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Topics - Nepster

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1
Site Discussion / Click twice on each attachment to download [SITE-BUG]
« on: November 19, 2017, 09:42:49 am »
Whenever I want to download an attachment, I have to try that twice: After the first click I always get the error "The requested URL /index.php was not found on this server." The second try then works fine.

2
NeoLemmix / Some complaints by GigaLem
« on: November 16, 2017, 08:18:00 pm »
Quote
<GigaLem> Well Until I can get someone who can perfectly port to the new format, I'm not upgrading
I know that your levels using the Freedom planet styles need a lot of work. I can totally understand if you don't want to do this yourself, especially as I am the reason for this high workload (with me merging lots of pieces). So if you would like to have new-formats versions of your levels, you can send them to me and I will convert them. I will even fix the ceiling issues.
The only changes you really have to make yourself is fixing levels that currently use radiation or slowfreeze objects.

Quote
<GigaLem> is the Starport set available in new format yet?
Yes, it is. I have converted all of your Freedom Planet styles.

Quote
<GigaLem> also, you'll need to get the entrances back into the dreadnought set because, they're needed for it
<GigaLem> I'm too affraid to talk to nepster about the dreadnought entrances, because im expecting a big "NO"
I checked again today, but the "gigalem_dread.dat" file does not contain any hatches. If you send me the hatch sprite, I will add it to the "gigalem_dread" style with the next update.
And I never removed anything that cannot easily remade with the remaining pieces, mostly be rotating/flipping the still existing piece correctly.

Quote
<GigaLem> I feel like nepster's making the update for him and only him sometimes, and it just ticks me off
If I did that, I would not have asked anyone for their opinions on the forums, and I would have removed backgrounds, disarmers, splat-pads and a lot of other stuff, which I personally don't like but that is still rather simple for new players to understand. And please don't confuse "many posts with one opinion" with "many people having one opinion": We have some very vocal members here (including me sometimes), but I try to balance the opinions of everyone, even if they only posted once.

Finally: If you have problems with anything I do, then please tell me! I might say "no", I might not agree with your point and I might decide against you, but I want to hear your opinion! Ranting in chat, especially when I am not there at that time, doesn't solve any issues!

3
Bugs & Suggestions / Move trigger areas up one pixel? [DISCUSSION]
« on: November 11, 2017, 11:16:40 pm »
Internally the lemming location is one pixel below the lemming's feet. Most of the time, this is only important for the programmer modifying the code and not the player. But there is one exception: Trigger areas in the clear-physics mode.
For new players it might be much easier to understand if the lemming's position would be directly at the lemming's feet, i.e. when the lemming triggers the object if (and only if) it's feet hit actually the trigger area.

I will certainly not change all the code internally, but I can change the display of the trigger areas in clear-physics mode (and as well in the editor and the graphics tool) so that the trigger areas are always displayed one pixel higher than they are at the moment.

How would you feel about this change? Do you think this is sensible, or do you rather prefer to keep the current situation to avoid confusion?

4
NeoLemmix / NeoLemmix - Quo vadis?
« on: November 11, 2017, 11:02:13 pm »
Given the frustration several members of this community voice regarding the removal of several features, I feel the need to present my philosophy about where NeoLemmix should head to.

My main guideline is: How does a change affect the user, who plays a level or a pack?
The reason for my decision to focus on players, not on level designers is actually very simple: Every single level is created by only a single user, but played by a lot of others.

This has a few consequences:
1) All rules should be easily discoverable and if one knows the behavior in similar situations, the player should be able to correctly guess the behavior in the current situation.
2) Ideally all levels should be playable without any of the helps that NeoLemmix offers. The helping features like clear-physics or frame-stepping should never be necessary.
3) All player styles should be viable, be it that they test a lot of things explicitely or be it trying to solve the level in the head first.
4) Already existing levels are unimportant: If a level does not use player-confusing features, then it will automatically work in the future, too. If it relies on edge-cases that change now, then it either can be saved by small changes or it's not a big loss. This is a very harsh point of view, but actually based on two reasons:
- Removing some levels (be it because they don't fit the current culture or have become impossible) is an absolutely normal procedure. This has happened when moving from Lemmix to NeoLemmix, and even at various points during the existing NeoLemmix development (not only due to the removal of gimmicks, but at a lot of other updates, too), and it will continue to happen in the future.
- The given feedback to level packs has (at least up to now) definitely favored levels that use the behavior players expect and know, but do so in interesting, unexpected or new ways. On the other hand levels relying too much on the fine points of the game mechanics or the terrain layout usually generate not quite as enthusiasthic feedback.
5) The amount of code necessary for a feature is absolutely unimportant: If a useful feature needs a lot of code (but is still managable for me), then it will be added. If a feature only needs a single line of code, then that doesn't mean that it should be added or be kept.

5
Bugs & Suggestions / New platformer and stacker animation [SUGGESTION]
« on: November 10, 2017, 04:16:13 pm »
Raymanni produced new platformer and stacker animations. Huge thanks :thumbsup::thumbsup:
   

I love the new stacker animation and would like to replace the current default one with this one. Anyone who disagrees?

But the new platformer sprite doesn't fully convince me. The lemming movement seems a bit weird. Opinions?

6
Closed / Blocker splats earlier than usual fallers [BUG][PHYSICS]
« on: November 08, 2017, 08:04:59 pm »
Usual lemmings can survive a 63 pixel fall. But if they have been blockers and the earth below their feet is removed, then they suddenly splat already after 60 pixels.

Example level is attached.

7
Currently teleporters may turn lemmings around when entering them. More precisely (I think) it works as follows:
- If the teleporter object is set to "Face Left", then all lemmings will be turned around when entering the teleporter.
- If the receiver object is set to "Face Left", this this doesn't influence lemmings at all.
- If teleporter or receiver objects are set to "Flip", then this just mirrors the sprite, but doesn't influence the game physics.

I always found this extremely confusing, both as a level designer and as a player. Actually I only understood this behavior after creating several test levels featuring the various combinations. And as a player I still always expect the lemmings to keep their direction and am rather surpised if I encounter one of the rare levels that uses teleporters turning the lemmings.
In addition the usual teleporters are far more used than the lemming-turning ones. So I suggest removing lemming-turning teleporters completely from NeoLemmix.

8
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Clickmazes
« on: October 25, 2017, 05:46:11 pm »
A few weeks ago I stumbled over the website Clickmazes, which has some brilliant logical puzzles (and several actual mazes). Unfortunately most of them use in-browser Java applets, which are a nightmare to run in any modern browser. I would still encourage you to have a look at it, if you like logical puzzles.

One of these puzzles is the BoxPuzzle, which is the hardest logical puzzle type I know that fits on a 3x4 grid. Given the problems in playing the puzzle on the homepage, I coded it myself and created 25 new puzzles for it (to avoid too heavy copyright infringements). This game is attached to this post as a Windows application.
Linux users can find the C# code in my git repo and build from there.

9
NeoLemmix / NeoLemmix Editor - How should the grid work?
« on: October 20, 2017, 07:19:54 pm »
There seem to be several different opinions floating around about how the grid should work. I have no preference in any way, because I am not using it, but I prefer not always having someone complaining whenever I make a change. ;P

So my questions are:
- How should the grid work when you drag pieces around?
- How should the grid work when moving pieces with the keys?
- How should the grid work when duplicating a piece?
- How should the grid work when inserting a piece previously copied to the clipboard?

10
NeoLemmix / Experimental NeoLemmix player - Pack conversion available!
« on: September 23, 2017, 03:54:48 pm »
New-Formats NeoLemmix Player - Experimenal Release

Download links:
Everything except styles: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tdshxbcmqk2ky7c/NeoLemmix_Full_2017-11-12.zip?dl=1
Styles: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pw3iptuoglqfokv/styles_2017-11-12.zip?dl=1
NeoLemmix player: http://www.neolemmix.com/download.php?program=16&exp=1
Editor: http://www.neolemmix.com/download.php?program=17&exp=1
Pack Toolkit: http://www.neolemmix.com/download.php?program=18&exp=1
Graphic Set Tool: http://www.neolemmix.com/download.php?program=19&exp=1
Pack Converter: http://www.neolemmix.com/download.php?program=46
Graphic Style Converter: http://www.neolemmix.com/download.php?program=45

Components:
1) NeoLemmix player (version 11.15.24): The new-formats player. It can be used from now on, as the file formats are stable starting with this version. It is fully functional, except for the online options (and of course any bugs it might have certainly has). New features include:
- namida's level selection menu, that allows jumping between packs.
- Options and hotkeys can be changed on every page, even when playing a level. Press F3 for this.
- The level selection menu is available from every page, too. Press F2 for this.
- Hatch markers to show preassigned skills. The same appear when moving the cursor over zombies, or in clear-physics mode when moving over a usual lemming.
- Radiation, Slowfreeze and anti-splat pads removed from the game.
- Time limits are now displayed in red, instead of the usual green.
- Updated options menu with far less hardly used options.
- The hotkey for the talisman menu is now F4, no longer F6.
2) Various helper files: The new-formats version reads a lot of info from external files, which are included as well.
3) NL Editor (version 1.4): A new editor for new-formats NeoLemmix levels.
4) Pack Toolkit (version 1.2): A tool to create and modify level packs for the new-formats version. It offers not yet all the options the player supports, so if you are missing something, please tell me.
5) Graphic Style Tool (version 1.0): A tool to create and modify graphic styles in the new-formats version.
6) Pack Converter: A tool to convert your old level packs automatically and (almost) completely to the new-formats version. Please see the next post for more details.
7) Graphic Style Converter: A tool to convert your old graphic styles to the new-formats. For details, please see the conversion topic.

Installation:
- Create a completely new directory and extract the file "NeoLemmix.zip" from the first download link into this new directory.
- Extract the file "styles.zip" into the same folder. You should now find a subfolder called "styles" containing all currently available graphic styles for the new-formats. Warning: Due to the large number of files, extracting this zip file may take a while.

Further advise:
- If you want to retain your options from V11.13.XX, copy the file "NeoLemmix147Settings.ini" into the same folder, where the new NeoLemmix.exe is located. This has to be done before starting the NeoLemmix.exe for the first time!. If you then start NeoLemmix with this file present, then it will read the options from this file, and save it in the subfolder "settings". Afterwards you can again delete the file "NeoLemmix147Settings.ini".
- If you want to retain your hotkeys, do the same but with the file "NeoLemmixHotkeys.ini".
- I do not guarantee that previous new-formats versions (up to any version 11.14.19) will work correctly or are compatible in any way with any of the other tools. There have been a few slight changes to the file formats in the meantime.
- I strongly encourage to delete any previously downloaded new-formats styles. Even the styles you got from the general download in the graphic set conversion topic contained a few bugs, that I fixed now!

11
Currently the castle style has the same fire blower and fire pit as the L1 fire style. However the trigger areas are subtly different:
Fire-blower in Castle: 69x10 pixels
Fire-blower in L1 Fire: 65x5 pixels
Fire pit in Castle: 28x8 pixels
Fire pit in L1 Fire: 28x7 pixels

As objects looking exactly the same should behave the same, the trigger areas of the three fire objects in the Castle style will be changed to match with the ones in L1 Fire for the new-formats version.
I don't think the fire pit change will break any levels, but the reduction of the trigger size for the fire-blower has a far bigger potential.
All level designers: Please double check your Castle levels when converting your levels!

12
Closed / Combine Resampling Options? [PLAYER][SUGGESTION]
« on: September 16, 2017, 09:55:26 am »
Currently there are three options doing very similar things: In all cases they resize images using non-integral zoom factors, interpolating the colors to create a decent resized image. They are:
- "Use Smooth Resampling in Menus": Resizes the menu screen to window size.
- "Use Smooth Resampling in Game": Resizes the level area to window size.
- "High-Quality Minimap": Shrinks the level area to the size of the minimap to be displayed there.

All three options stem from one and the same problem: The interpolation process is complicated and creates lags on weaker computers. So I expect that users either enable all or disable all of the three options. Therefore having all three seems redundant and I suggest combining them into one single option "Use Continuous Zoom".

Is there anyone who wouldn't be happy with this change?

13
NeoLemmix / NeoLemmix New Feature Poll - Vote Now!
« on: September 09, 2017, 06:14:19 pm »
As promised, here the poll for your favorite new NeoLemmix features.

Why do I only have three votes? I would like to see more than three of these features!
Yeah, I know. But here I am interested in the most urgent features, the ones that you really cannot live without; not the ones you think you might want to try out some day.

I decided that I prefer to change my votes due. Can I do that?
Yes, you can. Of course only until the poll closes around next sunday. ;)

I have further input or would like to discuss some of the suggestions. Where can I do that?
If you would like to discuss how a feature should be implemented, or have arguments why a feature should not be implemented, then please post them in the dedicated feature threads. Whenever I know of them, I linked it below. If you cannot find a dedicated feature thread, then please open one.
If you just want to list all the features you would like to see one day (or something similar), then you are welcome to post your opinions here. I don't guarantee that I will take them into account, though.

I don't understand one of the suggestions. Can you explain a bit more?
1) New skill: Shimmier
A new skill that moves along the ceiling, similar to the shimmier skill in L2. It will not jump forward to reach the ceiling though, but directly upwards. More detailed discussion is here.
2) New skill: Jumper
A new skill that behaves pretty similar to the L2 or Lix jumper, but without any tumbler mechanics. Slightly more detailed discussion is here.
3) New skill: Pourer
A new skill that poures new terrain out of a bucket, which then runs around until it sticks somewhere. The precise rules are not yet clear, but some discussion can be found here. Most likely it will resemble a mixture of the L2 glue-pourer and filler.
4) New skill: Runner
A new permanent skill that moves twice as fast as usual lemmings. Whether it will also do other skills twice as fast is still up to debate.
5) New skill: Slider
A new permanent skill that behaves like the L2 slider: Whenever reaching a gap, it slides down the wall and turn around.
6) New skill: Thrower
A new skill similar to the L2 spear-thrower or the stone thrower, that throws a sticky piece of terrain away. Whether it will be ball-shaped or spear-shaped is still up to debate.
7) New skill: Bazooka
A new skill similar to the L2 Bazooka, but without the flinging effect upon explosion. It will allow to remove terrain from a distance.
8) Level wrap
A setting that the level wraps around either horizontally or vertically or both. The implementation will be similar to the one in Lix.
9) Idling animations for traps, locked exits, ...
This basically amounts to allow more than one animation per object: Traps could have idling animations, locked exits could support both the opening animation and idling animations while closed and open, ...
10) Disappearing terrain
After a lemming has touched such a pixel of terrain with its feet, it will vanish and become air.
11) Neutral lemmings
Lemmings that behave just like usual lemmings (and count towards the save requirement), but cannot be assigned any skills.
12) Parallax backgrounds
Background wallpapers that don't move (as much or even at all) when the player scrolls around.  More details can be found in the dedicated feature thread.
13) New object: Multi-use pick-up skills
An extension to the current pick-up skills, that give you more than one item of the given skill. More details can be found in the dedicated feature thread.
14) New object: Negative pick-up skills
The opposite of a pick-up skill. Upon collecting it, it will remove one (or even all) of the given skill.
15) New object: Single-use triggered animation objects
A variation of the now-removed triggered animation object, which will only display the animation once. More details can be found in the dedicated feature thread.
16) New object: Exits that only permit a given number of lemmings
An exit that will close forever after a certain number of lemmings have entered it. More details can be found in the dedicated feature thread.
17) New object: Exits that only permit lemmings with a certain skill
An exit that only lemmings with a fixed permanent skill may enter. More details can be found in the dedicated feature thread.
18) New object: Hatches that only spawn a given number of lemmings
A hatch that spawns only a certain number of lemmings. Some more details can be found in the poll preparation topic.
19) New object: Skill converter
A new object that removes or adds permanent skills to each lemming moving through it. The type of skill will be indicated by little icons on top of the object.
20) Player UI: Search for levels by name
This feature is an addition to the level selection menu. It would propose levels whose title matches the text you just wrote, so that you can easily find levels whose title you remember vaguely.
21) Editor: Grouping of terrain pieces
This is a feature purely for level designers: It would group some pieces in the level editor, so that they work like a single piece and can be copied, moved around, ... more easily. This would basically copy the Lix feature of the same name.
22) Editor: Add downloading styles
This would present a list of all styles available online on the NeoLemmix server, but not yet present in the player's style folder. It would then allow downloading them via the editor. Currently this is only planned as a feature in the NeoLemmix player.
23) Editor: Custom single background color
This would allow setting the background color to an arbitrary one, disregarting the selected theme.
24) Editor: Relative coordinate adjustments of pieces
This would allow entering how many pixels the selected pieces should be moved. Currently only absolute values can be entered, and moving pieces has to be done via dragging or the arrow keys.

If you have any further questions, please ask!

14
Graphic set conversion

While I still have some bugs to fix before we can start converting level packs, all the conversion tools for graphic sets are ready now. As this is the first thing we have to do anyway, let's start with it!

Download the conversion tools from the new-formats release thread.

This zip archive contains:
- GSConvert.exe: The actual converter tool to produce the new-formats files out of an existing style.
- GraphicsTool.exe: The new-formats graphics tool. It can not load old .dat styles! As IchoTolot requested this Saturday evening, I coded it in a 10-hour marathon on Sunday and that shows. So please be nice to it and cuddle it a bit ;). Please don't name your styles "ARGH ยง$%&!?", all your objects "MyFavoriteObject" or use just a single space for your background...
- NLEditor.exe: The current version of the new-formats editor.
- Several example styles: They are contained in the subfolder "styles".
- Several translation tables: They are contained in the subfoler "data/translation". As they encode where to find the pieces you used in actual levels now, they will become very importent when we convert level (packs). Therefore they should be created now, too.
- Sound files: They are contained in the subfolder "sound" and only useful if you plan to modify your graphic set at the same time.

How do I install these tools?
Just unpack them in a completely new folder. Then everything should work without any further

Please read the next post for details how to convert a graphic set!

IMPORTANT: If you already have some new-formats graphic sets lying around, delete them, burn them to ashes and throw them as far away as you can! There have been quite a few changes to the actual content, so mixing them will only create a huge mess!

15
NeoLemmix / Cull Disarmers, Triggered Decorations and Radiation/Slowfreeze?
« on: September 01, 2017, 05:35:53 pm »
Lemmings-like games have the amazing feature that with a relatively small set of features, one can create a plethora of presents levels. But some ideas sound like very cool and useful additions at one time, but after they are added it turns out that they are far less useful than expected. Unfortunately we have collected a few of those over the last years:

1) Disarmers
I have actually quite a hard time naming even one puzzle level, where a disarmer could not have been easily replaced by other skills or terrain changes. There have been several levels in the recent packs Paralems (by Strato Incendus) and Casualemmings (by nin10doadict) that give you disarmers, but in almost all cases I didn't use the disarmer at all.

2) Triggered animation objects for decorations
Although they have been present for quite a while now, almost no graphic style contains them. Most prefer movable background objects instead. Moreover triggered decorations contradict player expectations: If a lemming causes some part of the level to animate, then this is doing something to the lemming.

3) Radiation objects
These are probably the most useful among the features discussed here and there are levels out there which use them in a very creative way, e.g. nin10doadict's "Thou dost ask too much!" (Hyper 4 of Casualemmings) or namida's "A Universal Production" (Twisted 14 of LemPlus IV). Still such levels are comperatively rare, while radiation objects come with other problems:
- Using timed bombers, they clash with the NeoLemmix philosophy to use instant bombers. Actually the timed bombers are pretty hard to place precisely, which adds executional difficulties which we want to avoid.
- They have an extremely diverse appearance, so players may not readily recognize them as radiation objects. Or they might confuse them with slowfreeze objects...

4) Slowfreeze objects
They have the same disadvantages than radiation objects, and seem to even less useful. The only really nice level making use of them (that I remember) is nin10doadict's "Do you feel a draft?" (Twitchy 11 of Casualemmings). But this level would work almost equally well with a radiation object instead.

All of the four features add to the complexity of the game, especially as they don't teach a new player immediately what they do: Do disarmers work on teleporters or continuous traps as well? For slowfreeze and radiation objects, the player has to wait 9 seconds until seeing a result and no way of knowing in advance whether it would be stoning or exploding. As we moved to instand bombers, they might not even recognize the number above the lemmings' heads as a countdown, if they haven't played the original game before.

For all these reasons I think that NeoLemmix would be better off without these four features. Unfortunately we already had them for quite some time and there are several levels out there using them and I don't want to incur the wrath of a lot of level designers when I suddenly decide for myself to remove all of them from NeoLemmix.
So I propose to do the following:
- Completely remove triggered animation objects and remove support for them. Currently existing objects would be automatically converted to (movable) background objects.
- Completely remove the slowfreeze objects from the game. Currently existing slowfreeze objects would just disappear. Such levels would certainly need some modification from the designer in order to be kept.
- Keep support for disarmers and radiation objects in the NeoLemmix player, but mark them as deprecated. In other words no new level should use them and you couldn't add them in the editor.

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