Oct 05

Lemmings Merchandise is Go!

Lemmings Licensing (via @LemmingsPorts). After being around since 1991, Sony is bringing us Lemmings spin-off merchandise:

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has embarked on a licensing programme for the popular game, with the appointment of four new licensees.

Back in the early nineties Lemmings was pretty popular. Non-games appearances were rare but not unknown. A cartoon strip was printed in games magazine Max Overload from Dark Horse comics for example. (This inspired me to pitch for a Hired Guns comic, without success.)

One-offs included a motorised radio-controlled Lemming riding a tricycle, which was used for publicity on the opening day of DMA’s games shop, the SoftWarehouse. (As part of the opening celebration, I wrote a story on the fly, in-store, though sadly I no longer have it.)

The only other official products I know of are the posters, stickers and badges created for publicity purposes at the original launch. Though I do have a Lemmings 2 T-Shirt and personalised mug.

Mooted products are bags, keychains, plushies and wallscrolls.

Personally I think a pair of Blockers as bookends would make for the perfect gift. Or a radio-controlled balloon with Lemmings dropping from it at the touch of a button. Or even an ant-farm with Lemmings placed in the tunnels.

Sep 16

Nailing Jelly to Kittens

In anticipation of the release of GTA V tomorrow, The Guardian has produced a video of the making of the very original GTA. This gathers together some of the people involved – including myself – and lets them talk about the trials of bringing the game to reality.

The Making of Grand Theft Auto

Aug 11

Hired Guns Fan Art

Why should GTA and Lemmings get all the love? Over at the English Amiga Board, a thread about Hired Guns has produced the first HG fan art I think I’ve ever seen. User Cherno has kindly allowed me to post some of them here. Not only had he been hard at work creating a boardgame…

Hired Guns Boardgame 3

Hired Guns Boardgame 3

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Status update

Remarkably enough, it is only a couple of months until Hired Guns has the 20th Anniversary of its release. We celebrated Lemmings 20th two years ago. Though any recognition of HG is likely to be low-key, I’d like to do something. Watch this space…

Jul 26

Lemmings Statues Appear in Dundee

A Lemmings Statue

Let’s Go!

The first I knew that something was happening was a number of Lemmings references in my Twitter stream a few days ago. Without any warning it seemed that overnight a handful of Lemmings statues had appeared, climbing over a wall.

It wasn’t until today that I was able to get the time to go and have a look for myself, camera in tow. But my timing was spot on. Not only had the weather cleared after a few days of mist, chance had favoured me.

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Jul 25

The Spielberg of Gaming

A few years ago I, along with the usual suspects Mike, Dave and Russell, were interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland. You can find the interview here, although despite being on YouTube it’s audio only. At the time I wrote a blog post about it, of which I’ve placed an expanded and updated version below the fold. Dave Jones, as you can guess from the title has been called the Spielberg of Gaming, an accolade which goes all the way back to the 90s. At the time I wondered who the Roger Corman of gaming was. I still don’t have an answer for that, other than to note, somewhat slyly, that a Mystery Science Theater 3000 for games would be an astonishingly funny, if technically challenging, thing to do.

The Spielberg of Gaming

It’s always amazed me how persistent DMA Design has been in my life. (Even with my current day job I leave at five and walk past the old DMA offices.) Immediately after the DMA exhibit opened in the MacManus Galleries, I was interviewed by James Christie from BBC Radio Scotland as one of the founders of DMA Design*.

It was to be a half hour documentary, and it has just aired this morning. I’m always nervous when something is broadcast with a contribution from me in it. And yes, I’m still astonished – when I think about it – that I can casually write a sentence like the previous one. This one, however, was especially nerve-wracking for reasons that I can’t quite put my finger on. Would I sound OK? Did I make sense? Would my contribution even get used? There are certainly no guarantees on that score. As per my first ever encounter with TV: an interview about games piracy.

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Jan 26

Real Lemmings – Sort Of…

Just for a bit of a change of pace, I found these whilst trawling Flickr. No context, but it’s nice to think that our little games made a lot of people happy!

lemmings

Lemmings cosplay 1

img_1796

Nov 21

Grand Thieves and Tomb Raiders

There’s a new book out called Grand Thieves and Tomb Raiders and I’m guessing this is what I have to thank for the recent upswing in page views.

Hello new readers!

I’ve bought myself a copy and am pleased to see that I’m even mentioned in it. Mike Dailly over at DMA Design ORG claims that this is all down to him, which means namechecking me in all those interviews he does. It’s all part of some grand scheme of his, no doubt.

I’ll get onto reading it properly soon as I can and jot down my thoughts. I hope it conveys the flavour of DMA more accurately than Jacked did…

Sep 07

Everyone Knows it was Race ‘n’ Chase

The history of GTA has been somewhat more illuminated in recent years than previously. To this end it is now common knowledge that the original design doc called it Race ‘n’ Chase. It was only ever meant to be a temporary name, even when at the time DMA had a habit of keeping temporary names for the final product. Through inaction, mainly.

But not in this case.

Although the final chosen name of Grand Theft Auto has an origin which is lost to time (at least no-one has staked that claim) it wasn’t the only suggestion. At the moment I am sorting through all my old DMA documents (both mine and those which have fallen into my possession!) and am delighted to have found a notebook page with the title game names. It part it reads like so:

Race ‘n’ Chase

  • The Ton
  • Carmageddon
  • Floor It!
  • Highway to Hell
  • Sunday Drivers
  • Driven Insane
  • Hazard Lights

Judging by the date on the following page, this would have been September 1995. Doing a ton, of course, refers to achieving 100mph in British parlance. Interestingly enough, Carmageddon has nothing to do with the real game of the same name. Just one of those obvious neologisms, I suppose. It’s worth pondering how the development of the game might have changed with a different title. Each suggests a slightly different feel, doesn’t it?

Update: I’ve been informed that a likely candidate for coming up with the GTA name was Andrew Wright of BMG. Updated update: Yep!

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