Author Topic: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]  (Read 1875 times)

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Offline Wafflem

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Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« on: September 30, 2016, 03:16:55 pm »
I remember a long time ago that you wanted to discuss implementing Wrap in more of a Lix manner than the NeoLemmix gimmick manner*. Should we still do this?

*For those who don't know, the NeoLemmix gimmick version involved merely lemmings walking past one side of the level to appear in the opposite side (i.e. if they walk through the left side, they appear on the right, vice versa, and ditto for up-down and down-up), while Lix is more of a scrolling thing - think of it as like as 2-D version of Lemmings Revolution.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2016, 08:19:59 pm »
I would actually split the suggested feature into two parts:

Part 1: update the physics to be fully wrap-aware.  Note that it is more than just the gimmick of repositioning the lemming whenever its position gets updated past a wraparound boundary--other things that would need updating include making sure terrain additions (eg. builders) and removal (eg. bashers) are wrap-aware as well, that all terrain/trigger checks in game physics are likewise wrap-aware, and that any terrain pieces and object trigger areas straddling the wraparound boundary are correctly handled when loading the level, etc.

Part 2: update the UI to support wraparound scrolling.

It is possible that maybe part 2 is trivial enough to implement compared to part 1 that there's little point in splitting them out, but I rather suspect part 2 may be enough implementation work of its own, that it could make sense to have an interim version that only does part 1 without doing part 2 yet.  Since NeoLemmix does not support multiplayer, part 2 can be argued as a nice-to-have but not necessarily required, with "pause and scroll all the way to the other side" as a temporary workaround in the meantime.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2016, 08:25:58 pm »
Also, I would like to see some discussion as to how much people feel wrapping physics would add to the game.  I guess vertical wraparound is probably more interesting in terms of adding new puzzle ideas, but either way, how much do they truly add?

Offline Simon

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 07:51:33 am »
Lix has wrap to balance the multiplayer.

ccexplore's part 1 (physics and terrain drawing is wrap-aware) need a topological abstraction of rectangles (x-length, y-length, has x-wrap? has y-wrap?) that sits deep in the game code. Torus bitmaps implement this abstraction. The torus bitmap class reads more like a mathematical proof than like regular code: Extremely hard to write self-documenting code, therefore lots of comments. Part 1 needs more heavy-lifting for a torus-shaped physics matrix.

ccexplore's part 2 (seamless scrolling) gets finnicky and math-y again. The class knows the camera position and pieces together a scene from the torus bitmap.

Wrap in singleplayer is a by-product. Some levels use it, and it's cute. It's disorienting when you see it only rarely. Hard to weigh the advantages against the elaborate implementation.

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« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 04:48:44 pm by Simon »

Offline Dullstar

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 06:58:17 pm »
I think it could be interesting, but only if it's fully and properly implemented so that it scrolls nicely.

Whether or not it's worth the effort is another question entirely.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2016, 08:44:12 pm »
Also if you can scroll over the wrap there should be a color-line like in lix to see where the next wrap begins.

Offline mobius

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 09:02:04 pm »
Also if you can scroll over the wrap there should be a color-line like in lix to see where the next wrap begins.

I'm not sure I understand this. I I think I'd prefer not to have a line like that, it seems kind of tacky imo. Is that really all that helpful? If a level is so big and disorienting that you can't tell where the wrap; that's another matter entirely.
Actually what does this matter, because if the level is wrapping, fully scrolling like in Lix; there essentially is no boundaries on whatever axis it wraps and lemmings cannot die in that direction from walking/falling off the screen. The line could be just about anywhere and make the same sense.

I do not remember any such line in Lix. ???
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 09:08:22 pm »
The line is essential at least for me in lix. Without it I became confused where the wrap started most of the time. The level did not matter that much.

If there is wrap, there should be at least an option for such a line!

Offline mobius

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2016, 09:18:30 pm »
I guess I could also comment on wrap in general;

I don't really care either way, but you can definitely do things with wrap that you cannot otherwise, so it wouldn't be a burden. It must be an option though [to have your level wrap or not]. I don't mind an over abundance of features.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 10:02:26 pm »
I do not remember any such line in Lix. ???

Neither do I, unless this is some sort of new addition in D-lix, as I don't think I've yet looked at a wraparound level in D-lix.  I'm pretty sure C++ lix has no such line, which on paper is how wraparound is meant to feel like--any line in the wraparound dimension(s) would work as just well as any other.  That being said, I suppose it's not unreasonable to maybe make it a user option to show such a line (pick one however the game wants) in the game, if somehow the presence of obvious landmarks like entrances, exits and changes you make to the terrain aren't enough.

Lix does have, in the level preview, indicators to let you know for each of the 2 dimensions whether wrapping is in effect.  But that's totally different from extraneous lines rendered in-game.

Anyway, I thought about it a little more, and at the moment it feels like builders and miners probably have the most compelling cases paired with wraparound.  It still feels like very significant amount of effort for comparatively little gain, compared to say, a new skill or new contraption (at least well-thought-out ones), or even new gimmicks that does not require re-examining multiple fundamental facets of the game's physics.

Online namida

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 11:00:09 am »
Not saying this feature will be here any time soon but - when you talk about the line showing the wrap boundaries, do you feel these outlines should be in a fixed position, or relative to your current view? Or in other words - let's suppose the blue dot in this image marks the center of your visible play area. Would you prefer the outline be the yellow rectangle (ie: shows the level's width/height outwards from the center of the current viewport) or the red one (ie: shows the boundaries of the level as defined in the level file)?
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 11:34:03 am »
As I tend to get easily confused with the yellow rectangle way and speed is not essential as in Lix multiplayer, I would tend to the red rectangle way.

Then we would need another way to tell the player that wrap is active though. ???

I would still say yellow is faster and you need to be fast in MP Lix, but it can get very confusing depending on the level (especially small levels can get confusing). Here in NL we don't need to be very fast and therefore I tend to red.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2019, 01:25:46 pm »
I think the main upside of the gimmick was that it was optional. Lemmings Revolution basically had all levels wrapping in a Lix manner. If this got introduced into regular NeoLemmix as a default, it would distance it even further from regular Lemmings - while at the same time making it more similar to Lix, instead of having two different games for two different purposes.

I definitely enjoyed the gimmick with both the vertical and the horizontal wrap activated, so I'd be the first one to appreciate its reintroduction! :thumbsup:

Granted, in order to create Lemmings Revolution-style levels, you'd need to have the option to switch on horizontal wrap only without automatically having to activate vertical wrap as well.

So it would probably be best to make both independent, like back in the day, as long as it is clearly visible to the player whether the wrap feature is active or not - I clearly agree with IchoTolot here! ;) The main annoyance about gimmicks was their surprising nature, i.e. the level creator could activate them without the player's knowledge, thereby potentially wasting a lot of the player's time with guesswork.

Maybe present some arrows at the edges of a level at the beginning, together with the arrows below the hatches that show in which directions the lemmings are going to come out?

The main effort in re-implementing the wrap gimmick would probably affect the fencer and shimmier, since those skills didn't exist in NeoLemmix back when gimmicks were a thing.
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Offline Nepster

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2019, 05:30:12 pm »
As I tend to get easily confused with the yellow rectangle way and speed is not essential as in Lix multiplayer, I would tend to the red rectangle way.

Then we would need another way to tell the player that wrap is active though. ???

I would still say yellow is faster and you need to be fast in MP Lix, but it can get very confusing depending on the level (especially small levels can get confusing). Here in NL we don't need to be very fast and therefore I tend to red.
The main problem with the gimmick-implementation (which used the red rectangle) was, that one could never be sure where the lemming would reappear when moving out of the level boundary. This made these gimmick levels extremely annoying to play. So I think any reintroduction of this feature would need a way to scroll beyond the level boundaries and allow displaying the yellow area on screen.

Online namida

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2019, 09:00:42 pm »
Quote
If this got introduced into regular NeoLemmix as a default, it would distance it even further from regular Lemmings - while at the same time making it more similar to Lix, instead of having two different games for two different purposes.

NeoLemmix will never be wrap-only, or even wrap-is-default. It will be a feature level designers can use, at their own choice. I personally envision it as horizontal and vertical wrap being separate.

Quote
The main effort in re-implementing the wrap gimmick would probably affect the fencer and shimmier, since those skills didn't exist in NeoLemmix back when gimmicks were a thing.

Close to all (if not literally all) of the old gimmick code has been stripped out altogether, and much of the implementation of the features that do remain has drastically changed since gimmicks existed. I can assure you, the Fencer and Shimmier are no more trouble for such a gimmick than any other skill - actually, at a quick guess, the features I suspect would be most likely to cause trouble here are blockers and zombies; with any objects that are placed across the wrap boundary also being quite an annoyance (though this could be addressed simply by not allowing this.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2019, 09:01:28 pm »
The main problem with the gimmick-implementation (which used the red rectangle) was, that one could never be sure where the lemming would reappear when moving out of the level boundary.

I get your point, though I feel like the minimap can maybe help make it a little easier to work out where the lemming would reappear?

While I can imagine levels being created that could make it tricky to keep track of where the lemming would go, I think in most well-designed levels, there are probably only limited areas where lemmings are expected to cross a wrapping level boundary.  So while I slightly prefer the "yellow rectangle", "true" implementation of wrapping, I can probably live with "red rectangle" as well.

Regardless of red/yellow rectangle, still not sure how much wrapping really adds to singleplayer level design. :-\

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2019, 09:23:06 pm »
Quote
Regardless of red/yellow rectangle, still not sure how much wrapping really adds to singleplayer level design.

That's another thing: Wrap was rarely used as a gimmick and I can see the benefits are way more multiplayer related than singleplayer. Even in Lix there don't seem to be that many Wrap singleplayer levels, while a good part of the multiplayer levels use it.

So it might be better to ignore Wrap and focus on things that enrich the variety and/or comfort of level design by a much larger margin.

Offline mobius

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2019, 10:42:20 pm »
Then we would need another way to tell the player that wrap is active though. ???

Sorry but if a player cannot tell the level wraps around... are they dumb? you scroll and it never stops, how long can it take someone to figure out what's going on? When they play for the first time sure, it takes some getting used to like everything but not after that. I never had a problem like this when playing lix. (single or multiplayer).

In any case if this was a feature I'd be okay with (but still not prefer) a rectangle to indicate boundaries but definitely insist this option (in one or any direction).

You can definitely do some interesting things with it, just look at some Lix levels or some from Revolution (bounce around the world, turn on tune in switch on). But I also agree it's not the biggest thing on my list at least that could add fun stuff to the game.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2019, 11:56:55 pm »
Then we would need another way to tell the player that wrap is active though. ???

Sorry but if a player cannot tell the level wraps around... are they dumb? you scroll and it never stops

IchoTolot is specifically talking about the "red rectangle" implementation where the scrolling doesn't wrap.  Scrolling stops at the level boundaries even with wrapping on, it's just the lemmings themselves (and the way they interact with terrain) that will honor the wrapping.  So you can't scroll past the boundaries, but you will see the lemming disappear and reappear on the opposite boundary as they walk across a boundary.  Another way to think of this is like the classic Pac-Man game--as you move off the top you reappear at the bottom, it doesn't scroll to make the area that was at the bottom to show up at the top.

In contrast, the "yellow rectangle" implementation is like in Lix where the scrolling also wraps, so indeed you can "scroll and it never stops".

Starting from an implementation that has no support for wrapping, it is likely less work to get to a "red rectangle" implementation where scrolling doesn't wrap and only the lemmings and physics do, versus the "yellow rectangle" implementation where scrolling also wraps around.

Offline mobius

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Re: Wrap? [DISCUSSION] [PLAYER]
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2019, 12:15:41 am »
oh yes, sorry I forgot about this. Just to clarify (not that I expect this will be implanted anytime soon anyway) I would be strongly against this [wrapping not visible via scrolling]. If there's going to be wrapping; it should be done like Lix; with infinite scrolling possible.
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