Author Topic: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder  (Read 540 times)

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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2020, 12:47:20 pm »
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t's not about "how many existing skills could potentially be replaced with updrafts if you wanted to" (as you said, quite a lot). It's about whether another new skill is worth adding if there are already a bunch of skills doing similar things, and one of them can use updrafts to do it.

In this case yes it's totally also about that, as it devalues your argument entirely when we already can replicate multiple implemented skills with the updraft glider combination, but nearly everyone chose not to in 99% of cases purely because it's a bad alternative. Lots of ugly looking updrafts, a clear hint at the solution, having to set up the glider start......etc   As it's already a bad alternative for those skills, it's also a bad alternative for the jet boarder.

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An actual backroute is always worse in my book than giving away parts of the intended solution

You can easily fix a backroute. You can never fix giving away the intended solution.

I rather choose the evil I can fix.

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And where you don't want terrain to cut off Jetboarder paths, I see a lot of vertical fire traps, like the lightnings from the Sky and the laser beams from the Metal tilesets.

Those roasting fly traps could be a good countermeasure, yes.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2020, 02:08:48 pm »
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In this case yes it's totally also about that, as it devalues your argument entirely when we already can replicate multiple implemented skills with the updraft glider combination, but nearly everyone chose not to in 99% of cases purely because it's a bad alternative. Lots of ugly looking updrafts, a clear hint at the solution, having to set up the glider start......etc   As it's already a bad alternative for those skills, it's also a bad alternative for the jet boarder.

That last sentence (emphasized by me) is an unjustified jump to conclusions, I think: A Glider-updraft replacement can be bad for some skills - that doesn't automatically mean it is a bad replacement for every skill. ;)

For example, Climbers, Jumpers, and Shimmiers can all transition into each other in various ways. These direct transitions are not possible with a Glider since it bounces off a wall, and therefore requires terrain creation (like a Stoner) instead to be able to grab a wall or reach up towards a ceiling from there. The Jetboarder has the terrain-creation aspect integrated. So while you don't need an additional Stoner, the idea of creating a small piece of terrain next to a wall is still the same.

Climbers, Jumpers, and Shimmiers also don't break a single lemming's fall, so replacing them with a Glider makes them more powerful (just like the updraft would break their fall as well). In contrast, the Jetboarder can break a single lemming's fall easily, so replacing it with another skill that breaks a single lemming's fall is less problematic.

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You can easily fix a backroute. You can never fix giving away the intended solution.

As I outlined with the example of one-way arrows, those can go hand in hand: Sometimes, in order to fix a backroute, you have to implement something that, by visibly blocking one route, makes the one that remains accessible more obvious. The same is true for pickup skills: They often end up spelling out the sequencing in which skills need to be assigned. This is why pickup skills are usually my last resort when it comes to backroute fixing, but sometimes, they're unavoidable.

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Those roasting fly traps could be a good countermeasure, yes.

Well, as I said, if you find updrafts ugly, I find fire traps placed in a level for these purely mechanical reasons pretty ugly. ;) Updrafts at least are translucent and therefore don't interfere with the appearance of the landscape all that much; fire coming from the bottom and from the sky in long vertical beams looks much more artificial irritating to me.

Of course, this is a criticism that I would apply to any type of "flying" skill. For example, also to the Rocketeer, which had the option of removing terrain, therefore could still be somewhat in the running if the Tunneler / upward Digger is chosen. The Rocketeer would basically be the destructive and vertical equivalent of the constructive and horizontal Jetboarder. Consequently, preventing Rocketeer backroutes would most likely involve a lot of horizontal fire traps (flame thrower-objects or, once again, laser beams). Or to any other L2 skill that can fly (Jet Pack, SuperLem, Magic Carpet, Icarus Wings, Ballooner...).
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2020, 02:38:17 pm »
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That last sentence (emphasized by me) is an unjustified jump to conclusions, I think: A Glider-updraft replacement can be bad for some skills - that doesn't automatically mean it is a bad replacement for every skill.

No, this is just wrong and my assumption is totally justified. The trajectory is nothing new as swimmer and shimmier are moving horizontally as well. The little up and down of the shimmier being no problematic factor.

And the transions can easily be done by placing updrafts and walls. The shimmier can't even transtion and only requires updrafts under the ceiling. If you still think the transtions are problematic to replicate, the transtions for the jet boarder become also hard to replicate devaluing your argument again.
As well and on top of that, you already see the evidence of my statement that even for pure horizontal movement updrafts are not a good replacement as they are quite a rare occursion in levels!

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As I outlined with the example of one-way arrows, those can go hand in hand: Sometimes, in order to fix a backroute, you have to implement something that, by visibly blocking one route, makes the one that remains accessible more obvious.

Sometimes. In the case of placing large updrafts it's always.

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Well, as I said, if you find updrafts ugly, I find fire traps placed in a level for these purely mechanical reasons pretty ugly.

Then just let him fly of into the void or into a water pit, or a trap or a useless area or something. Solutions are plentyful.


I think the not very practical glider substitue has been discussed to death now though and I think we should rather focus on discussing the way the skill works and application ideas now. I don't think further posts about this exact topic will be very helpful in general.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2020, 06:13:14 pm »
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No, this is just wrong and my assumption is totally justified. The trajectory is nothing new as swimmer and shimmier are moving horizontally as well. The little up and down of the shimmier being no problematic factor.

The trajectory itself is not the problem - it's the fact that the Jetboarder can do it anywhere. Gliders, Swimmers, and Shimmiers are all tied to specific terrain or objects in order to be able to go along this trajectory. Which means, if you want a lemming going across a gap with this trajectory, it's easy enough to set up. But at the same time, the skills are not so universally applicable that they easily create backroutes.

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As well and on top of that, you already see the evidence of my statement that even for pure horizontal movement updrafts are not a good replacement as they are quite a rare occursion in levels!

This is backwards: The fact that updrafts are rarely used doesn't mean they are bad - there are just more convenient solutions for the other skills now.

Indeed I have "simulated" Shimmiers in the past before we had them (that Lemmicks level was actually called "Coming soon: Shimmiers" :D ), by having Gliders go along the bottom of a Platformer's bridge. Without that Platformer stopping them, they continue to float upwards and go into a fire trap. Now that we have the Shimmier, obviously I don't need to do that anymore - but it still would have been possible to create this solution (Shimmiers going along the bottom side of a Platformer's bridge) before.

And since the updraft in that level naturally takes the Gliders into the fire trap, it's actually a disadvantage, not so much something that gives away the solution. ;) Just one example!

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And the transions can easily be done by placing updrafts and walls. The shimmier can't even transtion and only requires updrafts under the ceiling.

- The Glider can't transition to a Climber because he bounces off the wall. --> Jumper-Climber transition can't be emulated
- The Glider can't transition to a Shimmier because he bounces off the wall or bumps his head on a ceiling if taken there by an updraft --> Jumper-Shimmier transitions or Climber-Shimmier transitions can't be emulated

The Shimmier itself of course can't transition, but it's a possible "end state" of all these other transitions.

Unless you're talking about simultaneously replacing all Climbers, Jumpers, and Shimmiers with Gliders + updrafts. This would be quite an unfair comparison, though, because then you'd be trying to replace three skills at once, whereas I'm only arguing to replace one skill (which, in contrast to the others, hasn't been implemented yet) with Gliders + updrafts. ;)

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Sometimes. In the case of placing large updrafts it's always.

No, it isn't, because as I said before, updrafts serve two main purposes: Breaking falls AND carrying Gliders. When spanning across a gap without terrain under them, yes, it's more likely they're needed for Gliders. But you might just as well have to platform or build through them, so that the crowd can safely fall onto that bridge from above.

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Then just let him fly of into the void or into a water pit, or a trap or a useless area or something. Solutions are plentyful.

The Jetboarder can easily fly over water pits - in fact, if you assign him next to a water pit, I'd expect him to act like the L2 Surfer. :D To prevent a falling lemming from turning into a Jetboarder wherever he wants, I need an obstacle covering the entire vertical span. If I don't want to go with high steel pillars or fire beams, should I create a large pillar of water instead? That would look even weirder. :D



Since I agree that this debate is getting stuck, though, I think it might be helpful to get kieranmillar's input here regarding the already existing "flyer" skills in Lemmings 2. How often did these create backroutes for you? ;)

I'm specifically referring to Jet Pack, SuperLem, Icarus Wings, Hang Glider, Ballooner, Parachuter, and Magic Carpet here.

The Magic Carpet is probably most comparable, and SuperLem the least, because it's the most broken. All of these skills can of course be manipulated with the fan to change altitude, but the tough execution of Lemmings 2 should make up for too precise interventions with that.

The ability to push the Magic Carpet up with the fan would be compensated by the Jetboarder's ability to be assigned mid-air - both skills can still freely choose the altitude at which they are performed. To my knowledge, it isn't possible to assign a Magic Carpet to a Faller, and I have seen levels of yours were the Magic Carpet doesn't even require support with the fan at all, but just naturally floats along a horizontal trajectory. Since there are no updrafts in L2, I do think this is the fairest comparison. The Magic Carpet also stops when he runs into terrain - he just doesn't leave behind his carpet as a piece of terrain.


Thinking in L2 terms, the Jetboarder is essentially a combination of Magic Carpet and Spear Thrower. Maybe this comparison sounds fairer to IchoTolot than that with the NeoLemmix Glider. ;)

So, might we be able to predict the design potential of the Jetboarder based on that of the Magic Carpet and Spear Thrower?
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2020, 06:23:52 pm »
The trajectory itself is not the problem - it's the fact that the Jetboarder can do it anywhere. Gliders, Swimmers, and Shimmiers are all tied to specific terrain or objects in order to be able to go along this trajectory. Which means, if you want a lemming going across a gap with this trajectory, it's easy enough to set up. But at the same time, the skills are not so universally applicable that they easily create backroutes.

I wouldn't take for granted that mid-air assignment will be accepted as part and parcel of the Jetboarder package. Sure, it makes the skill more powerful and that might be desirable; but if a skill is too powerful, that can also be a problem. Maybe, if a Jetboarder without mid-air assignment (or assignable to jumpers/reachers but not fallers) would be preferable to one with, it would be better to consider the merits of the skill without rather than dropping the whole idea.

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No, it isn't, because as I said before, updrafts serve two main purposes: Breaking falls AND carrying Gliders.

Depends on the level designer. If I ever want to make it easy to get down a long fall, I will place terrain and take care to make it look like a harmonious part of the level, not plaster over the crack with an ugly updraft. I'm aware that that means if you ever do see an updraft in one of my levels, you have even more of a clue about why I placed it there (and you should also watch out for flying pigs).

Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2020, 07:02:47 pm »
Keep in mind what I said about how I'll be picking between the strong contenders - based on a wider analysis of how useful they are and how substitutable they are.

"I don't like it" is basically irrelevant at this point. "It doesn't have any benefits" or "it's easily substituted" is something that will come up during the above consideration - which I don't feel like getting started on yet. By all means, start thinking about situations and how to deal with them now, but there isn't much point in simply arguing about whether you like the idea, and thus, getting heated about it will achieve nothing. ;)

If you're wanting to defend your favorite idea, think of creative ways to make use of it, especially those that can't be substituted by existing mechanics or other proposals; or where significant damage to the level's aesthetics / secrecy of the solution, or hard-to-fix backroutes, would occur from the workarounds. Keep in mind that there's a very good chance any given case that can be worked around, can be worked around in more than one way. Likewise, if you're wanting to try and shoot down the competitors, start thinking about ways you *can* achieve the above for any use cases you can think of. The key thing would be, you shouldn't just be thinking about what's good about your skill, you should be thinking about how your skill can be defeated too (or vice versa - if you're against the skill, you should be thinking about what setups you might need to find ways to defeat). Feel free to discuss such situations (and please remain civil while doing so - things haven't been too bad so far, but this feels like it's at risk of boiling over), but keep in mind that I'm not going to be looking too closely at them just yet - I'll bring up when it's time for me to start considering them.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 07:08:18 pm by namida »

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2020, 07:29:40 pm »
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If I don't want to go with high steel pillars or fire beams, should I create a large pillar of water instead? That would look even weirder.

At the end of the 64 pixel dash he will fall down and the board disappears. I think this was not clear enough so far. Place water there.

I don't think the magic carpet is a good comparision simply because the jet boarder can't go up and down during it's flight with the fan. Even if we decide on mid air assignment the magic carpet is way more powerful.

But at this point I grow tired of having to respond to pages of text that lead nowhere and seem more like a witch hunt to find a reason on why the skill is bad.

Instead lets look and find more use cases.

The second picture strato posted and I attached here as well would be a case I haven't even think of as a whole before. The small gap is easily covered by like 1-2 jet boarders that could come in from afar and create an instant bridge, enabling a climber+shimmier combination.

I am still in favor of mid air assignment though as I think the backroute potential is still acceptable. With the ability to assign a cloner after a jet boarder in mid air enables turning and dashing in mid air, which could be used to get a worker into very hard to reach places. I would see this as quite the novelty.

Also I think the possibility to create an fast filler for small gaps over a distance and through dangerous areas is currently undervalued.

Especially the speed part of the skill could come out as quite the innovation as we lack speedy skills now. Yes, the runner alone is not enough, but this runner gets over gaps safely and creates a small platform on top of it.

Also we can still discuss to even increase the suggested range of 64 pixels or lengthen the board to like 8 pixels if you fear it won't be useful enough. We don't have a L2 blueprint and nothing is set in stone!

We just need more input on this.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2020, 06:13:02 pm »
Thought a little bit more and came up with 2 more use cases that are a little bit more situational and requite a downwards step or ramp as a starting platform.

- You could ram the board into a stacker ~ at half its height, so that another stacker can than free the crowd. Of course other skills can get through a stacker and this is by far not unique.

- As it shares the same straight construction as the platformer you could also place the board to keep a basher going.


As the length of the board is a big part of the skills usefulness, I also thought about extending the board size to like 8 pixels (1/3 of a builder and 1/2 of common 16 pixel blocks).

Also we could even extrend the range from 64 pixels to something like 96 to emphasize the range of the skill.

What would be people's opinion on this?

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2020, 07:32:13 am »
That reminds me: In order to cover up a 16 pixel block with 2 jet boarders we would need a 9 pixel board as otherwise they would still fall through. I think 9 pixels would still be reasonable though and the board should be a little bigger rather than a little smaller.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [Discussion][Player] The Jetboarder
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2020, 03:11:58 pm »
Also we could even extrend the range from 64 pixels to something like 96 to emphasize the range of the skill.

What would be people's opinion on this?

I like this idea: since it's a ranged skill, giving it maximum range seems like the way to go. I'd even go so far as to say the Jetboarder should keep going until it hits something, or is cancelled with another skill.