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Topics - Simon

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Lix Main / Backroute-judging feature when saving replay?
« on: September 08, 2021, 08:28:53 PM »

There are days/weeks between creating the replay (during a longer play session) and submitting the replay. By then, I've forgotten my feelings for the replay.

On saving a manual replay, I want buttons for quick annotations:

I suspect that this is the intended solution.
I suspect that this is an acceptable alternative.
I suspect that this is a slight backroute.
I suspect that this is an egregious backroute. :lix-evil:
Add/remove/reorder quick annotation.

How do the powerful solvers in NL handle the problem of remembering feedback for later submission? You submit many replays in one post/PM. When you were playing, did you put feelings in your filenames to remind yourself? Do you re-watch replays before submitting them for accurate feedback?

For a Lix feature: Should we put the feeling in the filename or should we put it into the replay format?

Even autoreplay can get these annotations, but they're optional, you don't have to provide one.

The same feature would be for level authors instead of level players. The authors will put a final judgement in the format/filename, whereas players will put suspicions of what the author's judgement would be.

-- Simon

Ste Woz Ere designs Tribes of Steel (L2 pack WIP).

geoo and I want to blind-race the Highland tribe on livestream. I propose Friday, July 9, starting 17:00 UTC. I expect these streams to take 2-4 hours for one tribe. geoo, does this suit you, Fri Jul 9 17:00 UTC?

Simon's twitch page
geoo's twitch page changes every year.

-- Simon

Fan Corner / Iconic Game Archaeology
« on: May 18, 2021, 06:15:45 AM »
In the university years, I would prowl the internet for culture late at night. With a job, I prefer to sleep at night, so I've moved my internet antics to early morning instead. Today, I've dug up:

:8(): Forum thread on iconic game archaeology: miscellaneous artifact pile :8():

Old Lemmings fan art, and unused stuff from other video games. Example:

...and more animations like this. I had known some before, but these signed CMU'95 were new to me. Enjoy the thread!

-- Simon

Lix Main / End-of-singleplayer screen
« on: May 02, 2021, 10:27:46 AM »
Progress report on the new feature, the end-of-singleplayer screen.

March 2021: Start implementing the end-of-level screen.
Discover small piece of duplicated logic in the overarching screen handling.
Get idea for huge refactor of the screen handling.
Weeks later, finish refactor.
Lix runs, main menu comes up.
Praise the type system, it catches all bugs at compile time instead of at runtime.
Lix crashes at runtime.
Hack to navigate; most screens don't crash, only the level browser crashes.
Become nearly insane analyzing the code and proving that it cannot crash.
Browse Bugzilla for related compiler bugs.
Find matching bug that I filed myself 6 months ago, during similar problem.
Download compiler source and study, getting ideas to sleep over.
Next morning, discover that somebody already has a pull request in the works.
May 2021: Be happy, continue with end-of-singleplayer screen.

What do we get from these first 6 weeks? The most boring screen in the world, see attachment. :lix-evil: All you can do is go back to the browser.

The plan is:
  • Add the stats for the solution from the finished/exited playthrough.
  • Add replay-saving button, and info about about auto-saving.
  • Add the personal record. I track lix saved and skills.
  • Contemplate about more stats to track. The screen's top half gives room for more.
  • In the bottom half, add preview of next level in the level tree.
  • In the bottom half, add preview of next unsolved level, if that is different.
For consistency, the screen will appear every time you exit singleplayer, even if you didn't win. We might want to save a non-solving replay. And we want to support hotkey habits, e.g. hitting the quitting hotkey twice during a singlepalyer game will then always go to the browser, regardless of winning or not.

After this screen is finished, I'll look at the networking server, allowing different versions to play on the central server, and look into physics changes and level format changes. 0.9.x has been good for nearly 4 years, but we have more things to come.

-- Simon

Lix Levels / Multiplayer Map-Making Contest
« on: February 19, 2021, 06:55:27 PM »

Let's build cool multiplayer maps for Lix!

How to participate

Build some maps in the Lix editor and post them here! All multiplayer maps built from January 2021 through April 2021 are eligible.

Schedule spontaneous playtesting sessions (e.g., in #lix, chat in your browser) or post on the multiplayer-planning board here on the forums. The more Lix sessions you schedule/join, the better you can test and improve your maps from the feedback.

Flopsy's Editor tutorial
Flopsy's Guide to Multiplayer


There are no hard rules, any multiplayer map is eligible. Here are some inspirational prompts:
  • An asymmetric map: Instead of copying/mirroring one player's terrain, everybody gets completely different terrain. It's good to playtest such a map several times in our sessions, so you can fix the balance.
  • A map with few skills, maybe at most 3 or 5 of each. Players must carefully decide whether to spend a builder, or whether to bat an attacker.
  • A map where you usually save either close to 100 % of your crowd, or nearly nothing. The player can't merely make a route for his continuous stream of lix, then defend the route.
  • A map that mixes racing (only 1 lix or only a few lixes, lots of jumping/running/turning) and route-building.
  • A map with a 5-player and a 7-player variant. We tend to have the fewest maps for these player counts.
  • Something really novel. 1-lix racing maps were groundbreaking when Rubix made his first one. Arty made a diplomatic map. What else is sleeping in design space?

Everybody will get a nice postcard in Summer 2021. If you're not happy giving me your reallife address, we can think of something else that is nice.

The point is to promote map-making and find unexplored places in design space. This contest is a lot more open-ended than the NeoLemmix level contests. We are not keeping the levels under wraps, there is no separate playing phase. Instead we are encouraging people to participate in our arranged Lix sessions (or arrange your own) and you bring the levels to be tested.

You are allowed to change the level as much as you like based on other players' feedback or your own findings. The deadline is 30th April 2021 at 23:59 UTC.

-- Simon

Lix Main / Shared hatches/exits, e.g., for race maps
« on: February 08, 2021, 05:00:48 AM »
Flopsy in IRC while I was sleeping:

Quote from: Flopsy
I'm planning on making a race map for the first time, how does the entrances and exits work for race maps?

Most race maps have one hatch and one exit, with 0 overtime.
Here, everybody will spawn from that hatch at the same time. The single exit will be shared among everybody. If you save any lix at all, only you score a point, the 0 overtime will trigger, and the exit will immediately close.

General rules below.

An exit can be shared among a subset of the colors. When a lix of a matching color enters, only this color scores a point; no other color will score a point, not even the other colors shown on that exit. When a lix of a non-matching color enters, all the colors of the exit will score a point each.

This way, exits shared among all colors will act as race goals: The winning lix will always be of a matching color, therefore only the winner will get a point. Also, the rule specializes to the common case where each goal shows only one color: No matter what enters, the shown color gets a point per entered lix.

At the start of the game, the engine will ensure that the number of colors is divisible by the number of hatches, or that the number of hatches is divisible by the number of colors. Usually, this is fulfilled because we pick matching maps. If it's not fulfilled, the game will remove hatches from the end of the hatch list until it's fulfilled.

Then the engine will ensure that the number of goals fits the number of players (i.e., again, that either divides the other) and will remove goals from the end of the goal list until it's fulfilled.

If this leaves us with fewer exits than colors, the colors will be allocated to the exits by going around the exit list several times. E.g, we have six colors A, B, C, D, E, F, three hatches h0, h1, h2, and two exits e0, e1. This generates the associations (A, h0, e0), (B, h1, e1), (C, h2, e0), (D, h0, e1), (E, h1, e0), (F, h2, e1). As a result, the exit e0 will be shared among A, C, E. This is completely deterministic; in this example with 6 colors, 3 hatches, and 2 goals, each goal will always be assigned exactly one of the colors from each hatch.

To be ultimately clear, all the mentions of color in the hatch/exit reduction/association algorithm should really be replaced by starting positions. For each game, the server generates a random permutation of the picked colors, so that the fixed starting positions A, C, E may be given to the colors red, green, white in the first game, and then to red, orange, blue in the second game.

-- Simon

Site Discussion / PM attachments yield index.php, workaround: rename
« on: December 20, 2020, 09:07:03 PM »
Bug in the forum since the move 1-2 months ago.

When you download an attachment from a private message, you get the correct file, but it's named index.php instead of the real name that the attachment has in the PM. The file should ideally have the right name when you download it.

Workaround: Download the attachment, then rename from index.php to what it really is.

Windows users might have to enable show-file-extensions. (Insert Simon rant that this is not default.)

I'll look at this tomorrow, but I have no clue how to fix yet.

-- Simon

General Discussion / Giant Anteaters
« on: November 29, 2020, 05:49:11 PM »

Today is November 29, it's World Anteater Day.

The Giant Anteater is a lovely, huge mammal with a bushy tail and a distinct fur pattern. There are other anteaters, e.g., the Silky Anteater, but this post is only about the Giant Anteater.

The first thing to realize is that this is a single animal. This is not two or three animals, this is a single animal. The front legs have white, long fur with black spots, they look like the head of another animal. The black triangular fur stripe behind the neck, again, makes it look like there are two animals here, one in front of the other. But no, this is all a single Giant Anteater.

The latin name for the Giant Anteater is myrmecophaga tridactyla, literally three-toed ant-eater. The toe claws are massive. These claws pry open the sturdy mounds termites or ants, so the anteater can get to its food.

Because the toe claws are so big and sharp, the Giant Anteater will walk on its knuckles. The claws are angled inward, apparently at 45 degrees. This protects the sharp claws. Apparently, the anteaters don't mind too much -- they can jog reasonably fast even on their knuckles.

Knuckles (from Sonic) is an echidna, not an anteater. Likewise, aardvarks (Erdferkel in German) are not anteaters (Ameisenbären). Aardvarks live in Africa, anteaters live in South America. Nonetheless, both aardvarks and anteaters feast on ants and termites.

The tongue grows 40 to 50 cm long. When the termite mount has been pried open, this sticky tongue goes inside and slurps the tasty bugs. The entire tongue moves in and out the mouth several times per second.

Baby anteaters crawl on top of their mom and hold on tight.

Mom will travel around her territory and search for food, all while the baby is riding along on her back.

Anything fluffy will qualify as a mom in a pinch!

At bedtime, the huge bushy tail becomes a blanket.

-- Simon

Lix Levels / Changing of the Guards, backroute
« on: September 01, 2020, 12:09:45 AM »

I assume that this is a backroute for Changing of the Guards (lemforum/Vicious).

Explanation (click to show/hide)

-- Simon

In 2018, I wrote:

Skill blueprints: Demo video of skill blueprints. It looks sophisticated, but it's not in releasable quality yet:
  • This is comparatively expensive to compute. I allocate an extra level-sized VRAM bitmap for the blueprints. Even though that's permanent,  I have to target/untarget that at least once per drawing. It dents the performance.
  • It doesn't cover all skills yet: It doesn't draw any terrain changes for cubers or ploders.
  • It draws the removers' blueprints even where there is already air. I'd prefer to only draw it on terrain. That requires changes to some low-level algorithms.
  • I like the previewed pose of the lix after the skill has run out. But stopped terrain removers get hidden behind the blueprint.
I'd like to improve it it before I release. I could hide it behind a disabled-by-default option, but hmmm, it feels very very beta even for that. Still, I'm happy to have made some progress here.

August 2020 discussion about this old D Lix branch in NL Customisable Fast-Forward Speed:

Lix doesn't have skill shadows yet, they're elaborate to implement both nicely and fast. I have a crude version in a 2018 branch. It's possible to release that, but I feel like I should polish it more. I haven't done it in two years.

These look pretty good to be honest, but I can see that more refined versions are possible. For example, making it so the destructive blueprint only appears on the terrain that it will affect rather than the entire mask being shown.

Whatever you do, be sure to make these optional! I don't play Lix much at the mo but I keep meaning to - I'll likely make my next LP series Lix-based. It would be great to play through a few more levels and finally get around to reviewing the editor!

Yes, the main disadvantage is that the remover blueprints paint their entire mask, even over air. It's possible to improve that. I already have intricate/expensive per-pixel VRAM drawing for the real terrain removing; ideally, the blueprints work the same, even if expensive.

The blueprints allocated an extra level-sized VRAM bitmap. I'd like to omit that, too. Haven't thought about it in over a year. But maybe it's not that bad after all.

Undo in the editor is still in the works, but not releasable yet. Nonetheless, looking forward to your feedback!

-- Simon

Lix Main / 2020 Roadmap
« on: July 09, 2020, 09:39:08 PM »
For the second half of 2020, I'm planning:
  • Undo in the editor. I've poured serious effort into undo, but it's not finished. Undo must become a non-buggy releaseable feature. At first, only tile additions/deletions will be undoable. More actions will follow to become undoable. Probably some minor actions won't yet be undoable by end of 2019. We'll see.
  • Introduce an end-of-level screen that previews the next level. Maybe offer two levels: The next level, and the next unsolved level.
  • Replay tweaker: Add insert mode
  • Probably no physics change, no introduction of neutral lixes yet, ... But I should propose a battle plan for such breaking changes. Physics have subtle bugs, and I still haven't merged fixes that have been cooking since summer 2017.
-- Simon

Lix Main / Replay Tweaker: Add insert mode, what else?
« on: June 21, 2020, 10:46:09 PM »

Proxima has submitted to Level Design Contest #20: Thirteen Little Skills. This is a disjoint union (= the level is separated into several independent areas) and thus would profit from better tooling in Lix. We want to focus on one area without worrying about lix dying in other areas.

Lix has the replay tweaker (film-strip button in the panel during play) to move or delete assignments without cutting the replay.

The main missing functionality is insert: When you click to assign, instead of first cutting all future assignments, the new assignment will be inserted without cutting anything from the replay. I would like to offer this in the replay tweaker as a mode: The default is cut-then-append (= normal behavior of most Lemmings-like games with interruptable action replay), and the second mode is insert-without-cutting (= what NeoLemmix shows with blue letter R in the panel).

What else should the replay tweaker offer?

I'm still busy with undo in the editor, undo is a mammoth feature to make nice. Afterwards, I'm considering either buffing the replay tweaker, or make a dedicated end-of-level screen that offers next levels.

-- Simon

Lix Levels / Lix singleplayer level list
« on: June 13, 2020, 02:16:31 PM »
Here is a list of all single player Lix level packs and scattered levels. It was split off Wafflem's list for all Lemmings-like games. Packs/levels are ordered by author name.

Current but not included in the main release:

Level Packs:


Scattered Levels:

Winter Rations by geoo
Level for the Level solving contest #3.

Richard of Gloucester by Proxima
Level for the Level solving contest #2.

Included in the main release:

Full pack with 113 levels by Clam: 91 levels plus 22 outtakes.

xmas2018 by F and Simon
Holiday-themed pack with 24 levels.

Miniatures by geoo and Simon
Originally 10, now 17, levels with small level sizes, inspired by the small size of Gronkling's levels. Part of the misc folder.

Tutorials by geoo, Rubix, Simon and Wuzzy
As of 7th Feb 2019 it contains 15 basic tutorial levels. Advanced tutorials are planned.

mobius's levels 2017
A later set of Lix level packs, including "leftovers" (some of them are included in the lemforum pack) and "non-tutorials" (7 levels loosely based off the L1 Tutorial levels). Part of the misc folder.

Full pack of 96 levels.

Nessy's levels
10 levels, some converted from the NeoLemmix pack "Lemmings Migration". Part of the misc folder.

Epic Adventure by RubiX
Full pack of 173 levels. Contains Parallel Universe and the Community Collab Project #1.

Simon's levels
Some levels by Simon that are not miniatures. Part of the misc folder.

lemforum (Lix Community Pack)
Full pack with 240 original levels by various authors, including remakes of Lemmix and Cheapo levels. Some levels are from the abandoned Project Capybara, its remaining levels later became mobius's small level pack in 2017.

lemforum outtakes

Levels that were at some time part of the Lix Community Pack but later exchanged for other levels. Can be found in misc/lemforum-outtakes.

Contest levels by Various
Levels made on occasion of various design contests. Can be found in misc/contest.


Level Packs:

TameLix by Clam
Only for C++ Lix. 20 ONML Tame levels in Lix with new puzzles. Each level has an easy and a hard puzzle.

DoveLems by Dodochacalo and Proxima
Only for C++ Lix. Originally a pack of 125 levels for Lemmini, DoveLems has been converted by Proxima, excluding Lemmings' Ark. This pack needs separate Lemmings tilesets that don't ship with C++ Lix.

Lix tutorial levels by geoo, Rubix and Simon
Levels meant to serve as tutorials for the basic skills. Some of them are in Lix main release again as part of tutorial/basic. Some levels use outdated tiles.

mobius's level sets
Lix levels remade from Lemmix. Some of these became part of the Lix Community Pack. Some levels show missing terrain due to the culling of decoration pieces, just save and reload in the ingame editor.

Prob Lem's levels
Several levels. Hrududu made its way into the Lix Community Pack.

Reloaded by RubiX and others
Lemmings 1 levels remade in Lix with new puzzles.

Time Trials by RubiX
Five levels with time limit challenges. Time limits are not supported anymore in Lix.

Scattered levels:

Raylevels by Raymanni
One level can be found in this thread, which uses out-of-date tiles.

Happy Holidays by Raymanni, fixed by Forestidia to tileset renamings
Chimney Climber by Simon
These levels showcase the Holiday tileset by Raymanni. Both included in the xmas2018 pack, see above.

Contest levels:
Some contest levels may depend on features of C++-Lix, e.g. time limits, which are not supported anymore in Lix. Most of the levels are included in the main release.

16 x 16 by Akseli
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014. Shows missing tiles due to tile renamings.

Planet Dulux by Akseli
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014. Shows missing tiles due to tile renamings.

The Climber Predicament by geoo
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

The Floater Predicament by geoo
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

Minefield by geoo
Entry for the Level Design Contest 5

Las Ranas Hermanas by geoo
Entry for the Level Design Contest 6. Included in the lemforum pack of the main release.

Marching Band by geoo
Entry for the Level Design Contest 10

Inseparables (V2) by geoo
Entry for the Level Design Contest 11

The New Compression Method (V3) by geoo
Entry for the Level Design Contest 11

Deadly Cells by geoo
Entry for the Level Design Contest 15. Included in misc/miniatures, which is part of the main release.

Cirque Du Solix by mobius
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

Cirque Du Solix (part 2) by mobius
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

Amethyst Nightmare Shrine by NaOH
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

Temple to the Frog Gods by NaOH
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

A Day in Lixtown by Nepster
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014. Included in NepsterLix, which is part of the main release.

A Night in Lixtown by Nepster
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014. Included in NepsterLix, which is part of the main release.

Altruism by Nepster
Entry for the Level Design Contest 6. Included in NepsterLix, which is part of the main release.

Oh Yes, Here Again! (V3) by Nepster
Entry for the Level Design Contest 11

All Around the World by Proxima
Entry for the Level Design Contest 4. Included in the lemforum pack of the main release.

A Necklace of Raindrops by Proxima
Entry for the Level Design Contest 10. Included in the lemforum pack of the main release.

Tailor-made for athletes by Proxima
Entry for the Level Design Contest 10

Oh No! More Tame Levels (V3) by Proxima
Entry for the Level Design Contest 13

Turnabout Sisters by Proxima
Entry for the Level Design Contest 15.

Eyesis (Part I) by Ramon
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

Eyesis (Part II) by Ramon
Entry for the Lix Double-Level Contest 2014.

Waiting For The Answer (V5) by Rubix
Entry for the Level Design Contest 9

Palmtree Pile-up (V1.2) by Simon
Entry for the Level Design Contest 5. Uses an outdated tile.

Long Division (V25) by Simon
Entry for the Level Design Contest 10

Flying Squirrels (V2) by Simon
Entry for the Level Design Contest 11

Key to the Mini Kingdom (V9) by Simon
Entry for the Level Design Contest 13

-- Simon

Lix Main / WillLem plays Lovely 6-10
« on: May 19, 2020, 07:46:34 AM »
(Split from NeoLemmix 2-player mode suggestion topic by namida)

Split further into:
Spawn Interval fixed per level, 2020
Progress to next level without getting back to menu

WillLem: What sucks in Lix?

Please be frank, I enjoy rants. I don't mind trashing existing work in light of long-term better solutions. Giga's Lix editor rant was among the most helpful posts in the last 3 years.

-- Simon

Log into forum.
(Don't have Simon's custom CSS enabled that cuts off the top-right box.)
Ensure that there are no new replies by anyone to your posts.
Be on the forum's front page.
Click "Show new replies to your posts" in top-right corner.

Observed: We go to a new page that prints an SQL query error.

Expected: Something cleaner.

-- Simon

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