Author Topic: Things supported by the player but not by the editor  (Read 1751 times)

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Offline Strato Incendus

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Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« on: June 10, 2019, 05:45:40 pm »
So, I used to think that rotated or flipped exits had been removed from New Formats NeoLemmix, but in the form of converted Old Formats levels, they can actually still exist.

Just like with moving background objects, it seems like the player does still support it, only the editor doesn't (yet).

I know that re-adding support for moving objects is planned, what about rotated / flipped exits? ;)

Because long term, I think everyone's goal is that anything supported by the NeoLemmix player is also supported by the editor, and vice versa.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline namida

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 09:41:24 pm »
There's two ways you could look at this - either (a) it's arbitrary that the editor disallows this on certain objects, and it should allow it; or (b) that NeoLemmix only allows this because the object code, in general, supports it for any object where it isn't actively prevented, and the editor is showing what's intentionally supported (rather than just "this can be done as a side effect of how things work in general").

Neither of these has been decided to be the "official" stance. I do agree the two should be brought into line, and one argument in favor of "make the editor support everything" is that one could still achieve the same effect, just in a more complex way, by creating a new piece that represents the flipped / inverted / etc exit (or whatever other object) and using that instead - I used much the same thing to get around the removal of invisible objects, when I had a level that needed them for a special effect (a handdrawn level, where the objects too were hand-drawn onto the layout). However, I don't feel super strongly about this, and would be open to either approach.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 09:53:36 pm »
Well, for me it was helpful that the player still supported it! :)

One major reason is my guitar exit from the Instruments tileset, which, in contrast to most other exit, doesn't really have a preferred orientation, it works in both vertical and horizontal directions. So being able to rotate, flip, and invert exits would really be helpful to have this massive exit fit into the level landscape nicely.

Another thing was my level "Surfin' bird", where I used your Mineshaft exit as an owl's head by inverting it. The optical illusion would have gone lost completely without inverted-exit support.



Also, sometimes I like to have Lemmings climb out of the ground, or out of a "box", by inverting a hatch. The barrel-shaped hatch from the Highland tileset also works well when it's lying on the side, like an actual barrel could do as well.

So yeah, naturally, I'd be on the side of re-adding support for inverted, flipped, and rotated objects of all kind to the editor! :thumbsup: Especially given that it already works in the player anyway, so it would really only be the editor that needed some work. The buttons are all there already, and all this can be typed into a level file manually anyway - it's just more user-friendly to have it inside the editor itself.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline WillLem

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2019, 03:55:10 pm »
I used much the same thing to get around the removal of invisible objects, when I had a level that needed them for a special effect

Does this mean invisible objects no longer supported by the Editor? Is there any way to include a level that involves invisible objects into a newly created level pack?

If not, that's 2 of my levels up the creek...

Offline namida

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2019, 06:04:45 pm »
I used much the same thing to get around the removal of invisible objects, when I had a level that needed them for a special effect

Does this mean invisible objects no longer supported by the Editor? Is there any way to include a level that involves invisible objects into a newly created level pack?

If not, that's 2 of my levels up the creek...

Modern versions of NeoLemmix have no inherent support for invisible objects, and for good reason - invisible objects rarely serve any purpose other than being deliberately misleading to the player, which is considered a huge no-no in level design.

On top of this, it's pretty futile anyway - anyone playing NeoLemmix can just click into Clear Physics Mode, and instantly find out what and where any invisible / hidden-behind-terrain objects are. So if the intent is to mislead the player, not only is this considered bad level design, but it doesn't work anyway - as soon as the player suspects something is up (which will be right away if eg. they can't see a visible, un-hidden exit anyway), they activate Clear Physics Mode and know exactly what you've done.

There are workarounds for the "NL does not have the support anymore" side of things, but there is no workaround for the "clear physics mode can expose them anyway" (and never will be - if someone finds a workaround, the next version of NL after I become aware of it will break the workaround). So, the workarounds for the invisibility itself are only really of benefit in cases where the level doesn't mislead, but rather, needs the invisible object for technical reasons. An example would be Bumpy 12 from Lemmings Plus IV, which is a handdrawn level, including a handdrawn "entrance", "exit" and "one way arrows" as part of the terrain - there are invisible objects to actually function as these things, but the objects are exactly where they look like they'd be, nothing misleading.

So, my advice here:
- If your levels don't really lose anything by making those objects visible, just make them visible.
- If the whole point of the levels is that they trick the player with invisible / hidden objects, throw the levels out - they are bad levels. (Or at best, they're good levels with some very bad elements - in this case, don't throw them out, modify them to remove the bad parts.)
- Only if there's a technical reason, like with Bumpy 12, why invisible objects are needed but aren't misleading in any way, look into workarounds. The two options are (a) use the "only on terrain" flag, this is only viable if the object doesn't overlap any terrain; or (b) create a custom object that has a blank graphic. In my case, I've put such objects into a style called "namida_special"; this style is not included in NL's download, but rather, the relevant pieces of it are included with any packs of mine that use it. (It isn't exclusively invisibles, I've used it for any cases where I've had a one-off or used-only-a-few-times pieces that don't specifically belong in any style.) Do not use namida_special's pieces for your own levels, as not everyone will have these pieces (only people who've downloaded one of my packs that uses them - for the invisible objects, this specifically means "people who've downloaded Lemmings Plus IV").
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 06:18:02 pm by namida »

Offline WillLem

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2019, 06:47:27 pm »

Modern versions of NeoLemmix have no inherent support for invisible objects, and for good reason - invisible objects rarely serve any purpose other than being deliberately misleading to the player, which is considered a huge no-no in level design.

On top of this, it's pretty futile anyway - anyone playing NeoLemmix can just click into Clear Physics Mode, and instantly find out what and where any invisible / hidden-behind-terrain objects are. So if the intent is to mislead the player, not only is this considered bad level design, but it doesn't work anyway - as soon as the player suspects something is up (which will be right away if eg. they can't see a visible, un-hidden exit anyway), they activate Clear Physics Mode and know exactly what you've done.

The levels are intended as invisible-element levels, and they follow on from one another in the pack. There is no intention to mislead or troll, the invisible elements are part of the puzzle and this is made very obvious.

That said, I'll PM you the levels as .ini (as the invisibility currently only works in SuperLemmini anyway) and if you'd be happy to play through them and offer some feedback on whether or not they're worth including in my pack, that would be great. If you really think it's not worth it or if you think they'd be responded to negatively, I'll consider redesigning.

I really do like what I've done though, these are cool levels!

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2019, 09:32:22 pm »
Ah, thanks for the explanations on the workarounds, namida! :thumbsup: One of my LWT levels from the Groupie rank actually kind-of requires an invisible exit, because it used to be one of the signature design elements of the content creator in question. I do have your namida_special tileset, it doesn't include the invisible exit, though - so I'd probably have to re-download Lemmings Plus IV for New Formats again.

True to the spirit of NeoLemmix, said level doesn't use the invisible exit to troll the player - in fact, the level title completely gives away where the exit is (and I mean, like, literally). ;) It just looks a lot better, because the exit isn't standing on a flat platform, which makes most exits with long straight edges look pretty stupid, like floating halfway in the air.

For that purpose, I want to stress the difference between an invisible exit (=object set to invisible, but the exit trigger itself can be in a totally obvious place) and an actual hidden exit, such as on "Lost something?" in original Lemmings (=exit fully visible, but covered by terrain). The latter has seen much more troll use than the former, in my opinion.

I will most likely swap out the exit together with the re-addition of anti-splat pads (there is one LWT level which requires one), once the stable version 12.7 gets released. As far as I understand you, you don't plan to remove support for this completely (e.g. by removing the option to create a blank exit object with just a trigger area and no graphic)? ;) Because it would break your own pack, Lemmings Plus IV, after all.

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Do not use namida_special's pieces for your own levels, as not everyone will have these pieces (only people who've downloaded one of my packs that uses them - for the invisible objects, this specifically means "people who've downloaded Lemmings Plus IV").

So you'd prefer me to add a separate blank exit to my strato_generalmd tileset, rather than using your namida_special? ;) That's some wasted free advertising for Lemmings Plus IV, I'd say! :P If I were to use your namida_special set, I'd have to link from my LWT thread to your pack...

I have no problem with adding my own blank exit, to be clear - I just thought we were supposed to avoid redundant pieces... ;)
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline namida

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2019, 09:46:09 pm »
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For that purpose, I want to stress the difference between an invisible exit (=object set to invisible, but the exit trigger itself can be in a totally obvious place) and an actual hidden exit, such as on "Lost something?" in original Lemmings (=exit fully visible, but covered by terrain). The latter has seen much more troll use than the former, in my opinion.

I don't feel this distinction is important. Instead, I'd draw one based on how they're used - an exit buried in terrain, where the level makes it very clear "this is the spot where it is, you just have to figure out how to get there", is fair; whereas an exit that's invisible but in midair rather than buried in terrain is blatantly unfair.

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I will most likely swap out the exit together with the re-addition of anti-splat pads (there is one LWT level which requires one), once the stable version 12.7 gets released. As far as I understand you, you don't plan to remove support for this completely (e.g. by removing the option to create a blank exit object with just a trigger area and no graphic)? ;) Because it would break your own pack, Lemmings Plus IV, after all.

I have three entire packs that have been withdrawn due to NL updates breaking them (LPII Bonus Pack, LPIII Bonus Pack, Doomsday Lemmings II) - all of these due to changes that were made at my own decision, not Nepster's. Some of these levels have been salvaged, with changes, and the new levels made from them used elsewhere (either as replacements in the main series packs for broken levels, or as submissions to the NeoLemmix Community Pack), but the majority of these play quite differently from the original, and just use the same layout.

The reason this won't be discontinued is a different one: Because it would be ridiculously tricky to actually do so. I could perhaps implement code "disallow any object with a completely invisible graphic". People instead just create an almost-invisible graphic (one pixel that has an alpha value of 1, the rest is completely invisible). Or they create a graphic that looks exactly like the background. Had it been realistically viable to prevent this, it likely would already be prevented - and Bumpy 12 adjusted somehow to account for it, or if need be, replaced with a new level.

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I have no problem with adding my own blank exit, to be clear - I just thought we were supposed to avoid redundant pieces... ;)

A piece that's specifically created for a single level, in my opinion, belongs with the pack's download, not with the NL styles download, in the first place. The whole thing about duplicates specifically relates to NL's styles download.

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If I were to use your namida_special set, I'd have to link from my LWT thread to your pack...

Which is an excellent reason not to use it. Every style your pack requires should either (a) come with NL's download, or (b) come with the pack's download. (On the other hand, including a copy of namida_special's invisible exit with your pack would be more acceptable - but in this case I would suggest stressing that it's completely identical to the one that comes with LPIV, so people don't get worried about which copy is the "right" one if they have both packs.)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2019, 08:04:26 am »
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Every style your pack requires should either (a) come with NL's download, or (b) come with the pack's download. (On the other hand, including a copy of namida_special's invisible exit with your pack would be more acceptable - but in this case I would suggest stressing that it's completely identical to the one that comes with LPIV, so people don't get worried about which copy is the "right" one if they have both packs.)

Alright, whichever way you prefer it! ;) I'll simply put a duplicate of that exit into my strato_generalmd folder then, because that tileset is shared along with LWT anyway (and will also be shared together with LOA).

I usually wouldn't use identical (=non-recoloured) pieces of other people's graphics in one of my tilesets - but in this case, there technically is no graphic, just a defined trigger area :D , so it really just saves some typing effort.

What about rotated and inverted exits (which this topic was originally about)? Are those going to stay?

I've just grown accustomed to levels like the one pictured in my earlier post ("Surfin' bird") still working in New Formats, plus there's that thing I mentioned about the guitar exit from my Instruments tileset, which looks equally viable in an upright and horizontal position.

Again, if rotation and inversion of exits and hatches are not supported / become "un-supported", it's just as easy to bypass this by creating a separate object, for which the rotated or inverted position is just its default position. That would just unnecessarily inflate the respective graphic set, though, in my opinion. ;)
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2019, 11:22:23 am »
Does this mean invisible objects no longer supported by the Editor?

Is that even a thing in SuperLemmini?  There's certainly no invisible anything in the original Lemmings games.  Sure, some exits and traps are buried inside terrain or camouflaged into surrounding terrain, but nothing is literally invisible.  And heck, by Lemmings 2 onwards you don't even see buried stuff anymore IIRC.

Why start a thing that was never part of any of the Lemmings games?  Some people here don't even like the buried traps much, introducing actually invisible stuff into your packs would most likely just set a precedence for them to avoid playing your levels.

Offline WillLem

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2019, 11:43:07 am »
Does this mean invisible objects no longer supported by the Editor?

Is that even a thing in SuperLemmini?  There's certainly no invisible anything in the original Lemmings games.  Sure, some exits and traps are buried inside terrain or camouflaged into surrounding terrain, but nothing is literally invisible.  And heck, by Lemmings 2 onwards you don't even see buried stuff anymore IIRC.

Why start a thing that was never part of any of the Lemmings games?  Some people here don't even like the buried traps much, introducing actually invisible stuff into your packs would most likely just set a precedence for them to avoid playing your levels.

It is possible in SuperLemmini. I have made a level with an invisible bridge called Leap of faith. The idea is that the player runs out of builders before getting to this part of the level, but (hopefully) discovers that they are able to walk across anyway!

I would consider that a fair, if somewhat cheesy, use of invisible elements. It's obviously done as a nod to Indiana Jones and is not intended to troll the player, nor does it cause them to unnecessarily die. In fact - it's a help!

I do have another level which is made entirely of invisible elements, but that's the idea of the level and - again - it's done in a very obvious way, not intended to mislead the player at all. It's really a one-off gimmick level, and is done as such. If I was using invisible elements in almost every level without making a thing of it (for example, calling the pack "Invisible Lemmings") then I could understand people being put off.

The feeling here generally seems to be that invisible elements are not a good idea though, but I would disagree that if such things weren't included in the original game then perhaps they shouldn't be included now. The original games themselves (including the Oh No! Levels) featured plenty of amusing one-off gimmick levels here and there; Introducing SUPERLEMMING, Lost something? and Flow control spring readily to mind - all examples of ideas being used once for the sake of variety and inclusion, but generally not being applied to the rest of the game. Plus, NeoLemmix seems to be resplendent with new features (buttons, splitters, pickups, more than double the amount of original skills, the ability to assign Lemmings to a particular exit, etc) so why would the occasional well-used invisible element be such an issue?

It's a good debate, but for now (since I'm new and everything!) I'll stick to more traditional level designs and redo these two levels without invisible elements. After all, I do want people playing my packs! ;P

EDIT - I've attached the Leap of faith level in .ini format. If you have a copy of Lemmini/SuperLemmini handy, you'll see that the invisible elements work and hopefully you'll agree that they're intended to enhance the level and not troll the player. It's made very obvious that the intention is to be a bit silly and gimmicky for the sake of fun, and the level is a fairly easy solve anyway!

Offline namida

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2019, 05:54:45 pm »
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What about rotated and inverted exits (which this topic was originally about)? Are those going to stay?

I don't see these disappearing any time soon. I've recently even lifted most of the restrictions the editor places on flipping / etc certain object types, though I've left them in place for a few specific types where it could cause technical issues either now or in the future. (Exits are not one of these types; they can be freely inverted and rotated - IIRC it was just entrances, preplaced lemmings and pickup skills that can't be, although the first two can be horizontally flipped.)

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It is possible in SuperLemmini. I have made a level with an invisible bridge called Leap of faith. The idea is that the player runs out of builders before getting to this part of the level, but (hopefully) discovers that they are able to walk across anyway!

I would consider that a fair, if somewhat cheesy, use of invisible elements. It's obviously done as a nod to Indiana Jones and is not intended to troll the player, nor does it cause them to unnecessarily die. In fact - it's a help!

I do have another level which is made entirely of invisible elements, but that's the idea of the level and - again - it's done in a very obvious way, not intended to mislead the player at all. It's really a one-off gimmick level, and is done as such. If I was using invisible elements in almost every level without making a thing of it (for example, calling the pack "Invisible Lemmings") then I could understand people being put off.

These are both textbook cases of troll levels. In the first, you are essentially presenting the player with what looks like a gap they can't cross, and expecting them to guess - against standard Lemmings logic - that they will walk across it anyway. In the second, the entire level is up to guesswork rather than strategy - until the user turns on Clear Physics Mode, which they'll likely do right away, and now it's just a standard level except for the Clear Physics Mode graphics. Or if they're using SuperLemmini, which doesn't have Clear Physics Mode, they're more likely to skip the level, or perhaps modify it to reveal the hidden elements.

If these levels are good levels in and of themself, make the invisible parts visible. If they're bad levels and the only reason they exist is the invisible stuff gimmick, get rid of them - the invisible stuff doesn't make them better, it makes them worse.

The golden rule is - a player who's familiar with the graphic set your level is using, should be able to take one look at your level and know exactly what's solid vs not solid, what's steel, what will kill their lemmings, etc. 9 times out of 10, invisible parts violate this rule.

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The feeling here generally seems to be that invisible elements are not a good idea though, but I would disagree that if such things weren't included in the original game then perhaps they shouldn't be included now. The original games themselves (including the Oh No! Levels) featured plenty of amusing one-off gimmick levels here and there; Introducing SUPERLEMMING, Lost something? and Flow control spring readily to mind - all examples of ideas being used once for the sake of variety and inclusion, but generally not being applied to the rest of the game. Plus, NeoLemmix seems to be resplendent with new features (buttons, splitters, pickups, more than double the amount of original skills, the ability to assign Lemmings to a particular exit, etc) so why would the occasional well-used invisible element be such an issue?

I disagree with lumping Flow Control in with the other two. "Inroducing SUPERLEMMING" is a relatively easy level in and of itself, that's given fake difficulty from the speedup. "Lost Something?" was tolerable, even fun, in the original game because it was the only time we'd seen this idea - it's an idea that's interesting the first time, but very quickly gets annoying after that.

"Flow Control", on the other hand, operates completely within the usual rules of the game. When solved as intended, it uses a trick that no other level does (this trick can be averted with backroutes, at least on DOS / Amiga where there's a miner-bomber glitch that's very useful here), but the trick can be used elsewhere, and indeed is used elsewhere in some challenge solutions. The key difference though, is that Flow Control does not mess with how the game works in any way or hide anything from the player, it just requires realising an obscure trick - and that general idea is not unique to Flow Control, there are a lot of levels that have unique tricks (for example, the trick used at the end of Mayhem 20). While there's probably a few people out there who disagree, "Flow Control" would generally speaking be considered a good level even by modern standards.

You're not alone in thinking that invisible / hidden elements are fun. Almost everyone does when they first start creating levels - myself included back when I started. And that's where the problem lies - it is indeed an interesting concept when it's done once. It's just annoying when you encounter it for the 100th time. And most of us here have had those first 99 encounters by now...

In regards to the new elements - the difference is, they're still consistent. Yes, DOS Lemmings didn't have splitters for example, but splitters don't mislead in any way (assuming they haven't been designed with a misleading graphic, of course). If the splitter points left, lemmings go left. If the splitter points right, lemmings go right. It's a new rule, but it's a consistent, predictable one that once a player understands how a splitter works, they can look at any level that contains one and know what will happen.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 06:17:17 pm by namida »

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2019, 07:32:36 pm »
Yeah, namida did at one point released levelpacks with a bunch of different gimmick physics (and ones that are at least more creative and interesting than invisibility), so he can definitely expand more on how he eventually ended up deciding to remove support for most of them in NeoLemmix.

Like namida, I would separate gimmicks that actually changes the rules of the game, versus level concepts that are featured in only one level but still operate within the normal rules of the game.  By that standard, only "Introducing SUPERLEMMING" actually has a game-altering gimmick (the double-speed), and honestly it's a pretty lame one that just makes you use pause more to get through the level.  "Lost Something" is mainly gimmicky in concept only for burying the exit completely, although the player has actually already encountered buried objects as early as "Easy when you know how" in Fun.  (Aside: there was also another level in Fun that actually has terrain-hidden exit, although most players don't know it's there and typically just go for the non-hidden exits instead.)  And all the solution concepts for "Flow Control" are basically already introduced in earlier levels like "Just a Minute" (making the release rate a part of the puzzle) and "Compression Method 1" (bunching up the lemmings to get some to survive going past a triggered trap).

Invisible stuff would be much more of a game-altering gimmick like the double-speed in "Introducing SUPERLEMMING" in my opinion.  And seeing other examples of gimmicks that had existed (eg. the ones namida once added to NeoLemmix, back before it was even called NeoLemmix), I would also argue invisible stuff is amongst one of the least creative and least interesting gimmick even for people who like game-altering gimmicks here and there.

I'm kind of curious what other levels in the original games you would consider having gimmicks even in the broader sense you're speaking of.  You said the original games "featured plenty of amusing one-off gimmick levels" but actually, in my mind there doesn't seem to be all that plenty beyond the few examples you describe plus maybe a few more, amongst the 200 or so total number of levels in just Lemmings 1 and ONML alone.  There were certainly a good number of levels with unique solution concepts (that still operate within the normal rules of the game), and for that there are very few complaints and much praises in most cases.  And in any case, the original game designers also have the sense to not repeat a gimmicky concept, except maybe "We All Fall Down" if you consider that a gimmicky level--and I think most agree that it's pretty superfluous to repeat it 4 times anyway--it'd be plenty effective enough to do it once in Fun and again in Mayhem.  Whereas it sounded like you were very much planning to repeat the same invisibility gimmick over multiple levels.

I think if you look at other games beyond Lemmings, you'll generally find that use of invisible game elements is rarely what people would call out as enjoying the most about the game, except maybe for particular games where almost every level is designed to troll the player.  Some games do use invisible game elements here and there but only in optional ways, like hidden coin blocks in Mario leading to special locations or levels, and they are effective and enjoyable mainly because they don't get in the way of the actual completion of the level.  There's probably a higher tolerance amongst players of other games for invisible stuff, but if you ask people which levels they like or enjoy the most, I don't think the invisible stuff will usually make it to top of list for most people.

In any case, the culture around custom levels here have evolved in the direction where things like clear physics mode exist in the NeoLemmix, which basically renders invisible game elements pointless.

Offline WillLem

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 11:01:20 pm »
Invisible stuff would be much more of a game-altering gimmick like the double-speed in "Introducing SUPERLEMMING" in my opinion.  And seeing other examples of gimmicks that had existed (eg. the ones namida once added to NeoLemmix, back before it was even called NeoLemmix), I would also argue invisible stuff is amongst one of the least creative and least interesting gimmick even for people who like game-altering gimmicks here and there.

And in any case, the original game designers also have the sense to not repeat a gimmicky concept, except maybe "We All Fall Down" if you consider that a gimmicky level--and I think most agree that it's pretty superfluous to repeat it 4 times anyway--it'd be plenty effective enough to do it once in Fun and again in Mayhem.  Whereas it sounded like you were very much planning to repeat the same invisibility gimmick over multiple levels.

OK... just to discuss the point, I think that there's nothing wrong with a well-used invisible element in a one-off level, which is what my intention was (I'm unsure where you got the impression that I would repeat the idea over multiple levels - to be fair, my previous post specifically states that the idea was intended as a "one-off gimmick level").

The level was made entirely for fun and in good spirit, not intended to troll at all. OK, so it was a bit of a cheesy idea, but I figured it would at least get a chuckle from one or two people, maybe... OK, maybe not! :P

If you think the way I decided to use invisibility is not particularly interesting or creative, then that's fine - opinions are opinions. However, I don't agree that the concept in and of itself is not interesting or creative; it's how it gets used. Having said that, I'd probably agree that, for the most part, invisible stuff is best left as easter-eggs or side-quests, rather than the main game solution.

Anyway, if people on this forum don't like the idea or are bored of it now, that's fine, I can go along with that. But I still believe that it's possible to come up with an interesting and/or creative way to use any game element (including invisibility) - otherwise I wouldn't be spending time making Lemmings levels! I hope that I get better at it as time goes on...

If these levels are good levels in and of themself, make the invisible parts visible. If they're bad levels and the only reason they exist is the invisible stuff gimmick, get rid of them - the invisible stuff doesn't make them better, it makes them worse.

The golden rule is - a player who's familiar with the graphic set your level is using, should be able to take one look at your level and know exactly what's solid vs not solid, what's steel, what will kill their lemmings, etc. 9 times out of 10, invisible parts violate this rule.

---

You're not alone in thinking that invisible / hidden elements are fun. Almost everyone does when they first start creating levels - myself included back when I started. And that's where the problem lies - it is indeed an interesting concept when it's done once. It's just annoying when you encounter it for the 100th time. And most of us here have had those first 99 encounters by now...

OK, OK, I get it - I'm new and you guys have probably seen it all before! I've chalked this one up to experience and redone the levels. In my wisdom, I do understand that part of joining a forum is accepting the accepted standards, and only questioning them if it's useful to do so. In this case, I think it probably isn't! ;P

I guess I should thank you all for encouraging me to think a bit more about the levels I'm making. Since this conversation started I've ditched a couple of other levels that could perhaps have been regarded as troll-ish and changed up a few elements of others. All part of the learning process. :thumbsup:

Offline grams88

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Re: Things supported by the player but not by the editor
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2019, 12:30:14 am »
Hi WillLem Hi everyone

Good on you Willlem, I might maybe try your pack one time, it sounds like you put a lot work into it.

I sort of liked that level from Zurlinden's pack the one with the invisible parts to it, it did feel like it broke conventional lemmings in a sense, oh I just remembered the phantom exit one from Zurlinden.  That level I actually quite liked, I solved it fast as I have a good tactic for those sort of things, spread the lemmings everywhere, get them multitasking and you will probably come across the exit very fast. I can probably understand why this is not really popular with the lemmings community, I think if you use it a lot in your packs, I could maybe see that this would be unpopular but hey who am to judge. :) It could be that the levels that you know the solution to but the execution makes it hard could be an unpopular choice.

My dad hated those (We all fall down levels) I remember doing them on the atari st computer and not having the replay feature made it a lot harder and you had to concentrate when clicking the lemmings. It felt as if I was a robot for a few minutes or seconds, can't quite remember what the time limit was for the (We all fall down) levels.

I can only really think of one lemmings level that breaks the conventional rules from the lemmings game that featured a gimmick such as the (Introducing super lemming).

I'm probably a person who likes things in moderation, maybe not too much of that or too much of this, I think we all do have our favorite type of levels as well as levels we didn't like that much. I wasn't a massive fan of the timed bomber levels as I did tend to miss time it a lot when bombing the lemmings.

Here's a crystal maze thought. If you remember the crystal maze you could choose what type of challenge you want such as (skill, physical, mental, mystery)

It sort of feels like the crystal maze a little bit. You have your levels with a hidden exit which could come under (mystery level). You have your levels where you know the solution but is actually quite hard to execute, (skill level). The (We all fall down levels could maybe come under (Mental level) as you have to be mentally aware when to click each lemming. A (physical level) could be a hero type level where one lemming does most of the work and you blow up the blocker and release the remaining lemmings. I re-thought what the mental levels could be, your standard puzzle type levels, where it takes you a while to figure out the solution.

Keep up the good work Willlem. :)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 12:36:27 am by grams88 »