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Messages - Simon

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Lemmings Main / Re: Selling My Lemmings Collection On Ebay...
« on: July 21, 2009, 01:27:56 PM »
The books came in today. Everything was pretty fast for oversea shipping, thank you very much!

-- Simon

Lemmings Main / Re: Selling My Lemmings Collection On Ebay...
« on: July 07, 2009, 11:28:59 AM »
Hey Mr Kiwi,

I have an interest in these:

  • The Story Of The 12 Tribes Of Lemmings Island
  • Lemmings Adventure Game Book 1
  • Lemmings Adventure Game Book 2

I'd appreciate if you dropped me a PM as well. I live in Germany, this is probably something to consider when it comes to shipping. Payment would be via paypal.


-- Simon

Lemmings Main / Re: Control features that make a lemmings game good
« on: July 06, 2009, 11:29:13 PM »
The move you inserted could change the timing of all future moves enough that your game cannot rely on the timing stored in the replay to determine when to execute them.

I do like the idea though in general, just that I think it'd be tricky to program this correctly.

Yep, that's important. I believe that any replay format today saves just time and lemming ID for a skill assignment, not the location of the lemming. The early move might throw off skill assignments later in the game, so that the assignments either happen at wrong places or even without fulfilling a requirement, like assigning the builder skill to a faller.

If someone really builds in-game editing, then it could be in the form of a list of all moves. Click on a move to jump there (both time and scrolling position) to see if it still works, insert/delete moves or edit any move's properties.

It's not as intuitive as action replay and very similar to directly editing a replay file. The exception is that one can quickly check if and where any move is performed.

There was one thing you didn't mention:  ability to change release rate while the game is paused.
It's one feature that I think is definitely worth keeping, as it gives the player much more control over the spacing/distribution of lemmings, effectively adding a whole new puzzle element that players and level designers can make use of.

Thanks, this is good. I included it in the list, it makes a game mechanic difference and is very useful to the player.

ONML required correct RR changing in Flow Control, so I played this level in Dosbox using the standard one-builder solution. I saved 5/21 without paused RR changes, while 6/21 is easily managable with paused changes. If paused RR changes were intended, the number to be saved might been set higher than 3 for a Havoc level, but 5 and 6 aren't that far apart from each other on the other hand.

However, I like the idea of challenges relying on sharp RR changes very much as well, so paused changes are probably a good addition to the game.

-- Simon

Lemmings Main / Control features that make a lemmings game good
« on: July 06, 2009, 08:40:16 PM »
Hi people,

I brainstormed about what simple, yet effective features a good lemmings game should have. Many of these are implemented by the original lemmings games or by today's players like Lemmix, Lemmini etc.

I'd like to know about which of these features are something you'd miss if they aren't there, what features would see little or no use, or what features would be strictly against the spirit of the game. :-D

How to select skills:

  • Click on the skill buttons
  • Hit a per-skill hotkey (F1 through F10 in DOS times. Nowadays in 2012, Lix and Clones bind skills to letter keys of the left hand, and allow free remapping in addition. This has proven to be the most comfortable method.)
  • Go left/right through available skills (Z/X keys)

The last method is probably useful on a handheld console because of its lack of F-keys. Does anyone use the last method primarily when playing on a computer?

If the game features a release rate selection, one can:

  • Click and hold the rate buttons.
  • Hold keys on the keyboard.
  • Adjust the rate even while the game is paused. (Thanks to ccexplore for mentioning this. Quote from his first reply:) This feature is actually absent in many ports of Lemmings.  Even in DOS, its availability might be more an accident than intentional, since when the game is paused, you can only change the release rate using the keyboard, not the mouse. (End quote)
  • Double click the Plus/Minus button to set the rate instantly to its max/min. I came up with the need for this some years ago, but IIRC some Lemmings programs use this already. ccexplore's comment should be considered for this as well.

Scrolling the level around!

  • Move mouse to screen edge.
  • Speed up the screen edge scrolling if the right mouse button is held.
  • Hold right mouse button to scroll just as the mouse is moved. This is a very user-friendly way. It can still exist without problems even if the right mouse button is heavily used for enhancing the player's lemming selection. The game should allow the player to toggle the way of scrolling if he doesn't like it.
  • If there's a mini map, clicking at any position on it scrolls there.

How to determine what lemming receives a skill if the player clicks on a bunch of lemmings?

  • A normal left-click on a bunch of lemmings gives the skill to the lemming with the hightest priority. This is the basic mechanism, but one can think about how the priority is actually determined.
  • Workers have higher priority than non-workers, i.e. lemmings doing something that they still could do if they got never clicked upon or nuked.
  • If two lemmings are both workers or non-workers, maybe the one with more permanent abilities (climber, floater, swimmer, ...)  could have higher priority.
  • One could further think about whether the exploder's countdown counts as a permanent ability or not for calculating the priority.
  • If two lemmings are still equal under these criteria, the one that entered the level earlier should have higher priority. L1, ONML and Xmaslems treated the one that entered later with the higher priority, but I think that's usually the wrong one.
  • Some lemmings can't be clicked at, even if they're the only lemmings under the cursor. It might be in the interest of the player to give the climber skill to a blocker at some time, but not allowing this saves more damage than allowing it provides use. (Edit: ClamSpammer likes the idea to just give blockers low priorities better, especially if there are more ways to release blockers than in L1.)
  • One could supersede any of these rules with arbitrary exceptions, like that blockers always have top priority, even over other workers that entered the level earlier, if the skill to be given is exploder.

There are several ways to enhance the controls for selecting a certain lemming.

  • Hold the right mouse button to give the skill to the lemming with the lowest priority under the curser instead. L1 and the like had a similar feature that simply caused workers to never be selected at all. However, inverting the priorities seems to make more sense than the L1 right mouse button feature.
  • Directional selection: Holding the left/right arrow key on the keyboard will take only those lemmings into consideration that are looking in the held direction. L1 doesn't offer this, although its physics allow the blinking cursor trick. (Clicking on the far left of a dense lemmings bunch will select someone that looks right.)
  • L3 used the right mouse button to highlight lemmings. Right-clicking in the air cycled the highlighter through the lemmings that were carrying a tool at the moment. L3D had highlighting as well, but didn't use the right mouse button for it. Assuming that holding the right button inverts the priority as above, does one still need lemming highlight when playing on a computer, not on a handheld? It would then work just like in L3D. For a handheld, highlighting should be the main feature because one can't right click.

The following points are ways to enhance the clicking precision.

  • Clicking lemmings during the pause gives skills to the lemmings. It usually unpauses the game as well.
  • Instead of just having fast-forward, a slow-motion feature allows pixel-perfect precision. The lemmings could advance 1 or 2 frames per second instead of the usual 17 like in L1. Paired with the ability to pause the game at any point, one has as much time as one would like to have during any frame.
  • Zoom: Twice or even four times the size for even more pixel perfection, especially if this is combined with frame-by-frame advancement or slowmotion.

Are these good ideas? Or do you think that pixel-perfect clicking at 17 FPS is an important part of the game that should remain at all costs? Unlike the scrolling controls, this has an effect on the the game mechanics for a human, after all.

These points go in the same direction. They make a lemmings game more like a designer's tool to draw/enhance a solution for a level until it is correct. This is how a good lemmings game should present itself IMHO, because I think of the game as a pure brain teaser, not of something that punishes slightly incorrect clicking. Point out if you disagree with me here, please, as this part shows the players' philosophies like nothing else. :-)

  • Action replay: Have all the actions automatically played again when you restart, jump in right before the error, and play on from there.
  • Rewind: Go backwarts through time to correct an error, by a single frame or by seconds. If you go too far, you can go forward again, which will be the same as action replay, i.e. if a player action is undone by rewinding, it's redone by this.
  • Saving and loading complete game states, this saves time if one would be action-replaying a long part of a solution just to correct an error at a rather late point.
  • If a replay is saved to the hard disk in a human readable form, one could edit it with a text editor to insert critical moves at an early time of the solution. This way, all the correct stuff at the later time could be kept, unlike it would be if if one uses action replay. This isn't cheating at all, because the game itself should offer as many tools as it can to enhance creating a level solution.
  • Or is there a good way to implement an in-game way to achieve this so it's as intuitive for the user as action replay? Maybe as a special menu that's usually not visible.

Thanks for feed-back in advance. Maybe some features are just plain overkill, but I'd love to play a game that sports all this. :-)

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 22, 2009, 10:38:54 PM »
Heh, thanks. :-)

I don't have another good puzzle ready yet, I'm sorry. If anyone wants to jump in, feel free to do so. Otherwise I'll post when I have one.

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 18, 2009, 10:56:39 PM »
Heh, yep, it's an error. I meant "cut it out from cardboard" where I said "cardbox", which would be dumb indeed.

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 17, 2009, 11:34:16 PM »
I made an instructions sheet!

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 14, 2009, 07:32:56 PM »
Way to go! That's the solution, complete with usages of all the tools.

The towel was put under the can. That way, the hammer-and-chisel operation produced less noise. I live in an apartment house and didn't want to wake up everyone else late at night. :-)

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 11, 2009, 03:37:46 AM »
but did you use the tools to make the food? No.

If I told you the missing object, the puzzle would be solved. :-) That thing can usually only be used for what it's intended to, which is what I managed to do with the weird collection of tools instead.

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 09, 2009, 09:24:58 AM »
I have played this one with a friend over Instant Messaging. He solved it after around 20 yes/no-questions without hints. He had a bit of experience with lateral puzzles, though.

Major hint: I was hungry. Damn hungry!

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 09, 2009, 12:26:11 AM »
Was it a repair job of anything? No.
Was it building something? No.

If it keeps raining no's, I can give a small hint soon.

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 08, 2009, 08:19:43 PM »
Was it plumbing-related? No.
Pipe repairs? No.
A series of horrifying murders involving a blow to the head, drilling out their brains, unscrewing their ears, and cleaning it with a towel? No.
And you lacked your sanitary latex gloves. No. :-)

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 08, 2009, 01:35:49 AM »
Whee :)

This is one that happened to me in real life. I'm a college student and live in an apartment. One day, I lacked a certain item for a particular task. I still managed to get the job done using a hammer, a screwdriver, a pipe wrench and a towel. What did I want to do?

Any yes/no-questions are possible.

-- Simon

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 07, 2009, 08:57:45 AM »
Then he knows he's going to die because of the missing ground removing skills, there's no future for him besides nuke? (Exploder removes ground.)

Forum Games / Re: Puzzle/Riddle Game
« on: June 05, 2009, 10:56:52 PM »
I love these.

Skill is one of the original eight skills?
If so, a blocker? Bomber?
Are any ground removing skills yet available after the skill assignment?

-- Simon

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