Author Topic: Anticipated Jumper behaviour  (Read 165 times)

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Offline Strato Incendus

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Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« on: June 07, 2019, 02:27:56 pm »
Just like with the Shimmier back in the day, I just wanted to quickly open up a thread long ahead of the development of the Jumper to discuss its behaviour as it is planned to work.

1) Will it be possible to assign a Jumper to a Blocker to free it?
In Lemmings 2, to my knowledge this never comes up, because the Blocker only exists in the Classic tribe, which doesn't feature the Jumper, and vice versa for all the other tribes, which provide you with Attractors instead. And as we all know, having an Attractor jump is probably the most common way to free the crowd at the end of a Lemmings-2 level. Since my guess is that nobody sees a reason why we should bother having Attractors in NeoLemmix, because they'd simply be redundant, the Blocker is going to remain the Attractor's surrogate. Therefore, if Attractors can be freed with Jumpers, the same should be true for Blockers.

Then again, Shimmiers also jump, both in NeoLemmix and Lemmings 2, and Shimmiers (I think that's been set in stone by now) can't free Blockers. So then it would also be plausible to assume for a new player that Jumpers can't accomplish this, either...???

2) Will it be possible to cancel another skill (constructive / destructive) by assigning a Jumper to it?
In Lemmings 2, this is also possible: Cancelling Builders / Platformers with Jumpers is commonplace. In the case of destructive skills, jumping will almost inevitably lead to the Lemming bumping its head (unless you have e.g. a miner jump out at the end of its tunnel to prevent it from going further down). So that's where the old question of "tumbler-physics-or-not" comes into play. But even without tumbler physics, the Jumper should still be able to cancel other skills.

With these two factors, we can already see that the Jumper is going to become, in many regards, almost as powerful as the Walker. I guess that's the reaason why, despite all the skills it featured, Lemmings 2 didn't have a Walker yet - it simply wasn't needed, because the Jumper already performed those functions, and any Lemming turns back into a Walker immediately after that little jump.

3) If a Lemming jumps into a teleporter and reaches the trigger before the jump is completed, is the motion continued after he leaves the receiver?

All other skills moving into teleporters behave this way, even Swimmers used to do so for a while, which caused them to swim on terrain if the receiver wasn't placed in water. Destructive skills still continue once they come out of a receiver.

4a) A Disarmer that jumps into the trigger area of a triggered trap can't disarm if there's no terrain under his feet to stand on while performing the animation, so he should be killed by the trap. Is that correct?
This is an interaction that has never come up so far, obviously, because neither Lemmings 2 nor Lix have Disarmers.

4b) Will it be possible to assign a Jumper to a Lemming who is currently performing the disarming animation?
Because, as can be seen in true-physics mode, the trap trigger actually disappears right away as soon as the Disarmer walks onto it. So one could save time by literally "skipping" the animation with a Jumper, which should not be allowed, I think. ;)

5) If a Climber jumps towards a wall, will he bump against it, turn around and fall down, or will he hold on to it?
Just like the Blocker-Jumper interaction, this interaction is typically avoided in Lemmings 2 by providing the player with a Rock Climber instead of a regular Climber. With the Shimmier, we've decided to make the Climber-Shimmier transition at the ceiling possible, though, so it would be nice to have the Jumper-Climber transition work as well. It would allow pioneer lemmings much more flexibility to take paths that haven't been sealed with constructive skills yet - i.e. paths that the crowd can't just take as well. Pioneer-style levels become much more interesting when the pioneer can / needs to go a completely different route than the one the crowd has to take at the end.

6) Will it be possible to bomb or stone a Lemming in the middle of a jump?
If so, I'd expect the Lemming to explode immediately, without performing the "oh-no" animation (I mention this because in the first iteration, Shimmiers used to fall from the ceiling in order to oh-no, rather than exploding straight away under the ceiling).

7) If you clone a Lemming in the middle of the jump, the clone is only going to carry out the rest of the jumping animation, I guess?
Just like a cloned builder builds a shorter staircase.
This would make it possible to jump from a wall which has an abyss on the side behind the Jumper, and terrain ahead of the Jumper leading up against that wall.
Now, instead of jumping into said abyss, if you assign the Cloner later during the jump, the clone would rest-jump in a way so that he would still land on the ground before reaching said wall, turning around on it, not on top of the wall, which would lead him into the abyss.
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Offline Proxima

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Re: Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 03:44:16 pm »
Obviously this has no official standing, but my thoughts on how the behaviour should go:

1) No -- it's consistent across the board that blockers can't be assigned actions, e.g. builder. Behaviour of L2's Attractor is a red herring since NL doesn't feature the skill.

2) Yes, in Lix this has proved a useful mechanism when Walkers cannot be given because their alternative uses would create backroutes.

3) No strong opinion. I consider it a bug that other skills continue in this way. But if that is fixed NL behaviour, it should work with jumpers as well.

4) Should be consistent with disarmer-faller interaction. I believe the disarmer would be killed, though I haven't tested.

5) Jumping and clinging onto a wall is a lot of fun in Lix, and opens a lot of puzzle potential. On the other hand, it would feel a bit weird for the two games to converge when they usually have different mechanics, e.g. platformers.

6) Yes, instant bombers should work anywhere.

7) Yes, and I'm glad I'm not the one who has to code this :P

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 04:01:36 pm »
My 2 cents:

1) No, for the reason Proxima stated. The walker is special here as it is specifically designed to turn Lemmings around and cancel any skill.

2) Yes, as other non-permanent skills can do it as well, if they are assignable.

3) Yes, as this is consistent with other skills.

4a) As Proxima stated: It should be consistent with disarmer-faller interaction. I would consider a jumping Lemming in mid air as falling with a different direction. So a jump into a trap should be deadly.

4b) No, as other skills can't be assigned during that period as well.

5) Hold on, as I also think the Lix way is good in this case and makes both the jumper and the climber stronger skills overall.

6) Yes, as fallers can be assigned stoners and bombers as well. Again: I would consider a jumping Lemming in mid air as falling with a different direction.

7) Yes, as that is consistent with the cloner behavior.

Another question would be: How should the arc look like in terms of arc type, heigth and width. ???

Offline namida

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Re: Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 07:12:46 pm »
Nepster would be making the final call, but I would think:

1. I would lean towards no. Walker's purpose is to cancel skills, whereas with other skills it only happens as more of a side effect (because the lemming can't do two things at once). Or if we want to look at this from a different angle, we could consider the rule to be "you can only assign a skill to a blocker, if movement does not occur as part of the skill's effect". Walker fulfills this rule because it only changes the lemming's action, then reverts the lemming to no-skill-assigned behaviour before any movement occurs. Bomber and Stoner fulfill this rule because the lemming stays in the same place for the entire execution of the skill. Permanent skills fulfill this role because they simply give the lemming an attribute (the actual action is a modification to their "no skill assigned" behaviour, rather than an immediate skill-related action). Cloner fulfills this role because it doesn't affect the source lemming at all, although it is instead prohibited due to the "cannot have two blockers in the same place" rule. Jumper does not fulfill the rule.

2. By contrast, it's usually possible to interrupt a constructive or destructive skill with another skill, as long as the skill you're interrupting with is in general possible to assign at that time. With that in mind, I see no reason for the Jumper to be an exception here.

3. The rule of a teleporter is that it changes the position, and possibly the orientation, of a lemming - nothing else, except in edge cases where it changes other things specifically to avoid glitchy behaviour. Thus, a jumper should continue if he's mid-arc.

4a. Yes, the key question there is "is there terrain under his feet?", not "what action is he performing?". There's no reason the jumper should change this rule.

4b. Disarming becomes part of the lemming's no-skill behaviours once the Disarmer has been assigned to the lemming; and the general rule is that when a lemming is performing such behaviours, other than walking, they cannot be assigned skills that affect their current behaviour except bomber and stoner. There's again, no reason Jumper should have a different rule from everything else.

5. I would be okay with either answer here. If I had to make the call, I'd allow this behaviour.

6. I see no reason why not, and I believe they should not OhNo first.

7. Absolutely; what you describe is 100% consistent with how Cloner works in any other case, and there's no reason why it shouldn't here too.

Quote
5) Jumping and clinging onto a wall is a lot of fun in Lix, and opens a lot of puzzle potential. On the other hand, it would feel a bit weird for the two games to converge when they usually have different mechanics, e.g. platformers.
7) Yes, and I'm glad I'm not the one who has to code this :P

Re 5, NL doesn't specifically decide to follow or not follow Lix. If Lix does something the way we feel is right, we'll copy it. If we disagree, we'll differ from it.
Re 7, what Strato describes would actually be the expected outcome with the existing behaviour of the Cloner, once the Jumper is implemented.

« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 01:32:58 am by namida »
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2019, 09:31:34 pm »
Great, these answers seem pretty unanimous to me! :thumbsup:

Maybe Nepster can confirm if we're on the right track here, compared to what he had in mind?
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2019, 11:47:18 am »
Slightly off-topic but since Strato in effect brought it up:  I finally tried out jumpers + blockers in Classic tribe on DOS Lemmings 2 with help of GP's level editor.

Unsurprisingly, no, you cannot assign jumper to blockers.  Like others have said, blockers will not accept assignments of most skills.

But somewhat surprisingly, you apparently cannot reflect (ie. bounce) the jumper's trajectory against a blocker either.  The lemming still gets turned around mid-air and faces the opposite direction from before (and yes, will start walking in that new direction once landed), but the trajectory will continue as before, no reflection.

Also confirm similar behavior with shimmier and hopper as well.  Hopper, with its shorter horizontal span, actually winds up getting turned twice--it lands close enough to the other arm of the blocker to get the second turnaround, so facing direction is restored to pre-hop by time it lands.

And to be clear, other Lemmings 2-specific skills can react to blockers:  testing confirms for example that a shimmier shimmying along a low ceiling will turn around upon a blocker.

Offline kieranmillar

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Re: Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2019, 02:29:23 pm »
This idea of looking more closely at how skills like jumper react to blockers sounds like a cool idea. If only there was someone who 4 months ago did all this investigation work and even uploaded a level pack themed around the concept.

Also as a general rule I wouldnt really look to how Lemmings 2 does things as a guideline for how things should work in a Neolemmix implementation.

Offline namida

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Re: Anticipated Jumper behaviour
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2019, 08:29:17 pm »
Quote
Also as a general rule I wouldnt really look to how Lemmings 2 does things as a guideline for how things should work in a Neolemmix implementation.

Our philosophy with that where applicable has always been "do give consideration to what L2 does, but don't by any means treat it as a golden rule". In the case of Fencer, we gave consideration to how L2 fencer works - and clearly decided "that's not different enough from a basher, it needs a much steeper tunnel" (as opposed to just ignoring the L2 Fencer altogether), while still keeping the overall general idea of a fencer.

In the case of jumper-blocker interaction, I again would feel that L2's rule does not fit with how NL handles other skills and how a user would expect NL to handle Jumper + Blocker.
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