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Topics - IchoTolot

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1
With the new update the pop up boxes where you choose files for example are not resizable anymore. With the very small standard size it is quite a hassle to select files in bigger folders now.

Also the style of the boxes seems to have changed from a small modern Windows Explorer to an old Win98 like selection window if that helps in any way to identify the problem. I even guess the change here is the main problem as there might be an option in the new Delphi to get an Explorer like window again.  Example on how they looked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKHTTtGW4n4

It would be nice if they are resizable again. :)

2
Alright time to report some problems I found: ;)

1.)
I was greeted upon checking United with the following error:
TBaseAnimationSet: Error loading lemming animation metadata for REACHER. Falling back to default lemming sprites.

I think I know why: It was a highland level and I never used any of the custom sprites for highland,shadow,.... now they seem to be seeked out as default and I don't have the animations. Proposed solutions: Either don't treat them as default or include the nessesary animations in the main download.

2.)
And here is the big thing: Your sins will come to haunt you and the sleepers will arise in your replay database!

The devil lies here:

Quote
> Failed skill assignments from replays are queued instead of discarded

Every time you had to fix/alter a level it could be the case that an assignment in the old replay became impossible and was therefore discarded. So you fixed/altered your replay to the new version of the level, but the sleeper is still there and now the old failed skill assignments of the past come back to haunt you, leaving your replay database in shambles.

I fixed my replays for my packs for for the other packs I solved my replay database is now let's say unreliable.

I would propose: Failed skill assignments from replays are discarded again.

3
In Development / [NeoLemmix] NeoLemmix Introduction Pack
« on: August 08, 2019, 08:36:00 pm »
Link to the current beta version: NeoLemmix Introduction Pack V 0.03


Hey there, I am currently working on the new NeoLemmix Introduction Pack which shall smoothly introduce completely new players into Lemmings and NeoLemmix.

Before making any level, I thought it would be a good idea to put a list of planned ranks (themes) with the content they shall introduce together.

So I quickly made such a list and want to ask around if there might be anything I missed. The rank names are also not final. ;)

Theme 1: Skills

- Digger
- Basher
- Miner
- Fencer
- Builder
- Platformer
- Stacker
- Walker
- Cloner
- Blocker
- Bomber
- Stoner
- Climber
- Floater
- Glider
- Swimmer
- Disarmer
- Shimmier
- Release Rate (Yes I would could this as skill related)
- Nuke (This as well)

Theme 2: Objects/Special terrain/Lemming variants --> "Interactables" maybe? (need a good name here)

- Steel
- Multiple-Hatches + Exits
- Pre-assigned Lemmings + Hatches
- Limited-count exits and entrances
- OWW (left/right)
- OWW down
- OWW up
- One-way fields
- Traps (+ single use Traps)
- Pick-up skills
- Locked Exits and Buttons
- Teleporters
- Updrafts
- Splat-pads
- Decorative objects
- Splitters
- Zombies

Theme 3: Functions

- Time Limits (I am unsure about putting this here)
- Vertical Scrolling
- Fast-Forward
- Directional-Select
- Priority invert
- Framestepping
- Clear-Physics-Mode
- Highlight Lemming
- Save-States

Theme 4: Easy skill combinations and beginner puzzles

- Athletes introduction
- Bomberless Blocker release
- Blocker substitudes (Digger holding pit, Stackers, Stoners, Stalling)
- Basic mechanics: Stepping up 6 pixels but not 7; skill-users turning on blockers; bashers ascending on a steel edge; Compression Method; interrupted basher/miner

Of course things like Fast Forward and Clear-Physics-Mode will be introduced through a little text in combination with an under normal circumstances badly designed level where the respected function will be a blessing (Example hidden traps for Clear-Physics-Mode). ;)

Alright, anything I missed or something shall be resorted? ??? Also I plan plan to create this rank by rank with releasing a public test version after a new rank is finished to get proper fedback from as many people as possible as this is something the whole forum is benefitting from.

4
After finally leaving this exam block behind me and having more time now, I think this might be a good time to share a report I handed in earlier this month. :)

As I always preach about proper maintenance here, I chose the topic "Software evolution and maintenance" in a course. While I learned more about the subject, I discovered some parallels to the development steps of NeoLemmix and Lix. As a result, I used them as examples for my 30 min presentation I had to do and also in the following report I attached to this post.

In the report I go over some basic definitions and laws first. Then the NL/Lix examples will relate once to the impact of feedback on the software life cycle and how positive and negative feeback play a role here and furthermore on how competition and collaboration effect the software evolution process.
In the end, I will show how graphs on certain aspects of a program can help you to form a strategy and show an example.

Maybe some of the information in there can be useful regarding maintenance problems. ;)

Anyway enjoy reading. :)

5
Contests / Level Design Contest #18
« on: July 16, 2019, 07:09:16 pm »
Welcome to another contest of the Lemmingsforums! This time the three rules have been picked by Crane for winning contest #17.

A few words to new participants and forum members: If you haven't entered before, I strongly encourage you to try - even if you don't win, it's fun to participate; and we have had cases where first-time entrants have won before!; there are three choices of rules given, you may enter one level each for up to two of the rules.
You may either use new format NeoLemmix, or Lix.
If you have two entries, they may (but do not have to) be for the same engine. Please make sure you tested your level for basic solvability before submitting and be sure to also submit any custom tileset you are using, so others have no problem playing your level. ;)

Pre contest testing: You can choose 1 person who does a bit of pre-testing for you, so that the biggest backroutes and screw-ups of your levels can be detected before the playing phase. I cannot control this so it's only a guideline, but still I would prefer not everyone knows every level before the playing phase starts. ;)

Here are the rules on how the submission deadlines work:
- Initial submission phase deadline will extend such that it's 72 hours from the time of the last submission, up to the 5th submission (inclusive). After this it no longer changes no matter what.
- Update phase deadline will not extend over the initial dead line!
- Even if you missed the cutoff date for the initial submission phase, late entries are accepted until the update phase ends. There is no penalty for a late entry, beyond that people are less likely to spend as much time on the level before voting begins.

And here is the new ruleset:

Rule 1: Back to Basics

    - Create a level with at most one trapdoor and one exit with no other interactive objects - this includes steel and one-way arrows
    - No preplaced Lemmings
    - Lemmings cannot enter the level with permanent skills already applied to them
    - Water can be used to decorate the very bottom of the level (the bottom of the object must be at least touching the lowest visible part of the level), but no Swimmers are allowed (so no interactions with objects)
    - You can't have pick-up skills because they count as interactive objects.


Rule 2 - Subset

    - Take a pre-existing level from the original Lemmings, Oh No! More Lemmings, Genesis Lemmings, SNES Lemmings or any of the official Holiday Lemmings games, or faithfully recreate one in a different tileset (it must play exactly the same though; I'll let IchoTolot decides if it counts or not - and I will ;))
    - Timer must be equal to or less than the time limit of the base level
    - Skills and skill counts must be equal to or less than what's given to you in the base level (you are allowed to remove a skill completely)
    - Total number of Lemmings must be the same as the base level
    - Lemmings to be saved must be equal to or higher than the base level
    - Release rate must be equal to or higher than the base level, and cannot be locked (unless it's 99)
    - As a guide, your solution should work unmodified in the base level
    - You can't have pick-up skills because it's adding to the base level.
    - Some levels have 100 Lemmings, but on the PC version is reduced to 80.  If this is the case, especially if you don't know if a level originally had 100 Lemmings or actually had 80, then either Lemming count is valid.  Just make sure you don't mix up the number of Lemmings you have to save between versions (e.g. "If at first you don't succeed..." originally had 100 Lemmings with a save requirement of 99 - in the PC version, this is reduced to 80 and 79 respectively, so you can't have 100 Lemmings with a save requirement of 79... or even 98, to equate the 98% that was displayed).


Rule 3 - Specialists

    - You may have at most two different skills. How many you have of each doesn't matter (e.g. 20 Builders and 20 Platformers, or just 10 Diggers).
    - Lemmings can enter the level with permanent skills already applied to them.
    - You can have pick-up skills, but they must be one of the two skills that you start the level with (i.e. you can't add a third type of skill, since this will appear as a third skill in the toolbar).

Submission phase ends September 7th 2019 at 00:00 UTC. Normally I would set this to the end of August, but I will be at my hometown during that time period, so a few extra days for everyone to think about a level. :) Deadline for the playing / update phase will be announced when it begins.

Ruleset in detail again: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2246.0

Send me a personal message with your level/s and if needed tileset/s to participate. It would also be nice to also tell me the rule which each level satisfies.

Please use the following naming format:  User1_Levelname_R3V1.lvl ---> Level "Levelname" by User1   for Rule 3   Version 1 of the level   

Prize selection:
- US $5.00
- One month's advertising on the forums news ticker
- Pick next contest's rules

Entries so far: 5

- Crane (2)
- IchoTolot (2)
- Colorful Arty (1)

6
As I am quite busy this month, I took a step back and observed the current situation. I made thoughts about this and tried to come up with a plan for myself for "what's next?". As a result, I also saw what in my opinion is underrepresented in NL and desperately needs more attention.

So what is it what we lack and need?

It's basically a combination of 2 things that are connected to each other: Beginner packs and proper maintenance of content!

The lack of easier packs in the new format version is known, but how did it come to this? We had an abundance of packs in old Lemmini/Lemmix/NL with relatively easy levels. Due to no maintenance at all or at least a lack of doing maintenance they are either forgotten, inaccesible, or completly outdated now. This results in new players coming in slower and are less likely to stick around.

Simply telling people to update packs won't cut it here. Either nothing will happen, or 1 update will roll out that will after time has passed be outdated again. Also doing it yourself only results in you getting all future work related to this pack.

As a result, what will be my future steps?

First of all, the NL community pack is coming along better now. Levels are slowly trickling in and everything is replay covered. But what to do againat the maintenance and new player issue?

Here I unfortunately must say as hard as it sounds: You can only count on a small number of people to keep packs functional. That's why I think the best strategy is to personally address the peoblem as I can then assure that the content is functional and up-to-date.

As countermeasures I plan on doing 2 things: A new NL-Introduction Pack and something I think about calling Lemmings Isolation.

The new NL-Introduction pack point should be clear: We need a new introduction pack for new players and the next thing for me to do should be to start working on that.

What's Lemmings Isolation? Well, it's simple: (NL Intro Pack ->) Isolation -> Reunion -> United. They together should form a difficulty curve, with Isolation being the easiest pack of the three. Players should have no problem jumping from the introduction pack to Isolation and work their way up. The introduction pack should teach them the basics, Isolation should bring in routine and experience, Reunion should make them veterans and United shall make them masters.


So my planned schedule for executing this plan is:

1.) Start with making the NL Introduction Pack beginning next month.
2.) While the Intro-Pack is in construction, all new harder or not fitting levels will go into United or already be gathered for Isolation.
3.) After the Intro-Pack is completed, begin working on Isolation.

As I said: New harder levels and also new shimmier levels will probably be added to United while working on the other projects.

As a result of all of this, I probably will put the NL-source-code reading on ice for now, as I think these areas are way more critical in the current state. Yes new functions are nice, but the content is lacking and lagging behind. And in a pinch, I still have the code ready to go.

I also plan on updating the manual when the shimmier is released, as this will require quite a few things to be changed in there. At last, over the next days the new contest should pop up. ;)

7
Contests / Lemmings Forums Level Contest #17 - Results
« on: July 08, 2019, 07:55:51 pm »
Ladies and gentleman, we've got our final results! :)

Congratulations to Crane for winning the 17th Lemmings Forums Level Contest with "Are you kidding me ?!" :thumbsup:

Also congratulations to Nessy for reaching the 2nd place with "A Quiet Place" :)

Choice for the prize for the first place is either :

- a month's advertising on the forum's news ticker
- picking the second-next contest's rules as Nepster will determine the rules for the next one
- US $5.00 (PayPal would be the easiest here I think).

8
In each voting round, you're allowed to vote for up to a certain number of levels. Vote for the levels that you want to stay in the contest, not for levels you want eliminated. You may vote for fewer levels than the permitted maximum. You may vote for your own levels.

It's not allowed to discuss the levels publicly on the forums during the voting phase, even if the level is not in the current round, or even between rounds.

You may discuss any level in private messages. You may discuss publicly off-site, e.g., you may post Youtube videos of your playthroughs, or discuss in IRC chat. Eliminated levels may be discussed anywhere, even publicly on the forums.

There'll be voteoffs within each design rule, to get down to one/two/three remaining levels per design rule. After this, all qualifying levels will go into a mixed voteoff.

Generally, the number of levels that qualify for the next round will be the same as each user's permitted vote maximum. I've decided to keep the percentages of "surviving" levels of the rule-voteoffs somewhat similar to give every rule a fair chance. Example: A rule with a 66% survival-rate and one with a 33% survival-rate for the mixed rounds doesn't seem that fair to me.

There's only a prize for the 1st place winner - of course, getting close to that still means you made a great level.

So... let the voting begin! Each round will be open for voting for 3 days, except the final which will be 4 days.

All levels are still avialable in the discussion topic: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4204.0

9
LOTY 2018 has finally ended and the winner is: tan x dx's "12 Steps to Success" (Integral Lemmings Delta 05)

The runner up level was: namida's "Swampflower" (Lemmings Plus VI Delirious 15)

Third place goes to: kieranmillar's "Increasing Productivity" (Not Fun 2 in v05 of Quest From Kieran)

I will attempt to contact tan x dx to send him his price of US $10.00. :)

See you soon in LOTY 2019. ;)

10
Contests / Level Design Contest #17 - Playing Phase (Update Topic)
« on: May 08, 2019, 06:07:48 pm »
Note: This topic is ONLY for posting updates to your levels, or making late submissions. All other posts will be deleted. If you want to discuss the levels, post replays, etc, please do so in the Discussion Topic.

Please follow these rules for updates:

1. When posting a new updated version of a level, remove any old updated versions of that level --> Have all your recent updates stored in 1 post! I will delete such old posts eventually if the author doesn't; so don't store any important information in them.
2. Make a new post for a new update; do not edit your most recent post. You may, however, post updates to multiple entries (if you have more than one) in the same post.
3. Use the same filename as found in the ZIP of the entered levels, with "V2" "V3" etc added at the end. No matter how minor an update is, give it a new number.
4. Do not post in this topic, unless it's to post an update to your levels. Use the discussion topic instead for anything else.

Please use the same naming format as in the zip file:  User1_Levelname_R3V5.lvl ---> Level "Levelname" by User1   for Rule 3   Version 5 of the level   

For late submissions also, please use the same kind of filename as is used in the main levels download - ie: your username, and "R1" "R2" or "R3" to mark which rule the level is for. Remember that the maximum-of-two-levels-per-user rule still applies, even for late submissions. Please be sure to check the original contest announcement topic for the rules; as the notes in the discussion topic are simply meant as reminders, not full explanations of the rules.

Please use the right naming format when posting updates! That would be less confusions and less work for everyone. ;)

11
NeoLemmix Level Pack: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pwyd4iwls7teae3/Contest_17.zip?dl=1

- Put the folder of the level pack in the "levels" folder of your NeoLemmix Player.

Music: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ru1cxaypi470570/Contest_17_Music.zip?dl=1

- The music must be put inside the "music" folder of the NeoLemmix player. If the folder doesn't exists, create it.

Non Standard tilesets, nessesary tileset updates and additional sounds: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4qxoqmyv72hxnad/Contest_17_Tilesets_and_Sounds.zip?dl=1

- Extract the archive in NeoLemmix's main folder. I should have arranged the folders inside in such a way that they automatically add/replace the right things.

Rule 1 Levels

Colorful Arty's "Legend of Fantasy Castle!" (V2)
Crane's "Blood Born" (V13)
IchoTolot's "Shadows Of Ourselves" (V1)
Nessy's "A Quiet Place" (V5)
nin10doaddict's "Dive On In" (V1)
Proxima's "Here Be Dragons" (V1)
SQron188's "Runnin' Through Castles" (V9)


Rule 2 Levels

Crane's "Are you kidding me ?!" (V3)
SQron188's "Less Than Ten Pints" (V5)

Rule 3 Levels

Colorful Arty's "Storming the City at Night" (V4)
IchoTolot's "Catacomb Of Sorrow" (V1)
nin10doaddict's "<3" (V1)
The Tomato Watcher's "Wish Away The Wells" (V1)


You can check the rules details again here: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4171.0

Playing Phase will be closed on 12th of June!
Updates will close on 10th of June!

Note: This topic is for posting your comments, replays, etc for the levels. If you wish to post an update to your level, or enter a late submission, please do so in the Updates Topic instead.

12
We've got 5 levels in this final phase!

We will vote down from 5 to 3 to 2 to 1, ensured by tiebreakers if nessesary.

If you want to see the full list of nominated levels in non-randomized order, check the nominations list topic
If you want to play these levels without having to dig up all the various level packs, check the playing phase topic which has an NXP available for download that contains all the nominated levels.

Please remember that discussing the nominated levels is not allowed in the LOTY2018 topics now that voting has begun. This does not apply to levels that have already been eliminated at the time. Discussing them elsewhere in the site is okay, as long as it's not in the context of LOTY2018.

13
16 levels have made it to this second phase. Here we will try and reduce this number to 4 or slightly above that due to possible ties. This way we will have a small enough group for the final phase.

The levels have been divided into 4 groups of 4 levels semi-randomly.

Each group will be voted on one at a time, with the goal being that only 1 level from each group advancing to Phase 3. This number can increase in the case of ties. I plan no tiebreakers for this!

For the final phase I will enforce the top 3 via tiebreakers though.

If you want to see the full list of nominated levels in non-randomized order, check the nominations list topic
If you want to play these levels without having to dig up all the various level packs, check the playing phase topic which has an NXP available for download that contains all the nominated levels.

Please remember that discussing the nominated levels is not allowed in the LOTY2018 topics now that voting has begun. This does not apply to levels that have already been eliminated at the time. Discussing them elsewhere in the site is okay, as long as it's not in the context of LOTY2018.

14
Contests / Level Design Contest #17
« on: March 31, 2019, 02:43:56 pm »
Welcome to another contest of the Lemmingsforums! This time the three rules have been picked by Colorful Arty for winning contest #15.

A few words to new participants and forum members: If you haven't entered before, I strongly encourage you to try - even if you don't win, it's fun to participate; and we have had cases where first-time entrants have won before!; there are three choices of rules given, you may enter one level each for up to two of the rules.
You may either use new format NeoLemmix, or Lix.
If you have two entries, they may (but do not have to) be for the same engine. Please make sure you tested your level for basic solvability before submitting and be sure to also submit any custom tileset you are using, so others have no problem playing your level. ;)

Pre contest testing: You can choose 1 person who does a bit of pre-testing for you, so that the biggest backroutes and screw-ups of your levels can be detected before the playing phase. I cannot control this so it's only a guideline, but still I would prefer not everyone knows every level before the playing phase starts. ;)

Here are the rules on how the submission deadlines work:
- Initial submission phase deadline will extend such that it's 72 hours from the time of the last submission, up to the 5th submission (inclusive). After this it no longer changes no matter what.
- Update phase deadline will not extend over the initial dead line!
- Even if you missed the cutoff date for the initial submission phase, late entries are accepted until the update phase ends. There is no penalty for a late entry, beyond that people are less likely to spend as much time on the level before voting begins.

And here is the new ruleset:

Rule 1

Make a level only using tilesets that you haven't used before in a level you have publicly published. VGASPECs are not allowed!
In the case that you have published levels that collectively use every tileset (likely only to happen in Lix), then make a level only using tileset pieces that you either haven't used before or use infrequently (You may use whatever objects you like in this case).
We likely won't be able to strictly enforce this rule, so it will be a bit of an honors system, but if you make a level that clearly doesn't use anything unfamiliar to you, it will be rejected. This is a rule to encourage you to try one or more of the many different tilesets the forumers have created.

Rule 2

Make a level that gives you:

-    Exactly one type of permanent skill (Climbers, Floaters, Gliders, Swimmers, Disarmers or Runners)
-    Exactly one type of continuous constructive skill (Builders, Platformers or Stackers)
-    Exactly one type of continuous destructive skill (Bashers/Shovelers, Miners, Diggers/Stampers, Fencers)
-    Exactly one type of sacrificial skill (Bombers/Exploders/Imploders, Stoners, Cubers)
-    Exactly one type of instant skill (Blockers, Walkers, Cloners, Jumpers, Batters)

This means five different skills will be assigned, but you can assign as many of a given skill as you want. Example level gives you: 5 climbers, 2 bashers, 1 builder, 3 bombers, and 2 cloners.
Each type of skill needs to play some role towards the intended solution. For example, putting disarmers on a level with no traps would not be allowed!

Rule 3

Select a piece of terrain from any tileset and make a level using only that type of terrain piece. VGASPECs are not allowed!
You can insert as many duplicates of that piece as you want, and you can use other terrain pieces as erasers, but the only visible pieces can be that one type you selected. For example, you could make a level using nothing but the wishing well from the Dirt tileset and use other terrain pieces such as pillars from the Pillar tileset to erase parts of the wishing wells, but you cannot make the pillars visible on your level.
You are not limited in which or how many objects you can place in a level!

Submission phase ends May 7th 2019 at 00:00 UTC. This should give everyone enough time to think about a level. :) Deadline for the playing / update phase will be announced when it begins.

Ruleset in detail again: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2246.0

Send me a personal message with your level/s and if needed tileset/s to participate. It would also be nice to also tell me the rule which each level satisfies.

Prize selection:
- US $5.00
- One month's advertising on the forums news ticker
- Pick next contest's rules

Entries so far: 13

- IchoTolot (2)
- nin10doaddict (2)
- The Tomato Watcher (1)
- Nessy (1)
- Crane (2)
- Colorful Arty (2)
- SQron188 (2)
- Proxima (1)

15
Level Design / April 2019 Level Collaboration
« on: March 28, 2019, 03:38:18 pm »
The final result of this collaboration has been attached to this post! :)

I was thinking after a long time we could attempt to do another level collaboration. :)

How does this work?

1.) You just say here in the topic or in a pm to me that you want to participate and I'll write you on the list.

2.) I'll roughly randomize the list of people to get a sequence. If you feel not good about covering certain positions this is totally negotiable (just tell me in your pm/post). Somebody might feel more confortable crafting landscapes in the early iterations than forming solutions later on for example. I try to put people in their confort zone as this should result in a better end result. :)

3.) The first person on the list starts making the level. For the first person it's usually just the raw landscape or just a part of the level.

4.) The first person posts his/her result in the topic and the second person contiunes making the level based on the result of the first person. You can change the things a person before you added, but it's not nice to simply completely discard all changes from another person without at least asking for permission.

5.) The goes on until the last person on the list has done their part. Usually the last few persons form the intended solution, add some additional quirks to it or decorate the level a bit more. The first persons usually form the general landscape and develop first crucial parts and tricks the solution revolves on.

6.) At last everyone tries to solve and therefore backroute fix the level, or find other problems that might need fixing.

Important: You result is always level + replay. Maybe in the first few iterations a replay is not needed, but if a solutions starts to form it is nessesary.



Another idea I had is that we could have 2 different solutions with different skillsets in the end, like an easy and a hard version.

As this is a collaboration of multiple people:

Every person is allowed to use the resulted level in their pack/s and I will also submit it to the NL community pack level pile!

Everyone had part in it so everyone should be able to use it and be proud of it! :8():


So what tileset are we going to use?

I was thinking the following tilesets could use some more attention:

- plom_bastemp
- sqron_turrican2wall
- zanzindorf_agony

So maybe use one of them ???   I am open for other proposals here! In the end I think I will hold a poll on which one we should focus on. :)

Tell me if you want to participate! Also comment on which tileset, or combination of tilesets, we should use (may it be from my little list or another proposal). :)



Participants:

- IchoTolot
- SQron188
- möbius

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