Ultimate Pacman Design

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Pacman Screen.png

Pac-Man is a classic arcade style game from 1980 developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the U.S. by Bally/Midway. This design is about a Pac-Man like game which is a good first game design activity for high school students with no programming background.


  • Game
  • Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence
  • Math


The player guides the Pac-Man about the maze munching up the Dots in his path. Four Ghost Monsters - Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde - chase after the Pac-Man trying to capture and deflate him. The Pac-Man can counter attack by eating the big, Power Capsule that enables him to overpower the Monsters for additional score. After all the dots are gobbled up, the screen is cleared, and the Pac-Man continues for another round. Each rack features a special Fruit Target in the maze, which if eaten, earns Bonus Points. Players start with three Pac-Men. An additional Pac-Man is awarded for 10,000 points. (Excerpt from the original Midway Manual)


  • make a simple but complete game
  • apply design process to identify objects and interactions
  • computational thinking: basic object interaction, stacks, creating object instances, rule based programming, message sending.


Follow the gamelet design process:

  • Identify game objects, called agents, by locating nouns in the game description.
  • Categorize agents into user controlled agents, agents that move or do other things by themselves (sometimes also called artificial intelligence agents) and completely passive agents acting as props such as the background.
  • Identify agent interactions by locating verbs in the game description.



Lesson Plans

Teaching Material and Handouts

Anna Holen's teaching material and student handouts for the PacMan unit

Computational Thinking Patterns


ISTE National Educational Technology Standards:

  • Creativity and Innovation. design and implementation of a game, create originals works: creating artwork and game levels
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project: follow game design process.
  • Technology Operations and Concepts. understand and use technology systems: use authoring tool, organized project folder; troubleshoot systems and applications: run, test and debug program.

Grading Requirements, Assessment, Success Criteria, etc.

External Links