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Messages - Nepster

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Here is a bunch of replays (and backroutes). Please forgive me for not posting detailed comments - I just haven't have time, just as I haven't had time to properly think about the levels where I didn't see an approach after looking at the level for a brief time.

NeoLemmix / Re: Backroute Checker Program
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:09:04 pm »
What about just finding the most optimal solution, in terms of less skills used?
That doesn't make it any easier... *cough* *cough* Final Frustration *cough* *cough*...

NeoLemmix / Re: Backroute Checker Program
« on: February 20, 2018, 05:31:17 pm »
NL doesn't expose an API to control execution. Either let the robot brute-force replays based on the level file and feed them into the NL replay checker, or fork NL and hack the robot into the game itself.
Or just ask me to provide a sensible API. ;P If you are really serious about this, I can implement (almost) whatever API you desire. This will be a (million) pieces of cake compared to the effort of writing a useful backroute checker.

Two more thoughts on this topic:
1) I wouldn't strive to get all solutions, but to find just one. If you write your application in a semi-random way, chances are that it will find alternative solutions each time the application runs (if there are several of them). Or it will always find the same one, but then one can be somewhat sure that this is really the easiest to find (for a computer).
2) As Simon said, a brute-force algorithm certainly won't work. Therefore I would suggest adding some sort of point-based evaluation method for intermediate level positions (perhaps combined with some machine-learning algorithm to optimize it), to filter out the best attempts so far. Then those can be modified again to see whether they can be improved even more.

NeoLemmix / Re: NeoLemmix V12.1.0 - stable new-formats release
« on: February 18, 2018, 01:11:49 pm »
Here is another update to NeoLemmix, now version 12.1.0.

For a full new start, please download:
- The player, editor, etc...:
- All the styles:

If you just want to upgrade from version 12.0.0 or 12.0.1, then download the attachement.

New features:
- Lots of new styles by Flopsy, GigaLem, Proxima, SQron and others.
- Hatches and preplaced lemmings display helper icons during the first two seconds of the game.
- Custom panel sprites are now properly loaded.
- Fixed bug: Trigger point of flipped receivers was off by 1 pixel.

Ok, I managed to implement that: Now preplaced lemmings display their skills during the first two seconds of the game.

I implemented now, that hatches display the spawning direction for the first two seconds.

Regarding the editor: I will keep the flipping of the hatch there, as the editor (currently) has no directional arrows for hatches. However this is purely for the display in the editor - when play(test)ing the level, the hatch will have the normal sprite.

- Stable physics to the previous version and therefore easier conversions with no broken levels/replays.
Well, only in the cases where face left was used with non-flipped hatches. With the changes above, we will now have the very same problem with levels that have flipped hatches: When loading them in the editor and saving again, the flipping will be removed which may break the level.

Lemmings Lab / Re: How does NeoLemmix handle fast-rewind?
« on: February 17, 2018, 10:43:50 am »
namida has coded this part, so he knows better why this was coded the way it is. If you want to look at the actual code, you should search for TLemmingGameSavedState in LemGame.pas. The RAM-intensive parts of it are the TerrainLayer and the PhysicsMap, which both are TBitmap32s (a tightly packed byte array of the bitmap info). Apart from that we still save a TByteMap for zombies, though this should be obsolete by now.
Regarding how often this is saved, I have found some comment in the code:
Code: [Select]
  // What we want to save:
  // -- Last minute: One save every 10 seconds
  // -- Last 3 minutes: One save every 30 seconds
  // -- Beyond that: One save every minute
  // -- Additionally, a save immediately after the level is initially rendered
  // This will result in 11 saved states, plus one more for every minute taken
  // that isn't in the most recent 3 minutes. This should be manageable.
and every now and then the list of save states is cleaned and the no longer needed save states are deleted.
On huge maps that go on for 10 minutes or more, this might take about 100MB storage or even more. But as NeoLemmix targets actual computers and not smartphones, this is acceptable for NeoLemmix.

Thanks for the bug report. This was an easy bug to fix, so I already did that.

Lemmings Help / Re: getting lemmings omega II to neolemmix v 12.0.1
« on: February 09, 2018, 08:02:24 pm »
First of all, welcome to the forums! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

And congratulations for getting even as far as you did with converting the levels yourself! Unfortunately namida hasn't released a separate music pack for LPOmegaII and extracting music files from old-style nxp packs is rather hard.

So I can give you only one good news: namida is working on an official update of his packs to NeoLemmix V12, which will contain the music files you are missing right now.

We discussed that point in the chat last night.
Sorry, but I could only find your discussion with Nessy, who is indifferent about this.

The shading being wrong is too minute a difference to be a good distinguisher; most players won't notice it, and for those that do, we don't want to be teaching players that paying attention to minute details of graphics is a big part of the game.
If most players won't notice the shading, then flipping the graphics won't hurt them, so we can keep the current behavior. :P

Bugs & Suggestions / Re: [Suggestion] Pre-level images
« on: February 08, 2018, 07:23:30 pm »
I can see where you are coming from, but at the moment this seems to be a rather low-priority suggestion to me. Especially as adding pure text is a lot easier to code than adding images: For example you can simply add text to the level file, but for images you would have to add the image file path, look whether (and where) this image exists, load it from another file, display it at the correct user-specified position, ...

The same is true for the lemmings font: Using the purple lemmings font is a lot more convenient to code than anything else, because the functions for this already exist in the code. The easiest way to fix this, would be to replace the purple font entirely and everywhere with better readable characters. If someone has suggestions for that, please post your proposed font here (but please use the same size for the letters as does the purple font).

...or the game needs to do something like to display the hatch markers for pre placers in the starting phase of the level.
At first I hesitated, because the code structure seemed not to support such time-dependant marker very well. But it might actually be easier to implement than I first thought. We will see...

First of all: I want to restrict the designer's options to one flipping option and not have two options "flip" and "face left" that may confuse level designers (at least it has confused me). There have to be a lot more important issues than the shading of hatches (which is only one type of objects!), before I will even consider going back to the old options.

Regarding the hatch issue: While we have the arrows that appear when hovering over the hatches, I prefer to have an always visible way to distinguish them. And the easiest way of doing so is to tightly couple the lemming direction with the flipping of the graphics.

Moreover if you have all hatches facing left in your level, then just mark everything in the new editor and click "flip". This will flip the whole level (not just each piece separately!) and you will get correctly shaded hatches (though you might have to slightly adapt some other object positions). So the hatch shading is only an issue, when there are both left-facing and right-facing hatches. And especially in such cases a direct visual clue to this fact is important in my opinion. 

Again the problem is not the merge of "flip" and "face left", it is that the NL player still allows only "face left" without a "flip". For the next update I plan to add this to the player, so that this breacking change will already be detected by the mass replay checker.

I disagree with several of your points:
1) You misused the pickup skills as markers for pre-placed lemmings. So I don't consider myself responsible to keep such levels functional.
2) Activations of skills has one huge problem: If someone reaches a pickup skill of a non-activated skill, the really should get this skill, but if the level designers disabled the skill, this does not happen.
3) That this problem isn't recognized by the mass replay checked is the real problem here and a bug. Actually when converting levels, this should already be checked.

I am open to suggestions how to solve this, but getting back to manually activating skills is not the way to go.

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