Secret pre-production concept art of Pac-Man/Puck Man by original artist, Toru Iwatani for Namco
Iwatani had a nine-man team while Pac-Man, he said the idea came to him through the concept of eating. The original Japanese title was Pakkuman, the character design also came from simplifying and rounding out the Japanese character for mouth, kuchi (口). Iwatani attempted to appeal to a wider audience with the cute characters and idea of eating to attract girls to arcades because he found there were very few games that were played by women at the time. Eating to gain power, Iwatani has said, was a concept he borrowed from Popeye. The result was a game he named Puck Man as a reference to the main character’s hpckey puck shape. The game was picked up for manufacture in the United States by Bally division midway, which changed the game’s name from Puck Man to Pac-Man and the pace and level of difficulty increased to appeal to western audiences.
Legend of Zelda concept art, 1986/7-
The Legend of Zelda was intended to have a open world experience, Shigeru miyamoto got the idea of the open world experience from his childhood, where he would go out exploring into the wilderness. Miyamoto wanted gamers to relax and enjoy themselves as they made their way through the adventure, no points system to drive them, because of this basic gameplay elements, such as communicating with characters and shop owners were included. The name for Princess Zelda was inspired by Zelda Fitzgerald. On February 21, 1986, The Legend of Zelda released as a launch title for the Famicom Disk System.
Concept Art Analysis-
Pac-Man has quite an abstract art style, it is viewed from a bird’s eye view taking on a 2D approach and the characters facing upwards as if lying down, it was also from the very start of pre-production drawn on graph paper with the intention of fully filling in the individual squares Iwatani had to pass through, the sprites have hard edges from this technique where it needs to curve allowing us to have a clear visual of the pixels, especially because there were few of them to use.
Zelda was made a couple more years after Pac-Man and by then technological innovation gave game designers more freedom on how they choose to go about making their characters, it is evident from Zelda’s pre-production planning than they unlike Pac-Man no longer had to exactly follow along the graph paper’s boxes, the image with a variety of sprites drawn with fine lines demonstrates this, it is likely some sort of image manipulation technique was made which allowed for much easier use of the creators imagination not being inhibited by working in squares. Judging from the fully coloured image this studio also figured out a way to give the impression of 3D from a birds eye view at an angle, an illusion were actually it’s still 2D, but this change in elevation of the camera gave Zelda a way to create depth in the game making it look more realistic and less abstract like in Pac-Man. The concept art for Zelda’s levels also was more complex, instead of a single map with narrow halls they made an open world experience, many more than one room was drawn out with things placed at different points in it, entrances and exits so you could go exploring. And lastly the concept art was made in a much more sophisticated manner, certain papers were organized specifically for certain portions of the game with titles and other information on them instead of exclusivley graph paper like Pac-Man.