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Lix / Re: Community set, changes for Lix 0.7.x
« Last post by Simon on August 16, 2017, 10:21:17 pm »
Sinking Ship: Attached an almost-solution that saves 32 where 35/40 are required. I had 34 before that looked the same.

I don't see clear ways how to improve on this. But it's too close to 35 to feel entirely off. geoo, please judge. Bulldozer lacked clarity of why exactly (saving 60 where 80/120 are required) failed, encouraging to fidget towards 80. It would be sad if Sinking Ship had the same problem.

Edit: Attached a 35. Still looks the same as before. The save requirement feels overly tight.

-- Simon
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Level Design / Re: Level Design: What Makes A Level Challenging?
« Last post by Proxima on August 16, 2017, 09:34:17 pm »
I know it's tempting to use any help given, but we're not forced to do so, are we? Pit Droids - and, as far as I could tell, Lix as well - also have the option of giving you "tipps" on how to solve the level. This means, where framestepping, replay function and skill blueprints facilitate the execution, tipps facilitate the puzzling aspect. Yet, most of us probably would have the pride not to use the tipps unless absolutely necessary ;) , wouldn't we?

Lix doesn't have in-game hints at the moment, no. It's a feature that's been talked about, but never added; I think at the moment Simon is inclined against it, and certainly there are higher priorities right now.

In any case, this is wandering away from what I was trying to say about options, which is....

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The presence of an option is by far the most dangerous and false thing you can do,

Well, dangerous to what, exactly?

The harm of having options for different physics within a single game is, firstly, that there's more for new players to learn, so the game is less inviting to its potential audience. There's the question of how to communicate this information to new players -- bearing in mind that if we don't make really sure of that, the player will sooner or later stumble on a level that seems impossible to them because they are expecting one set of physics when the game uses a different set. And finally, even when players learn that the option exists, there's an extra burden of having to remember which physics are in play at the moment, for every single level you play.

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The jumper certainly would be much higher on my priority list than timed exploders ;) , so we seem to have common ground there. If I understood it correctly, the issue with the jumper is that knockback is needed? I saw that Lix has knockback, and so has Lemmings 2.

Yes, the main problem with jumpers is that you have to have tumbler physics to deal with all the cases where the jump doesn't go as expected :lix-tongue:

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I noticed that the Laser Blaster has been suggested as well, with the concern being that it broke too many levels on Lemmings 2 - many Laser Blasters lead the rest of the crowd from the trap door right to the exit. But that's an issue that could easily be solved by stretching out levels or adding steel.

That wasn't really the concern; it's more that every appearance of the laser blaster in L2 was the same old, same old "trap the crowd, one lem does all the work, laser blast to release". It's possible that the skill could be used imaginatively even though L2 doesn't (like the fencer); but at the moment it's not clear whether the skill brings enough to the game to be worth adding.

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I'd certainly prefer that over throwing them out entirely, as IchoTolot suggested ;) . Because that would either create more inconsistency - older packs including radiation & slowfreeze, making newer players think "I want that, too, why is it gone?" - or all the old levels that contain radiation / slowfreeze would have to be revamped; which we can probably all agree on would be loads of unnecessary work ;) .

Those levels would only have to be revamped if we insist on all packs keeping the same number of levels. Perhaps some levels would simply be dropped from packs, as has happened with other removed features (ghosts in NL, trampolines in Lix). But yes, every time a feature is removed, some work has to be done in looking over old levels and deciding what to do with them. Generally, in the "culling" discussions we've had, the discussion centres on how much the feature is currently used, how much work culling would involve, and whether the benefit of a simpler, more learnable game is worth it. As you can see, in several cases we have decided to cull features in spite of adding to pack maintainers' workload; in other cases (e.g. zombies) it was decided that the feature should be kept. The "inconsistency" with older versions is simply never brought up, because only the newest version should be used for making new content.
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Just to give some more opinions on this matter: I like the idea of neutral Lemmings more than zombies who can push buttons and collect pickup skills.
If neutral Lemmings were to be added they should look notably different than normal ones though. :P
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In Development / Re: [Lemmings 2] Quest From Kieran 2 {All Tribes + Bonus!}
« Last post by kieranmillar on August 16, 2017, 08:54:31 pm »
Thanks Nepster. I haven't been active lately but hope to get back into fixing up my pack based on your comments. I've still not really thought about what I'll be doing to the Highland Tribe. I'll respond more directly to your comments eventually.
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Level Design / Re: Level Design: What Makes A Level Challenging?
« Last post by Strato Incendus on August 16, 2017, 08:46:05 pm »
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there's very little satisfaction in pulling off challenging execution when the engine gives you that much help.

I know it's tempting to use any help given, but we're not forced to do so, are we? Pit Droids - and, as far as I could tell, Lix as well - also have the option of giving you "tipps" on how to solve the level. This means, where framestepping, replay function and skill blueprints facilitate the execution, tipps facilitate the puzzling aspect. Yet, most of us probably would have the pride not to use the tipps unless absolutely necessary ;) , wouldn't we?

The same could be applied to execution based levels. Yes, of course I could rush through We all fall down in Neo Lemmix by setting the release rate to 99 and playing the entire level with the pause button turned on. But instead, I enjoy the breath of fresh air of having a reaction- and timing based level, especially if the preceding one was a puzzly one that "tied a knot into my mind" ^^.

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The presence of an option is by far the most dangerous and false thing you can do,

Well, dangerous to what, exactly? The philosophy? If you're the conservative voice, I guess that makes me the libertarian one :D , in this case advising for a "free market of ideas": I believe if the community generally agrees that puzzling levels are the best levels anyway, the packs that you, namida, Nepster & Co. create will still come out on top as the most popular packs. In contrast, packs that use a lot of "mean" stuff or just elements that are not favoured by the community will not become popular and therefore won't have a huge impact, neither positive nor negative. So I don't really see what you would have to fear. ;)

If it's about the complexity of the code, which I believe someone mentioned - old code interfering with new one, so the old one was removed - that's a pragmatic reason I can understand easily. There's no need to put in 80% more effort for something that would probably get used 20% of the time or less. I wouldn't ask for any of this if it had to be created all anew; I only do so because it did exist at an earlier point in time.

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But no-one on this forum is making new Lemmix content. So why should anyone put in the effort to add new features to original Lemmix?

Exactly. I enjoy the features of Neo Lemmix myself, after all, so I don't see the use in distributing this stuff across different platforms. Philosophically however, my pack will probably be "new Lemmix content" indeed ;) . At least if I understood the philosophy of Lemmix correctly.

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So overall you will have to come up with a lot more convincing arguments, before we consider implementing Exploders. There is no shortage of ideas for new features, with the best candidates being currently:
- Exits that restrict the number or types of lemmings who can enter.
- Some version of the L2 Shimmier.
- And possibly the jumper, though getting the physics right will be extremely difficult.

The jumper certainly would be much higher on my priority list than timed exploders ;) , so we seem to have common ground there. If I understood it correctly, the issue with the jumper is that knockback is needed? I saw that Lix has knockback, and so has Lemmings 2.

So perhaps let me chime in on that: Have any of you ever played Pingus? It's a Linux clone, but, as the name implies, you command a horde of penguins rather than lemmings. It features exactly the same skills as regular lemmings, plus a jumper, and it has no knockback:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLXIT59il6o&spfreload=10

(Nevermind that the video is in German, it's just about demonstrating the skills.)

Limited number-exits would be another feature familiar to me from Pit Droids. Since I've described that game as about as puzzly as it gets, I predict the Neo Lemmix community is going to enjoy that! ;)

I also like the Shimmier, I think it has been used way too little in L2. My main issue with that game is actually not the huge choice of skills itself, but rather the ridiculousness of some skills, or how they are almost purely execution-based (Super-Lemming, Jet Pack, Twister etc.). There are skills that can solve a level single-handedly if a player knows how to handle them, or be the reason for him getting stuck just because he can't handle a Jet Pack. These skills, in combination with knockback, turned Lemmings 2: The Tribes into Worms for me :D . Still, I wouldn't want them to be removed from that game; apparently, I just need to keep practicing using the jet pack ^^.

I am however always in favour of skills that "fill gaps", by doing things no other skill can, but might be needed frequently. Sometimes they fill gaps literally, like the Glue Pourer (which usually makes Fillers and Sand Pourers redundant). But also some way of upward digging. I noticed that the Laser Blaster has been suggested as well, with the concern being that it broke too many levels on Lemmings 2 - many Laser Blasters lead the rest of the crowd from the trap door right to the exit. But that's an issue that could easily be solved by stretching out levels or adding steel.

Something that never occured on any Lemmings game is a downward builder (unless we want to count the roper). Upward digging and downward building are pretty much the only "gaps" remaining; apart from that, lemmings can both create and destroy into any direction.

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Excellent point! I just realized that the current version lacks blueprints for lemmings walking through Radiation or Slowfreeze objects!

I'd certainly prefer that over throwing them out entirely, as IchoTolot suggested ;) . Because that would either create more inconsistency - older packs including radiation & slowfreeze, making newer players think "I want that, too, why is it gone?" - or all the old levels that contain radiation / slowfreeze would have to be revamped; which we can probably all agree on would be loads of unnecessary work ;) .

Giving blueprints to radiation & slowfreeze would also be a good way to test the waters for walking bombers & stoners without having to (re-)create a skill such as the exploder. Let's just improve upon these already existing objects first, especially before we throw them out entirely. Perhaps people will like the blueprints for those objects, and if so, exploders could be reconsidered. If not... I guess most level creators would just stop using radiation & slowfreeze anyway in that case, since the prevalence already seems to be quite low at the moment ;) .

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Both games are open source, so you are more than welcome to use their source code to create and support your own engine, where you can add the timing aspect and any new skill you like.

Yeah, I thought about looking into that ;) , especially after one of you said that "Zombies pressing buttons" thing would only take a few lines of code. However, I'm only somewhat familiar with Python so far, so unless NeoLemmix is based on that, this will certainly be more of a long-term thing :D .
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Lix / Re: Community set, changes for Lix 0.7.x
« Last post by Proxima on August 16, 2017, 08:44:59 pm »
On looking again, the trick in Let's Block and Blow? (given the fling bomber) is a bit different from the trick in Rainbow Road, so I think we can keep both.
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Level Packs / Re: [NeoLemmix]Yung's First Level Pack
« Last post by nin10doadict on August 16, 2017, 08:41:34 pm »
This was a pretty neat pack. There were a lot of 'contain everybody while you build the path' levels but there's nothing really wrong with that. It just makes everything feel a little bit samey.
Because you have to save less than half in Decent 1, you can just ignore either the top or bottom entirely. Seems a bit odd.
The graphics pieces are sometimes laid out a little bit oddly, like that spot of water in Suspicious 2 that's completely under the ground, yet you can still see pixels of it popping out through the top. There was also the lizard in Decent 2 that had its trigger buried in the ground, thus rendering it useless. Apart from those little things, it looked pretty nice overall.
I was also able to cheese Suspicious 4 by just cranking the release rate to 99 immediately and then starting to bash through the wall. Most of the lemmings will turn around by the time you get through. By doing the same thing with the second wall everyone will turn around. Then you just clone the basher 3 times and you're done. It's even still possible to save the basher by platforming out and then cutting him off with another basher so he can climb out. Still a pretty neat level, and it stands out among the others as being more puzzle-oriented.
I think my favorite was "There is only one way." "Distance" was pretty good too; I feel like with some tweaks it could be made into something very interesting that forces you to use some skills in different ways.
The difficulty curve was pretty well laid out, and though it was overall easy it was still fun. Good job! :D
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Level Packs / Re: [NeoLemmix]Yung's First Level Pack
« Last post by Yung Gotenks on August 16, 2017, 07:38:26 pm »
Hmm, that's unfortunate. i tried putting steel where the source of the backroute is but the lemmings still turn around.
I think this is a unfixable backroute :(
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Level Packs / Re: [NeoLemmix]Yung's First Level Pack
« Last post by Nessy on August 16, 2017, 05:52:41 pm »
Hey Yung Gotenks.

Nice fix on the backroute for "Looks Can Be Deceiving". Unfortunately, I was able to find another backroute (replay attached below). See the Spoiler tag for details.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Level Design / Re: Level Design: What Makes A Level Challenging?
« Last post by Nepster on August 16, 2017, 05:09:50 pm »
Let me add some more points to Proxima's post: Some of the objects (like Radiation and Slowfreeze) and some of the skills (like the Disarmer or the Stoner) are more of a reason why we are hesitant about adding new skills, not arguments for adding skills that have somewhat similar functions.
Why? As Proxima already said, namida added these features at some point, because they looked like cool additions. But while they added complexity to the game, they weren't flexible enough to allow lots of new interesting levels. We learned from this experience and now try to avoid making the same mistake again.

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Question: When the timed bombers were removed, did cloners already exist? Because cloners are indeed the main reason for my suggestion. You can't clone an instant bomber.
If I remember correctly, timed bombers were removed shortly after cloners were added to the game. At that point no level existed that cloned a bomber.

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Wouldn't it be possible to create two seperate skills for this? [...] a "Bomber" and an "Exploder".
For this you really have to convince us, that there are a lot of new puzzle ideas that will become possible with the Exploder. Currently your arguments are:
- Allows cloning of bombers: Yes, that would be one nice puzzle idea. But overall this alone is of very limited use, because it only applies to a very specific situation.
- Whacky execution levels: One can already play the original games or build such levels in Lemmix, if one wants them. Yes, Lemmix limits you in other ways, but until recently it has been more than enough for people to completely satisfy their desire for levels focusing on execution.

So overall you will have to come up with a lot more convincing arguments, before we consider implementing Exploders. There is no shortage of ideas for new features, with the best candidates being currently:
- Exits that restrict the number or types of lemmings who can enter.
- Some version of the L2 Shimmier.
- And possibly the jumper, though getting the physics right will be extremely difficult.

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Which is why my suggestion would be to add a skill blueprint to the exploder, so the player could see where it is going to explode ;) .
Excellent point! I just realized that the current version lacks blueprints for lemmings walking through Radiation or Slowfreeze objects!

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I get that you want to streamline Neo Lemmix into a puzzling game, but as we already saw in the hidden exit-debate, there are at least two camps concerning that matter. When Neo Lemmix is the main engine that gets supported - with the additional skills and objects - while regular Lemmix isn't, there are lots of valid ideas from the "other camp" getting lost that would have been possible with an earlier edition of the editor.
This is certainly a very valid concern. But the main problem here is, that the current developers (namida and myself for NeoLemmix and Simon for Lix) are in one camp and think that focusing on the puzzle aspect is the way to go.
Both games are open source, so you are more than welcome to use their source code to create and support your own engine, where you can add the timing aspect and any new skill you like. We welcome any new lemmings clones here and will certainly try them out!
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