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Lemmings first saw light as a simple animation made by DMA Design in August 1989, it showed a little man in just 8x8 pixels with a 10 ton weight. After a while someone said this should be made in a game and so work began. In late September of 1989 they already could show a demo to Psygnosis.


During development there were choices to make, like the colours. For the colours, they were limited by the PC EGA palette. This lead to the simple style you see in lemmings and what was part of the succes. This limit also lead to the green-haired lemmings instead of lemmings with ie. blue hair.

Level creation

Somewhere during the development, there was a switch from PC to the Amiga. And while the graphics and animations were created by DMA design employees, a level editor had to be built to make some nice levels. The level editor was actually built around the Deluxe Paint interface. This was a program on the Amiga with which you could very easily create simple and difficult images.

So level creating started, many employees made levels. Many of which were thrown in the bin directly because they were to simple, to difficult, had to less detail, etc. When you look at the levels in the final game, you can easily see the different styles used by the employees. Some levels are always very detailed, while others only show the basics for a level.

Special levels

There were four levels made which used completely different graphics. Those graphics came from other Amiga games and the levels were made as some kind of tribute to those games. DMA design got hold of graphics from the games Awesome, Beast, Beast II and Menace. Since the levels used other graphics, there could be no use of traps. The levels were made difficult using different colours etc.


The early 90s where the first years where the gaming industry started to worry about copyright. This lead to the choice for old songs to be used in the game. As it turned out, the simplicity of those songs (and the other soundeffects) made part of the succes of the game.


Finally all work was done and the game was released in the winter of 1990 / 1991 by DMA Design and Psygnosis for the Amiga. The following years, the game came out on PC and several other platforms.

Development team

The following people were the main people involved in the creation of the game Lemmings: Dave Jones (Amiga), Russell Kay (PC), Gary Timmons (Animations), Scott Johnston(Backgrounds), Mike Dailly, Brian Watson (ST), Brian Johnson (Music + SFX) and Steve Hammond (PC EGA/CGA Graphics conversion), Tim Write, Tony Williams (PC Music).

Last edit: Friday, 31 August 2007.

Main source: The Lemmings Story.