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Messages - Simon

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General Discussion / Re: grams88 Blog
« on: April 09, 2019, 01:38:00 am »
Nice! I've never tried bungee jumping. Righteous to try something new from time to time, something outside the comfort zone.

Bungee jumping is probably very safe.

We fall prey to availability bias: It's easy to picture bungee cords snapping or planes crashing, especially when plane crashes make the news. But the easy availability of such mental imagery doesn't make disasters more likely.

-- Simon

Lix Main / Re: Black screen in macOS build
« on: April 07, 2019, 06:48:05 pm »
Thanks for the good summary!

We had 2 people (tarzeau and MartinDelille) failing on Mac via homebrew, both in 2019, both in the same way: Build succeeds, Lix window opens, music plays (if it's downloaded), no graphics are shown.

Pressing Esc (for tarzeau) terminates the program properly. For Martin, Lix gobbles resources, then segfaults. For Martin, I merely assume that it's on a Mac; Martin didn't write about system in github issue 381.

We had spacetag succeeding in early 2018 via homebrew. But definitely spacetag built an older Lix with an older D toolchain.

Debugging ideas: I want to make a minimal D/Allegro example for Martin that shows some colored screens, then terminates. If that fails, then C/Allegro.

-- Simon

Lix Main / Re: Panel icons (Quicksave shouldn't be floppy disk)
« on: April 03, 2019, 01:41:52 am »

Splat ruler button is now a ruler plus a dashed downward arrow. I hope the dashes suggest motion, and perhaps even acceleration because lower dashes are thicker.

Especially the smaller version of this icon, I fear that would become too busy with { shorter arrow, extra decoration above/below the shorter arrow such as falling lix, splatting lix, or skull }.

Already, the icon combines two items and feels busy. Hmm, geoo suggested a ruler without any extras, also very reasonable.

-- Simon

Tech & Research / Re: Object-oriented design with Simon
« on: April 02, 2019, 05:38:12 pm »
Could you perhaps leverage placement-new in order to store all the jobs in a contiguous memory region, which you could then copy all in one sweep with memcpy() in order to make savestates?

Yes, I've started to emplace in late 2017. But the array is not purely an array of Job. The memory layout in Lix is like this:

| Lix 0      | Lix 1      | Lix 2      | Lix 3      |   
|    +-------+    +-------+    +-------+    +-------+ ...
|    | Job 0 |    | Job 1 |    | Job 2 |    | Job 3 |   

Each Lix object contains a Job region, and the Job is placement-new-ed into the Lix object. Job is still a polymorphic hierarchy. The Job region is large enough to take any subclass.

It's not 100 % memory safe because old Job code could run while the Job region has been overwritten with a different Job. But it's a tradeoff for speed, there are runtime assertions, and also D has static if to test at compile time that each Job subclass fits into the reserved region.

To the outside, each Lix including her Job behaves like a value type. You can savestate the array with memcpy.

I've begun to read Effective Modern C++, it's nice to see that C++ is catching up with memory management and compile-time features.

-- Simon

General Discussion / Re: Simon blogs
« on: March 29, 2019, 03:10:59 am »
Backwards for scrutiny

If you want to copy a drawing, there is the upside-down method: Turn the source image upside down, then copy it, then turn both source and copy right side up.

The idea is that the upside-down source prevents your brain from interpreting what it sees. Thus you will copy all lines and details verbatim. You don't want to interpret, e.g., parts of a face in the source as a nose, then draw a nose guided by your reallife experience about noses, then realize that source nose and copied nose differ considerably in the details.

The same idea works for proofreading text. Read your paragraphs in reverse order. (Within each paragraph, read the words in normal order.) No earlier paragraphs will ever be in your short-term memory, therefore you aren't biased or expecting certain content, thus will stumble over even the subtle mistakes.

-- Simon

General Discussion / Re: How about FB group?
« on: March 29, 2019, 02:59:20 am »
Facebook/Discord groups are much harder to search for outsiders. Let's keep the culturally relevant content on public forums (ideally, for best content organization) and logged IRC (for when live chat is more important than organization).

Please link your facebook friends directly to instead!

-- Simon

Contests / Re: Polls for possible changes to the contests
« on: March 26, 2019, 06:39:04 pm »
For results among subsets of entries (all levels from a given design-rule), seriously consider ditching polls, in favor of (a) have each voter submit an ordered lists of all entries, or (b) have each voter distribute 20 points across all entries, with at most 10 points per entry and voter.

It will be radically different, but it will speed up the process enormously, and you can look at any subset you like.

You can still hold a French presidential election between 2-3 winners of the list/score round.

-- Simon

Contests / Re: Polls for possible changes to the contests
« on: March 24, 2019, 05:31:45 pm »
Whatever cuts number of rounds is good. We can try those ideas.

For the record/future discussion, I believe we should prune much, much faster per round than (10 go into two groups of 5 with 2 or 3 surviving). I would run 10 entries like the French elect their president, with exactly two rounds: First round has all entries, best two advance to second round.

I admit that it's taste, some want a spectacle, and some want sub-winners among the levels for the same design rule, it's all good. Also the organizer should, to an extent, just do what makes themselves feel best.

-- Simon

Contests / Re: Polls for possible changes to the contests
« on: March 24, 2019, 12:14:16 pm »
Hats off to Icho for being open (to change election system) after the poll (about duration of voting in existing election system that has many votings) even if it brazenly overrides the poll result. This is sensible: The main problem is that the elections take too long overall, and there has been incentive to vote (for shortest poll time) merely to accelerate the overall process.

Fewer rounds with long voting times is good. Reducing survival rate is good.

Tiebreakers should be rare. If survival rate is low, you can let tying levels pass instead of tiebreak round, in a pinch. That's good.

If the winning level has to beat levels of other design-rules, then it's unnecessary to group by design-rule in the first place. Yes, make random groups across all entries; in a pinch, prefer fewer groups with more levels each. Then vote within each bucket, then merge the survivors from all groups.

If a contest has < 10 entries, you don't even need groups; everything can go into a single poll. The only reason to make groups seems to be cognitive ease? It's easier to pick a favorite 3 from 8 than it is to to pick a favorite 5 from 23.

-- Simon

Contests / Re: Polls for possible changes to the contests
« on: March 22, 2019, 07:14:47 pm »
How about: Author_Levelname_RuleVersion?


-- Simon

Contests / Re: Polls for possible changes to the contests
« on: March 22, 2019, 06:39:57 pm »
Rename the contest from
Lemmings Forums Level Contest
Level Design Contest.

Reason: Other contests are on Lemmings Forums, too, are about levels, too, and are contests, too. Example: The contest where we minimize skills on a given level. Thus Lemmings Forums Level Contest is not precise.

I don't mind the author/rules/versioning in the filename, but please include the level name. The level name is the handle, not the author or the rule. When I have a loose replay called Nepster_r1v3, from what contest is that?

-- Simon

Levels for other engines / Re: [Lemmings 2] Lemmings ... In Space!
« on: March 22, 2019, 04:09:18 pm »
Is there already a backroute fix for 8. Hyperspace Loop?

A fascinating level, and I'd really like to re-solve it without the

-- Simon

Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 22, 2019, 02:21:00 am »
Quote from: ccexplore
Did they say anywhere how many levels the full version has?

Allegedly at least 200, and level editor is planned.

I still haven't played Baba, will play this weekend.

-- Simon

Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 19, 2019, 06:40:33 pm »

Jam build (demo)

Very nice find. Immediately, I'm getting envious that I didn't invent this game myself. This feeling is extremely rare to happen at first sight of a new game. One deep core idea leads to enourmous variety, without too many gimmicks.

Looking forward to play it with Forestidia.

-- Simon

General Discussion / Re: Simon blogs
« on: March 17, 2019, 01:41:28 pm »
Quote from: mobius
Pit. Which is a turnless game that sort of resembles stock market transactions. THere are different types of cards; "wheat, gold, oil, sugar, etc." The goal is to trade cards until you're entire hand is composed of just one type.

Again vastly different from Mombasa in design, the only common feature seems to be that both games have cards.

But yes, Pit is excellent. Near-perfect simplicity, and it takes cunning to track dangerous trades. I lack a dedicated Pit deck, but I've played Pit several times with two bridge decks: Use all 8 tens, all 8 nines, all 8 eights, ..., until you have one octet per player. No wild cards. The winner scores as many points as printed on his octet.

Quote from: grams88
Have you tried Rummikub yourself Simon? It's a great game I feel.

I remember reading the rules of Rummikub, it's a rummy variant where everybody can rearrange any meld.

I enjoy Japanese Mahjong, it's the closest rummy-like that I play. Sadly, rules are so fiddly that it makes no sense to learn Japanese Mahjong unless one will play semi-frequently. Some interesting decisions, most importantly in the balance of offense and defense: You must discard one tile at end of turn, and if your discard completes somebody's hand, you pay the hand with your own points. Each player's discards remain open information. Still considerable luck.

Some hard problems in game design.

Starting positions/order. Lix has no randomness except for the shuffling of player positions at the beginning of a match. The server shuffles and transmits the shuffle in the start-game packet.

Chess colors are distributed at random, too, but at least tournament organizers will balance the number of times you get white or black throughout the tournament. Same for Go tournaments, and, in addition, the second player gets a compensation score bonus. Even Caylus, a boardgame for 2-5 players, shuffles the player order, pays compensation money to the later-positioned players, and has no other randomness.

In Bowling, every player plays 10 frames, and players alternate between frames. First player is typically random. You cannot affect the ball or pins of other players. Nonetheless, it is advantageous to go last: In the final frame, the last player may choose to throw straight to guarantee hitting some pins, or he may choose a more techniqueful, but riskier curveball to strike and get bonus throws.

Hmm, I said that you cannot affect other players in Bowling. Well. We were bowling recently with IchoTolot. Simon's ball knocks a pin backwards on the lane. On Forestidia's turn, this stray pin deflects her good ball into the gutter, then flies itself into the opposite gutter. On Simon's next turn, the stray pin in the gutter kicks his gutterball back on the lane, leading to some pins getting knocked over.

Some games have simultaneous play, starting position doesn't matter then. Those games quickly become physical and have other cans of worms that require de-worming.

Resigning with ≥ 3 players. With many players, if you leave mid-game, it will affect the other players' relative positional values and winning chances. Few games handle this gracefully. If allowed at all -- and computer games must allow for ragequits and network failure -- it's usually implemented as if the resigner defaulted on every decision. E.g., resigner's units sit around in real-time strategy games, resigner always discards the recently drawn tile in Mahjong.

Two-player games are not affected, the opponent wins immediately (Chess, Go, two-player Magic). Two-team games are also not affected: If all information is open anyway, the teammates may control the resigner's pieces (Axis & Allies, Scotland Yard); if some information is hidden, the resigner's opponents win immediately.

-- Simon

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