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Messages - Strato Incendus

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1
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: [NeoLemmix] Lemmings United
« on: March 20, 2019, 03:32:00 pm »
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The Tomato Watcher has put up a few videos covering nearly half of the 1st rank currently and there was also 1 stream by Colorful Arty covering ~ 3/4 of the 1st rank.

Ah, good to know, thanks! ;)

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Also it's just a basic concept of software design: After release you will always have more testing and maintenance to do, even if you have testers run through it before.

Of course, but there are those games which only require little add-ons and bonus perks post-release, and those which have an initial release full of bugs. With NeoLemmix itself being quite stable, backroutes are kind of the "bugs" of our individual packs ^^.

Since my own creations tend to contain quite a high share of them, I thought that experience might help other content creators avoid more backroutes from the getgo. People who can create more challenging puzzles to begin with are probably also better at immediately recognising how someone else could break them.

But as it turns out, it seems like also for Lemmings United, it's the more complicated, higher-rank levels that contain more backroutes, simply because they offer more degrees of freedom. The more contained puzzles from the first rank are easier to assess; I remember almost no information about a 1st-rank level having had to be modified in any of the PMs I got from you during the test phase. ;)

2
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: [NeoLemmix] Lemmings United
« on: March 20, 2019, 02:51:19 pm »
Well, this is the first time I witnessed how long "professional" pre-release testing can actually take... and yet, I still see a bunch of new updates for backroute fixes coming up. And that even with such an experienced level designer like you.

That's a little demotivating as far as creation of my own packs is concerned :( ... as well as for any other more "casual" level creator, I guess.

Is somebody already LPing this pack on YouTube? And on a general level: Are there any LPs of packs which showcase them in a predominantly backroute-fixed state? :D

Because let's face it: Once somebody has completed a pack, they rarely go back and check whether their replays are still working in the most current version. ;)

The upside for me is: This pack has proven itself way too difficult for me at the moment anyway. So most likely, when I finally get back to it after hopefully having beaten some other, easier packs, it is going to be in a state where most of the backroutes have already been discovered and removed! :thumbsup:

3
General Discussion / Re: General Comings and Goings
« on: March 20, 2019, 01:53:21 pm »
I'm glad you asked! :thumbsup:

I mentioned it before in the "Lemmings Forums on YouTube" thread - my channel has nothing to do with Lemmings at all, though. ;)

Metalvision Song Contest

But you may notice the music production sounding similar to the tracks I recorded for Lemmings World Tour... :D

My "Strato Incendus" channel may feature some Lemmings-related videos eventually - for example if I decide to do a creator's commentary, as many others here have done, most likely starting with Lemmings World Tour. Especially the Groupie rank is something I could elaborate on a little further.

Or I could showcase "Lemmicks" in its entirety - and while Nessy announced a while ago he was planning to attempt it, I think he didn't get to it yet. ;)

And of course, I could upload all my rock versions of the Lemmings music to that channel as well - since my Metalvision viewers probably wouldn't know what those refer to, even though they might still like them genre-wise.

I would of course also like to LP other people's packs, but given how early I got stuck on each of them, that would be a pretty short-lived experience. I've played a lot of NeoLemmix, but "horizontally" across packs, not "vertically" within one pack. :) And those which I could beat - namely SubLems and Lemmings Migration - well, those are done already, so I can't play them blind again.

I guess I'll have to wait for something of which I can be pretty certain that it's in a difficulty domain similar to SubLems or Lemmings Migration. :D

4
General Discussion / Re: General Comings and Goings
« on: March 20, 2019, 11:10:41 am »
So, you may have noticed that I'm not very active on the forums lately. That's because pretty much all of my free time is currently going into my YouTube channel, now that the subscriber count is somewhat increasing, slowly but steadily :) .

Though I did have a couple of new level ideas for Lemmings Open Air that came to me yesterday. But the next test release is not going to come until I have created another batch of 30 levels for a second rank.

I am still working on fixing all the backroutes Arty found in his Let's Play of Lemmings World Tour. The Professional rank is more or less (re-)done, but I still have to tackle the Diva backroutes before I upload a new version.

5
NeoLemmix Graphic Sets / Re: Lemmings Plus Graphic set redesign thread
« on: March 04, 2019, 07:44:02 pm »
I can only encourage you to start with Sky! :thumbsup: There's no comparable style in NeoLemmix so far, and this one definitely still looks quite "rough".

6
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Then I guess try extending it to a 5-chord song? ;P

Trust me, there is a reason why four chord songs are the most successful :P . I myself hate using that formula and try to do something else whenever possible, but being deprived of such mainstream options altogether because too many other people used them already would be overkill. Copyright aside, I don't think a bot should be the arbiter of musical taste ^^.

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for example would user be able to easily find out which portions of their upload were detected as potential violations?

For the content ID-System, this is the case. In cases of cover songs, it usually refers to the entire video, but even here the filter only recognises parts. This technology has to be in place because the more common context is people using fractions of existing studio records in their videos.

Still, as far as I know, if a video of yours does receive a copyright claim, even if it's just refering to a couple of seconds, at least the audio for the entire video will be muted, so not just the part that's the copyright violation (until you go ahead and remove the audio manually). Likewise, if the rights owner wants to block the video, the entire video will be blocked until the part in question is removed. So to my knowledge, YouTube has the technology to detect partial copyrighted material in videos, but not the option to mute only parts of the video automatically (and even less so for pictures, obviously). Of course not, because that requires manual editing.

And indeed, I can already see people going back and forth between trying to upload a self-written piece of music and back to the recording software, trying to modify tiny bits until the upload filter doesn't confuse them with already published material anymore. :D

But that is not how recording music is supposed to work - it's a linear process: You record, you mix, you master (and especially the latter part is often done by an external person who gets paid for it). When one step is completed, you proceed to the next one. Nothing sucks more than having already paid for a mastered song, only to have it blocked by the filter, and then go back to the mixing or potentially even the recording stage - because of course, you'll have to pay the mastering engineer again, or redo the mastering yourself. And you have no guarantee that the next time the song will get past the filter, so you might not even know what you have to change about your piece in the first place.

The intuitive answer may be "Just make sure your song doesn't sound like any particular song you know, then you can't plagiarise".
The problem is: The database behind the filters is going to know a lot more songs than you do ;) .

To make this relatable to non-musicians: It's as if you'd have to replay, re-record and re-edit an entire Lemmings Let's Play video whenever just a couple of seconds of music in your video trigger the filter :D .

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Again, it's fair to wonder and worry about such things, but also a bit early as nothing has been implemented or probably even spec'ed out yet.

To be clear, I'm not trying to stir up a panic here - I myself drift back and forth between "wait and see" and "resist while you still can". Once the law is implemented, it will be much harder to actively abolish it again than if it doesn't get passed in the first place. One side is going to call the other paranoid for worrying about this too much, and the other side is going to call the first one naive for putting their faith in bureaucrats and bots who aren't creatives themselves.

7
I wasn't meaning to kick off a general political debate, I just wanted to clarify to what extent either this site (as it seems: barely) and/or Lemmings LPs on YouTube (as it seems: more so) are going to be affected ;) . My opening post was a question based on what I knew, nothing that claims to be a comprehensive summary of accurate information only.

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2) Article 13: On this site every post gets read by some admin or moderator within a few hours. This is better by far than anything article 13 demands, which in particular does not force websites to check every upload for copyright infringements. The "expensive automatic upload filtering software" is only needed for the huge platforms, which due to their huge data volume cannot apply any other means.

I simply hadn't considered that, because usually this is too much effort for any site, so most major platforms people frequent don't even have this option and hence will be bound to introduce the filters if they are situated in the EU. So even if that were the case for this site, that's the upside of being a small community, not having to give away sovereignty to bots! :thumbsup:

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I am not really surprised that mails are getting ignored, if they are based on misleading information, similar to the one you share here (although I believe you are doing that not on purpose).

I won't deny there are probably misinformed people among those who are writing; however, the politicians don't ignore the mails themselves, they do respond, but instead of going into detail about to what extent those asking might be misinformed, they just call everything "fake news" and dismiss it without further explanation. (Source: Kanzlei WBS-channel on YouTube)

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For such use-cases as reviews you can still use trailer material or other officially published and openly available material. And sorry, but I really don't see why anyone should be allowed to cover copyrighted songs and openly publish their cover!

That's why few Germans are doing it, but we seem to be pretty alone with this mindset :) .

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I could easily switch to just uploading my own songs, but if they happen to be similar - even if only a short part of it - to a song I don't even know myself, but the bot does, then it can be blocked even though it's completely self-written. There are only 12 notes on the keyboard, after all, and everyone knows how many "4 chord songs" exist out there.

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Do you have a better suggestion than forcing Youtube and other companies to care a little more?

As far as I know, YouTube already made deals with most music collecting societies (Verwertungsgesellschaften) like GEMA etc.?

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Lemmings is still copyrighted. However being a legitimate owner of Lemmings (which I believe we all are) gives the right to play the game and publish recordings of your gameplay, so Youtube won't need a license.

Okay, good to know - how does YouTube check if you own the original game, though? ;) And it's not like NeoLemmix itself tests whether there is a valid installation of Windows Lemmings on your computer when you try to install or start it.

And as said before, graphic sets appearing in levels, being images, can also be snatched by the filters. Or is there an explicit permission stored somewhere here on this site for every tile from every graphic set released so far? ;)

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less copyright infringements and more revenue for actual content creators

The former is true, the latter only for article 11, if I understand this correctly ;) .

Since the filters enforced on major websites through article 13 prevent uploads altogether, revenue created by things like YouTube's content ID system is lost.

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All of you are welcome to continue debating the merits and demerits here, but you should probably consider other channels than here when it comes to advocacy (regardless of sides) if you actually want to try influencing the final outcome (good luck?).

Influencing the outcome is not what I'm trying to do with this thread, don't worry! ;) In fact, I only opened it because I consider the outcome inevitable by now, despite all the massive protest.

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Hopefully those platforms would also provide some guidelines to help you work through the cases where your video/stream is getting blocked by their filters.

With the content ID claims there's the possibility to refute them in case e.g. a self-written piece of music got incorrectly identified as someone else's work. But so far I only got content ID claims for videos as soon as they were uploaded completely (for three of them, all of them reading "the owner allows the usage, but ads may appear on your video", as I explained above). If the upload itself is prevented already, I'm not sure to what extent people responsible at YouTube are even going to be able to see these videos and check whether the claim is accurate or not.

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I appreciate your forceful response to this, namida! :thumbsup:

That's what I meant with "you won't be affected immediately".

I'm not sure though if they could block access for users living in the EU to sites not fulfilling their requirements?
Along similar lines of geo-blocking on YouTube where you can't watch certain videos depending on where you live.

Of course they can't force you to shut down the site, but they might deny us access to it. Alternatively, they might make you liable if a user from the EU uploads something they consider a copyright infringement (that is how they put pressure on even Google and YouTube). Meaning if you offer the services of this site to people living in the EU and they violate anyone's copyright (e.g. by creating a Sonic tileset, uploading music or similar), the EU law would make you responsible for it, not the user. Of course you can ban the user, but at that point the "damage" is already done.

If what you are saying were entirely true, we wouldn't have to worry about YouTube either, or Google, or any major internet platform for that matter, because they are all US-based as well. But it does indeed look like Google and YouTube are among the primary targets of this legislation.

Spain already introduced something similar to the "link tax" of article 11, resulting in Google News (not Google as a whole, just the news service) pulling out of the country. Google has already declared they'd be willing to do the same for the entire EU.

Currently, I just hope the EU caves in to the demands of the titans Google and YouTube, just like they cave in to the industry on other matters. :evil: Feels weird to be on the side of the big international corporations for once, rather than on the side of an institution that claims to be "democratic".

9
Anyone active on YouTube probably knows what I'm talking about: Since last year, the EU has been adamant to get a copyright reform passed. Despite a massive public outcry, demonstrations, politicians getting drowned in mails by citizens begging them to vote against the reform, and the largest online petition in European history with almost 5 million participants, all the objections are being ignored thus far. The load of mails is simply dismissed as supposedly generated by bots controlled by Google, who are major opponents of the reform.

So what is this copyright reform about, for those who might not know yet?

Specifically, article 11 entails a tax on hyperlinks, and article 13 makes platform owners liable for any copyright infringement committed by their users (instead of the users themselves). Additionally, the platform owners must prove they're doing anything in their power to prevent copyrighted material from being uploaded in the first place. Experts agree this is only possible via expensive automatic upload filtering software.

Smaller sites, like this one, are probably just going to run into the issue of not being able to afford this software, thereby being forced to shut down (for international sites this means "pull out of the EU"), otherwise they're risking a great deal of legal trouble.

On larger platforms, like YouTube, the filters are going to be established, however, people fear they won't be able to distinguish a genuine copyright infringement (like somebody uploading a whole movie) from fair-use applications like using snippets for reviews or creating cover versions of songs. (Note that the concept of fair-use doesn't exist in the EU, despite that being the actual copyright reform we would need!)

Moreover, in contrast to the current principle on YouTube where something is only removed if the rights owner flags it, these bots are going to work the other way around:
They're going to block everything from being uploaded in the first place unless there is explicit permission by the rights holder. Meaning, platforms have to spend additional money to acquire licenses from all possible stuff any person might possibly try to upload (images, videos, music, even text).

That's the situation in a nutshell to the best of my knowledge.

Of course I'm going to be personally affected due to my YouTube channel about metal cover versions, but I'm also wondering how this is going to affect Lemmings.

Is the game really completely public domain now, with no remaining copyright by Psygnosis / DMA? Or is Team 17 the current rights holder, meaning YouTube would have to get a license from them in order for Lemmings content to be uploaded?

Furthermore, the issue of what type of music we can put into our levels is going to reach wholly new... well... levels. Because it's not only about Let's Plays anymore, but also about what music people can upload just here on the forum.


A major part of the community is located inside the EU (predominantly Germany and Finland). I doubt the UK is still going to put these regulations into place before Brexit, especially considering that the member states have 2 years time to transform these EU rules into national law. But as far as I know, the final vote on the bill by the EU parliament is going to take place on 23rd March, i.e. before Brexit (29th March).

And given that the main initiator of this reform, Axel Voss, is from Germany (CDU, Merkel's party), I'm pretty sure at least my country is going to transform EU- into national law pretty quickly in this case.

For the American users and namida in New Zealand, obviously you're not going to be immediately affected; however, in case Lemmings Let's Plays should come into conflict with those upload filters for whatever reason - bet it the game itself, custom graphic sets like Sonic / Freedom Planet, or the music in the background - then I don't know whether viewers in the EU will be able to watch them. We may just see a return of the geo-blocking notice "This video cannot be viewed in your country".

Given the already small size of our community and the low view count Let's Plays of custom Lemmings packs are getting anyway, this would therefore also negatively impact you guys.

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General Discussion / Re: music
« on: February 24, 2019, 01:10:39 pm »
By "that other video" you mean "Numa Numa" with the guy flailing his arms around to this song? ;)

That completely passed me by originally. I only found out about that due to it appearing in a "meme song", pieced together out of several internet-famous songs. Of course, Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" and "Trololo" were also among them :) .

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Help & Guides / Re: Gimmicks in NeoLemmix?
« on: February 24, 2019, 01:02:44 pm »
Thanks for the shoutout, IchoTolot! ;) Indeed, I think I mentioned all the important differences in the "Lemmicks" thread, including how to change things like the selected skill jumping back to what skill was selected at a given frame when rewinding (this can be disabled in the settings). Lemmicks also contains multiple levels to get you accustomed to solid level sides.

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Help & Guides / Re: Gimmicks in NeoLemmix?
« on: February 20, 2019, 01:28:59 pm »
No, you need an old version, NeoLemmix 1.43. You can use the links in my signature to my pack "Lemmicks", or even better to the thread "Ghost Lemmings", since the latter also includes a download of NeoLemmix editor 1.43 with all the graphic sets (the Lemmings 2: The Tribes graphic sets are a little hard to get for that old version otherwise).

The NeoLemmix developers discourage level creation for older versions, but eh, this is exactly what I repeatedly keep telling people is going to happen: New players find out about gimmicks and wanna toy around with them. :P

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NeoLemmix Levels / Re: [NeoLemmix] Lemmings United
« on: February 20, 2019, 12:00:45 pm »
Yeah, sorry I couldn't really help with the testing anymore beyond the first rank ;) . I did solve some of the remaining levels in the meantime, but nothing really worth mentioning starting from rank 2. And I don't think the pack has gotten any easier since then.

Congratulations for the official release, IchoTolot! ;) I guess though that I should probably try completing Lemmings Reunion first before attempting to make further progress on United - after all, I give the same advice to players of my own packs (Open Air is going to be more difficult on average than World Tour).

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Level Design / Re: Tilesets that go together well
« on: February 06, 2019, 05:09:16 pm »
Thanks, fixed it! :)

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Level Design / Re: Level types neolemmix
« on: February 02, 2019, 09:31:02 am »
Oh, am I that famous for tileset mixing? ^^ I didn't know!

But it is true that I opened a thread about graphic sets that go together well.

Perhaps you can find some inspiration there! ;)

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