 2015 @ 5:58am

awesome idea, well executed, would play more. I love the fresh approach to an old game.

DuzDuz says ...
Sep 11, 2015 @ 10:24am

Very good concept! I liked it a lot

crucknuk says ...
Sep 11, 2015 @ 11:33am

The idea is well thought. It is a good try to give the ghosts another meaning in the game :)
Made me giggle, keep up the good work! :)

Flygamer101 says ...
Sep 11, 2015 @ 12:37pm

Very Nice :D Loved the game. Wait a minute.

eddynardo says ...
Sep 11, 2015 @ 2:47pm

nice one :)

Kerdelos says ...
Sep 11, 2015 @ 9:42pm

Interesting concept and well conceived tutorial, too bad it's that short.

dcolgan says ...
Sep 11, 2015 @ 9:56pm

Super cool. I love the premise here. The only level was really great and I think it is neat taking a concept that already exists, that pacman ghosts already have behaviors you can use, and turning it into a new puzzle game. If the content were there, I could see myself playing this a lot.

Patomkin says ...
Sep 12, 2015 @ 7:43am

A reverse Pacman puzzle game would be absolutely brilliant - too bad there are only two or three real puzzles here :(

axoona says ...
Sep 12, 2015 @ 8:39pm

this game has great potential, keep it up!

local minimum says ...
Sep 13, 2015 @ 11:50am

Cool idea for a game! Wish, as many have pointed out, that where were more actual levels after the tutorial to play. Also, though tutorial was really neat and since there is an undo anyway, it would have been nice if there was some indicator or the ghost's intentions/behaviors. Or if first time you press e.g. '2' you only select the second ghost and that shows a short bio to the side of the playing field. I didn't try to see how many regrets one had (but it might be cool to limit them to undo last five steps or so). In that case some reset level would be perfect. Final thought, the shift+right was rather awkward, I think the next level should load with a 1-2 second delay upon catching pacman. In all though, a very interesting game mechanic that you should consider furthering some more.

OldPeculier says ...
Sep 14, 2015 @ 4:32pm

Superb start. I really want to play this for real—too bad you ran out of time.

HThomson says ...
Sep 15, 2015 @ 12:26am

Hands down the most innovative game I've played throughout this whole competition. Also love the minimalist art style, fantastic job all round! As others have said it'd be great if it were longer however that's only a minor point considering the 48 hour time limit and all.

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