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Topics - geoo

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16
Contests / Level design contest #1!
« on: January 29, 2013, 01:29:30 am »
Welcome to the Lemmings Forum level design contest!

First off, you don't have to design a level in order to participate.

The contest consists of two phases, a level design phase and the level solving phase. Each phase will probably last about 3 weeks.
The post with the level submissions is here: http://www.lemmingsforums.com/index.php?topic=726.msg15908#msg15908

In the level design phase, players can design a single 1-of-each-skill level and submit it. At the beginning of the solving phase, all levels will be posted. Players try to solve the levels, and submit their solutions at the end, the aim being to solve as many levels as possible. Furthermore players can vote in two categories for best looking and most fun level.

If you don't design a level (i.e. skip phase 1), you can still submit solutions and/or vote on levels. You can also design a level but not submit solutions/vote.


Level design phase.

Deadline
The deadline for level submissions is Tuesday, Feb 19th, at noon UTC. (May be extended upon popular demand or if it turns out that I'm away that week, which is a possibility.)

Submission
You may submit only one level. There are two ways of submitting a level:
1. You can post them in this thread. Then players can attempt your level already before the deadline. If you update your level, please post a notification and make clear which version of your level is the one to be used in the contest. I will post my level this way.
2. You can send your level via PM to me if you don't want other players to see your level before the deadline. If you don't trust me, you can send me the level in an encrypted archive, and send me the password within one day of the deadline.

Theme
The topic of the contest is: Design a 1-of-each-skill level.

Platform
The game the levels have to be designed for is Lemmix, specifically 'Custom Lemmings' viewer style.
If you have trouble setting up Lemmix, feel free to ask here.

Glitches
Levels must be solvable without glitches. To determine what is a glitch and what isn't, use these lists for reference: non-glitches and glitches. If some behaviour is not listed in the glitches list, you should be safe (unless it's something really obscure; try to use common sense here.) Note however that other players may use glitches to solve your levels, so you should try to protect your level against glitchy solutions.


Level solving phase.

Levels
I will try to post all level within one day of the level submission deadline.

Deadline
The level solving phase will probably last about 3 weeks as well, but may be longer if many levels are submitted. The exact deadline for phase 2 will be announced once the levels are posted.

Submission
I will post my solutions (and votes) one day before the deadline in an encrypted archive, and I will not change them. I will announce the password for the archive once the deadline has passed.
Submit your solutions to me via PM (as attachment). If you want to submit your solutions before I posted my encrypted archive, and if you don't trust me, you can send me the solutions in an encrypted archive, and send me the password within one day of the deadline. Solutions have to be in Lemmix .lrb format.

Scoring
3 categories:
  • Most levels solved
  • Best looking level
  • Most fun level
For 1., you score a point for each level you solve, including your own.
Category 2. and 3. will be decided by voting: each player has 6 votes per category (you can opt not to use all of them), which can be distributed over different levels, and a level can receive up to 3 votes per category. You may not vote for your own level. If you designed a level, but cast less than 4 votes in a category, your own level will receive one negative vote in the respective category.
So e.g. you could give one level 3 votes, another 2 votes, and a third one 1 vote; or you could e.g. give 1 vote each to 5 different levels (and don't use the last vote); or you could opt not to vote and receive -1 vote for your own level. The level with most votes wins the category.
You can cast votes for any level, even if you haven't solved them. (I realize that it might be hard to judge how fun a level is if you haven't solved it, but it's all just for fun.)

Voting
Submit your votes in a PM (it can be the same PM as the one with the solutions). You can put them in a text file and encrypt them as well if you want.


That's it. Have fun!

I encourage everyone to post levels here, and discuss things (don't give away solutions though), to make this contest more lively.

17
Contests / Level design contest #1 - preparations
« on: January 18, 2013, 06:00:43 am »
With the forum in quite a lull right now, I was wondering whether people would be interested in some sort of level design contest. This is actually one of the things that I liked about lemmingsheaven: There were things like this going on, and people were motivated to do something. So even if we won't get something like this to run, some discussion about it might spice things up for a while at least. :)

So one of the ways to run it could be like this: People sign up for the contest, and then there's a level design phase where people have to come up with some level, and then there's a solving phase where people try to solve the levels. So the way it was originally run over at lemmingsheaven was that you get points for each level you solve, including your own level, and whoever gets most points wins. Note that you don't have to create a level to participate, but it gives you the advantage of getting a free point. So in this system you want as few people as possible to solve your level, so you try to make your levels as hard as possible. Perhaps getting levels as hard as possible is not too much fun for everyone, especially in the playing phase, so perhaps the scoring system could be redesigned:
Again you score a point for each level you solve, but this time you don't score points for solving your own level. Instead, every level designer scores points for his level depending on how many players solve the level. The aim could be e.g. that exactly 3 players are able to solve your level, so you get 1.5 points if 3 players solve your level, you get 1.0 points if 2 or 4 players solve your level, you get 0.5 points of 1 or 5 players solve your level, and you don't get anything if no-one or more than 6 players solve your level.
Another possible variation would be, the each player can guess the amount of players who will solve his level, and gets points depending on how close he is (and you may not guess no-one or everyone, and the scoring system depends on the number you guessed, and could be designed so it's desirable not to make too hard or easy levels).
To make the contest appealing to a wider range of people, there could be more scoring categories (with a voting system),
like:
  • category for most fun level
  • category for best looking level

One obvious question would be which lemmings game to use. It should be able to record replays, so the choices are:
  • Lemmix
  • Lix
  • Lemmini
Another question is how to make sure no-one can view other solutions before the contest is over. If there's someone who choses not to participate, all levels and solutions could just be sent to that person. If not, we could just pick some trustworthy player to do the job. More complicated solutions are an automated system (probably not gonna happen), or a system where players post the hash values of their replays publicly, and once the contest is over, they post their replays and the others can verify that the solution of the replay was already known to the player before the contest ended because its hash value can be verified.

Another question is, how long should the level design phase and the solving phase last.

Obviously, the contest would be just a friendly one with nothing to win, the winner only gets banned bragging rights.
With only one level to design (or none if you just want to join the level solving), and as much time effort spend on solving levels as you like, the contest would probably be not too time consuming either.

Ok, enough ramblings, so who of you would be potentially interested in some sort of contest, and which format/platform/etc would you prefer, or do you have any other ideas/comments/suggestions/etc?

EDIT: Changed '?' in the topic title to a '!'. This is a thing that's definitely gonna happen now!

18
Lix Levels / Community pack ratings
« on: July 19, 2012, 12:30:18 am »
See these posts for more up-to-date information: http://www.lemmingsforums.com/index.php?topic=648.msg17098#msg17098 and http://www.lemmingsforums.com/index.php?topic=648.msg17105#msg17105



I'm not arraging levels just now, and you can still submit new levels. But I still want to think about difficulty rating names, and level ordering. And I'd like your input.


Firstly thing, there will be 6-8 ratings. So we have to come up with names for them. Of course, not knowing the number of ratings makes it hard to fix them, but some brainstorming to get names to pick from could still help. In the end, I'd like a somewhat consistent naming scheme, where the names are also sufficiently indicative of the difficulty, i.e., given two rating names, it should be possible to tell which of the two is the harder one.

Possible names:
Trivial, Easy, Medium, Hard, Difficult, Devious, Harrrrrrd, Vicious
Proxima's suggestions: Simple, Quirky, Zany, Lunatic, Manic, Carnage
[your ideas here]


Secondly, rating the difficulty of individual levels. My ratings are subjective, and especially unreliable when it comes to my own levels. If you want, you can input your ratings of the levels. I got a spreadsheet, in MS Excel and Open Office format, that you can use for this purpose.
https://github.com/geoo89/lixlfpack/blob/gh-pages/lixlfpack.xls?raw=true
There are two empty columns, Difficulty and Quality, both are on a scale from 0.0 to 4.0 in steps of 0.1. I don't know whether I'm going to use the latter, so it's definitely less important than the Difficulty rating.
There are columns for ratings and hints. I was thinking if there was agreement on some level being not that good, we might think of taking some out. You don't have to rate every single one.
I could average the data, or feed it to a database should something like this ever happen.

I just wanted to get this out, as perhaps you have some spare time while I'm away.

19
Lix Levels / Lix Community Level Set
« on: January 07, 2012, 10:11:47 pm »
Six years ago, back on the old old lemmings forum, some effort was started to gather levels from the community. The idea was to make a version of DOS Lemmings with these levels instead, and release it to a wider audience. Quite a few levels were posted, and discussion evolved, but eventually, nothing came out of it: http://www6.camanis.net.ipv4.sixxs.org/lemmings/lemmingswelt/forums/?topic=1135291547

Now might be another chance, with Lix being announced to the public sometime (whenever that might be) in the future, to have such a community level pack included with it.
Not everyone can produce a full set with multiple difficulty ratings like RubiX or Clam Spammer did for Lix, so this is a good chance for those who can't (though of course also those who can, I don't mean to discourage anyone from contributing) to get their levels shown to a (hopefully) wider audience.
There seemed to be some interest in this, so I'm willing to coordinate the whole thing.

What's the plan?
I will gather levels from everyone who sends any to me, and I'll try to maintain a list with the progress.
The current list is here: http://geoo89.github.com/lixlfpack/
Once we got a decent amount of levels designed and tested and the release date approaches, during the second phase we'll try to put them in order, so we get a somewhat smooth difficulty curve.
There's no set goal for the amount of levels or difficulty ratings, we'll just see how many levels will roll in, and decide on that later.

What kind of levels?
Basically, levels of all difficulties, with one guideline: levels shouldn't use glitches, and avoid difficult timing or exact precision if possible. Both remaking existing levels and designing new ones is fine.
There's one thing though: It'd be cool to feature some of the levels from authors who aren't in the forum anymore. Lix is intended to be released under CC0 or WTFPL (basically public domain), though we can't just assume they'd be willing to waive all their rights to the levels. The question is, if we can't get a response from them when contacting, what should be done? Leave out the levels, put a note that the rights to these levels belong to their original authors, or release the entire level pack under a somewhat more restrictive license?

A note on tutorial levels: For tutorial levels (i.e. those showing off the skills and very basic features) I'll probably make a separate topic. The issue here is that the levels have to be arranged very carefully and each with the previous few levels in mind, so just making some levels and throwing them together into a difficulty rating won't cut it.
Those of the rating 0.x (basic techniques) will still depend on each other to some extent, but most prerequisites will already have been covered in the basic tutorial.

How does it work?
You can send me levels, and I'll add them to the list: http://geoo89.github.com/lixlfpack/
It's also possible to suggest some level to be remade, and I can add it to the list. In that case, you can either tell me that you're remaking the level yourself, or ask for someone to do it, then I'll leave the list entry "redesign" empty until someone is assigned to it, the status will be "not started" until I receive a level file.
When you send me a level please tell me what to fill in in the table. I can set the status to "in progress" to indicate that you're still going to majorly rework the level and people shouldn't test it yet, though I'd prefer to get complete levels and reserve the "in progress" status mostly to myself.
Give an opinion whether the design is ugly/incomplete/lacks decoration and needs definite improvement ("."), whether it's ok but could perhaps be improved ("?"), or whether you consider it final. Give the same data for the level name.
Indicate how extensively you have tested backroutes, and if there are any known backroutes that still need to be fixed.
Finally, give a rough estimate how difficult you think the level is, 0.x means basic tricks, 4.x means really hard (likely hardest rating in the end), around 2-2.5 probably means something like Crazy/Mayhem. It's just to help to order the levels later, and give an estimate what kind of levels are still needed.

Put the levels in levels/single/lixlfpack/ so we all got them in the same place and the replays will match (update: however for level posted here in this topic, but not on the list yet, put them in levels/single/lixlfpack/wip/). For levels that have the status "done", especially the harder ones or if you think you found a backroute, send the author your replay and post a note in this topic. Generally, if you have some suggestions/comments on the levels, post it here, I'll try to read it and update the list accordingly if there's some data to be updated.
You can send levels/replay to me via PM/IRC/IM/e-mail (if you don't know my e-mail address, ask me via PM), preferably in batched updates to minimize my work.
Once a level is considered to have a decent design and name ("X"), and is basically backroute-proof ("9"), I'll move it from the "WIP levels" list to the "Complete levels" list.

You can get the levels using the respective download link, get it bundled as zip from github (https://github.com/geoo89/lixlfpack/zipball/gh-pages), or pull the lastest version using git from my git repository git@github.com:geoo89/lixlfpack.git EDIT: or, of course, attach them to your post.

Suggestions/comments on the general procedure are welcome.

How can you contribute?
  • Remake existing levels, design new levels, or suggest levels you'd like to see remade
  • Backroute testing
  • Suggestions for renaming, or improving the design of levels, especially if still noted as incomplete in the list
  • Commenting on data in list (e.g. if you have a vastly different opinion on the difficulty, or done some extensive backroute testing)
  • General feedback

Let's see how many will roll in!

Quick Links:
Lix homepage: http://asdfasdf.ethz.ch/~simon/
Level list: http://geoo89.github.com/lixlfpack/
Latest version of the level bundle (.zip): https://github.com/geoo89/lixlfpack/zipball/gh-pages
Date of last update for each level: https://github.com/geoo89/lixlfpack
Spreadsheet in xls format: https://github.com/geoo89/lixlfpack/blob/gh-pages/lixlfpack.xls?raw=true

20
Lemmings Main / Multiplayer gameplay styles rabble topic yay!
« on: September 05, 2011, 08:55:17 pm »
Now that I've finished translating the 2P level discussion from idlingspace http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/IS_2P.html, it's about time to start our own multiplayer discussion topic. I'll start off with a lengthy essay or rabble about what kind of gameplay I like and what I don't, to share some experiences and impressions. I'm not trying to prove a particular point or anything, just discussing a bit, so you're invited to join the rabbling! So, long rabble ahead! Rabble rabble rabble. At least the forum isn't overly truncate-happy. :P

Note: For simplicity, I'll henceforth use the generic lemmininum instead of a species-neutral language, so whenever I write 'lemming', this can refer to lemmings, lix, clones, etc.

The original 2P levels have many flaws. We noticed that blockers and diggers are very powerful. So in many levels, if the players can send over saboteurs easily, they can block horizonal progress with blockers, and kill off the route or group of lemmings if they're held somewhere with diggers. As the original levels had the tendency to give the same amount of every terrain removing skills as builders, this usually meant that once a saboteur was in your holding pit, your lemmings there are done (this also applies to clones, perhaps even more there, see far below). If you didn't need a holding pit but have a constant stream of lemmings along your path, you're not gonna lose a whole bunch at once, but if you're under constant attack, the game turned into a builder conservation challenge, where you sooner or later ran out of builders, and were glad if you could at least get these builders into your exit. Either way, all you could do was saving individual lemmings rather than your whole group in that case.

Probably because constantly seeing the majority of your lemmings die in digger pits gets tiring after a while, hima from idlingspace tried to counter these level design flaws with additional rules, like "don't dig there". (One the Genesis the game seems to quit once no player has saved anything, so that might be another motivation for that.) Sometimes, they made sense (e.g. no digging at the bottom of level 7, at least if you care about the lemmings at the bottom), sometimes not so much (e.g. not digging the trunks in level 1, with only 5 diggers it's not that much of an issue, and digging in the thick terrain has just as much effect. Prohibiting blockers would probably have been more effective, as it's pretty much anywhere).

With L++/Lix/Clones, rules like this got redundant, as you can fix flaws in the levels yourself now. In the designing and testing process, a lot of guidelines have come up to avoid the above mentioned issues as a lot of experience has piled up, like highest route wins if the level doesn't prevent it, blockers are evil (though not as evil anymore with the incoming of batters), or to put steel under the exits and hatches. At least for classic style levels, these guidelines should usually be followed. There are more advanced levels that solely focus around hatch digging and defending against it (Simon's "Raise the Bar", my level "Jenga"), so the steel under hatches rule has been broken there deliberately.

I mentioned 'classic style levels', so it sounds like there's some categorisation of levels. Well...I think clearly dividing the levels into meaningful categories might be impossible, but there's two styles that stand out a bit and that are pretty frequent. Apart from these two styles, there's also non classic stuff, which I put into the other two categories:

1) The type of level where you constantly sabotage routes and have to fix your own routes, they're the easiest to build. You throw a bunch of random, connected terrain into the levels, copy it a couple of times so each player gets the same, and you're done. But also many more sophisicated maps play like this. Usually there's not too much to be done in regards to route building, apart from a few gaps or walls the route is already laid out for you. So you got a constant stream of lemmings along that route, and other players easily have access to your route to sabotage. So the gameplay here is a constant sequence of breaking and fixing spots in your route, which I've grown a bit tired of, as in most levels I find it pretty monotonous and tedious and they just drag along until there's no more lemmings coming out of the hatches. It's especially bad if you got a huge level that wraps around in both directions, where it's easy to lose track. Then it's only a game about looking all over the place to find broken parts in your route to fix. I'm not too fond of, and also pretty bad at this usually. In 2P, if you got a level with the player's hatches somewhere at the top, the exits somewhere diagonally below, a chunk of terrain in the middle and crossing paths, then this is a pretty good indicator that you got a level of type 1. In >2P, this kind of gameplay is even more frequent, because if you don't mix too well, a player will be primarily be exposed to a certain other player, and that can throw off balancing.

2) The route building maps. Here, you got a bit of a problem to solve that could easily serve as a Tricky or Taxing SP level. At the start you're usually on your own for a while, and have to be creative...or, well, crafty. Usually multiple routes are possible. Especially then they are awesome maps for 2vs2. Getting saboteurs over isn't easy and takes a while, but sabotage tends to be more effective, by outright killing a large bunch, or getting a strategic advantage. So you try to build routes that are hard to reach by saboteurs so you can send your lems over safely once it's done. Frequently your lems are stalled somewhere for a while, and once you release them, it comes to an epic and exciting showdown with frantic attack attempts. Prime examples are Rubix' "Passing Predicament", my multiplayer adaptation "Stepping Stones (2P)", or the original map "May the craftiest player win". I initially thought the same about the latter as hima, despite the epic battle I had with Steve on it the first time I played it, but playing it 2vs2 with Steve against Rubix and Simon while on voice chat (I think with a slightly amended skillset though) made me really appreciate the level and its craftiness aspect. I really love this type of maps as well as they are very strategic, but they're also very demanding, so not so suitable for late-night phase.

3) Experimental design with a specific gameplay idea in mind. For instance, the above mentioned hatch digging levels fall into this category. Another one is "Tower Defense (Part 3)", where each player has a tower, and a trivial, long platforming route within that tower to complete. While that is being done, you try to get a saboteur over to the other tower through a maze of buzzsaws, but also have to defend against attacks of the same type. "Ghetto Wars" is another one of that type where each player has to defend balconies against the opponent's lemmings which can bat your lems out or bomb a hole in the balcony, until after a while you got a landing platform so you can release everyone from the balconies into the exit. I've made a lot of levels of that kind lately, and it's not only playing them which is fun, but also the design process. You got an idea, design a level around it, and then try to find the best strategy and amend the level if necessary. Finding the perfect opening for the initial version of "Ghetto wars" was one of those strategy finds that was pretty surprising.
It's notable that there's been no attempts at asymetric levels yet, save for the one level in Clones called "Unfair", which was pretty interesting. I think we have a high fear of making imbalanced levels, though in >2P it happens naturally to some extent. When I made a level with an explicit attacker and defender role, I mirrored the whole situation and had both players play both roles in parallel. I think here might still be some interesting experimentation to be done with asymetric levels, as then a player can focus more on the role he takes. Every now and then experimental levels suck, but these can just be scrapped.

4) Anything else. Like "Downward Reduction". I wouldn't know where to put it.

Obviously, many levels also are a mix of different types. I really like strategic levels, where each time you try out new things, or test whether your strategy holds against the other player trying out new things. All-or-nothing levels are also a lot of fun, I like short, intense battles like this, where you immediately start again after a round has finished, and rather than counting lemmings, you count the ratio of rounds you win, if anything.

Some might have noticed that I haven't played much Clones lately. That's simply because I simply enjoy playing Lix a lot more, and with a lot of progress with the game going on lately, there's also plenty of opportunity to play and experiment.
My gripe with clones is that most maps play like type 1, and even those that would be considered type 2 play a lot like type 1 as clones is so grinding-heavy, and levels take very long. Once you got a saboteur in, you'll be busy with the usually drill/bash routine for the next 20 minutes that it's pretty much impossible to get out of, because terrain removers stop builders, and these fat bums turn around at every tiny pixel they bump their head on, or any little step they encounter. RAGE!!! These lazy penners are just too inflexible and slow! With lix, you can jump and turn them around at wish, and get out of your opponent's digger hole with a couple of builders (or nowadays a cuber as well) instead of seeing them drop down repeatedly (though now there's at least an option to keep builders in the air in that case), or turn around at the ceiling if you used an atomizer. In that regard I feel it's a bit of a step backwards towards original 2P lemmings and its levels. Clones policy of all skills aplenty doesn't help either (limiting the types of skills is one of the aspects that adds a lot of diversity!), and make most levels feel the same to me.
There's only one single map I really enjoy, and that's "Cage"/"Rage", probably the only type 3 map. (The latter is my modification which eliminates tedious end-games, and resolves things with a tie instead. Gives a bit of a preference to rush strategies over solid defense building strategies though). I don't think I played all experimental custom maps, I played a couple of Haymanizer's, which were conceptually interesting, but still didn't really work better than the normal levels for most part, at least IMHO. So perhaps there's some good levels I missed, but I've tried my hand at level-making myself, and somehow it's a lot harder to make a fun levels than in lix. I stopped after a while, probably not having tried out everything, but the maps I made didn't play well. Like, I totally managed to ruin "Stepping Stones (2P)", that's quite a feat.

Perhaps I'm just too spoilt by the lix gameplay, where the skillset is nicely rounded out with the skills balancing each other, and providing a lot of control over the lix. And where I can just pick the maps I enjoy out of the very diverse set of maps, and I'm lucky enough that Simon seems to share my taste to a good extent.

tl;dr: Read this post in its entirety you lazy bum!

21
General Discussion / Help the Polar Lemmings!
« on: August 16, 2011, 10:45:49 am »
Here's an excerpt from the Lemmings Adventure Gamebook 1 - The Genesis Quest. This part is arguably the hardest section in the entire book, and harder than all levels in the Polar tribe. You're to solve this particular challenge - let's see how you'll fare:

After a long journey, the Polar lemmings climbed up to the top of a tall snowy hill. The other side of the hill is even steeper, and it's going to take some careful thought to get down safely. Looks like you're going to have to help the lemmings again. How will they do it? They could use Skiers, Sledgers or Rollers.



Note: The sledger is the only skill from the book that does not appear in Lemmings 2.

(Fun fact: you can assign rollers not only to lemmings, but also to cupboards so they roll over bananas. Simon dropped the last piece of the inside of his banana onto the floor, and it rolled (because I secretly assigned a roller) under the cupboard. He was afraid he might roll over it with his rolling chair, or the rolling cupboard.)

22
Yeah, seems like it's that time again. (I don't think I put my birthday into my profile, but there's at least one person that should know :P)

Happy birthday, Steve!
As the level design game is just in the process of being revived, here's a bonus/bogus challenge for you  (I haven't solved it myself yet, haven't thought about it too much yet) :P:
Design a Lemmings level scheme (arbitrary size, skills, time and amount of Lemmings) that reduces instances of an NP-complete problem to instances of Lemmings levels that are solvable iff the original problem instance is solvable, thus proving that Lemmings is NP-complete.

23
Non-Lemmings Gaming / Pushover Level Editor
« on: December 07, 2010, 09:09:43 pm »
You might remember the DOS game Pushover, which Simon and me also referenced in the geoo visiting Simon (NSFW) topic.
If you don't know it, you should try it out, it's awesome. You can get it from Abandonia, running with Dosbox.

Anyway, I've written a level editor for it (actually more like modified a different editor to work with Pushover), because Simon kinda pushed me to do it (pun, haha), even though there's Ishisoft Pushover with an editor, making it a bit redundant. It might also still be a bit buggy, as Simon didn't want to test it properly. :P

Usage:
Extract it into your Pushover folder (or somewhere else, then you'll have to adapt the PushEd.ini file).
To open a level, you have to pass the level number, or a filename of a level, as commandline parameter. Then you can switch views between background, foreground and domino arrangement with F5/F6/F7, to edit them. Save with F9. Playtest with F2 (You'll have to configure PushEd.ini to point to the correct DosBox path). Left click to set a tile, right click to copy a tile.
You can change the time limit using the -t commandline option, and the theme using -s.
More detailled information in the accompanying PushEd_ReadMe.txt

Download:
Windows and Linux build:
http://geoo.digibase.ca/PushEd/PushEd_win32.zip
http://geoo.digibase.ca/PushEd/PushEd_linux.7z
Source code:
http://geoo.digibase.ca/PushEd/PushEd_src.tar.bz2

I'll also host levels here, two of mine are already up: http://geoo.digibase.ca/PushEd/levels/
You'll also find a .txt file there by Herman Perk containing the codes for all levels, and which filename belongs to which level.

Current Avatar courtesy of Simon.

24
Lemmings Main / Lemmings 2 extracted graphics data
« on: March 23, 2010, 03:27:17 pm »
In the last few days I've had a look at the Lemmings 2 files to see which files contain graphics data.
Notably, all files used formats related to the formats used in the style files which I extracted earlier already. One format is a kind of bitmap format, and the other (L2SS) seems to be specialised for blitting onto other images.

I wrote programs to extract the various graphics from the files to targa format, which I converted to png later to save space. The code for these programs is available below, and should be easily compilable as no external libraries are used. You can set file and some additional required information through preprocessor symbols.

For easier viewability, the data is also avaiable in .png format; a few palettes might still be incorrect. (If you have trouble extracting from the archives, use 7zip: http://www.7-zip.org/ )

For more information on the individual files, see the accompanying text file.
I also documented the various derivates of the two formats in these text files; @Mindless: if you consider them of enough significance, you can put them on the File Archive if you want.

L2SS:
Documentation: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2ss.txt
Extracted images: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2ss.7z
Code: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2ss.cpp

Bitmap:
Documentation: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2bitmap.txt
Extracted images: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2bitmap.7z
Code: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2bitmap.cpp

Also updated the old documentation of the style files, correcting some mistakes, and most notably adding a lot of information which ccexplore provided on the format of the L2OB section (which in the end allowed me to put the styles into L++ (as my avatar indicates); so thanks again! :thumbsup: ).

Styles:
Documentation: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2gfx.txt
Extracted images: http://geoo.digibase.ca/lemmings/l2gfx.7z

25
Lemmings Main / Lemmings 2 Suite - integrating editing tools for Lemmings 2
« on: December 12, 2009, 12:23:21 am »
Currently there are lgl2, PCL2ED and PCL2STAT for editing Lemmings 2 levels, and while all three together do their job of allowing for editing levels, the design process is a bit inconvenient.

In the hope of making use of these three tools, I finally got around to write a program to integrate these three to make editing and playing a bit less of a hassle. It's the program that was initially to be intended as a mere stats editor and a Qt exercise, but I extended it a bit beyond that and learned quite a bit about Qt in the process.

In essence, you can open a level through a standard file dialog now, edit its statistics and then launch one of the existing editors directly with the current level. You can also playtest the level directly via Dosbox/L2, where it will be the automatically selected level upon pressing 'Play' in the L2 main menu.

Thanks to Mindless for the source code to lem2zip. :thumbsup:

All the related files: http://geoo.digibase.ca/L2Suite/
Windows binary: http://geoo.digibase.ca/L2Suite/L2Suite_win32.zip
Linux binary: http://geoo.digibase.ca/L2Suite/L2Suite_linux32.tarbz2
Source code: http://geoo.digibase.ca/L2Suite/L2Suite_src.tarbz2
Additional Qt DLLs required for windows version: http://geoo.digibase.ca/L2Suite/QtDlls.zip (put them into the same folder as the program)

I also did a small update on PCL2ED to cope with compressed files (thanks to Mindless for lem2zip again):
Windows binary: http://geoo.digibase.ca/PCL2ED/PCL2ED_win32.zip
Linux binary: http://geoo.digibase.ca/PCL2ED/PCL2ED_linux32.tarbz2
Windows source: http://geoo.digibase.ca/PCL2ED/PCL2ED_src_win.zip
Linux source: http://geoo.digibase.ca/PCL2ED/PCL2ED_src_linux.tarbz2

(file extension tarbz2 as for some reason files with extension tar.bz2 get messed up)

@GuyPerfect: Unrelated, but I forgot to reply in some other thread, and didn't want to bump it; but the reason I advocated publicly releasing lgl2 is that, while as you said, everyone who expressed interest might have got it, not everyone with a remote interest may have expressed it. People tend to be shy (I know it from myself). ;)
The source could perhaps have sped me up with this a bit, but it worked out anyway. :)

26
Lemmings Main / Two-player Lemmings
« on: October 14, 2009, 01:48:17 am »
The two player version of Lemmings has quite a different type of gameplay, nevertheless the few times I played it with a friend ages ago it was pretty fun. (For the record, it was the SNES version back the, i.e. no mice.)

I was wondering, with some emulators having netplay support, would anyone be up for a game of two player lemmings?
Specifically, I found that Kega Fusion (Genesis) has netplay support which I already got to work once, also ZSNES is said to have it as well as some version of WinUAE (which might possibly mean having mice available).

I'll be traveling back to uni on Saturday evening, where I haven't managed to get netplay working in Kega Fusion, likely due to the uni proxy. So I'd only be available until that date, unless there's another solution with a different emulator which works for me.
Would anyone want to give it a try? We can resolve specifics, date and time via PM then.

27
Levels for other engines / custom levels for Lemmings 2 thread
« on: June 08, 2009, 06:43:21 pm »
Split the level designing post from here into this topic, originally started by ccexplore.

All levels (to my knowledge, including multiple versions of each, with the one with the biggest number being the most recent one) from this topic as of 2013-06-12 are included in the following archive.
For discussion and solutions read the rest of the topic.

28
Level Design / PCL2ED v0.0.1 - provisional Lemmings 2 editor
« on: September 09, 2008, 11:00:43 am »
- Download Link (Windows binary) - (edited as the link was originally hidden between a lot of text)

Some people have been ranting about LemEdit (though I personally actually quite liked it), but when you think it couldn't get any worse...

Having said in the other thread I could get a first release done within a day, I guess I should release something now. It's not quite as complete as I wished it to be, but as I'm pretty busy (in spite of being in the time between school and studies) I just release what I have got for now.
The 'PC' in the name might stand for
  • provisional & crappy - the initial meaning for it
  • being meant for PC DOS Lemmings
  • platform compatile - hopefully. I'm not much of an expert in that regard
For now it only supports basic terrain and object editing, but I will at least release a console app sometime allowing for editing stuff like skills etc. For now use a hex-editor for that, the level format documentation can be found here (bottom).

Source is to be found here: http://207.58.177.175/~geoo89/lemmings/PCL2ED/PCL2ED_src.zip
As I said, it is a whole mess as this is my first UI programming experience and I attempted object oriented programming in a C-based environment, OpenGLUT that is, which is somewhat problematic. I guess the only code of interest might be in the L2LData and L2Def files. I hope it is managable to compile this thing, I used DevC++ for compilation, quoting from their site:
Quote
It uses Mingw port of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) as it's compiler. Dev-C++ can also be used in combination with Cygwin or any other GCC based compiler.
Following libraries are used (commands): -lopenglut  -lglu32 -lopengl32 -lwinmm

As for the Windows executable, get it here: http://207.58.177.175/~geoo89/lemmings/PCL2ED/PCL2ED_win32.zip
It might need an OpenGL32.dll to run...

Usage: It runs via commandline, with the parameter being the path of an uncompressed level file. If you feed it with anything else, it will crash. Also, the Style files have to be decompressed.
e.g. for Classic 1: PCL2ED.exe levels/level000.dat
To Decompress files, use Mindless' lem2zip. If you want to decompress all Level/Style files, put the two batch files from here http://207.58.177.175/~geoo89/lemmings/PCL2ED/ into your Lemmings 2 folder and run it. The decompressed files will be in a separate folder. Watch out for files of the filesize 0, in that case the files already have been compressed. Use the original ones in that case.

On to the editor itself:
When editing, there are 4 modes: NoDraw, Sprite, Tile and Object.
In any mode, doubleclicking the right mousebutton will select the object under the cursor; if there is no object under the cursor, it will select the sprite under the cursor; and switch into the respective mode.
Singleclicking the right mousebutton will take you back to NoDraw mode.

The action of right-clicking is dependent on mode.
In NoDraw and Object mode, it will select the object under the cursor. If there is no object under the cursor, in NoDraw mode it will do nothing. In Object mode it will draw a new object.
In Sprite/Tile mode, leftclicking will draw Sprite/Tile respectively.

Keys settings:
Press +/- in NoDraw mode to change the level arrangement, i.e. the amount of sprites per row. This will affect all rows, and the level will have to be fully re-designed then.
Arrow keys change the view window of the level in any mode but Object mode.
In Object mode arrow keys move the selected object, +/- changed the object ID. WASD in Object mode extends/contracts the selected object, i.e. for some objects like steel, water or the swing chain it is possible line up replicates of an object horizontally or vertically.
Delete key deletes the selected object.
'B' toggles background draw, i.e. whether terrain (Sprites/Tiles) is solid or background.
Press F3 to save the level.

Object boundaries might not be correct as I haven't figured out the object definition format completely yet. Special object components like parts of the swing or the cannon are not displayed, though the boundary size considers them.
Also, I noticed in Polar 9 that not all of the stars are displayed. I noticed in the level file some object ID entries with 0xFFFF, I'm not sure what that means yet.

29
Tech & Research / Questions: Converting etc.
« on: May 26, 2005, 05:29:41 pm »
Hello to everyone here!

I'm taking a short journey from Supaplex to Lemmings remembering this game too. ;)
I don't know how long I'll stay here; maybe you'll see levels made by me, maybe not...
...but I'll probably look up here regularly.

Anyway, I have a couple of questions/problems:

Is there a way to convert *.dat levels to a series of *.lvl levels except using LemEdit (I seems to be possible without mouse, but it's tough work I suppose)?
I read in one thread about it, a guest called "rt" said he knew something about a programme doing this.
Do you know about such a programme now?

Is it possible to convert *.lvl files to *.lev (Cheapo lemmings) files and vice versa (of course only the original and ONML graphic sets)? Do the graphic (tile) properties allow that (same size)?
Same with *.dat to *.set?

Where can I get the original musics from (midi or mp3, doesn't matter)? I play with WinLem, but those sounds aren't original. I read anywhere here that there were 21 different musics for the original ones.
The ONML musics I may get from guestlevels as far as it will work anytime again.

And last question:
I like small tricky levels, requiring thinking, skill is not so important; something like "There is madness in the method" or "Lemming tomato ketchup facility" (ok, that's a not so hard one).
What levels do you recommend? Cheapo, WinLemm, and if not anyway else possible, *.dat too; no matter.

Hope for you answer, nice forum here.

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