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Topics - Strato Incendus

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1
NeoLemmix Graphic Sets / Missing piece L2 Sports tileset
« on: January 17, 2020, 02:45:20 pm »
I've just randomly noticed that the last level of Sports in Lemmings 2, Level 10, "Take up Archery", contains a shuttlecock (at the top of the level, like from a game of badminton):
https://tle.vaarties.nl/lemmings2/solutions/amiga/sports/1/10/
(scroll to the bottom of the page)

I'm pretty sure I've never seen that as a terrain piece anywhere else, including NeoLemmix. Why is it not included? Was it not possible to rip the sprite from the original L2 game?

Or is the shuttlecock just a structure built out of smaller, combined pieces, and I just can't see it? :D

2
Closed / [Sug][Player] Update X-Mas Stacker and Platformer sprites
« on: December 16, 2019, 11:07:44 am »
A while ago, the standard Stacker and Platformer sprites for default lemmings in New Formats were changed: Where once they used to look exactly like Builders, the Stacker now moves the bricks over his shoulder "horizontally", rather than in a curve, and the Platformer is on his knees when platforming, like in Lemmings 2: The Tribes, rather than walking on his feet, like the Builder.

However, the X-Mas sprites, for example, still use the old animations, as far as I can tell?

I'm not sure about GigaLem's Freedom Planet sprites, which are, apart from the X-Mas sprites, the only sprites I am aware of that aren't mere re-colourings, but have a distinct shape.

Any of the re-coloured sprites will most likely have the new animations for Stackers and Platformers already, because they work off of the default sprites.

3
Not every tileset has triggered traps. Not every tileset has fire traps. Some tilesets don't even have water. Yet, more often than not, you might still need e.g. a triggered trap on the Fire tileset. So which do you pick, from the multitude of traps we have now? ;)

Especially with traps (or also teleporters?), the speed is relevant as well. The chameleon from ONML Rock is infamous for being the fastest triggered trap in the game. Maybe you have a Rock level, but the chameleon is simply too fast, and the vine trap not fitting visually in this specific position the trap is supposed to go in. In that case, I think another amphibious creature would be very happy to eat the lemming in place of the chameleon instead! ;)

I'll limit my choices for borrowed objects to add to the official tilesets for the time being, but feel free to make specific suggestions for borrowed objects from or added to custom tilesets as well! ;)


Dirt:
triggered traps: L2 Highland Flower, L2 Outdoor Frog, ONML Chameleon, ONML Vine
fire areas: orig_fire pit
water areas: ONML Rock, L2 Cavelem

Pillar:
triggered traps:
fire areas: orig_fire pit

Marble:
triggered traps: L2 Egyptian horizontal Mashers, orig_pillar Spike trap (to prevent climbing long, thin poles)

Crystal:
fire areas: GigaLem Metal Mod laser traps, namida Sky lightning traps

Fire:
triggered traps: Dirt Bear trap, Crystal Golden-Plate trap, Crystal Electrocuting trap, L2 Cavelem Red-Eyes trap, ONML Brick Squisher, ONML Brick Disk Saw

Menace (Gronkling):
triggered traps: Dirt Bear trap, L2 Cavelem Red-Eyes trap

Beast II (Gronkling):
triggered traps: Menace (Gronkling) Snake
water areas: L2 Cavelem

Brick:
triggered traps: Dirt 10-Tons-Weight, Crystal Electrocuting trap, Crystal Slicer trap, Bubble Suction trap
fire areas: orig_marble Slasher trap (although the colour doesn't quite fit), namida Lab "Acid"
water areas: orig_crystal, orig_dirt / orig_pillar

Rock:
triggered traps: L2 Outdoor Frog, Menace (Gronkling) Snake, Beast II (Gronkling) Squirrel, Raymanni Sewer Crocodile
fire areas: namida Lab "Acid"
water areas: orig_marble, L2 Cavelem, L3 Biolab

Bubble:
triggered traps: ONML Brick Squisher trap
water areas: namida Honeycomb

Snow / X-Mas:
triggered traps: L2 Polar Ice Cube
fire traps: orig_fire blue fire traps (by Colorful Arty)

L2 Beach:
triggered traps: Raymanni Sewer Crocodile, both the Quicksand and the "Sand Avalanche" from namida Desert / GigaLem Desert Mod

L2 Egyptian:
triggered traps: L2 Beach Clam, Raymanni Sewer Crocodile, both the Quicksand and the "Sand Avalanche" from namida Desert / GigaLem Desert Mod

L2 Outdoor:
triggered traps: ONML Rock Chameleon, ONML Rock Vine, Menace (Gronkling) Snake, Beast II (Gronkling) Squirrel, nin10doadict Cat
water areas: ONML Rock "Swamp"

L2 Medieval:
triggered traps: the Knight trap from tan dx's Helloween tileset! :thumbsup:, plus there are these one-use traps of falling swords, don't remember from which tileset, sadly
fire areas: IchoTolot Castle (fire area with the bricks underneath)

L2 Classic: see Pillar

L2 Circus:
triggered traps: Raymanni Circus "High-Striker" trap, nin10doadict Cat (like a white circus tiger... :D )
fire areas: orig_fire
water areas: Raymanni Circus "Pool", L2 Sports, orig_dirt / pillar

L2 Highland:
triggered traps: ONML Rock Chameleon, ONML Vine, Menace (Gronkling) Snake, Beast II (Gronkling) Squirrel
water areas: L2 Cavelem, ONML Rock "Swamp"

L2 Polar:
triggered traps: orig_crystal Slicer
fire areas: orig_fire blue fire traps (by Colorful Arty)

L2 Space:
triggered traps: all from orig_crystal
fire areas: namida Metal laser traps, GigaLem Metal Mod laser traps, namida Lab "Acid"
water areas: L2 Sports

L2 Cavelem:
triggered traps: Menace (Gronkling) Snake, Beast (Gronkling) Squirrel

L2 Shadow:
triggered traps: L2 Cavelem Red-Eyes trap (more clearly visible against the blue background!)

L2 Sports:
triggered traps: Raymanni's green "Slime" trap (don't remember from which of his tilesets), L3 Biolab "Hammer" trap, ONML Brick Squisher, ONML Bubble Suction, ONML Rock Vine, Dirt 10-Tons-Weight, Dirt Bear trap
fire areas: GigaLem Metal Mod laser traps

L3 Biolab:
triggered traps: Raymanni's green "Slime" trap
fire areas: namida Lab "Acid"

L3 Egyptian / Shadow: I've never actually used these yet... :-[


Overall, I'd say the absence of trigger traps in orig_fire, the absence of fire areas in orig_crystal, the absence of water areas in L2 space, and especially the absence of both triggered traps and fire areas (aside from the "Tennis Ball") in L2 sports comes up most frequently for me. ;)

Although the water from ONML Brick also has a particularly stupid animation that often makes these objects look way higher than the trigger area actually is. Basically, whenever you place ONML Brick water in a comparatively shallow pit, the waves will go over the edge of that pit, and look as if they were hitting an invisible vertical wall.

Coincidentally, there are also some traps that surprisingly do not fit into seemingly similar tilesets - like, for example, the Snow Spike from the ONML Snow / X-Mas tileset, which doesn't go well with L2 Polar, due to ONML Snow being more green-ish, and L2 Polar being more blue-ish. I've already discussed this to some extent in the thread "Tilesets that go together well".

Finally, there's the purely game-mechanical issue of making straight walls Climber-proof. Sometimes you also need deadly objects here to disincentivise a Glider from using a wall to bump off it and turn around. The number of traps available for this task is very limited, with the Pillar Spike trap basically being the only triggered one, and the namida Metal / GigaLem Metal Mod laser traps and the namida Sky Lightning traps being the only fire areas I am aware of.


I'll probably also expand this list at some point with regard to my choices for more fringe-use objects, like teleporters, one-use traps, locked exits / buttons, splitters etc.

Feel free to add yours! ;)

4
Engine Bugs / Suggestions / [SUG][CONTENT] Diagonal one-way arrows
« on: December 03, 2019, 09:44:06 am »
Since we have a currently-ongoing debate about changing the appearance of one-way arrows, now seems like an appropriate time to bring this up:

While trying to fix backroutes to my levels, I repeatedly ran into the issue that there is no type of one-way arrow that allows a Miner to pass, but not a Digger - and vice versa. This pretty much solely boils down to the fact that horizontal one-way arrows can still be dug into (as predicated by the original Lemmings rules, which shouldn't be altered), whereas downward arrows are more strict, reliably preventing Bashers from passing through them. In other words, horizontal arrows only point towards the one side from which you cannot remove the terrain, whereas vertical arrows (both downward and upward) indicate the direction in which you have to move with the destructive skill.

Now, since downward arrows have been around for ages, I don't think their behaviour should be altered either - thus, it would still be impossible to create terrain that allows Diggers to pass, but not Miners.

However, what we could create is a type of one-way arrow that allows Miners to pass, but not Diggers.

You guessed it: I'm talking about diagonal one-way arrows! :)

In order to make these more universally useful, I'd make them a little less limited, with the arrows actually pointing in both directions, but at an angle. Moving diagonally along this trajectory would be possible, whereas moving along the opposite diagonal line would not be. Straight vertical or horizontal movement through this terrain would of course also be impossible.

As such, diagonal arrows would allow both Miners and Fencers to pass, but only from opposing sides - e.g. a Fencer from the bottom left or a Miner from the top right, but not a Fencer from the right or a Miner from the left. And then vice versa for diagonal arrows in the opposite direction.

Now, obviously, there are many cases in which you want terrain to be Miner-friendly, but not Fencer-friendly - or vice versa. This is usually one of the most critical steps to enforce whether lemmings can pass through a chunk of terrain only from above or only from below.

And this takes us to the question whether several different types of one-way arrows can be stacked. (I haven't actually tried this yet.)

If this is the case, then you could already create unidirectional Miner terrain right now, by stacking downward arrows with horizontal arrows: The downward arrows would prevent bashing and fencing, while the horizontal arrows would force the Miner into one direction only. Diggers could still pass through both unaffected.

Now, if the same logic were applied to diagonal arrows, you could indeed create Miner- and Fencer-exclusive terrain by stacking vertical arrows with diagonal ones: The diagonal arrows would limit the terrain to being removed by either Fencers or Miners only - and now, depending on whether you have upward or downward arrows stacked onto them, you could limit the area to only Miners or only Fencers specifically.


In general, I think the ability of Diggers to bypass any type of one-way arrows, except explicitly for upward ones, is a massive loophole that can easily be exploited for backroutes, independent of the setup of the individual level.

Therefore, we could really use a tool to rein in the Digger. ;)

5
Lemmings Main / Joke ideas for skills and objects
« on: November 22, 2019, 11:17:50 am »
In the interest of preventing too many suggestion threads for only semi-serious new skills to be introduced, I thought we could use a "deposit" for people to blow off creative steam. :D

This is not me saying that I find any of the currently-proposed skills in the actual suggestion forum joke-worthy, or that I don't take them seriously! ;)

It's just that I'm aware that there are people who are better at
- divergent thinking (also colloquially known as "brainstorming"), i.e. coming up with many different ideas initially,
and those who are better at
- convergent thinking, i.e. identifying the most useful approach and then disregarding everything else to get the optimal solution implemented.

My perception is (and I'm guilty of that myself, too! :evil: ) that a lot of skills get proposed in an initial burst of creativity, but when it comes to actually working on them, like designing sprites and discussing the corner cases of the behaviour how it would have to be implemented in the code, the idea gets dropped.

So if you just have some random idea for a skill or an object that you need to "store" somewhere or get rid off, feel free to "relieve yourself" here. Maybe sometime later, somebody willing to contribute, but devoid of own ideas, will skim through this thread, somebody who's better at convergent thinking, and will turn one of these random suggestions into something real. Or maybe not. ;) Anyways, you got it out of your system! :P

On a side note, this might also sensitize users and give them a general feeling for the degree of usefulness of any particular skill they might think they'd like to see. Try to come up with some deliberately very narrow skills, just out of curiosity - and you'll see how many criteria a genuine skill has to fulfil to be worthwhile on its own!


I think one of the reasons Lemmings 2: The Tribes ended up with so many, barely-different skills was because the developers did not have such a space to blow off their creative steam - the graphic designers probably just started creating 8-pixel-animations for the sake of it (after all, rumor has it that death animations of 8-pixel-characters was how original Lemmings got started in the first place... :D ). And then the level designers had a field day with finding some obscure application for all of them, rather than going through a thorough and honest selection process.

In contrast, after this "trauma", they never really experimented with new skills again, except for copying a couple of the L2 skills to Lemmings 3 / An All New World of Lemmings (like the Jumper or Shimmier). Lemmings 3D and Revolution however went straight back to the "safe ground" of the original 8 skills.


So, without further ado, let's get started:

You think the Disarmer has a narrow range of applicability? ;) Or that the L2 Roller, Diver, and Planter were borderline useless? Just you wait...

Here are my "joke ideas" for the time being:


The Sucker. This is a lemming that walks up to a water trigger area, gets out a straw or a hosepipe and removes the water area by pumping it empty. Like with the Disarmer, the trigger area is gone right away, even though the animation of the skill (and the water object) implies a slow, piece-by-piece extraction of the water. Since the straw or hosepipe is pointing slightly downwards, the lemming can stand at the edge of a water pont, and slightly above it, while performing the skill. Afterwards, lemmings can safely fall into the former, now empty water pit and walk through it.

The Firefighter. Gets out a hosepipe and removes fire trigger areas the same way. To make it even more narrow, you could enforce combination with the Sucker. Meaning, the Firefighter could only be used if that same lemming sucked away a water area elsewhere, so that he even has some "water supply" in the first place. :D The implications of this would be particularly stupid with the Fire tileset, where the lava actually acts like regular water, and could thus be used to put out the fire pits... or in the Marble tileset, where water could remove the "shredder" fire objects. Or in any of the custom tilesets using laser traps as fire objects, because water is soooo helpful against those...

The Gatekeeper. This lemming locks an exit so that lemmings can't enter if you don't want them to, because you still need them elsewhere. It is a permanent, on-again-off-again skill: The first time it walks past an open exit, it closes it; the next time it walks past the same exit, it re-opens it, and so on. It cannot unlock exits as long as there are any buttons in the level; the animation would be the lemming getting out a "key", i.e. this wouldn't work on exits that have an "electric lock", as represented by buttons. It can re-lock a button exit, though - in that case, all the buttons in the level would be reset to "switched off", and every single one would have to be pushed again. This would be the drawback of the skill. As such, it could also be pre-assigned to a lemming, neutral, or zombie, who walks in and can potentially ruin your day, after you have already pushed all the buttons... :evil:

The Trainer. This is a lemming that can only block athletes; all other lemmings walk straight through him. The athletes have to listen to him, after all :D - and he tells them they're not done with their routine yet, but need to get back to training some more...

The Lifter. This lemming can give another lemming standing right in front of him a leg-up to get over a wall, similarly to the Baseball Bat in Lix, but more easily controllable. One would have to agree on the maximum distance (expressed in "spawn rate") that could exist between two lemmings until the rear one would no longer be able to reach and lift the one on the front. The lift would also have to be slightly higher than the lemming itself, maybe even higher than a single Builder staircase, to even make it worthwhile compared to six-pixel-ascension, which lemmings can do by default.

The Moses. This skill can be assigned to a drowning lemming, like a Swimmer. However, it will result in the lemming digging down into the water area and removing an area equal to that of a Digger in the process, leaving behind a divided water trigger area to the left and right of the shaft.

The Arsonist. This is a lemming that creates a small fire area and then turns around so that he doesn't get killed himself. For what purpose? I don't know... maybe for killing zombies? :D

The Windmaker. This lemming creates an updraft trigger area of standard width in front of himself, with the bottom end of the trigger area being at the level of the lemming's feet.

The Melter. This is a Basher that can go through steel - and only through steel. The tool it uses looks like a blowtorch - in fact, there is such a skill in Worms World Party, however you can also direct it up and down diagonally.

The Gunman. Pulls out a rifle and fires off a horizontal projectile that can kill the first zombie it hits over a distance of up to 16 pixels (=the width of two standard steel blocks). The bullet hits the ground at the 16th pixel without making any indent into it, no matter whether the ground is steel or not.

The Electrocuter. This is another lemming that can kill zombies directly, but only when both itself and the target zombie are standing on a connected area of steel (it doesn't have to be the same piece of steel, but all the steel pieces that are supposed to serve as a conduct need to touch each other). It jumps up slightly while pointing a rod at the ground, so that itself doesn't get killed, but any zombie touching this same chunk of steel does. For added uselessness, it could also affect friendly lemmings (both regular ones and neutrals) that touch the same steel area - would only make sense, flavour-wise...


I don't currently have any ideas for borderline-useless objects, but feel free to contribute those as well... :P

6
NeoLemmix Main / Objects from Lemmings 3D - viable for NeoLemmix?
« on: November 13, 2019, 12:19:38 pm »
Just like in the neighbouring thread for objects from Lemmings Revolution, I'd like to go over the objects in Lemmings 3D this time (as they appear in the Practice rank) and discuss to what extent they might be worthwhile additions to NeoLemmix. Once again, the ones I'm in favour of are in green, the ones I consider redundant or actively harmful red. I'm also going to list possible tilesets that would be most suitable for such objects.

I guess this will be much shorter, because we can start with what we already have (those I kept in black):

Teleporters. Work in NeoLemmix exactly like in Lemmings 3D (=release-rate sensitive, with animation).
Tilesets: L2 Space, orig Marble, ohno Brick, namida Circuit, plom Psychedelic Mod, and many others!

Splitters. Work in NeoLemmix pretty much exactly like in Lemmings 3D, of course only turning lemmings left and right, meaning some lemmings can be sent back into the direction they came from, which can never happen in Lemmings 3D. L3D is actually the reason why I keep calling these "splitter blocks", because they were referred to as such in the game (but probably only because pretty much everything was a "block"; L3D also spoke of "one-way blocks").
Tilesets: ohno Brick, namida Candy, namida Machine, namida Clockwork, and a couple more

Highlight Lemming. Is a feature, not an object, and already exists in NeoLemmix, just like in L3D.
Tilesets: All.

Virtual Lemming. Virtually impossible to include in NeoLemmix! :P
Tilesets: None.

One-way arrows. We've had them since the dawn of time.
Tilesets: All.

Mud. I don't see how this is in any way different than regular water? If it's supposed to act like quicksand (like the sand pits in the L3D Golf tileset), or other types of "terrain" that lemmings can drown in, i.e. water that Swimmers should not be allowed to swim through:
1) We already have dedicated traps to simulate quicksand in namida's Desert tileset (and GigaLem's modification of it).
2) We already have "acid", in the form of water objects that behave like fire objects, for any type of water area that we want to make inaccessible to Swimmers.
Possible tilesets: orig Dirt, ohno Rock, namida Mineshaft

Deflector blocks. Only useful in a 3D setting. A similar thing is true for the "semi-floating blocks" in L3D that can't be climbed up, nor can lemmings slip through these low gaps as regular Walkers. This is something that won't work in NeoLemmix, because classic 2D lemmings can slip through any gap as tiny as a single pixel. If you want to make a straight wall inaccessible to Climbers without resorting to fire objects or Pillar spike traps, put a one-way field onto the wall pointing into the opposite direction: Since Climbers are located one pixel inside the wall, they will turn around and consequently let go of the wall as soon as they attempt to start climbing.
Possible tilesets: All.

Trampolines. This is the biggest thing in my book: Trampolines have been a regular part of Lemmings evers since Lemmings 2: The Tribes. Especially with the re-introduction of anti-splat pads, I think these would be a worthwhile inclusion: Like splat- and anti-splat pads, they should only affect Fallers, not regular Walkers, and they've never been release-rate sensitive in any Lemmings game. In Lemmings 3D, fall height affects the width of the ensuing jump; for simplification, I'd suggest to ignore this and simply define trampolines as "if a lemming moves into this area AND that lemming is a faller, that lemming performs the same motion as the regular Jumper skill". Meaning: No tumbler physics or similar required! ;)
If these objects would be grouped together with splat- and anti-splat pads, they should only work if the lemming hits terrain inside their trigger area. But this is up for debate. Like anti-splat pads, trampolines would always prevent lemmings from splatting, no matter the fall height - but the resulting jump might catapult the lemming into a different type of danger zone, where the anti-splat pad wouldn't do the same (for example, over a Blocker / Stacker / Stoner holding the others back, into a gap / trap / fire area, etc.).
Possible tilesets: L2 Circus, L2 Cavelem, Raymanni Circus

Springs / Catapults.
These would be very similar to trampolines, but release-rate sensitive, and they would affect regular lemmings walking onto them the same way as lemmings falling onto them from the top, like traps. In L3D, they're actually more similar to teleporters, not only due to their release-rate sensitivity, but also due to them having a defined start- and ending point: In contrast to trampolines, lemmings using catapults in L3D always land at the exact same target spot.
Meanwhile, in Lemmings 2: The Tribes, some types of catapults increase the difference to trampolines by the player being able to move them around - as such, e.g. L2 Circus has both trampolines and the canon that can shoot lemmings over gaps and walls. Others, in contrast, like the dinosaurs from L2 Cavelem that fling lemmings around with their tails, cannot be moved around. Thus, depending on how many degrees of freedom we add to these, these could either be valuable additions next to trampolines, despite the differences only being minor - like with the skills Floater/Glider and Stoner/Stacker. Or they could end up so similar to trampolines that they would be completely redundant. Personally, I tend to think the latter is more likely.
Possible tilesets: L2 Sports

An argument against both trampolines and springs / catapults can be made if there's a general intention to create some type of overarching object that just grants any type of skill to a lemming passing through it. Still, I think such an object would be more of an abstract "skill donator" or so, rather than something more "realistic", like a trampolin or spring.

Rope slides. Can basically be summarised as a release-rate sensitive bridge across a gap of arbitrary length. This would probably work best by having a "rope object" of which several could be placed next to each other, like updrafts, rather than having a single object for the entire slide for which you can then define the length by entering a number, like for water areas. Then again, if we wanted to keep the release-rate sensitivity, this would probably only work with a single object of arbitrary length, indeed - then, this object could check whether it's currently being used like a lemming or not, like a teleporter. The question here would be: What happens if a level designer puts several rope slides in the exact same position? Then it doesn't become apparent to the player that several lemmings can use this slide in parallel.
Alternatively, these could act as pre-defined spots in the level where lemmings start to shimmy by themselves, much like a trampolin would turn any lemming falling onto it into a Jumper without prior skill assignment. In that case, the argument that can be made against trampolines and springs / catapults by employing a general "skill-donating object" could also be made against the rope slide, if it were just an object that "gives the Shimmier skill to any lemming walking into it".
So, overall, I tend to be on the "no"-side here, but I can still imagine this as potentially really cool - if people find enough dedicated uses for it.
Possible tilesets: All.

Slippery blocks / Ice. In Lemmings 2: The Tribes, lemmings needed to be Skaters to even move across this type of terrain; in L3D, in contrast, every lemming stepping onto ice will start sliding by himself. They can't be assigned any skills aside from lethal ones while sliding on ice --> In L3D, this means only Bombers; in NeoLemmix, it would include Stoners, as well. This might become important as one of the few methods to actually turn lemmings around while on ice. I think Cloners should work here, too, though.
Basically, ice restricts the types of skills that can be assigned to regular Walkers in the same way as water restricts it for Swimmers.
Optionally, it could also slightly increase their speed of movement, but this isn't a "must"; it would also suffice to simply have the lemmings perform a "balancing" motion to identify them as moving on ice. They should be able to go up and down regular slopes, like in L3D. Six-pixel ascensions, in contrast, seem counterintuitive to me here.
And then, there's the question on whether lemmings should jump, as they do in L3D, when they reach the end of an ice area that coincides with the edge of a terrain piece, i.e. a gap with a vertical drop. If so, I'd also restrict this to just a regular Jumper motion, like with trampolines, rather than making it dependent on the distance the lemming has covered on ice to pick up "momentum" or so.
Possible tilesets: ohno Snow / Christmas, L2 Polar, Raymanni Snow


So yeah, trampolines and ice / slippery terrain would be worth considering, in my view - not only as inspirations from L3D, but they would also bring more select elements from the Lemmings 2: The Tribes tilesets over to NeoLemmix, without adding such obnoxious stuff as the chain or the fan. ;)

7
NeoLemmix Main / Objects from Lemmings Revolution - viable for NeoLemmix?
« on: November 07, 2019, 12:13:05 pm »
We've had a lot of discussions about which of the abundance of elements from Lemmings 2 could still be added to NeoLemmix. In comparison, Lemmings Revolution, which is a lot more faithful to classical Lemmings again in its design, has received rather little attention. Pretty much the only object from this game we've ever considered is the anti-gravity pad - which is probably also the most difficult to program. But this game contained other distinctive features, some of which might be easier to introduce into NeoLemmix, while still being worthwhile.

Here's an overview of all the features of the game (aside from the skills, which are just the standard eight from original Lemmings).

My comments on each of these in perspective to NeoLemmix:


Weasels. Their main function is already covered by Zombies - however, Weasels are somewhat less dangerous, since they don't infect Lemmings they encounter, which, in case of Zombies, can then go on to infect other Lemmings, i.e. the effect is cummulative. Weasels are really more comparable to moving traps, like the bird or the "Lemme fatale" in Lemmings 3.

Which would be the next point:

Moving traps. The only one I remember is the spike roll that would circle around the level, killing any Lemming that happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Both Weasels and moving traps make levels harder to predict, because they rely on timing. In that sense, I wouldn't consider them puzzle-friendly. Then again, for some people, timing and flow control are part of the puzzle.

Laser gates and levers. These act basically like exit-opening buttons in NeoLemmix - but they work on a more general level and can be used to "lock" or "unlock" other things. For example, filling up a gap with water, or draining the water from a gap, or opening and closing metal gates to certain areas.
Filling up or draining water would sound reminiscent of the rising water gimmick, but in Lemmings Revolution, it's an all-or-nothing thing: Either there is water in a basin, or there is none. I'd very much love to see this feature - it would allow to make levels about creating Swimmer-friendly paths, much like some levels are about creating paths that only work for Climbers or Floaters - but then, filling water into an area should be instant, not a slowly-rising thing. Essentially, working with active and non-active water trigger areas.

Applying the same logic to terrain (active / non-active), we end up with:

Gates. In general, these are much more versatile than locked or limited-number exits: They can act as one-way terrain (if a Lemming has to get to the other side to push a lever and make the metal pieces retract), they can serve as bridges to cross gaps or barriers to block lemmings, cut off the path to certain pickup skills, only allow a certain number of Lemmings to pass before closing for good, etc.. They might even be able to kill Lemmings (or Zombies / Weasels) if they extend while a Lemming is passing by? In NeoLemmix, such a Lemming would probably only get trapped inside the terrain (although, if that terrain is also considered steel, he would have no chance of ever escaping again).
Essentially, this would mean "active" and "non-active" terrain in NeoLemmix, but clearly identifiable visually. A fair version of the Clock gimmick, so to say (though I've never actually seen this gimmick in action), which, according to my knowledge, made terrain present or absent on a mere timing basis (=execution difficulty). With metal gates like the ones in Lemmings Revolution, we could incorporate this idea into puzzles in a fair and predictable way! ;)

Speed-up pads. These would essentially be to the Lix Runner skill what radiation and slowfreeze were for Bombers and Stoners. They might not be hated as much by the community as a whole, because they don't include a countdown. But they would essentially introduce the Runner skill (or Superlemming gimmick) in specific locations of a level. I actually opposed the introduction of the Runner skill into NeoLemmix in the early days of New Formats, arguing that it would mainly be exploited to create scenarios of difficult execution. Some people pointed out the possible interactions between Jumper and Runner. I still think a skill isn't really viable if it's only worthwhile in combination with specific other skills (like, in this case, increasing the Jumper's distance). But the closer we get to the introduction of the Jumper into NeoLemmix, the more tastes may vary.

Anti-gravity pads. I've stated repeatedly that I'm a big fan of these, because they add all the versatility of L2 skills like the Magno Booter, or other conceivable skills, such as upward digging or downward building, without requiring the introduction of actual new skills. Then again, the reason they do this is because they essentially work like a gimmick - not like the "no gravity" gimmick, of course, but more like an actual application of "Upside-down world". So while I do believe these have huge puzzle potential, I also acknowledge they'd probably be a nightmare to code, especially whenever any new skills get introduced.

Teleporters / Portals. The big thing about teleporters in Lemmings Revolution is that they're not release-rate sensitive: They work just like splitters in NeoLemmix and affect every lemming passing through. That's why I'd call these "portals", to distinguish them from teleporters: Rather than triggering, they just change the position of a lemming. I think introducing these, while it might seem redundant to teleporters at first glance, would accomplish several things:
- being an actual case of the "super teleporter" created by Arty, giving people the option to create teleporter-heavy levels that don't take ages to solve, because the player no longer has to wait for eternity until all the lemmings can be transported
- offer the option for "wraparound" levels without requiring the re-introduction of the gimmick. I've been using regular teleporters in the past to simulate the level wrap gimmick, and it works perfectly fine, except for the release-rate sensitivity of standard teleporters. Portals would provide the option for level wrap in specific locations, without the entire level side or ceiling becoming a doorway to the other side of the level. Actual level wrap can introduce a bunch of backroutes that are difficult to see for the level designer - portals, in contrast, allow to restrict this effect much more, without forcing you to make your level release-rate sensitive.

Break-away floors. I don't actually remember these from playing Lemmings Revolution myself, but these would essentially work like limited-number exits - except that they're limited-number terrain. I wouldn't recommend the terrain falling apart piece by piece, like the rising water gimmick in old NeoLemmix; instead, they could be labeled with a number, just like limited-number exits, and then the terrain would simply disappear once that number reaches zero. Essentially, this could be combined with the idea of gates explained above.



Some of these would probably be rather easy to introduce, especially things like Portals (=non-timing-based teleporters), which could basically rely on the code for something that already exists, and merely slightly adapt it, while still providing many new opportunities for level designers.

What do you all think? ;)

I've labeled those in green which I'd personally approve of in NeoLemmix, and those in red which I'd find redundant or even harmful in light of our standard level-design philosophy.

8
ccexplore just made me aware of this page, which, in the subsection for Lemmings 2: The Tribes, lists the claw from the Medieval tileset as a trap.

I think I've never actually seen that in action in any of the L2 Medieval levels? In IchoTolot's LP, the lemmings just walk past beneath the claw safely.

In NeoLemmix, this claw is a regular terrain piece anyway.

9
Level Design / Cancelling skills with Shimmiers vs. with Walkers
« on: November 01, 2019, 10:24:44 am »
Walkers have been dubbed by several people as the most overpowered skill in NeoLemmix, due to their versatility. Too many advanced puzzles revolve around questions such as limiting the number of times a given lemming can turn around, or how a Blocker can be freed, and the Walker takes care of both.

Shimmiers, in contrast, can cancel skills - but not Blockers - without having the additional potential of easily turning lemmings around either. Of course, depending on the structure and position of certain ceilings, they can introduce other backgrounds that Walkers couldn't. But so far, a regular, shimmiable ceiling appearing by accident seems to be the exception rathe than the rule.

What's you experience on this so far? Have you been using Shimmiers as a mere cancel skill instead of Walkers? ;) Maybe it's also easier to hide the availability of such solutions, because this option is still less familiar to people at the moment, whereas for Walkerrs, canceling skills is one of their main intended uses.

10
My level "Check mate" from Pit Lems was considered the hardest level in the pack by nin10doadict when he let's-played it. Nevertheless, the level has remained in a comparatively low position, early in the third of five ranks, because it had one decisive facilitating thing going on: Once you had worked out a particular approach, you could just continue repeating that approach across the entire map to solve the level.


Check mate (Pit Lems, WTF 04)

In contrast, I have just finished creating a level where, after having identified a certain approach, this will get you somewhere - but continuing with this same strategy all the way to the end will cause the level to fail.

This inability to switch strategies and continuing with the old one is also known in psychology as perseveration.

Here is the level in question (replay included in the attachment).


The bee

Solution (click to show/hide)

I've explained the solution in the spoiler above, because I'm not certain whether this level is 100% proof at enforcing this yet. That's why I've provided the replay.

I'm pretty sure there are other custom levels also using this strategy to lead the player astray. Can you name any? ;)

Also, maybe our Finnish users might understand the reference this level is making. ;) After all, it's about someone whose name is very closely related to Lemmings...

11
NeoLemmix already comes pre-equipped with the original Lemmings- and ONML tunes. Of course, several people also like to use the tunes from Lemmings 3D and Lemmings 2: The Tribes on a regular basis - but so far, they haven't been part of the official download. Since music is usually provided along with individual packs, if several people use e.g. the Lemmings 3D tracks, but name them differently, this leads to redunancy in the music folder, because both will provide the tracks again, even though they're technically only required once.

So maybe we could simplify this by including the L3D- and L2 tunes into the standard NeoLemmix download as well? Then everyone could refer to these tracks by the same name when assigning them to levels. With graphic sets, we've already done a good job at removing duplicate pieces - so I think it would only make sense to do the same for frequently-used music tracks. :)

12
I've noticed that sometimes, individual skills on the skill panel will not show a regular lemming with green hair and a blue shirt, but either an athlete (blue hair, green shirt), or even a zombie, should zombie lemmings appear on the level.

If this were only specifically applying to permanent skills, i.e. Climber, Floater, Glider, Swimmer, and Disarmer, I'd understand. It's somewhat strange anyway, because for several years now, the player actually never gets to see a regular-coloured Climber, Floater, Glider, Swimmer, or Disarmer - assigning any of these skills to a lemming will immediately reverse the colour scheme between hair and clothing.

I only consciously noticed this difference while testing my pack for 1.43, "Lemmicks", because back in version 1.43, athletes didn't change colours yet. ;)

However, now in New Formats, the recolouring of the lemmings on the skill panel seems to be arbitrary, not restricted to athletic skills, but I've also seen it happen with Walkers, Blockers, or Cloners. The Cloner is an interesting case, because one of the two lemmings looked like a regular lemming, the other one like an athlete.

Is there some pattern behind this that I simply don't understand, i.e. is this intendedl? ;) I wasn't sure, that's why I hesitated to report this as a bug immediately. If it is one, please move this post to the Bugs subforum (most likely referring to the player rather than the editor).

Since it seems to occur arbitrarily, I unfortunately can't provide any specific steps to reproduce this either. So this is just a rough survey on whether anybody else has noticed this phenomenon?

I'm talking about the latest stable version 12.6.5.

13
NeoLemmix Main / Advanced Blocker tricks
« on: October 20, 2019, 10:28:41 pm »
As a beginner, you tend to do everything with Blockers: The crowd always needs to be contained between two Blockers before you can even start planning the solution.
As an intermediate player, you get used to all the methods of crowd containment without any Blockers: Basher / Miner / Digger / Bomber pits, sealing off shafts with Builders or Platformers, Stackers and anticipating how many Lemmings will slip by, Stoner cells which you can only free the crowd from with Stackers, etc.
As a professional, also when it comes to the levels you design yourself, you might discard containing the crowd alltogether and instead move more and more towards mere flow control and timing-based solutions.

And then, finally, suddenly, the Blockers start popping up on the skill panel again. But they're almost never supposed to be used in the way regular players are used to.

I find myself having the most trouble with solutions where levels provide Blockers, but at first glance, it always seems like not a single one of them can be used, because there don't seem to be enough opportunities to easily free them again. The Builder may be the most powerful classic Lemmings skill, but the Blocker is definitely the most complicated one.

So I'd like to collect all the advanced tricks here involving Blockers. I'm trying to get back into Nepster Lems at the moment, and often whenever I compare my solutions or attempts at solutions to IchoTolot's walkthrough on YouTube, there are tricks involved which I wouldn't even have considered in my wildest dreams. It brings back some memories of SubLems and Lemmings Migration, when there are certain levels which you have no chance of solving, simply because you weren't aware that a certain approach is even possible from a pure game-mechanics standpoint.


I'll therefore try to somewhat categorise the Blocker tricks I am aware of, but I'm certain this list isn't complete, so please add to it! ;)

The Fake Blocker (click to show/hide)
Passing through Blockers (click to show/hide)
Turning around on Oh-Noers (click to show/hide)
Touching the trigger area (click to show/hide)

Any further Blocker-related tricks I should be aware of? ???

14
NeoLemmix Levels / Lemmings World Tour Remastered [New-Formats Version]
« on: October 18, 2019, 11:07:16 pm »


One year, one month, and one day after its initial release, here's the New-Formats version of Lemmings World Tour at last - the largest pack currently available for NeoLemmix!
This remastered version has had all levels adapted that originally featured radiation or slowfreeze.
I still encourage anyone who's interested to try out the original version for Old Formats, which I will continue to maintain. It includes all levels the way they were originally intended to be!

A huge upside of the New-Formats version is the increased stability. The intense mixing of graphic sets in this pack led to more or less frequent crashes in Old Formats when loading up a level, requiring a simple but inconvenient restart of NeoLemmix 10.13. I have not seen this happen in the New-Formats version yet! :thumbsup:

The attached ZIP-Folder at the bottom of this post includes the custom success- and failure jingles, as well as strato_generalmd, my modified version of the general tileset that used to exist in Old Formats. It contains some recolourings of various objects, Colorful Arty's rain and snow animations, as well as pre-placed builder staircases.
The attached style strato_generalmd is required to play the New-Formats version!

This is the updated version of the graphic set and the pack for NeoLemmix 12.7.0.

My Instruments tileset is part of the official styles download now, as well as nin10doadict's cattrap.


God gave Rock 'n Roll to you*

The music pack can be found here.
It consists of my self-recorded rock/metal versions of all the standard Lemmings and Oh No! More Lemmings tunes, except for ONML 04 and the special graphics tracks (Beast, Menacing, and Awesome).
All instruments were played / recorded and all tracks mixed by myself.



For everyone new to this pack: Lemmings World Tour is based on the idea of a Lemmings band touring the world. Every main level is inspired by a song title, with the author line being used to credit the artist who originally performed the song (not necessarily the composer ;) ).

Hence, all the music is played with real instruments, including the success and failure jingles. The levels also depict as many different places in various countries across the globe. Thus, many level titles will refer to a song title and a geographical location at the same time. You will also usually find the flag of the respective country on each of those levels (examples see below).

This pack consists of a whopping 320 levels - 40 for each of the 8 ranks.
These ranks are named: Noisemaker, Amateur, Professional, Diva, Rockstar, Legend, Encore, and Groupie


It also ends with the largest level in existence - one that is too large to even be created with or properly displayed by the New-Formats editor, but was converted from Old-Formats directly, together with the entire pack.
It is strongly advised to switch off the high-quality minimap when playing the very last level (Groupie 40) - game fluency will improve drastically that way. ;)

With that out of the way, let's take a closer look at the ranks! ;)

NOISEMAKER
This rank is all about teaching you essential mechanics of the game and vital, but maybe somewhat obscure skill tricks - rather than the usual X-of-everything levels you might find on the lower ranks in other packs! Pay close attention to the pre-level texts, they can give you essential hints! ;) Also, beware the occasional troll level. There is a certain infamous, lemming-eating Octopus hiding on this rank, and one of the two levels shown below requires the lemmings to dive in a fountain. Sometimes, this pack will put visual aesthetics over strict, mechanical fairness, but it is the exception rather than the rule.
Noisemaker Intended Trick List (click to show/hide)

Vegas Lights

Grenade

AMATEUR
On these levels, the skills are grouped thematically (upward-moving, downward-moving, destructive, creative etc.), and the more advanced objects get introduced, such as pre-assigned skills and pre-placed lemmings, splitters, force fields, and teleporters. More landscape-like levels start occuring towards the end of the rank.
Amateur Intended Trick List (click to show/hide)

Shipping up to Boston

Georgia on my mind

PROFESSIONAL
The first levels of this rank are going to test what you've learned about the skills so far, requiring several of the previously-introduced tricks, but now without prior announcement! ;) Also be prepared to navigate some pretty huge cities, as you're playing in more and more important locations around the world.

Moskau, Moskau

Streets of London

DIVA
Now you can really start showing off your skills - but don't get too cocky yet! ;) There are still much harder songs coming...

Weiße Rosen aus Athen

Barcelona

ROCKSTAR
If you want to play on the big stage, you must master how to control the crowd. Can you hold them back when you have to, and make them move when you want them to?

Streets of Philadelphia

Cold Turkey

LEGEND
The songs on this rank will be remembered for all eternity. In other words: Probably just as long as solving these levels might take you! :P

Ganglem Style

The Phantom of the Opera

ENCORE
Here you can find levels from my preceding, Old-Formats packs (Paralems, Pit Lems, and Lemmicks) that also were named after song titles. The only one missing is "Turn this club around!" from Lemmicks. Without that one, there were exactly fourty of them, so I thought they would be a good fit here. They were not selected for their quality, though - but indeed mainly for their titles. ;) So definitely expect these to be easier than the previous ranks, but that might be a welcome relief after the hard stuff! ;) Also, due to the absence of gimmicks, the Lemmicks levels usually have completely different solutions compared to their first appearance.

We are the Lempions (Pit Lems)

All along the watchtower (Lemmicks)

GROUPIE
These levels were created by Colorful Strato and incendoadict: I identified the signature level-design features of most of the active content creators, and then built a level for each of them pretending I were them! ;) Some people have even had several levels dedicated to them - and no, the "author" line is not being used to spoil that for you. Which level was inspired by whom, that is something you'll have to discover for yourself! :P Many of these levels are still named after songs, in which case the author line will mention the performing artist, just like before. Other levels will have non-song names, and therefore no author line either.

Bon appetit!

Take a Byte

Have you taken a guess at which user inspired which Groupie level? ;) Then you can check whether you're correct right here:
Groupie rank level list (click to show/hide)

I hope the release of this pack to New Formats can bridge the gap between very easy and very hard packs a little! ;) It's currently rather difficult to find "intermediate" content. The radiation- and slowfreeze levels from Old Formats could be replicated in New Formats to varying degree - some solutions might be more interesting, some more dull than in Old Formats.

Finally, I have tested each level in the New-Formats version of this pack at least once, but with 320 levels in total, there's always a remaining chance that I've missed something that doesn't work as intended.
So please, report any issues you find, just like you would report any backroutes!
;)


And with that, all I have to say is:
The stage is yours! ;)


*The red Stratocaster from the Instruments tileset is a Wikimedia Commons picture created by Johan Förberg.

15
Level Design / Artistic levels in Lemmings 3D
« on: October 17, 2019, 10:21:08 am »
As you might know, I've come to fancy Colorful Arty's level-building style of "painting" with level tiles, and I've done so quite a lot on my pack Lemmings World Tour. Now that I'm working on, among others, a NeoLemmix pack trying to emulate Lemmings 3D, I'm thinking about to what extent these "artistic"-looking levels fit into the overarching theme of the pack. In other words: Can a pack still feel like Lemmings 3D (featuring the characteristic tilesets, such as Candy / Jelly-Belly), when it includes (too many) artistic levels?

I know there definitely are some artistic-looking levels in Lemmings 3D, where the DMA / Psychgnosis creators themselves "painted" with level tiles. The lines between the various tilesets are also much less strict than in classic Lemmings or ONML, as for example the level backgrounds are interchanged liberally between tilesets. For example, "Away Team" features a space background, but neither belongs to the Alien nor the Digital tileset, but is counted as a Lego level (the style from "Attack of the 50 Ft. Lemmings" or, most famously, "That's the name of the game").

That said, I have never managed to actually complete Lemmings 3D in its entirety, so I might be missing some levels. Here are the ones I am aware of that definitely use tilesets to create some sort of recognisable, "realistic" structure, rather than just an abstract level shape:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

That's 30 levels, so almost a third of all levels in total, including the practice levels! :lem-mindblown:

I guess almost all of the Medieval levels count, because they almost always feature castles, rather than merely using the stone tiles for abstract level shapes.

Therefore, I'd figure that artistic levels are more than fitting in custom Lemmings 3D levels (or custom NeoLemmix levels alluding to Lemming 3D, like in my case) - but with the restrictions of sticking to certain stiles, like Medieval, Egyptian, or Digital. Wild tileset mixing to get as close as possible to an actual location in the world is probably not possible inside the L3D editor anyway, and hence, in NeoLemmix, it would step too far beyond the limits of Lemmings 3D to still evoke that feeling of playing Lemmings 3D.

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