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Messages - ccexplore

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1
Bugs & Suggestions / Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« on: May 16, 2019, 11:56:55 pm »
Then we would need another way to tell the player that wrap is active though. ???

Sorry but if a player cannot tell the level wraps around... are they dumb? you scroll and it never stops

IchoTolot is specifically talking about the "red rectangle" implementation where the scrolling doesn't wrap.  Scrolling stops at the level boundaries even with wrapping on, it's just the lemmings themselves (and the way they interact with terrain) that will honor the wrapping.  So you can't scroll past the boundaries, but you will see the lemming disappear and reappear on the opposite boundary as they walk across a boundary.  Another way to think of this is like the classic Pac-Man game--as you move off the top you reappear at the bottom, it doesn't scroll to make the area that was at the bottom to show up at the top.

In contrast, the "yellow rectangle" implementation is like in Lix where the scrolling also wraps, so indeed you can "scroll and it never stops".

Starting from an implementation that has no support for wrapping, it is likely less work to get to a "red rectangle" implementation where scrolling doesn't wrap and only the lemmings and physics do, versus the "yellow rectangle" implementation where scrolling also wraps around.

2
Help & Guides / Re: Lemmings 1 Graphics and Music error
« on: May 16, 2019, 06:30:35 pm »
Yeah, your guess is spot-on.  Lemmings (amongst many other games as well) uses the trick of switching palettes mid-frame to effectively work around the 16-color limitation.  Specifically it does so on the level preview screen to allow the level preview on the top to use a separate palette from the bottom.  This requires the graphics emulation to be line-by-line rather than something more coarse-grained.

Based on various threads found by Google, it looks like vgaonly mode has line-by-line emulation turned on, but for whatever reasons the default "super vga" mode does not, which is why you get the messed up colors with the default emulation settings.

It used to be that IIRC, before version 0.73 of DOSBox the default was different and more akin to the "vgaonly" mode of 0.73+, so for some time the default settings work fine for Lemmings.  But looks like after 0.73 you have to change to vgaonly, since the default changed and new default not compatible with what Lemmings does on the preview screen.  I've long done that on my own computer as I saw that thread about the setting in the past, so I forgot it was needed.  Some people may also have never upgraded DOSBox to a higher version given that issue.  It's fair to say that the problem is indeed widespread nowadays for new DOSBox users, given what happened.

I guess it'd be good to create a sticky post on this board analogous to the ones kieranmillar already created for L2 and L3 on DOSBox.  Even though I think Lemmix or NeoLemmix are far better options for L1, there may be nostalgic reasons for a user to prefer the DOSBox way.

3
Help & Guides / Re: Lemmings 1 Graphics and Music error
« on: May 16, 2019, 06:11:00 am »
Does your music in DOSBox sound like in the youtube video 607 linked to?  It should and I don't think it'd sound too much different on an actual DOS PC of the day.  The PC sound hardware at the time is somewhat primitive, remember, and Lemmings 1 does not even really take full advantage of the hardware capabilities available at the time.

IIRC, (most versions of) DOS Lemmings 1 only comes with adlib.dat and tandysnd.dat, so only two possible choices of sound hardware--and actually IIRC most PCs don't even support the sound hardware specific to Tandy computers.  So it actually shouldn't matter what hardware you have if you can hear music at all.  Maybe there are some DOSBox settings to tweak that can improve the sound emulation on your computer?

4
Bugs & Suggestions / Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« on: May 15, 2019, 09:01:28 pm »
The main problem with the gimmick-implementation (which used the red rectangle) was, that one could never be sure where the lemming would reappear when moving out of the level boundary.

I get your point, though I feel like the minimap can maybe help make it a little easier to work out where the lemming would reappear?

While I can imagine levels being created that could make it tricky to keep track of where the lemming would go, I think in most well-designed levels, there are probably only limited areas where lemmings are expected to cross a wrapping level boundary.  So while I slightly prefer the "yellow rectangle", "true" implementation of wrapping, I can probably live with "red rectangle" as well.

Regardless of red/yellow rectangle, still not sure how much wrapping really adds to singleplayer level design. :-\

5
Lemmings Main / Re: GDC Post-Mortem on Lemmings
« on: May 15, 2019, 08:43:20 pm »
(That reminds me though, do we know much about the timing of the three original versions, Amiga/ST/DOS?  Did they finish the Amiga version and then do the ports, or work on them simultaneously?  I'm not even sure if all three versions released on the same day, or if the ST and DOS versions followed the Amiga version later in 1991)

I don't remember the exact timings but I'm 99.9% sure the development of those 3 versions happened in parallel.  It's a fair point though that the editor would only be expected on the Amiga version, which hasn't been subjected to much reverse engineering.  Did anyone try asking Mike whether the shipped Amiga version still has either remnants of editor code, maybe even a hidden hotkey to get to in-game?  (Though I suspect if the latter exists, someone would've discovered by now after all these years?)

=========

The way I read Mike's twitter reply to namida is that it might be more than just some customized file compression format, there might be copy protection in place that works by deviating from standard disk formating, such that regular Amiga tools will not be able to even make a copy of the disk or to capture an image of it.  I also don't see Mike wiling to risk lending out the one and only copy of the original disk to anyone else to attempt extraction.

6
Help & Guides / Re: Lemmings 1 Graphics and Music error
« on: May 15, 2019, 07:37:41 pm »
The graphics problem in your screenshot looked vaguely familiar but I'm not sure I'd call it widespread.  Might be related to your DOSBox settings.  Are you running DOSBox in Windows or are you using some other OS like Linux?  Which mode did you select when you first launch the game and it hasn't transitioned to graphics mode yet (the mode selection includes "PC compatible", "High Performance PC" etc., and there were 4 choices IIRC.  "PC compatible" works best on DOSBox, though I think "High Performance PC" had become correctly emulated in current versions of DOSBox as well).

Not sure what you mean exactly about the notes being in wrong place, we'd probably need to see a video/audio of you playing Lemmings in DOSBox to determine what exactly you are hearing.  Certainly if back then you originally played a different port of Lemmings than DOS, maybe you're just not used to how the music sounds like under the somewhat more primitive capabilities of audio hardware on DOS-based PCs at the time.

7
Lemmings Main / Re: GDC Post-Mortem on Lemmings
« on: May 10, 2019, 06:39:15 am »
Thanks for the summary! :thumbsup: I do hope to have time eventually to watch the actual video.

Did he ever say which additional 8 skills he'd keep for L2, assuming the other 8 are all the classic ones from L1?  Surely not something like superlem?!?  I see he likes the ones with the "cool" factor, the ones that are more complex and hands-on.  But I suspect if he actually had to play through many levels that make you use those skills over and over, he's more likely to come around appreciate and stick with the simpler but useful ones, like jumper, for the extra 8 skills.

I wonder, if L3 had not been tile-based but pixel-based, would Mike actually have liked it?  Feel free to correct me with counterexamples, but the tile-base aspect of the physics doesn't seem integral to the game, I believe the game could've been implemented pixel-based and still retain all the same features it has, and seems like it'd play almost the same as being tile-based.

Given that L1 and L2 are shipped in floppies, I'm quite sure they'd make sure to exclude the editor in shipped binaries if only to reduce the disk footprint.  Even with the primitive programming toolset at the time, I believe it's still quite feasible to conditionally exclude editor code from compiling into the release build.

I think our best evidence for the editor not hidden in the shipped product, at least for DOS L1, is that we've pretty much figured out all the files where the graphics are stored, and we've scanned the EXEs for ASCII text.  You'd expect that if the editor still exists in some form that can be made functional in the game, you should be able to find some graphics and text that are uniquely the editor's.  On the off chance that maybe there really is some remnant of editor code still accessible either via some hidden key sequence or via trivial hacking, I still suspect it would still fail to run properly without the editor-unique graphics and text.

I also want to argue that the person who made CustLemm probably could've unlocked (and add whatever assets are missing to make it work) any possible hidden built-in editor in the game, if it was truly present.  That he instead wrote his own LemEdit editor would seem to suggest there isn't any to be unlocked from the game.

Granted, this is all just DOS L1.  Maybe the situation is different with Amiga L1 or one of the L2 ports, we've worked far less on those ports to ascertain.

Even during the brief time Mike hung around on our old incarnations of the forum, he was basically not active at all with custom levels, I don't recall him ever playing any.  So it's no surprise to me that he's probably unaware of Lix, NL etc.  Plus he might have permanently lost track of this community during one of our past site moves, and was no longer around at all by the time Lix and NL became widely played here.

8
NeoLemmix Main / Re: Preferred level height
« on: March 29, 2019, 10:46:01 pm »
If you really hate border area, you'll need to ensure all your levels are big enough to require scrolling on any reasonable screen resolution.

Not sure I'm a fan of extraneous vertical scrolling just for the sake of trying to make sure more people don't see borders.  Seems like it may be more worthwhile instead to explore options to make the gray outline less "annoying"?  The 184 height I guess seems acceptable compromise for authors that really need to scratch their own itches about the outline, it'd hopefully look and work best for the many people with 16:9 screens, without subjecting everyone to extraneous vertical scrolling.

(To be clear:  I'm not saying I hate vertical scrolling unconditionally.  By all means create levels that use that if the level idea calls for it.  I just don't want people to artificially pad their levels vertically, especially not to the point of the 230 namida mentioned.  I guess I can tolerate 184.)

9
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 23, 2019, 07:27:42 am »
Just want to add that even the music may be improved from the demo.  At least there's more variety.

Baba is You OST

Basically, the demo version is more like an early beta, less like a limited free trial of full version.  It's equivalent to those beta/demo versions of Lemmings, Lemmings 2 etc. people have talked about and posted here in the past, usually consisting of just a few levels to give you a taste.  You can probably expect slightly better graphics, music, sound and gameplay in the full version.

10
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 22, 2019, 10:23:41 pm »
Makes me wonder how easy or hard it might be to reverse engineer the binary formats of the level files and thereby potentially create your own levels to play using the demo.

So as it turns out I didn't read the webpage for the demo very carefully.  There is actually built-in level editing functionality in the demo, as noted on the demo's website:

Quote
(Secret:
ยง/~ Is Editor (Sometimes | or \)
+/- Is Levelchange
S Is Save
Tab Is Menu
Mouse Is Work)

The tab menu lets you see all the available objects and behaviors, which you can select and place into the level.  It looks like the demo only has a subset of all the objects and behaviors available in the full version (based on sample videos on the webpage for the full version), plus I think the level area size is limited compared to full version, so even with level editing in the demo, you will not be able to replicate the full version experience manually in the demo.  Nevertheless, the demo does seem to provide a pretty good showcase of what the gameplay is like.

Sample videos of the full version also shows that there are improvements in the UI compared to the demo (the overall style is still very 8-bit old-school).  For example it looks like grass is more visually distinct from empty in the full version, and they make subtle lighting changes on rulewords to help visually highlight active rules.

11
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 22, 2019, 06:42:29 am »
I think I understand the behaviors encountered on all levels except the last one--the exact outcome as you move baba(s) around under the initial rules state is still fairly unclear to me.

Ok, fully understood now.  Confusion was primarily due to a sort of naturally occurring visual obfuscation:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

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

200 levels is actually quite a lot, I don't know if it's $15-a-lot but does help a little in making a case for the pricing.

12
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 20, 2019, 07:32:20 pm »
I've completed the 13-level demo last night.  It was pretty enjoyable.  The gameplay is excellent.  I think I understand the behaviors encountered on all levels except the last one--the exact outcome as you move baba(s) around under the initial rules state is still fairly unclear to me.

$15 still feels a bit steep a price, considering the simplistic nature of the graphics, sound and music (I understand it's a purposeful stylistic choice on the part of the game designer, but still, it's one less thing to justify a higher price on).  So most likely I'll still be waiting for a sale of some kind before considering buying the full version.  Did they say anywhere how many levels the full version has?

Through testing, it looks like the demo actually will cycle through any level files it finds in its directory, it's not hard-coded to 13.  Makes me wonder how easy or hard it might be to reverse engineer the binary formats of the level files and thereby potentially create your own levels to play using the demo.

13
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 20, 2019, 05:21:04 am »
True, but even then I think there'll still be greater pressure to charge a lower up front cost on mobile then you would for PCs and consoles, especially for lesser known, independent developers.  $15 is a hard sell against the swamp of the usual free-to-play and $.99-ish USD games common on mobile appstores.  Ports at least tend to have the benefit of already built-in name recognition for the game as well as more established developers/publishers.

14
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 19, 2019, 09:34:34 pm »
Unless you insist on playing on a console, the game is also available on all the major PC platforms including Mac and even Linux, if I read the game's website correctly.  You can get it through Steam but it's not a prerequisite for any of those PC platforms (again, if I read the website correctly).  The demo Simon linked to seems to be Windows-only though.

Admittedly, it might be nice to have it available on Android or iOS, though I understand and sympathize that the developer may not be willing to commit to the kind of pricing models common on mobile.

15
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Re: Baba is You (puzzle game)
« on: March 19, 2019, 08:41:47 pm »
Thanks Simon for the link to the demo, I'm too spoiled by the pricing in mobile gaming and feel slightly hesitant like namida to pony up $15 on the outset.  I probably will still wait for a sale but having a demo to evaluate should certainly help. :thumbsup:

It definitely looks like an interest, unique evolution of the rather well-tread genre of block-pushing puzzle games.  On the one hand, we had seen a kind of programmability in even games like Lemmings/Lix, where you basically get to program the Lemmings/Lixes but on an individual basis rather than en-masse (the analogy is even better on games like Lemmings 3 where getting to a pick-up skill is part of the puzzle), and at the same time there are also other game elements (eg. terrain, exit, entrance, traps) which have fully fixed behavior.  And then the block-pushing puzzle games of course long had elements with fixed behavior, but whose behavior can be controlled in limited, predefined ways (as part of the fixed physics of that element) via other elements like switches.  This game takes the neat step of dissociating elements from behaviors, and make "behaviors" themselves another game (meta)element, providing you the ability to completely change the behavior all instances of a particular element--kind of like a super-switch that can in some cases turn one type of things into another type altogether.

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