Author Topic: The Level Design Game: 2nd Edition!  (Read 17694 times)

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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.
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 #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!!!
sorry for being gone so long D:

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