Caterpillar celebrated its 95th anniversary recently with the release of the first new Cat Trial video in four years, continuing the company’s successful Cat Trials series, which has so far seen a total of eight videos logging more than 18 million views.
In the new video, which can be seen here, the Cat Trial #9: PAC-MAN, the company delves into the video-gaming world to showcase Cat products, technology and services and celebrate its 95th anniversary, while PAC-MAN celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The Cat Trial #9: PAC-MAN brings the iconic video game to the construction job-site, playing it out on a 49.5m by 55m version of the iconic PAC-MAN gameboard — 19,040% larger than the original scale of the maze on the classic arcade screen. Built and played using the latest Cat equipment, it also uses Cat’s latest grade and remote technology.
Victoria Keese Morrissey, global marketing and brand director, Caterpillar, said: “These trials are designed to surprise and delight our customers and prospects, as well as people outside our industry. Challenges that the ghosts pose to PAC-MAN strike a unique metaphor for obstacles lurking around each corner of the job-site. ‘POWER PELLETS’ represent the role Cat dealer services play in helping our customers overcome these challenges.”
Yutaka Fuse, head of PAC-MAN Licensing & Branding team for BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., owners of the PAC-MAN brand, said: “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. 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.”
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. Roughly 195m3 of cut/fill dirt was removed to build the maze that comprised 151 corners and 1.2m high 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,” explained 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 job-site efficiency.”
Five Cat 236D3 remote controlled skid-steer loaders, rented from The Cat Rental Store, were used for play to represent PAC-MAN and the four ghosts – BLINKY, INKY, CLYDE and PINKY. PAC-MAN and 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 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”, said Cat.
“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. We duplicated the original screen’s look of level 256 with our real-life PAC-MAN game, using four Cat dozers to create the effect,” explained Lyons.
The game players controlling the Cat 236D3 skid-steers using line-of-sight remote control systems were: drawn from various sources and walks of life. PAC-MAN was controlled by Jim Kosner of JIMAX Landscaping & Demolition, from Peoria, USA; BLINKY was controlled by Joey Stone, NASCAR/Richard Childress Racing (RCR) eSports driver of the #8 Virtual Cat car; Alfonso Farjardo of Horsepower Site Services from Charlotte, USA, a Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge regional finalist, controlled INKY; CLYDE was controlled by Tom Gardocki, The Dirt Ninja, social media influencer, professional heavy equipment operator in landscaping and construction; while the skid-steer representing PINKY was under the control of another social media influencer, BLITZ, a YouTube gaming content creator and civil engineer.
The Cat Trial series have received huge views with the most popular having been recognised by Guinness World Records for playing the largest game of Jenga and building the tallest sandcastle.