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Messages - Strato Incendus

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1
Since a lot of my earlier packs tend to have been on the easier side, I might chime in regarding my conversion plans ;) .

The first thing on my list is definitely converting Lemmings World Tour. As I said though, that is on a halt until the 10-skills-panel is a thing.

I don't want to start converting something else in the meantime, because I think I'd get confused easily when jumping around between packs, trying to update them all at the same time.

That said, though, I don't believe I've used any Graphic Sets in Paralems or Pit Lems that weren't part of Lemmings World Tour, as well. So all the graphic-set conversions I did for World Tour should, as a side effect, allow me to also convert Paralems and Pit Lems in principle. Those two would probably fill this "gap" of easy packs quite nicely, at least to some extent.

Paralems is really easy and might be a great intro pack, since it includes remakes of Original Lemmings levels, but for the NeoLemmix skills ("Just fence", "Only gliders can survive this", etc.). However, I'm not sure how fare playing this pack can actually take a new player, because it diverges from the core "puzzle philosophy" so much. It doesn't really do much with regard to making people aware of obscure solutions.

Pit Lems therefore would most likely be converted first after LWT, then - precisely because it's more challenging than Paralems. The reason it's called Pit Lems in the first place was a reference to Star Wars: Pit Droids (hence also the Star Wars font in the pack title), the very first game I played that described itself completely as a "puzzle" game (compared to Lemmings being an "action puzzle").

Lemmicks definitely won't be converted to New Formats, except for the select levels that re-appear in Lemmings World Tour. That's because for those levels, I've already figured out a non-gimmick solution. A lot of the other levels don't actually work without the gimmick in the first place.


All of my packs, as you probably know, include some amount of radiation and slowfreeze levels.

Lemmicks, as I just said, is out of the question.

Paralems has comparatively many levels involving zombies, including at least one where zombies need to walk into radiation and slowfreeze areas, as well as another level where you need to clone radiating lemmings. Cloning radiating lemmings can sometimes be replicated with enough bomber pickup skills - that is the way I converted a World-Tour level, "Ayo Technology" - but bombing and stoning zombies is something that was effectively removed together with radiation and slowfreeze.

Pit Lems barely has any zombie levels, and those that are there don't require them to interact with radiation or slowfreeze, as far as I remember. The issue with Pit Lems is that some of the best levels (including 2 of the 3 LOTY nominees) included radiation and/or slowfreeze. More precisely, at least one of them I can't even modify into a pickup-skills level, because that level itself already is part of the pack (the version with radiation and slowfreeze is the rerun of said level, "Controlled overload" vs. "The long way down").

The only other option would be to create a massive redux pack of my own levels, either combining all the non-radiation/slowfreeze levels from Paralems and Pit Lems, or simply creating a "Best of" collection of all the levels I still consider worthwhile. A "Best of" of all my levels in general however should probably also contain levels from Lemmings World Tour and Lemmicks... partly because I'm not sure whether just Pit Lems and Paralems together would provide enough material to work with.

It does sound like fun though to go over my old levels again and simply cherry-pick the best ones into a single combined pack :D .


When it comes to other people's packs, I think New Formats would greatly profit from having Arty's SubLems and nin10doadict's CasuaLemmings available.

CasuaLemmings was one of the first packs I attempted, because it was one of the few packs I even had a chance at solving. As a consequence, it was largely fun, also because it featured some slightly trolling, Paralems-like levels to loosen things up (with one of them even being explicitly inspired by Paralems ;) ). But it also had some surprisingly difficult puzzles that stumped me out of nowhere. And those are precisely the ones that offer a new player the opportunity to grow and get better.

SubLems simply has what I would describe as a perfect difficulty curve. The beautiful architecture of most of the levels also does its part in preventing the pack from annoying the hell out of a new player.



Hence, that is definitely my main advice for IchoTolot and anyone else trying to deliberately design an easier pack: Start by simply trying not to annoy the player! ;)

I think a good starting point for that would be our discussions about immediate turn-offs when seeing a new level for the first time.

When I see whacky terrain that just instantly looks like it's a mess to navigate through (best example: the dreaded "thin-terrain-pieces chaos maze"), or massive amounts of flow control without any possibility to contain the crowd (a popular device on "Hard-for-Flopsy" levels), I'm just willing to throw in the towel much more quickly than in a nice 1-of-everything level or so, with lots of connected terrain pieces (=not a builder fest). The latter type of level can then happily be challenging and obscure, having me wonder "okay, where does that miner go; how the heck do I get to turn this lemming around just one more time", etc. :D

If there's one thing to take away from this in short, I'd say "no flow control in easy packs". Keep in mind that original Lemmings actually never even teaches you how to properly contain the crowd in different ways than with blockers. Digger pits, cutting off the pioneer's builder-staircase behind him, sealing off the pioneer's basher tunnel, freeing a blocker by mining etc., all that is just stuff that some players figure out by themselves, and those who don't get stuck as early as the Tricky rank.

Crowd control as an overarching term is a necessary part of pretty much every level, and I think there are clearly three tiers to it:

Level 1: crowd containment with blockers (--> "Noob strategy" :P )
Level 2: crowd containment with digger pits & Co., usually enforced by requiring to save everyone, or simply not providing any blockers (--> Intermediate)
Level 3: flow control, i.e. no ways to contain the crowd at all, it's all about keeping them busy and timing things just right (--> Professional)

2
Quote
The lack of easier packs in the new format version is known, but how did it come to this?

I think I've suggested this earlier already: Self-selection ;) .

The most motivated members on the forum, regarding programming, maintenance etc., have this high level of motivation because they're the most passionate Lemmings players. Since they deal with the game a lot, they're also on average the best ones at the game. Consequently, the levels they create are among the hardest ones.

Conversely, those of us who create less challenging levels often rely on different features to make our levels stand out and fun to play - artistically, thematically etc. Some of the things we've used in the past to achieve this goal were removed during the transition to New Formats, which in some sense may have given the more casual content creators the subconscious impression that the direction NeoLemmix is moving towards maybe isn't for them anymore.

Of course, there's nothing stopping new players from creating fresh, easy packs for New Formats, completely from scratch. When I started out creating levels for Old Formats, most of the packs already existing for Old Formats were too hard for me, including those which I consider on the easy side by now. For me personally, that was precisely why I spent more time creating levels than playing other people's packs - but I may be in the minority here :D .

For many others, it may work the other way round: They see the existing custom packs for New Formats, can't even beat them, least of all create levels of that difficulty themselves, and as a consequence, might not share levels they would have shared otherwise because they consider them to be crap.

I remember how many disclaimers I put into the release topic of my very first pack, Paralems, telling everyone how it's totally not in line with standard NeoLemmix philosophy and how, as a consequence, it does a lot of things that "purist" NeoLemmix players were going to hate. ;) Other people simply might not take that "risk" in the first place, i.e. sharing an easy pack of which they think the core audience won't appreciate it.

Yes, you only get better by practicing, both with regards to playing and level creation - but how high you set the first hurdle to jump over is crucial when it comes to giving someone the movitation to continue.

3
NeoLemmix Main / Re: List of unconverted packs?
« on: July 12, 2019, 06:36:47 am »
Thanks for the suggestion, but all these solutions actually require the zombies to explode or stone ;) . Since zombies are no longer "classic zombies" that could pick up skills, simply having them walk into a trap won't work.

4
NeoLemmix Main / Re: List of unconverted packs?
« on: July 11, 2019, 03:04:11 pm »
That is true, all my packs feature at least some instances of radiation or slowfreeze, so those levels are bound to change significantly if they are ever updated.

I would like to re-inform everyone though that Lemmings World Tour is still in the process of being converted. The levels themselves have all been converted, to be precise, all the graphic-set conversions are complete at last; I've put it on a halt though until the extended skill panel of up to 10 different skill types has been implemented, though, because some levels containing radation or slowfreeze already featured a full skill panel. Consequently, I need at least a ninth slot to add in the necessary amount of stoners or bombers.

On some levels, this wasn't necessary because, due to instant bombers and stoners, the blockers provided in the original version of the level to stop the radiating / slowfreezing lemming at the right destination could simply be replaced with bombers or stoners, respectively. On levels with free-moving radiating or slowfreezing lemmings however - where the radiation or slowfreeze was placed in the right position so that lemmings would explode / stone in the correct spots without any execution madness - the skill represented by the radiation or slowfreeze is not present on the skill panel. Thus, if that skill panel happens to be full already, the level is unsolvable as of now.

Lastly, there are three levels in which zombies need to walk into radiation and/or slowfreeze, and those cannot be replicated even with additional skill slots and pickup skills. I still have no idea how to go about adapting those. ;)

5
In Development / Re: Lemmings Hall of Fame
« on: July 04, 2019, 08:58:05 am »
Thinking about the rank names, something with four options that fits to the topic of "fame" would probably be to simply go with the "metals of medals":

Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum

Also, it just occured to me that the Classic tribe is pretty much independent of whether or not we have the Jumper at our disposal, so I could basically go ahead and create that rank already. Unless I also want to break out of yet another corset set by Lemmings 2 in this regard...

We don't have enough different skills in NeoLemmix anyway to give each tribe a separate fixed skillset. Then again, I think that isn't even how it works in Lemmings 2, because it's not like the player were restricted to just a fix set of eight skills per tribe, aside from the Classic tribe, that is. Classic is the only tribe which strictly sticks to the original 8 skills, whereas the other tribes are all over the place (for example, the Jet Pack can be found in Beach, Cavelem, Shadow...).

6
NeoLemmix Graphic Sets / Re: Rain and snow objects
« on: July 01, 2019, 09:11:37 am »
Ah, great, I didn't know that Shimmier support had been added to the secondary-animations version in the meantime! ;) Those two features used to be mutually exclusive for a while.

Thanks then, I'll go ahead and give it a try! :D

7
NeoLemmix Graphic Sets / Re: Rain and snow objects
« on: June 30, 2019, 09:26:40 am »
The strato_autumn style can be found in my graphic set thread for both Old and New Formats. ;)

I'm working with the experimental version, since I want to be able to use the Shimmier. So it's interesting that you say it should work with the experimental version, but not the stable one?

8
NeoLemmix Graphic Sets / Re: Rain and snow objects
« on: June 29, 2019, 08:16:26 pm »
I'm using it with a mono-black background; example level is attached (nothing to play here, actually; it's just about the aesthetics.)

9
NeoLemmix Graphic Sets / Rain and snow objects
« on: June 26, 2019, 08:18:22 am »
So, as Arty told me, his Rain background object has become part of namida's Sky tileset in New Formats, and his blue fire traps, as we know, are part of the original Fire tileset now.

What I can't seem to find is the Snow object (white circles rather than blue diagonal lines moving downward). Has this been converted to New Formats yet?

Also, when I try to use the Rain object in a new level, the rain is visible during level editing, but not when actually playtesting the level inside the editor (which kinda ruins the point because it's merely an aesthetic feature).

My converted levels from Old Formats using these objects do work with the proper objects in the New Formats player, though.

Then again, I edited the graphic set in Old Formats, where it was all part of a graphic set called "general", by adding some of my own or recoloured pieces (for example, I made a purple version of Arty's Rain for the level "Purple Rain", go figure :D ). Then I converted my version of the general set. Thus, currently, all my converted New-Formats levels using Rain or Snow refer to the conversion of my edited general tileset, rather than to namida_sky.

Thus, I don't know whether it's something about the Rain object placed in namida_sky that makes it invisible while playing (i.e. something that was converted correctly in my edited Rain object), or whether it's about the Editor-vs-Player difference again.

Given that moving background objects, like the bees from the Honeycomb tileset, are supported by the New-Formats NeoLemmix player, but not the editor, I presume the same is true for the Rain object? I didn't expect that to happen, since the placement of the Rain object in its entirety doesn't actually change, so I wouldn't have considered it a moving background object, but of course, it's a background object that does include motion of some sort.

So my questions are:

1) How can I get the Rain object from namida_sky to work in the New-Formats editor?
2) Do we have a converted version of the Snow object somewhere?
(It's neither in Christmas, nor Ohno-Snow, nor raymanni_snow.)

If we don't have a conversion of the Snow object yet, I could include it in my custom edit of the former general tileset (credit to Arty for creating it, of course! ;) ), because I need to share that anyway for the New-Formats version of Lemmings World Tour - and if it's only for the terrain pieces (pre-placed builder staircases) and recoloured background objects (I recoloured the background of the Ancient tileset to look like lava for one level, plus the Rain object to purple, as explained above.)

Meanwhile, everything from the former general tileset that already is present in New Formats, like the blue fire traps and the Rain, I'd simply text-replace then in my levels to point them to the original objects in orig_fire and namida_sky.

But before I do that, I want to be sure the Rain object in namida_sky is actually working. ;)

10
In Development / Re: Levels by NieSch
« on: June 19, 2019, 10:53:26 am »
Hehe, nice! You're not the first to use the Brick teleporter and receiver as lifts! ;) I actually did that for my levels "Sweet Home Alabama" and "House of the Rising Sun", for which I added those teleporters to the Old-Formats version of Brick. This used to be one of the features that were only added for the New-Formats conversions.

Interestingly enoug, I haven't seen any other teleporters aside from the Brick one being used as lifts. I guess it's just down to the association that comes with seeing a teleporter as a part of a wall or a building.

11
Lemmings Main / Re: Lemmings Forums on Youtube
« on: June 18, 2019, 08:56:59 am »
A belated happy birthday, then, Arty! ;)

:party:

12
In Development / Re: Lemmings Hall of Fame
« on: June 14, 2019, 01:06:07 pm »
You know what, given the parallels between Lemmings 2: The Tribes and Lemmings 3D as far as graphic sets are concerned - which I started discussing in this thread - the question whether I should use the L2 or the L3D tracks becomes a lot less clear. ???

I used a lot of L3D tracks in my pack "Lemmicks", however I selected them on a level-by-level basis, rather than sticking them to certain tilesets (e.g. the L3D Medieval tracks always just in conjunction with L2 Medieval levels, the Alien tracks with L2 Space levels, etc.).

I'm definitely going to release batches of test levels for Lemmings Hall of Fame, much like I'm currently doing it for Lemmings Open Air. This will likely be before all the tracks have been recorded, so I can test what it's going to feel like with the L3D tracks compared to the L2 tracks.

If this actually leads to me recording versions of the L3D tracks, this would be a bigger challenge because there are 2 for each tileset (making it 20 tracks in total, because there are only 10 tilesets in L3D compared to 12 in L2).

This mainly comes down to how much people prefer which tracks from which game, and how easy it is to record real-instrument versions of them. I may even end up with a mix of L2- and L3D tracks.

If I had to pick my favourite music option for each L2 style, I think I'd spontaneously go with:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

But I'm not sure about it, and as much as I'd like to, I probably won't get to record self-played versions of all of these tracks.

So please, let me know your preferences when it comes to choosing between a Lemmings 2: The Tribes and a Lemmings 3D track for the same graphic set! :)

13
Thanks a lot, namida! :thumbsup: I'll have a look at the Army graphics when I get home tonight!

14
NeoLemmix Main / Re: custom sounds
« on: June 13, 2019, 02:14:29 pm »
Would still be great if one could use these on a pack-by-pack basis, rather than changing them for the entire game... :D

Since we're already considering providing custom sounds together with the download of the pack they belong to, why not make custom success- and failure-jingles specific to their respective packs again?

One of the few remaining things that Old Formats could do that haven't yet been transferred to New Formats... :P

15
It's fairly obvious that not only Lemmings 3 (An All New World of Lemmings) built off of the tribe tilesets introduced in Lemmings 2, but also Lemmings 3D (for which namida is currently developing a level editor) definitely has a lot of overlap with Lemmings 2 with regard to its graphic sets.

Shared styles between Lemmings 2 and Lemmings 3D are:
  • Circus
  • Classic
  • Egyptian
  • Medieval
  • Outdoor
  • Space
  • Sports

Both games share the idea of a "classic" tileset, even though those look vastly different, because in L2, it's specifically the Pillar tileset from Classic Lemmings, whereas in L3D, it's just random blocks in all colours.

The "Outdoor" levels in L3D are sometimes also described as "Forest" levels, given the picture of the lemming couple wandering around on the pre-level screen.
The "Sports" levels in L3D are specifically focused on golfing, whereas those in L2 have more of a darts-and-tennis-theme going on, but once we drop the specific name of the single disciplines, it should be clear that these two are equivalent.

"Space" is a little more interesting, because while L3D has the "Alien" tileset, it also contains other spacy levels that actually use other styles, like "Away Team" in the Classic tileset, and "Breakout" in the Computer tileset.

The remaining L2-only styles are:
  • Shadow
  • Cavelem
  • Polar
  • Highland
  • Beach

The remaining L3D-only styles are:
  • Army
  • Jelly-Belly
  • Computer

But a couple of graphic-set designers here on the forums have already started bridging those gaps! ;)

Now, while it would be obviously astronomic at this point to consider the introduction of additional tilesets into the Lemmings 3D level editor that namida is currently creating, there have been a couple of attempts to bring the remaining L3D tilesets into NeoLemmix:

  • The Jelly-Belly tileset has a lot of overlap with namida's Candy tileset, including things like chocolate water, chocolate terrain, sugarcanes etc. There is also Raymanni's food tileset, even though there aren't really any sweets among that "buffet" ;) .
  • For the Computer tileset, there have been several cyber / digital / electric graphic sets, but the one most clearly inspired by L3D is Raymanni's Cyber tileset - not only because Raymanni created several other L3D tilesets, like Circus or Snow, but also because the exit is a computer screen.
  • Levels in the style of the L3D classic tileset can be easily built using the colourful blocks from e.g. Raymanni's Toys style, namida's Abstract or Psychedelic style, Gronkling's Minimal style, or simply the squares and blocks from L2 Circus.

In other words: The only thing still truly missing is a NeoLemmix Army tileset! :)

Now, while one could argue that Army is L3D's equivalent to L2's "Polar", given that all the "alpine" levels in L3D are in that tileset, I think there's a clearly visible distinction between the L3D Snow levels (as reflected by Raymanni's Snow tileset) and the "regular" Army levels like "Take a Dive", "Corkscrew Digger", "This is the Army", "Lemhangar" etc.

I've put a recreation of "This is the Army" into my pack Lemmings World Tour, using a combination of the L2 styles Beach, Sports, and Medieval. But obviously, this is only an approximation.


So, do you think NeoLemmix could use such an "Army" style to make the collection of L3D-like tilesets complete?
If so, what should it look like? What pieces should it contain?
;)

The only things obvious to me at this point would be square and rectangular blocks and slopes in various sizes in a camouflage finish, as well as grey stone walls like on "This is the Army", and wooden planks like on "Take a Dive". If we had L2-style trampolins in NeoLemmix, as they appear in "Take a Dive" in L3D, as well, those could also be added; but I guess that those would require tumbler physics, akin to the Jumper skill. Ropes that Climbers and Shimmiers can hold on to could serve as a surrogate for the "rope slide" object in L3D.

The iconic "officer" from the Army tileset, like any other L3D object, is in fact just two-dimensional, merely rotating with the player's camera so that you always look at it from the front.

So I guess that, since namida is currently working on the L3D editor anyway, that graphic could be extracted so that it could be included in NeoLemmix as well as a background object.

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