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Messages - Simon

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31
We should catch up again properly about this soon, let me know when you're available.
I'll be busy this weekend. Which of the following suits you best?
[...]
Wednesday, April 24, 20:00 UTC

I can't do much more than offer these times. I expected you to agree on one or propose something else.

Friday, 26th, 17:00 UTC I can make. Otherwise it will have to be next week.

-- Simon

32
If you have failing replays, they too should run until they reach unplayable state, then exit. Look for identical high-level results: You want to see the replay pass in your work-in-progress NL if and only if it passes in NL 12.12.5.

It's theoretically possible for the same replay to be indeterminate in one NL and to clearly fail in the other NL. I don't expect this to happen often, maybe 1 case in 1,000. Even then, both NLs would agree that it's not a winning replay, and that's good. If it happens, I'd examine it case-by-case.

On most (not all) replays (passing or failing), I expect the number of physics updates to be 1 smaller in your WIP NL than in NL 12.12.5. But it's not a necessity; I realize now: When you nuke zombies, we watch the nuke animation in WIP NL, and then the WIP NL won't take 1 fewer, but instead many more physics updates. Thus: If you see a wild difference in physics updates, look in the level for zombies, and look in the replay for nukes.

That's practically what I will do with the remaining packs next week: Compare the high-level results, and investigate by hand the cases where the high-level result differs or where the number of physics updates has not shrunk by exactly 1. Maybe I'll write a script for that.

We should catch up again properly about this soon, let me know when you're available.

Yes, for code review and to plan the pull request.

I'll be busy this weekend. Which of the following suits you best?

Monday, April 22, 15:00 UTC
Monday, April 22, 20:00 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 15:00 UTC
Wednesday, April 24, 20:00 UTC

-- Simon

33
Thanks. I'll call that executable nl-2024-04-08.

Icho has sent me his replay coverage for Lemmings United. I've looked at his 208 replays for what is not in the bonus rank of United. These 208 replays are mostly 1 per level, sometimes 2 per level.

I've ran those 208 Lemmings United replays separately through each of the following:
  • NL 12.12.5 stable,
  • nl-2024-04-08 with the option: Always Exit to Postview,
  • nl-2024-04-08 with the option: Exit if Save Requirement Met,
  • nl-2024-04-08 with the option: Never Exit to Postview.
Find attached NL's text output. First findings:

All 208 replays pass (solve their level) in all of the 4 runs.

Your nl-2024-04-08 produces output independent of the 3-way option. In more detail: When I run mass replay verification in the nl-2024-04-08 with the option to Exit if Save Requirement Met, I get the same output (i.e., identical text file) as when I run mass replay verification in the nl-2024-04-08 with the option Never Exit to Postview, or with the option Always Exit to Postview. This is good.

Your nl-2024-04-08 produces different output than NL 12.12.5. In NL 12.12.5, most (all?) replays run for exactly 1 physics update longer than in nl-2024-04-08. It's drudgework to check this claim for all 208 lines, I haven't written a script to verify that claim for me.

For example, NL 12.12.5 produces:
Code: [Select]
Pacifism 8:  10000 B.C..nxrp   (1882 frames) LvV 0000000000000000 / RpV: 0000000000000000
nl-2024-04-08 produces:
Code: [Select]
Pacifism 8:  10000 B.C..nxrp   (1881 frames) LvV 0000000000000000 / RpV: 0000000000000000
The only difference here is that NL 12.12.5 runs for 1882 physics updates ("frames") and nl-2024-04-08 runs for 1881 physics updates before both conclude that the replay passes its level.

We can explain this with the reworked end-of-level behavior: NL 12.12.5 must start a new physics update before it can conclude that the map is over. nl-2024-04-08 can test for completion in between two physics updates. Therefore, nl-2024-04-08 needs one physics update fewer. Thus, I believe: There is nothing to worry here. Do you agree?

The high-level result (pass or fail) is identical across NL 12.12.5 and nl-2024-04-08. All levels pass.

This doesn't conclude the testing of mass replay verification yet. Reason: I've only tested solving replays. I haven't tested a big bucket of failing replays, of indeterminate replays (that run for too long after final skill), of weird nukes in the replays, ...

And I have replays for 4 more Icho packs. That's for next week.

-- Simon

34
Lix Main / Re: Lix 0.10.22 released
« on: April 17, 2024, 10:07:55 PM »
Lix 0.10.22 released.

:lix-cool: Download for Windows 64-bit -- recommended
:lix: Download for Windows 32-bit -- fallback for ancient machines
:lix: Download for Linux 64-bit
:lix-evil: Source code
:8(): Changelog
:8:()[: Issue tracker

How to update (click to show/hide)
  • Fix #427: Reveal trigger areas during play: When you activate the splat ruler, you also see trigger areas of gadgets (goals, traps, flingers, water, ...) as cyan hollow rectangles.
  • Fix #487: Whenever Lix saves your user options to ./user/options.sdl, Lix will also save unknown options that you happened to have in your options file from past or future Lix versions. This will be helpful in the future when you keep different versions in the same tree, e.g., for testing, and they're all version 0.10.22 or newer.
  • Fix #472: In level and replay browsers, you can't simultaneously quit the browser and open the deletion confirmation dialog anymore. Before, the bug was: You returned to the main menu and still had the deletion dialog open.
  • Fix tooltip font size. Now, the pause tooltip always shows in small letters. Before, the pause tooltip showed in the medium font when the mouse was at the screen edge in a scrollable level.
  • Add three multiplayer maps by geoo: Pachinko (4-7 players), Zick-Zack Kunterbunt (4-8 players), Hanabi around the World (4 players).
  • Reorder the singleplayer level directory: geoo's pack appears alphabetically among the other one-author packs.
  • The Windows build script win-build.bat still prefers LDC, but now allows to build Lix with any compiler.


-- Simon

35
SuperLemmix Bugs & Suggestions / Re: [SUG] New Lemming type - Rivals!
« on: April 17, 2024, 12:55:17 AM »
More state that a lemming carries around. How does it relate to existing such state? Can you be a neutral rival? Or are you exactly one of regular, rival, neutral, etc.? How do neutrals count in the different exits?

Do you have different skillsets per such tribe? Clones had this; it's an elaborate feature, but again with unique level design possibilities. Neutrals would dissolve nicely into this idea, too; neutrals are then yet another such tribe that never gets skills.

Take care with using only color to mark things. Blue athletes are now harder to differentiate from the red athlete.

There is a natural burden on this feature. You must make it pull its weight. It's not enough to play existing 2-player levels; most of those are boring in singleplayer by design. For perspective: Even zombies feel like they're not pulling their weight; their complexity weighs a lot, see our nuke/exiting worries from last month. Neutrals have been more lightweight than zombies.

-- Simon

36
Lix Main / Re: 64-bit Windows build
« on: April 16, 2024, 06:46:52 AM »
In the Windows 64-bit build instructions, we recommend to install LDC and then to double-click win-build.bat. This works well and I recommend this to everybody for release builds. LDC builds the fastest-running executables.

The win-build.bat specifies the compiler to ldc. The question is if this is necessary or should at least mentioned in the file name since somebody could just have dmd set up and get an error.

Now, if somebody installs only DMD and not LDC, he has diverged from the release notes early. I'll assume that he knows what he's doing. The build instructions even cover DMD and tell him to type the command manually. If he still double-clicks win-build.bat, he'll get the following error: Error Failed to spawn process "ldc2" (The system cannot find the given file.) Given that he see this only after he has willfully diverged from the build instructions and installed DMD instead of LDC, I'd say it's fine as it is. He can edit the script or type the build command manually.

I could also write win-build.bat to be compiler-agnostic, but then it'll pick DMD over LDC when both are installed. I encourage everybody to build release builds with LDC. DMD is better for active development, when you need the fastest-possible feedback and care less about producing fast-running binaries.

It should be possible to test in the script for installed compilers ahead of the dub call, e.g., with a Windows equivalent of Linux's which. Then you build with LDC explicitly only if LDC is found, otherwise you build in the compiler-agnostic way. If you want to investigate this, I'll be happy to merge it.



Readers may wonder: Why different compilers for different builds, aren't there build types? Yes, there are build types; you can instruct either compiler to build debug binaries or optimize for release. Still, you'll see the fastest build times with DMD without optimization, and you'll get the fastest-running binaries from LDC in release mode.

-- Simon

37
lem hitting a steel block
fall (potentially fatal), or propel safely back down?

You can copy what the jumper does: Allow a queued shimmier assignment to execute here, otherwise fall. Then your two upwards-flying skills (propeller and jumper) are consistent with each other.

Feeling: NL/SLX allow climbers to jump off walls, swimmers to jump out of water, ..., then why not propellers to shimmy, too.

Yes, the skills should be about one thing and have few rules (as WillLem says), yet be able to play roles of swiss army knifes (as mobius says). The potential falling (with or without allowed shimmier assignment) has its uses, too: Combine with floater, combine with a higher lemming splatforming underneath in the meantime, ...

-- Simon

38
Lemmings Main / Re: DOS Game Club on Lemmings 1
« on: April 10, 2024, 09:41:11 PM »
It's released! Download it here:
DOS Games Club's Lemmings 1 podcast episode

Runs for 2 hours and 9 minutes, as MP3, 148 MB.

-- Simon

39
It's now nearer the time. Tonight, Saturday, 19:00 UTC is good.

Fixed another bug today - we need the Mass Replay Check to finish checking the current level when the unplayable state is reached.

Please build NL with this for me. I'll run 2 or more of Icho's packs through both the stable 12.12.5 and this release, and look for different behavior.

-- Simon

40
Level Design / Re: What are some tips for making difficult levels?
« on: April 05, 2024, 08:17:14 PM »
One approach is not to worry:
  • Make several levels of medium difficulty.
  • Have others playtest your levels.
  • What levels did they find much harder than you anticipated? Those are hard levels.
My take on Proxima's idea:
  • Place some terrain and give plenty of skills.
  • Solve your level several times. Optimize the solution for skills.
  • Trim the skillset to match your optimal solution.
Or:
  • Play lots of levels by others.
  • Build a level that combines two ideas from existing levels.
geoo's favorite:
  • Play lots of levels by others.
  • Submit your replays to the author.
  • The author will judge some of your solutions backroutes. Sometimes, he'll also fix his levels to prevent your backroutes.
  • Which backroute did you like the most? Were you surprised that he judged a particularly cool solution a backroute?
  • Build a new level that has your cool backroute as the intended solution.
  • I recommend to make the new level look sufficiently different from the original level. After all, the idea is now different, and it's nice to give different ideas different looks.
Draw levels on paper, mainly to brainstorm, but you can also plan details.

It's not necessary to start with an idea. You can make your level look like art first, then draw inspiration from that.

Not only the level can look like art, even the solution can look like art. E.g., when you solve a level by Pieuw, ask yourself: Where can we place the basher/miner so that it continues the longest? Now, if your level has only one miner, has no other destructive skills, and has lots of obstactles to mine away, it'll be easy to spot the miner placement. Can you disguise* the beauty? Will the player have an a-ha effect when he finally finds the idea?

*) By disguise, I don't mean invisible things, e.g., don't hide exits/traps fully inside terrain. Everything should be clearly visible and its behavior should be obvious. Still, you can make the player wonder which parts are important and which are merely decoration. As Icho describes: Hiding things in plain sight.

You can make levels harder by adding extra problems to a medium-difficulty level, but you'll have to test for backroutes from the extra skills.

-- Simon

41
Lemmings Main / Re: Is this an official Lemmings T-shirt (dated 1993?)
« on: April 03, 2024, 11:21:57 PM »
Welcome to the forums, and nice find! I haven't seen this before, either.

To me, it looks like properly licensed merchandise related to one of the Lemmings 1 console ports. The lemmings are drawn in the style of Lemmings 1 box art. Even though I haven't seen this particular scene, it is either drawn by one of the original artists or matches that style extremely well.

The red feet (instead of white/beige feet) look like what's printed on the SNES Lemmings 1 cartridge or like the Sega Genesis cover.

The logo comes with the small (TM) in the corner, quite prominently even. That again makes it look more like a licensed shirt, although it's possible that unlicensed shirts would also print that (TM).

I see two dubious parts: First is the misspelling ("Jeronimo" instead of "Geronimo"), but that may well be par for early 90's computer game merchandise. The second dubiousity is that lemmings in this style (with this hairdo, with these eyes) normally don't have the red feet. Covers with red feet typically have differently-drawn lemmings faces.

-- Simon

42
Position of the message: No preference, happy to test the UI again after you put it into the stats.

Habitually, I never look at the minimap and instead scroll/zoom much more on large levels. But others like the minimap.

Yeah, I have the preference for the solid color of the splat ruler. I grant that the rainbow cycling isn't as intrusive as I thought, but it's still more intrusive than I like.



Bugfixes: Had a busy day at work, but you've already caught everything. I'll summarize nonetheless:

Overshooting is fixed entirely in Experimental 5. Good!

The following bug is now fixed, too: In earlier stream, on kaywhyn's Fun Teleportation Race in Space, we saw the Experimental 4 freeze after the last lemming left by exiting. The lemming scored a point and made the score equal to the save requirement. Nonetheless, Experimental 4 didn't exit, and instead showed the message. The Experimental 5 exits here always, which is correct.

All 3 user options do what it says on the tin, with the designed exception that the nuke overrides the user option and exits. No bugs here.

The only bug is what you've already seen: When I nuke during the freeze (to exit immediately without seeing explosions), NL writes the nuke into the replay. When we watch this replay, the red R will stay after the final assignment (because there is the nuke coming up) and, when we reach the freeze, the nuke button will have the white square, but we won't see any nuking.

If you have fixed this by not adding the nuke to the replay: Excellent, I believe that is the cleanest fix. I'll test it. I'll have time to stream playtesting on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evening.

Do you want a Mumble session with code rewiew? Again, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evening is good.

-- Simon

43
I'll play! Sunday, April 14th, starting 17:00 UTC. Thanks for organizing.

Expect me to livestream the session. I haven't streamed every single session in the past, it depends mental acuteness. But the stars like to align on Sunday evenings for that.

-- Simon

44
Site Discussion / Re: Lemmings Forum Discord
« on: April 02, 2024, 12:31:25 AM »
All right, I inserted grey letters with size 1 pt in your first post, and in your reply #22.

Let's see if that's enough to confuse search engines. Maybe search engines are smart enough to ignore the small letters. Feel free to add more such obfuscation on your own.

I took the liberty to trim your warning ("I need to say this, This is NOT for ...") to minimal wording. Reason: People don't like to read; the fewer words you put, the better. (I saved your original text offline. If you want the original wording back, let me know, I'll PM you the original text.)

-- Simon

45
Site Discussion / Re: Lemmings Forum Discord
« on: April 01, 2024, 09:46:34 PM »
Hmm, right, you should avoid naming the problematic Lemmings-unrelated names.

Giga: May I add formatting (e.g., invisible extra super-small text) to your first post? That keeps the Lemmings-unrelated names easy to read for humans, but makes it harder to index for search engines.

This sounds moderately urgent. If you don't tell me yes/no within 24 hours, I'll add such formatting.

It's a worthwhile shot, although it's not guaranteed to help. Those off-topic joiners can come from elsewhere: People share links to Discord groups, and IIRC Discord has a global group search.

-- Simon

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