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Topics - WillLem

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NeoLemmix Main / NeoLemmix is Awesome
« on: October 06, 2020, 10:28:12 pm »
I've been away from Lemmings for a little while, and upon coming back to it I'm struck by just how good NeoLemmix actually is. As fans of the game, we're lucky to have such a well-maintained platform whose creator responds directly to community feedback.

Since becoming a member of this community, I've watched it grow and develop and it's now a fairly comprehensive Lemmings creation platform, as well as a great engine for finding alternative solutions, doing challenges, and sharing results.

So yeah. Just felt like sending a bit of love NeoLemmix's way. Share your own thoughts on why it's ace, if you like :lemcat:

I'm getting the error message "cannot terminate an externally created thread" pretty much every time I load a level form the menu. Restarting NeoLemmix usually helps. Also, the message doesn't seem to be appearing between levels (i.e. once the game has successfully loaded)

SuperLemmini / SuperLemmini topics board
« on: September 30, 2020, 12:46:22 am »
Since SuperLemmini is still used by several members of the community, and there appears to be growing interest in it recently, perhaps it could have its own board, like NeoLemmix and Lix do?

This would make finding packs for it a lot easier, for one thing. Also, the "other engines" it's currently lumped in with are mostly defunct ones like Vanilla Lemmix, Lemmings 2, etc.

At the moment, I could understand not wanting to give SuperLemmini its own board, since Tsyu has not been active for a while and although updates and additional features (such as a level editor) have been promised, they do not yet exist. As and when they appear though, I'd say it's definitely worth letting it stand out as a currently-maintained, currently-used platform, for which custom user content is still being created, played, and discussed.

NeoLemmix Main / [SUG] NeoLemmix Leaderboard
« on: September 28, 2020, 12:12:51 am »
In the absence of a 2-Player mode in NeoLemmix, and following kaywhyn's recent query regarding his status as a solver within the community, I thought it might be a good idea to compile a leaderboard for NeoLemmix only.

It would be easy enough to compile it in terms of levels played, levels solved, number of lemmings saved, number of skills used, that sort of thing*, but pack difficulty would be potentially problematic, since a pack's difficulty depends a lot on the person playing it.

This bring me back to my suggestion that the community has a standardised difficulty rating for packs. If there were also a way to upload packs to NL (in the same way that styles are uploaded, for instance), they could be organised in terms of difficulty for players to download, and perhaps levels in more difficult packs could be weighted such that players who complete them get moved further up the leaderboard.

For example, let's say Player A completes 3 levels from Easy McLemmings, rated "Easy", and Player B completes 1 level from Unnecessarily Difficult Lemmings, rated "Extreme".

The scale could be organised thus:

Easy - each level in this pack is worth 1 point
Medium - 2 points
Hard - 3 points
Extreme - 4 points

This would mean that Player B would appear higher in the leaderboard than Player A, for having completed a more difficult level. Even though Player A has solved more levels, the points totals reflect the difficulty of the levels solved.

It could even be that bonus points are awarded according to which rank the level is in, so an "Easy, Rank 4" level would award 1 + 4 points, and a "Medium, Rank 3" level would award 2 + 3 points. That way, If someone only completes the 1st rank of an "Extreme" pack, they wouldn't be awarded anywhere near as many points as someone who completed just the 4th rank of that same pack (assuming all ranks have an equal number of levels).

Just a thought, really. I'm sure the idea could be developed into something compelling.


*N.B. This info would always reflect a player's best performance on any given level. So, if a player completes Just Dig! using 2 Diggers but only saving 1 Lemming, and then completes it using 8 Diggers but saving 10 Lemmings, their leaderboard result for Just Dig! would be 10 Lemmings saved, 2 Diggers used. As I imagine it, the Lemmings Saved field for that player would read 10, and Skills Used would read 2. Any further attempts at the same level would overwrite the data already gathered from that level, so if a player plays Just Dig! 1,000 times always saving 10 Lemmings, the Lemmings Saved field would still read 10. It would only be increased by playing a different level.


N.B. Just to be clear, I'm suggesting that this be an automatically generated Leaderboard populated by gathering level data from players whose copies of NeoLemmix are connected to the internet, rather than a manual one on the forums. Of course, players would be prompted to agree (or not) to their level data being used for this purpose.

Bugs & Suggestions / [SUG][PLAYER] Level Pack Downloader
« on: September 28, 2020, 12:11:00 am »
This has been alluded to in several other topics, but I thought I'd make a separate topic to discuss the idea.

Basically, allow content creators to upload their packs to NeoLemmix, from where they can be downloaded via a similar interface to the style manager. They could be grouped/searchable by Author, Title, Difficulty, Size and therefore make finding new packs very easy for everyone.

When uploading, creators could suggest a difficulty rating (maybe from Easy, Medium, Hard, Extreme) for their pack which indicates the average difficulty of the entire pack*. Of course, if community consensus places a pack higher or lower than suggested by its creator, then this could be suitably updated.

It would also have the added benefit of being a continuous, reliable source of the most up-to-date version of any given pack. Pack topics would still be very relevant for promotion and information regarding the pack, as well as general discussion, replay sharing, etc.

*I'd even suggest that this be a sliding scale, since packs often (in fact, usually) feature a wide range of difficulty. For example, an author could suggest "Easy - Hard" for their pack, and it would therefore be placed in this category. However, feedback and consensus may indicate that the pack is "Medium - Hard", or even "Medium - Extreme", in which case it would be moved to that category.

The way I imagine it, if a player searches "Medium" difficulty, they will be shown every pack whose difficulty spans across and therefore includes "Medium". However, they would be ordered so that "Easy - Medium" is higher up and "Easy - Extreme" is lower down on the list. The list would indicate the pack's entire difficulty range regardless of the search criteria.

Minim posted that updating to 12.6.3 reverted his copy of Redux to a previous edit, thus overwriting his work.

Reading this post reminded me of a similar thing that happened to me recently when I lost a bunch of custom terrain pieces via a style manager update. Luckily, I had them backed up so I just replaced them and thought nothing of it.

However, as a failsafe, could the manager to be made to merge rather than overwrite, so that folders containing new pieces or even newer versions of pieces that a creator is working on are preserved in the update?

NeoLemmix Main / [VIDEO] Making Music for Lemminas II!
« on: August 14, 2020, 12:49:08 am »
Hey gang,

I've made a quick video exploring some sounds on my synth in preparation for making the music for Lemminas II. At some point, I'm hoping to make a video documenting the making of an entire piece, let me know if you'd be interested to see that!

Here's the video. Enjoy!

Also, here's a link to the video of the patches I've downloaded for my synth, made by Marcin Mirkowicz aka HYPERSPACE.

MODS: I've put this is the NL thread since Lemminas is a NeoLemmix thing, but by all means move it if it needs to be elsewhere 8-)

At the mo, scrolling the mouse wheel zooms a level (which is great!).

However, it would be even better if it were possible to use the wheel to scroll up/down and left/right, perhaps using key modifiers (e.g. Ctrl for vertical scroll, Alt for horizontal scroll).

Also, not sure how it works compatibility-wise regarding directional touchpad gestures but this could also be useful if it's easy enough to implement.

It's in the title; resizing levels vertically downwards doesn't make any sense, because if you've spent time building a level and then you need a few pixels extra height, you have to move the entire level downwards.

The reverse is also true: if a level is too tall and you want to shrink it vertically, you have to move the entire level upwards and then resize.

Closed / [SUG][PLAYER] Fast-Backwards!
« on: July 23, 2020, 02:58:11 pm »
A button for fast-backwards, to quickly rewind to a particular point...?

It's already kind of possible to do this by customising a Hotkey to -4 frames and then holding it down, but a dedicated button might be good as well.

It's come up a few times that "waiting around" for Lemmings once a level is complete is sometimes an issue, even with smaller lem counts. Also, there are times when you want to move ahead quickly, but the Frameskip buttons can sometimes be unpredictable (that's not a complaint - I love my custom Frameskip buttons and use them all the time).

However, not everyone uses custom Frameskipping and may enjoy the use of a TURBO button!

The download manager works great most of the time, but this evening I got the following error message when I was trying to download a piece from namida_special (specifically, the object water_red):

EZipException: Stream read error

I re-downloaded LPVI to get the pieces so that's all good, but just thought I'd give a heads up that this one didn't seem to want to play ball for some reason.

Site Discussion / [SUG][FORUM] Native dark mode
« on: June 28, 2020, 11:34:57 pm »
I've tried a fair few Chrome extensions, some of which offer multiple CSS options to tweak a website to various "dark" themes...

However, very few of these extensions produce decent results on this website.

How possible would it be to implement a dark mode that's specifically written for, and therefore takes into account all of its various quirks?

NeoLemmix Main / Giving feedback on custom packs
« on: June 19, 2020, 04:29:39 am »
I think there needs to be a protocol regarding giving feedback on custom packs.

Whilst feedback is useful, welcome, and encouraged, when unchecked it can also be quite harsh and put people off wanting to create custom content. I'm sure that there are many people who have thought about making a pack, but have seen the nature of some of the feedback that gets posted and have been put off.

Similarly, I am very sure that there are people who have removed content due to particularly negative feedback following an intense period of working on that content, leaving them feeling like their hard work and time was all for nothing.

As a basic suggestion, let's say you play a pack and there are several things you don't like about it. Before taking to the keyboard to type your frustrations straight away, take a moment to see if there's anything you do like about it, and then be sure to include that in the comments.

Ideally, each bit of negative feedback given should be balanced out with a piece of positive feedback. Praise is important: it keeps people motivated to try harder and put the extra effort in to improve their content. Simply listing a pack's drawbacks is only going to make the creator feel like a failure. Giving feedback is a powerful thing, and with great power comes great responsibility: use it wisely.

Suggestions to creators

ALWAYS get your pack playtested by at least 2 people, and be prepared to take a bit of harsh criticism initially - this will help you to shape your pack into its final product.

Then, when you release your finished pack, add a poll at the top. Something simple like:

What did you think of my pack?

1 It's excellent!
2 It's good, but some things could be improved
3 It's not really my cup of tea
4 I haven't played it yet

(Or even just a star-rating system from 1-5).

That way, you can get a good idea of what people who've downloaded your pack think, and it could help to balance out any negative feedback you get initially (unless of course everyone votes 3, in which case it's definitely worth having another look at it anyway!)

A poll would also encourage those who aren't predisposed to typing paragraph after paragraph of detailed feedback to leave something for you, for better or worse. That way, if a lot of people vote 1 or 2, but someone leaves a blazingly heated comment about how awful your pack is, at least you can see not everyone feels that way, and it'll be that much easier to take the criticism on board constructively, even if it wasn't necessarily presented to you that way.

Please note that the pack now contains an updated level 26/07/2020

So here it is...

What originally started out as just another remix pack has become a somewhat controversial "graphical restoration" of the original DMA Design level packs Lemmings and Oh No! More Lemmings.

So... why Amiga Lemmings?

Well... the previous NXLV conversions of the original levels had a lot of the decorative terrain and water deliberately removed in order to make the levels more compact, and a handful of them were further tweaked to be more suitable for the NeoLemmix platform. Examples include removing any decorative moss from steel and removing the Blocker skill from A Task For Blockers and Bombers; the former being primarily a steel physics thing and the latter owing to the presence of untimed bombers in NeoLemmix, removing the need to assign Blockers to make Bomber placements more precise.

A few players have noticed these (admittedly minor) differences to the original levels and it seemed that a restoration project might just have a decent enough sized audience to make undoing these various tweaks worthwhile.

Since the Amiga 500 was the platform I grew up with, this was my source of choice for providing such a restoration.

It wasn't as easy as simply extracting the levels, however! geoo was thankfully very timely in providing a set of LVL files that had already been yoinked from the Amiga level data, saving a great deal of time. However, NeoLemmix opened a lot of these levels with pieces missing - mostly water objects that were being recognised by NeoLemmix as "fake" due to... well, reasons.

So, namida was kind enough to provide a version of NeoLemmix which didn't ignore these objects, and - lo and behold! - everything was exactly where it should be. All that remained was to Cleanse the LVLs and we had the basis of our conversion sorted! That is, except for the all the oddtabled level repeats! :forehead: These needed to be manually extracted from emulator savestates, using another one of namida's magic custom-built tools...

Ultimately, the project has actually been compiled from various sources: after doing a lot of the above work, it turned out that erikderkovits had already sorted out a full set of Amiga-LVL-to-NXLV conversions which just needed to be edited and compiled into packs!

Not to worry - it's all been a learning process, and whilst I ultimately ended up using ericderkovits's conversion of the Oh No! levels as the basis for that particular part of the pack, I have somewhat adamantly included my own conversion of Lemmings that I'd already spent time tying together like a big bunch of helium-filled balloons that seemed to keep wanting to float away!

Originally, the plan was for these packs to become the new "(un)official" NXLV conversions of the original levels for NeoLemmix, but this idea was abandoned in favour of Lemmings Redux becoming the new pack which is currently promoted as the best way to enjoy the original levels in NeoLemmix.

And for good reason - the Redux levels have been carefully selected, edited and re-ordered to suit NeoLemmix's puzzle-oriented gameplay philosophy. The idea is that it trims away all the elements of the original games which are largely rendered irrelevant by NeoLemmix's removal of "false difficulty" from the game: things like timed bombers, precise execution and hidden objects being examples of such elements.

Of course, the Amiga Lemmings restoration project can't bring timed bombers back, and the levels with 3 hatches have a different spawning order in NeoLemmix. However, this is part of the fun of cross-porting! I have specifically decided not to "fix" any of the levels in this way, instead opting to simply present them exactly as they are, and see what fun can be had playing them in NeoLemmix, with all of its physics differences and tools which make it an entirely different beast.

So - although the pack is called Amiga Lemmings, these levels do not and can not be played exactly as they would on the Amiga. If you want that particular experience, I recommend the Amiga Forever emulator - it's great! (Or, look on eBay and see if you can get hold of an Amiga 500, of course!)

But that's not what this pack is about.

It's simply about presenting the levels as they were originally designed - with all of their various graphical quirks and flaws - for you to enjoy playing, remixing, and generally messing about with in the way that only the NeoLemmix engine and its dedicated editor can allow. I think that's reason enough for this pack to exist in this format, and I genuinely hope it's enjoyed in that spirit.


Anyways, here's what you get with this pack:

1) Fully restored levels with no edits to the decorative terrain or objects (or any of the objects/terrain, for that matter), only the empty space from the sides of the levels has been removed
2) Custom exit and entrance graphics provided for the "special" levels (Beast, AWESOME, etc...)
3) Custom skill panel graphics based on the Amiga panel
4) Updated logos
5) Dark blue background graphic perfectly matched to the Amiga background
6) Original DMA scroller text in the main menu
7) 2-Player levels included in their relevant packs
8) Levels given the following naming format: 00_Name_of_level.nxlv so that they appear in numerical order rather than alphabetical order in the levels folder (believe me, this is important when you're doing remixes!)
9) And, of course, original Amiga music!

N.B. Since NeoLemmix animates traps, I have also provided my own custom animations of the orig_dirt rock trap, the orig_crystal electricity block trap, and the ohno_rock lizard / weed traps; the rock trap drips less frequently, the electricity trap shimmers gently, the lizard's eyes dart around like a chameleon's would irl and the weed trap, whilst slightly more surreal, looks more like the weed trap did originally. Enjoy!


Big, big thank yous to the following people for helping to make this project possible, and for being involved in driving it to its eventual destination:

ericderkovits for being a fellow Amiga enthusiast and general purist, and for providing the music files and doing a lot of the conversion work
DireKrow for saving me hours of manual editing time by applying the background graphic to all NXLV files simultaneously
Proxima for providing said background graphic, and for voicing important ideas and opinions which put this project in its rightful place and helped it take shape
geoo for saving hours of manual yoinking by providing pre-yoinked LVLs
namida for providing various custom-built tools which made the additional extractions and conversions possible, and for deciding that NeoLemmix doesn't need official conversions; whilst this was initially a disappointment, it ultimately gave me the freedom to make this project exactly what I wanted it to be.

Please enjoy Amiga Lemmings, made for NeoLemmix. :lemcat:

To play, extract the zip folder directly to the main NeoLemmix directory.

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