Every now and then, we see something interesting that happens involving an engineer working behind the scenes at some of the biggest technology companies in the world. This is a perfect example of that. A gamer named Gabriel Roland took to Twitter, noting that Xbox made his Pac-Man ghost avatar smaller and smaller with each generation. Roland said he had purchased the gamerpic in 2006 for 80 Xbox points and vowed to use it forever.
As you can see in the image above, his Pac-Man ghost is very small, surrounded by a massive gray circle. An Xbox engineering lead named Eden Marie saw the post and made it a personal mission to fix the problem. The first step involved purchasing the Pac-Man avatar again for $2.38. Marie described much of the process required to do something that may seem simple to begin with.
The process required multiple steps in part because there are a wide variety of ways that Xbox displays gamerpics. It seems many different pages required individual fixes to allow the gamerpic to display correctly everywhere. Marie noted that there had been changes made in the past, and some of the pages were broken as a result.
Thankfully, some of the broken pages were easy to fix. The engineer noted that most 360 gamerpics were designed to be shown as a square and didn’t respond well to being clipped as a circle. The process was a lot of work simply to enlarge one user’s gamerpic.
Ultimately Roland was extremely happy, noting that he worked in game QA for over a decade and had never seen a bug address so quickly. Marie noted that it helped that Roland’s bug report tweet make them laugh. Since the fixes were made overall, not just to Roland’s account, anyone else with a tiny gamerpic will also likely reap the benefit.