Author Topic: December 2015 Level Collaboration  (Read 8499 times)

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Offline mobius

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December 2015 Level Collaboration
« on: December 08, 2015, 01:07:19 am »
DynaLem's post in the last contest thread sparked my sudden interest in this:
I'm willing to host another collab project. If there is any interest.

But I think that if we do, we need to make stricter [or better] rules on it. The "super collab project"  from 2014 which DynaLem posted a link to turned out a little disorganized and we ended up with a level that wasn't solvable because people lost interest.

Perhaps we should agree before hand on somethings like: starting with a set of skills?
I think, again, we should first make a list of people who want to join and then the level will be edited in that order; if their turn comes and a person lost interest they can just bow out and the next person can go ahead. Maybe a rule stating that the level must be solvable at all times [after every edit].
Also perhaps the rule of "do not tamper with the past additions to the level" should be re-thought. Obviously completely redoing someone else's work isn't fair but as-is making a decent level is certainly difficult [with the rules I made up from the 2014 project]

So this isn't started yet, but If you're interested in participating please post with any suggestions and preferences you have; especially like what platform you'd like to use.
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Offline namida

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2015, 01:22:49 am »
I'd say the only engines we should really consider for this are NeoLemmix or Lix. L1 / traditional Lemmix has all the glitches, and more importantly, has a limit of how many pieces can be in a level, which could become problematic for such a project. (Super)Lemmini's absence of fine-control features is undesirable, and I think this might be why Lemmini is losing popularity (and why SuperLemmini never really got much of a foothold).

Of the remaining two; the advantage for NeoLemmix is its L1-like-ness and presence of the graphic sets we're all used to (and, I think more people are familiar with the NeoLemmix Editor (or at least the regular Lemmix editor, from which it isn't a huge jump to the NeoLemmix one) than the Lix editor); while the advantage for Lix is that it's cross platform and thus may allow for a larger number of participants. I could see either one being a good choice for this.

Quote
Perhaps we should agree before hand on somethings like: starting with a set of skills?

I would think that if we're going for a pre-determined set of skills, it should be something fairly generic - perhaps an "X of everything". Alternatively, we could go with an approach of "first design the level, then work together to see what kind of challenging stats and skillset we can come up with".
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Offline mobius

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2015, 01:30:09 am »
I pretty much figured it would either be NeoLemmix or Lix, doubtful enough people would be interested in the others so I didn't even mention it. Actually I think I'll enforce right now; it's going to be either of those two.

I would think that if we're going for a pre-determined set of skills, it should be something fairly generic - perhaps an "X of everything". Alternatively, we could go with an approach of "first design the level, then work together to see what kind of challenging stats and skillset we can come up with".

That's not a bad idea; of having maybe two separate parts; first the layout/map then the skills.
If there are lots of different opinions I might make a poll.
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Offline Wafflem

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2015, 04:30:48 am »
I am glad you are considering doing this again! :)

I will gladly participate in the collaboration. I am thinking that we could do something similar to the Contest #3 Tag-Team contest - design the terrain first and do not add any objects, change skills or level stats, etc. Once everyone agrees that the terrain layout looks good enough, then we can proceed to add the objects, skills, time, level stats, etc.

I'm thinking NeoLemmix for the engine since a majority of the people use NeoLemmix and tons of NeoLemmix packs have been released this year.
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Online Simon

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2015, 07:53:55 am »
ended up with a level that wasn't solvable because people lost interest.

You could make solvability an invariant: Every changeset shall be submitted with a solving replay.

That's good practice anyway in level design, even if it's more effortful.

Quote
rule of "do not tamper with the past additions to the level" should be re-thought.

Yes. I feel that rule was too low-level.

At the highest level, a puzzle is a collection of ideas. The player needs to find the series of correct ideas that lead to a solution. It's nice if the ideas bind together under a common theme, or interleave with each other. You wouldn't want to kill ideas in full from a level. But you can keep ideas mostly intact even under massive restructuring of terrain.

Quote
Perhaps we should agree before hand on somethings like: starting with a set of skills?
first design the level, then work together to see what kind of challenging stats and skillset we can come up with
Quote
design the terrain first and do not add any objects, change skills or level stats, etc.

For the same reason (puzzle is collection of ideas), skillset and gadgets should be neither fixed beforehand, nor tacked on as an afterthought. They change hand-in-hand with the ideas found in the level.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 10:21:39 pm by Simon »

Offline mobius

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 10:54:43 pm »
some good suggestions. I'm thinking the rules will go something like this;

[After the beginning, which I haven't totally figured out yet, suggestions welcome]

Either:
next participant may add between (some fixed number of terrain pieces, haven't decided a good number yet)* And may remove or change some terrain pieces from previous entries* I think we can say; stats may be changed almost freely? This is something that; while certaintly can change the level quite a bit, isn't as personal as a terrain layout.
Now each entry must be a solvable/working level on it's own; it doesn't matter if the level is stupid easy, if you only want to lay a foundation for the next participants to work on, but it must be solvable, with a replay.

Importantly; this number is only a guidline that you should use while making your entry and if you find you must go slightly over or under to complete the idea you have that's okay.
*I think we can use the trust system here, pretty much only change the previous entries to remove a backroute or a thing that's wildly in the way of the solution you're trying to provide. Like Simon said, you can sometimes even make major changes but still keep the original idea of the level there.

For the beginning my only ideas so far are to poll the terrain or randomly select a terrain. Of course now with either Lix or Lemmix you can pretty much mix and match terrains [in Lemmix there is the epic tile set which contains all the originals together...]

I may start a small level myself [myself being the first person in line] Or I might decided to go later because my ideas are exactly flowing at the moment. I could make a poll if people want that.

Also [depending on how many people participate] I think people can go more than once, but not twice in a row.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 11:45:23 pm »
This reminds me of a collaborative level thread back in an old incarnation of the forums, apparently already over 10 years ago (July 2005) at this point.

http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=280.0

(Good job Tim for the super-descriptive thread title [/sarcasm]. :XD: Good thing I still remember one of the participant's username off top of my head and was able to find the thread via a search off of that.)

Most of the people are no longer here.  The "guest" on that thread is me (yep, back in those innocent days before the proliferation of spambots and trolls, you could actually post without being a registered user).

The rules at the time were fairly restrictive, and it definitely introduces some issues with our first try, but in spite of all that we still managed a decent level out of it, mostly due to the talent of some of the participants.  It may be good to review the thread to get some ideas of what worked well and what didn't, and from there tweak the rules we'd use this time around.

(I don't know if I still have any of the files referenced in that thread, probably not but I'll look if I have time and there's interest.)

Offline mobius

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2015, 12:20:18 am »
thanks, it's a good idea to look at that thread again.

I actually knew about that, it's what gave me the idea for the first one I did a year ago. :P And actually; both levels they made back then we put into the Revenge of Lemmings. The first one featured in the link you posted was left unsolvable [or unfinished] so I edited it, but the other [crystal] level  was a decent difficult & finished level.  I never found the thread for the crystal one I think...
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2015, 01:27:10 am »
The first one featured in the link you posted was left unsolvable [or unfinished] so I edited it, but the other [crystal] level  was a decent difficult & finished level.  I never found the thread for the crystal one I think...

Hmm, if I understood correctly it should be the same thread that has the crystal one (I'll have to look at your Revenge pack to see if it's indeed the level I'm thinking of)?  I know for a fact that I only participated in one, and the level I worked on used the blue crystal set in LemEdit, and it was most definitely solvable and fairly finished (in fact, I was complaining at various points about how tricky it got for the later participants in the chain to add to the level or the solution ideas), and "decently difficult & finished level" definitely would be my assessment at the time.  It was hard to tell from reading the thread that there was even a level before the crystal one, though it did mention "group 1" and "group 2" even towards the beginning of the thread, so I guess there must've been a group 1 and I participated in group 2?

This post in the thread was when I posted my contribution to the level chain I participated in (the file download link on geocities is now defunct of course).  According to the thread, Proxima even made a Cheapo version of it shortly after it was completed.

Offline Clam

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2015, 06:25:41 am »
I'm interested in participating. I'd prefer to use Lix but happy to go with the majority. :lix-smile:

Having the level be solvable at each iteration is a great idea - that way each iteration can stand on its own, and we have something to show whenever we stop adding to it. Potentially you could even get more than one viable level along the way.



(I don't know if I still have any of the files referenced in that thread, probably not but I'll look if I have time and there's interest.)

There are some on the lemmings file portal. It's not complete though (there's only one WIP version of the crystal level, which I presume was "group 1").

I've only skimmed the old thread so far, but probably will give it a proper read some time. It's a lovely bit of forum history :)

Offline GigaLem

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2015, 07:01:03 am »
If im correct its a.....
Christmas Lix level pack?
If so i'd be happy to fire up lix again

Offline namida

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2015, 09:52:56 am »
If im correct its a.....
Christmas Lix level pack?
If so i'd be happy to fire up lix again

If that's what you think is going on here, I think you really need to re-read the posts, or at the very least read the topic title. Reading messages is generally quite important if you want to understand what's being said. :)
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Offline Nepster

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2015, 05:17:57 pm »
I'm interested in participating, too. But this approach differs greatly from my usual way to create levels, so I am not sure whether I will be able to contribute something useful to the level. Let's see, what the future brings. :lix-smile:

Christmas Lix level pack?
Well, a level pack consisting of one single level (having mutiple authors) made around Christmas (though likely not entirely Christmas-themed) for a Lemmings engine yet to be determined (but maybe Lix).
See here or follow the link ccexplore posted above for previous examples of such projects.

Offline mobius

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 10:19:31 pm »
FYI: So far; I have; DynaLem, Clam and Nepster, have said they definitely want to join in some fashion or another, but the others need to clarify if they actually plan to participate or not. I should've made it more clear; say "sign me up" or something like that if you'd like to be on the list. It's first come-first serve. There's no pressure for time; it's going to be a while before we begin.

The first one featured in the link you posted was left unsolvable [or unfinished] so I edited it, but the other [crystal] level  was a decent difficult & finished level.  I never found the thread for the crystal one I think...

Hmm, if I understood correctly it should be the same thread that has the crystal one (I'll have to look at your Revenge pack to see if it's indeed the level I'm thinking of)?  I know for a fact that I only participated in one, and the level I worked on used the blue crystal set in LemEdit, and it was most definitely solvable and fairly finished (in fact, I was complaining at various points about how tricky it got for the later participants in the chain to add to the level or the solution ideas), and "decently difficult & finished level" definitely would be my assessment at the time.  It was hard to tell from reading the thread that there was even a level before the crystal one, though it did mention "group 1" and "group 2" even towards the beginning of the thread, so I guess there must've been a group 1 and I participated in group 2?

This post in the thread was when I posted my contribution to the level chain I participated in (the file download link on geocities is now defunct of course).  According to the thread, Proxima even made a Cheapo version of it shortly after it was completed.

Okay, so the first level was the crystal level. It had no name that I could find so I called it "compilation". I should put your name in the credits for that level, since you're "guest". :)

The [second one I'm guessing] is a hell level, which they suggetsed names for; including; "Edge of Oblivion, Highway to Hell" This level; no one I asked could find a solution to it. And from reading the thread it seemed not quite finished [although near it]. I think this one also had a "guest" author but I need to check and no idea who that might be except tseug who also used a guest account often?
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 10:55:24 pm by möbius »
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: December 2015 Level Collaboration
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2015, 02:07:41 am »
Okay, so the first level was the crystal level. It had no name that I could find so I called it "compilation". I should put your name in the credits for that level, since you're "guest". :)

The thread seems to make it fairly clear who worked on the level.  Seems like there are 6 people total?  Looks like Insane Steve also worked on it.  Given the collaborative nature I'd say all people involved on that level should be credited.  (I'll edit here when I have time to re-read the thread to gather the exact sequence of people).

I thought the last person in the chain was supposed to give it a title or something like that (hmm wait, was that person me? :P).  If the title's missing, I'd say it's fair game to just come up with whatever feels right.

The [second one I'm guessing] is a hell level, which they suggetsed names for; including; "Edge of Oblivion, Highway to Hell" This level; no one I asked could find a solution to it. And from reading the thread it seemed not quite finished [although near it]. I think this one also had a "guest" author but I need to check and no idea who that might be except tseug who also used a guest account often?

I don't remember working on anything like what you described, so yeah, the "guest" there probably is tseug.  I stopped reading the thread past the post where I posted my contributions; did they no longer require the intermediate in-progress versions of the level to remain solvable for the second one?