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Lemmings: Can You Dig It? Guardian Review

Category: DMADesign Tags: Lemmings The Guardian


So The Guardian reviewed Lemmings: Can You Dig It? which I stumbled on via their Tweet Guardian Tweet. I read the review and, well, consider this a review of a review. In which – paranoia! – I was written out of history! Yikes!

Newspapers, especially tabloids, like a simplified version of history. Anything which makes it more story-like. People like narratives after all. I breezed past the “dodgy graphics” even for 1991 quote (the cheek!) before tripping up on this:

“A trio of kids – Russell Kay, Mike Dailly and David Jones – met at the city’s Kingsway Amateur Computer Club, and would go on to make games together…”

A trio… hold on a sec. I seem to be missing! I was there at the KACC, and I went on to make games with the rest of them. Indeed Mike Tweeted that I should really be included.

“We were all there at the start, we all worked on it, and leaving Steve out is neither true, nor fair.”

Cheers, Mike! Sure, my involvement with the original Lemmings wasn’t nearly as much as the others, but it wasn’t nothing either. And going to the KACC with the rest of them before going onto DMA Design is just a plain old boring fact.

Well, fair enough, if we’re talking about the, er, quattro? who went to the KACC. It makes a nice, neat, soundbite. Slightly better than having a single name, say Dave, and not mentioning anyone else. Making games is a team effort, after all.

Rather more startling is the omission of artist Gary Timmons who animated the Lemmings themselves.

The reviewer seems disappointed that we weren’t asked questions about how rich we were, and what we did with the money. A documentary about the development of lemmings talking about development? Nah, tell us about the money, mate. And then there’s this gem:

“(“Of course, nobody has ever credited DPaint with gaming on the Amiga,” opines renowned designer Peter Molyneux, bafflingly.)”

“Bafflingly”! 😂

Yeah, who on Earth imagined there could be a connection between game graphics and a graphics creation app? The fact of DPaint having animbrushes and how this helped enormously for Lemmings was even explored in the documentary.

And so the review ends by re-emphasising a “…tale of three lads from Dundee..” right before the obligatory Guardian paragraphs wanting us to support them.

“Tens of millions have placed their trust in the Guardian’s fearless journalism…”

Well, quite.

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I use British English spelling and idioms, if you tend to worry about that sort of thing.

Additionally I'm Scottish, so 'outwith' is unquestionably a real word. As is 'drookit', 'puggled' and 'numpty'. I am occasionally all three of those.

I created this site using a combination of W3 CSS, Jekyll, Emacs and my inability to enjoy web development IDEs.

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My name is in the very first paragraph of the first page of the first GTA design document*. (Excluding cover and table of contents. I mean, right?)

I directed Britain's first ever Star Trek fan film, which we started production of in 2003 and released in 2007. We're still making episodes: Starship Intrepid