Author Topic: Preferred level height  (Read 331 times)

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Offline jammer64

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Preferred level height
« on: March 29, 2019, 01:30:32 pm »
Are there any standards for level height in more classic levels? Editor default is set to 160 but there's that grey letterbox which kind of annoys visually. After setting it to 184 level covered 16:9 screen nicely. Is it allowed in competition maps etc.?

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Preferred level height
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 01:55:57 pm »
160 is simply the pixel height of the original Lemmings 1 levels, so that was set as the default.

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grey letterbox which kind of annoys visually.

If you mean the grey outline in-game: This is the way to tell the player where the actual playing area ends.
It is very important to tell players in advance to which extend they can go/build towards the edges, as they are all deadly.
In most cases the levels backround color is black and a black border would not be noticeable in contrast to the playing area, so that's why a dark grey was chosen. An option to change or deliver different options for that color could be a possible debate.

The standard screen can display a bit more than the original one-screener from Lemmings 1 (320x160 pixels). If we can display a bit more than the screen, then why not simply display it (if it exists) in a level was our thinking. That's why 184 matches in your case.

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Is it allowed in competition maps etc.?

If you mean contests, that solely depends on the rule you are making a level for. Some may restrict or even force vertical levels. A lot of rules don't restrict the height though.

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Are there any standards for level height in more classic levels?

This depends on the definition of "classic". Classic Lemmings 1 levels are 160 pixel high. Some creators may restrict themselves during creation and aim for more L1 classic levels.
You could also simply define classic as you don't need to scroll vertically. In this case 184 still matches that for you.

Personally I set the height to whatever I need to realise my idea. Often this is more than the 160 standard height. I created quite a lot of levels for Lemmings United that had ~200-240 pixels in height as I simply needed a bit of extra vertical space to create certain falls and set-ups.

In general everyone has their own preferred level creation style and I would suggest don't let yourself be constrained by the levels height or width. You can in general aim to be not unnessesarily huge, but if you need an extra 40 pixels on a side don't hesitate to raise the number. :)

Offline jammer64

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Re: Preferred level height
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2019, 03:48:37 pm »
All clear, thx a lot! :)

Online namida

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Re: Preferred level height
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 08:29:17 pm »
As IchoTolot said, 160px is the "standard" simply because that's what Lemmings 1 used. Since no convincing argument has been made for changing it, that's remained the default.

NeoLemmix has supported vertical sizes larger than 160px for almost as long as it's existed - Holiday Lemmings Plus, which was the second made-for-NeoLemmix pack ever released, contains a vertical scrolling level. Vertical sizes smaller than that is a more recent feature but even that's been in there for a couple of years now - IIRC V1.47 was the first to support it, but I might be wrong here.

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After setting it to 184 level covered 16:9 screen nicely.

What size will fully cover the screen depends to some extent on the exact resolution, not just the ratio. On many (but not all) resolutions, the choice of compact vs full skill panel can also affect this. Also - if we're not running the game fullscreen, then this would instead be based on the window size.

A 384 x 184 level will fill the screen exactly on a 1920x1080 resolution while using the full-size skill panel. But if you switch to the compact skill panel, there'll be slight vertical scrolling. If you switch to a 1280x720 screen, there'll be scrolling in both directions with either skill panel; and 1600x900 would have horizontal scrolling regardless of panel, with vertical scrolling on the compact panel and some vertical unused space on the full-size panel.

The only advice that can really be offered here is "you cannot fill the screen exactly for all users". If you really hate border area, you'll need to ensure all your levels are big enough to require scrolling on any reasonable screen resolution. The smallest level size that achieves this, if I've calculated (and come up with an accurate "list of common resolutions") correctly, is 428x230. We can drop this down to 428x200 if we only take landscape 16:9 displays into account; the 230 high comes from a 4:3 resolution (and if we restrict to 16:9 but allow portrait resolutions, the requirement is 428x208).

And even this is assuming default NeoLemmix settings (aside from perhaps changing between the two skill panels; I did account for that). If a user, for example, has their zoom settings set to always be 1x zoom, while using a 4K screen (which is a very impractical setup, to be fair), your level would need to be 3840x2120 to fill the entire screen without border area - which I believe is more than the editor even allows you to make, although NeoLemmix itself has no problem accepting a level of such a size provided you've got plenty of RAM, and a CPU with very high single-core performance (as NeoLemmix does not make use of threads, apart from a separate thread for audio; and does not make use of the GPU either).
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 08:34:45 pm by namida »
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Preferred level height
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 10:46:01 pm »
If you really hate border area, you'll need to ensure all your levels are big enough to require scrolling on any reasonable screen resolution.

Not sure I'm a fan of extraneous vertical scrolling just for the sake of trying to make sure more people don't see borders.  Seems like it may be more worthwhile instead to explore options to make the gray outline less "annoying"?  The 184 height I guess seems acceptable compromise for authors that really need to scratch their own itches about the outline, it'd hopefully look and work best for the many people with 16:9 screens, without subjecting everyone to extraneous vertical scrolling.

(To be clear:  I'm not saying I hate vertical scrolling unconditionally.  By all means create levels that use that if the level idea calls for it.  I just don't want people to artificially pad their levels vertically, especially not to the point of the 230 namida mentioned.  I guess I can tolerate 184.)

Online namida

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Re: Preferred level height
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2019, 02:30:08 am »
Yeah, I wouldn't recommend it either. I'm simply giving the numbers for those who are really insistant about it.

184px falls short of filling the whole screen when using 1280x720, 1366x768 or 1600x900 displays. In the case of 1600x900, this only applies if the user is using the full-width skill panel; for the other two it applies either way. If we take landscape 4:3(ish) ratios into account as well, it falls short on all four that I took into account - 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024. It also falls short on all portrait ratios, or at least all the ones I calculated for (which was the portrait equivalents of all resolutions listed earlier in this paragraph, as well as the portrait equivalents of the four 16:9 ratios I checked where 184 is sufficient - 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 2560x1440, and 3840x2160).

In fact, in my previous post I overlooked 1366x768 altogether, despite it being second only to 1920x1080 in terms of most common resolutions these days (and maybe not even that - I'm basing this "most common" claim on figures collected by Steam, which might not be typical due to the gaming-oriented nature of the platform) - this pushes the width requirement up to 456; and the height requirement when only taking 16:9 into account up to 216. Taking the portrait equivalent, ie: 768x1366 into account, does not increase either the overall or 16:9-only requirements.

Ultimately, it's unreasonable to try and always fill the screen area for all users - even if you only make levels at least 456x230 in size, this still won't fill the whole screen in many cases where users have customized their zoom-related settings. If it's a personal preference, this is better achieved during gameplay, by zooming in - you can adjust your default zoom in the NeoLemmix options menu, and you can zoom in and out during gameplay by using the mouse wheel (there might be default keyboard shortcuts too, and if there aren't you can configure your own).

EDIT: At least on the classic NeoLemmix hotkey layout (yeah, I still use it), there's no keyboard keys to zoom while in-game. Not sure if the same is true for the function-grouped layout. But the hotkeys are fully configurable anyway, so you can always set some up yourself.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 10:20:14 pm by namida »
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings