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Lemmings Boards => Level Design => Topic started by: 607 on June 17, 2015, 05:33:37 pm

Title: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: 607 on June 17, 2015, 05:33:37 pm
Hi, it's me again!

Would you try to prevent things like that, or would you not care?
I myself don't really care, games often have floating stuff. But the original Lemmings seems to be quite realistic on that regard, actually. So that made me wonder: do you also not mind placing terrain in mid-air, or would you rather create some support beams or something under it?
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: IchoTolot on June 17, 2015, 05:43:52 pm
I don't mind it at all!
Do what you like and try to make it look nice and not nessecerely realistic. In my opinion the terrain should serve the level idea purpose (and look as good as possible) and not realistic standards.
A bunch of levels have that kind of floating stuff!
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: Crane on June 17, 2015, 06:19:16 pm
Generally I like to put support beams in and the like and not have floating terrain unless it can't be avoided or if it's an artistic choice.  Ultimately though, it doesn't really matter, just as long as the end result looks fairly pleasing.

Like avoiding floating islands, there are some unwritten rules going around with level design, like water tends to be contained between steel plates (probably to stop you from digging down to the very edge of the sprite), but even then I start to subvert that in my designs by, say, requiring that you aim a miner to hit the steel plate so the Lemming turns around (part of the intended solution to Thanatos Gambit).
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: 607 on June 17, 2015, 07:20:26 pm
Ah, the water, yeah. That's a good thing to keep in mind, thanks!
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: Leo on June 17, 2015, 11:00:46 pm
But, there are floating stuff/terrain in the original Lemmings. Doesn't anyone here noticed that?
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: Crane on June 17, 2015, 11:07:25 pm
There is (the large starting tower in "Smile if you love lemmings" and the long floating platform in "Not as complicated as it looks" come to mind), but it's generally the exception rather than the norm.  It's down to personal design choice.
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: ccexplore on June 17, 2015, 11:38:31 pm
It's well known that several different people designed the various levels in Lemmings.  It would not surprise me if most levels from a specific person avoid floating terrain while those from another person does not.  I recall in one of the Mike Dailly interviews he mentioned how one specific person (I don't remember the name) likes to make large picture-like levels while another specific person's levels tend to be very small and minimalist, and it's not hard to imagine very few floating terrain amongst the former while perhaps more amongst the latter.
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: Leo on June 18, 2015, 12:28:01 am
After a quick check (maybe it's not 100% accurate) there are 34 'floating' levels out of 120 in the original Lemmings. More than a fourth. Obviously, it's not a big exception at all.
Title: Re: Do you mind floating terrain?
Post by: namida on June 18, 2015, 12:18:30 pm
I find it depends on the graphic sets. In some graphic sets I try to avoid it (the Tree grapihc set is a good example of this), while some others are pretty much designed to have floating terrain (Sky graphic set being the perfect example here). Even in those graphic sets, I generally don't apply that rule so much with the steel pieces (which could also themself be "supporting" other pieces), and in all cases making the level work properly overrides any concerns about whether floating pieces are suitable if the two cannot go hand-in-hand.

At the same time, the nessecity to sometimes have floating pieces also influences my graphic set design. In some cases I've had ideas, but ultimately decided against using them since they'd look too strange in my opinion with floating pieces.

Out of interest, I decided to look through my 5 large packs (Lemmings Plus I ~ IV, and Omega) and see how many levels in each made use of floating pieces, to see if my tendancy to do so has changed over time. In all cases, I've not considered a piece to be "floating" if it's attached to any side of the level, not just to the bottom. I've also excluded certain cases, such as the lettering in the Fire graphic set or the stars in the Crystal graphic set, or parts that are resting on top of water; on the other side I've also counted things as floating in cases such as, for example, a Brick level where the only connection between a piece and other pieces (or a side) is chains hanging below the piece.

LPI: 22 levels containing floating elements, 7 levels entirely (or almost entirely) floating (does not include Pre-V7) <14.7% / 4.7%>
LPII: 16 containing, 2 (almost) completely <15.2% / 1.9%>
LPIII: 13 containing, 4 completely <18.8% / 5.8%>
LPOmega: 29 containing, 16 completely <21.5% / 11.9%>
LPIV: 23 containing, 13 completely (28.8% / 16.2%>

It actually seems like I've become more willing to do so over time, but I also notice it's become more concentrated in specific graphic sets. For example, in LPIV, all the completely (or nearly-completely) floating levels are in the Space graphic set, as are the majority of the partly-floating ones, and a lot of the remainder are Candy; very few Clockwork or Wasteland levels have floating terrain. Sky (and to a lesser extent, Psychedelic) has a similar status in Omega; as do those two graphic sets in the games they originally appeared in (with Martian even having no floating terrain whatsoever in LPIII). So, I guess that what I originally thought held true (at least for myself) - it really does depend on the graphic set.