Author Topic: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)  (Read 932 times)

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Offline nin10doadict

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[NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« on: May 17, 2017, 09:36:03 pm »
Well, I haven't been very active on the forum lately, because I've been working on this. My first level pack left a lot to be desired. :-\ I made quite a few mistakes when designing it. I rushed to meet a deadline that didn't exist. I didn't throw out bad ideas. I tried to do too many things at once with it. The levels were not tested well. Most importantly, I lost focus on what I was originally intending to do. The end result was a pack that had a few good levels, a lot of mediocre ones, and quite a bit of hot garbage. :-[
This new pack I'm working on aims to avoid all those pitfalls. It will be an easy pack; I've named it as such to constantly remind myself of this. There will be three ranks, and the difficulty should never exceed late Tricky / early Taxing stuff. I'm aiming to have at least 60 levels in the finished pack, though there may be more. Currently, I have 31 levels built for this pack.
Attached is a demo with 6 levels. Pre-level text describes some of my thought processes for the level designs.
This demo should work with the latest stable release of NeoLemmix. The final version will have custom music and title screen graphics, but I've left those out of the demo.
Enjoy!

Offline Proxima

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 12:00:50 am »
Solved all levels. Pretty nice, and not hard. I had a bit left over on the last level, thought I should post the replay in case it's unintended or could be a talisman.

Offline Wafflem

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 02:21:25 am »
Here are my replays! I'm generally not good at beating very difficult levels, so after playing them, I think the levels are really fitting your goals of making it a Tricky-Taxing pack; the levels are not too hard, but not overly trivial either. I got the talisman for Level 2, and Level 5 particularly stumped me until I figured out the solution, which was clever! :lem-mindblown:

Don't feel bad about your first pack not being as great as you wanted it to be. It's understandable that some of the levels did not turn out the way you want it to be. I've been there; I've made levels in the past for another Lemmings engine that I thought were fun, but looking back now, they looked really bad, and out of that bunch I've made, only few of those levels were remade for my NeoLemmix pack. Up to now, I still make levels that turn out to be bad-to-mediocre; when this happens, I put them in a rejected folder.

It's okay to make mistakes as well, as the point of mistakes is so we can learn from them, and as such improve from them. You've even identified a list of things went wrong with your first pack, and that's a very good first step in knowing what you can do to improve your pack. Take your time when creating this pack, and let us know if you need any help with testing levels.

Looking forward to the pack when it comes out! :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 01:30:54 am by Wafflem »
YouTube: www.tinyurl.com/YTWafflem
New Twitch username: www.twitch.tv/Wafflem467

Have level designer's block right now? Have some of my incomplete levels for LOTS of ideas! All levels are now sorted by their graphic sets! Last updated on October 13, 2017.

Offline namida

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 02:52:27 am »
Don't get too discouraged by how your first pack may have turned out. It's probably better than my first packs were; if you saw the packs I made these days, you may not even realise my early ones were from the same author - I'd even say Lemmings Plus I (which is the earliest that I consider to be part of my "recent packs") to some extent falls into this territory.

Keep working on it, and you'll get better at making good levels (and remember, a level doesn't have to be hard to be good - for example, when I held a voteoff for best Lemmings Plus II level, though the winner was one of the pack's hardest levels, the 2nd place level was one of the fairly easy ones in the early-2nd rank).

Offline Colorful Arty

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 12:18:46 am »
That's funny, I think Lemmings Plus I was a fantastic pack with very few bad levels.

Don't worry about it nin10doadict; I thought (and still think) my first pack SubLems was great, but it got a lukewarm reaction. From what I played of your pack, you had a lot of very nice levels, and I personally like packs that are relatively simple.
My Youtube channel where I let's play games with family-friendly commentary:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiRPZ5j87ft_clSRLFCESQA

My levelpack: SubLems
For NeoLemmix: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2787.0
For SuperLemmini: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2704.0

Upcoming levelpack: ArtLems
Development Topic: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=3166.0

Offline Nepster

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 06:23:42 pm »
I played through the demo pack. Lots of good levels with "Lem isn't fair" being my favorite. Replays attached.

Some general comments on LemmingsSquared (and equally valid for a lot of other packs):
1) Your first version was far better than e.g. the first version of LemmingsReunion, that I played. You should have seen my PMs to IchoTolot :P
2) Yes, your pack wasn't perfect, but no pack or even single level is perfect right away. That's why NepsterLems has had 11 updates (even after private beta-testing) and LemmingsReunion had even more.
3) You added hidden traps, because you liked to see the surprised reaction of players. That's totally fine, but don't be surprised, if those players are not equally fond of them. After all, you hid the traps for your entertainment, not for theirs.
4) You seem to be unhappy because of not-quite-as-well-tested-as-might-have-been levels. You don't need to be! I played a lot of (early versions of) packs and your levels did not stike me as especially untested. Actually, quite the opposite.
5) Despite that, I think the biggest improvements to your pack can be made by removing solutions that are not as interesting as your own ones. Personally I like solutions, where you think afterwards: "Yes, looking back, the skill placements were absolutely natural. Why didn't I see this earlier?". There are quite a few levels, where I expect that your solution totally fits this description, but I found only some other solution (possibly using some precise trick).
6) You seem to be unhappy about not throwing away the bad ideas. Again this feeling is absolutely normal. If you like I can name a few levels in NepsterLems, that I wish I had thrown out before releasing the pack.
7) If I had to summarize LemmingsSquared with one sentence, it would be "With a few exceptions, the levels are great and have been fun to solve." As I personally strife to create perfect levels (and very often fail to do so), I prefer to give more detailed comments. Don't be annoyed or discouraged by them - many levels with such comments are already great, but are in my opinion not yet 100% perfect.
Perhaps I should add some explanations how to interprete common phrases in my feedback:
a) "Nice level, but ...": Already a great level, but I found something I would change to make the level perfect.
b) "Why did you do ...?": These are honest questions, not just a way to politely indicate something that has to change. Here, something looks like a deliberate choice, but I cannot find any purpose to it. Only if your gut reaction is "Good question. I now wonder about this myself", then think about changing this.
c) "...in my opinion" or "...for my taste.": These are issues of personal preference. Don't worry about them. I only added this as an explanation why my feedback isn't something like "Great level" or "Amazing solution".
d) "Seems a backroute": This is completely neutral, because I want to judge a level while it is still likely to be updated in the future.
e) "...is annoying" or "I really would change...": Yeah, here something bugged me and I would like you to think hard about whether you really want to keep it as it is.
8) Finally, don't worry overly about IchoTolot's or my comments: We are ranty, old German guys ;P. More seriously: We here in Germany are extremely direct and tend to say things without any consideration to the other's feelings. This is kind of the exact opposite to East Asian behavior. So please take this into account when reading critisism by IchoTolot, Simon or myself.

I am terribly sorry, if my original feedback has given you a wrong impression about my opinion of LemmingsSquared.

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 09:06:52 pm »
Yes that were the good old Reunion (on Lemmini! :scared:) V 1.0 days. With harsh unnessesary timers on every level, precise bomber timing, hidden traps and no framestepping or true physics mode to compensate! :P
Glad over the time all these things are either patched out or fixed and mostly only some backroutes remain.

I even now have some mixed feelings about the pack as I like my current stuff for United 1000 times more and I am just seeing that everything is better now. I need to pick up level creating spped again, but university and a creative block are currently in the way. :(

Yes the feedback from us can be a bit overly direct with a bit of rage attached at times and I tend to point out more of the negative stuff as these are the things I think can be made better. The good things are already good as they are and usually don't need changes. I want even an excellent a pack to get better and better and that's why the focus lies on the non-perfect things that still can be improved.

Offline nin10doadict

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 09:09:56 pm »
Thanks for the encouragement. The direct feedback can hurt, yes, but once I move past that it's very useful, so I appreciate it. My first pack isn't all that awful, but it still needs quite a bit of work to make it into something I'm really satisfied with. A lot of the hard levels later on are broken in one way or another, and for some of them fixing it will be quite the undertaking. It's rather intimidating, and I've already invested a lot of time into making Lemmings Squared in the first place, which is why I've decided to work on Casualemmings first. I probably will go about fixing up Lemmings Squared once Casualemmings sees a full release.

As for demo level 6, my solution also has some skills left over. Many of the levels, even the later ones, will give the player more than they need to finish it. I feel justified in doing this because the original Lemmings did this a lot as well. Even the last 3 levels in Mayhem all give you more skills than you technically need to win. Sure, NeoLemmix has space-time rewinds and precision tools to make things easier to aim precisely, but since I'm trying to make the pack more beginner-friendly then I feel that designing the levels like this will work better. It also makes them less susceptible to being backrouted because somebody figured out how to place things slightly more optimally than I did. And I know that will happen because it happened in Lemmings Squared. :D

Offline nin10doadict

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 08:29:56 pm »
Update on the pack's development: All 75 levels that I plan to have in it are done for now. I plan to test it a bit further to try to iron out any remaining issues, but it should be ready for a full release soon.

Offline Colorful Arty

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2017, 11:00:24 pm »
How do you work that fast!? :lem-shocked:
My Youtube channel where I let's play games with family-friendly commentary:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiRPZ5j87ft_clSRLFCESQA

My levelpack: SubLems
For NeoLemmix: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2787.0
For SuperLemmini: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2704.0

Upcoming levelpack: ArtLems
Development Topic: http://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=3166.0

Offline nin10doadict

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2017, 04:02:54 pm »
Because I don't have much of a social life and only work part time. :P

Offline nin10doadict

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Re: [NeoLemmix] Casualemmings (in development)
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 02:31:29 am »
Baring my soul, it is time for the first full release. Check the full releases section for the respective topic and download.
This topic will now be locked down. :8():
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 02:55:20 am by nin10doadict »