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I'm creating a personalized pac-man clone for personal novelty purposes, and I'd like to reproduce the original arcade gameplay as faithfully as possible.

I've read The Pac-Man Dossier, but I don't see anywhere on there exactly how fast pac-man or the ghosts can move.

In several places it is mentioned, "moves at xx% of the base speed", but I don't see anywhere what the base speed is.

Is it based on a number of pixels traveled per frame, or some number of tiles per second?

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The Pac-Man game runs at 60 FPS, so I suppose you could count the frames if need be. Note that Pac-Man, the character, pauses for 1 frame every time he eats a pellet, and for 3 frames when he eats a power pellet. –  Luck Nov 22 '12 at 6:01
Isn't this more appropriate on game dev? –  JohnoBoy Nov 22 '12 at 11:41
@Luck Games and their Speed are NOT dependant on the frame rate. There are some old games which are, but any dev who does this in modern games is retarded. gafferongames.com/game-physics/fix-your-timestep –  Assylum Apr 16 at 23:08

3 Answers 3

1.46... pixels per frame. A frame is 1/60th of a second.

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A frame is 1/60th of a second only if your frame rate is 60 frames per second. Makes sense, no? –  Alex Apr 2 at 13:50
I think this is fairly accurate. The better answer would be, at 60 frames per second, he is moving at 1.46 pixels per frame. 1.46 * 60 is 87.6, which is very close to my 88 pixels per second answer –  jumping_code Apr 3 at 16:26

After some close examination by hand and by recording, Pac-Man moved a distance of 200 pixels in around 3.10 to 3.15 seconds. This comes out to around 8.00 to 8.05 tiles per second, which is about 64 pixels per second. Since I was on the first level, Pac-Man was at 80% of his full speed. With some math, it turns out Pac-Man moves exactly 80 pixels per second, or 10 tiles per second. Hope this helped.

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Apparently he moves at 11 tiles per second, a tile is made up of an 8 x 8 pixel square. So he travels at 88 pixels per second.

You can find pretty much all of the information you need to find here, but you specifically want slide 48.

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Hey thanks, I'll try that and see if it feels right. I'm slightly dubious of that presentation as it seems to contain some incorrect information (claims the blue ghost moves 'at random', which I'm pretty sure is not the true AI). But it might be good enough. –  Tim Nov 22 '12 at 17:11
I noticed there were some inconsistencies too. Unfortunately, it's the best I could find. –  jumping_code Nov 22 '12 at 17:16

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