Author Topic: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available  (Read 919 times)

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Offline Nepster

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Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« on: December 29, 2018, 11:58:54 am »
WARNING: This is still an experimental version and any of the shimmier physics may still change! Do not complain if they break the levels, you create with this version.

After the usual warning, here is the good news: This experimental version allows you to test the shimmiers. It should not crash every ten seconds and shimmiers might even somewhat behave like you would expect them to.

Installation:
Although the stable version should have no problems with the modified graphics for the shimmiers, I still recommend starting with a new installation of the stable NeoLemmix version (or a copy of your current one). Then extract the attached zip file in the folder, replacing the older files with the ones in the zip file.

How can I create levels with shimmiers?
The zip file also contains a new version of the editor, that supports shimmiers. Alternatively open the nxlv file and add among the other skills a line like "SHIMMIER 20".

What should I look for in this experimental version?
1) Crashes: I might have overlooked some places, that have to be adapted to the existance of a new skill.
2) And equally important: Anything that didn't feel right or suprised you. I would like the shimmiers to be as intuitive as possible, and we are now in the unique situation, that there are a lot of players with a fresh mind and without preconditioning by previous shimmier versions. So please report anything that caused a raised eyebrow.
3) Whether the animation looks good. For the shimmier itself I used Raymanni's sprites, so I am less worried there. But the reacher animation might very well be something that can (and should?) be improved upon. As I mentioned frequently, I am not really good at creating sprites, so if you can improve the sprites yourself and post the new ones here, it would be much appreciated. (But even comments like "Frame 5 of the reacher animation looks out of place" do help).

What is left on the ToDo-list?
- Hunting for glitches (though this will have to wait until the main physics rules have stabilized)
- Adapt the pickup-skill sprites for non-default graphic sets. Currently you can only use shimmier pickups, if the graphic set uses the default pickup sprites.
- Add support for shimmier talismans. The player should already be able to handle them correctly (though I haven't tested it yet), but the pack toolkit doesn't allow creating such talismans. 
- Fix all the issues you will find.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 01:46:28 pm by Nepster »

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2018, 01:59:19 pm »
I've made a test level for everyone to use and gained some information:

1.) Shimmiers can reach 19 pixels high. If a ceiling is 20 pixels above them they cannot reach it anymore. (Bottom left chamber)

2.) Shimmiers can handle 1 pixel of height difference every new horizontal pixel. So if there is a 2 pixel heigh step they will fall. (Top left chamber)

3.) A climber can be given a Shimmier a few frames before he hits his head. Instead of falling down he will turn into a shimmier in the opposite diection. The skill gets taken from the panel when the climber transtions. (Bottom left chamber)

4.) Shimmiers can't go outside the ceiling of a level. The terrain ends there --> they fall down. (Top left chamber)

5.) Shimmiers can't go outside the left/right edges of a level. The terrain again ends there --> they fall down. They land at the very edge of the level if they can land. Giving the player 1 frame to turn them around. (Bottom right chamber)

6.) Shimmiers will stop if the ground gets too close to their feet. I don't have the exact threshold here as in clear physics mode I think you can't currently see the exact position pixel of the shimmier. Can you give the exact ammount here, Nepster? ???  (Bottom left chamber)

7.) Shimmiers can use the checkerboard mechanic to go up. So inverted to walking where lemmings can't go up. (Bottom left chamber)

8.) Shimmiers can't use the checkerboard mechanic to go down. Again, inverted to walking where lemmings can go down. (Bottom left chamber)



I think 7.) and 8.) are choosen right by Nepster as Lemmings "walk" upside down with their hands here, but I think this will be the most controversial points out of these.

Test level atttached, you'll need L2_Sports! Happy discussing. ;P

Offline Nepster

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2018, 02:57:20 pm »
I intentionally omitted a description of the exact mechanics, because I wanted people to focus on how the shimmier feels, rather than whether it is consistent. :P Still, thanks for compiling the list.

6.) Shimmiers will stop if the ground gets too close to their feet. I don't have the exact threshold here as in clear physics mode I think you can't currently see the exact position pixel of the shimmier. Can you give the exact ammount here, Nepster? ???  (Bottom left chamber)
Depending on the shimmier frame, the lemming sprite is 8 or 9 pixels high. The phyisics position of the lemming is 9 pixels below the ceiling, i.e. is one below the feet if the sprite is 8 pixels high, and at feet level if the sprite is 9 pixels high. A shimmier will transition to a walker, if the space between ceiling and ground is at most 9 pixels, i.e. if between (and including) the physics lemming position and the ceiling there is at least one solid pixel. In particular this meanse, that the basher tunnel with its 10 pixels height is the smallest tunnel a shimmier can traverse.
Regarding not being able to see the shimmier position: This seems to be a general bug, that I noticed as well: If the first level you start is one without a hatch (without having started any other level before!), then the lemming position will never be diplayed (not for shimmiers, not for walkers and nor for any other lemming). No idea, what causes this and what the exact conditions are to reproduce this bug.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2018, 06:05:00 pm »
Quote
7.) Shimmiers can use the checkerboard mechanic to go up. So inverted to walking where lemmings can't go up. (Bottom left chamber)

8.) Shimmiers can't use the checkerboard mechanic to go down. Again, inverted to walking where lemmings can go down. (Bottom left chamber)

I think 7.) and 8.) are choosen right by Nepster as Lemmings "walk" upside down with their hands here, but I think this will be the most controversial points out of these.

Had another thought about this matter.

While walking on such a checkerboard slope:

- You will fall through it if you walk against it. That means running up against the slope.
- You can walk on it if you run just on the slope and not against it. This would mean just walking down the slope.

The same dynamic can be found now while shimming under a checkerboard slope ceiling:

- You will fall through it if you go against it. This time that means going down with it, as the slope is now inverted.
- You can go with it if you shimmie just under it. This would be equivalent with going up the slope.

As a conclusion: I really think Nepster's current implementation is correct and consistent.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 11:06:29 am »
Quote from: Luke 2:10
And there were gamers living in front of their screens nearby, keeping watch over their lemmings at night. Nepster appeared to them, and told them of possible crashes of their beloved game, and they were terrified. But Nepster said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the tribes. Today in the town of namida a Shimmier has been born to you; he is the new skill, the 18th. This will be a sign to you: You will find a lemming wrapped in blue clothes and hanging from a ceiling."


Seriously, what a great Christmas present to the community! :thumbsup: I was kind of secretly hoping for this to happen, but didn't really dare to... I hope you didn't work over the holidays to get this ready, but had it finished a couple days early and just waited for the appropriate time to release it? ;)

Anyway, I've tried it on the one level I had prepared in advance, and everything worked exactly as I hoped it would! Thanks a lot, Nepster! I'm going to release some Shimmier test levels soon!

:party:
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Lemmicks, a pack for NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline Raymanni

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 11:26:26 am »
The hands in the animation didn't quite align with the ceiling. I've taken the liberty to fix this now that I can see the shimmier in action.

Attached is the updated and better sprite.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 04:37:09 pm »
Okay, just a question: In my thread about anticipated Shimmier behaviour, Nepster said the plan was for Shimmiers turned into a bomber or stoner to explode instantly (=at the ceiling). Currently, they turn into ohnoers and fall down.

This is consistent behaviour so far, so I don't have a problem with it, I just wanted to ask whether this is intended or not, because its a slight deviation from the "original" plans.

The only confusing part about it is that the skill blueprint of the Bomber when hovering the mouse over a Shimmier pretends the skill was going to make a dent into the ceiling, when that can actually never happen. ;)
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: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 05:02:01 pm »
Quote
Okay, just a question: In my thread about anticipated Shimmier behaviour, Nepster said the plan was for Shimmiers turned into a bomber or stoner to explode instantly (=at the ceiling). Currently, they turn into ohnoers and fall down.

This is consistent behaviour so far, so I don't have a problem with it, I just wanted to ask whether this is intended or not, because its a slight deviation from the "original" plans.

You could argue that shimmiers are very close to climbers and therefore should also have the same rules regarding bombers and stoners. That would mean turning into ohnoers and therefore fallig down as a result. Climbers are 1 pixel inside the wall actually so they don't fall down.

I can see level potential in both behaviors though: Instant and falling.

In general I think the current falling ohnoer transition is more consistent with the climber. So I have a slight preference for that. I could already see falling ohnoers from the ceiling that land inside the exit just in time. ;P

Quote
The only confusing part about it is that the skill blueprint of the Bomber when hovering the mouse over a Shimmier pretends the skill was going to make a dent into the ceiling, when that can actually never happen.

The blueprints don't take movement into account as I understand and therefore the falling is not taken into account. Even glider blueprints just show the path from the current position.

But first let's hear if the current implementation is intentional or not. ;P

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 05:07:28 pm »
Here is an example level that has two possible solution - one involving a falling Ohnoer, the other one without it. The falling Ohnoer-solution is actually more difficult timing-wise, but only on this specific level.

The other solution (as the level does in general) shows that Shimmier jumps can indeed be used to gain sufficient height for Gliders to unpack their parachutes - and if it's only for the purpose of landing on top of a Stacker's pile :D .

At terrain edges however, this only works to add a couple additional pixels to the drop. As Nepster had already promised in advance during the above-mentioned conversation, you cannot gain Glider-friendly height by assigning a Shimmier to a lemming standing firmly on terrain.
Ghost Lemmings - help us test a possible new NeoLemmix skill!
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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 Nepster

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2018, 06:04:05 pm »
Seriously, what a great Christmas present to the community! :thumbsup: I was kind of secretly hoping for this to happen, but didn't really dare to... I hope you didn't work over the holidays to get this ready, but had it finished a couple days early and just waited for the appropriate time to release it? ;)
If I had it ready before Christmas, I would have released it then. But during the past week, I had more free time than in the whole past month, and I put it to good use. :)

Okay, just a question: In my thread about anticipated Shimmier behaviour, Nepster said the plan was for Shimmiers turned into a bomber or stoner to explode instantly (=at the ceiling). Currently, they turn into ohnoers and fall down.
Thanks for mentioning this. The OhNoing is not intended and I still feel that instant explosions would be more consistent.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2018, 06:11:52 pm »
Quote
Thanks for mentioning this. The OhNoing is not intended and I still feel that instant explosions would be more consistent.

Thinking about it from the other side, you could also argue that the shimmier is in mid air and therefore exploding/stoning should be instant. So the non-falling variant is more consistent.

Yeah, with that in mind I take back my previous preference. :P

Offline Simon

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 08:18:43 pm »
Agree, shimmier should not oh-no.

Oh-noing in general feels like a misdesign and introduces strange corner cases. It's good when we don't enlarge the set of situations that lead to oh-noing.

-- Simon

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 10:44:16 pm »
Do we have sprites for Christmas lemmings yet? Because I just noticed to of my levels for New Formats don't work anymore, and it took me a short while to figure out the common denominator was that both were using Christmas lemmings (the two levels I recently posted in the Random Level Sharing topic, "Valkea joulu" and "In the bleak midwinter").

For the time being, I can just switch back to regular lemmings to make them work. But obviously, this is also going to affect all other types of levels that feature any custom sprites, like Shadow / Highland / Beach / Machine / Egyptian etc.

If the sprites shared by Raymanni in the post above are the ones we are going to use, I've already downloaded them and recoloured them for the lemmings tribes that I have created (meaning Egyptian and Beach).

But so far, I can't use them yet because I still get an error that the lemming animation metadata for the Reacher can't be found (and I guess for the Shimmier as well; Reacher just comes first in the alphabet, hence it's probably just the first error message).
« Last Edit: December 31, 2018, 07:13:55 pm 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 Nepster

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2018, 01:57:28 pm »
An updated experimental version is attached here and to the first post. Changes:
- No OhNo-animation for exploding shimmiers (and reachers)
- Raymanni's improved shimmier sprites
- Pickup-sprites for all graphic sets.
Graphic set creators are encouraged to look at my suggestions and modify them, so that they are happy with it. At the very least, please check, that I haven't forgotten to update your style.
List of changed pickup-sprites (click to show/hide)

Do we have sprites for Christmas lemmings yet?
No. Good point. This is another item on my ToDo-list. If anyone wants to step up an adapt the christmas sprites, they are very welcome to it.

But so far, I can't use them yet because I still get an error that the lemming animation metadata for the Reacher can't be found (and I guess for the Shimmier as well; Reacher just comes first in the alphabet, hence it's probably just the first error message).
Assuming you have just recolored them, not changed their size, moved some sprites, ..., the fix is pretty simple: Copy the file "scheme.nxmi" from "styles/default/lemmings" to your folder with the curstom lemmings sprites. This file contains some meta information about all the lemming animations, e.g. where the image should be placed relative to the in-game physics position of the lemming. At the moment the game wants to read these information for the reacher and shimmier from the file, but doesn't find it, returning the error message you see on your screen.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2018, 07:13:31 pm »
Thanks a lot, Nepster! I wasn't even thinking of pickup skills, good thing you've included them right away as early as now! ;) Those are certainly much more important than Christmas sprites - a) because they're pure 'cosmetics', b) because the appropriate season is almost over anyway ;) .

I've updated my Beach and Egyptian lemmings, they now include working Shimmiers. In order to avoid confusion, I'm going to upload both in the custom sprites thread as usual.

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 Nepster

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2019, 08:23:04 am »
The shimmier experimental release is now out for about 2 months. So far no big issues have been reported (or barely anyone tried it out :-\), which is a good sign (or not?). So I would like to release an official version around end of march. This should give everyone enough time to look over the shimmier behavior again and tell me what they don't like.

Offline namida

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2019, 08:23:02 pm »
I haven't had a look at this yet, but I'll give it a try over the next few days. Most likely, I'm going to be more focused on "what puzzle uses can I find for this" than specifically trying to find bugs, though of course I'll report any I do find.

Would you prefer reports of shimmier bugs be posted in this topic, or in the Bugs / Suggestions board as usual?
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Offline Nepster

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2019, 09:41:25 pm »
Would you prefer reports of shimmier bugs be posted in this topic, or in the Bugs / Suggestions board as usual?
Either way is fine for physics bugs, because I will have to fix them before releasing the stable version anyway. For low-priority bugs that may not even have anything to do with shimmiers, or suggestions for UI-improvements, I would prefer to have a separate thread, which can be closed independantly from this shimmier thread.

Offline namida

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2019, 08:17:41 am »
Found a case that I'm unsure about. Maybe it's fine, but I would like to draw attention to it either way, so that whether it should be allowed or not can be considered.

Let's suppose we have a tunnel that's vertically *just* too short for a shimmier (or maybe even shorter than that), followed by a drop (but the ceiling continues). If you assign a shimmier to a lemming on the last pixel before he drops off the edge, he can shimmy from that point.

Also, I'm really not sure about the Shimmier's placement in the skill order. I know in general there's an intention to overhaul the order altogether, but as far as the current system goes - I feel it should come either between Disarmer and Bomber, or between Blocker and Platformer, with me leaning a bit more strongly towards the latter. Reasoning: It's a short-term ability that's used instantly and is gone once the lemming stops performing the action, but doesn't modify the terrain in any way, similar to the blocker. Reasoning behind between Disarmer and Bomber: It gives a lemming a movement ability, like permanent skills do; but unlike them it is not permanent so shouldn't be in the middle.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 09:11:58 am by namida »
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Offline Simon

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2019, 10:33:54 am »
we have a tunnel that's vertically *just* too short for a shimmier (or maybe even shorter than that), followed by a drop (but the ceiling continues). If you assign a shimmier to a lemming on the last pixel before he drops off the edge, he can shimmy from that point.

############
............
.....|...... where | is a walker facing right
######......
######......

My hunch would be to disallow (shimmying if the ground at current place is too high), even when (the ground at the next pixel is low). Reason 1: Personal expectation from the even terrain and everywhere else it wasn't possible to shimmy here. Reason 2: Avoid pixel-precision.

-- Simon

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2019, 11:11:41 am »
I would agree with Simon here that shimmying should not be possible in this corner case for the exact same reasons he mentioned.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2019, 01:32:46 pm »
Yes, I agree, the minimum height needed to assign a Shimmier should be constant (=high enough to shimmy through basher tunnels).

Another thing I've noticed: When a Shimmier gets towards a piece of terrain that is slightly higher than the position of his feet, he performs the Hoister animation (like a Climber does when he's done), without actually being a Climber.

I actually find this pretty neat - I just wanted to ask whether it was intended or not? It seems to be the Shimmier equivalent of the "six-pixel jumps" that Walkers can perform.

I also don't see any other way to do this, because the core rules say that every 1-pixel gap should be enough for a lemming to slip through. And since transitioning from a Climber into a Shimmier is possible, but not from a Shimmier into a Climber, the Shimmier needs to gain some height automatically when shimmying towards a platform that lies lower than the ceiling he's holding on to (=i.e. there is a gap he can slip into), but higher than the position of his feet.
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 Nepster

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2019, 05:08:36 pm »
Let's suppose we have a tunnel that's vertically *just* too short for a shimmier (or maybe even shorter than that), followed by a drop (but the ceiling continues). If you assign a shimmier to a lemming on the last pixel before he drops off the edge, he can shimmy from that point.
Good find! Totally agree that this should be changed.

Also, I'm really not sure about the Shimmier's placement in the skill order. I know in general there's an intention to overhaul the order altogether, but as far as the current system goes - I feel it should come either between Disarmer and Bomber, or between Blocker and Platformer, with me leaning a bit more strongly towards the latter. Reasoning: It's a short-term ability that's used instantly and is gone once the lemming stops performing the action, but doesn't modify the terrain in any way, similar to the blocker. Reasoning behind between Disarmer and Bomber: It gives a lemming a movement ability, like permanent skills do; but unlike them it is not permanent so shouldn't be in the middle.
Yeah, I should probably start on the whole skill reordering business soon. I have a few free days this week, so chances are decent that I might finally find some time for it.

Another thing I've noticed: When a Shimmier gets towards a piece of terrain that is slightly higher than the position of his feet, he performs the Hoister animation (like a Climber does when he's done), without actually being a Climber.

I actually find this pretty neat - I just wanted to ask whether it was intended or not? It seems to be the Shimmier equivalent of the "six-pixel jumps" that Walkers can perform.

I also don't see any other way to do this, because the core rules say that every 1-pixel gap should be enough for a lemming to slip through. And since transitioning from a Climber into a Shimmier is possible, but not from a Shimmier into a Climber, the Shimmier needs to gain some height automatically when shimmying towards a platform that lies lower than the ceiling he's holding on to (=i.e. there is a gap he can slip into), but higher than the position of his feet.
Yes, this is totally intended. It was the only decent-looking way (I found) to transition from shimmier to a walker on a high ledge.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2019, 06:14:06 pm »
Quote
Yes, this is totally intended. It was the only decent-looking way (I found) to transition from shimmier to a walker on a high ledge.

Good to know that this is not going to change! :thumbsup: I just wanted to be sure that I don't create any levels with such elevated platforms of terrain that might end up not working later on in case this would be changed. But I guess if it's intended this way, it's going to remain as it currently is. ;)
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: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2019, 12:19:33 am »
Quote
Yes, this is totally intended. It was the only decent-looking way (I found) to transition from shimmier to a walker on a high ledge.

I probably wouldn't've thought of this myself, but I really like this idea! :thumbsup:
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Offline Nepster

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Re: Shimmier: NeoLemmix experimental version available
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2019, 08:39:00 am »
Let's suppose we have a tunnel that's vertically *just* too short for a shimmier (or maybe even shorter than that), followed by a drop (but the ceiling continues). If you assign a shimmier to a lemming on the last pixel before he drops off the edge, he can shimmy from that point.
Fixed now.

Once we have the remaining shimmier sprites, I would merge the shimmier code in the main master branch for the official release.