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Messages - geoo

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Saturday there's the chance I can make it, Sunday definitely not.

Lix Main / Re: Handicap in Multiplayer
« on: July 02, 2022, 01:19:38 PM »
If you're implementing multiple handicap options rather than a single score, and you're planning to implement a separate menu anyway, what is the purpose of using divisors rather than simply specifying the exact number of lix/skills/spawn delay in that menu? That seems much cleaner as you know exactly what you'll get, and the UI is the same.

Also, I hope "skill handicap" is configurable per skill and not a blanket handicap, as I think adjusting all skills with the same factor/addition is going to be pretty useless 99% of the time.

If you do implement such a dialog, I think it could actually be integrated quite nicely with the single-score handicap that is determined by the level author as I proposed above:
In the special menu, you can select a handicap level (say via a slider, and all the options that you see adjust accordingly), but you can also manually modify the individual handicap stats (then the slider displays '?').
The aggregated handicap level (or '?') could then be shown in the lobby. This offers the advantages from both approaches: Full customizability of all stats, but also level-author handicap levels which will be more convenient for players that are less familiar with a given map.

I've also thought about how Ultimate Chicken Horse does handicap: Players can only nerf themselves (i.e. no positive handicap), and the handicap is essentially a score multiplier. I'm not sure the former limitation is necessary in lix, but I think a score multiplier might even be more powerful than e.g. adjusting the number of lix or any of the other options individually, and probably the only one that could somewhat stand on its own in most maps.

One other remark: So are you prioritizing handicap over neutral/pre-placed lix? While I certainly think the former is useful, I think it's only relevant to some sessions, and there are various temporary workarounds, while I think the latter opens up a lot of new gameplay potential for any kind of session.

Also played through the Sports tribe now, that was definitely one of my favourites so far.

I played Outdoor and Beach (except for Beach 1, because for some reason there was a different level there):
A lot of backroutes again, I think.

As for comparing to QFK2, I think the execution is harder here, but finding the solutions is a bit easier because the levels tend to be a bit more open-ended. Then again, I'm mostly finding backroutes so far, so maybe once they are fixed, it'll be a bit harder.

I can't say for sure yet, but I'm aiming to join. If I do, I have a special surprise ready, attached is a teaser...

@Silken Healer: Considering your posts are just 20 min apart, could just have edited the first one.

Lix Main / Re: Handicap in Multiplayer
« on: May 17, 2022, 07:36:46 AM »
I've given this a bit of thought after the games with Rampoina. For the record, we played 3 maps:
  • Uphill battle. Rampoina was too strong for this map, and I didn't stand a chance. So we moved to
  • Ivory Tower: We played quite a few rounds, Rampoina won one and came very close to winning 3-4 times.
  • Stepping Stones: I handicapped myself by trapping my crowd and waiting for 1 minute before acting. Within 1 minute, building from the bottom middle block can almost reach to the opponent's starting platform, so this made it quite intense when my crowd was trapped there. If the spawn was simply delayed, the stakes would be lower, and even a delay of more than 1 minute could be considered. Rampoina almost won one round via the top route, but the crowd splatted right in front of the exit x_x
I believe handicap is extremely map specific. Quite often a delay and the reduction of the number of lix can serve the purpose. But many other maps will have specific skills which are rare, and adjusting their number might be a better means of handicap (e.g. floaters in Rescue Rangers, or diggers in Pancake Compression). The problem is, finding a good handicap needs knowledge of the map, and presumably the person who knows the map best is the level author.

I don't think putting the burden on the players via some complicated UI allowing to adjust delays, skills, number of lix etc is necessarily the best idea (it might be useful for experimenting though).

I would argue the best way would be to introduce handicap levels (both positive and negative), and the level author can specify various handicap levels in terms of delay, number of lix, spawn interval, skill numbers, etc.
Intermediate levels of handicap that are not specified would be done via linear interpolation (or maybe logarithmic for skills and/or lix amount, not sure). Of course, getting these levels consistent across different maps is difficult (and also subjective), but easy to tweak by changing the specific handicap level that is associated to a specific skill/lix parameter tweak.

I'm advocating for both positive and negative handicap because for some maps, it might be easier to provide positive handicap (e.g. add blockers, or add floaters to Rescue Rangers, while you wouldn't want to make these adjustments to the level itself). The aim would be that the handicap difference indicates the advantage, so +10 and 0 would be similar to 0 and -10.

Another advantage is that you can assign handicap values to spawns in asymmetric maps (and then possibly adjust them further via lix/skill parameter tweaks, to allow for a range of handicaps), incorporating these maps straightforwardly into the system.

From a player perspective, one would then simply adjust one's handicap level in the multiplayer UI, without needing knowledge of the specific map. Not every map would offer handicap levels, or some might only offer a limited range; the levels might not be 100% consistent across maps but one could make reasonable efforts towards that. I'd argue that all of this is fine, for example, the level browser could filter to only show maps where the min/max handicap is larger than a user provided value.

Lix Multiplayer Dates / Re: Semi regular 1v1?
« on: May 03, 2022, 08:32:23 AM »
1v1 (and 2v2) are my favourite modes of playing actually, so I'd be up for it. I have a few asymmetric maps, and we can also think of different modes of handicap. Strongly prefer voice chat if possible.

I'm happy to play somewhat frequently, but I'd prefer to arrange on short notice (at most a day in advance).

General Discussion / Re: Logic Puzzles
« on: April 04, 2022, 10:20:13 AM »
Here's a Lix-related logic puzzle (which I haven't solved yet):

You're building a N-player level where each player has M hatches.

The hatches are arranged into a grid of M rows and N columns. But the player order is wrong!
You need that in each column, all hatches belong to the same player, and in each row, the hatches spawn lixes at the same time.
You don't want to move the hatches around (error-prone), but you can fix this by changing the priority of a few of them.
How many hatches do you have to click to be guaranteed to be able to sort this out, regardless of the initial arrangement?

About priorities: If my hatches are ordered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and I decrease the priority of #4 down to 2, the priority of #2 and #3 gets increased by 1 each, giving 1, 3, 4, 2, 5.
If the players are A, B, C and the hatches per player are A1, A2, A3, then the hatches are ordered
A1, B1, C1, A2, B2, C2, A3, B3, C3
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

Example: N=2, M=2.
A2 B1    3 2
B2 A1 or 4 1

If I increase the priority of A1 to A2, I get
B1 A1    2 1
B2 A2 or 4 3

So clicking one hatch is sufficient. Is one hatch sufficient for every starting configuration for N=2, M=2?

Remark: This is from a real example where I was trying to build a level, and clicking hatches was expensive as they were buried under eraser terrain, which had to be removed first to access the hatch.

I'll try to make this session :)
The date is as good as it can get for me, I'll probably be unable to play for the rest of Feb and March.

L2Player / Re: Lemmings 2 Data Formats
« on: December 15, 2021, 05:26:14 PM »
This looks pretty nifty already! Needed to mess with the OpenGL version a bit ("export MESA_GL_VERSION_OVERRIDE=4.1COMPAT" did the trick), and it's running very smoothly for me :D

The most obvious thing I already noticed during the video is that the builder bricks are only 4 px wide rather than 6 px; maybe fixing this would also fix the issue with the gap? Related to the builder, L2 has a funny behavior where the brick of left-facing builders is placed differently from right-facing builders: For example, at a cliff edge, in one direction you can place the first brick so it protrudes 5 px, but in the other direction only 4. The collision detection of builders with terrain feels a bit too strict as well, but I can't say for sure.

A couple of other things you might already be aware of:
- You can't assign skills to lemmings that are currently performing a task.
- A few visual things: the animation of the floater is a bit funky. Also, permanent skills (floater, climber) invert the color of the lemming (green <-> blue) in the original game.

The Return key currently not mapped to fast-forward is very noticeable to me because I use it excessively in the original game, haha.

It's great how everything is extracted from the original game, no assets you need to include with the code, and any kind of modification to the game assets itself (I guess currently that's limited to levels) are automatically supported :)

Site Discussion / Re: [SUG] Allow video embedding
« on: December 14, 2021, 11:45:28 PM »
I'm wary of supporting video embeds. One thing I really appreciate about LF is how slick and fast the site loads, which is a rarity these days. Most sites these days are bloated, laggy and resource-hungry, and to me it makes the browsing experience sluggish and frustrating. Wherever you click (e.g. to scroll) suddenly something new opens, because everything has to be interactive.
Let's keep it simple. It is really such a bad trade-off to occasionally click a link rather than playing an embedded video in exchange of having a site that renders and loads smoothly (especially if you changed your settings to displaying 50 posts per page)?

The session is starting in 4 hours! I will probably join the server ~30 minutes earlier already, if anyone wants to get started already.

Generally, the game is a lot more fun with voice chat! We'll be using Mumble for that, you can install it here:
I'll send the details of how to connect to our server to everyone who has responded in this thread. If you haven't responded and want to know the details for voice chat, PM me. :)

L2Player / Re: Lemmings 2 Data Formats
« on: December 07, 2021, 02:10:36 PM »
Attached is a save game of mine; the first one (Test) has all levels unlocked with 60 lemmings.
Also attaching the savegame format description, in case it's useful.

btw, one other advantage of putting the source on e.g. github at some point is that you could get a PR for an L2 skill or two while you're still working on those :)

Ok, let's fix it for Saturday, Dec 11th, 22 UTC, which seems to work for everyone! :8:()[:

I was thinking of starting at 18:00 UTC. But we could start maybe around 22 UTC to accommodate for Simon's sleep schedule, if he's willing to wake up a bit earlier (0 UTC is too late for me).

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