Author Topic: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!  (Read 16938 times)

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Offline Clam

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The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« on: December 10, 2010, 04:10:54 am »
Since the forum seems to be picking up again, and this challenge was a hit the first time around, I'm gonna give it another spin.

Welcome to the Level Design Game, the Lemmings challenge where building the level is the challenge!


How it works:

One player posts a set of criteria that a level has to meet. The first person to create and post a level that meets the criteria (as verified by the challenge setter) is the winner, and can post their own challenge. The game version is DOS Lemmings (Lemmix / Custlemm) - you can upload .LVL or .DAT files, as well as Lemmix replays (.LRB) for solutions, as attachments to posts.

See how the game works in the original thread!


Rules:

Setting a challenge

  • The level criteria must be objective (i.e. not subject to opinion) and feasible within the limitations of Lemmix / Custlemm.
  • You must build the level yourself as a proof of concept. This level must also comply with the rules for completing a challenge (see below). Once the challenge is won, post your level to compare! (And to prove you actually did it yourself :P)
  • Please be on hand to validate attempts at your challenge! ;)

Completing a challenge

  • You can build the level in any of the 10 original tilesets, unless otherwise specified by the challenge criteria.
  • The level must:

          - meet all of the challenge criteria
          - be solvable (I may consider allowing challenges that require a level to be unsolvable)
          - have 80 or fewer lemmings (else Custlemm will crash :()
          - pass the level checker in Lemmix / LemEdit (≤400 terrain, ≤32 objects, ≤32 steel, objects/steel aligned to grid, nothing out of bounds)
  • Unless the solution to the level is obvious, be ready to provide a description, preferably in the form of a Lemmix replay.
  • If an existing level meets the criteria, you can post it as your level! Challenge creators beware! :evil:
  • Please wait for confirmation by the challenge setter before posting a new challenge. Be aware, though, that anyone can show your level fails the challenge. Only the challenge setter may verify levels.
  • If it's your turn, but you don't have a challenge ready, you may call "open floor" and allow anyone to set a new challenge. Also, to help things along, you may call a conditional "open floor" when you submit a level.



And here is the first challenge. Build a level with:

  • One entrance
  • At least four exits
  • One skill available (not just one type, but one usage of that skill)
  • In any solution to the level, each exit is used by exactly one lemming.


Hopefully it's not too difficult for a first challenge. I was able to make two different levels for this myself, so it should be doable :)

EDIT: Solved by Insane Steve:thumbsup:

Offline Simon

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 12:38:14 pm »
First :)

Open floor, in case there aren't backroutes left.

-- Simon

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 08:25:00 pm »
You're thinking along the right lines, but you've overlooked one important detail ;). See attached replay.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 11:55:37 pm »
Your definition of "picking up" is rather generous. :P Last time there are definitely more people around.

Anyhow, try this one.  No replay attached, because the possibilities are basically limited to just 3, all of which are verified to exactly save 4 lemmings each in its own exit.  One more thing:  must use DOS Lemmings mechanics, not CustLemm.  (There's probably a way to eliminate this mechanics dependency so it works in both, but I'm lazy.)

Still calling open floor for next one, but if no one response I might see if I can come up with something quick and relatively interesting over the weekend.

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2010, 12:42:53 am »
didn't look at ccexplore's version so this might be redundant. The level didn't take long to conceptualise, actually  :P Not a very aesthetic attempt but I see nothing else that can be done.

"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

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Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2010, 01:13:03 am »
Ha, yours still look better than mine I think. ;)  In your case it looks like CustLemm mechanics is required, but actually yours is fairly simple to make it work with both mechanics.  Anyway, with even less possible solutions than mine, it's easy to verify that your level indeed satisfies the criteria of the challenge.

(In case people are wondering about the CustLemm/DosLemm difference that are affecting the levels, it is that DosLemm entrances release lemmings one pixel to the left of where CustLemm would.)

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 01:39:19 am »
Your definition of "picking up" is rather generous. :P Last time there are definitely more people around.

I've noticed a few people coming back after a long time away. So compared to, say, two months ago when I tried to revive the challenges section, it certainly appears to me to be picking up. Whether it lasts as long as last time is another matter... :-\

As for your level, I'm going to be extremely harsh (but fair) and say no. If you make the first lemming dig, and nuke as soon as the 40th lemming enters, you save 2 of 40 (i.e. 5% with the nuke glitch). It's difficult to see exactly how many lemmings have entered, so I built a pit to catch the lemmings that fall, and nuked when the lemming count reached 30 (given that 1/4 die straight away to the trap). Also, it seems to me you could switch to CustLemm mechanics and shift the terrain one pixel to the right, and end up with essentially the same level.

I can't see anything wrong with Insane Steve's level. So I guess it isn't redundant after all ;)

My level is attached. This was actually the second one I made, the first (using a basher) wasn't very nice. The solution (obviously) is to bomb the first lemming as soon as it enters the level.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 02:15:25 am »
That's fair, I forgot to account for nuke glitch, and apparently the walking isn't made long enough to prevent that sort of thing. :XD:

As for the DosLemm/CustLemm thing, originally when I made the level I was hoping to spread out the 4 levels of floors on the left a bit more apart starting from where they are connected to the pillar, and obviously if that were the case, I can't let too many lemmings leak out to the left prematurely.  That idea didn't quite pan out so I ended up with the current setup with the 4 floors 1 pixel apart, where as you observed, it wouldn't matter if you dig one pixel to the left of where you are intended to do so.

Offline GigaLem

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2010, 05:13:11 pm »
i Hope this dosen't blemish the rules im a litte confused.
Well here's mine a bit easy but it has four exits

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2010, 06:02:45 pm »
I decided to have a go but it seems I'm to late.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2010, 12:03:58 am »
That's OK, I'm happy to take late entries. You never know, even if I can't see any problems with a level, someone else could find something wrong and show the level fails. Then the later entries get a chance ;)

Giga: The level has to meet all the criteria, not just one or two. I'm afraid this game is fairly complicated by nature; I can't help that. :-\ Maybe I could have made the first challenge a simple one at least...

Gronkling: Your level suffers the same problem as Simon's: If you change the release rate, you can end up with a solution that sends multiple lemmings to the same exit. This leads to a strong hint for "any solution" type challenges: if you set the release rate to 99, it can't be changed during the level, which removes a huge number of backroute possibilities.


Anyway, Insane Steve, do you have a challenge or is it open floor?

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2010, 12:50:37 am »
I'm not sure how easy or possible this might be, but here goes:

Design a level that has at least 5 skills, in at least 3 tasks. All skills must be used in any solution to the level.

The level is to have one entrance, one exit. The save rate must be 8/10, and no more than 80% should be possible.

The level, if the number of lemmings is changed to 50, and 96% is required, must has a fundamentally different solution that uses all tasks and can't save more than 96%. That is, the solution to the 8/10 level must be different from any solution to the 48/50 level, and vice versa.

EDIT: also the release rates and time must be the same for both versions

EDIT2: Task passed by Clam Spammer
"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

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Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2010, 03:00:19 am »
Clarification on "fundamentally different solution".  Does it have to differ from the very first move, or can there be minor parts at the beginning that are basically the same in both, and then diverges from there?

It's probably not too hard to go from latter to former, but obviously the latter probably takes less effort to achieve.

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2010, 03:28:21 am »
Hmmmm... it's a bit hard to disambiguate that part, yea.

Basically, the two paths have to take different routes to the exit, and/or use a completely different main idea; it's hard to explain any clearer than that. They should not share any main parts of the solutions, though.
"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

~"Beat" Takeshi Kitano

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2010, 04:12:53 am »
Perhaps it would be good enough to say the level fails if you can produce a Lemmix replay that works for both versions?

Offline klapaucius

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2010, 05:37:19 am »

Here's my level. Maybe this level looks shoddy a little....
This level has three types of skills. one builder, one climber, one digger. Save 4/7 (57%).
I live in Asia, so I am not good at write in English.
I'll be very appreciated if you understand my poor English sentences :)

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2010, 11:34:50 am »
Heres mine:
The first has 4/5.
The second has 48/50.

EDIT: I updated my levels.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2010, 07:31:43 pm »
The first one has to be 8/10, not 4/5. If you change it to 8/10, the bottom route works for both groups (in fact, I'm pretty sure with the RR as it is you can save 9/10 or 49/50 by building over the trap.
"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

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Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2010, 01:14:55 am »

Here's my level. Maybe this level looks shoddy a little....
This level has three types of skills. one builder, one climber, one digger. Save 4/7 (57%).

Wait... Is this an attempt at my challenge, or Steve's? It seems to be halfway between the two. ???

Offline GigaLem

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2010, 01:33:39 am »
Hey is it okay if i could make a Giga Edition of this topic

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 03:41:21 am »
Here's my attempt at Insane Steve's challenge. I've attached both replays along with the level, although neither is greatly difficult to execute. Just change the lemming count to 50 before viewing the second replay.

Offline klapaucius

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2010, 06:02:05 am »
Wait... Is this an attempt at my challenge, or Steve's? It seems to be halfway between the two. ???

This is about your challenge. The requirement of this level's just save 4/7, not save 8/10 :)
I live in Asia, so I am not good at write in English.
I'll be very appreciated if you understand my poor English sentences :)

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2010, 06:13:35 am »
Oh, ok... :)

For my challenge, you need to have one type of skill, and only one of that skill. It was Steve's challenge that requires you to have three types of skills.

I should add a note to my challenge to say it's been solved, and encourage other challenge setters to do the same. Of course, you're more than welcome to post attempts at solved challenges ;)

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2010, 06:34:21 am »
Here's my attempt at Insane Steve's challenge. I've attached both replays along with the level, although neither is greatly difficult to execute. Just change the lemming count to 50 before viewing the second replay.

Can't see a way to execute the 8/10 solution on the right, nor the 48/50 solution on the left in time, and I can't see any way to lose <2 in either case. This looks solved, nice level  :thumbsup:
"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

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Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2010, 07:01:42 am »
Cool :D. Don't forget to post your own version ;)



OK, next challenge:

  • At least 10 lemmings, with at least 5 to be saved
  • One terrain object only (not just one type, but one terrain piece)
  • One entrance and one exit (exit top piece optional), no other interactive objects
  • No steel areas
  • No builders available
  • The level must be impossible to complete in under one minute (without pausing for time, since Lemmix doesn't support it)


    EDIT: solved by ccexplore.

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2010, 07:40:34 am »
Cool :D. Don't forget to post your own version ;)



OK, next challenge:

  • At least 10 lemmings, with at least 5 to be saved
  • One terrain object only (not just one type, but one terrain piece)
  • One entrance and one exit (exit top piece optional), no other interactive objects
  • No steel areas
  • No builders available
  • The level must be impossible to complete in under one minute (without pausing for time, since Lemmix doesn't support it)
heh, funny thing about that, my "48/50" version has a backroute that allows the 8/10 version to work also. Damn. I'll try to post a working level soon.

For your challenge, here's a really preliminary drunk attempt. Do not be surprised if it fails.
"こんなげーむにまじになっちゃってどうするの"

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Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2010, 09:23:55 am »
Right... :-\ well, apart from the entrance off the top of the screen (which would invalidate it at any rate), I managed to solve it in under a minute :D (attached)

(edit: remove the entrance at y=65533 before viewing)

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2010, 09:35:34 am »
Clam, I think IS might have updated his level after you have downloaded it?  The entrance is within bounds and your replay doesn't work.

That said, his latest version didn't improve on matters, in fact I'm not sure it's solvable at all--falling/floating lemmings cannot trigger exits in PC-based Lemmings game mechanics, and his exit is sitting in mid-air with no terrain in the trigger area.

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2010, 09:58:36 am »
Oh, whoops... I removed the out-of-bounds entrance before recording that replay. Check the level list (F9), there's an entrance with a Y position of 65533 (i.e. -3). As for your other point, try the replay again minus the rogue entrance ;)

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2010, 10:12:23 am »
Ah, so as I suspected (but too lazy to re-check the disassembly), oh-noers are not affected by the behavior I referred to.  That's incidentally exactly why I said "I'm not sure" instead of flat out saying it's impossible. ;)

Good job for working out a solution though. :o Maybe the low save percentage made it possible to get something working without too much trial and error?

Anyway, turns out Steve has a good idea I think in terms of terrain, just the wrong approach as far as skills are concerned.  Here's my level, inspired by his, that should satisfy your challenge.  In fact I almost think I might've "backrouted" your challenge by doing what I did......

Oh, and busy-ness and other considerations say I'll call open floor yet again if my level works. :-\

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2010, 10:19:40 am »
(edit: remove tthhe entrance at y=65533 before viewing)

Incidentally, for people using Lemmix, you can do that by Shift+Click (or Ctrl+Drag selection) to select all the correct terrain and objects (minus the rogue one not accessible in Lemmix), select "Cut".  Then press A to select everything (including the rogue entrance you otherwise cannot get to in Lemmix) and press delete, which will clear the level of everything including the rogue entrance.  Finally do "Paste" to restore all the non-rogue stuff.

For LemEdit users, that entrance is probably located at y=-3, and I'm guessing is selectable and working just like any normal entrances.  Don't know whether negative object y coordinates work or not in the actual DOS games.

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2010, 10:30:16 am »
Good job for working out a solution though. :o Maybe the low save percentage made it possible to get something working without too much trial and error?

Once I realised that ohnoers can actually get into the exit (I must have seen this happen before somehow, I doubt I'd have given this level a second look otherwise), it didn't take too long to get it to work. Especially once I recalled your trick for "Surprise Package?" :)

As for your level, technically it should have 2 minutes available (so it's actually solvable) but I'll let that pass. I wouldn't call it a backroute, just a clever way of milking as much time as possible, which was really the point of this challenge.

My level is attached, plus replay since it's a pain to execute.


Also:
(edit: remove tthhe entrance at y=65533 before viewing)

What happened there? Forum glitch? ???

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2010, 04:37:38 pm »
I'll have a go.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2010, 06:35:13 pm »
Heh, didn't think of using multiple bombers at once to make it go faster, nice catch.
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Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2010, 07:54:14 pm »
I'll have a go.

I'm almost certain this can be done in one minute using the nuke to speed things along, but it's going to take a little while to confirm. (Not that I mind, it's a fun challenge ;))

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2010, 10:42:57 pm »
I'll have a go.

I'm almost certain this can be done in one minute using the nuke to speed things along, but it's going to take a little while to confirm. (Not that I mind, it's a fun challenge ;))


OK, never mind that "fun" part (darn miners keep going through my blockers because of those darn grids >:(), but here it is.

Offline GigaLem

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2010, 02:50:20 am »
I was think you think i could make a level design game called
"Week of challenges" if that's ok with you

Offline Adam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2010, 10:06:13 am »
Please elaborate, Giga. If it's popular enough, I'll split it into a new topic. :)

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2010, 05:13:13 pm »
That replay doesn't seem to want to work on my lemmix.  :( (Please say if it wasn't supposed to be for lemmix)
What was the solution?
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2010, 08:02:49 pm »
Did you use Original Lemmings mode? I made the replay in Custom Lemmings mode, so you need to use that to view it.

Anyway, what I did was mine about halfway down, and then nuke to quickly get the lemmings to the exit (using a blocker to keep away one lemming that would otherwise explode right on top of the exit).

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2010, 08:59:18 pm »
After seeing the solution I improved on my original level. (Hope it's allowed) Now it's nuke-proofed.  :D
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2010, 09:22:07 pm »
It certainly is nuke-proofed :D. It's also practically the same as my level, which is always a good sign :P (in other words, it's good.)

Offline geoo

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2010, 05:56:14 pm »
As I don't see any active challenge in here right now, I'll take the opportunity to revive this thread with a new (possibly somewhat difficult) one:

Design a level that, while requiring a constant amount of Lemmings to be saved, can only be solved if the amount of Lemmings that get released from the trapdoor(s) is a certain number smaller than 40, and cannot be solved if the amount of Lemmings is lower or higher than that number.

E.g. your level requires 10 lemmings to be saved, and it can only be solved if the amount of Lemmings in the level is set to 30, but not if it set to 10, 29, 31, 80 or any other value that is not 30, while no other changes are made.

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2010, 09:21:05 am »
You do realise, if you set 100% to be saved, reducing the lemming count means the level is automatically unsolvable since you need over 100%? Though, even given that, the other half of the challenge isn't trivial, but here's what I came up with. (Timing is for Lemmix without pausing for time; obviously you can move the entrance and/or exit to suit whatever timing mechanics you use)

Offline geoo

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2010, 01:34:07 pm »
Yep, making use of the selection priority was one of the two ideas I had thought of for solving this challenge (one could hex-edit a replay, or create a 30 lemmings replay and play it on the level with more lemmings to get a cheat solution for the 30+ version, but I don't consider this a valid solution). You implemented it in a very simple and elegant manner though, as usual.
The second idea uses something different, see the attached level (being in favour of a consistent level/replay naming scheme, I ditched my old internal one and adapted to yours now) or try to find it yourself first, if you want.

I don't mind a level for this challenge requiring 100%, as it could trivially be adapted to require less anyway, and that adds just some not-so-interesting technical details. My focus was that having more lemmings can hurt you; yeah, I could have ditched that requirement that it shouldn't work for fewer lemmings altogether.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2010, 03:04:14 pm »
Fascinating. 8) I would've thought that some sort of nuking solution would be seen in at least one of the solutions presented.

I did realize that using traps would be one other way more lemmings can hurt, if nuking is not allowed, but hadn't worked out a good way myself to make that work.  Definitely did not expect the selection priority idea Clam had. :thumbsup:

Also really interesting that in both solutions, ultimately the time limit is necessary to block success with higher number of lemmings.  It is in particular slightly unsatisfying that neither levels can be made to work in both Lemmix and CustLemm/DosLemm without modifying the level for each particular mechanics.  I wonder if this will always be a necessary evil for this challenge?

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2010, 08:57:20 pm »
Now you mention it, there might be a way to use the nuke for this challenge. It might even be possible to avoid the dependence on the time limit this way... I'll try to build it and get back to you. EDIT: nope, it ain't happening without the time limit. :(

I can't think of a new challenge for the life of me, so (for the first time ever I think) I'll call open floor.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2010, 05:49:20 pm »
EDIT: nope, it ain't happening without the time limit. :(

Hmm interesting.  I would think that with nuking (plus other stuff) it should become possible, if not to fully address geoo's challenge, at least to prevent the kind of unwanted solutions that both you and geoo resorted to the time limit to prevent.  Might be something for a next challenge.

...but I'm lazy (ie. not motivated enough yet to do the work of making my own level related to above paragraph), and just plain suck at coming up with good challenges :(, so here's an easy one.  So easy that perhaps the more experienced players like geoo and Clam should hold off a day or so and give a chance for other people to try? :-\ :XD: Anyhow:

Design a level with following criteria:

1) 1 entrance, 1 exit
2) no miners and no diggers
3) 100% save percentage
4) in any solution to the level, each and every lemming is assigned blocker at least once

[edit: solved by Gronkling]

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #48 on: December 27, 2010, 09:15:37 pm »
Here's my attempt.  :) EDIT:... I didn't see the 100% rule.  :-[ level updated
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2010, 11:29:04 pm »
Good job! :thumbsup:

Technically you forgot to actually set the save percentage in your level to 100% (it still says to save 1 out of 2), and some objects fail the level checker in Lemmix.  However, those minor technicalities don't invalidate the level concept so I'll let those slide.

I've attached my version, which is basically a much uglier version of your level. :-\

[aside: the no miner no digger rule was added only to prevent certain obscure tricks allowing one to satisfy the challenge with just 1 lemming.  Perhaps I should've simply stipulate at least 2 lemmings to allow for greater variety of levels]

Anyway, it's your turn to come up with the next challenge.  Feel free to call open floor if you want, I think I might have another one to post, hopefully better than this one.

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2010, 12:35:34 am »
Hey, this challenge sounds like a level I tried (and failed :() to build one time. Except mine would require you to use more blockers than there are lemmings, but not necessarily blocking every lemming.


Technically you forgot to actually set the save percentage in your level to 100% (it still says to save 1 out of 2), and some objects fail the level checker in Lemmix.  However, those minor technicalities don't invalidate the level concept so I'll let those slide.

Now that I think about it, disallowing levels on technicalities does seem silly. When I first wrote up the rules, I was worried about objections from people who don't use Lemmix for whatever reason (since Lemmix handles "invalid" objects just fine), but that hasn't been an issue so far. I'll reconsider this.


Hmm interesting.  I would think that with nuking (plus other stuff) it should become possible, if not to fully address geoo's challenge, at least to prevent the kind of unwanted solutions that both you and geoo resorted to the time limit to prevent.  Might be something for a next challenge.

I may as well show you what I came up with for a nuke solution anyway (attached). The trouble here, which I didn't consider earlier, is that adding 1, 2 or 3 extra lemmings makes the level unsolvable, but by adding 4 or any multiple of 4, without enforcing the time limit, you can just ignore the first (multiples of) 4 lemmings and use the rest to solve the level as before. What seems to be needed is some mechanism that allows a fixed number of lemmings from a given entrance through, but kills the rest (or otherwise prevents them from ever reaching the exit). This has to work without the use of any skills, otherwise (as mentioned above) you can just delay assigning the skill(s) until the right number of lemmings has passed through. Besides the time limit though, I can't imagine any mechanism that achieves this.

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2010, 10:51:03 am »
Oops. I forgot to click of the box when I saved so it changed back again.  :XD:
I've attached the level with 100% if you can't be bothered to change it.  :P

I'll leave it open floor because I can't think of a challenge at all.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #52 on: December 29, 2010, 07:07:14 am »
Okay, here's my next challenge (and likely the last good one for now, since I currently don't have any new ideas past this one).

Design a level with the following criteria:

1) 4 entrances

2) initial RR 99

3) requires every lemming saved [note: this means solutions using nuke glitch doesn't count]

4) For each skill type, you are not given more than 20 of that type of skill.
(ie. you can't have 21 diggers, but you're welcome to give 3 of each skill type even though the total of 24 is greater than 20.  You can certainly give less than 20, including zero ie. no exploders for example.)

5) No one-way wall objects allowed.

6) If you remove any one or more of the entrances, the resulting level becomes unsolvable, even with the following additional changes to the level:
    a) initial RR lowered to 1
    b) total number of lemmings increased to 80
    c) you are only required to save 1 lemming
    d) for each skill type where you were originally given at least 1 of that skill, increase the count of that skill type to 99
    e) infinite time limit (basically, the level cannot become unsolvable merely due to a potential solution running out of time to complete)

For rule #6, note that you need to ensure unsolvability for all combinations of entrances to remove.  There are 4 ways to remove one entrance, 6 ways to remove two entrances, and 4 ways to remove three.  All 14 resulting levels [each with the additional changes outlined a) thru e)] all have to be unsolvable.  In summary, the removal of entrances is so detrimental to the level, that it's not possible for you to scrap together any solution even with all the added advantages outlined a) thru e).

[edit: no changes to rules, but added emphasis on rule 6c based on various attempts observed]

Note that Lemmix does not handle ordering of 3-entrance levels correctly.  The correct ordering should be A, B, C, B, A, B, C, B, ..., but Lemmix under most configruations do A, B, C, A, A, B, C, A instead.  For purpose of this challenge, we will use the ABCB ordering for 3-entrance levels, NOT Lemmix's wrong ordering.  You can achieve this in Lemmix by making a copy of the second entrance.  For example, if the original level's entrances are A, B, C and D in that order, and you want to examine the level with entrance B removed, you can get the correct ordering of A, C, D, C by selecting entrance C, do "copy", and do "paste" to add a duplicate entrance C object.

Hope the rules are clear, and good luck!  Post here if there are any remaining questions on the rules of this challenge.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #53 on: January 04, 2011, 11:18:23 pm »
bump

...just my luck, the one time I have a decent challenge for LDG, the thread went dry... :-\

Incidentally, if the thing about entrance ordering is confusing, I'm happy to modify the challenge so that you can pick whatever entrance ordering works for you, as long as you let me know which ordering it is.  The fact is, if you did this right, the thing about entrance ordering doesn't matter at all.

Two more hints:

Quote from: highlight to read
1) Be very selective about which skills to include.  After all, all non-zero skill counts get bump up to 99 after entrance removal.  If this means you end up with 99 of every type of skill, it's awfully hard to ensure there isn't any way to backroute a solution into the resulting "unsolvable" level.

2) Instead of starting with 4 entrances, see if you can do a similar challenge but starting with only 2 entrances.  If you can make that work, it's pretty easy to extend to 4.
 

Offline geoo

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #54 on: January 05, 2011, 01:57:53 pm »
Despite the lengthy description, it didn't turn out to be too hard after all. Below is my attempt (haven't read the hints yet).

If my level is valid, I might have a nice new challenge (assuming I manage to solve it myself).

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #55 on: January 05, 2011, 08:19:10 pm »
Despite the lengthy description, it didn't turn out to be too hard after all.

Yeah, I would say that's an accurate and expected assessment.  80% of the challenge is to really understand what the challenge is after, what is the core idea behind the conditions (or really, behind the one major condition for the challenge).

Unfortunately, while you are pretty close, your level does not pass the challenge, since it does not satisfy rule #6c:

6) If you remove any one or more of the entrances, the resulting level becomes unsolvable, even with the following additional changes to the level:
<snip>
    c) you are only required to save 1 lemming

In your current level, it's possible to save at least 1 lemming with certain entrances removed.

One other thing I haven't bothered to check is whether the level is backroute-able with a nuke solution; however, given that 99% of the time one can prevent that sort of solution by setting up a long walk to the exit, I'm going to let that sort of thing pass for this challenge, whenever it's obvious that nuke solutions can be eliminated with long walks (including your level).

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #56 on: January 06, 2011, 12:39:26 am »
Calling this ugly as hell would be a serious understatement, but I think it should work. The ugliness is mostly in attempts to stop possible backroutes. It is rather annoying that no sets have traps that work well for what I'm trying to do with them.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2011, 02:26:41 am »
Hmm interesting.  I would think that with nuking (plus other stuff) it should become possible, if not to fully address geoo's challenge, at least to prevent the kind of unwanted solutions that both you and geoo resorted to the time limit to prevent.  Might be something for a next challenge.

I may as well show you what I came up with for a nuke solution anyway (attached). The trouble here, which I didn't consider earlier, is that adding 1, 2 or 3 extra lemmings makes the level unsolvable, but by adding 4 or any multiple of 4, without enforcing the time limit, you can just ignore the first (multiples of) 4 lemmings and use the rest to solve the level as before. What seems to be needed is some mechanism that allows a fixed number of lemmings from a given entrance through, but kills the rest (or otherwise prevents them from ever reaching the exit). This has to work without the use of any skills, otherwise (as mentioned above) you can just delay assigning the skill(s) until the right number of lemmings has passed through. Besides the time limit though, I can't imagine any mechanism that achieves this.

I think I might have finally got a way to make your level work without the time limit.  Actually, I already have a general idea in mind for addressing the issue you noted, before even seeing your level.  But it was quite hard to apply the idea to your particular level, and I'm still not 100% sure my particular application works correctly without backroutes.

Quote from: general idea
I try to set things up so that if you don't assign a skill to the first lemming out, the resulting "ignored" lemmings end up present in places that will ruin the nuke solution.  The key is that the ignored lemmings may still explode, and thus cause things to happen that would kill the unwanted solution(s).

Quote from: applying to your level
I raised the initial platform where the blocker was to be set, and I added a zap trap a little above the exit trigger.  The idea is to take advantage of the glitch where blockers can cancel various trigger areas, and in certain cases even help "transport" them elsewhere.  In the intended solution, the blocker cancels both the zap trap's and the exit's trigger areas, but the blocker will explode in time to restore the exit trigger area for the lemming to save--but only after the lemming has gotten past the canceled zap-trap trigger.

If you decide to skip the initial 4 lemmings, the 1st lemming from the left entrance ends up in that "waiting area" just a little below where you need to set the blocker.  It's too low for you to set the blocker in that place instead, but it's high enough that if you have any lemmings there, their explosion will free the blocker set in the intended position.  I haven't tested it for various number of lemmings, but the intention is that either the blocker is freed before he "oh-no", in which case you end up with the zap trap restored, or he is freed after he "oh-no", in which case both the zap trap and the exit trigger will fall to lower elevation, rendering the exit unreachable (and possibly also causing zap trap restored).  I have to admit I haven't tested this thoroughly yet.

I've attached the modified version of your level, where time limit is raised to 2 and number of lemmings to 13, and various terrain and objects added, in accordance to the application of my idea for killing unwanted non-9-lemming solutions.  In lieu of moving the "marker" for when to nuke, I simply attached a replay specifically for the 13-lemming case ignoring first 4.  You will note that the replay fails to save the lemming, due to some events happening near the end.  Then simply move the terrain involved in interfering with the solution (hopefully it should be obvious what terrain to move, especially if you read the "appying to your level" spoiler), and the same replay should then actually result in a lemming saved.  Together, it shows that the unwanted 13-lemming solution is successfully killed.  You can test the level with other number of lemmings similarly.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #58 on: January 06, 2011, 02:36:05 am »
Calling this ugly as hell would be a serious understatement, but I think it should work. The ugliness is mostly in attempts to stop possible backroutes. It is rather annoying that no sets have traps that work well for what I'm trying to do with them.

Your level suffers from the same problem as geoo's.  Rule 6c says that the level has to be unsolvable after entrance removal even when the save requirement is relaxed to 1 out of 80 (instead of saving 100% as the original level is required).

Offline geoo

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2011, 11:42:34 am »
Interesting idea making use of so many game specific mechanics to get a time-limit independent solution for my old challenge! :thumbsup:

Unfortunately, while you are pretty close, your level does not pass the challenge, since it does not satisfy rule #6c:
That was a pretty bad oversight, already on a conceptional level: merely a cyclic dependency isn't sufficient, a (pairwise) mutual dependency is needed...
Recycling the ideas from the previous level, here's my next attempt:

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #60 on: January 06, 2011, 03:46:43 pm »
Hmm interesting.  I would think that with nuking (plus other stuff) it should become possible, if not to fully address geoo's challenge, at least to prevent the kind of unwanted solutions that both you and geoo resorted to the time limit to prevent.  Might be something for a next challenge.

I may as well show you what I came up with for a nuke solution anyway (attached). The trouble here, which I didn't consider earlier, is that adding 1, 2 or 3 extra lemmings makes the level unsolvable, but by adding 4 or any multiple of 4, without enforcing the time limit, you can just ignore the first (multiples of) 4 lemmings and use the rest to solve the level as before. What seems to be needed is some mechanism that allows a fixed number of lemmings from a given entrance through, but kills the rest (or otherwise prevents them from ever reaching the exit). This has to work without the use of any skills, otherwise (as mentioned above) you can just delay assigning the skill(s) until the right number of lemmings has passed through. Besides the time limit though, I can't imagine any mechanism that achieves this.

I think I might have finally got a way to make your level work without the time limit.

Turns out it needs some further work.  My changes introduced some new possibilities which hasn't been addressed, and also affected the method Clam used to eliminate solutions, solutions where you simply alter the timing of nuking while still using 1st lemming out as blocker.  Also, it looks like I had a mistake with the positioning of the blocker, which actually only cancels the zap trigger, without also canceling the exit trigger as intended.  Once I've fixed these problems, I'll post an updated version of the level.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #61 on: January 06, 2011, 03:51:54 pm »
Recycling the ideas from the previous level, here's my next attempt

Nice work! :thumbsup: You got it this time.  I've attached my level.  now adopting a variant of Clam's naming scheme, but keeping the use of old-school 8.3 filenames (as I've typically been doing) for benefit of DOS-only users lacking long filename support

You may present your next challenge if you have one ready.

Offline geoo

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #62 on: January 06, 2011, 06:23:36 pm »
Ok, then here's my new challenge, which I finally got to work at the compromise of restricting the amount of lemmings to at most 40 (more than that would have become ugly with my solution):

Design a level that requires 100% to be saved with the following criterion:
For any lemming amount between 1 and 40, the level is only solvable if the lemming amount is an even number. (The save requirement is always 100%, and nothing else, including the skill count, may be altered.)

Bonus: Use fewer than 20 terrain pieces (thought behind this is that you don't set up some constuct for every pair of lemmings).

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2011, 01:07:32 am »
That was indeed quite tough, but I think I managed to create a level that not only satisfies your challenge, it satisfies the bonus condition and should even work for more than 40 lemmings.  The downside is that it may be the strangest looking level ever :o ;P :-\, and needed a detailed understanding of Lemmings game mechanics to set up.

I've attached some replays (using CustLemm mechanics, though the level works fine in DosLemm mechanics too), but a detailed explanation is probably required.  See below:

Quote from: spoiler
The left and right halves of the level are identical, the reason for the duplication is to maximize the spacing between lemmings from one entrance, without having to set the initial RR lower than 99.

The main idea is that an upper entrance lemming requires the help of a corresponding lower entrance lemming to successfully exit.  Moreover, each upper-entrance lemming will need to execute a very particular, precise move in order to exit, but the very same move will undo the work done by the lower entrance lemming, thus requiring the same moves to be repeated for each pair of lemmings.  I will also attempt to prove later that all possible deviations from the intended solution will result in at least 1 lemming not saved.

The "(2 lem)" replay shows the basic moves in action (best viewed with just 2 lemmings).  Before we start, first note a subtle part of the terrain, circled in the included screenshot.  That "red dot" is real terrain, a lone terrain pixel on the otherwise flat surface of the steel blocks.  The basic moves involves the lower lemming bashing to remove the red dot, then walking to where the red dot was, and start building.  The build brick will be ready just in the nick of time (and extend just barely far enough) for the upper lemming to land.  The upper lemming then immediately dig.  Doing so allows him to exit immediately (ie. as soon as the frame update occurs after the digger assignment).  Without landing and digging, the upper lemming will simply fall through the exit trigger, since fallers cannot exit.  The builder will also hit the exit trigger as soon as he walks up the first build brick laid.

Notice from the replay that after the 3 moves are executed, the terrain ends up exactly the same as the initial terrain:  one pixel of the build brick remains at where the red dot used to be, the rest are removed by the digging of the upper lemming.  Thus, you need to repeat the same moves for each pair of lemmings.

Now to examine how the various deviations from the intended moves will lead to failure:

A) For the upper entrance, before the fall, steel and/or one-way walls are set up to not even allow you to assign diggers and bashers.  You can assign builders, but without the ability to assign diggers and bashers, once assigned, the builder has no choice but to move up the build brick laid, at which point he is immediately killed by the water, giving you no chance to do anything to prevent that.  The build brick that remains (which can't be removed by other lemmings due to inability to dig and bash) would also cause other lemmings to be killed by water when they walked up onto the brick.

Thus the lemmings from upper entrance have not choice but to simply walk and fall.

B) If the lower lemming do not set up a landing place for the upper lemming, the upper lemming will simply fall through the exit trigger.  Attempt to use nuke will not help in that regard, since fallers do not "oh-no", and no methods exist for an upper lemming to perform a skill while standing in mid-air (before the falling and landing).

C) After an upper lemming lands:
  i) if he doesn't immediately perform a skill, he immediately walks off the build brick and falls, missing the opportunity to exit.
 ii) Steel are set up to prevent assignment of bashers at that position
iii) You can assign him builder instead.  However, as soon as he steps up onto the build brick, he will trigger the trap object nearby the exit, resulting in at least 1 lemming killed no matter what you try.  This happens 16 frames after you assign him builder, and it so happens that the next upper lemming will land at that same time, so either you have the builder dig before he steps up, thus denying a landing place for the other upper lemming (ie. no different from if you simply dig without first build). Or, you assign some skill to the other upper lemming when he lands, which then results in death of the builder to the trap.  Replay "(kill by trap)" illustrates this happening, where I assign skill to the next upper lemming only to lose the builder at the very same frame.
 iv) So you must assign him digger as intended, and as soon as you assign digger, during the frame update he is imediately lowered and triggers the exit, denying you opportunity to assign further skills to him.
  v) I'll defer nuking to a later section......

D) For the lower entrance, similarly to the upper entrance, digger is not assignable anywhere during the walk, nor is bashing assignable in most places, and assignment of builder causes either death or exiting to the builder, interrupting your ability to create the required landing place.  Unlike the upper entrance however, there is a small section where you are able to bash (for removing the red dot), so you can certainly waste time there by having a lemming build and bash repeatedly.  However, wasting time simply denies you the ability to set up a landing place in time for the upper lemming.  (You can test this by shifting the terrain for the upper lemmings to the left by 1 pixel, so they land one frame sooner.  You'll find that they are unable to land.)

Since the landing place is needed and requires at least one builder, and you only barely have time for the basher, the only remaining deviation is to not bash.  But not bashing is a problem, because the "red dot" will still be there, and as soon as a lemming steps up on the red dot, the lemming will start exiting, denying you opportunity to assign skills to him.  The builder creating the landing place cannot clear the red dot because at his position, he can neither dig nor bash.  Upper lemmings cannot bash when they land, and their digging do not reach far enough to take out the red dot.  And the next lower lemming behind you is too far behind to be able to bash away the red dot.

Thus you have no choice but to stick to the script of bashing away the red dot, and then building at the very edge of the platform.

E) To set up the landing place for the upper lemmings, you must build at the very edge, at where the red dot is (after it is removed).  Otherwise the build brick do not protrude far enough.  You can only lay one build brick since as soon as someone (either the builder or some other lemming) steps up onto the brick, he either exits or is killed by water--either way, no further walking nor skill assignments possible to that lemming.  If you try to step up onto the red dot (without first removing it) and then build, same thing happens: you exit as soon as you step up onto the red dot, denying you opportunity to assign further skills.

So once again, no deviation from bashing away the red dot and then building at the very edge.

F) Nuke glitch doesn't help, since with 100% save percentage, use of nuke glitch simply reduces to doing the challenge with a smaller number of lemmings out.  As for use of nuking itself, since no lemmings can explode due to 100% save requirement, the only way the nuke glitch can help is to take advantage of someone "oh-no". Keep in mind also that drowning and falling lemmings explode directly without going through "oh-no".

Lower entrance lemmings are not help by becoming "oh-no", since they cannot reach any positions where they can fall directly onto an exit trigger, and as "oh-no" cannot walk or be assigned skills, an "oh-no" lemming would then be destined to explode and die.

A similar story exists for upper entrance lemmings, except once they land onto the landing place, they could theoretically fall as an "oh-no" directly onto the exit trigger.  Thus we should revisit C) in the presence of possible oh-no-ing.

Fortunately, it turns out the path from upper entrance to landing place is so short, that even if you nuke as soon as a new lemming emerges from an upper entrance (and remember, no more lemmings come out once you nuke!), his countdown is only at around 3 when he lands:
  i) walking immediately causes lemming to fall off the build brick.  Falling lemmings cannot oh-no.
 ii) Steel are set up to prevent assignment of bashers at that position.
iii) Assignment of builder is not sufficient delay to reach "oh-no".  After 16 frames, the builder would step up onto the build brick and gets killed by the trap (or some other lemming gets killed by the trap), but at countdown of 3, you will not reach "oh-no" within 15 frames, not even close.  This leaves you with the choice to assign digger before he steps up onto the build brick, which has the same effect as iv).
 iv) Assignment of digger to the lemming would immediately trigger exiting.  This cuts off further opportunities for delay and skill assignments, not to mention destroying the landing place.  Bottom line, no opportunities created for "oh-no".

Thus, having examined hopefully all possible deviations, I believe I've proved that none result in a backroute capable of saving 100%, leaving only the intended solution as desired.  I do agree though that the reasoning is somewhat complex, so feel free to scrutinize and disprove!

Finally, view the attached "(20 lem)" replay (at next post, to get around limit on number of attachments per post) to see the solution in action for the case of 20 lemmings.

I call open floor for next challenge, assuming my level is satisfactory.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2011, 01:08:39 am »
I've attached a replay for the level above, for the case of 20 lemmings.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2011, 04:24:34 am »
Unfortunately, having read through my lengthy reasoning above one more time, it just dawns on me that there's an unfortunate loophole that technically would render my level a failure for the challenge, in an utterly silly way :(:

Quote from: spoilers
As noted in my explanations, use of nuke glitch reduces the level to basically a smaller number of lemmings.  Unfortunately, this means you can always solve the level, regardless of number of lemmings odd or even, by nuking right after 2 lemmings have come out.  There is enough time for you to solve the 2-lemming version before either lemming explodes or even oh-nos, thus the use of nuke glitch will allow you to "solve" the level for any number of lemmings greater than one.

Unfortunately, while typically these kinds of solutions can be prevented by lengthening the walking distance, in my particular level this is not obviously possible, but only due to the limitations the level file format imposes.  Namely, only a maximum of 16 working objects are supported.  This prevents me from adding additional water and similar other objects for lengthening the walkways for each entrance while keeping their properties the same as in current design.  Moreover, even if it were possible to lengthen the walking distance, doing so means nuking now can actually result in some lemmings reaching the "oh-no" state, which means I'd need to do more work to prove that we can't take advantage of "oh-no" lemmings to backroute the level for odd number of lemmings.

I'll leave it to geoo to decide what to do about this.  I suppose in some ways it doesn't matter too much, since I'm calling open floor anyway even if my level counts (thus it doesn't affect the next challenge).  Even if it is decided that my level fails the challenge, it is still very very close to meeting it.

In the meanwhile, I'll see if I can come up with a totally different design to geoo's challenge, though I must admit I'm feeling slightly de-motivated at this point.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2011, 05:09:05 am »
On second thought, there might still be a chance to salvage my level and kill the nuke glitch solutions.  I think I can lengthen the walkways without making them exactly the same as the current setup.  If I succeed I'll post an update.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2011, 08:25:13 am »
Here's my attempt to nuke-glitch-proof my original level.  A relatively simple level now turns into something a little uglier.  Following geoo's suite, I now abandon the idea of under 20 terrain pieces and only have the level worked for up to 40 lemmings, as the more lemmings to handle, the more crap I have to add to the level related to preventing the use of nuke glitch.  However, the level's main concept is same as before--it's not 20 copies of some construct for each 20 pair of lemmings.

I'm not quite as confident about backroute prevention in this version.  In fact, I'm tired and will simply shift the burden of (dis)proof to geoo and others--if you think the level can be backrouted to be solvable for some odd number of lemmings, show me!

Below's a brief summary of the change:

Quote from: spoiler
In lengthening the walkways to prevent nuke-glitch solutions, I simplified how the walkway restricts unwanted skill assignments.  Instead of using water to kill builders, now it's simply a very narrow walkway, where the builder will get stuck after a single build brick.  I also use huge swaths of steel areas to prevent bashing and digging in most places.  With only 40 builders now, at least for the upper walkways, you don't have enough skills to free a stuck builder.  Thus I'm reasonably confident that for the upper entrances at least, you still have no choice but to walk and fall.

The lower entrances are similar but slightly complicated by the need for bashing in one small area.   I did wind up using water and one-way-walls near the area where bashing is possible.  Even forgeting that part, you still do have enough skills to theoretically bring a lower lemming into the upper area, though I'm not convinced that would help out much.

Anyway, this is the point when I started giving up trying to logically prove that my level is backroute free. :-\

Offline geoo

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2011, 12:44:46 pm »
I'm perfectly fine with your first level, with the nuke percentage glitch it's always a borderline case how many lemmings you consider having saved. Perhaps I should have written 'save all' instead of '100% required' in my problem statement.
For your second version, I managed to save the group of three in a level with 5 lemmings, however my solution fails on the other side with only two lemmings, as the nuke pulls one unfortunate exiter back out of the exit, thus saving only one lemming on this side. Replay attached. With your naming scheme, how do you intend to attribute a replay to its author? Adapted to it anyway, as I like the compact and monospaced pattern.
In any case, it's not a conceptual flaw to the level, and I really like your minimalistic implementation of it.
I didn't go for the neat way of having each pair of lemmings leave behind the same situation they encountered when they came, which in the end limits my solution to at most 40 lemmings, as the timing didn't work out for extending the idea to an arbitrary amount of lemmings. 19 terrain pieces used. :P
Level and replay are attached, short sketch of the idea:
Quote
Lemmings from the left entrance will have to build immediately, as if they don't build, they'll fall to their death, or if the build later, the gap to the wall at the right will be closed, thus blocking the way.
The lemmings from the right group iteratively soften the fall so that it is barely below the max fsafe fall distance. A lemming cannot decrease the fall height by more than 1 pixel due to the timing and the trap setup.
At the end the bridge stack from the left will have the height N = amount of lemmings from the left, and the stack at the right will have (at least at the relevant point in time) the max height M = amount of lemmings from the right. If M = N (even amount of lemmings), the fall is exactly the max safe fall distance, if M < N (odd amount of lemmings), the fall is higher.

Ok, so it's open floor now!

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #69 on: January 13, 2011, 10:19:47 am »
I was working on an interesting challenge idea, but it might take a while for me to get that working. :-\  In the meanwhile, here's a more manageable challenge, not hard but hopefully not trivial either.  (Think somewhere along the lines of my first challenge on this thread, maybe slightly harder this time.)

Design a level that satisfies the following criteria:

1) one entrance and one exit.
2) no steel
3) at least 10 lemmings
4) The number of diggers given is exactly 1.  No restrictions on other skills except to comply with the other criteria.
5) In all valid solutions to the level, the following must happen:
    i) all but 1 lemming is assigned blocker at some point in the solution
    ii) the remaining lemming is eventually assigned digger, which must be the last skill assignment in the solution
    iii) every blocker remains a blocker until freed by the digger
    iv) everyone (including the digger) makes it to the exit

To clarify on criteria #5:

a) Since the criteria must apply to all valid solutions, be on the lookout for backroutes.  This includes solutions involving nuking and blocker glitches, as well as any normal solutions using less skills than intended.  Also watch out for solutions that may be similar to your intended solution, but has certain skill assignments performed after the digger is assigned instead of before.

b) You may intersperse other skill assignments however you like, as long as all skill assignments happen before the final digger assignment.

c) no restrictions on non-skill-assignment actions like nuking and release rate changes (ie. doing them after the final digger assignment is also allowed).

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #70 on: January 14, 2011, 02:45:31 am »
I think this works.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #71 on: January 14, 2011, 09:53:47 am »
You've stumped me as to how to solve your level. :XD:  Can you double-check your level, and attach either a Lemmix replay or an English description of the solution?

Also, the level in its current form violates criteria #2, which says no steel.

[edit: it also fails criteria #1, which says 1 entrance only; your level has 2]

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #72 on: January 14, 2011, 10:46:45 am »
Okay, now that I noticed the two problems with your level, it finally occurs to me that you probably added the steel and the second entrance for testing but forgot to take them out.  I believe the level you actually intended has all the steel, and the entrance on the right half of the level, removed.

That is much closer to meeting the challenge criteria (and furthermore, is solvable ;P).  However, it doesn't quite meet criteria #5, because it's possible to assign the floaters after instead of before assigning the digger.  Criteria #5 implies that any potential solutions where the digger is not the final skill assignment must fail to solve the level (ie. unable to meet the level's minimum save percentage).

It's too bad though, I quite like your level, and I could've easily had formulated the challenge in a different way that would've allowed and even encouraged the direction you are going with your level.  Yours is not just a level made for the sake of the challenge game, but actually a decent level to be solved, one that can belong in someone's levelset. :thumbsup:

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #73 on: January 14, 2011, 08:25:48 pm »
Oh wow, you're right, I completely forgot to take those out. I really need to check things before I post them... The steel was a temporary fix for a backroute that I think I solved with the gap in the floor.

It's too bad that the game doesn't allow making a lemming a builder if it overlaps with another builder. That's why I had to add the floaters.

I might try to clean that level up for a levelpack. Seems like it'd be a bit hard to not make the solution obvious, though, and I don't really like levels where the challenge is all in the execution. Especially since I can't even solve that level perfectly. :P

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #74 on: January 15, 2011, 12:58:27 am »
It's too bad that the game doesn't allow making a lemming a builder if it overlaps with another builder. That's why I had to add the floaters.

Not sure why you think that. ??? There are at least 2 ways the game allows this to happen:

1) The game automatically tries the skill assignment on a walker (more or less) if it is also highlighting a lemming already performing a skill, but that lemming cannot take on the new skill assignment.  In particular, if you have a walker overlapping with a builder, you will be able to assign the walker builder.

2) You can also explicitly ask the game to perform the skill assignment on a walker (more or less), in place of a lemming currently performing a skill (as per usual prioritization), by holding down the right mouse button while clicking with the left.  For example, say you have a walker overlapping with a digger, and you are trying to assign builder.  The game would normally assign the builder to the digger, but if you hold down the right mouse button, have the cursor highlight both lemmings, and click with the left button, the game will instead pick the walker to be assigned builder.

Moreover, unless the 2 lemmings are truly in the exact same position, you can usually carefully position the mouse cursor to only highlight one or the other.

Anyway, all the above should work in Lemmix and the various DOS Lemmings.  I don't know about Lemmini, but you shouldn't be using that for this challenge game anyway since it's based on the DOS game mechanics and not Lemmini's.

So perhaps it is possible after all to modify your level to work with my challenge?

-------------------------

I might try to clean that level up for a levelpack. Seems like it'd be a bit hard to not make the solution obvious, though

True to a point.  The reason I brought up that point is because this challenge is inspired by a somewhat notorious series of levels made by namida with the keyword "Oblivion" in the level names.  It is similar to the concept behind this challenge game, except in namida's versions, it works horizontally instead of vertically.  In both cases, it's fair to argue that given the unavoidably uneven skill distribution, it probably won't take too long for the player to realize what must be done.  On the other hand, it might still at least present some initial difficulties for very casual Lemmings players, who are more used to using one or two blockers to block off the rest of the crowd, instead of using nearly 1 blocker for every lemming.  (And to be fair to namida, in his versions at least it is more plausible for the player to attempt solutions that do not use so many blockers, so it's slightly less obvious what must be done.)

And my main point is that your level is more of a "real levelpack" kind of level than mine, which is even more stripped down, to the point where it would really seem a little silly (or at least more silly) to be included in an actual levelpack.

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2011, 03:09:49 am »
Not sure why you think that. ???
How did that happen? ??? I meant blocker.

Try it with the attached level: make the first lemming out a blocker and let the second walk underneath it, then try to make it a blocker also. I can't get it to work in either Lemmix or Custlemm when the walker is under the blocker until it gets to the platform marked with the arrow, even though the thing at the bottom left says the cursor is pointing to the walker. It doesn't even work if I hold down the right mouse button while clicking.

A bit of experimentation gives 9 pixels as the minimum distance (move the platform above the arrow down a pixel and it should work), and splat height is 64 pixels. 64/9 is a bit over 7, so unless there's a way around the blocker thing, my solution works for a maximum of 7 lemmings. The minimum for the challenge is 10, so that won't work.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2011, 03:46:57 am »
Yeah, overlapping blockers are not supported in Lemmix/DOS lemmings, it's a limitation of how the game works.  The game will not allow you to assign blocker to a lemming if the resulting field of influence would cause an overlap with an existing blocker's field of influence.

But that's not to say your level has to be totally abandoned because of this.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I see a very easy way to deal with the current problem with your level...... ;)

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #77 on: January 16, 2011, 06:38:03 am »
This is the only way I saw to fix it, but I think it works.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #78 on: January 16, 2011, 02:51:41 pm »
Yep, that works. :thumbsup: It mirrors my approach in avoiding floaters.

The other idea I had with making your original level work, is to move the entrance elsewhere, and add terrain to lead the lemmings to the section where you start setting blockers.  Then set it up so that there's a huge drop at the entrance, forcing you to assign floater to every lemming before they get to the section with the blockers.

I've attached my level, which happens to go in the opposite direction, with the blockers being assigned from bottom to top instead of top to bottom.

It's your turn now to either set a new challenge or to call open floor.

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #79 on: January 16, 2011, 07:28:50 pm »
Heh, I almost did that, but I ended up trying to add another element at the same time that turned out to be too complicated to be worth implementing.

Open floor.

Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #80 on: February 21, 2011, 08:35:01 pm »
Heh, I almost did that, but I ended up trying to add another element at the same time that turned out to be too complicated to be worth implementing.

Open floor.
thought i might find you on here... :P

Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #81 on: February 22, 2011, 05:25:03 pm »
Since it's open floor, how about this? (I hope it's not already been done... it's probably crap anyway)

Make a level where you have 1 of each type of skill - each must be used in reverse order, so starting with digger and ending with the climber as the last skill.

I've made a level myself but I'm not sure it's quite adequate, as I'm fairly certain you can backroute it and I think you can put climber and floater in the wrong order. But I'm tweaking it and I want to see what you can come up with more than necessarily having it completely foolproof.

The only other restriction I'm putting is that you should have to save at least 50% and have at least 10 lemmings - you will have to lose at least one with the bomber anyway. And I at least won't be making a level that relies on glitches. If you want to that's fine... i guess...

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #82 on: April 21, 2011, 10:21:19 pm »
I can't really see how to make this work with floaters but I managed to make it so you have to assign a floater before a climber.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #83 on: April 22, 2011, 02:51:41 am »
Hmm, totally forgot about this, I think I was too absorbed with Clones at the time (still is to lesser extent).

Gronkling made some good progress on the challenge :thumbsup:, and now I think I have an idea on how to enforce bomber before floater.  Too lazy to implement it, but below is a rough description:

Quote from: spoiler
In Gronkling's level, you block to divert everyone in the crowd (minus the basher who's separated from the crowd long ago) into the area immediately above the exit, where someone in the crowd simply explodes.

Now imagine that it's not possible for the crowd themselves to explode to get to the exit, that instead you need to isolate yet another lemming to do the explosion.  For example, you can have 2 horizontal platforms spaced such that to break through both with one explosion, you can only do it by exploding from the bottom platform, not the top one.  This works due to the shape of the explosion crater.

So instead of blocking to divert everyone in the crowd, you let one through while blocking the rest.  The crowd ends up at the higher of the 2 horizontal platforms, so they can't explode themselves to reach the exit.  Instead, that isolated lemming will have the path to the place where the explosion works, but only after he floats through an otherwise fatally high drop.  Meanwhile, the rest of the crowd not only need the explosion from the isolated lemming, but needs it quick or else they start getting killed by a trap.  And the only way for the explosion to happen soon enough is if you assign the floater at the last few frames of the drop (so the lemming survives w/o any actual slowdowns from the floating), and have the exploder be assigned before the floater so that the countdown reaches 0 soon after the lemming landed.

Finally, the long-separated basher will simply have a path that doesn't need floating, but does include a very long walk that leads to death if you try to assign the final climber any time before near the end of the path, by which time everyone else is already done with their skills.

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #84 on: April 22, 2011, 10:48:08 am »
I thought of another way as well. It's certainly not as elegant as ccexplore's solution but it at least it works. (Hopefully)
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
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Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #85 on: April 25, 2011, 09:09:15 pm »
Haven't yet fired up the game to try it, but how is one supposed to get past this (attached)? It's worth noting that your first version only had the smaller steel areas at the bottom and none at the top where the steel actually is. And your water areas are outside their containers by several pixels. This is where lemmix starts to look bad in my eyes for not enforcing these constraints. Also, the start screen is at x=0 rather than wherever the level actually is...

Edit: also attaching my own level, which kinda sucks really. I haven't been able to force it so that the bomber comes before the floater, or indeed after the blocker, come to think of it. In fact, I'm not sure you even need the floater. So, y'know, feel free to rip it to shreds. ;P

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #86 on: April 25, 2011, 09:42:22 pm »
How strange... I didn't even have any smaller steel peices in my level. The picture attached is the level with steel areas and trigger areas shown.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
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Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #87 on: April 25, 2011, 09:45:45 pm »
Hmm, yeah the water is off for me. Lemedit corrects it automatically to 8 pixel offsets or something and the game itself bugs out if they're not on these offsets.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #88 on: April 25, 2011, 10:02:11 pm »
And your water areas are outside their containers by several pixels. This is where lemmix starts to look bad in my eyes for not enforcing these constraints.

I guess it depends on whether you primarily use Lemmix or CustLemm to actually play the levels, since it's only CustLemm that is incapable of rendering objects at non-multiples-of-8 x positions (though it's still not the best idea even in Lemmix, since the trigger areas are still aligned).  Lemmix does have a "Validate Level" command in the tools menu that will catch these sorts of problems, but it's not enforced in the sense of not allowing you to save the level or similar.

-------------

In any event, there is a minor flaw anyway in Gronkling's level that allows the bomber to be assigned before the blocker.

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #89 on: April 25, 2011, 10:18:08 pm »
Removed the backroute and I found two small bits of steel right at the bottom of the level so I removed those as well.  I'll try and get the level valid soon.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
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Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #90 on: April 26, 2011, 08:49:45 am »
And your water areas are outside their containers by several pixels. This is where lemmix starts to look bad in my eyes for not enforcing these constraints.

I guess it depends on whether you primarily use Lemmix or CustLemm to actually play the levels, since it's only CustLemm that is incapable of rendering objects at non-multiples-of-8 x positions (though it's still not the best idea even in Lemmix, since the trigger areas are still aligned).  Lemmix does have a "Validate Level" command in the tools menu that will catch these sorts of problems, but it's not enforced in the sense of not allowing you to save the level or similar.


This is why I put in a rule about passing the level-validating test. I know it doesn't really fit the spirit of the challenge to say "you failed because the x-position isn't a multiple of 8", since most of us use Lemmix (where it doesn't matter), but considering there are still CustLemm users participating (and especially when a CustLemm user sets the challenge), it's common courtesy to make your level actually work in CustLemm. And besides that, it's good practice anyway ;).

Although, to be fair to Gronkling, it wasn't made clear initially that finlay uses Custlemm only. Something to keep in mind :)

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #91 on: April 26, 2011, 03:54:19 pm »
Well it's valid anyway now.  :D
I'll make sure it is in later challenges.
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Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #92 on: April 26, 2011, 06:06:21 pm »
And your water areas are outside their containers by several pixels. This is where lemmix starts to look bad in my eyes for not enforcing these constraints.

I guess it depends on whether you primarily use Lemmix or CustLemm to actually play the levels, since it's only CustLemm that is incapable of rendering objects at non-multiples-of-8 x positions (though it's still not the best idea even in Lemmix, since the trigger areas are still aligned).  Lemmix does have a "Validate Level" command in the tools menu that will catch these sorts of problems, but it's not enforced in the sense of not allowing you to save the level or similar.


This is why I put in a rule about passing the level-validating test. I know it doesn't really fit the spirit of the challenge to say "you failed because the x-position isn't a multiple of 8", since most of us use Lemmix (where it doesn't matter), but considering there are still CustLemm users participating (and especially when a CustLemm user sets the challenge), it's common courtesy to make your level actually work in CustLemm. And besides that, it's good practice anyway ;).

Although, to be fair to Gronkling, it wasn't made clear initially that finlay uses Custlemm only. Something to keep in mind :)
I didn't say he'd failed, i just said that it was all a bit off on my end. Besides, he did a lot better of a job than me.... although I wasn't able to get the climber to the right hand entrance on time. Anyway, although the level works, for some reason custlemm is still conspiring to hate me. I can't even explain this one.  :o

Next time i'm on a windows computer i'll have to download lemmix and see what i'm missing :P

By the way, on the subject of custlemm, I have a nocdlem.exe and nocdlem2.exe; is nocdlem2 something to do with the safe-fall height?

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #93 on: April 26, 2011, 07:52:51 pm »
I found yet another backroute so I have updated the level AGAIN.   :P
Also I made the release rate easier to work with so it's not as frustrating.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #94 on: April 26, 2011, 09:28:37 pm »
By the way, on the subject of custlemm, I have a nocdlem.exe and nocdlem2.exe; is nocdlem2 something to do with the safe-fall height?

Correct.  CustLemm traditionally has a slightly higher safe-fall height that, for example, renders "We All Fall Down" possible with no skills.  nocdlem.exe retains that slightly higher safe-fall height, while nocdlem2.exe reverts to the original game's safe-fall height where the diggers are required for "We All Fall Down".

Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #95 on: April 27, 2011, 03:04:05 pm »
By the way, on the subject of custlemm, I have a nocdlem.exe and nocdlem2.exe; is nocdlem2 something to do with the safe-fall height?

Correct.  CustLemm traditionally has a slightly higher safe-fall height that, for example, renders "We All Fall Down" possible with no skills.
who on earth thought that would be a good idea? :-\

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #96 on: April 29, 2011, 09:10:58 am »
By the way, on the subject of custlemm, I have a nocdlem.exe and nocdlem2.exe; is nocdlem2 something to do with the safe-fall height?

Correct.  CustLemm traditionally has a slightly higher safe-fall height that, for example, renders "We All Fall Down" possible with no skills.
who on earth thought that would be a good idea? :-\
My guess is that it's just following what WinLemm does. Or was there also a DOS version with that bug?

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #97 on: April 30, 2011, 02:32:41 am »
Didn't realize winlemm has that bug also.

I don't think it was explicitly hacked to have the higher safe-fall distance.  CustLemm was apparently based on some version of DOS Lemmings that came with a CD for the music.  I was never able to track down exactly the source of this version of the game, but the bug is probably in that version as well.

I also vaguely remember (could be bad memory) rumors that one of the beta/preview versions of ONML (or maybe it is beta of Lemmings itself?) has the same slightly higher fall distance, though in the final version of the game it wounds up with same fall distance as original PC Lemmings.  Not sure if that has any relation to the slightly higher fall distances found in the mystery version of Lemmings that CustLemm was based off of.

As further information, there are other minor bugs in original PC Lemmings (eg. ABBA entrance ordering for 2 entrances) that were fixed in ONML, and it's well known that they are several "special/promotional" versions of PC Lemmings (eg. COVOX, etc.).  So it's quite possible that one of the promotional versions were created at a point where they fixed for example the ABBA problem, but introduced (bug or otherwise) a higher fall distance, and if CustLemm is based off of that promotion version, then it would end up with the same fixes and new bugs.  Just complete speculation of course.

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #98 on: May 05, 2011, 04:03:36 am »
Didn't realize winlemm has that bug also.

I don't think it was explicitly hacked to have the higher safe-fall distance.  CustLemm was apparently based on some version of DOS Lemmings that came with a CD for the music.  I was never able to track down exactly the source of this version of the game, but the bug is probably in that version as well.
Now that I think of it, that might have been what I had. I'm not quite sure which version I originally played on, but it had the higher fall distance, and I know I used to have a Lemmings CD lying around with the game music on it. (I have a vague memory of something called Lemm95, but that might've been one of the things that my father grabbed off some sketchy FTP site or BBS or whatever back in the day; that's also how I ended up with Lemmings Paintball, Covox, and most of the holiday levels, although I lost Paintball.) I'll check once I'm home from college, and I'll also see if I can find the CD of the mystery version.

...Actually, I'm pretty sure I had a Windows version with a level select menu, so I could skip levels. Does Winlemm have that?

A quick google turns up this, though, which says:
Quote
#  Increased safe fall distance to 126 and moved this as configuration entry to
   the levelpack ini (so "oh no" and orginal lemmings could have different safe
   distances). To keep Mayhem 1 fall from trapdoor lethal, I changed the entry
   (foot) position to 20 hires pixels under the upper trapdoor coordinates.
   I may add that in Winlemm, the fall from the trapdoor is NOT lethal, but it
   is on the Amiga version.
So if nothing else, Winlemm has a higher fall distance than the Amiga version, if they can be compared at all. (Did they even have the same screen resolution?) And apparently ONML and original Lemmings have different fall distances...?

Offline Clam

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #99 on: May 05, 2011, 11:10:04 am »
...Actually, I'm pretty sure I had a Windows version with a level select menu, so I could skip levels. Does Winlemm have that?

IIRC, it has a level select menu (instead of passwords), but you have to unlock the levels as normal.


Quote
And apparently ONML and original Lemmings have different fall distances...?

The text you linked to is from Lemmini, a Lemmings clone which is completely distinct from CustLemm. What it's saying is that in (in Lemmini) you can set them to have different splat heights. The original games both use the same fall distance.


On the topic of safe-fall distance, there is a mechanic in DOS Lemmings where a lemming transitioning from walker to faller (which usually means falling off a ledge), the lemming gets an extra 3 pixels of safe-fall distance, for a total of 63 (60 + 3). I vaguely recall reading somewhere (most likely one of the old forums that we can't access any more :() about someone confusing this mechanic with actual safe-fall distance. Whoever made CustLemm might have just taken that and entered the safe-fall distance as 63, which then becomes 63+3. Of course, I wasn't on the forums back then, so I know next to nothing about the origins of CustLemm. :-\

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #100 on: May 05, 2011, 01:03:39 pm »
On the topic of safe-fall distance, there is a mechanic in DOS Lemmings where a lemming transitioning from walker to faller (which usually means falling off a ledge), the lemming gets an extra 3 pixels of safe-fall distance, for a total of 63 (60 + 3). I vaguely recall reading somewhere (most likely one of the old forums that we can't access any more :() about someone confusing this mechanic with actual safe-fall distance. Whoever made CustLemm might have just taken that and entered the safe-fall distance as 63, which then becomes 63+3. Of course, I wasn't on the forums back then, so I know next to nothing about the origins of CustLemm. :-\

Not familiar with the forum you referred to.  It's conceivable, but given that CustLemm is most likely not written from scratch, it's not clear to me why someone creating CustLemm would mess with any parts of the game mechanics code in the first place, especially something as fundamental as the safe-fall distance.  It seems more likely to me that whatever version of Lemmings or ONML that CustLemm was based from probably already has the modified safe-fall distance to start with, though I suppose that does merely beg the question of why the official developers of that version of the game changed it.  In the end, it is a mystery whose answer may be lost in the mist of time. :-\

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #101 on: May 05, 2011, 01:22:36 pm »
Now that I think of it, that might have been what I had.<snip>

Well, to add to the confusion, CD-ROM is one form WinLemm was made available as.  I think I might even own such a CD-ROM in a collection I acquire.  However, AFAIK the WinLemm CD-ROM is strictly files-only, and contains no CD audio tracks (ie. tracks you can actually play on a CD player outside of a computer), and WinLemm only uses MIDI for its music AFAIK.  So it's not the CD version I'm thinking of that CustLemm allegedly came from.  [Of course, who knows if they might be another version of WinLemm out there that does do CD audio track music?]

I believe DragonsLover from one of the older Lemmings forums had stated that he has the CD version I'm thinking of, which I think runs on DOS (not Windows) and actually uses the CD's audio tracks for the music.  Unfortunately I don't know if there was ever any detailed information posted on that forum on how that version is made available.  I imagine it's something along the lines of Covox Lemmings but who knows.

I actually can kinda see Clam's argument about 60->63 possibly been how WinLemm came to have the higher safe-fall distance.  Since Windows programming is so different from DOS programming, whoever made WinLemm would pretty much have to rewrite the game logic from scratch [edit: on second thought, I might have overstated the case; certainly the aspects of the game programming outside of graphics, sound and UI can conceivably be ported directly with little changes, as both DOS and Windows run on the x86 instruction set], similar to how Eric did it for Lemmix with the information I gave him, and it's not hard to imagine some miscommunication happening somewhere that leads to the change in WinLemm.  But CustLemm is DOS-based, so there would not have been a need to ever modify the game logic part of the programming.

Unless maybe whoever made CustLemm decided to make it behave more like WinLemm because that's the version he's been used to? :o  And yet, I think whoever made CustLemm is also the same guy that made LemEdit, and from the rambling "documentation" that came with LemEdit, he seemed pretty proud of LemEdit being able to run on low-end DOS machines, so he didn't really sound like a Windows guy to me at all.

Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #102 on: May 05, 2011, 04:52:11 pm »
Definitely the same guy; CustLemm has some of the same grammatical errors in some of the altered strings, or at least in the message that you get when you finish a pack – in particular, it's the way he always writes "You" instead of "you", which is either generalising from capitalised "I" in English or would be characteristic of a German native. It's always been slightly grating, that...

I still don't understand why he couldn't just make a screen where you select the level instead of using codes. The codes aren't even the same ones as any other version of Lemmings; I've ended up having to write them out as a reference if I want to skip to an even-numbered level.

As for the level design game, I think I've let mine drag on for too long so I shall declare Gronkling the winner by default. ;P Someone set a new challenge!

Offline ccexplore

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #103 on: May 05, 2011, 08:58:29 pm »
One more out-of-topic post:

I still don't understand why he couldn't just make a screen where you select the level instead of using codes. The codes aren't even the same ones as any other version of Lemmings; I've ended up having to write them out as a reference if I want to skip to an even-numbered level.

I think you vastly underestimated the work it'd take to create a brand new screen in the game.  As it stands, I believe CustLemm can be created out of a suitable version of the game with close to 0 changes to the actual programming of the game.  Text embedded in the program (including file names in some cases) can be easily located and altered.  Graphics are stored in separate files and once you crack the format, it's not too hard to modify them.

Pretty much the only thing that needs changing is how the game translates a level rating and number into a specific level in a specific level file, and you're more or less set.  This can well be done by changing just a few numbers and leaving the actual structure of the programming intact.  And I guess he must've changed the numbers used for the code-generation algorithm if the codes are different from any known ones (as you may or may not know, the codes are actually derived from a formula based on things like the level number of the level you just solved and how many lemmings you saved).

You could argue that it would make more sense if CustLemm allowed you to select all 10 levels via the "rating" setting.  However, the 5 rating settings for selecting odd-number levels likely is a derivation from the 5 ratings of ONML (yet more evidence that CustLemm is likely based on a version of ONML rather than Lemmings).  There might be some minor technical difficulties with adding extra ratings for the game to handle (in particular, the graphics for the various ratings as shown in the game menu are likely stored consecutively in the file, with other graphics following immediately afterwards, so there might be no room to insert more rating graphics and keep them all consecutively stored).

==========

Anyway, I think the documentation that comes with CustLemm mentions that you can activate "cheat mode" by entering a particular level code (SKIPLEVELS I think), and then use Alt+F5 to skip from current level to the next one.  So it's possible to avoid the individual level codes altogether.  A little cumbersome but tolerable.

Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #104 on: May 05, 2011, 11:43:54 pm »
Hmmm. Probably. I think actually it's just the codes that annoy me, especially the fact that they're not recorded online anywhere. That and the fact that I habitually used to use a hacked version of Mac Lemmings that changed the code algorithm so that you could type in a level number when you press 'new level' instead of the 10-letter code. Part of me thinks "how hard could it be to implement that in DOS Lemmings??" when of course another part of me knows that the answer is probably "very, you idiot!" ;P

Offline Gronkling

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #105 on: May 06, 2011, 04:05:33 pm »
Open floor because I can't think of a challenge at all.
LEMMINGS EVOLUTION completed levels: 100!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2011, 10:11:25 pm »
Now that I think of it, that might have been what I had.<snip>

Well, to add to the confusion, CD-ROM is one form WinLemm was made available as.  I think I might even own such a CD-ROM in a collection I acquire.  However, AFAIK the WinLemm CD-ROM is strictly files-only, and contains no CD audio tracks (ie. tracks you can actually play on a CD player outside of a computer), and WinLemm only uses MIDI for its music AFAIK.  So it's not the CD version I'm thinking of that CustLemm allegedly came from.  [Of course, who knows if they might be another version of WinLemm out there that does do CD audio track music?]

I believe DragonsLover from one of the older Lemmings forums had stated that he has the CD version I'm thinking of, which I think runs on DOS (not Windows) and actually uses the CD's audio tracks for the music.  Unfortunately I don't know if there was ever any detailed information posted on that forum on how that version is made available.  I imagine it's something along the lines of Covox Lemmings but who knows.
I just found a walkthrough for DOS Lemmings that explicitly notes that if one has the CD version, We all fall down is easy to complete because you just crank up the release rate before they enter the level. I think that should put paid to the question, at least that it's not from a promotional version. It doesn't really answer why it happened, of course.

Offline Nortaneous

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #107 on: May 07, 2011, 08:04:00 am »
...Actually, I'm pretty sure I had a Windows version with a level select menu, so I could skip levels. Does Winlemm have that?
IIRC, it has a level select menu (instead of passwords), but you have to unlock the levels as normal.
That's not the version I had, then, unless something broke or my father did something. (I wouldn't be surprised either way.)

[Of course, who knows if they might be another version of WinLemm out there that does do CD audio track music?]
It may very well be that I got WinLemm separately from the CD. (If I can find the CD and it's not irreparably scratched, I'll post some information and see if I can rip it.)

The version I had also had ONML, so if Custlemm came from a CD version of ONML, it's probably at least something related to the version I have.

(also, finlay, since I'm a raging linguistics nerd: Varg Vikernes does the capital You thing, and his native language is Norwegian. I'm not even sure if he speaks German)

Offline finlay

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Re: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!
« Reply #108 on: May 07, 2011, 05:14:27 pm »

(also, finlay, since I'm a raging linguistics nerd: Varg Vikernes does the capital You thing, and his native language is Norwegian. I'm not even sure if he speaks German)
see point 1 - probably generalising from capitalised "I". or learning English from the Bible or something...