Author Topic: Immediate turn-offs  (Read 4943 times)

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Offline Dullstar

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2020, 02:46:00 am »
From what I remember, other than a few select levels, the time limits are really only a major issue in ONML. Still, though, in the majority of cases, it's more "forces you to increase the release rate and release the crowd earlier" and less "forces you to rethink your solution."

I do think that for the most part the game is MUCH better without them, and consider them to be one of my turn offs.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2020, 02:58:57 am »
This is one I feel quite strongly about:

Firstly, I'd say that this is totally down to the designer of the pack: if someone wishes to build a beginner-style rank into their pack, there could be many reasons for doing this.

Absolutely! I'm sorry if you misunderstood, but I was absolutely not saying that beginner-style ranks are bad. On the contrary, I think it's great that as a community, we are producing content at a wide range of difficulties, so that everyone can find levels they enjoy playing.

I just think it's a bit strange, the habit we've gotten into where everyone wants to produce a pack with a range of difficulties starting at beginner, even though there are not many actual beginners in our community. There are certainly good reasons why a designer might want to include a beginner rank, but why is it every pack? I don't really know the answer, except that maybe we're all imitating something that was definitely good about the original games.

Offline WillLem

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2020, 03:28:13 am »
You're welcome to do so, but obviously there's no denying that NeoLemmix took different stances on certain matters.  There is no denying that the original game do have things like hidden traps, ubiquitous timers and timed bombers, and lacks things like framestepping and rewinds.  It was a natural progression driven by the tastes of the community that things evolve the way it did for NeoLemmix.

I feel I should re-iterate at this point that I really do love NeoLemmix and all of the various conveniences it has brought to the game of Lemmings. Let there be no misunderstanding about my appreciation for the platform and its developers: you guys are awesome!

If I was to record such a video, it wouldn't be a which-is-better, because they're so different that it would be pointless to compare them that way. I guess it would just be interesting to see how far the way the game is played has come, and it would be a way to perhaps bring back some appreciation for the execution difficulty of the original levels.

I'm just particularly curious about the matter of timers and you constantly waxing lyrical about squeeze in the last few lemmings in last few seconds.  I just don't remember it being like that back when I played the original games, but it's also a long time ago and maybe it did happen more than I actually remember.  So I thought it might be interesting to see how you play the levels.  It would also let me observe whether there are major difference in playing style like the use of pausing and so forth.

I wouldn't say I constantly go on about it, it's just been a bit of a surprising issue to me. I basically walked into the room thinking "Oh, sure, timers are part of the Lemmings game. I can remember a handful of levels where time has definitely played a big part. I have no doubt that they will remain a staple of the game on whatever platform they appear." And then people said "Yeah, we don't like time limits. Don't use them unless it makes absolute sense to do so, and even when you think it does, most other people probably won't!" :crylaugh:

It's fine though, like I said - I'm pretty much over it, it just pops up every now and then. Most recently when my time-related Talismans were being questioned.

From what I remember, other than a few select levels, the time limits are really only a major issue in ONML.

It may be the Oh No! levels that left me with the impression that they're a big part of the game then, perhaps more so than the original levels.

There are certainly good reasons why a designer might want to include a beginner rank, but why is it every pack? I don't really know the answer, except that maybe we're all imitating something that was definitely good about the original games.

This is almost certainly the case: it's a tried and tested method that's familiar and inviting to people.

I can think of a few packs that don't have that learning curve though, and pretty much hit you with quite difficult puzzles right from Rank 1. Off the top of my head: Lemming Plus Alpha, NepsterLems, and (to a lesser extent) Yippee! More Lemmings and Lemmings Destination, both of which begin with Ranks that are "easy-ish" by a lot of people's standards, but are no means beginner standard at all, and in fact are quite challenging.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2020, 03:36:46 am »
And I believe that other than NepsterLems, all of those postdate this discussion :P

Offline WillLem

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2020, 03:49:56 am »
And I believe that other than NepsterLems, all of those postdate this discussion :P

But... we're having the discussion now! ???

Unless we've warped back in time as a result of all this talk about time limits... :lem-mindblown: :crylaugh:

Offline Proxima

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2020, 03:51:41 am »
My post that you originally replied to is from July 2018. So yes, things have changed and having a beginner rank in your pack isn't quite as ubiquitous as it once was, but I didn't know that change was coming when I wrote it 8-)

Online namida

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2020, 04:50:01 am »
I should also note that Lemmings Plus Alpha isn't really a fair candidate for considering "are beginner ranks standard", as Lemmings Plus Alpha is very specifically targetted at the highly-skilled players. On the other hand, if we look at packs where that wasn't the case - Lemmings Plus VI which was meant to be a bit easier, or Lemmings Plus 3D, there's a beginner rank in each. Or Lemmings Plus Omega II, which is known for being one of my hardest packs, but wasn't an outright deliberate "be as hard as possible" effort - just that in general I was getting capable of making nastier and nastier levels over time - also has a beginner rank, even if it's one of the harder beginner ranks out there.

Offline WillLem

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2020, 05:02:56 am »
I should also note that Lemmings Plus Alpha isn't really a fair candidate for considering "are beginner ranks standard", as Lemmings Plus Alpha is very specifically targetted at the highly-skilled players.

Exactly - that was my point: it doesn't contain a beginner Rank - it stands as an example of a pack that doesn't follow the usual Easy>Medium>Hard>Ridiculous formula, instead it goes Ridiculous>Division by Zero>(Error: there has been a problem processing this data. Please contact your software vendor or service provider).

Offline WillLem

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2020, 02:32:48 am »
Off top of my head I remember these levels where running out of time is a common mode of failure for many:
  • Just a Minute (both part 1 and part 2):  Yes, but figuring out what you need to do extra to get everyone out in time is a core part of the puzzle.  It's not just a matter of when to crank the release rate to 99 (though you definitely will need to do that too).
  • The Fast Food Kitchen:  The tight time limit [at least on versions like Amiga; the DOS version is a bit neutered and I think can actually be done without multitasking] forces you to execute both sides at the same time, rather than just handle one side first and then the other.
  • We All Fall Down (Taxing and Mayhem):  You need to play these levels with the release rate above the default of 1, otherwise the last lemming won't even come out in time.
  • Heaven Can Wait (We Hope):  You want to release the crowd as soon as possible, though I don't rememer how tight exactly the timing is.
  • The Crossroads:  The tight time limit together with the 100% save requirement basically serves as a way to enforce making no mistakes in execution--roughly speaking, if any lemming ever turns around then you screw up.  [Aside: the DOS version of this level is also neutered--it doesn't even require 100%.]  Generally for most people, once they realize the implication of the time limit on execution accuracy for this level, they wouldn't need to wait for timer to run out anymore, they'd instead simply restart the level immediately as soon as a mistake occurs.  And the level already starts you on release rate 99.

Some more examples of tight time-limits in the original game:

Every Lemming For Himself - you have to release the crowd whilst your builder is over tricky rocks & water; not a problem in NL, but becomes more of an issue when played on Amiga
The Ascending Pillar Scenario - again, far more noticeable when playing on the Amiga because releasing the crowd is trickier and must be done more or less after your worker lem has finished.
Hunt The Nessy - amazingly, when going for a 100% save, this time limit is surprisingly tight! You either risk freeing the crowd whilst your worker is vulnerable building over water, or wait until the worker has finished but have only just enough time to get the crowd home. Obviously, the normal blocker/bomber solution is nowhere near as time-precise.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2020, 08:35:49 am »
Ok, I've tried those 3 levels in the original game (but PC DOS version) to refresh my memory.  My findings:

Every Lemming For Himself:  yes, it looks like with the normal solution, you will need to release the lemmings quite a bit before finishing all the building.  That said, on DOS Lemmings, if you put the blocker at the right tip of the "ship" instead of the more usual location, and okay with losing 2 instead of just 1 lemming, that puts the waiting crowd closer to the exit such that even if you release them only after the final builder finishes, you still have about 20 seconds to spare.  That won't work on the Amiga though because with its faster timer, you will still run out of time.

But bottom line, although I didn't recall this, I expect running out of time to indeed be a common experience for most people on this level.

The Ascending Pillar Scenario:  I did a fully normal solution and started releasing the crowd only after the final builder reaches land, and ends up with 1:10 on the clock.  On Amiga that translates to about 0:47 on the clock.  So not a generous time limit by any means, but certainly not down to the wire like "Every emming For Himself" is.

Hunt the Nessy:  this is interesting.  On DOS with its slower timer, I ended up with 1:05 on the clock when sticking to only releasing the crowd after the hero finishes.  On Amiga's faster timer, that does translate to only about 0:09 left on the clock, so definitely a bit tight there.

Using the blockers/bombers (ie. forgo 100% saved) shouldn't affect the timing much for most people?  Most people would probably still be keeping the crowd just on the starting island, just using blockers instead of a digger or similar to hold the crowd.  You could imagine holding the crowd twice (ie. release them way early to get them to an island closer to the exit, and then hold them there again to wait), but that's a bit involved and implies some multitasking, so I don't see that being something people would likely try on this level.

The DOS version also has all water removed.  So there are maybe 2 or so gaps that you could get away with using just 1 builder instead of 2, which I guess further makes the timing less tight on DOS compared to Amiga.

I will say one thing, this is probably the worst kind of level for a tight time limit.  At least "Every Lemming For Himself" can't take more than 3 minutes.  Here each time you run out of time, it means you lost 8 freaking minutes of your time, most of which was spent waiting for the builder to build faster, dammit.  (And then later cursing at the crowd of lemmings to walk faster for pete's sake. ;))

Offline Dullstar

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2020, 03:35:33 am »
It's not a total turn-off, but a minor pet peeve of mine is levels where a bunch of lemmings die in vain. Bombers are a useful destructive skill that can often justify the loss of the lemming, and sometimes a lemming performs a task but can't turn around to save itself because the skills necessary to do that would create backroutes. But then there's levels where you lose a bunch of lemmings off a cliff simply because they slip through gaps before they can be closed, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Examples from original game: From the Boundary Line, Pillars of Hercules, Poor Wee Creatures, Cascade intended solution (the 100% one seems pretty frame precise and I suspect it wasn't intended, though it wouldn't surprise me if the devs were at least aware of it based on the skillset)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 03:40:56 am by Dullstar »

Offline WillLem

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2020, 12:50:29 pm »
It's not a total turn-off, but a minor pet peeve of mine is levels where a bunch of lemmings die in vain. Bombers are a useful destructive skill that can often justify the loss of the lemming, and sometimes a lemming performs a task but can't turn around to save itself because the skills necessary to do that would create backroutes. But then there's levels where you lose a bunch of lemmings off a cliff simply because they slip through gaps before they can be closed, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

At last! Something Dullstar and I agree on! ;P

Well said, brother. :lemcat:

Online kaywhyn

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Re: Immediate turn-offs
« Reply #42 on: Today at 12:31:48 am »
Off top of my head I remember these levels where running out of time is a common mode of failure for many:
  • Just a Minute (both part 1 and part 2)
  • The Fast Food Kitchen
  • We All Fall Down (Taxing and Mayhem)
  • Heaven Can Wait (We Hope)
  • The Crossroads

Some more examples of tight time-limits in the original game:

Every Lemming For Himself
The Ascending Pillar Scenario
Hunt The Nessy

To add to your list and ccexplore's:

The Crankshaft Besides Tightrope City, probably the first level with a time crunch, although that should go to Heaven Can Wait. Not a problem if you send multiple climbers, but time was usually a problem only because I kept sending one worker. Even with this, I think I would always have about 30 seconds or so left, so maybe not too much of a problem despite that time can be tight.

If at First You Don't Succeed
I guess it depends on the solution you use, but generally I would release the crowd when the worker lemming finishes building over the last gap. When I dig under the pillars, the lemmings would have a long way to walk back and forth in the pit, and so I would have anywhere from a second left to a few seconds remaining.

Mary Poppins Land The timer was a huge problem only because I have always used the solution of sending only one worker lemming instead of two. If using my solution, when releasing the crowd, it has to be done before the second splatform to the diagonal platform is done in order to still have enough time to pass. If I remember correctly, they have to be released by the 40 seconds mark.

Take a Running Jump I usually use the solution of making a splatform, and if my memory serves me correctly, you need to up the release rate a bit before the timer reaches the 2 minute mark. The lemmings do have a lot of walking to do in this solution and so the timing can be tight.

One Way or Another I've always taken the route on the right. I think I usually release the crowd by the time the last gap is built over and it's usually about 20 seconds or so left. I don't remember the skillset, and so I'm not sure if the left route is possible, but if it is I would imagine that it's way more time consuming since they have much farther to walk.

The Far Side At least if you do the normal solution of going around, because I do believe there's a video where it's possible to bash the top on Dos and therefore time will not be an issue. Almost every time I play this level, I release the crowd as soon as the worker lemming seals the hole with the wall on the right or possibly even when the worker lemming seals the gap going to the left after already sealing it to the right and I think I would finish the level anywhere from just a second to 10 seconds left. In other words, I think as long as you release the crowd by a minute left or even 55 seconds left then you'll still pass.

Pea Soup Surprisingly, this can be a time cruncher. At the same time, not too difficult to see this, since pretty much the entire level is spent building really long bridges. I think I usually release the crowd by the time the worker lemming falls off the right side of the bowl, i.e, when the worker hits the floor where the exit is, and usually will have about 10 or so seconds left.

Save Me Maybe not that big of a problem on time despite that it can be tight, but it at least was for me when I was a child. There have been times when I have released the crowd too late.

From ONML, a lot of them. In Crazy, I say the most notable were Digging for Victory and No Problem, and I guess The Stack, Keep on Trucking, ON the Antarctic Coast, and Rocky VI can be too. For Wild, definitely Onward and Upward. Also It's a Tight Fit and Snow Joke and Lemmingdelica. For Wicked, Rocky Road, Spam, Spam, Spam, Egg and Lemming, and Up, Down, or Round and Round (only because I always up the release rate after bashing through the two pillars at the bottom). Finally, for Havoc, definitely Welcome to the Party, Pal, but I say other notable ones are Race Against the Cliches, Lemming About Town (at least when the climber gets to the top, as it apparently always does on Dos despite the bridge being at the edge), Synchronised Lemming, and Where Lemmings Dare.

edit: Forgot Lemmings in a Situation too.
« Last Edit: Today at 03:50:56 am by kaywhyn »