Author Topic: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR  (Read 265 times)

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Offline tor

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A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR
« on: November 11, 2018, 12:19:20 pm »

The picture should say it all. The number lowering when rate of lemmings is higher, and the marking of - and + is in the opposite direction.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 05:14:28 pm by Simon »
Windows 7 SP1 32bit
Java version 8 update 191
SuperLemmini 0.103b
NeoLemmix Player V12.04.00

Offline Proxima

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 12:27:10 pm »
Go into Settings (F3 on the main menu), go to the Interface tab, and deselect "Use Spawn Interval".

Even though it's not a bug, I really question whether there's any need for this option to exist. It adds confusion, and the language is meaningless to new players who haven't participated in forum discussions.

Offline tor

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 12:34:26 pm »
Thanks.
Windows 7 SP1 32bit
Java version 8 update 191
SuperLemmini 0.103b
NeoLemmix Player V12.04.00

Offline Simon

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 05:01:06 pm »
I'm surprised that SI is now the default.

Quote
It [option] adds confusion

I agree that the option creates confusion.

SI with the Lemmings UI (plus/minus, exact same font, exact same symbols, ...) is not ideal. This UI makes the number look like a bug even though it is exactly the intended number.

The wording "Use Spawn Interval" is bad, too. Whoever wants the Release Rate will not find anything under the familiar wording. The option should be retitled "Convert Spawn Interval into Release Rate" and show the SI when it's off, or make it a radio button and spell both choices out in full. Still not 100 % sure what should be default; it hinges on the UI that should distinguish SI more clearly from RR.

Quote
the language is meaningless to new players who haven't participated in forum discussions.

SI tells the player exactly its meaning, the number of physics updates between two spawns.

RR is the complicated alternative, the number means nothing unless you insert it into a formula. Don't confuse familiarity with simplicity. RR requires familiarity from Lemmings 1.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 05:31:06 pm by Simon »

Offline Proxima

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 05:44:34 pm »
SI tells the player exactly its meaning, the number of physics updates between two spawns.

Does "spawn" mean anything to the player without a game dev background? "Interval" does not tell you the unit of measurement.

Of course, my position is that it's fine for the player to not know this, because I can only remember one instance, ever, when knowing the unit of measurement was helpful -- a C++ Lix level where I wanted to merge the crowd into a single location in a digger pit to meet an extremely precise time limit. Levels requiring such precision should be discouraged regardless of the UI. Similarly, the timer in Repton serves its purpose, and it never bothered me that the unit of measurement is unstated. If the game had a timer in minutes and seconds, that still wouldn't tell me how much I can get done in a certain time and whether I need to break away from what I'm doing and grab a time capsule -- I would have had to develop a feel for that in exactly the same way I had to with the existing timer.

Quote
RR requires familiarity from Lemmings 1.

"Release rate" is the rate at which lemmings are released. I don't think that's so hard to figure out. :P

Offline Simon

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 06:58:13 pm »
The wording is largely irrelevant. Where is it printed? It's not on the preview anymore, good riddance. It appears in the options and the editor at best.

Then it's still about the unit itself.

I disagree and claim that the units are relevant:
  • The unit should be linear in the first place, or inverted-linear with a pole at 0.
  • You have a small counterexample with the precise diggers.
  • In Wafflem stream, I suggested to double the time between two spawns in Fill the Floor, and he was unable to solve this very simple task because the RR obscures what happens.
  • These kind of threads generate wonderful popcorn (probably the 4th thread provoked by the units), that would be abstruse if it weren't important.
  • And even if the unit were irrelevant, then NL should still change; it should then implement only one unit instead of the option; programs should not have irrelevant options.
I get that many prefer higher number to mean faster spawns. You can write the spawn interval as a frequency, 1/SI. This would be a rate for once in the physical sense: Double the rate from 1/8 spawns/frames to 1/4 spawns/frames, and the lems spawn indeed twice as quickly. I even suggested this 2 years ago; it got rejected out of fear that people would be confused.

Yes, the timer argument holds; that's the reason why I discourage long time limits in Lemmings. But still the timer measures linearly, I assume you value that? L1 RR or NL RR is not even linear. They have a weird pole at 103 or 107.

Anyway, I still claim that the SI UI is too similar to the RR UI and risks confusion because of familiarity with L1 RR. This UI problem seems far more important today than choice of default. I offer to paint new icons for SI. How does one change button icons in NL?

-- Simon

Offline namida

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2018, 08:21:23 pm »
The SI option was added due to complaints about RR being arbitrary. It was made an option because there was also very strong preference to stick to something that at least resembles the traditional RR. Removing either would likely annoy some users.

Improving the wording and perhaps having a different graphic could be viable options, though, that should not upset anyone.

Simon: See <NL dir>/styles/default/panel. skill_panels.png provides a background for each panel (if there's more than one, it cycles through them), with empty_slot being the background for any skill slot that's unused. Most of the other images are graphics to go on these panels.

One minor issue is that custom styles would not have spawn rate icons - but I believe that if any specific image is missing, NeoLemmix falls back to default anyway. I'm also fairly sure that few (if any) custom panel graphics for new-formats have been created - I don't even think the Holiday Lemmings one has been converted. (Maybe that option should be killed off while it's still unused...?)
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Offline Nessy

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2018, 08:22:39 pm »
Just my quick take on this...

I agree that SI can definitely be easier to make sense of than RR for the reasons already explained. To be honest the only reason why I know RR really good is because I'm just more familiar with it. I can admit that it can be confusing sometimes but, to be fair, if a level requires manipulating RR at precise intervals then RR or SI, easy to understand mathematically or not, I don't consider it fun to play.

However I think the ultimate problem here, in my personal opinion, is that no matter how much SI makes sense end of the day if someone plays a game with RR used the entire time then using something else will always come off weird to them. Maybe it's just weird at first, or maybe it's weird to them always. It is the one thing of human nature that no NL UI can ever truly fix. That familiarity is hard to break at times even if it's for the best at times. I will admit on here that I may prefer RR because of the familiarity, but at the same time I don't want to be closed-minded and not learn another way of looking at things that might even be easier. Not everyone is like this though and why I think these threads keep coming up.

But on another note I am definitely on board with changing the panels to take into account the SI option especially since it does come off as a bug as this thread is evidence to support this.

Offline Simon

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Re: A bug in NeoLemmix 12.04.00 (Solved) SI looks like buggy RR
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 01:50:14 pm »
Thanks, I found icon_rr_plus.png and icon_rr_minus.png. They have a transparent background, that's good. I should be constructive and create new icons for SI.

-- Simon