Author Topic: Extended builder foot check  (Read 3155 times)

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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2018, 05:48:40 am »
The feet area prevents those situations where a lem can build until a connection has been made between a thin ceiling and a bridge/floor closely under it, where the free middle space makes the interruptions a bit more forgiving in some scenarios, as a complete opposite of the tiny genesis checkbox would be very unforgiving.

I think the old genesis version simply misses the feet checkbox and creates these rather weird scenarios.

Except the NeoLemmix change is little more than a very weak form of "prevention", it merely makes you spend 2 more builders than before, at least in the context of the situation depicted in DragonLover's screenshot.  You typically already have to spend a few builders as it is while you're still below the ceiling, since the ceiling is usually a few pixels thick.  Even Simon found the NeoLemmix behavior initially confusing and surprising, not the Genesis version:

I remember how it confused me several times because no other Lemmings-like game checks like this.

(emphasis added by me)

The feet check does exist in DOS/Genesis--it is just a smaller 2(width)x1(height) area at the feet of the lemming, so it only takes effect after the build bridge fully connects with the thin ceiling (you'd note that even in the original mechanics, the builder does end up getting turned around once finished).  It would seem NeoLemmix expanded that area vertically.  If there were truly no feet check at all, then it would not be possible for a builder to turn itself around on bumpy terrain or a slope, the builder would continue while obliviously moving into the interfering terrain.

Had the check been extended greatly such that you somehow stay fully in brick-by-brick mode in order to brute-force through a thin ceiling once builder gets close enough to it, then at least one can more convincingly argue "prevention".  Instead, right now you just get a halfhearted bit of extra resistance towards the end. :-\  How often in typical levels would one get into a situation anyway, where without some bit of initial bruce-forcing with builders, the thin ceiling is already so low that the lemming's head poked through it already?  Seems like there must've been a better setup to support the NL behavior than the one we have here.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2018, 09:39:30 am »
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it merely makes you spend 2 more builders than before.....Had the check been extended greatly such that you somehow stay fully in brick-by-brick mode in order to brute-force through a thin ceiling once builder gets close enough to it, then at least one can more convincingly argue "prevention".  Instead, right now you just get a halfhearted bit of extra resistance towards the end. :-\

2 builders is a lot and I wouldn't call this halfhearted at all. 2 builders is quite a large investement in Lemmings and in the most cases it is more than enough. + These 2 builders are still succesful in removing the weird feeling of "suddlenly it connects" from the genesis case.
It won't prevent the 20 of everything levels to do this, but it will in nearly all cases prevent the restricted puzzles from having backroutes using this behavior.

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Even Simon found the NeoLemmix behavior initially confusing and surprising, not the Genesis version

The other way around now: I found the Genesis bahavior very confusing and I think that extra resistance is needed there. And that is also not just initially feeling so, but even after a time-period knowing about this.
Additionally Simon also admitted that my feeling about that the builder connect in the previously mentioned Lix level felt confusing and surprising to me is understandable as well. So this goes both ways.

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no other Lemmings-like game checks like this

I think the old games got it wrong then, but I must emphasise here that I don't think the old games are a good reference for physics at all as they are riddled with glitches. Also quite a few checks are different from any other version now anyway due to removing old bugs/glitches and inconsistancies.


Let me give you an example why the gap between the 2 checkboxes are a very good compromise between the weird genesis behavior and a very strict large checkbox without interruption:

Imagine you are building up to the first floor in "King of the castle" from the bottom left. You started a little bit too late for the strict check and stop quite a bit below the ledge. With the 2 seperated checkboxes it will still end you up close to the ledge and it is possible to recover because of the little bit of leeway you have and the feet-check still prevents the way-too late attempts. So it provides a bit of extra leeway here and avoids frustration when building towards a rough-edged (but still more or less vertical) wall as namida stated.
So I would call namida's instinct to be correct here as it provides a compromise between weird genesis ceiling connections and the way too strict brick-by-brick mode.

Yes it takes a bit to adjust coming from the old games, but I think it is for the better as I agree with namida's instinct here and I would even lean more to the stricter side than the genesis side.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2018, 11:03:27 am »
I'm going to take the other side, then. A builder stopping once when his head hits a 1-pixel platform, and the next builder continuing until the bridge connects, is no weirder than lemmings being able to walk through 1-pixel gaps, or step up from point (x,y) to point (x+1, y+5) when all surrounding pixels are wall. I accept that this behaviour may enable backroutes. It can also enable intended solutions -- and NL forcing an extra builder (or other skill, as in Sunsoft 24) to be added to the skillset may enable backroutes elsewhere.

If there were to be a vote on it, I'd definitely vote for the original games' behaviour here. But -- to answer DragonsLover's question about why it's this way -- namida decided it in the period when NL was his solo effort, before asking the forum for their opinions on gameplay mechanics was something that was ever done. That's not a criticism of namida; it's just a piece of forum history. It's probably not worth considering changing the behaviour now, as there are a large number of existing levels that could be affected in unpredictable ways.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2018, 11:56:34 am »
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A builder stopping once when his head hits a 1-pixel platform, and the next builder continuing until the bridge connects, is no weirder than lemmings being able to walk through 1-pixel gaps, or step up from point (x,y) to point (x+1, y+5) when all surrounding pixels are wall.

I would call a step up way more resonable than the ceiling behavior for example:

- The step up is discovered natutally with lemmings walking up through builder-bridges. The ceiling thing is mostly discovered by accident with players making big eyes.

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It can also enable intended solutions -- and NL forcing an extra builder (or other skill, as in Sunsoft 24) to be added to the skillset may enable backroutes elsewhere.

This will only count for the original levels as all other content was created with NL mechanics in mind and I think we established already that the physics engine doesn't need to statisfy every single original level (like timed bombers for example). If players want the 1:1 original feeling Lemmix and DOSBOX are here for that.
Also I would call the single original levels here not really worth it, as I think our content now is way more superior.

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It's probably not worth considering changing the behaviour now, as there are a large number of existing levels that could be affected in unpredictable ways.

Yes, a change of basic builder behavior would be devastating for the already established pack culture. Even more as the final result is unpredictable in contrast to things like the big deadly-ceiling change where you saw where to need to step in.
That's why I would say here Lemmix and DOSBOX is the right way to go for people who prefer the 100% authentic original experience with all it's quirks.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2018, 12:08:18 pm »
- The step up is discovered natutally with lemmings walking up through builder-bridges. The ceiling thing is mostly discovered by accident with players making big eyes.

Unsupported assertion. As I've stated, I didn't find it surprising, and several other responses in this topic have said the same.

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This will only count for the original levels as all other content was created with NL mechanics in mind

We have to keep NL mechanics in mind while making NL levels, but that doesn't mean we have to embrace them. Often the mechanics present difficulties in level design that have to be worked around.

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Yes, a change of basic builder behavior would be devastating for the already established pack culture. Even more as the final result is unpredictable in contrast to things like the big deadly-ceiling change where you saw where to need to step in.
That's why I would say here Lemmix and DOSBOX is the right way to go for people who prefer the 100% authentic original experience with all it's quirks.

Of course, I never said anything about "preferring the 100% original experience". Do have fun beating up your straw man.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2018, 12:59:23 pm »
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Unsupported assertion. As I've stated, I didn't find it surprising, and several other responses in this topic have said the same.

In this topic yes, but just take a look at the contest level I referred to, a few players didn't solve it exactly because of this unsuspected behavior. Flopsy for example as I recall.

+ I am here as a person who made big eyes. I never even noticed that in the original games as I did not had a Genesis and therefore didn't need the trick. I even think that Sunsoft level is the only one requiring it.

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We have to keep NL mechanics in mind while making NL levels, but that doesn't mean we have to embrace them. Often the mechanics present difficulties in level design that have to be worked around.

Still this doesn't invalidate my argument that it will only allow for intended original Lemmings 1 solutions out of the current content. Of course you can always come up with new levels that uses this behavior, but that counts for everything.
Also new levels requiring that behavior can still be realised in Lix so it's not that there is anything blocking them from becoming reality at all and new Lix content is always a good thing to have. :)
Every set of mechanics present advantages and difficulties, with often advatages bring certain disadvantages with them.

I also don't embrace everything, I was happy to see gimmicks and radiation culled and I was very grateful for the physics clean up back in the days even if that meant a ton of maintenance work for me. But I really think the relaxed genesis builder check is a bad thing to have sry.

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Of course, I never said anything about "preferring the 100% original experience". Do have fun beating up your straw man.

And I did not say otherwise there. I was just saying that if someone wants that experience without any changes made to them the person can get it. I made no assumptions about you.

I won't and don't want to persuade you. Persuading people is nearly impossible in most cases. I just want to show the other side of the coin here to people used to the other behavior, even if that results again to me being out on the shooting range attacked from all sides here.

At least we can agree in the point that a change now won't be worth it. :)

Offline Proxima

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2018, 02:41:27 pm »
Still this doesn't invalidate my argument that it will only allow for intended original Lemmings 1 solutions out of the current content. Of course you can always come up with new levels that uses this behavior, but that counts for everything.

But my point is that the imagination isn't constrained by mechanics in the same way that actual gameplay is. I don't have your copious experience of designing Lemmings / NL levels, but certain in Repton and DROD, again and again I've had the experience of coming up with an interesting level concept, trying to implement it, and realising that the mechanics don't allow it to work, or would force me to accept unintended solutions.

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And I did not say otherwise there. I was just saying that if someone wants that experience without any changes made to them the person can get it. I made no assumptions about you.
Okay, then I'm sorry I misunderstood what you were saying. It felt like you were lumping me together with people who want the original experience, since otherwise I'm not sure what the point is of bringing them into this discussion at all.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2018, 02:54:45 pm »
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But my point is that the imagination isn't constrained by mechanics in the same way that actual gameplay is. I don't have your copious experience of designing Lemmings / NL levels, but certain in Repton and DROD, again and again I've had the experience of coming up with an interesting level concept, trying to implement it, and realising that the mechanics don't allow it to work, or would force me to accept unintended solutions.

That's totally true. Of course the imagination is a much greater playing field than the possible game mechanics and you will need to try out what is possible and what's not possible in the engine of your choice.

Offline nin10doadict

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Re: Questions regarding NeoLemmix (extended builder foot check)
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2018, 06:29:42 pm »
I'm in the camp that likes the stricter builder check in NeoLemmix the way it is. Mainly because it is so rarely a thing that needs to be worried about. Trying to force your way through a thin ceiling with builders alone is very rarely the correct solution, so changing the behavior seems needless.

You could probably still design a level in NeoLemmix that forces going through a ceiling with builders only. You'd have to take extra care that the additional builders you would need don't cause a backroute somewhere, however. Or you could just fill up the remaining gap with a stacker, or use some other skill to punch through the ceiling... There's lots of ways to work with the different mechanics. As Icho said, we have to try things out and learn how to design cool levels around what we have. I think as a community there has been a lot of success in this regard. :thumbsup:

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Extended builder foot check
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2018, 08:59:16 am »
I got busy IRL last few days to reply, but basically like Proxima said in one of his replies, I feel like when you already have to accept Lemmings walking through 1-pixel gaps, it would actually be pretty logical then to also accept and even expect builders having weak collision detection that only involves the very top of head and very bottom of feet.

I think I kind of get how most people would expect stronger collision detections because in most video games, the collision detection is usually not so weak like in Lemmings.  (And of course, in those same games, you wouldn't expect to be able to squeeze and walk through 1-pixel gaps either.)  Yet the NL change in that regard is undercut by the compromise where apparently, if you truly make it so that the entire builder lemming is a collision target, it is then apparently "too strong" and gets in the way when building towards walls that aren't perfectly evenly vertical.  So instead you end up with this weak addition just around the feet, which really only seems suited to address specifically this "King of Castle" case where the thin ceiling is not present on one side (so the builder doesn't first get interrupted already by ceiling check), and some people want the builder to stop at least once if it first started colliding with the ceiling/floor at body-level rather than head-level.  That is not exactly rare but also not all that common a setup.

Of course, this is all just discussion at this point.  There is no point to changing a behavior that has became the NL standard for such a long time now, especially one that is already preferred by many.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 10:24:10 am by Simon »

Offline DragonsLover

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Re: Extended builder foot check
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2018, 09:23:15 am »
Hey! I'm back!

That was a nice discussion. And indeed, there's nothing to be changed. Like I said, I'm gonna deal with it and play with that behavior.

However, the bomber pixels bug is still there. :( At the 52th frame after the explosion sprite from a bomber (where the pixels are first shown (counted as frame 1)), the glitchy pixels are visible. I've played version v12.3.1.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Extended builder foot check
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2018, 10:57:05 am »
The new update wasn't released yet. So the change still needs to be implemented.

Offline namida

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Re: Extended builder foot check
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2018, 12:02:31 am »
Minor cosmetic issues tend to be low-priority, and only get fixed next time there's an update anyway. Urgent releases only tend to be made for major physics bugs or game crashes.
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Offline DragonsLover

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Re: Extended builder foot check
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2018, 11:54:26 pm »
Alright :thumbsup:
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Offline Nepster

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Re: Extended builder foot check
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2018, 03:33:00 pm »
Please check out the version 12.4., that I released yesterday. The exploder graphics bug should be fixed in there. :)