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  • Results from the Game Design Challenge: One More Lemming

    - Manveer Heir and staff

  • Honorable Mentions

    Nicolas Jungblut, .Net Developer and Game Design Hobbyist, Buenos Aires, Cannon Lemming

    Nguyen Tran, Software Developer and aspiring Game Designer/Programmer, Crossing Guard Lemming

    Frank Wisnes, Freelance Game Designer, Tosser
    A challenge like this is very difficult for a few reasons. Most of the current lemmings designed can handle the tasks the game gives you. If you create a lemming that is too specific, it won't have enough uses. A lemming that is too generic has probably already been created. Still, there were many interesting and genuinely funny entries that made judging difficult.

    When judging the entries, we looked for a few things. Was the lemming type extensible to many different types of puzzles? Did the lemming type offer something new or different to the game? Did the lemming type fit the Lemmings universe (a pimp lemming, no matter how funny it is -- and it was -- just doesn't fit).

    As the challenge originally stated, your explanation would go a long way too, and many of you took great care to explain how the lemming would be used in a puzzle situation. Thinking about how to practically implement your idea into the game, instead of designing in a vacuum, is a valuable tool for any designer.

    There were some common themes of ideas that people came up with as well. Many cannons and catapult lemmings were suggested, which would toss lemmings to new heights and distances. A number of entries suggested lemmings that would distract or stun the other lemmings for a moment, as a way of buying time for the player before some poor lemmings fell to their death. But three entries inched their way beyond these frequently suggested ideas. The honorable mentions this week will highlight some of the artwork that was submitted. As always, a diagram or quick sketch also can go a long way to support and give concrete meaning to one's ideas.

    Best Entries
    Dean Ray Johnson, The Whistleblower
    (see page 2)
    The Whistleblower lemming makes all the lemmings do an about-face. Using this lemming will require extreme planning and strategy, and because it also fits perfectly well with all the other existing lemming roles, we name it first place in this challenge.

    Mark Hong, Game Development Student at Flashpoint Academy, Chicago, Breeder (see page 3)
    Mark Hong's Breeder lemmings create pint-sized offspring who are small enough to fit into tight spaces, where other lemmings could not go. This solution quickly and elegantly opens additional spaces for gameplay and puzzle-solving, thereby increasing the difficulty level of the game.

    Theo Brinkman, Westwood College Online, Pusher
    (see page 4)
    A Pusher lemming fits well in the lemming universe because once given a job, the lemming will do that job blindly until given another job or until the job becomes impossible (or death). It's easy to see how a Pusher has good gameplay balance, sometimes contributing to success in the level, and sometimes inadvertently creating a new problem to solve.

    Honorable Mentions
    See the artwork on page 5.


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