Caterpillar creates 2,700 square metre Pac-Man gameboard (VIDEO)

To celebrate its 95th birthday, Caterpillar has created a massive Pac-Man gameboard, where skid steers serve as the game’s characters.

The Pac-man gameboard is part of the successful Cat Trials series, a total of eight videos which have logged more than 18 million views.  As Cat celebrates its 95th  anniversary, Pac-Man is also marking 40 years since the game was released.

“These trials are designed to surprise and delight our customers and prospects, as well as people outside our industry,” said Victoria Keese Morrissey, global marketing and brand director for Caterpillar.

“Challenges the ghosts pose to Pac-Man strike a unique metaphor for obstacles lurking around each corner of the jobsite. Power pellets represent the role Cat dealer services play in helping our customers overcome these challenges.”

The Cat Trial #9: Pac-Man plays out on a 49.5 metre by 55 metre version of the iconic game, which is 19,040 per cent larger than the original scale of the maze on the classic arcade screen, and was built and played using the latest Cat equipment as well as grade and remote technology.

“We appreciate Caterpillar approaching us and giving a nod to Pac-Man’s 40th anniversary in a truly unique way, and we were excited to work with them,” said.  “Yutaka Fuse, Head of Pac-Man licensing and branding team for Bandai Namco Entertainment.

“It’s amazing how Caterpillar’s equipment was able to precisely recreate the iconic Pac-Man maze in the real world on such a grand scale. We were astonished by the final product.”

Pac-Man construction

To build the maze,the original Pac-Man gameboard design was loaded into the Cat GRADE with 3D system on the 336 Next Gen excavator, eliminating the need for stakes and grade checkers, saving time in the construction.

In total, 70 labour hours were required for the 336 to create the life-size gameboard. About 195 cubic metres of cut/fill dirt was removed to build the maze that was comprised of 151 corners and 1.2-metre tall walls.

Support equipment to construct the gameboard, also using Cat GRADE with 3D to ensure they followed the same plan, included multiple field prep Cat dozers, Cat wheel loaders, a 323 excavator, trucks and water wagons. 

“Cat GRADE with 3D enabled the workers to only handle material one time for digging, loading, hauling and dumping,” said J. Archie Lyons, creative director, global brand strategy and activation for Caterpillar. “Reducing material handling is just one of the challenges our customers face, and Cat Grade technology greatly enhances jobsite efficiency.”

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Five Cat 236D3 remote controlled skid steer loaders were used for play to represent Pac-Man and the four ghosts (Blinky, Inky, Clyde and Pinky). The ghost avatars placed atop the Cat loaders could be seen above the maze walls.

The four corner power pellets that put Pac-Man on the offensive represent Cat dealer services— Customer Value Agreements, Repair Options, Cat Financial and the Cat App.

Helping with fleet management, financing and maintenance, Cat Services give customers an extra efficiency boost in the field.

Caterpillar also stayed true to the original game by including fruit bonuses, represented by Cat parts boxes. Fruit is how Pac-Man earns points, which in turn helps to earn additional lives, like how Genuine Cat Parts allow customers to get more life out of their machines to get the job done.

“As a unique surprise at the end, we wanted to pay homage to the original game, in a way only Caterpillar could. Due to available memory at the time, level 256 experiences an integer overflow, and the right side of the board can’t be rendered,” Lyons said. “We have duplicated the original screen’s look of level 256 with our real-life Pac-Man game, using four Cat dozers to create the effect.”

The Pac-Man game players

The participants controlling the Cat 236D3 skid steers using line-of-sight remote control systems were:

  • Pac-Man – Jim Kosner of JIMAX Landscaping & Demolition, Peoria, Illinois.
  • Blinky – Joey Stone, NASCAR/Richard Childress Racing (RCR) eSports driver of the #8 Virtual Cat car.
  • Inky – Alfonso Farjardo of Horsepower Site Services, Charlotte, N.C., a Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge regional finalist.
  • Clyde – Tom Gardocki, The Dirt Ninja, social media influencer, professional heavy equipment operator in landscaping and construction.
  • Pinky – BLITZ, social media influencer, YouTube gaming content creator and civil engineer.