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Messages - Simon

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Lix Main / Re: Editor, Giga's rant
« on: February 14, 2019, 05:30:39 pm »
Made a github issue: #379 Editor: Don't clone tiles to outside of map. Thanks!

-- Simon

Lix Main / Re: Add test play mode to the editor
« on: February 14, 2019, 01:07:48 am »
Right, this might be nice. Made github issue: #378 Editor: Add playtesting mode.

Maybe even with the possibility to spawn loose lixes on demand anywhere in the level during test play.

Feels like a more complex feature. But the old save-exit-play-exit-edit-cycle feels unntaural, too.

-- Simon

Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Zendo: Realizations
« on: February 14, 2019, 01:00:26 am »
Part 3: Geometrical games feel nicer than sequence games

By sequence Zendo, I mean Zendo where the koans are numbers, or strings of letters, or sequences of emoticons, ...

We have often played Zendo without turns, as single-team puzzle: Everybody proposes koans and guesses the rule whenever they like. In our games on Lemmings Forums with strings of A-Z, I've often wanted to write a loop. E.g., I wanted to test all strings of length 5 that start with A, and see if they're all white. Or I want to test ZA, ZAA, ZAAA, ZAAAA, ..., up to length 100.

Since everybody is allowed to ask koans at any time, asking all koans in a loop would be legal. Because we shun bureaucracy, the loop itself should be legal. If you tested only a few possibilities with sequence koans, you always believe you're still lacking so much. Testing only a few sequences doesn't feel satisfying. You wouldn't accidentally run into important features to which the loop might lead you.

Compare this with Zendo with 3-dimensional shapes, such as Zendo 2.0 blocks (left) or differently-sized pyramids (right).

With 3-dimensional shapes, it becomes less tempting to test in a loop. There are so many variations already with 2 or 3 pieces in a koan. You can test for color, certain sizes, or other relations, but these tests will rarely require a loop over all possibilities. For most properties, it's easy to select a few most important cases to test with 3-dimensional shapes. This feels satisfying.

When some 3-dimensional koans are built during the early game, many fundamental physical properties arise naturally from the test cases even though you haven't tested explicitly for them: All pieces must relate to all other pieces in some way, some must touch the table, they all must have corners, sides, at least one piece has to be the highest, ... It is natural to develop a surprisingly reliable, though vague feeling for the rule merely from these seemingly-random physical properties exhibited by completely unrelated test cases.

Maybe the most important reason for 3-dimensional shapes is human pattern recognition. We love to find geometrical relationships. Sequence Zendo lacks this visual pattern recognition.

-- Simon

Contests / Re: Level of the Year: 2018!
« on: February 13, 2019, 10:32:30 pm »
I've seen the lack of nominations, but sadly, I don't have reasonable nominations myself.

I've played several new-to-me Lix levels, mostly by mobius, but they were all made in 2017 or before. Apart from that, I played all 3 maps from the solving contest, but it would be unfair to nominate those merely for the allowance to nominate an own level. The own level would have been Japanese Winter from xmas2018, the 24-level pack that I co-designed.

Good luck to all the nominees!

-- Simon

Lix Levels / Re: Some replays to old levels
« on: February 13, 2019, 02:40:09 pm »
Thanks for the good archeology and covering!

Bulldozer had some revisions, presumably to counter backroutes. Your Bulldozer replay is for an older version. I've attached Bulldozer from February 2017 Lix 0.6.27, this is the newest version before we cut Bulldozer from lemforum entirely and replaced it with Evacuate the Sinking Ship.

Bulldozer has always lead to extremely precise solutions. geoo designed the map to work with less precision, but these details are hard to find.

-- Simon

Lix Levels / Re: Lemforum pack changes, Lix 0.9.x
« on: February 13, 2019, 02:04:32 pm »
My hunch is to rank Oblique Strategy into Vicious, with late Daunting as second choice. But I haven't solved Oblique Strategy independently: While solving, I was discussing ideas with Forestidia, she had solved it herself already. Thus, I can't assess it neutrally.

I'm fine to cut either Stickup (nasty to execute) or Too Much Stepping Stones (looks very bland). I'd rank Oblique Strategy higher than Too Much Stepping Stones.

Proxima, only for completeness: What is your feeling about Dream the Impossible Dream? Forestidia told me that there are unfixable backroutes in it. Would Dream be a candidate for cutting too, or is it better -- even with the backroute -- than Stickup or Too Much Stepping Stones?

-- Simon

You could implement this view mode without touching the interface: Let the game game remember the loaded replay. After the level ends, game compares the replay at the end with the loaded replay. If they're identical, we don't write any trophies.

The downside is that you can't batch-run your own replays anymore automatically to restore trophies (game can't distinguish your replays from other people's replays).

-- Simon

I split off Other's replays should not overwrite own records, it's an excellent standalone issue, and it's orthogonal to saving more stats.

-- Simon

4) Something else?

A trophy is a structure of
  • number of lems saved at the end of the entire attempt,
  • number of skills assigned until a given happy condition is true, and
  • number of physics updates that passed after the initial state until the happy condition is true. If the condition becomes true halfway through a physics update, this physics update counts entirely towards this number.
For each level, the game shall keep 3 trophies:
  • Max saved trophy, where the happy condition is the final exiting of the entire attempt, and trophies are ordered by (more saved first, then fewer skills, then shorter time).
  • Min skill trophy, where the happy event is satisfying the save requirement, and trophies are ordered by (fewest skills first, then more saved, then shorter time).
  • Speed trophy, where the happy event is satisfying the save requirement, and trophies are ordered by (shortest time first, then more saved, then fewest skills).
Achievements are not part of this design and I will not attempt to fit those in; this is an exercise for the reader. Maybe there will be exactly 1 extra trophy per achievement, maybe there will be exactly 3 extra trophies per achievement (logical-and the normal happy event with satisfying the achievement), ... There are similarities between achievements and level repeats.

If this 3x3 idea won't fly, then Nepster's 1) feels best, record all metrics independently from each other.

-- Simon

Didn't know Flink (link to Google Image Search), very nice, really cute art. Thanks for mentioning! I thought Rayman and Yoshi's Island were most similar to Lomax.

Please don't delete-thread-and-repost merely to bump your threads. It's perfectly fine to double-post. (We even encourage happy double-posting for new content over editing; editing is merely to fix mistakes.)

-- Simon

Lix Main / Re: Lix 0.9.25 released
« on: February 04, 2019, 10:54:02 am »
Lix 0.9.25 released.

:lix-cool: Download for Windows 64-bit -- recommended
:lix: Download for Windows 32-bit -- fallback for ancient machines
:lix: Download for Linux 64-bit
:lix-evil: Source code
:8(): Changelog
:8:()[: Issue tracker

How to update (click to show/hide)
  • Added 44 singleplayer levels in levels/single/misc: 17 miniatures by Simon and geoo, 13 levels by mobius (originally called leftovers and non-tutorials), 10 levels by Nessy, 4 non-miniatures by Simon. These levels were released around 2017 and 2018 on Lemmings Forums and are now part of the main download.
  • Added 15 tutorials for basic skill usage. A new Lix installation will still highlight Any Way You Want as first level, not the tutorials.
  • Eased the 2-player multiplayer map Anything Can Work: Removed buzzsaws, added terrain to allow a downwards route without preparatory platforming above exits.
  • Fixed deprecations (silent conversion from size_t to int in loop indices) to allow a warning-free building with the current compiler DMD 2.084.
  • Refactored code for clarity: Alcol constructors -> al_map_rgba_f, magic numbers in EffectManager -> enums. Split ScoreBoard into two classes and moved to the GUI code, to decouple from gameplay.
-- Simon

General Discussion / Re: Mobi's blog
« on: February 04, 2019, 07:28:27 am »
Judging time of a memory: Very nice observation and examples, thanks.

I believe this problem comes from a substitution fallacy, i.e., from replacing the hard question
A: When did X happen?
with the easier question
B: How intense is the memory of X?
...then answering B, but wording that answer as if it were an answer to A, then believing in this reworded position and even defending it in an argument.

With memories, you often can rectify by relating X and Y each to a third memory Z, and then making two logical arguments why X must come before Z and why Z must come before Y. If you're lucky to find such a Z.

More examples of substitution of questions:

Parent want to buy something nice for their kid, and they realize that the kid likes computer games, and thus decide to buy a computer game. But instead of buying game X that makes the kid happiest, the parents buy game Y because the parents imagine (kid playing X happily) and (kid playing Y happily), then the parents decide that the parents will be happier themselves watching the kid play Y happily. Even at the risk of never seeing the kid happy with Y.

People are familiar with the spawn interval expressed as release rate -- which even holds water in an argument -- but then assert that the release rate is also simpler than the raw spawn interval. This is especially surprising when the same people correctly assess simplicity elsewhere, e.g., that it's bad to have two values of release rate to mean the same spawn interval, despite familiarity.

-- Simon

Lix Levels / Re: Mobius' Lix Levels
« on: February 01, 2019, 07:07:12 am »
All right, cool that there are no hard feelings. Yeah, I acknowledge the like for repeats, and especially in your folder, the levels should keep your style. They're good, and they're well-covered with replays.

Move on to other projects or life, and tackle exciting problems. If you'd ever like to come back, the door will always be open for you. :lix-smile:

-- Simon

Lix Levels / Re: Mobius' Lix Levels
« on: January 31, 2019, 07:24:35 pm »
Pinnacle of Defeat: Sadly no fix yet. I've tried with Forestidia several iterations of reply #15, and all have backroutes. I conjecture that Pinnacle of Defeat relies heavily on NL/Lemmini physics details.

Quote from: mobius
Since I really don't feel like working with Lix much anymore (apart from multiplayer) it's up to you. Just don't ask me for help because my 'vision' (to sound grandiose) is quite different in some respect and I'm stubborn and don't like to compromise :P

Sorry, I didn't read this edit sooner.

Has the level designer culture put you off? Was I too ignorant myself? Or is Lix too different from the other Lemmings-likes and it's too hard to realize your level ideas in Lix?

It's all fine, and you've done much good already for the culture. The levels wouldn't have been the same without you.

Quote from: mobius
The Whispering Wind; I feel differently; :P It's designed to be a repeat level, why must repeats be *exactly* the same?

I feel that repeats are a problem, they lead to confusion, especially if they look exactly the same.

When I looked through your leftovers, I thought that Whispering Wind is merely an old version of Five for Fighting, and discarded Whispering Wind immediately. Only when I found your explanation from 2017-12 that WW and FfF are different levels, I reconsidered WW for keeping.

To clarify that both levels (WW and FfF) are keepers, different looks would have helped. For now, I'll keep WW as it is, and it's all good.

Happy that you've allowed to include all these levels in Lix!

-- Simon

Site Discussion / Re: Ability to delete your own posts?
« on: January 31, 2019, 06:12:13 am »
Thanks for the feedback!

I've enabled the recycling feature, although not 100 % sure if that's better than disabling topic deletion.

The Recycling board is visible to Global Mods and Admins. Deleted topics are moved to Recycling. Any topic on recycling "appears to be either missing or off limits" to regular users. Global mods/admins can then delete topics on Recycling for good, or move them back, or split them etc. as needed. I tested (regular user posts topic, admin replies, regular user deletes, see topic reappear on Recycling), works well.

Thus, I've kept the allowance to delete topics for regular users.

I'm still open to rediscuss. I like that you can remove your own unwanted topics without replies. But maybe you consider this recycling weird? It still appears to give regular users the power to make your posts vanish. Apparent data loss is nasty.

-- Simon

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