Author Topic: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill  (Read 4188 times)

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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2018, 04:01:58 pm »
You still seem to miss the other point I made in the last post.

Ghosts were an an idea that:

A) Was discarded and did not work out before.
B) Was mostly disliked.
C) Only 2 people (namida and GigaLem) used it at all, due no interest for them.
D) One of these 2 people even pushed for the removal (namida).
E) The suggested rework (removing the fear effect) will make it even less interesting, while the fear itself is very fiddly.

So I am even against the "try it out later". We've got better things to add and we will have better ideas that the majority of people will enjoy.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2018, 04:04:28 pm »
I mainly ask this out of curiosity, but for how long did the ghost feature exist before its removal?

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2018, 04:27:08 pm »
I mainly ask this out of curiosity, but for how long did the ghost feature exist before its removal?


The 2 packs featuring them were posted in early Dec 2015 and early July 2016. So they were in there for at least 7 months, which I would deem as enough of a timespan for people making levels with them if they were interested.

Packs:
1st Dec 2015: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2313.0
2nd July 2016: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=2798.0

Offline Proxima

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2018, 04:50:11 pm »
Seven months is not a long time. I've been working on GemLems for five months and I'm still on the first rank. We all have different amounts of real-life commitments, and it can be hard to squeeze in time to work on level creation.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2018, 05:22:08 pm »
Thanks for this question, Proxima! ;) Since IchoTolot's main argument seems to be that next to no-one liked and used ghosts when they were removed (failing to consider that several other people have joined the forums in the meantime), this is starting to fall apart right there:

Most packs of decent quality are at least several months in the making, if not a year. My first packs were rushed out pretty quickly, and as a consequence, their quality is a lot less consistent than my younger releases. namida seems to be able to create a lot of challenging levels + graphic sets in a very short amount of time, as demonstrated once again by Lemmings Plus VI. The majority of people however do take their time to develop larger packs:

SEB Lems took 16 months, Lemmings Stampede 1 year, Nepster Lems 10 months, Lemmings Evolution started in 2016 and isn't even finished yet.


If features can be added and removed in a shorter amount of time than it takes to create a level pack of 100 or more levels, that means there wasn't even enough time for someone to develop a pack idea on the basis that it would involve ghosts. In contrast, when I began working on Paralems, I knew there were zombies, and I specifically planned from what rank on I'd start introducing them, etc. Of course, that pack was released pretty quickly, but only because I threw everything in there that somehow came to my mind, I didn't know any specific guidelines or criteria for level quality yet back then. Once I started to get faimiliar with them, my level creation pace slowed down, and that meant Lemmings World Tour took almost a year as well.

Yes, people could potentially have created single ghost levels for contests or similar, but whether that is feasible or not also highly depends on the contest rules.


Considering a) the short amount of time the ghosts existed, and b) the number of people who have joined the forums since then, I'd say it's pretty certain that "no one liked it back then, so no one is going to like it now" is a premature conclusion. ;) It's fine if they are simply available, IchoTolot; it's not like you have to use them if you don't like them! ;)

Ghost Lemmings - help us test a possible new NeoLemmix skill!
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour, my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems, a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems, a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2018, 07:48:10 pm »
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Seven months is not a long time. I've been working on GemLems for five months and I'm still on the first rank. We all have different amounts of real-life commitments, and it can be hard to squeeze in time to work on level creation.

Since IchoTolot's main argument seems to be that next to no-one liked and used ghosts when they were removed (failing to consider that several other people have joined the forums in the meantime), this is starting to fall apart right there:

Most packs of decent quality are at least several months in the making, if not a year. My first packs were rushed out pretty quickly, and as a consequence, their quality is a lot less consistent than my younger releases. namida seems to be able to create a lot of challenging levels + graphic sets in a very short amount of time, as demonstrated once again by Lemmings Plus VI. The majority of people however do take their time to develop larger packs:

For packs, yes. But given not even 1 other single level has used them in over half a year and no other packs annouced to use them, this time period seems very appropriate. Also no contest entry made use of them either and no contest rule excluded them.

Also, I miss the huge crowd here demanding ghosts. Where are all the people really starving to use them? Until now only Giga clearly stated he likes them and he was indeed the only other person who used them earlier.
ccexplore stated they feel somewhat overpowered and "namida's opinion that the old ghost gimmick didn't ultimately contribute much is perhaps a good data point to take into account".
Proxima criticised the time period they were available.

If there was a great demand from a lot for them (not just very few people), I would step aside and while still dislikeing and criticising them, try to tolerate them.

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I'd totally go with the "pick the rules for the next contest" option... and then make those rules "create a level involving a ghost or a gimmick"!

That would not be possible. The contest are held in NL new format and Lix only. Both of them don't cover gimmicks. Maybe you can convince Simon to include some more gimmicks in Lix. ;)

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It's fine if they are simply available, IchoTolot; it's not like you have to use them if you don't like them!

Yes, I don't have to use them, but I think they reduce the quality of the program by bringing not much new and increase clutter and complexity by a lot. That is my main concern and when I have to make a huge argument again then so shall it be. I care for the program, therefore I state my concerns (even if that makes me somewaht harsh in the eyes of some).

Also ultimately you will have to convince Nepster, not me. He needs to see the use and demand for them.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2018, 08:47:18 pm »
As said before, this is one of many possible skills we may reconsider after the addition of the majority-selected features of the shimmier, the jumper, and the limited-number exits.

While the shimmier and jumper are further Lemmings 2: The Tribes inserts, I always liked about NeoLemmix how it created skills that filled gaps, rather than providing as much redundancy as Lemmings 2. So things like a downward builder, upward digger, or gravity reversal as shown in Lemmings Revolution are all options as well.

For now, I just meant to get an idea of the current stance of the current forum members. I'm happy to see that, while there isn't a real demand for this yet (basically mainly me and GigaLem are pro-ghost), there doesn't seem to be outright disdain for them either (especially compared to recently removed stuff, like radiation and slowfreeze).

I guess / hope that we'll still get quite a few new forum members over the course of the next months or year, so we'll see how the opinion of the then active community may shift, once the shimmier, the jumper, and the limited exits are all implemented and stable ;) .
Ghost Lemmings - help us test a possible new NeoLemmix skill!
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour, my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems, a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems, a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline namida

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2018, 10:39:16 pm »
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or gravity reversal as shown in Lemmings Revolution are all options as well.

Gravity reversal has been ruled out on several occasions due to the coding complexity. Downward builder or upwards digger are - while not (as far as I know) in the current plans - feasible, if enough demand and real-world usefulness were to be shown.
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2018, 11:59:59 pm »
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Gravity reversal has been ruled out on several occasions due to the coding complexity.

Ah yeah, that makes sense - it would be basically another gimmick ("no gravity 2.0" ;) ), just in object form. Especially considering how all skills are being inverted in Lemmings Revolution as well... yeah, a downward builder or upward digger would fill that gap equally well. Gravity reversal comes from a game that didn't have the luxury of a fencer, after all ;) .

So gravity reversal and skills that go into opposite directions by themselves would make each other redundant anyway. Genuine, independent skills are much more versatile than other skills having to rely on specific objects to fulfil the same goal. I guess that's also why many prefer bomber- and stoner pickup skills over radiation and slowfreeze.

Consequently, a ghost being an assignable skill would follow the same logic: having a skill > having an object.

So my proposal to reintroduce it in that form actually comes from a mindset that would argue against things like radiation and slowfreeze, rather than for them. It's not just me being attached to old stuff in general, just in case anyone believes that! ;) Reducing fiddly-ness in form of not bringing back the intimidation part is akin to culling radiation and slowfreeze, because where radiation lemmings were moving bombers and slowfreeze lemmings were moving stoners, a ghost with intimidate is a moving blocker.

While I guess you can come up with interesting solutions involving a ghost arriving just in time to turn around a builder or miner mid-performance, this seems even more fiddly than releasing a lemming in time to block in front of such a builder or miner. Because with a blocker, at least you have additional control over when you assign it - the ghost just affects the lemming when it happens to walk by, you can't really do that much to accelerate or delay him at this point.

Yes, you can of course turn the ghost into a blocker, too, but that nullifies its purpose in this regard, because that's what it does anyway. Blocker-stopped radiation / slowfreeze lemmings at least are an interaction, bombing and stoning in a restricted area, blockers to stop the lemming. But a ghost blocker is just a... double blocker? :D

Hence, I tend to view the ghost as a disarmer surrogate, more so than a moving blocker. But hey, I'll happily look at GigaLem's old packs again to see what other uses he's found for ghosts! Actually, his packs were what made me aware of them in the first place! ;)
Ghost Lemmings - help us test a possible new NeoLemmix skill!
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour, my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems, a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems, a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline Proxima

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2018, 12:11:54 am »
So gravity reversal and skills that go into opposite directions by themselves would make each other redundant anyway.

Definitely not. At least, gravity reversal would make inverted skills redundant, but not the other way round. Gravity reversal on its own has a ton of potential for interesting puzzles that have no counterparts in single-gravity Lemmings, for example, upright lemmings working on a path to be used by inverted lemmings.

While I'm normally on the side of keeping the game as simple as possible, gravity reversal is one idea I could get behind -- it certainly proved its potential back in the Cheapo days. That said, of course I accept that it's a feature we almost certainly will never get in NL, because of the coding difficulty (as namida mentioned).

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2018, 12:18:25 am »
I would be all up for a downwards builder for example. It is more difficult to carve a path downwards skillwise, even more diagonally. Stoners are perhaps the best option. A diagonally downwards constructive skill would fill a gap in my opinion.

Offline GigaLem

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2018, 03:17:22 am »
You know, I'm close to putting my foot down on everyone here

1)I don't remember hearing nor reading that "Ghosts" were disliked
2)Barely anyone used them and and were culled before people could take full advantage of them.
3)This is simply a proposal, not a flame war. If you're gonna say we're not constantly rejecting everything, then be more accepting of ideas or suggest compromises or not constantly shoot down potential at every turn! This is why I'm led to believe that Neolemmix is stagnating. constant stress of these suggestion topics. Less gets suggested because most are expecting a huge NO. while more gets culled making pack developers more worried that they have to fix something they REALLY DON'T WANT TO.
4)how about instead of listing 7000 reasons ghosts should be a banned topic. how about instead suggest something that can make them intuitive. Make something that can make them less redundant. C'mon! If you have any ideas. Share them! I'd Like to hear em! seriously I'm to the point where I would literally just suggest that culling things should be halted for a good long while because im sick of Neolemmix being stripped of any fun it can have.

I don't like to snap like this. But seriously, I'm tired of seeing stuff like this on the forums. Now I understand why flopsy left the forums for a good while. This kind of stuff. Suggesting stuff shouldn't be like talking to a wall.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2018, 04:27:50 am »
Are the older versions still available for download? If so, perhaps a demonstration of the ghost's potential is in order. Maybe someone could even set up a contest to try to make a level using the ghosts to try to get those creative juices flowing. I don't think there's any rule stopping regular users from setting up unofficial contests.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2018, 09:23:38 am »
@Dullstar: Indeed, exactly what I suggested! ;) For the official level design contests, IchoTolot has the power to put his own claim to the test :P - make such a contest and see how many people participate! :D

The main thing preventing people from participating at this point in time, though, may also be the technical shortcomings of version 1.43 in general, compared to the convenience of 10.13 and New Formats. Flopsy for example was really keen on gimmicks, but still quit the pack not only due to recording-related difficulties, but also due to the absence of things like true physics mode, splat ruler, skill shadows etc.

So for him, the drawbacks of version 1.43 seemed to outweigh the interesting aspects of gimmicks and ghosts. For me, obviously, they didn't - otherwise I wouldn't have created a pack of 170 levels for it :D . But I can imagine other people not willing to make that tradeoff.

Because yes, that version is still available on the NeoLemmix homepage; it's the one used in my pack Lemmicks. The link in my signature will take you to the pack thread, and there you can find a link taking you to version 1.43. ;)

Lemmicks also includes quite a few levels with ghosts, so give it a shot if you're interested! ;)

[/shameless self promotion]


@GigaLem: I think IchoTolot infers they were disliked from the fact that only the two of you, namida and GigaLem, used them. ;) That's not necessarily the case, though; a lot of people may just have been indifferent to them, or didn't know about them in the first place.

That's also the logic that leads to things being removed if they are only barely used - the default assumption is that no one else likes them, everyone who doesn't outright support them is counted in the "against" camp, and then it seems like a majority decision to remove this stuff, irrespective of the fact that it has no additional use for the remove-faction, but does irreversible damage to levels of the keep-faction.

There haven't been a lot of culls lately, but I can understand why you kept some of your packs in very Old Formats (1.43), because you didn't see a way to reasonably convert these levels to something not involving a ghost.

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I don't think there's any rule stopping regular users from setting up unofficial contests.

There are some users who believe content should only be created for the latest version, but I'm not the only one "rebelling" against that ;) . Some people still like to use the old 10.13 editor, for the piece-replacement feature, if nothing else. I don't even know whether Arty might actually still be working on ArtLems in Old Formats.

And frankly, I don't care either; I have all three stable versions installed anyway, because for each of them there's content that can only be played in said format (GigaLems, Resident Giga Lems, and bsmith's level pack for 1.43; Lemmings Stampede, CasuaLemmings, and Lemmings Squared for 10.13; Clammings and Integral Lemmings for New Formats). So if I have to keep all of them installed anyway if I want to be able to play everything, I can just as well create content for either of them.

I don't regard any version as "outdated" or "old-fashioned" to use; I don't judge these different versions on the basis of their release date, but on the basis of features they can offer. With the impending introduction of the shimmier, New Formats is becoming more attractive to me now, but I still don't have any issues with 10.13 either, and I am always willing to do without some of the modern conveniences if someone comes up with new and interesting stuff that can only be done in 1.43.

Older stable versions are only outdated in the sense that they will no longer be updated and maintained, so issues that still exist in them won't get fixed; but in turn, for a level creator, that also means reliability, because he can be sure nothing will get removed or altered in its behaviour either ;) .


EDIT: So, I just discovered that apparently, it is no longer possible to open new topics in the "Levels for v10 or older" forum. Well, that won't stop ghost-friendly members; we can simply collect our level ideas elsewhere. But this also affects people who have started working on packs while 10.13 was still a thing - ArtLems, GemLems, and Lemmings Evolution come to mind.

This extremely authoritarian behaviour of its proponents is what turns me off New Formats the most! If New Formats were genuinely that superior, there wouldn't be a need to shut down competition like that. People were already gravitating to it by themselves in large measures, and even I have become more accepting of it. Let the free market of ideas take care of that!

Looks like I was really lucky to be able to sneak out Lemmings World Tour into that thread before this change was imposed. Maybe even the release of Lemmings World Tour was what caused that change in the first place.

PS: Although I see that GigaLem is a moderator in the v10-subforum as well, so he could probably remove that limitation again, since he seems to be veeery friendly towards ghosts :P ...
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 10:03:47 am by Strato Incendus »
Ghost Lemmings - help us test a possible new NeoLemmix skill!
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour, my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems, a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems, a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Suggestion] Ghost as a skill
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2018, 12:37:21 pm »
Alright then, I've opened a thread for everyone who's eager to put those spooky Ghost lemmings to the test! GigaLem, Dullstar, anyone? ;)

https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4031.0

I'm also going to carry that link around in my signature now, to make as many people as possible aware of it :D !
Ghost Lemmings - help us test a possible new NeoLemmix skill!
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour, my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems, a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems, a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels