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Messages - WillLem

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1
NeoLemmix Main / Re: Plans for V12.10.0
« on: July 05, 2020, 12:43:28 am »
If someone who's more knowledgeable about the original game's file formats could get me the unblurred background in any format that can be opened by Paint.NET or GIMP, I should be able to experiment with recoloring the background as well as the text.

@namida - could you create one of your magic tools to extract the menu graphics from the Amiga menu via a savestate, in the same way that you can extract the in-game LVLs?

EDIT: here's a menu savestate just in case the answer is "yes!"

2
Level Design / Re: Immediate turn-offs
« on: July 05, 2020, 12:36:26 am »
My suggestion: Prefer differentiating background from not-background via color contrast as opposed to blurring.

+1 for this. Brightness up, contrast down does the trick :thumbsup:

3
Hang on... surely the ability to put music in the main levelpack's directory is a good thing - it keeps everything associated with that levelpack (apart from styles, of course) to just the one folder.

4
Site Discussion / Re: [SUG][FORUM] Native dark mode
« on: July 05, 2020, 12:26:40 am »
if someone else is willing to create one (or find an existing suitable one and make the necessary customizations to Lemmings-ize it), I'm more than happy for it to be added to the site.

Cool! I'll look at doing it. I'm pretty sure it's all HTML and CSS, which I can just about manage with help from friends :lemcat:

5
You certainly know your audio formats, namida!

On the other hand, formats like WAV, OGG etc are literally just made up of what could be considered the audio equivalent of pixels. For each second of audio, there's thousands of these "audio pixels"... I believe 44100 is the most common number these days

The sample rate tends to refer more to the "bandwidth" of the audio, i.e. the possible range of sound in terms of volume, frequencies, etc.

44.1KHz, for instance, covers the entire range of normal human hearing. Higher sample rates generally don't mean much to most people's ears, although they are technically capable of reproducing more audio information. The bit rate is closer in audio terms to being relatable to the number of pixels in an image, because this refers to how many "bits" of audio there are per second, whereas sample rate is more to do with exactly what information is stored in those bits.

Interestingly, when it comes to bit rate, CD audio is still one of the highest quality commercially available audio formats. Most CDs are encoded with 44.1KHz 16bit PCM with a bitrate of 1,411kbps. Some are even higher resolution/bit rate - I have a Porcupine Tree album that's mixed in 5.1 and (apparently) has a "HD Audio" bitrate of 9,216kbps! The surround sound mix is gorgeous, of course, but in terms of general quality I honestly can't tell the difference between this version and the standard version.

Conversely, the majority of MP3, AAC and other mainstream digital audio files are no higher than 256kbps, although they generally use the same sample rate and bit depth (44.1KHz/16bit) as CD audio. (Incidentally, bit depth - as I understand it - refers to how "analog" the bits of digital information can be - the higher the bit depth, the closer the reproduction of the original sound. 16 bits is fine, 24 bits is slightly better but greatly increases the file size.)

Both low bit rates and low bit depths result in lo-fi sound; lower bit depths tend to distort the sound and make it "fuzzy" or "glitchy" (basically, retro gaming sound ;P), whereas lower bit rates result in that wierd "glassy" sound that makes the audio sound like it was recorded in a fish tank (this tends to happen when speaking to people over Zoom or FaceTime).

Generally speaking, 44.1KHz at 16bit/256kbps is a great middle-ground for file size and audio information that the average person can perceive as "good quality". Only audiophiles and sound engineers are likely to be able to tell the difference between 256kbps and 1,411kbps. To my ears, the latter sounds ever so slightly clearer - and this is if I'm listening very intently in an otherwise very quiet place. It's no wonder 256 has become the standard, especially for streaming.

It's like the difference between looking at a 1200 x 800 image, and then the same image at 6,000 x 4,000. If you zoom both images so you're observing them in an area that's, say, 600 x 400, they will likely look virtually identical. The only reason you'd ever need the larger image is if you were displaying it on a very large screen - but even then, most people viewing the screen are likely to be far enough away from it that the experience they'd get is probably still comparable to viewing the image at 1200 x 800 on a smaller screen.

How does this translate to audio? Well - it is true that the difference in bit rate does become more noticeable at higher volumes, which is why DJs and audiophiles prefer to use lossy formats for listening at louder volumes through better quality speakers. But even then, the music is likely to be so loud that any discernable differences in quality become essentially meaningless.

As a musician, I always export my music to 1,411kbps WAV so that the master file is lossless (standard industry practice), but ultimately convert it to 320kbps AAC for general use/distribution. 256kbps is fine, but I like having the extra 64kbps just in case :lemcat:

6
Fan Corner / Re: The Evolution of Lem 1
« on: July 02, 2020, 10:38:42 pm »
This is great! Did you draw these yourself?

7
That lem's not getting any tonight! :crylaugh:

8
Challenges / Re: [NeoLemmix] Skills you can't live without
« on: July 02, 2020, 02:00:04 pm »
I've got Lemgate down to 1 walker, 1 builder, 1 stacker, which is a result I'm happy with.

Nicely done! Some very clever solutions here. I've updated the records accordingly (including 0 Stackers for 13).

I wanted to upload the records as they were yesterday simply because I had some time to do so. I expect further improvements will happen, I don't think any set of SYCLW results is "final!" 8-) ;P

9
You could put the words "Time's Up!" on screen, with "(unpause to continue)" in a smaller font beneath, and have them disappear if the user unpauses or frameskips. No need for a separate "Exit" prompt -- the user presumably already knows how to exit play of a level if they want.

+1

I agree, particularly with no EXIT prompt being required.

TIME'S UP! (UNPAUSE TO CONTINUE), or even just TIME'S UP! (CONTINUE) would be sufficient. After continuing, I again suggest revert to current behaviour until the level is exited.

10
Maybe a mixed approach - "Continue", "Exit", "Continue and do not warn again until you have exited to postview screen" as the options. The third one needs a snappier caption, of course. Even here I feel there should be a very small tolerance - perhaps don't show it again until the user's gone back to at least a point at which 5 seconds were remaining (or to Frame #0, if the time limit is shorter than 5 seconds).

+1 for CONTINUE and EXIT prompts.

Mainly because if it just pauses and says "TIME'S UP!" with no interaction prompts, the user may simply press Esc, not realising that they can continue if they wish. This wouldn't have to be presented as a Windows dialog box, it could have its own graphic and custom buttons (consider that an offer to make these if needed).

As for "should the prompt appear again?", my vote would be that if a player selects CONTINUE, the prompt shouldn't appear again at all, and current behaviour would suffice (i.e. play continues, bell sounds, timer turns purple): at least the player is both a) aware of the time limit, and b) aware that they can continue playing to try and beat the time limit. Also, since that is a current behaviour of NL, people already know what it means. Newcomers would learn what this behaviour means very quickly having already been prompted.

If it's decided that the prompt should appear again albeit with the option for it not to, I'd suggest CONTINUE WITHOUT PROMPT as a snappier button label :lemcat:

11
Challenges / Re: [NeoLemmix] Skills you can't live without
« on: July 02, 2020, 02:02:05 am »
Totals for Pandemonium: 27 Builders, 25 Stackers, 19 Platformers, 14 Walkers, 12 Diggers, 9 Bashers, 6 Cloners, 6 Fencers, 5 Climbers, 4 Gliders, 3 Blockers, 2 Miners, 2 Floaters, 1 Shimmier

I've also posted some interesting statistics regarding the SYCLW here!

12
Challenges / Re: [NeoLemmix] Lemminas Records
« on: July 02, 2020, 02:01:40 am »
The Skills You Can't Live Without records are now complete (pending future improvements, of course!). Check out the OP for full records.

Some interesting SYCLW statistics for Lemminas:

Magical
Most Required Skill: Builders (9)
Least Required Skill(s): Cloners, Disarmers (1)

Sensational
Most Required Skill: Builders (12)
Least Required Skill(s): Shimmiers, Swimmers, Disarmers, Blockers (1)

Tricksy
Most Required Skill: Swimmers (14)
Least Required Skill: Stackers (2)

Pandemonium
Most Required Skill: Builders (27)
Least Required Skill(s): Shimmiers, Miners (1)

GRAND TOTALS:

Total Skills: 326
Total Constructive Skills: 130
Total Destructive Skills: 65
Total Permanent Skills: 71
Total Fatal Skills: 0

61 Builders
41 Platformers
28 Stackers
24 Walkers
21 Floaters
21 Fencers
21 Cloners
18 Diggers
18 Bashers
17 Swimmers
13 Climbers
13 Gliders
12 Shimmiers
8 Miners
7 Disarmers
3 Blockers

Played by: DireKrow, Minim, namida, nin10doadict, Proxima, WillLem

13
+1 for pause on reaching time limit: it makes it clearer that something has happened and requires user input/acknowledgement before continuing with the level (a "TIME'S UP!" graphic wouldn't go amiss here either*).

Just the bell sound and the timer changing purple aren't really enough here, I feel. A player may have their game sound turned down, and may simply not notice that the timer has changed colour.

*It could even present a dialog: TIME'S UP! with 2 options: CONTINUE PLAYING or EXIT TO MENU... just an idea. Tbf, the game just being paused pending user input would be enough.

EDIT: Thinking about it, a player may just assume that they accidentally pressed pause... maybe a TIME'S UP! graphic is the way to go. It wouldn't necessarily have to present the suggested options, it could just be that it requires user input to then continue the game.

14
Challenges / Re: [NeoLemmix] Skills you can't live without
« on: July 01, 2020, 06:22:47 pm »
Thanks for these results, Minim. I'm quite happy to go ahead and post what we have so far on the Lemminas Records page. Of course, if anyone finds any improvements in the meantime I'll be sure to add them in.

My zip compressor program expired so I'll just put up my best ones. At least I was able to get the talisman replays. Still, I'll need to find another one, probably PeaZip or something like that. :P

I recommend 7Zip, that one seems to be the most user-friendly of the bunch and allows you to extract directly from context menu to basically wherever you want.

15
how did you convert them to mod
...
Sorry if this affected your pack but when I was accumlating music files from online I was doing for a lot of games not just amiga ones, so I was doing these quickly.

I didn't, I simply used the ones extracted from SuperLemmini as it also uses the Amiga music. And - no worries at all; I didn't check the files properly either and since it was my pack it was my responsibility to do this, not yours, so don't worry. Thanks again for everything you've contributed to this pack!

What's wrong with the ones included with NL?

Nothing is wrong with it, as such. NL doesn't use the Amiga music - they are very slightly different instrumentations. It's most noticeable in tune1 from Oh No! (see attached for easy reference), but there are slight variations in the other tracks as well.

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