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Messages - ccexplore

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1
That feels a little dictatorial to me.  In the end, the user can always just mute NeoLemmix and (if needed) run a media player in the background playing their own music.  Sure, the music no longer syncs directly to the entering and exiting of the level, but if the level's music is bothersome enough, mute + media player would then be the one and only choice left as far as user is concerned, for better or worse.  I'm also pretty sure some people play other video games like that too (I don't, but I've heard of this being done.)

The size of the music is not something to be dismissed either, looking at the examples cited by Proxima.  I don't think it's that unreasonable that a user would rather being able to start playing the levels sooner than waiting for music that they might mute out anyway.  At the very least, it also isn't crazy to imagine a user willing to start playing the levels before the music finishes downloading, even if they don't hate the music per se, and is happy to let it continue downloading in the background while playing the level, and to start being played once the download finishes (and probably after exiting and reloading the level).

That said, if it's not too hard for a user to mod the music, maybe that's enough and we don't necessarily need additional feature implementation to make that easier or more exposed.  It's not like most other games have option to selectively not download/install their music either (though that analogy breaks down because it is far more common for graphics [and more commonly, videos like for cutscenes] to take up more storage than music in many games, plus many games don't have such a rich selection of user-created content that potentially come with many more additional music).

2
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: PJW's Twenty Lemmings Levels!
« on: February 18, 2020, 10:52:26 pm »
I think it's no exaggeration to say that if a level started off in its first version without any backroutes, it is almost certainly because the level author has barely any specific solution in mind so that any solution is accepted as okay by the level author.  It is rather rare to have a first-version of level be backroute-free, or at least not have some solution that the level author never considered (even if they might accept it either because it is harder in some ways than the intended solution, or it has enough elements in common with intended solution that the author is happy to accept).

You should consider backroute-fixing to simply be an integral and unavoidable part of level creation, and shouldn't shy away from creating levels just because backroutes exist.  Just look at the level contest threads and see how many times almost all the levels get updated for backroute fixing!  Have faith that even the most backroute-ridden levels can usually be salvaged once enough backroute fixes are in place, and sometimes in the process you may end up with a better level than even you originally planned.

3
A little late to the commenting party, but just want to point out that with the way lemmings are depicted to come out of the entrance trapdoor, a common interpretation is that they have already started falling from somewhere "outside" in whatever world exists beyond the opening of the entrance.  So I think it's at least reasonable for one to argue that we don't actually know how many pixels of falling may have already occurred on the first frame the lemming is drawn into the level.  Then given the concern of breaking some existing levels, maybe it's best to leave current behavior alone like many suggested.

If there is concern about splat ruler, I think right now you already have a bigger issue in that even in clear physics mode, there is no highlighting of the exact pixel where lemming first appears, so there is no clear point to measure against with a splat ruler anyway.  Ideally we shouldn't have to have yet another splat ruler for the entrance case, but I guess since we already have one for climbers hitting the ceiling and falling, maybe it's that big a deal ultimately to have more rulers.

4
Tech & Research / Re: Rendering speed in Lemmings-like games
« on: February 18, 2020, 10:22:07 pm »
One big difference to consider is that on PC DOS, the game runs at a resolution of 320x200 and furthermore only uses the 16-color mode.  The 16-color mode alone translates to a difference of 4 bits per pixel vs nowaday's 24 bits.

Anyway, framestepping is not even a feature in original DOS Lemmings.  It has its special challenges apart from normal gameplay rendering, because it's not practical to keep an in-memory snapshot of all the game states since start of level, so the implementation inevitably ends up loading the closest snapshot and then fast-forward from it to the desired point (frame) in time after that snapshot.  There is a tricky balance between how many snapshots to keep vs how quickly the game can seek to the given frame.  It should be clarified that there is generally no performance issue in the case of merely stepping forward one single frame (like the game already does during normal play), it's the other cases of framestepping that are tricky.

As for BitBlt, it is a Windows API that has been around for a long time and fairly commonly utilized, so it's very likely that some hardware optimizations are available for it at least for certain cases.  On the other hand, it was not originally designed for gaming purposes (at least not specifically so), and while I'm no expert in the history of graphics support in Windows, it is telling to me that DirectX was developed specifically to support gaming on Windows, which to me strongly implies that the design of APIs like BitBlt were probably not entirely up to the performance standards required by gaming even at that time (though it's also true that DirectX was also to help paved the way for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, which they correctly foresaw to become critical in gaming).

5
Challenges / Re: [NeoLemmix] Skills you can't live without
« on: February 13, 2020, 07:19:53 pm »
Ah I see.  Would it have helped if NeoLemmix had autosaved the replay without requiring exit play (ie. saving at the moment the save requirement has been satisfied)?  Or did you rewind/restart the replay before that point anyway, so that there was never an opportunity for NeoLemmix to possibly know there's something worth autosaving?

6
Challenges / Re: [NeoLemmix] Skills you can't live without
« on: February 13, 2020, 09:02:21 am »
Separately, I have a 1-builder solution that will work on all five levels, but I didn't save a replay of it.

Doesn't NeoLemmix now automatically saves any solving replays under an "Auto" subfolder or similar?  At least some of the more recent versions do.

7
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: PJW's Twenty Lemmings Levels!
« on: February 10, 2020, 06:37:32 pm »
topic moved as requested

8
Tech & Research / Re: graphics of lemmings 3
« on: February 09, 2020, 05:31:42 am »
Welcome back!  Curious to see how your random level generator thing goes (as you mentioned in another topic).  Do you know that, for better or worse, there are now commercially published Lemmings games whose levels are actually procedurally generated?

Back on topic here, can you clarify whether you mean "All New World of Lemmings" (aka Lemmings Chronicles), or 3D Lemmings?  The former only has Classic, Shadow and Egyptian tribes, there's no "space lemmings" or really anything space-themed.  I haven't played 3D Lemmings myself, but I vaguely recall mentions of space stuff by others.

Or do you mean Lemmings 2: The Tribes, which does have a space tribe as one of the 12 tribes?

I believe all 3 games mentioned above now all have a functioning level editor written, which implies someone worked out how to extract the graphics, but I'm not sure how documented the details are, whether any tools actually exist to do the extraction (versus the level editor doing it internally for its own purpose), or whether the people who wrote the editors (or perhaps just the source code) are still around.  3D Lemmings at least is a recent enough development by namida that if you want its graphics, he can definitely help.  I also seem to recall hearing people having made NeoLemmix styles out of (some of?) the graphics for all 3 games mentioned above.  Maybe you can just directly borrow the graphics from those styles?

9
We kicked off the new decade 2020 with the discovery that Mayhem 19 actually has a lose 2 solution, see replay here.

So we need to revise the result reported here for that level, which previously assumed a lose-3 solution.  For now it's just the skill counts as seen from the replay (1 climber, 2 bombers, 18 builders).  I suspect we could end up using 1 or possibly 2 less builders; other skills cannot be further reduced.  Will update results here once improvements can be confirmed.

10
Challenges / Re: Minimum skills with maximum % Challenge
« on: February 08, 2020, 07:03:08 am »
We finally discovered that Mayhem 19 can actually lose only 2 rather than 3.  This invalidates the previous results here for lose-3.  For now I've put in the result of 21 from the replay I've made so far for the lose-2 solution.  Though I suspect it might be possible to use 1 or maybe even 2 less builders, will try later and see.

11
Good news! I've confirmed lose 2 is indeed possible on DOS for Mayhem 19, and have posted a Lemmix replay here.  Don't foresee any problems making it work on SNES Lemmings as well.

I actually don't know if it's optimized yet for skills count, I suspect maybe you can get away with 1 or possibly 2 less builders, might go back to optimize for that later today.  In the meantime, feel free to try yourself on SNES and let me know how things go; good luck!  It should also please you that there is no need for sliding glitch, though it still does contain a good number of pixel-precision moves unfortunately.

12
Challenges / Re: Maximum Lemmings Saved Records
« on: February 08, 2020, 06:40:30 am »
Nice way to kick off a new decade (2020) with a new record--on original DOS Lemmings no less! :lem-shocked: Didn't think there'd be any more of those to beat.

Thanks to MASTER-88 who alerted me of an alleged new record of lose 2 on Mayhem 19 ("Time to Get Up!") someone reported for Genesis Lemming.  Initial skepticism (as there was no proof provided other than a poorly cropped post-level screenshot) gave way to further thoughts, and within the hour I realized how we sadly have all managed to have overlooked a way to use rather well-understood stuck climber mechanics to get a lemming far enough inside the wall, to allow the first obstacle be breached by only one bomber.

I've now confirmed on Lemmix that lose 2 is possible, replay attached.  It's possible the replay can be further improved skill-wise to use 1 or 2 less builders, will test that later today.  This should work on a number of other ports that follow the same mechanics for stuck climbers.

A few other ports listed here (eg. Mac Lemmings, Genesis Lemmings) have the exact same level, and it's likely that lose 2 are also possible on them, but I'll leave it to others to confirm.  For now I've added a "(48/50 pending confirmation)" kind of notice for the results reported here for those ports.

13
Thinking about it a little more as I drove home, I now actually think maybe there is a way to do lose 2 after all on Mayhem 19, given what we knew about stuck climbers.  But need to do more testing to be sure, and whether there are enough builders available on this level to make it work is also at issue.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

If my idea works out it should work on SNES and DOS as well, but again need to do some testing first, maybe later tonight.  Maybe you can beat me to it too.

14
I´ll ask what is this Mayhem 19 2 lost solutions (this is used genesis version). Wrampi are make only picture proof his completion
https://www.video-games-records.com/lemmings-mayhem-19-time-to-get-yup-record-r113554.html

Just a screenshot of the postlevel screen is pretty useless as proof IMHO, they are so easily faked.  More suspicious still is the strange way they cropped the proof screenshot.  Compare with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QpJRgXVpfI&feature=youtu.be&t=15010 which is I believe what the screen is supposed look like without any cropping.  (The password difference is just a US vs European difference.)

It's also possible the result was legitimate but actually from a different port (ie. not Genesis) where the level itself is different enough to allow for the result.  As you know, Lemmings have been ported to so many systems.

Unless Genesis has some major terrain or skill differences, then even if we assume (which I'm not sure is even possible; I'm almost 100% sure no) lemmings on that version can get up all the way offscreen and walk on the ceiling, there is still no place in the ceiling thin enough to bomb through using only 2 bombers.

15
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: [NeoLemmix] ArtLems
« on: February 06, 2020, 12:08:18 am »
Thanks for bringing this pack to attention.  I don't have much free time nowadays to play levels extensively, but didn't realize this one has music selection taken from the western classical music tradition.  Now I'm a little curious to hear some of the music used.

One unfortunate terminological issue:  in music, neoclassicism actually refers to a 20th-century movement, a kind of modernist take on the classical approach to music.  The older period that it references and that your rank would correspond to (ie. the one featuring such composers as Mozart and Haydn) is simply called "classical" when it comes to music.  Now I do realize you are naming the ranks based on western art periods rather than music, so technically there's nothing wrong.  Of course, you then also have a level title reference to Fur Elise by Beethoven, whose music were generally considered more of a transition from classical to romantic.

But whatever, levels are levels and they look fun. ;P

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