Android lemmings

    Do you like Lemmings as much as I love them?

    No, not fluffy rodents of the hamster family, but a great puzzle game, released in 1991 and later ported to many game consoles.


    Not one evening was spent playing this game. And now, after almost 20 years, my friend and I decided to pay tribute to the creation of Rockstar (formerly DMA Design) and make my version of Lemming for Android with the sonorous name of Stupid Rabbits .

    We did not change the concept of the game: as before, you must help the group of helpless rabbits to get from point A to point B, keeping them safe and sound. Naturally, we significantly modified the gameplay, adding a lot of our chips related to the physics of movement. Now cute little animals have rockets, catapults, etc.



    At the beginning of each level, you have at your disposal a group of lemmings, which you need to bring to the final point safe and sound on an intricate map, and objects that will help you overcome all obstacles in their path. Among such items:
    • Beams . They are used to build bridges from one grassy area to another.
    • Catapults . Allow jumping over various objects and pits.
    • Signs "Stop" . Oddly enough, they fulfill their direct duties - they stop the Lemming and force them to go in the opposite direction.
    • Rockets. Let fly, thereby helping lemmings reach high surfaces.
    • Haystacks. Since creature lemmings are rather weak and fragile, falling from a great height kills them. Haystacks save our heroes by providing them with a soft place to plant.


    Too easy? Do not hurry. There are several carrots on each card, which are very difficult to get. In addition, with each new level more and more concentration is required, as lemmings begin to move from different places, and the routes are becoming more sophisticated.

    Technical points

    Before starting work on the game, our team already had extensive experience in PHP, Ruby, Flash and Java projects. About the Android platform and Android SDK itself, we can say that, in general, everything is quite convenient, logical and “comfortable” for experienced programmers. If you compare Java with iOS's Objective-C, then it is an order of magnitude more convenient and gives a higher development speed and a greater choice of IDEs.

    imageThe AndEngine engine that we used is based on OpenGL ES, and therefore gives very fast graphics even on weak devices (when compared with the standard graphic "drawing").

    A significant fly in the ointment of Java honey is added by the fact that despite the obvious expectations from a standardized platform, we are faced with a huge number of compatibility problems.

    Some simple bugs in the code are caught very simply, thanks to the error reporting mechanism built into the Market (if the user didn’t catch the reception and had access to the network, then the error together with the stack gets to your market office in real time).

    Unfortunately, when working with OpenGL and Box2Dthe engine (which in our case was used as native C-modules) often causes errors that simply endure the game without any execution. Even after 10 updates, we still have problems when users suddenly suddenly turn black when playing a game, although the game itself, sounds, etc. continue to work fine. Using the “poke” method, we determined that this was caused by an unexpected rewriting of textures by something else in the GPU's memory. Why is this happening ... We still have not found the answer. It is only clear that on different devices this happens for various reasons.

    For example, on Droid X and some HTC models, there is a problem with Vertex Buffer Objects support, which is why we had to abandon them (although they gave a certain performance boost). This helped solve the “black screen o'death” problem, but ... only on some devices. Some users still have a problem after this.
    godaddy tracker

    We are still faced with some absurd bugs. We personally tested the game on two different Samsung Galaxy S 2.2 / 2.2.1 and the game worked perfectly. A couple of days ago, several users were still complaining that they have a black screen on the first level on the same devices. It turned out that in different countries the Galaxy S firmware is different from each other, although formally they have the same version numbering.

    In total, we tested the game on 7 different devicesbut this turns out to be even close enough. I recall the development times for J2ME, but it seemed that the need to buy 50 different phones for development should have been a thing of the past with the advent of Android smartphones.

    Of course, all these problems are associated with complex graphics applications and some simple toys that do not use a lot of GPU memory and some special features are unlikely to have the same problems.

    A few words about Amazon Appstore

    imageI would like to share my impressions about the acclaimed Amazon Appstore . There were many publications on blogs about how cool it is, that a new platform has appeared where there will be only high-quality content, etc. For users, this is of course cool, but for indie developers it is ... a pain.

    Suffice it to say that in 12 hours after the release of the free version on the Android Market there were about 3,000 downloads, and for the same 12 hours after the release on Amazon, the same free version had ONE download. At the same time, on Amazon, you need to wait for the app to download for about 10 days, which is very similar to Apple policy.

    How to play?

    imageDownload the free version of our Lemming, which has a time limit for the game, you can from the Android Market.


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