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Messages - IchoTolot

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Created by Dodochacalo, not Pieuw. :)

Of course! I am dumb; my brain was in the wrong pack at the time ;P

NeoLemmix Levels / Re: [NeoLemmix] DoveLems [Difficulty: Easy-Medium]
« on: February 20, 2020, 03:01:27 pm »
Thanks for the replays. :)

None of these are backroutes, as those levels are very open for the most part.

think of that - finding a backroute to an IchoTolot level!

To be clear: These are no IchoTolot levels! They are just maintained by me and they were originally created by Pieuw.

Next round is up!

I vote for always visible as exactly stuff like this is the reason I wasted more than month and countless hours on a level. I don't want another person to have the same experience!

Enter "Derangement of Science" which hides a bar of terrain behind the exit top. I couldn't figure it out and had to ask for help, only to get told that I was being fooled. After that solving was a matter of minutes.

And this is only one example.

Simply place the updraft above the exit and show it.

It can be good to have the occasional level which subverts the form, or adds to the conversation by being somewhat different, experimental or surprising.

You can achieve that in MANY other ways without being unfair.

A sudden punch in the face is also surprising, but I rather get surprised with a present.

Clear physics mode shows the updraft and its position anyway.

That's not a reason to hide it. You just force the player to scan the map for hidden stuff and waste their time.

Also if you exactly match the exit's trigger people will most likely think it's a normal exit and get fooled.

The level creator could provide a pre-screen informing the player that there is an updraft behind the exit, and they have chosen to hide it for aesthetic purposes, in the interests of acknowledging community preferences.

The level creator could also just make the fall survivable or provide floaters. Then the text would not even be nessesary. :8():

NeoLemmix Levels / Re: PJW's Twenty Lemmings Levels!
« on: February 17, 2020, 11:16:44 pm »
Thanks for indulging me, anyway. I'll leave the level-making to those far better at it than I!

Don't say that! Backroutes can be fixed and even if I see a few things that can be improved here everybody can make good levels. :)

Just don't give up. ;)

NeoLemmix Levels / Re: PJW's Twenty Lemmings Levels!
« on: February 16, 2020, 07:49:55 pm »
Hey, I've played through your levels today and attached my replays. :)

Before I give more detailed feeback, I would like to know which ones are backroutes. :)

NeoLemmix Main / Re: NeoLemmix V12.8.0 Release
« on: February 16, 2020, 01:03:33 pm »
I can confirm that there were no breaking replays detected in DoveLems, PinoLems, Reunion and United in a mass replay check after updating. :)

Let's determine the top 3 now! :)

In case of a tie these will be determined through a tiebreaker.

This is such a minor inconsistancy that I would simply go for no fix.     

It can break quite a few more advanced deadly drop levels and I think there is not much gained from this fix. You would have to test every case in detail to check for potential backroutes, the number may be not that high but they are quite difficult to detect.

If the engine was brand new I would vote for a fix, but here I think the bad would outweight the good. Especially if we are just talking about 2 pixels and that this hasn't even been detected until now.

In general at this late point in the software's life cycle I would only go for physics changes if they are on like glitch level.

V 9.7 is out!

Backroute fixes based on Armani's replays:

- 5 41 (-1 basher)

V 9.6 is out!

Backroute fixes based on Armani's replays:

- 5 39 (added some fire)
- 5 41 (erased some terrain)

In Development / Re: [NeoLemmix] NeoLemmix Introduction Pack
« on: February 13, 2020, 08:44:53 pm »
Thanks for the feedback! :thumbsup:

Especially feedback from new players is quite valuable here.

My Comments:

- From the perspective of a brand new lemmings player, I think the release rates are a little high across the board in Skills and Objects. See my second post in the thread for some elaboration.

That or the overall lemming count can be adjusted a little. Although getting the player used to higher RRs is a thing that should be done early.

- In pretexts, referencing the pixel counts feels. weird. I don't think it's more helpful than just saying that lemmings die if they fall too far, for example. Perhaps mention the 64 pixels thing when the ruler is introduced?
1-4 I agree with DireKrow about the awkwardness of mentioning the exact fall height. This is the first level where the player needs to understand they can scroll to see more of the level; should this be mentioned?

It may be not more helpful for everyone, but I do think mention the exact mechanic even this early on is only fair and it doesn't do harm in my opinion.

- There's some issues where for me, in the description, the hotkey says <None> even though I have a hotkey assigned. For example, go-to-next-shrugger is 8 by default, but the description prior to Big Steps Through The Snow just says <None>. Just thought I'd mention it. Also, highlight lemming is not right-click by default (as stated by the Highlights With A Safety Net pretext), it's actually Ctrl+Click.

The <None> cases are probably something for namida to check. The standard layouts should at least assign the keys introduced here.

My mistake will be fixed.

Skills 2. Let's Take A Bash At It! - Also great. I really like the fact you included a staircase to show that not all bashing targets are flat vertical walls. However, I'm not sure what the pillar above the staircase shows that the three pillars in the middle don't already.

The answer is simple: Repetition. It's one of the best way to let lessons sink in. Rpeat until something burns into the players mind.

Skills 5. Block and Blow In The Snow - Good. I particularly like the the miniature puzzle at the end. A new player must figure out how to go down and turn around at the same time. For example, they might be tempted to put a blocker at the ice tip, only to realize it becomes useless when they the bomb the ice. Good learning opportunity. It's possible to complete this level without using any blockers, which might be unintended. See attachment.

That is unintended, yes. I think I will do a little fix even if this is probably not the way people solve it the first time.

Skills 7. Building Flat and Building High - Cool, but too hard? I'd DEFINITELY let a new player get a feel for 1 bridge or 1 platformer at a time in a safe, convenient environment before asking them to chain multiple bridges together, build over water, or build through weirdly shaped terrain. It's important to master these skills ASAP, so maybe the trial by fire is warranted, but this stage definitely feels way tougher than anything else in the tier.

I can put it a few places later, but I especially don't want a completely safe environment here. I think it's an extremely important lesson that losing lemmings is ok when the save requirement allows it and players should learn it as early as possible.

Skills 9. Amphibious Engineer Squad - Good. I like how it demonstrates that water can break long falls and that one disarmer can disarm multiple traps. What happens if a swimmer meets a wall, though?

It turns, I could implement that lesson.

Skills 10. Walking On The Cloner Cliffs - Don't like this one. The fact you can just walk the lemming to the exit and then spam clone in front of it feels really cheap. Doesn't really demonstrate what walkers or cloners can do.

I willl make a slight modification that you can't just clone next to the exit. But I won't show more of the skills just yet. Cloners and walkers, if used to their fully extent are a can of worms better to open a tiny bit later step by step in multiple levels focussing on one or a few more aspects. Trust me there.

Objects 2. Iron Anthill - A little overwhelming. I think the same concepts could have been taught with a smaller level. Looks fun to optimize, though.

That's totally intended. Every section is completely safe and therefore there is no rush. But players need to experience and handle larger vertical levels. So you should take your time at the start and form a plan for one section after the other.

Objects 7. Pick Them Up and Push Them Down - Very nice looking level. A nice introduction to its concepts, as well. Is there supposed to be a one pixel seam between the terrain and steel?

Well, that's a fix. :P

Objects 9. Beam Them Over - Great. Fantastic presentation. At first, I wasn't sure about the claustrophobic digging, but I suspect you're using it to bunch the lemmings up so they don't get teleported without picking up the pickups, so it's fine. Are the pickups necessary, though? I think the level works the same if you just gave 3 builders to start with.

They are indeed not nessesary. They should just represent some breadcrumps you need to pick up on the way.

Objects 10. Gravity Lab - Cool. It took a couple of attempts to realize the order I needed to assign the skills and how I had to use the second builder. I like how it demonstrates that small delays can make a big difference. Is there a reason why a fencer is provided, rather than a basher? I think a basher would tempt someone to use it to bypass the splat pad, only to find out they needed to save it for the end.

The fencer is just for skill variety, nothing more.

Objects 11. Stop, Rewind And Go! - Tough puzzle. It does a good job of show casing pause and rewind, but it's pretty challenging for a tutorial, since it involves many different skills and the solution isn't obvious.

That's the problem of the topic: Anything requiring rewind is not tutorial easy and just having builders be assigned to everything is not that exciting at all.
That's also a point, even if this is only the object rank I do intend getting slowly more difficult. The levels should require some thinking in my opinion even if they are just a tutorial.

How long did it take you to solve the level if I may ask? That would be a good indicator for me to see if that was still in acceptable territory or indeed too hard.

Objects 12. Big Steps Through The Snow - The final bridge is annoyingly precise... which is good, since it forces people to use the hotkeys. I'm really surprised at how much easier the hotkeys make building. This level single-highhandedly changed my entire playstyle!

Yes, that's the reason for it. You really want to use those hotkeys. I always have my fingers on pause and fast forward for example.

Objects 14. Highlights With A Safety Net - Don't like this one. It's odd that this is the highlight lemming tutorial, when the puzzle is instead about realizing that you can shortcut long falls using miners, and that you can build spiral staircases. Consequently, it feels out of place. More like a basic training level than a skill/object tutorial. I think spamming floaters would be fine to create a sense of 'doing two things at once', even if it makes the puzzle less interesting.

That's a surprise for me. I guess this is a case where things appear so trivial that you don't even realise that they need explaining. Spamming floaters is a bit boring though. Would a few diggers on top of the miners help you here as well?

The cloner pickup feels unnecessary since you don't really duplicate a skill with it

Let's just say that this sentence is not correct. ;)   It is very often the case in lemmings that you just clone for the extra lemming or the direction change.

Basic Training 1. Tower of Training - I like that the level goes from bottom to top, rather than top to bottom. I also like that it's mostly safe for lems and has an abundance of skills, allowing for peaceful experimentation. Perfect for a first level of basic training. Floaters, diggers and miners all feel pretty useless, though. While I understand that figuring out which skills are more useful is part of the tutorial, I think some small design tweaks facilitate routes that actually use these skills. Also, I don't like the graves at the bottom of the level. It's easy for lems to get stuck between them and freeing them is more annoying than interesting.

Get stuck, free yourself. That is the reason the graves are there. There are so many cases in levels where your rodents get stuck exactly like this, I just want to prepare you again here, even if that means being a little annoying. ;)

Basic Training 5. Scrap The Buttons! - Tough. This stumped me for several attempts. I suspect my solution is not the intended solution. I really struggled with finding a way to prepare the path and hit both buttons without a lemming dying or getting stuck. Should probably be after Limited Release, if not later. Realizing I could get the glider to fly again by boosting it up with a builder was a really cool discovery, though.

I agree, will move this.

Basic Training 7. Backup Wall - Decent. I like the visual design. Using three builders to make a wall is really precise. Took several attempts to make it work, even with frame advance. I think the ground in the starting area should be flat, because the bumps make it hard to make the wall.

I will flatten a hill then.

Basic Training 11. Central Fear - Great. The fact lemmings can alternate which way they come out of the window was an unexpected surprise! The level looks intimidating, but turned out to a lot easier than it looked. I actually think this could go earlier in the level list. Directly after Steely Halls, maybe?

I think you pointed me at a good swapping candidate for the button level here. ;)

Basic Training 14. Chalk Walk - Also great. I'm actually surprised by how lenient you were - I placed most of my blockers pixel perfectly and ended up with a huge amount of spare time. Maybe you should shorten the pack's path a little?

Well, I do intended that no blockers needs to be perfect. That can add up quite a bit. You will encounter enough precision during later levels.

Basic Training 15. The Joy of Sorting - Not a fan. While it was a fun concept like the first time, I think this is too similar to Getting Into Sortings. The first half of the puzzle is almost exactly the same. Also, as a tutorial, I'm not sure what purpose this level serves.

Purpose: Repetiton, training. No new lesson here.

I remember while doing the Fencer/Miner level the first time, I stopped and had a look at where I needed to go next for a few seconds, and by the time I'd gotten back to my lemmings, the hole they were in was filled up. New player would have a bear of a time trying to mine correctly in the situation.

Reading this, maybe instead of lowring the release rate, I should introduce the pause button earlier on. I think that's a good idea. Normally when you look at/think about/freshly enter a level you should hit pause. If you are not looking diectly at your lemmings the pause button should be on. Pause THE essential button of the game. It should come as early as level 1 or 2. 

2-4 Any particular reason why tracks orig_16 and 17 are skipped? Not complaining, just curious

I habe no idea why, didn't even know that they were skipped. :P

Also thanks to Proxima for the grammar related suff. :)

Note to myself: Mention skill shadows a bit more. :P

I will either implement these changes with introduction of the 4th rank or a bit earlier.

V 9.5 is out!

Backroute fixes based on Armani's replays:

- 5 37 (added a terrain block)
- 5 39 (added some fire)
- 5 40 (added a 2 minute timer)
- 5 41 (added some terrainand steel)

V 9.4 is out!

Backroute fixes based on Armani's replays:

- 5 31 (removed a steel block)
- 5 39 (added some steel)
- 5 40 (slight terrain changes, increased save requirement by 2)
- 5 41 (removed and added some steel, extended a OWW, -1 glider, -1 blocker, - 1 builder, +1 digger)

Contests / Re: Level of the Year: 2019!
« on: February 12, 2020, 02:05:33 pm »
Reminder to start preparing your nominations. ;)

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