Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Oh, Nooooo: The History of Lemmings
Ah, Lemmings, one of the greatest games of all time. If you've never played it, you missed on an experience more addictive (and more twisted) than Tetris and Solitaire combined. The basic premise: you have a group of lemmings that do nothing but walk in whatever direction they're facing. Your goal is to get them from the entrance to the exit. In-between you'll find mousetraps, pits, gaping holes, and other obstacles that have to be avoided with the help of special lemmings that will dig, build, or explode in various useful ways. Back in the day, Lemmings was so addictive to me that I had to delete it from my computer just to get back to a normal life. You can play a version of the game at oldgames.dk. If you have a Palm Pilot, you can even download a freeware version of the original Lemmings. But did you ever wonder how the game came to be? Neither did I until I stumbled across an article by one of the game's creators. It's a remarkable window into game development at a time when a handful of people could create a multi-million dollar game all by themselves. Once you're done reading it, go back and email 3D Realms on why their company of hundreds can't get Duke Nukem Forever out the door in seven years.