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Messages - IchoTolot

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1
Thinking about it I tend to agree with Simon here.

It is very very hard to make it intuitive and mark it clearly as "bomb proof". I really can only imagine a crossed-out bomb being animated like a OWW.

Quote
This really feels like 1-2 designers came up with 2-3 levels that weren't so easy to fix the backroutes without bombproof wall. If it kills 2-3 level ideas, that's fine if you can't lower the cost in unintuitiveness.

Therefore I would agree with this statement here.

2
I also want to voice my support for this object and the polar opposite of this one. But expecially the permanent skill remover.

I often find myself in the situation where I wish I could remove the permanent skill from a lemming (mainly climber and glider, but I suspect the slider will join here). This applies to solving AND creating levels!

Also the idea is plain and simple.

Visualisation could be a field, but I can also imagine a little pavillion/hut with a fitting symbol on it.

3
NeoLemmix Tutorials / Successful "easy" levels and contests.
« on: July 22, 2021, 03:19:38 PM »
I was unsure where to post this topic. In level design it will inevitably be overlooked by the target audience and buried by other topics. It is also not a contest even if it's about contests and would clutter the board. As it should be at least a piece of advice/turorial, I think it will fit in well here while at least having a chance to be seen by the target audience. :)

I recently heard a statement about how again not an easy level won the contest. This is true and even if difficulty depends highly on personal opinion most contest winner levels are on the "medium", "medium-hard" side.

Why is that and how can such a baseline be broken?

Levels usually gain a lot of votes if the solution is surprising (aka uses an old or new trick well), executes smoothly without much fiddeling and if not too strict timings go together smoothly. Also levels that are visually breathtaking tend to gain bonus votes.
Let's take the recent LOTY 2020 winner: DireKrow's "Shoestring Operation".
It's not an easy level, but not nearly unsolvable. It takes time and effort to solve, but most people will eventually get it. It has a nice distinct look and the execution is not fiddely. I would again put it in the "medium", "medium-hard" range.
If many people solve the level it also helps their cause. As people who have solved the level by themselves tend to have a more positive connection with it.

On the other side levels tend to do worse if they get too hard. Especially the "solution is surprising (aka uses an old or new trick well)" part can easily do a 180 if you overdo it. Often this is unvoluntarily as difficulty is hard to judge.
If people cannot solve your level, they tend to not vote for it even if looking up the solution.
I would raise my contest 17 entries IchoTolot's "Shadows Of Ourselves" and IchoTolot's "Catacomb Of Sorrow" as an example here. I would still claim that they are good levels, but only like 1 or 2 people solved them.
But consider this: If people immediately solve your level it can fail to leave a mark and feel empty or just be like whatever.  So how can we midigate this and get far in contests with "easy" levels?

Point 1 and by far the most important one: Easy does not imply trivial!

It can be hard to achieve and you can easily drift away into harder ranges, but this is important. Easy does not automatically mean that the solution is completely trivial. You do not have to give the player like 99 of everything to make something easy.
You can focus on a smaller level with not so many but easy to place skills for example. A gap over a death pit always means a contruction skill is destined to be placed there, a wall you 100% have to go through forces a destructive skill,...etc.
You still should create a puzzle and not just merely a set of tasks to be done. The "set of tasks" types make good training levels but are not that impactful otherwise.
I would put up "Postcard from Lemmingland" as a positive example or even zanzindorf's "Bird Knight" which won contest 11. Both levels are not trivial, but should not give you many problems if you are moderately familiar with lemmings in general.
Do not simply throw in dozens of skills and make everything trivial! It is still a puzzle game and if there is no puzzle there it won't stick in people's minds.
I also need to add that having the normal solution be trivial and only introduce more challenging solutions via talismans usually won't be enough and too many talismans can really clutter the level!

Point 2: Score on the visual side!

So your "easy" level is not trivial, but that does not automatically make it a hit. If it does not look excellent it will miss out on quite a few potential votes. Visuals alone probaly won't carry a level to victory, but even I can assure you that I had plenty of situations when I gave my vote to the better looking level when I was torn on what to vote. If it does not look good you cannot count on getting good results and if you cannot blow people's minds with complex tricks, blow their mind on the visual side!

Take plenty of time to craft, shape and decorate your contest levels! Don't just slap some things together! You can slap solutions together - I know this works if correctly handled ;) - but you can't slap landscapes together. Pieces should go over smoothly (or roughly in a fitting way) into each other. The outside of the main playing area should be at least somewhat decorated. Giant walls can have cravings made out of other terrain on top of them to create beautiful effects and as a result they are not giant monoton terrain sections, etc. Make your level look great and you will definitly gain some extra votes here and there.

Point 3: Avoid generally disliked machanics.

Be really cautious to not lower your chances by adding mostly disliked things! Easy levels sometimes try to rely on gimmicks and this can heavily backfire in contests!

Avoid things like unnessesary timers, hidden stuff and overly repetitive tasks (near to nobody is excited to build a 20 builder bridge). A few people may like/tolerate these things, but in the vast majority of cases it will cost you votes.
Especially fooling the player with hidden stuff tends to really bring down your vote count.
Do not take this extra handicap!


I hope this has been somewhat helpful and you hopefully have a bit more success with contests now! :)
Still, winning a contest often still has a touch of randomness attached to it and do not take winning as guaranteed! Even if you follow these guidelines you won't automatically win, but I would say youer chances will rise!

4
So many packs so little time. ;)

I will play this as I genuinely enjoy soling your puzzles, but first I promised to solve a few other packs first.

But I will 100% get to this! In the mean time other people can then at least sort out the worst backroutes. :devil:

Also, comgratulations on the release! :thumbsup:

5
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: New Level pack: LemRunner
« on: July 18, 2021, 11:30:48 AM »
And here are my solutions for Gear World!

A lot of great levels there! :thumbsup:

My favorites were: 3, 5 and 9. :)

8 wasn't really my type though. ;)

6
As updates slow down a bit, I think I will try to record my playthrough on 26th/27th as I have these days off.
So if there are anymore updates waiting in line before that it would be good to get them out in time. ;)

7
Small visual bug. :)

If you increase the number of a skill in the skill tab from 0 so that the number is >0 after the change then the field goes from grey to white.

This is currently not the case for the slider or laserer field and their respective field stays grey..

8
@Armani    All your solutions to my levels are 100% intended! Great job! :thumbsup:

And yes I didn't want to enforce the precise timing on my R3 level. I suspected that it was possible without the walker when making it, but I am not a fan of that and hey the walker did not break anything so far ;)

9
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: New Level pack: LemRunner
« on: July 11, 2021, 10:45:53 AM »
Just sarted and got through Jungle World. :)

Feedback:

The visuals and level are really impressive! :thumbsup:

I especially liked 4,6,11 and 7 (even if 7 has a part I would make clearer:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
)

Let's say just 1 level just left a bit of a sour mark due to connected pixel-precise assignments that lead to the otherwise working solution fail because of 1 pixel in different locations.

It's level 10 "Lemdiana Jones":

After a bit of time I saw the needed trick and method, but needed quite a lot of time to get it to work and it always failed because of single pixels!

But let's move to the spoiler tag for a more detailed discussion and how to maybe ease this up a bit:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The general level idea is great, but having multiple pixel-precise assignments directly depending on each other resulting in endless pixel tweaking of the otherwise correct solution is not fun.

Replays attached and I'll see when I have time to go through the next rank. :)

10
Just leaving this post here to say it's on my "to-play" list.

It's just that the list is currently quite large and that it may take a bit. :P

11
@ WillLem, Minim and NieSch.

Your congratulations were a bit early and you posted preemptively in the wrong topic before I properly locked it.
I tried to merge them with this one but your posts will always be on top of the main post as they were posted earlier and I see no way to rearrange them manually. --- I deleted them so that the main post stand properly at the top and you might want to repost your congratulations. :)

Next time please wait for the result topic with congratulations! ;)

12
LOTY 2020 has finally ended and the winner is:

DireKrow's "Shoestring Operation"

Congratulations to DireKrow! I will contact you soon regarding the price of 10 USD.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The runner up level was: Armani's "Polaris Rhapsody"

Third place goes to: IchoTolot's "Temple Of Escher"

See you soon in LOTY 2021!

13
NeoLemmix Levels / Re: Pack 2
« on: July 10, 2021, 06:04:04 PM »
Quote
Anyway, I have checked it, the levels are in the right order no matter what, except no level names.

I think a bit of advice is needed here. :)

Even if jkapp76 just posted. People should learn to do this properly by themselves! :8():
Your levels are currently not a pack.
To fix this:

1.)
Put all levels from your "Level 01" - "Level 20" folders in each rank into the respective rank folder itself. As a result each rank folder should only have the 20 levels in it. Then delete all the "Level 01" - "Level 20" folders as they just clutter up everything.

2.)
Create a "levels.nxmi" textfile in each rank folder.
Inside you can specify the order inside the rank. Here is an example from a rank of the current contest:

LEVEL Armani_Cactus Valley_R1V1.nxlv
LEVEL IchoTolot_Craze_Or_Crazy__R1V1.nxlv
LEVEL kaywhyn_Everything Comes in Twos_R1V1.nxlv
LEVEL Kingshadow3_The_Monkey_Cave_R1V1.nxlv

This way the file "Armani_Cactus Valley_R1V1.nxlv" will be the first level of the rank in this example.
Do this for all of your 4 ranks.

3.)
The main folder of the pack (where the 4 rank folders are present) needs the following files:

"postview.nxmi"   - Specifies the postview texts of your pack.
"levels.nxmi"        - Specifies the ranks of your pack.
"info.nxmi"           - Specifies the general pack information.

You best use files from other levelpacks as a blueprint on how they are structured and which information they determine. Then you can adjust them to your needs. It's easier than you think!

4.)
Open your levels again in the editor and type in their respective level name inside the "Title" box and your name inside the author field.
Levels should have name + author!

14
Contests / Level Design Contest #23 - Playing Phase (Update Topic)
« on: July 10, 2021, 01:34:44 PM »
Note: This topic is ONLY for posting updates to your levels, or making late submissions. All other posts will be deleted. If you want to discuss the levels, post replays, etc, please do so in the Discussion Topic.

Please follow these rules for updates:
1. When posting a new updated version of a level, remove any old updated versions of that level --> Have all your recent updates stored in 1 post! I will delete such old posts eventually if the author doesn't; so don't store any important information in them.
2. Make a new post for a new update; do not edit your most recent post. You may, however, post updates to multiple entries (if you have more than one) in the same post.
3. Use the same filename as found in the ZIP of the entered levels, with "V2" "V3" etc added at the end. No matter how minor an update is, give it a new number.
4. Do not post in this topic, unless it's to post an update to your levels. Use the discussion topic instead for anything else.

Please use the same naming format as in the zip file:  User1_Levelname_R3V5.lvl ---> Level "Levelname" by User1   for Rule 3   Version 5 of the level 

For late submissions also, please use the same kind of filename as is used in the main levels download - ie: your username, and "R1" "R2" or "R3" to mark which rule the level is for. Please be sure to check the original contest announcement topic for the rules; as the notes in the discussion topic are simply meant as reminders, not full explanations of the rules.

Please use the right naming format when posting updates! That would lead to less confusions and less work for everyone.

Link to discussion topic

15
All zips only need to be unzipped inside the main folder of your NeoLemmix Player!

NeoLemmix Level Pack: https://www.dropbox.com/s/4jtqn4wjzxkegee/Contest_23.zip?dl=1

Music: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6kai36r33yrf0px/Contest_23_Music.zip?dl=1

Rule 1 Levels

Armani's "Cactus Valley" (V1)
IchoTolot's "Craze Or Crazy?" (V1)
Kaywhyn's "Everything Comes in Twos?" (V4)
Kingshadow3's "The Monkey Cave" (V4)


Rule 2 Levels

Armani's "Brakes Failed" (V2)
IchoTolot's "Retspen's Tomb" (V1)
Kaywhyn's "30 Seconds Before the Final Curtain Call" (V2)
Kingshadow3's "Master Of The Minute" (V6)


Rule 3 Levels

Armani's "The Age of Affluence" (V1)
IchoTolot's "Countdown To Meltdown" (V1)
Kaywhyn's "Cross Over Into the Light, My Lems!" (V3)
Kingshadow3's "Straight And Curved" (V3)


You can check the rules details again here: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5599.0

Playing Phase will be closed on 20th of August!
Updates will close on 17th of August!


Note: This topic is for posting your comments, replays, etc for the levels. If you wish to post an update to your level, or enter a late submission, please do so in the Updates Topic instead.

Link to update topic

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