Pac-Man as You’ve Never Seen it Before
How would you like to play classic video games like Tron and Marble Madness as part of your coursework?
Last fall, students in EC551: Advanced Digital Design with Verilog and FPGA did just that. Well, that was part of their assignment anyway…
Assistant Professor Douglas Densmore (ECE, BME) gave students in the class four weeks to complete their very own implementation of a digital system on a Xilinx field programmable gate array (FPGA), a chip that can be programmed. The students used Verilog, a hardware description language used to design electronic systems, and were allowed to use external scripts and image conversions.
What resulted were clever manipulations of some famous video games. In Pac-Man, for example, students were able to manipulate the program so that the ghosts in the video game, rather than bumbling around aimlessly, would intelligently pursue the game’s hero.
-Rachel Harrington (email@example.com)