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Messages - ccexplore

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The ranking (ie. what you called "skill level", ie. "Fun", "Tricky" etc.) and ordering are not stored in the level file itself.  Basically there are some hard-coded values in the game EXE itself that maps level numbers (which translates to the ranking and ordering) to the levelXXX.DAT file and level section within the DAT file.  This is how the game works out what file and section to load a given level from.

The document you are following is complete.  Anything not described in that document implies it is not stored in the level file itself but elsewhere.

Lix Main / Re: Autosave replays: Run to end? Different icon for quicksave
« on: January 11, 2019, 07:27:24 am »
Lix has a level that solves with 0 skills, but not obviously. Thus Forestidia's 3) is a concern: Cancelling the map produces a solution checkmark, that would look like a bug.

Color me curious, which level?  Is it part of the set of levels that come with Lix or just a custom one from somebody?

If today the game already requires you to run the solution to a solved state to get the checkmark, I think it's reasonable to put it on the user to do fast forward in order for the solution to count, including getting the autosaved replay.  Smarter harvesting might be helpful if we have a very forgetful user, but otherwise doesn't really save much time since the game still has to run the level far enough to determine the solved state (plus, it still has to cut off after some time, so there's always the possibility that a solution works but takes too long to hit solved state relative to the cutoff timeout).  The other alternative is maybe the game just always keep the replay for the most recent attempt as a backup somewhere, regardless of whether it can possibly solve or has solved the level or not.

Contests / Re: The Level Solving Contest #1: Results
« on: January 04, 2019, 03:37:27 pm »
I've managed to lower the skills count by 1, so the record is now 23 skills used, ie. 77 SS.  Since it's just a minor variation of my post-deadline solution, to see the one and only interesting new part that makes the record possible, go to the level bottom area right of exit when the timer's at 1:18, frame-step to see what happens with the basher(s).  An unusual usage of a blocker is the key along with some timing.

General Discussion / Re: You know whats BS? [RANT]
« on: January 04, 2019, 12:15:29 am »
Well, at least it wasn't like Windows 8 where the fine folks at Microsoft somehow had the brilliant idea to remove (!) the Start Menu and even the Start button (!!) altogether, replacing it with a full-screen (!) "menu" of tiles (which looked almost exactly like the right side of the Windows 10 Start Menu) in an ill-conceived bid to make the UI look and work more like mobile ("because it's the future!" :XD: wait...most PCs don't even support touch input, hmm......:XD:).

Truth be told I don't think I even use the Start Menu all that much then and now, 7 or 10 or otherwise.  Most 3rd-party programs offer an option during installation to add a desktop shortcut to the program.  Plus you can also right-click on the icon of any running program on the taskbar (at the bottom of the screen) and select "pin this program to taskbar" to keep the icon available even when the program isn't running, thus turning the taskbar into a quick-launch area for the (usually relatively few) programs you run a lot.  And in lieu of manual digging deep into the menu for the occasional need of a less frequently used program, you can just use search (in both 7 and 10) in the Start menu to more quickly find the program you want by name.  Ironically it is quite possibly more frequent that I'd use the Start Menu to shut down or restart the computer vs actually launching another program from it.

The Windows 10 Start menu replaced the right column of stuff that were in the Windows 7 menu with a rather wide area containing a bunch of tiles for other stuff that I agree are mostly not very useful.  There are ways to remove all that stuff on the right and then shrink the menu down width-wise, and you end up with something not too unlikely the Win7 menu (or at least the left half that just has all your programs), but it is a bit of a pain compared to just using something like classicshell.

Success!  So as it turns out, it was just a fairly minor change in formatting, so I've now successfully ripped the graphics from Mac ONML and Mac Holiday Lemmings 93. 8-)

Though truth be told they don't really look all that different from the graphics in DOS or Amiga. :-\

Update: to my surprise, I was able to locate the backup that has all my stuff from the old laptop. 8-) There were no notes, but the source code and compiled EXEs for the tools I created do exist in the backup, and it looks like I also already had a copy of the data for Mac Holiday Lemmings 93 as well.

Unfortunately, while those pre-existing tools seem to work as-is on the data from Holiday Lemmings 93, the extracted graphics ended up all blank, or in some cases encountered errors during extraction. :(  So it would seem that something has changed slightly or a lot format-wise between Lemmings and Holiday Lemmings on the Mac.  It is not clear at the moment whether I can get past this problem.  If it's a totally different format then most likely not.  If it's just slightly different, then maybe, but it will still take time to work out and the holidays are over, so I can't promise spending much time on this in the near future.

namida's alternative idea of creating a custom level with all pieces could be viable if the level file format is basically the same as DOS Lemmings, but you will need to first find on the web a resource editor for Mac files that runs on the Mac, in order to change the levels that come with the game.

I've been wanting to suggest this for a while now, however not with regard to Christmas Lemmings, but to original Lemmings

Oh, you shouldn't have waited so long!  I already extracted the Mac graphics for original Lemmings ages back, see this topic for download link.  It includes all terrain, objects as well as the lemmings animations.

I was wondering if there was a tool that would extract the graphics from the Mac version of Lemmings?

I wrote one a long while back (more than 5 years ago at least, if not 10) but IIRC the program was hard-coded to the specifics of Mac Lemmings (ie. vs ONML or the Xmas/Holiday Lemmings).  Unfortunately it was all on an old, long since defunct laptop that I only made rather spotty backups from, so I'm not sure if I still have the source code for the program anymore, nor any notes I've taken about the technical details for the ripping.  (Furthermore, my notes often can be as spotty and incomplete as the backups.) :-[ The tool is also written to run on Windows (I don't have a Mac nor the tools to program on it).

If I manage to find the old stuff from my backups and the materials recovered are sufficiently complete, I'll let you know what I need from you to try to get it to work on other Mac Lemmings games.  But it's all a very big IF at this time so please don't get your hopes up, sorry.

Fan Corner / Re: Lemming walk cycle
« on: December 27, 2018, 09:58:10 pm »
Hmm, the first one didn't seem so bad to me either.  If anything, the second one's hair feels to me like maybe it's moving a bit much for a leisurely walk, and together with the apparently faster animation cycle, it almost feels like the second lemming is running rather than walking.  Still, both are way better than anything I could put together, so keep it up! ;)

Contests / Re: The Level Solving Contest #1: Results
« on: December 27, 2018, 09:40:50 pm »
I'm sorry I had to mention that. I was a bit hassled during today. Because the PMs were connected to my email address I got annoyed when those emails kept popping up hour after hour which meant I had to constantly go back and check the latest replay. I think I can still turn this feature off if I want to. Maybe I'll do that the next time I'm the host.

Ah, sorry about that :-[, I don't use the email notification feature so it didn't occur to me.  I guess it'd work better if we self-limit the PMs to no more than once per day or so after the first submission.  The other possibility is, I guess you could set up a separate account like we do for Family Feud, possibly even linking it to a different email address if you still prefer the email notification feature, but then you have to do a separate login to check all the contest stuff which seems less convenient.

Contests / Re: The Level Solving Contest #1: Results
« on: December 27, 2018, 02:59:19 pm »
Speaking of which, as ccexplore posted a replay six times (and once more after the deadline), maybe we should add a new criterion and limit the number of submissions?

Well, keep in mind I could easily just wait until the last moment to post the best replay I had thus far.  Posting after (almost) every improvement is just in some ways more convenient for me, hope it wasn't too much of a hassle for you.

It was definitely a very good level with many possibilities :thumbsup:, including some that I obviously initially dismissed too early (hence the post-deadline submission).

I have been quite out of touch with recent levels in either NeoLemmix or Lix, so I'd like to nominate someone to pick the next level, and seeing that Nepster got second place I'll nominate him [edit: and also transfer the right for him to nominate someone else instead if he so chooses].  Sadly I also probably won't participate in next few rounds, since free time can be hard to come by once the holidays are over.

Contests / Re: The Level Solving Contest #1
« on: December 27, 2018, 02:19:51 pm »
Darn, I had an improvement to submit but came a few minutes too late.  Oh well, assuming the late submission doesn't count, at least my slower solution has some entertaining bits so to speak. :-\

I haven't really played NeoLemmix until the recent level solving contest, and multiple times I thought I hit some weird bug where the mouse stops detecting lemmings.  Eventually (as in sometime today), it finally dawned on me that I might have had directional select on, and forgot about it after multiple rewinds and trying different things etc.  The mouse cursor looked like it's not detecting the lemming and it seemed like assignments to the lemming didn't work, when in fact it was just that the lemming was in the wrong direction from the forgotten directional mode.

Now that I know what to look for I won't be confused again, but before that when I didn't know what was happening, I wound up restarting the game, which is a little annoying.  If the mouse cursor looks a little different during directional mode (eg. have an arrow at the left/right over the usual crosshair), this confusion would not have occurred.

Lemmings Main / Re: Sad Puppy Lemmings (iOS)
« on: December 20, 2018, 09:07:45 pm »
It looks like Serkan/Sad Puppy's Lemmings is now also available for Android as well as iOS, and perhaps finally available worldwide instead of limited regions like a year ago.  Apparently they even announced the release today over the official (I think?) PlayStation blog.  I actually ran into this from a site that doesn't normally cover much gaming.

Amazingly, the blog post doesn't even have links to the Store app pages, but here they are from the other site that I originally found out about this:

Get for Android (Google Play)
Get for iOS (Apple)

I haven't tried it yet, but now that it's available for Android I could give it a try sometime.

(update: reading the comments on Google Play Store, everyone's complaining about the energy system.  Quote:  "So if you enjoy playing a game for five minutes then waiting hours to play again you may like it.", " I would have happily paid $5 or maybe even $10 for a full, uninhibited version of the game, but $7 for two hours of normal gameplay is insulting".  Not very encouraged by this. :XD:)

General Discussion / Re: Mobi's blog
« on: December 20, 2018, 07:42:32 pm »
If you believe there can be multiple parallel timelines, it could also be that whenever you try to travel into the past, you inevitably always end up in a different parallel timeline than the one you originated from.  In which case from your POV you could change the past to change your present/future in that destination timeline, but from POV of everyone else in your original timeline, you simply disappeared when you time traveled.

Looking at it from a more practical standpoint:
  - A lot of theoretical time travel device based on current knowledge of physics, tends to be that you can't actually any further into the past than the moment the device first became operational.  This at least limits the kinds of paradoxes you could run into.  (It would also neatly answer the question "if time traveling into the past is possible, why haven't we observed any such time travelers yet?")
  - It may be very difficult to control the location in space you end up in.  Consider that the earth and solar system is in constant motion around the galactic center, which in turn also moves relative to other galaxies in the local supercluster, plus the fact that the universe itself is also expanding (and apparently accelerating in the rate of expansion), the fact is that if you want to time travel into the past but still stay somewhere on earth, you might also have to actually travel quite some distance in space, since where you were in the past is actually quite some distance away from where you were in the present due to all that motion.
  - And of course, we don't really know what the energy requirements are for doing time travel, and more generally the finance requirements.  It's rather hard to justify a trip to the past if it costs the entire world's total GDP to do so, or if it requires consuming so much fuel for energy that there's none left for the world to survive!  On the flip side, it could mean that time traveling may possibly only be feasible on a small scale like sending tiny bits of subatomic particles, rather than entire humans for example.

Challenges / Re: DOS L1 thread
« on: December 20, 2018, 01:16:06 am »
So I read up more on libTAS on  Looks like it's a Linux-only tool, so that might limit participation somewhat. :XD:

It sounds like the setup is to use libTAS against DOSBox, and run the game inside DOSBox.  Reading some of the caveats made in libTAS's FAQ page, I wonder how usable and reliable this approach is; indeed had anyone even tried it for real for an actual TAS project involving a DOS game?   Maybe someone here who uses Linux regularly can actually try it out can report back.

The movie file format of libTAS is at least documented, although a little lacking in some key details.  Still, given it's basically a record of keyboard and mouse inputs with timestamps, I guess it should be feasible in theory to translate a Lemmix replay file into their format, though it might be a bit of a pain if Lemmix replays don't record mouse cursor positions (I don't recall for sure but I strongly suspect it doesn't).

To be honest, we have a perfectly good* TAS tool for DOS Lemmings already IMHO, and it's called Lemmix. ;P I pretty much steered EricLang's initial development of Lemmix with TAS-like support in mind, even though at the time I didn't even know that kind of thing is called TAS.  The only "problem" is that technically it's not running the actual game, and there are a few well-documented miscellaneous game mechanics differences compared to the actual game.

*or at least proven to be valuable; I'd concede that general usability is somewhat lacking, and it could definitely use a few more advanced features to achieve true parity with mature TAS tools seen in other platforms like consoles

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