Lode Runner Designer Doulgas Smith Reported Dead
On September 12, 2014, game designer and creator of Lode Runner Douglas Smith was reported dead at 54 years old. Tozai Games (the company that owns the rights to Lode Runner) first announced his death on their own site.
Douglas Smith is best remembered for Lode Runner, a popular action game released for home computers in 1983, and later ported to many other systems. It featured one of the earlier examples of a level editor in video games, which was part of the reason why it was so popular in its day.
Beyond Lode Runner
However, Lode Runner is not the only game Smith worked on. While he also worked on many of Lode Runner's sequels, his role in video games stretched far past that. Less well-known (but equally important) is the time he worked for Square in the '90s. MobyGames lists his contributions to big games like Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy VII.
Smith is also listed as working on Body Harvest and several Lemmings games. Although most gamers do not readily associate his name with these titles, it's clear that Douglas Smith made an impact on the industry with the games he helped make. He will be missed.