We’ve all heard of Pac-Man, haven’t we? The yellow, pie-shaped character is still one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous video game characters of all time. Launched in 1980, the Pac-Man video game has been so immensely popular that plenty of spin-offs have been created and released. The most remarkable version, however, may well have been the live projection mapping onto the Millennium Mills building in London, in November 2013. The 2,219m2 projection mapping smashed the Guinness World Record for largest playable projection of a video game. And Barco was invited to power the project!
The idea for the giant projection came from the British ‘The Gadget Show’ and Pac-Man creator Namco Bandai. AV expert Blitz Communications was commissioned to recommend a suitable site for the projection and deliver the required equipment. “As we had done projection mapping onto the Millennium Mills building in Royal Victoria Dock, London, before, we put this forward as the ideal location,” says Paul Hutton, managing director at Blitz. “The building was mapped to allow for the game to fit the façade perfectly.” Six Barco FLM-HD20 projectors were chosen to provide the required brightness and quality, while Barco’s ImagePRO video scaler interfaced between the game PCs.
“All six units were overlapped to produce one, single image. As the building façade is white, we needed to throw as much light as possible to produce a bright, punchy image,” Paul Hutton continues. “The FLM projectors did a great job.” The only thing changed to the original Pac-Man game was some colors. While the original Pac-Man is a very deep blue, for example, a lighter blue was used to make it really shine and stand out.
The projected game was run via a giant controller. It all worked perfectly, everybody playing the game enjoyed it to the full and… the record was smashed: the team doubled the previously held record for a playable game on a projection-mapped building surface.