The Pac-Man Project

Problem Statement

The CEO of our small, but innovative gaming and software consulting business, has been reading about retro-games and has asked the product team to build a business case and provide an estimate for an updated pac-man like game for home computers, believing that a small project, well executed can make a good product, which when sensibly marketed and distributed should pay for itself and return a reasonable margin for our business.

Research – Pac-Man Overview

Pac-Man is an iconic arcade game that was created by the Japanese video game designer Toru Iwatani and developed by the company Namco.

It was first released in Japan in May 1980 and quickly became a global phenomenon, influencing the gaming industry and popular culture.

Here is a brief history of Pac-Man:

  1. Conception and Development (1979-1980): Toru Iwatani, a young game designer at Namco, wanted to create a game that would appeal to a broader audience, including women and non-traditional gamers. Inspired by the image of a pizza with a missing slice, he conceptualized the character of Pac-Man. The goal was to create a game that was simple, non-violent, and fun for players of all ages.
  2. Release and Popularity (1980-1982): Pac-Man was released in Japanese arcades in May 1980 and gained immediate popularity. Its unique gameplay, colorful graphics, and catchy music captivated players. Pac-Man’s success extended beyond Japan and quickly spread to the United States and other countries, becoming a cultural phenomenon and a symbol of the thriving arcade gaming industry.
  3. Impact and Innovations: Pac-Man introduced several innovations to the gaming industry. It was one of the first games to feature cutscenes, with intermissions between levels that revealed the personalities of the game’s characters. Pac-Man also introduced power pellets, which temporarily made the ghosts vulnerable, providing a strategic twist to the gameplay.
  4. High Score Competitions and Records (1980s): Pac-Man sparked intense competition among players to achieve high scores. Players participated in tournaments and competed for world records. Billy Mitchell’s 1999 documentary “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” brought renewed attention to competitive Pac-Man play.
  5. Legacy and Cultural Impact: Pac-Man’s popularity extended beyond the gaming world. It became a cultural phenomenon and inspired a wide range of merchandise, including toys, clothing, and even an animated television series. The Pac-Man character became an enduring icon in popular culture, representing the nostalgia of classic arcade gaming.
  6. Sequels, Spin-Offs, and Adaptations: Due to Pac-Man’s immense success, numerous sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations have been developed over the years. These include games like Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Jr., Pac-Man World, and Pac-Man Championship Edition. Pac-Man has been released on various platforms, including home consoles, handheld devices, and mobile phones.
  7. Enduring Legacy and Influence: Pac-Man’s impact on the gaming industry is profound. It helped establish the maze-chase genre and paved the way for future arcade classics. Its simple yet addictive gameplay and recognizable characters continue to resonate with players today, making it one of the most enduring and beloved video games of all time.

Pac-Man’s success and lasting influence have solidified its place in gaming history, and it remains a beloved and iconic game that continues to entertain and inspire new generations of players.

The Business Case

Business Case: Modern Version of the Pac-Man Game

  1. Executive Summary: Pac-Man is a classic arcade game that has stood the test of time and has a strong nostalgic appeal. The proposed Pac-Man game aims to capture the essence of the original game while offering enhanced features and modern gameplay experiences. This business case outlines the reasons for developing and launching the Pac-Man game, highlighting its potential market, revenue opportunities, and long-term sustainability.
  2. Problem Statement: There is a demand for high-quality, engaging, and nostalgic gaming experiences that resonate with a wide range of players. While there are existing Pac-Man games available, there is an opportunity to create a fresh and updated version that appeals to both new and existing fans of the franchise.
  3. Market Analysis:
  • Pac-Man has a large and dedicated fan base worldwide, comprising both older players who have fond memories of the original game and newer players discovering the timeless appeal of classic arcade games.
  • The gaming market continues to grow, with a diverse range of platforms including PC, consoles, mobile devices, and web-based gaming. This provides multiple avenues to reach and engage with players.
  • Nostalgia-driven gaming experiences are popular and often have a broad appeal, attracting not only existing fans but also new players seeking retro gaming experiences.
  1. Product Description: The proposed Pac-Man game aims to deliver an authentic and enjoyable gameplay experience while incorporating modern enhancements. Key features include:
  • Multiple levels with increasing difficulty and unique maze layouts to keep players engaged.
  • Improved ghost AI, creating more challenging and dynamic gameplay.
  • Power pellets that grant temporary invincibility and strategic advantages.
  • Score tracking, level progression, and high score competition to drive player engagement and replayability.
  • Enhanced audio and visual effects for an immersive and nostalgic experience.
  1. Target Audience: The target audience for the Pac-Man game includes:
  • Fans of the original Pac-Man game, both older players seeking a nostalgic experience and younger players discovering the game for the first time.
  • Casual gamers looking for simple yet addictive gameplay experiences.
  • Players interested in retro or classic arcade games.
  • Mobile gamers, console gamers, and PC gamers across various platforms.
  1. Revenue Opportunities: There are several revenue opportunities associated with the Pac-Man game:
  • Game sales: Generate revenue through sales of the game on various platforms, such as app stores, gaming consoles, and digital distribution platforms.
  • In-app purchases: Offer optional in-app purchases for cosmetic enhancements, power-ups, or additional levels.
  • Advertising: Include non-intrusive advertisements within the game to generate ad revenue.
  • Licensing: Explore licensing opportunities for Pac-Man merchandise, collaborations, or brand partnerships.
  1. Development and Launch Plan:
  • Assemble a development team with expertise in game design, programming, graphics, and sound.
  • Design and implement the game mechanics, AI, levels, and graphical assets.
  • Conduct rigorous testing and quality assurance to ensure a polished and bug-free experience.
  • Plan a targeted marketing campaign to build anticipation and awareness before the game’s release.
  • Collaborate with platform holders and distributors to launch the game across various platforms simultaneously.
  1. Financial Projections:
  • Develop financial projections based on estimated development costs, expected sales volume, and revenue from in-app purchases and advertising.
  • Consider factors such as platform fees, marketing expenses, and ongoing support and updates.
  • Calculate return on investment (ROI) and set revenue targets based on projected sales and monetization strategies.
  1. Sustainability and Future Growth:
  • Continuously monitor player feedback, identify areas for improvement, and release regular updates and patches to enhance the game’s quality and address any issues.
  • Explore expansion opportunities, such as additional levels, downloadable content (DLC), or multiplayer modes.

Return on Investment

To estimate the return on investment (ROI) for the Pac-Man product, we need to consider several factors, including the cost of development, potential revenue streams, and the expected timeframe for generating returns. Please note that ROI calculations can vary depending on specific business models, pricing strategies, and market conditions. Here’s a general framework to help you estimate the ROI:

  1. Development Cost: Calculate the total cost of developing the Pac-Man game. This includes expenses related to personnel, equipment, software licenses, marketing, and any other associated costs.
  2. Revenue Streams: Identify potential revenue streams for the product. These may include:
    • Game Sales: Revenue generated from selling the Pac-Man game to customers, either through digital platforms or physical copies.
    • In-App Purchases: Additional revenue from in-game purchases, such as power-ups, extra lives, or customization options.
    • Advertisements: Revenue generated from displaying ads within the game, either through partnerships with advertisers or through ad networks.
    • Licensing: Possibility of licensing the game to other platforms or companies for distribution.
  3. Pricing Strategy: Determine the pricing strategy for the Pac-Man game, considering factors such as market demand, competition, and target audience. Analyze pricing models such as one-time purchase, freemium (with in-app purchases), or subscription-based, and estimate the average revenue per user or unit.
  4. Market Analysis: Assess the potential market size and demand for Pac-Man games or similar arcade-style games. Consider factors such as target demographics, gaming trends, and competitive landscape. This analysis will help estimate the market share and potential sales volume.
  5. Projected Sales and Revenue: Based on the pricing strategy and market analysis, make an educated estimate of the number of game units or users you expect to acquire over a specific timeframe (e.g., monthly, yearly). Multiply the projected sales volume by the average revenue per unit to estimate the potential revenue.
  6. ROI Calculation: Finally, calculate the ROI using the following formula: ROI = (Net Profit / Development Cost) * 100 Net Profit = Total Revenue – Development Cost

By plugging in the estimated revenue and development cost values, you can determine the ROI percentage.

Keep in mind that ROI calculations are estimates and may vary based on numerous external factors, market dynamics, and other business considerations.

To refine and obtain a more accurate ROI estimate, it’s advisable to perform detailed market research, consider pricing experiments, analyze historical data (if available), and consult with industry experts or financial advisors who can provide insights into the gaming industry and market trends.

To calculate the ROI for the Pac-Man game based on an hourly rate, you will need to consider the total development cost and the projected revenue generated from the game. Here’s a step-by-step approach:

  1. Development Cost: Determine the total development cost of the Pac-Man game, including all associated expenses such as salaries, software licenses, equipment, marketing, and any other relevant costs. Express this cost in monetary terms.
  2. Revenue Projection: Estimate the potential revenue you expect to generate from the game. Consider factors such as pricing strategy, market size, target audience, and potential revenue streams (e.g., game sales, in-app purchases, advertisements, licensing). Express the projected revenue in monetary terms.
  3. Effort Estimation: Estimate the total effort in hours required to develop the Pac-Man game. This includes the work hours of the development team, including programmers, designers, testers, and other relevant roles. Take into account the estimated effort you derived earlier.
  4. Hourly Rate: Determine the hourly rate for the development team. This rate reflects the cost per hour for the development resources involved in the project.
  5. Net Profit Calculation: Calculate the net profit by subtracting the development cost from the projected revenue. Net Profit = Projected Revenue – Development Cost.
  6. ROI Calculation: Calculate the ROI using the following formula: ROI = (Net Profit / Development Cost) * 100.

By plugging in the values for the development cost, projected revenue, and hourly rate, you can calculate the ROI percentage.

It’s important to note that this ROI calculation assumes that the hourly rate represents the true cost of the development team and doesn’t account for other operational expenses or external factors. Additionally, market uncertainties and unforeseen factors can affect the actual revenue and ROI. Therefore, it’s advisable to perform a detailed analysis and consider various scenarios and sensitivities when estimating the ROI for your Pac-Man game.

Let’s assume the following values for the calculation:

  • Development Cost: $100,000
  • Projected Revenue: $500,000
  • Total Effort: 5,000 hours
  • Hourly Rate: $50 per hour
  1. Net Profit Calculation: Net Profit = Projected Revenue – Development Cost Net Profit = $500,000 – $100,000 Net Profit = $400,000
  2. ROI Calculation: ROI = (Net Profit / Development Cost) * 100 ROI = ($400,000 / $100,000) * 100 ROI = 400%

Based on these assumptions, the estimated ROI for the Pac-Man game is 400%.

Please note that this calculation is based on our hypothetical values and assumptions.The actual ROI may vary depending on various factors, including market conditions, actual revenue generated, and the accuracy of the development cost and effort estimation.

It’s important to conduct a thorough analysis and consider realistic values specific for our project to obtain a more accurate ROI estimate.


The classic game Pac-Man was released in 1980 and has become an iconic piece of video game history. It is well understood.

Here are the architectural building blocks that make up Pac-Man:

  1. Game Engine: The game engine is the core component that powers Pac-Man. It manages the game loop, handles input from the player, updates the game state, and renders the graphics.
  2. Maze: The maze is the playing field where Pac-Man and the ghosts move around. It consists of a grid of cells, each representing a position that characters can occupy. The maze defines the layout of walls, dots, power pellets, and other elements.
  3. Characters:
    • Pac-Man: The player-controlled character who navigates the maze, consumes dots, avoids ghosts, and collects power pellets to temporarily turn the tables on the ghosts.
    • Ghosts: The antagonistic characters that chase Pac-Man throughout the maze. Each ghost has its unique behavior and movement patterns, adding complexity and challenge to the game.
  4. Movement and Collision Detection: The game must handle the movement of characters within the maze and detect collisions between them and other objects, such as walls or dots. It determines whether a character can move to a particular position or if it collides with an obstacle.
  5. Score and Points: Pac-Man keeps track of the player’s score, which increases as the player consumes dots and fruits. Additional points are awarded for eating ghosts after consuming a power pellet.
  6. Power Pellets and Fruits: Power pellets are special items placed within the maze that give Pac-Man temporary invincibility and the ability to eat ghosts. Fruits appear periodically, and eating them grants bonus points.
  7. Level Design and Progression: Pac-Man features multiple levels, each with a different maze layout. As the player progresses through the levels, the game may introduce new challenges, such as faster ghosts or more complex mazes.
  8. User Interface: The game’s user interface includes elements like the score display, level indicator, and any additional information necessary for the player’s interaction and understanding of the game state.
  9. Sound and Audio: Pac-Man incorporates various sound effects and background music to enhance the gameplay experience. These include sound cues for eating dots, power pellets, and fruits, as well as specific audio for events like Pac-Man’s death or victory.
  10. Game Logic and Rules: The game logic and rules define the behavior and interactions of the various components. This includes determining the consequences of specific events, such as Pac-Man’s collision with a ghost or the consumption of a power pellet.

These building blocks work together to create the captivating gameplay experience of Pac-Man, which has remained popular and influential for over four decades.

Use Cases & User Stories

Here are some use cases and user stories for Pac-Man:

Use Case 1: Playing the Game

  • Title: Playing a New Game
  • Actor: Player
  • Description: The player wants to start a new game and enjoy the Pac-Man gameplay experience.
  • Flow:
    1. The player launches the Pac-Man game.
    2. The game displays the main menu screen.
    3. The player selects the “New Game” option.
    4. The game generates a new maze layout and initializes the game state.
    5. The player controls Pac-Man using the arrow keys or a gamepad to navigate through the maze, eating dots and avoiding ghosts.
    6. The player aims to eat all the dots, consume fruits for bonus points, and use power pellets to temporarily make the ghosts vulnerable and gain extra points.
    7. The game tracks the player’s score, lives remaining, and level progression.
    8. The game continues until the player completes all levels or loses all lives.
    9. If the player completes all levels, the game displays a victory screen with the final score.
    10. If the player loses all lives, the game displays a game over screen with the final score.

Use Case 2: Game Progression

  • Title: Progressing to the Next Level
  • Actor: Player
  • Description: The player wants to advance to the next level after completing the current level.
  • Flow:
    1. The player starts a new game or continues from a saved game.
    2. The player completes all the objectives of the current level, such as eating all the dots.
    3. The game detects the completion of the level.
    4. The game generates a new maze layout for the next level, increasing the difficulty.
    5. The game updates the level indicator and resets the player’s position and number of lives.
    6. The player continues playing the game in the new level, facing new challenges and earning more points.

User Story 1: As a Player, I want to control Pac-Man

  • Description: As a player, I want to be able to control Pac-Man’s movement using the arrow keys or a gamepad.
  • Acceptance Criteria:
    • Pac-Man should respond to arrow key inputs or gamepad inputs for up, down, left, and right movements.
    • Pac-Man should move smoothly and responsively in the desired direction.
    • Pac-Man should not be able to move through walls or obstacles.

User Story 2: As a Player, I want to eat dots and earn points

  • Description: As a player, I want to navigate Pac-Man through the maze, eating dots to earn points.
  • Acceptance Criteria:
    • Dots should be placed throughout the maze, and Pac-Man should be able to consume them by moving over them.
    • Each consumed dot should increment the player’s score by a specific value.
    • Consumed dots should disappear from the maze.

User Story 3: As a Player, I want to eat fruits for bonus points

  • Description: As a player, I want to eat fruits that appear periodically in the maze to earn bonus points.
  • Acceptance Criteria:
    • Fruits should appear at specific intervals or conditions in the maze.
    • Pac-Man should be able to consume fruits by moving over them.
    • Each consumed fruit should increment the player’s score by a specific bonus value.
    • Consumed fruits should disappear from the maze.

User Story 4: As a Player, I want to avoid ghosts and stay alive

  • Description: As a player, I want to navigate Pac-Man through the maze while avoiding

Functional Requirements

The functional requirements define the specific features and behaviors that a system must exhibit to fulfill its intended purpose.
These functional requirements outline the essential features and behaviors that make up a functional version of Pac-Man.
Depending on the desired implementation, additional features or enhancements can be added to further enrich the gameplay experience.

Here are the minimum set of functional requirements for Pac-Man:

  1. Game Initialization:
    • The game should start with an initial screen/menu allowing the player to begin a new game, continue from a saved game, or exit the game.
    • Upon starting a new game, the maze should be generated, including the layout of walls, dots, power pellets, and fruits.
  2. Player Controls:
    • Pac-Man should respond to player input for movement in four directions: up, down, left, and right.
    • The player should be able to navigate Pac-Man through the maze, avoiding walls and collecting dots, power pellets, and fruits.
  3. Ghost Behavior:
    • The ghosts should move independently throughout the maze, following specific behaviors or strategies, such as chasing Pac-Man, patrolling specific areas, or scattering when Pac-Man consumes a power pellet.
    • The behavior of the ghosts should create a challenging and dynamic gameplay experience.
  4. Collision Detection:
    • The game should detect collisions between Pac-Man and walls, dots, power pellets, fruits, and ghosts.
    • When Pac-Man collides with dots, power pellets, or fruits, they should be removed from the maze, and the score should be updated accordingly.
    • If Pac-Man collides with a ghost while not invincible from consuming a power pellet, it should result in Pac-Man losing a life.
  5. Power Pellet Effects:
    • When Pac-Man consumes a power pellet, the ghosts should become vulnerable for a limited time, allowing Pac-Man to eat them and gain extra points.
    • The ghosts should exhibit different behavior or movement patterns when in a vulnerable state.
  6. Scoring and Level Progression:
    • The game should keep track of the player’s score, updating it based on actions such as eating dots, consuming fruits, or eating vulnerable ghosts.
    • Each level should have a specific goal, such as eating all dots, to progress to the next level.
    • As the player progresses through levels, the game may introduce increased difficulty, such as faster ghosts or more complex mazes.
  7. Game Over and Restart:
    • The game should detect when the player has lost all lives and trigger a game over condition, displaying the final score and allowing the player to restart the game.
    • The player should have the option to restart the game at any point, either from the beginning or from a previously saved state.
  8. Audio and Visual Effects:
    • The game should incorporate sound effects and background music to enhance the gameplay experience, such as playing different sounds for eating dots, power pellets, or fruits.
    • Visual effects should be used to indicate collisions, power pellet activation, and ghost vulnerability.

ROM Estimate

Estimating the effort required to write a version of Pac-Man can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of the desired features, the size and expertise of the development team, the technology stack chosen, and the overall scope and timeline of the project.

A general estimate based on a typical development scenario.

1. Planning and Design:

  • Requirements gathering and analysis: 1-2 weeks
  • Game design, including level layouts and ghost AI: 2-3 weeks
  • User interface and visual design: 1-2 weeks
  • Technical architecture and framework selection: 1-2 weeks

2. Development:

  • Core gameplay mechanics (movement, collision detection, scoring): 4-6 weeks
  • Maze generation and level progression: 2-3 weeks
  • Ghost AI implementation: 3-4 weeks
  • Power-ups, bonus items, and scoring mechanics: 2-3 weeks
  • Sound and visual effects: 1-2 weeks
  • Saving and loading game states: 1-2 weeks
  • User interface and menus: 2-3 weeks

3. Testing and Quality Assurance:

  • Unit testing and bug fixing: Ongoing throughout development
  • Playtesting and QA: 2-3 weeks

4. Deployment and Release:

  • Final testing and bug fixing: 1-2 weeks
  • Packaging and distribution: 1 week

Total Estimated Effort: Considering the above breakdown, the estimated effort for developing a version of Pac-Man could range from approximately 20 to 36 weeks (or 5 to 9 months) for a small to medium-sized development team. This estimate assumes a full-time commitment and may vary depending on the team’s experience and the specific requirements of the project.

Keep in mind that this estimate does not account for potential delays, unforeseen challenges, or additional features beyond the core Pac-Man gameplay.

It’s advisable to conduct a more detailed analysis and project planning to arrive at a more accurate effort estimate based on your specific development scenario.

Please note that this estimate is a rough order of magnitutide approximation and should be used for reference purposes only.

Project Definition

Agile development methodology can be effectively applied to the development of Pac-Man, using epics, stories, and sprints to manage the iterative development process.

Here’s a description of how Pac-Man development can be organized in Agile terms:

  1. Epic: An epic in Pac-Man development could be the overall goal or theme of the game, such as “Create a Modern and Engaging Version of Pac-Man.” This epic represents the high-level objective of the project and encompasses all the features and improvements planned for the game.
  2. Stories: Stories are the specific features, enhancements, or tasks that contribute to the achievement of the epic. In the context of Pac-Man development, stories could include:
  • “As a player, I want Pac-Man to move smoothly and responsively to arrow key inputs.”
  • “As a player, I want to see updated and visually appealing graphics for Pac-Man and the maze.”
  • “As a player, I want challenging and intelligent ghost AI to enhance gameplay.”

These stories break down the larger epic into manageable units of work that can be developed and tested independently.

  1. Sprints: Sprints are time-boxed iterations in which development work is planned, executed, and reviewed. In Pac-Man development, each sprint could last one to two weeks, depending on the team’s capacity and complexity of the stories. Sprints help organize and prioritize the work required to complete the stories and contribute to the overall epic. The team selects a set of stories to work on during each sprint, based on their priority and estimated effort.
  2. Backlog: The backlog represents a prioritized list of stories that have yet to be developed. The product owner, in collaboration with the development team, maintains the backlog by continuously adding, removing, or reprioritizing stories based on feedback, changes in requirements, or new ideas.
  3. Sprint Planning: At the beginning of each sprint, the development team and the product owner collaborate to select the stories to be worked on during that sprint. The team estimates the effort required for each story and determines the amount of work they can realistically complete within the sprint.
  4. Sprint Execution: During the sprint, the development team focuses on developing and testing the selected stories. They collaborate closely, ensuring that the requirements are met and delivering incremental value at the end of each sprint.
  5. Daily Stand-ups: Daily stand-up meetings are held to provide a quick update on the progress of the work. Team members discuss their accomplishments, plans for the day, and any obstacles they are facing. This promotes transparency, collaboration, and early identification of potential issues.
  6. Sprint Review and Retrospective: At the end of each sprint, a sprint review is conducted to demonstrate the completed work to stakeholders and gather feedback. The team also conducts a retrospective to reflect on the sprint, discussing what went well, areas for improvement, and any adjustments that need to be made for future sprints.

By employing Agile methodologies, the development of Pac-Man can benefit from increased flexibility, iterative development, frequent feedback, and a focus on delivering value to the players.

The Agile approach allows for adaptability, encourages collaboration, and ensures that the final game meets the evolving needs and expectations of the target audience.

Refining the Estimate

Agile methodologies can bring several improvements to the estimation process for the Pac-Man project, including:

  1. Adaptability to Changing Requirements: Agile allows for continuous feedback and adaptation, enabling the estimation process to adjust as requirements evolve. Since Pac-Man development may involve frequent iterations and refinements, Agile estimation techniques can accommodate changing priorities, new feature requests, and evolving player expectations.
  2. Iterative Development and Feedback Loops: Agile promotes iterative development, where work is divided into smaller, manageable increments. This allows for more accurate estimation of effort for each iteration based on the feedback and insights gained from previous iterations. Estimation becomes an ongoing process, with the opportunity to refine and improve estimates as the project progresses.
  3. Collaborative Estimation: Agile methodologies encourage collaboration among team members during the estimation process. Developers, testers, and other stakeholders can contribute their expertise and insights to create more accurate estimates. This collaborative approach helps consider different perspectives, mitigates biases, and improves the overall accuracy and reliability of estimates.
  4. Empirical Data for Estimation: Agile methodologies provide opportunities to collect empirical data throughout the project, such as velocity (the rate at which work is completed) and cycle time (the time taken to complete specific tasks). This data can be analyzed and used to inform future estimations, making them more data-driven and grounded in the team’s actual performance.
  5. Continuous Learning and Improvement: Agile emphasizes continuous learning and improvement through retrospectives and feedback loops. Estimation is a topic often addressed during these sessions, where the team can reflect on past estimates, identify areas for improvement, and adjust their estimation techniques accordingly. Over time, the team’s estimation skills and accuracy can improve through this iterative learning process.
  6. Transparency and Stakeholder Involvement: Agile methodologies promote transparency and involvement of stakeholders, such as product owners and end users, in the development process. This includes estimation discussions, allowing stakeholders to provide input, prioritize features, and gain a shared understanding of the estimated effort. Involving stakeholders in the estimation process enhances their trust, engagement, and alignment with the project goals.

By applying Agile methodologies to the Pac-Man project, the devlopement process can benefit from increased adaptability, collaboration, empirical data, and continuous improvement. These improvements can help the team deliver a higher-quality product within the estimated timeframes while managing stakeholder expectations effectively.

Pac-Man was estimated at 36 weeks for a medium size team. To refine the estimate for the Pac-Man project using Agile methodologies, we can consider the following factors to derive a more accurate duration and team size:

  1. Breakdown of Stories: Break down the high-level features and requirements of Pac-Man into smaller, well-defined user stories. This will help in estimating the effort required for each story more accurately.
  2. Story Points and Velocity: Assign story points to each user story to indicate its relative size and complexity. Based on historical data or initial estimates, determine the team’s average velocity, which represents the number of story points the team can complete in a sprint.
  3. Sprint Duration: Determine the duration of each sprint. The recommended sprint duration is typically between one to two weeks, although it can vary depending on the team’s preference and the size of the stories.
  4. Initial Capacity: Assess the available capacity of the development team, considering factors like team members’ availability for the project and any potential constraints that may impact their productivity.
  5. Calculating Duration: Divide the total story points of all the user stories by the team’s average velocity to estimate the number of sprints required to complete the project. Multiply the number of sprints by the sprint duration to obtain the estimated project duration.
  6. Deriving Team Size: Divide the total story points of all user stories by the average velocity of the team to determine the number of sprints needed. Divide the estimated project duration by the desired sprint duration to get the total number of sprints. Finally, adjust the team size based on the capacity and expertise of team members, ensuring a balanced distribution of workload.

It’s important to note that estimation accuracy can vary based on multiple factors, such as the team’s experience, complexity of the project, and potential changes in requirements. Therefore, it’s recommended to use historical data, adjust estimates iteratively, and regularly review and refine the plan as the project progresses.By employing this approach, you can derive a more precise duration and team size for the Pac-Man project, tailored to your specific development context and the principles of Agile methodologies.

Let’s go through the calculation to derive the estimated duration and team size for the Pac-Man project.


  • Initial estimate: 36 weeks
  • Sprint duration: 2 weeks
  1. Breakdown of Stories:
  • Break down the high-level features and requirements of Pac-Man into smaller user stories. Let’s assume we have a total of 60 user stories.
  1. Story Points and Velocity:
  • Assign story points to each user story to indicate its relative size and complexity. For simplicity, let’s assume the total story points for all user stories is 120.
  • Determine the team’s average velocity based on historical data or initial estimates. Let’s assume the team’s average velocity is 15 story points per sprint.
  1. Sprint Duration:
  • Let’s assume the sprint duration is 2 weeks.
  1. Calculating Duration:
  • Divide the total story points (120) by the team’s average velocity (15) to estimate the number of sprints required: 120 / 15 = 8 sprints.
  • Multiply the number of sprints by the sprint duration (2 weeks) to obtain the estimated project duration: 8 * 2 = 16 weeks.
  1. Deriving Team Size:
  • Divide the total story points (120) by the average velocity (15) to determine the number of sprints needed: 120 / 15 = 8 sprints.
  • Divide the estimated project duration (16 weeks) by the desired sprint duration (2 weeks) to get the total number of sprints: 16 / 2 = 8 sprints.
  • Adjust the team size based on the capacity and expertise of team members. For example, if the team can handle an average workload of 30 story points per sprint, you would need 120 / 30 = 4 team members.

So, based on the calculation, the estimated duration for the Pac-Man project using Agile methodologies would be 16 weeks, and the recommended team size would be 4 team members.

Code Language Selection

We have several options when it comes to choosing a programming language for implementing the game.

Here are a few popular choices:

  1. Python: Python is a versatile and beginner-friendly language known for its simplicity and readability. It offers numerous libraries and frameworks that can facilitate game development, such as Pygame, which provides tools for handling graphics, audio, and user input.
  2. C++: C++ is a widely used language for game development, offering high performance and low-level control over hardware resources. It provides extensive libraries and frameworks, like SFML or SDL, which can handle graphics, input, and audio.
  3. Java: Java is a versatile language with a strong ecosystem for game development. It offers libraries like LibGDX or JavaFX, which provide features for graphics rendering, user input, and audio management.
  4. JavaScript: JavaScript is a popular language for web-based game development. It can leverage HTML5 canvas or WebGL for graphics rendering and has frameworks like Phaser or Pixi.js that offer game development utilities.
  5. C#: C# is a language commonly used with game development frameworks like Unity. Unity provides a comprehensive suite of tools for creating games, including graphical editors, physics simulation, and cross-platform deployment.

Ultimately, the choice of programming language depends on the familiarity with the language with the developer team, the specific requirements of your project, and the availability of libraries or frameworks that suit your needs.


Based on the functional requirements, here are our code modules, or components, that are to be part of our Pac-Man implementation:

  1. Game Initialization Module:
    • Responsible for initializing the game, setting up the initial screen/menu, and generating the maze layout.
  2. Input Module:
    • Handles player input, detecting keyboard or controller inputs for Pac-Man movement.
  3. Movement Module:
    • Manages the movement of Pac-Man and the ghosts within the maze, handling collision detection with walls and other game elements.
  4. Ghost Behavior Module:
    • Implements the behavior and strategies for the ghosts, determining their movement patterns, decision-making, and response to Pac-Man’s actions.
  5. Collision Detection Module:
    • Detects collisions between Pac-Man, ghosts, walls, dots, power pellets, and fruits, triggering appropriate actions and updates to the game state.
  6. Score Tracking Module:
    • Keeps track of the player’s score, updating it based on specific events like eating dots, consuming fruits, or eating vulnerable ghosts.
  7. Level Management Module:
    • Manages the progression through different levels, including setting level goals, generating new maze layouts, and introducing increased difficulty.
  8. Power Pellet Module:
    • Handles the activation and effects of power pellets, including making ghosts vulnerable, changing their behavior, and allowing Pac-Man to eat them for extra points.
  9. Game Over Module:
    • Detects when the player has lost all lives, triggers the game over condition, and handles the display of the final score and options for restarting the game.
  10. Audio and Visual Effects Module:
    • Integrates sound effects and background music, providing visual feedback for collisions, power pellet activation, ghost vulnerability, and other game events.

These code modules represent logical components that work together to implement the functionality required for Pac-Man.
The actual implementation may involve further division or combination of these modules based on the chosen programming language, design patterns, and specific architectural considerations.

Test Cases

Here are the test cases for testing Pac-Man:

  1. Movement Test Cases:
  • Verify that Pac-Man moves in the correct direction when arrow keys or gamepad inputs are pressed.
  • Test that Pac-Man cannot move through walls or obstacles.
  • Validate that Pac-Man wraps around to the other side of the maze when reaching the edge in wrap-around mode.
  • Ensure Pac-Man’s movement is smooth and responsive, without any noticeable delays or glitches.
  1. Collision Test Cases:
  • Test collision detection between Pac-Man and dots to ensure that Pac-Man consumes the dots and they disappear from the maze.
  • Verify that Pac-Man colliding with a power pellet makes the ghosts vulnerable and grants points.
  • Ensure that when Pac-Man collides with a ghost, the appropriate outcome occurs based on the game state (e.g., Pac-Man loses a life, ghost is eaten, etc.).
  1. Power-Up Test Cases:
  • Test the effect of power pellets on the ghosts, ensuring that they become vulnerable and change their behavior accordingly.
  • Validate that ghosts revert to their normal state after a certain duration or when conditions change (e.g., Pac-Man consumes another power pellet).
  1. Level Progression Test Cases:
  • Test that the game progresses to the next level when all the dots are consumed in the current level.
  • Verify that the maze layout changes between levels, increasing in complexity or introducing new obstacles.
  • Ensure that the difficulty of the game increases as the player advances to higher levels.
  1. Scoring Test Cases:
  • Validate that the score increases correctly when Pac-Man consumes dots, fruits, or ghosts.
  • Verify that bonus points are awarded for specific achievements, such as consuming all the dots in a level or eating multiple ghosts in succession.
  1. User Interface Test Cases:
  • Test the functionality of game menus, ensuring that they display correctly and respond to user input.
  • Verify that the game correctly displays the player’s score, remaining lives, and level information.
  • Test any user interface interactions, such as pausing the game or adjusting settings, to ensure they work as expected.
  1. Game Over Test Cases:
  • Validate the game over conditions, such as when Pac-Man loses all lives or completes all levels, ensuring that the appropriate screens are displayed.
  • Verify that the final score is correctly displayed at the end of the game.

Depending on the specific implementation and features of the game, we may need to create additional test cases to cover all functionalities and edge cases.

Product Name

Assuming we can’t use the name pac-man, the team have come up with some alternative names that capture the essence and spirit of the game while avoiding potential litigation:

  1. “Maze Muncher”
  2. “Dot Dash”
  3. “Ghost Gobbler”
  4. “Retro Runner”
  5. “Munch Mania”
  6. “Maze Master”
  7. “Arcade Eater”
  8. “Ghost Chase”
  9. “Pixel Prowler”
  10. “Munching Madness”

Around the team “Munch Mania” was the clear favourite.

Remember to conduct a thorough search to ensure that the chosen name is not already in use or trademarked by another entity in the gaming industry.

Release notes

Munch Mania Software Release Notes – Version 1.0

We are excited to announce the release of Munch Mania Software version 1.0!

This release brings the classic arcade game to life on modern platforms, offering an immersive and nostalgic gameplay experience.

Here are the key features and improvements in this release:

New Features:

  1. Multiple Levels: Enjoy hours of fun with multiple levels of increasing difficulty. Each level features unique maze layouts and challenges to keep you engaged.
  2. Ghost AI Enhancements: The ghost behavior has been improved to provide a more challenging and dynamic experience. Each ghost now exhibits unique movement patterns and strategies, creating more strategic gameplay.
  3. Power Pellets and Vulnerability: Consuming power pellets grants Pac-Man temporary invincibility, allowing you to turn the tables on the ghosts. When vulnerable, the ghosts change their behavior, providing opportunities for extra points.
  4. Score Tracking: The game now keeps track of your score as you progress through levels. Earn points by eating dots, consuming fruits, and eating vulnerable ghosts. Aim for high scores and compete with friends!
  5. Game Over and Restart: When you lose all lives, the game displays a game over screen with your final score. You can now restart the game from the beginning or from a previously saved state, allowing for continuous play.
  6. Audio and Visual Effects: Experience the retro charm with updated audio and visual effects. Enjoy the iconic sound cues for eating dots, power pellets, and fruits. Visual effects indicate collisions, power pellet activation, and ghost vulnerability.

Bug Fixes and Enhancements:

  • Resolved an issue where collision detection occasionally missed collisions between Munch-Man and ghosts or other game elements.
  • Improved performance and optimized resource usage for smoother gameplay.
  • Fixed rare occurrences of incorrect maze generation, ensuring consistent and fair gameplay.
  • Enhanced user interface responsiveness and interaction, providing a seamless gaming experience.

System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 10, macOS 10.14 or later, Linux (distribution dependent)
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz quad-core processor or equivalent
  • Memory (RAM): 4 GB or higher
  • Graphics Card: Dedicated graphics card with 1 GB or more VRAM, supporting OpenGL 3.3 or later
  • Storage: 200 MB of available disk space
  • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card or onboard audio
  • Display: Minimum resolution of 1280×720 pixels or higher
  • Input: Gamepad/controller support

We hope you enjoy playing Munch Mania version 1.0! We appreciate your support and feedback as we continue to enhance and expand the game in future releases.

Have fun reliving the nostalgia of this timeless classic!

Calculating a Selling Price

The unit price for each copy of the game can vary depending on various factors, such as market demand, pricing strategy, target audience, platform, and distribution method.

The following considerationwcprovide us with some general considerations when determining the unit price for the game:

  1. Market Research: Conduct market research to understand the pricing landscape for similar games in the market. Analyze the prices of comparable games or arcade-style games to get a sense of the price range that customers are willing to pay.
  2. Competitive Analysis: Consider the pricing strategies of your competitors. Examine the prices of other games in the same genre or games targeting a similar audience. Determine if you want to position your game as a premium product or offer a more affordable option.
  3. Value Proposition: Assess the unique features, gameplay experience, graphics, and any additional content that your Pac-Man game offers. Consider the value and quality of the game relative to the price you want to set.
  4. Target Audience: Understand your target audience and their willingness to pay for games. Consider factors such as demographics, gaming habits, and purchasing power when setting the price.
  5. Platform and Distribution Costs: If you plan to release the game on specific platforms or through specific distribution channels, take into account any associated costs, fees, or revenue-sharing agreements that may influence the unit price.
  6. Pricing Experiments and Iteration: It can be beneficial to conduct pricing experiments or iterate on the pricing strategy over time. Monitor customer feedback, sales data, and market response to adjust the unit price accordingly.

Ultimately, the unit price should strike a balance between generating revenue and attracting customers. It should reflect the value proposition of your Pac-Man game while remaining competitive in the market. Consider conducting thorough market analysis, gathering customer insights, and consulting with industry experts or business advisors to determine the most appropriate unit price for your specific Pac-Man game.

Here’s a formula that you can use as a starting point to calculate the unit price based on market factors and the desired ROI:

Unit Price = (Development Cost + Desired ROI) / Expected Sales Volume

Let’s break down the formula:

  • Development Cost: The total cost of developing the game.
  • Desired ROI: The desired return on investment percentage, taking into account the profitability goals of the project.
  • Expected Sales Volume: The estimated number of game units you expect to sell within a specific timeframe.

By dividing the sum of the development cost and desired ROI by the expected sales volume, you can determine the unit price that helps achieve the desired return on investment.

It’s important to note that this formula provides a general approach, and the specific values you use for development cost, desired ROI, and expected sales volume should be based on accurate projections and market research specific to your game and target audience.

Additionally, market dynamics, competition, and other factors may influence the final unit price, so it’s essential to monitor market conditions and customer feedback to ensure the pricing remains competitive and aligned with customer expectations.

Consider conducting thorough market analysis, competitor research, and customer surveys to gather the necessary data and insights to make informed decisions about the unit price.

Regularly review and refine the pricing strategy based on real-world results and feedback to optimize your revenue generation and achieve your desired ROI.

Further Developement !

At a recent tradefair we were approached by a distributor who want to put pac-man back into the circulation in locations like arcades, game shops and entertainmnet comlexes, hopint to capitaliae on the retro appeal of the game. They have challenged us with making the game robust enough to “just work” on thir commodity hardware platform used in thier gaming cabinets. They want some level of assurance so they can meet thier service levels with thier customers.

To ensure that the game works without fault in a “harsh environment” and provide an assured product, you can apply several practices during the development process and utilize appropriate software development tooling. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Requirements Elicitation and Validation: Thoroughly elicit and validate the requirements from the customer, ensuring a clear understanding of the expected functionality, performance, and environmental constraints. This includes identifying the specific aspects of the harsh environment and any relevant safety or reliability requirements.
  2. Risk Assessment and Mitigation: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential challenges and hazards associated with the harsh environment. Develop mitigation strategies to address these risks and integrate them into the development process. Regularly reassess risks throughout the project to ensure ongoing mitigation efforts.
  3. Robust Architecture and Design: Focus on creating a robust and fault-tolerant architecture and design for the Pac-Man game. Implement fault detection and recovery mechanisms to handle unexpected errors or environmental disturbances. Consider redundancy, resilience, and error handling strategies to ensure the game can continue functioning even in adverse conditions.
  4. Unit Testing and Test Automation: Implement rigorous unit testing practices to verify the correctness and reliability of individual code components. Develop a comprehensive suite of automated tests to cover different scenarios and edge cases, including those specific to the harsh environment. Continuously run automated tests to detect and address any regressions or defects.
  5. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD): Utilize CI/CD practices to integrate code changes frequently and perform automated builds, tests, and deployments. This ensures that each code change undergoes a robust testing process and allows for rapid identification and resolution of issues. Deploying updates frequently also allows for the timely incorporation of bug fixes and improvements.
  6. Static Code Analysis and Code Reviews: Employ static code analysis tools to identify potential coding issues, security vulnerabilities, and potential performance bottlenecks. Conduct regular code reviews to ensure adherence to best practices, promote code quality, and identify any potential issues early on.
  7. Monitoring and Logging: Implement monitoring and logging mechanisms to track the performance, behavior, and errors of the Pac-Man game in real-time. Collect relevant data and logs to gain insights into the system’s behavior and identify any anomalies or issues. This information can be used for troubleshooting, diagnostics, and continuous improvement.
  8. Version Control and Configuration Management: Utilize a robust version control system to track code changes and manage different configurations of the Pac-Man game. This ensures traceability, facilitates collaboration, and allows for the easy rollback of changes if necessary.
  9. Documentation and Knowledge Sharing: Maintain comprehensive documentation of the Pac-Man game’s design, architecture, configuration, and deployment processes. This helps ensure the transfer of knowledge and facilitates troubleshooting and maintenance in the harsh environment.
  10. Security and Data Protection: Implement appropriate security measures to protect the Pac-Man game and any sensitive user data. This includes secure coding practices, encryption, access controls, and adherence to relevant security standards.

By implementing these practices and utilizing appropriate software development tooling, you can increase the reliability, resilience, and performance of the game. It’s essential to continuously monitor and evaluate the system’s performance, address any identified issues promptly, and engage in ongoing improvement efforts to deliver an assured product that meets the customer’s requirements.

The specific requirement of developing a game that works without fault will have an impact on the project’s estimate.

Here are the considerations to take into account when re-estimating the effort and duration:

  1. Complexity and Risk Assessment: Developing a fault-tolerant and robust game for a harsh environment typically introduces additional complexity and challenges. It may require implementing specific error handling mechanisms, dealing with potential hardware limitations or environmental constraints, and performing rigorous testing under harsh conditions. Consider the complexity and associated risks when estimating the effort required.
  2. Research and Analysis: The team may need to invest additional time in researching and analyzing the requirements and constraints of the harsh environment. This includes understanding the specific conditions, potential failure scenarios, and necessary countermeasures. Account for the time required for research and analysis in the estimate.
  3. Design and Architecture: Creating a robust architecture and design to handle fault tolerance and resilience in a harsh environment may require additional effort. This includes identifying potential failure points, designing redundancy mechanisms, and implementing error recovery strategies. Ensure the estimate includes the time needed for designing and implementing a suitable architecture.
  4. Testing and Validation: Testing in a harsh environment poses unique challenges. It may involve creating simulation environments, conducting field testing, or utilizing specialized equipment. Consider the additional effort and resources required for testing and validation in harsh conditions.
  5. Documentation and Compliance: Developing a product for a harsh environment may involve adhering to specific regulations, standards, or safety requirements. Documenting compliance, preparing necessary documentation, and engaging in certification processes may require additional effort.
  6. Experience and Expertise: Ensure that the estimate accounts for the necessary experience and expertise of the team members involved. Developing a fault-tolerant game in a harsh environment may require specialized knowledge or skills that can impact the estimate.

It’s crucial to engage in detailed discussions with the project team, stakeholders, and subject matter experts to thoroughly understand the specific requirements and constraints of the harsh environment. By considering these factors and adjusting the estimate accordingly, you can provide a more accurate estimate that accounts for the additional effort and challenges associated with developing a Pac-Man game for a harsh environment.

Providing an accurate revised estimate for developing a game that works without fault in a harsh environment requires detailed knowledge of the specific requirements, constraints, and project context.

However, I can provide you with a general framework to consider when revising the estimate:

  1. Requirement Analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of the specific requirements and constraints associated with the harsh environment. Identify the key challenges, potential failure scenarios, and necessary mitigations.
  2. Risk Assessment: Perform a comprehensive risk assessment to identify the potential risks and challenges related to developing a fault-tolerant game in a harsh environment. Prioritize the risks based on their severity and likelihood of occurrence.
  3. Task Breakdown: Break down the development tasks into smaller, more manageable units. Consider the additional tasks required for developing a fault-tolerant game in a harsh environment, such as implementing error recovery mechanisms, conducting specialized testing, and addressing environmental constraints.
  4. Expertise and Resources: Assess the expertise and resources required for the project. Determine if additional skills, specialized knowledge, or external resources are necessary to meet the unique challenges of the harsh environment.
  5. Testing and Validation: Consider the additional effort required for testing and validation in a harsh environment. This may involve creating simulation environments, conducting field testing, and addressing specialized testing requirements.
  6. Iteration and Feedback: Incorporate iterative development cycles to allow for continuous feedback and refinement of the game in response to the challenges identified in the harsh environment. This helps to ensure that the game meets the desired fault tolerance and performance criteria.

Based on the above factors, the project team can revise the estimate by adjusting the effort, duration, and team size accordingly. It’s essential to engage in detailed discussions with the development team, stakeholders, and subject matter experts to obtain more precise information and make an accurate estimate tailored to your specific project context and requirements.

If we make certain assumptions regarding the parameters, we can provide a rough estimate for the duration and team size to re-develop the game.

Please note that these estimates are based on hypothetical assumptions and may not accurately reflect your specific project context.


  1. Estimated Effort: Let’s assume an estimated effort of 36 weeks (as mentioned earlier).
  2. Sprint Duration: Assuming a sprint duration of 2 weeks.

Duration Estimate: To estimate the project duration using Agile methodologies, we need to determine the number of sprints required. Since we assumed a sprint duration of 2 weeks, the estimated project duration would be the product of the number of sprints and the sprint duration.

Let’s assume an average velocity of 15 story points per sprint (as mentioned earlier). However, in a project with challenging requirements and a harsh environment, it’s advisable to be more cautious and consider reducing the velocity to account for potential complexities and risks.

Considering a conservative average velocity of 10 story points per sprint, the estimated project duration would be:

Number of Sprints = Total Story Points / Average Velocity Number of Sprints = 120 / 10 Number of Sprints = 12 sprints

Estimated Project Duration = Number of Sprints * Sprint Duration Estimated Project Duration = 12 * 2 weeks Estimated Project Duration = 24 weeks

Team Size Estimate: To estimate the team size, we divide the total story points by the average velocity. However, since we reduced the velocity to account for potential complexities, the team size should be adjusted accordingly.

Let’s assume an average velocity of 10 story points per sprint (as mentioned earlier). Considering a maximum workload of 30 story points per sprint for a team member, the estimated team size would be:

Team Size = Total Story Points / Average Velocity Team Size = 120 / 10 Team Size = 12 team members (rounded up)

Again, please note that these estimates are based on hypothetical assumptions and may not accurately reflect specific project requirements and constraints. It’s crucial to perform a detailed analysis, involve your project team, and consider the actual context to arrive at more accurate estimates for the duration and team size of the project.