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Messages - ccexplore

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1
To echo what a few others have already said here and elsewhere:  doesn't Lix pretty much fit the bill completely?  You got the high resolution graphics and all the 8 classic skills are there.  Other than the change of timed bombers to instant bombers and the removal of release rate control, and the use of all new graphics, sound and music to avoid copyright issues, isn't Lix basically what SuperLemmini would be if it kept up with NeoLemmix?  What is missing there for you to still prefer SuperLemmini? ???

2
Help & Guides / Re: About Acorn Archimedes Lemmings
« on: September 22, 2019, 10:12:55 pm »
I briefly played that game on emulator back when I was doing something with extracting its music, and I distinctly remember the lack of keyboard pausing.  Like you I'm pretty sure I tried just about every key combo there is in hopes of making the game pause, but no dice.

So barring a problem with the emulator, perhaps the game just doesn't use keyboard at all.  Maybe one of very few people here who had actually played on the real hardware (are any of them still around?) can confirm or deny whether that's the case.

3
NeoLemmix Main / Re: Hi-Res support for NeoLemmix? Bring back SuperLemmini?
« on: September 22, 2019, 10:04:04 pm »
Can someone remind me whether SuperLemmini had its own level editor at any point?  Seems absurd to me that NeoLemmix was the only level editor for it.

The blame lies squarely on the maker of SuperLemmini for leaving it in such a state where somehow it needs some other game now as its level editor.  SuperLemmini has been around for a while, seems like it has gotten every chance there is to be something as actively used as the other games here.  There's probably a lot of history I glossed over, but perhaps how SuperLemmini fared over time compared to the other games here, also speaks a little to the general preferences of this community in terms of what they value most?

4
Level Design / Re: How do you feel about vertical scrolling?
« on: September 22, 2019, 09:38:21 pm »
You explained it perfectly fine, so basically it's now like Lix and will actually use up the available space on the screen to display if the level needs it.  So yet another case where "if ccexplore says something about NeoLemmix, assume at least half the time it's wrong. :-[ ;)".

Are most NeoLemmix levels still at minimum height then?  If how much of the level you can see can already vary even without any actual vertical scrolling, and if that really has an effect on how well people can eyeball safe fall distance, then arguably it's not really an issue with scrolling per se anymore.

5
Level Design / Re: Lix and Lemmings 2: How essential is the Jumper?
« on: September 22, 2019, 12:32:26 pm »
Wow, thanks a lot, Simon! I didn't know that could be determined so quickly in Lix, due to all levels being in the same folder.

Actually it's probably more due to the Lix level file format being completely text-based.  I think it's pretty easy to find utilities in Linux that you can chain together to, say, find every file under one or more folders, find the ones that have the word "jumper", and then count them.

Lemmings 2 unfortunately does not have a text-based level file format, so the counting may need to be more manual.  My impression is that they do throw in the jumper skill pretty often in Lemmings 2.  It would not surprise me if more than a third of Lemmings 2 levels (excluding Classic tribe) have it.  Now, whether it's "essential" to the level is another matter.  Even with an attractor, you could always free the attractor using any other spare skill.

6
Level Design / Re: How do you feel about vertical scrolling?
« on: September 22, 2019, 12:18:55 pm »
Just want to mention that NeoLemmix's fencer and glider skills have more vertical movement compared to Lemmings 2's.  So while other aspects of NeoLemmix may perhaps call for less use of vertical height, there are also features in NeoLemmix that could naturally call for more use of vertical height as well.

7
Level Design / Re: How do you feel about vertical scrolling?
« on: September 22, 2019, 12:10:15 pm »
Most levels in Lemmings 2 use vertical scrolling in the sense of making use of the greater available level area, but even then I'd say many levels are still predominantly horizontal, or perhaps evenly horizontal and vertical.  Certainly it is rarer to see predominantly vertical levels.

I don't have anything against vertical scrolling.  I think it's a good idea to feature it a bit more to make it feel more Lemmings 2 like you said, but I also wouldn't go out of my way to force levels to be taller than one screen if its design doesn't really need it to be.

The two "against" reasons you listed yourself aren't particularly strong reasons IMO.

On the other hand, vertical scroling in NeoLemmix makes it much harder for me to judge the fall height without resorting to the splat ruler.

To be honest I'm not convinced why that would be the case, doesn't NeoLemmix always display 160 pixels (or whatever the max non-scrolling height is) vertically at a time even when there are more to scroll to?  How does the parts of level not visible be affecting judgment of fall distance?  But then again I haven't played a lot in recent years, and I'm probably the type to always just use the splat ruler anyway.

Also, the pre-level screens in a classical Lemmings shell are made for wide levels; whenever they have to display vertical levels, those levels need to be shrunk, so you can barely see anything, while the horizontal dimension is barely used.

To be fair, that's more a design defect of the pre-level screens.  Lemmings 2 clearly shows that there are ways to do the pre-level screen without exhibiting the issues you stated.  I wouldn't take the current design of the pre-level screen as representing any kind of preference for or against vertical scrolling.

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

It's worth noting that Lemmings 2 has a much higher safe fall distance, and it also has a bunch of skills not available in NeoLemmix to help getting lemmings upward quickly (eg. ropers, twisters perhaps, but also many of the fan skills to at least get a single lemming up, to then pave a path for the rest).  And there are skills and features also not available in NeoLemmix that naturally require a bit of open space to operate effectively (eg. projectile skills, swings and catapults).  So perhaps you'll find yourself generally not using up as much vertical space in NeoLemmix, as you might if you were to actually create a level in Lemmings 2.

8
Lemmings Main / Re: Mobile Lemmings game
« on: September 22, 2019, 11:23:01 am »
I haven't played or even really looked at that game, but I wouldn't necessarily discount procedurally-created levels.  I can see a hybrid approach where the terrain layout could initially be procedurally generated, then a human comes in and makes further terrain tweaks, work out where to put the entrances, exits and other objects, come up with a reasonably skillset, etc., to actually turn it into a decent level.   This works especially for more open-ended levels where you don't need or want to enforce any specific solution in mind.  We know some level creators basically build some levels kinda like that--start with just making something visually interesting with the terrain, and then only afterwards try to build a solution around it.

9
SuperLemmini / Re: SubLem Error: Style "Special" does not exist
« on: September 22, 2019, 11:11:35 am »
It would be great if there were the option to switch between graphics styles, like you can with Super Mario Maker - keep both DOS fans and Hi-Res fans happy whilst offering the possibility of creating levels in either style. If you think that would be possible, I'd be happy to get out the old coding manual and give it a go myself. Might need some guidance, though... :)

This is an interesting perspective.  It's not quite the same as Super Mario Maker because traditionally, Lemmings is a pixel-precise game where the game resolution can potentially have physics effects and not merely a visual difference.  So a Lemmings level may end up not playing quite the same when you switch resolutions, and in some cases may require locking a level to low-res or to hi-res to keep the gameplay consistent.  We've actually seen a case of this in the official games--Mac Lemming's conversion to hi-res graphics inadvertently caused the exposed tree roots in "The Steel Mines of Kessel" to become additional obstacles requiring additional bombing to get past, causing that level to become extra difficult on that port.

For a game to support both low-res as well as hi-res (note: in this context we'll assume it's always exactly double of low-res), there are two approaches that can be taken:

1) Keep the physics low-res:  this was approach taken by Mac Lemmings, and perhaps WinLemm in hi-res mode as well (haven't really played that one).  In Mac Lemmings specifically, each 2x2 grid of hi-res visual pixels map to a single low-res physics pixel.  If at least 3 out of 4 of the 2x2 are non-empty, then the corresponding low-res physics pixel is treated as solid ground, otherwise it is treated as empty.  All other aspects of physics remain identical.

With the physics kept low-res, you are likely to also keep the frame rate of animations same as in low-res, although technically that doesn't have to be the case.

Since the physics is kept the same, there is possibility of allowing a level to switch between lo-res and hi-res graphics without affecting gameplay, but this requires making sure the hi-res counterparts of the low-res graphics resolve identically to low-res physics pixels (aka don't repeat the mistake Mac Lemmings made).

2) Keep the physics hi-res: I think this is more like SuperLemmini (although it doesn't support low-res anyway).  A naïve way to do this is to simply run the physics update at twice the rate as low-res, and then also to double all relative distances the physics are using (eg. how many pixels until a step finally becomes a wall for walking lemmings).  I said naïve because at the higher resolution, physics that may only be checking 1 single pixel at lower resolution may actually want to be updated into checking more pixels at higher resolution, to avoid introducing overly pixel-precise behaviors or other oddities.

All the animations (especially the ones for the lemmings) will also need to have twice the number of frames as before, as otherwise it likely wouldn't look right to merely repeat the same animation frame twice while the lemming is actually changing position.

The physics is fundamentally different between resolutions (even as we try to keep it similar), and swapping hi-res with low-res can affect the gameplay of a level.  In many cases perhaps it may not affect the overall solution of a level much if at all, but will likely still have an effect on things like your fastest-time record for the level.

===============

Neither changes are trivial (although #1 is probably much less risky than #2) and would need an extensive bit of testing to ensure there are no bugs affecting existing levels or basic level editing features.

One other way the SMM analogy breaks down a bit:  with the few odd exceptions like Mac Lemmings and WinLemm, and I suppose maybe some of the more contemporary versions like the ones on PS2/PSP/etc., none of the official Lemmings games are hi-res.  I think many people are used to Lemmings being low-resolution and some may even prefer it that way, though I think most people are open to playing hi-res as well.

10
Tech & Research / Re: Ultimate Lemmings!
« on: September 22, 2019, 10:05:59 am »
Hi, I removed the other post in the SuperLemmini thread as it was basically the exact same post, and it's better to have replies kept in one place like here.

With most people here still primarily playing and creating on NeoLemmix and Lix, and both are still actively maintained and updated, it seems pretty tricky to me to get anyone here to jump over to a new game and editor you'll be making.  You'll likely have to offer a bunch of new things that aren't available in the other games and also compelling enough to get people to start creating new levels specifically for your game and for yet others to try them.

At the start I suspect there'll be many here who takes a wait-and-see approach, and will be sticking with NeoLemmix or Lix that they are already familiar with.  This will create a dilemma for level designers.  Should they create levels for your game and risk having fewer people trying them out, or stick with the games that they know already have an audience?  They could potentially at least port their levels over to your game's format (assuming it's easy and quick for them to do so), but then they won't be using anything unique to your game in those ported levels, and thus wouldn't be highlighting anything new that would help differentiate your game from the other ones.

I think best case scenario, the world is large and there are perhaps plenty other people out there who will be interested in trying your game and editor, and yet have no awareness of this forum, NeoLemmix, nor Lix.  If you can reach those people, that will give your new game the best chances of an eager audience that aren't biased towards the existing games like NeoLemmix and Lix.

All that being said, don't get too discouraged and feel free to prove me wrong! ;) We do see people here trying out contemporary, commercially-released lemmings and lemmings-like games from time to time, so I'm sure even here you will get at least a few people to try out what you've produced.  Especially if it also comes with new levels that have compelling visuals and puzzles.

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Lemmings Main / Re: Mobile Lemmings game
« on: September 20, 2019, 10:17:39 pm »
SadPuppy is not really involved here, except for a brief drop-by around their initial launch to basically advertise their game launch here.  The focus here has overwhelmingly been on the older "original" Lemmings games from the 80s-90s, plus a few completely free homebrew versions of the game like NeoLemmix, Lix, SuperLemmini etc., and all the custom levels and related content people have created for all these different games.

You can ask whatever questions you feel like, but keeping in mind what I said, we might not be able to answer your specific questions targeted at SadPuppy.  As their game is sold on the various mobile platforms, you should hopefully be able to easily reach the developers through the review system in the respective app stores of the platform.  They likely also include e-mail contact information somewhere on the app's listing page in the app store.

You can try searching the forums with keyword "Sad Puppy" or similar to try locating the few posts and threads made here about that game.  One of the people who posted is obviously a developer of the game, you could then try PMing or emailing that forum member and see if he/she is still around to respond (not optimistic though, I'm pretty sure he/she dropped out right after making the one advertisement post).

12
NeoLemmix Main / Re: On-terain water and Swimmers
« on: September 19, 2019, 07:59:42 am »
Just to clarify: What you describe here does not happen in NeoLemmix. If you destroy a one-way wall, then create some terrain in its place with a constructive skill, the new terrain is just regular terrain, not one way. This applies to both visuals and physics.

Oh cool, it's good to know that NeoLemmix has this more intuitive behavior.

I know some original levels used it for decorations, but I question if this option should be kept for arbitrary object types. Perhaps it should be strictly available to decorative objects only (and perhaps an intrinsic property to the object rather than a toggle?). Unfortunately, there is of course always the risk of breaking existing content.

In the original Lemmings games, the only case I can remember where it was used for decorations rather than one-way walls, was what Strato mentioned, the placing of draw-on-terrain-only acid object over the thin columns left of entrance of level "We are at LEMCON ONE" (and its repeat "Poles Apart"): https://youtu.be/dQeQMDFaHhg?t=2.  It's meant to depict bubbling acids inside tubes basically.

This decoration technique is sadly removed in DOS Lemmings version of level (actually it wouldn't work even had they kept it, as DOS Lemmings took quite a bit of shortcut with its implementation for that render flag, and will not actually render "correct" colors for anything besides one-way walls; might work in Lemmix though).  Even in ports like Amiga, SNES and Mac where this is present, the effect is, meh. :-\ I applaud the creative effort and it's kinda neat, but also doesn't quite look right.

Maybe it's fine to extend it to non-decorative objects, but then the object loses its normal trigger behavior and becomes a decorative object?  Or is that worse now that you basically have a fake version of the object?  The example above in the original game is still deadly (I think?).

Curious to know how much this kind of setup has been used in NeoLemmix levels that aren't remakes of original levels, particularly with objects that have actual trigger effects.

Climbers, Swimmers, and on-terrain water

It is of note that in original Lemmings unlike in NeoLemmix, when walkers turn around at the wall, the moment they first turn around they are actually inside the wall in the exact same way as climbers, so in original Lemmings the water would affect both walkers and climbers.

Ultimately, this is kind of like how you can get a builder stuck in a ceiling, while lemmings outside will just turn around at what's effectively a wall created from the build brick and the ceiling.  What I mean is that, yes, a lemming executing a skill can sometimes end up in places not accessible by normal walking lemmings.  Hence, it is possible then to place objects such that they can only be triggered by lemmings executing that skill.  Once you realize climbers are inside the wall, everything logically follows.  I'll have to look and see how the climber animations are actually positioned, whether it really looks like the lemming is completely outside the wall or not when climbing.

It's definitely a somewhat confusing-looking setup when one first sees it.  Maybe not a setup you want people to adopt too widely, but I suppose it does make for a compact setup when you want to require the lemming to be both swimmer and climber in order to get up the wall.

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NeoLemmix Main / Re: On-terain water and Swimmers
« on: September 19, 2019, 12:21:11 am »
Admittedly, to someone unfamiliar with Lemmings, if you show them a movie of levels in the original game's engine where a one-way wall is bashed away, they probably wouldn't guess that the now-invisible "one-way field" is still around and active, they'd more likely to expect the one-way is associated to the terrain, and thus removing the terrain permanently removes the one-way effect.

But of course, that wasn't how the actual Lemmings game worked, and NeoLemmix more or less builds from that tradition.  The only-on-terrain in the original game engine was strictly a rendering option and has no physics impact (indeed, in the original game engine, all of the options are strictly rendering effects, even "upside down").  It is at least discoverable in terms of one-way walls (eg. if you build over the area, the one-way arrows will again become visible against your build bridge, for example).

I can see that you are perhaps hoping to achieve the concept of terrain that is deadly on more direct contact by the lemming, but can be removed and the area rendered safe via terrain removal skills, rather than the more traditional cases of traps vs disarmers.  Interesting idea perhaps but no, not achievable in the game right now.

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General Discussion / Re: Name the levels
« on: September 17, 2019, 11:25:30 pm »
44/51 on L2.

misses:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

With a little more time I'm pretty sure I can get all of them, as there isn't anything on my "miss" list that made me go, "huh what's that".  The thing that people likes to complain about the game, that some of the skills are too similar, actually kind of helps for this quiz, as recalling one makes you start thinking and recalling the variations.

15
Contests / Re: Level Solving Contest #5
« on: September 12, 2019, 05:46:46 pm »
Well, I guess this shows the problem is more about lack of interest and less about lack of time.  The level does look very cool though in the screenshot, hopefully maybe just having this thread, it'll still attract some additional interest for people to try out that level and also the other levels in same pack.

And actually, you still have (slightly) more participants than contest #4, so in one sense it didn't go down any worse than before.  But I can see having to wait so many weeks for results (I assume most contestants submitted early and even their final submissions were probably weeks ago) as too much a disadvantage, considering it didn't boost participation by any notable amount.

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