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The University of Texas at Austin

Pacman 3D

April 25, 2012

This is my 12th grade Software Engineering project. We had to design and implement a game of our choosing. We chose Pacman because its:

  • game logic is well-documented
  • gameplay is fun and exciting
  • ghost pathfinding is interesting
Picture of the Pacman UML diagram

Screenshot taken by Jonathan Lee

For this project, we had to come up with a proposal, a testing plan, and a UML diagram. To the left is a screenshot of the UML diagram of our program class layout.

I wanted to do something above and beyond though, so I convinced my teammates to agree with me building a 3D version of the game. I spent many hours researching perspective math and drawing on paper before I finally came up with the method we used to render the 3D world.

Picture of the Pacman 3D Gameplay

Screenshot taken by Jonathan Lee

The end result was a hard to play mess. For future reference, if you are going to port Pacman directly to 3D, don't. Because of the instantaneous turning of Pacman combined with the speed of the game, turning and maintaining map/spatial awareness in our 3D game was near impossible. One would have to have memorized the entire Pacman grid and know exactly where ghosts will be.

In the end, we added a minimap of sorts which was just the game rendered in 2D at the top corner. While this project didn't turn out the way I had hoped, it was a valuable learning experience in which I got to read about primitive 3D graphics rendering methods using linear perspective. If you want to try your hand at our near impossible game (you totally should even though its very hard to play): Download Me!

Jonathan Lee
University of Texas at Austin
Phone: 214.609.0803