Author Topic: jLevelBuilder 1.76  (Read 39482 times)

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Offline Proxima

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2013, 09:06:14 am »
when a climber reaches the top of his climb, if he’s far enough back; he can build and make a ledge so climbers behind him will fall. I personally actually kind of like this aspect; it seems natural and doesn’t readily lead to any major level design problems (…at least not as much as other things). It's a cool trick, but on the other hand it is sort of odd I guess and may not be real easy to figure out for players. this also depends on the builder.

I have to admit I don't like this behaviour, though that may partly be because I grew up on the Mac version of Lemmings. But it feels uncomfortably precise. All behaviours that are part of "normal" gameplay, including relatively precise ones such as the pass-through blocker (in Lemmings) and assigning basher to a builder approaching a wall, have a bit of leeway. This not only makes the game easier to play, it makes those behaviours easier for a new player to discover. (I have an equal dislike of the pass-through blocker in Lix, which also requires assignment at a pixel-precise location.)

I disagree with möbius on another point too. Bashers and miners should turn if they hit steel. In your game, which is restricted to the eight classic skills, if you don't have miner-turning then the only way to turn an individual lemming is to assign builder and make him bump terrain. Builders are overused anyway; I don't like them being the only turn-around skill as well. (A separate question is whether lemmings standing directly on steel can be assigned miner to turn them, as they can in Lix. I don't feel as strongly about this feature, but I like it. One of my favourite Lix levels, "Waltz in C Sharp Miner", uses it. It's true that I could have used Lix's walker skill, but then the skill numbers wouldn't form an elegant pattern.)

A hold-down button for FF is a good idea. I don't see the point in having a 10-second time skip as well... that's really just a poor man's substitute for FF.

Offline LJLPM

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2013, 01:30:30 pm »
Thank you for your comments and ideas. There are some options which would be pretty easy to add, and some others that may need more work. I want to finish the editor soon, and go back coding the main game :)

And to clarify the following point:
-if there's any way to adjust the way terrain is highlighted in the editor that would be nice. What I mean is notice how a the steel pieces in your picture; the yellow square extends too far to the right. This is especially an issue in Lemmix when using the 'Align' function.
Actually, yellow squares match exactly the size of the sprites: if they (seem to) extend too much, it's because the steel pieces are surrounded by a transparent color which is an actual part of the image (this is a choice from Lemmings' original graphic designers). So you won't be able to resize the yellow border in the editor, but it's not really annoying because using the "Clone" tool on X and/or Y makes perfect alignements really easy (the user freely sets the distance between 2 items => please see the very 1st screenshot of this topic: steel pieces couldn't be more well aligned, and it was done in no time).

Offline ccexplore

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2013, 04:20:37 pm »
A hold-down button for FF is a good idea. I don't see the point in having a 10-second time skip as well... that's really just a poor man's substitute for FF.

Definitely make the hold-down vs toggle an option for FF so each user can get his/her preference for that.

The 10-second skip is interesting.  Lemmix has it (spacebar on keyboard) and I've used it from time to time.  Depending on how fast you make FF go, it can well be faster for someone to do multiple 10-second skips to reach a point in time, vs using FF to get there.  On the other hand, 10 seconds is a bit long, making  it too easy for you to skip past the point in time you want.

Offline mobius

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2013, 11:19:49 pm »
I vote for being able to assign any skill on steel (whether they turn or not). this is another good way too stall for time (again, whether they turn or not). I personally find it annoying not being able to assign a skill just because it's on steel (or one way walls).

I only mention 10 second skip because its in Lemmix. However, I must admit, now after thinking about it, this is one of those things that I think are too useful. (I know this is going to sound weird) but somethings make a program so 'easy' to use that I take it for granted and it sort of makes me impatient. I noticed for a while now that generally I don't get as frustrated when I play Lemmini, because of pausing for the start screen. It forces me to take my time and thus I seem to do better. Maybe it doesn't make much sense, but that's the way it is for me...

Anyway, I thought of a better option than time skip which exists in Lemmix but I hardly ever use it because I forget it's there: save states, and having multiple states would be nice.

oh and please don't forget to include one way walls  ;P
"All things are empty... Whoever can see this no longer needs anything to attain."
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Offline LJLPM

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2013, 06:58:50 pm »
Thanks for your ideas/feedbacks. About the "1-way" walls, I thought, too, about these ones, so they should find their way to the game :) 

I've started to code a new feature: the "Enable Collisions" option. When activated, you can't drag the selected item(s) over level's other items: level's items act as walls and prevent from moving items over them. It's useful if you want to glue/attach items (no gap between item's boundaries). It's still buggy (this feature is only few-hour old), but as you can see in the screenshot below (I joined a lot of originally-separated items), the first results are encouraging (PS: random stuff only, generated using the "Lazy" feature, and very, very loosely arranged).


Offline mobius

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2013, 01:06:26 am »
This Collisions feature would be very handy indeed. There is also the possibility of having a grid of various sizes for dragging things to snap to. Oh and one more important thing:

and undo button!  :)

--------------
In response to earlier comments about game features and mechanics. After thinking about it, I think my level designing/program wishes and philosophy ultimately comes down to this:

When I first started playing custom packs, I loved learning about unusual tricks and glitches. But, honestly if it weren’t for a website like this one and a place to read about them, I highly doubt I would’ve discovered many or most of these on my own, just playing levels by myself.

While I’m not saying I dislike or am against some of these tricks and features, like miners turning on steel or blockers turning bashers, I am much more in favor of features that are easier to grasp, encourage easier execution and have more expansive implications for the program; like doors and switches.

I’ll call these former tricks and features “small” features verses “larger” features just for ease. The small features may be fun (I do find them fun) but they can encourage precision, minimalistic design, high difficulty and general annoyance. Designing levels around one or a few of these tricks, which can be fun, I’m not saying they aren’t, but they have this quality that if you already know this trick it becomes very simple and the ‘figuring out’ stage not as much fun imo. Compared to levels like "the climbing Frame" by JHIsan, which lets you play the level and try different things and generally sort of 'flow' through the level in a fun way. It's hard to describe but ultimately, I must admit I enjoy those levels better.
Not to mention that these small features existing open the door to backroute hell.

I like these sort of levels with the rest of them but I would be willing to let them go in favor of larger features. Namely, features like gravity, which offer an immense visual and overall impact on game play and have a low difficulty implications (at least early on and of what little has been explored of it). This isn’t a little trick that requires ‘building in exactly the right spot so the third lemming can fall one pixel and do such-and-such’. This allows the lemmings to do what we already know how to do well, in a new and refreshing way. And I suspect, not only gravity but most or all of the things I mention on my thread have possibilities and implications not forseen (and most-likely this whole argument will backfire when somebody discovers that a new feature that I suggest can be just as annoying as the other stuff) I used gravity as an example and I’m not strongly in favor of that in particular.
"All things are empty... Whoever can see this no longer needs anything to attain."
-The Heart Sutra

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline LJLPM

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2013, 06:24:11 pm »
I have to fix the "Enable Collisions" feature first, but a "Snap (to Grid)" option is something I would like to add, yes.
edit: since it was a quick and easy task, I've just added the "Snap to Grid(X/Y)" feature :)


About the "Undo" button: good news, it's already there (CTRL-Z actually). But, atm, you can only revert the very last action (I'll see this issue later, but, obviously, it would be handy to be able to revert some more actions).

By the way, I share your game-design thoughts :)

Offline LJLPM

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2013, 03:14:58 pm »
Just having fun with the new "Snap to Grid X/Y" option :)
(by the way, I will probably remove the "Enable Collisions" option which is still buggy atm, and which is no longer useful now that there's the "Snap" option)



- as you can see in comparison with the previous screenshot, grid/snapping offset is freely adjustable on X and Y: for example, in this screenshot, snap on X is disabled (no vertical lines), whereas snap offset on Y = 12 pixels (horizontal gray lines every 12 pixels)
- level quickly made using the Clone, Mirror, and Snap options

Offline Simon

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2013, 03:27:37 am »
The snap feature makes it even more important to remove empty areas from objects' bounding boxes.

You can still save/mirror/etc. the coordinates with the objects' inherent sizes. Displaying the rectangle and snapping should only care for the outermost non-transparent pixels.

-- Simon

Offline LJLPM

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2013, 09:45:07 am »
don't worry about the bounding boxes because:
- it's not a "Snap to Object" option but a "Snap to Grid" option
- you can freely set the snap offsets for the grid, on X and Y. For example, in the following screenshot, I snapped items of different sizes (I typed offset values that actually matched the graphics, ignoring empty spaces in the bounding boxes). Everything is well aligned depending on the items' sizes.
- I will create new tilesets for my game, and the tiles will have correct bounding boxes :) :) :) (Lemmings' tilesets are only used for demo purpose)

Offline mobius

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2013, 10:01:57 pm »
If your going to make new tile sets, I recommend taking a look at Lemmings Revolution. One thing that stands out to me about that game is the graphics are very easy on the eyes. People from Lemmings Heaven made custom graphics for Lemmini over the years.
Also people made some cool graphics for Cheapo and Lix, even if they feel sort of "un-professional" (I don't mean that in a bad way).

http://www.lemmingsforums.com/index.php?topic=763.msg16327#msg16327

 :)
"All things are empty... Whoever can see this no longer needs anything to attain."
-The Heart Sutra

"Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man"
-the Dude


Offline Mikex62

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2013, 11:03:10 pm »
You could take advantage of this editor's compatibility. Why not add a built-in level tester to the editor just like in Lunar Magic?

Offline LJLPM

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2013, 11:49:15 pm »
@möbius: Thanks for the infos! I'll look at these graphic sets! (atm, I'm focused on coding -and there's a lot to do-. I'll keep the graphic stuff for the end of the project, when the game mechanics will be working well)
@Mikex62: I aim at making convenient level loadings between the level-editor and the game itself. I don't know yet how I will tackle this issue, but I'm aware of it.

By the way, I've started to code the "Save Level" and "Load Level" options (XML format for levels' data): things are going well .
The level-editor is not finished yet, but, hopefully, with the "Save" & "Load" options available, I could proceed with some game tests, and drop some Lemmings in levels soon :)

edit: "Save" & "Load" options are now working. Piece by piece, the level editor really starts to look good!

Offline LJLPM

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2013, 01:01:07 pm »
What's new?

- "Save Level" & "Load Level" options work
- bugs fixes
- entities' "insert#" are displayed for each selected entity (it's the yellow number inside a selected area)
- the list of the level's items is now sortable on each column (for example, in the screenshot, I displayed all the "Eraser" items first, therefore you can spot these items in the level, refering to the now-displayed "insert#" info)
- selecting one or multiple row(s) in this list selects the relevant item(s) in the level
- a vertical red line marks the middle of the level
the designer can make custom preview messages or notes on each level and hints that can be accessed while playing in the level (see Cheapo).
- done for the message part (see the bottom part of the screenshot). I will handle hints later.

PS: in the screenshot, I snapped items on X, hence the display of the vertical gray lines (these grid lines only appear when snapping, of course! / no snap, no line)


Offline Minim

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Re: coding a Lemmings clone + its level-editor
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2013, 08:09:14 pm »
Looking good so far. :) Two questions. The first one is why do some of the snap lines appear on the mini-map? It's only a small problem, but maybe that's one you could fix. Also do you only have the dirt terrain set or are the other sets available too? (I probably shouldn't have asked this question yet as it's still not available for us to download.)
Musical fact: The 2019 UK number 1 hit "Dance Monkey" has the same chord progression as the DOS version of the "Lemming3" tune.