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  • GameCareerGuide.comís Game Design Challenge: One More Lemming

    - Manveer Heir and staff
  •'s Game Design Challenge is an exercise in becoming a game developer, asking you to look at games in a new way -- from the perspective of a game creator, producer, marketer, businessperson, and so forth.

    Each Wednesday we'll present you with a challenge about developing video games. You'll have one week to brainstorm a brilliant solution (see below for how to submit your answers). The following week, the best answers and the names of those who submitted them will be posted along with some commentary.

    The Challenge

    Design a new lemming character for the game Lemmings.

    Assignment Details
    Your company has been given the privilege of working on one of the great gaming franchises, Lemmings. A classic puzzle game, Lemmings puts the player in charge of a group of the lovable little critters as they march forward. Lemmings always move forward, unless they hit a wall, at which point they turn around and walk the opposite direction until they die or reach their goal.

    In the game, there are number of different types of lemmings. Climbers climb any vertical surface they touch. Floaters are able to fall from great heights without dying. Bashers dig horizontally across terrain. Miners dig diagonally downward. And Diggers dig directly downward. Builders can create stairs to higher levels. Blockers force all lemmings that reach them to turn around and go the other way. Finally, Bombers explode five seconds after set as bombers.

    You're working on an update to the classic Lemmings, keeping the game 2D like the original. The design team wants to keep all of the lemming roles named above, but to add value and differentiate the title, they want to add one new lemming. They've asked you and some other co-workers to come up with ideas for one additional lemming.

    You must come up with one idea for a new lemming, which you will present to the team. Describe the role of the lemming. Explain how to use the new lemming in a puzzle situation that fits with the other existing roles (hint: game balance may be something you elucidate here).

    Diagrams and illustrations are encouraged as long as they help provide a clear example of how to use the new lemming. (Even if they aren't aesthetically pleasing, diagrams and illustrations are irrefutably useful tools in a game designer's toolbox.)

    Most importantly, the new lemming role cannot be used in another Lemming game that has been made since the original -- you may need to do some light research.

    To Submit

    Ask questions or stun your peers with brilliant ideas for a solution on the forum. When your submission is complete, send it to [email protected] with the subject line "Design Challenge: One More Lemming." Please type your answer directly in the email body. Be sure to include your full name and school affiliation or job title, and try to keep your answers to 300 words or fewer -- unless they're really good!

    Entries must be submitted by October 29, 2008.
    The responses for this challenge will appear the week of November 3, 2008.

    Disclaimer: is not responsible for similarities between the content submitted to the Game Design Challenge and any existing or future products or intellectual property.


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