Author Topic: Lemmings Redux [Easy-Medium]  (Read 59912 times)

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Offline Crane

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2020, 10:13:57 AM »
This is just an opinion again, but for the "Save 100%" talisman on Water Processing Plant, I would like to suggest reducing its difficulty from Gold to Silver, since I don't personally think it's too difficult to work out how to only use 4 Builders there while saving everyone... compare with other nightmarish ones like "Save 100%" on "I am A.T.", which requires knowing about or discovering the Digger-cancelling trick and would otherwise invoke a "How the hell are you meant to do this?" reaction.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #46 on: May 25, 2020, 12:28:47 AM »
Long post coming up. Please, everyone who's interested in the Redux pack, read carefully and share your opinions.

As of the release of NL 12.9, namida has now decided to ship Redux with NL, and discontinue support for the original levels other than the Redux pack, so that Redux will be the only official NL version of the original levels from now on.

It's desirable for Redux to be declared final as regards level selection, talismans and backroute fixes, so that we don't have to worry about different users having different versions of Redux, and so that we can post challenge results without having to worry about the pack changing again. I had thought that the current version could be final, but roundthewheel's Let's Play has brought up a couple of issues; and since a new version will be necessary to fix those, we may as well have one last consideration of other changes we might make.

Firstly, is everyone okay with the current size of the pack and selection of levels, or do you have suggestions for other levels that should be included? I am really just asking this to be absolutely thorough; I don't think it's at all likely we will make any changes to level selection at this very late stage. But namida's declaration may have changed some people's opinions; I myself have a few favourite levels that didn't make the cut; there are new forum members around who weren't part of the original decision-making. So if anyone has any opinions, now is the time to put them forward.

Secondly, does anyone have any criticism of the current ordering? The one change I will almost certainly make, since I've asked for opinions on this during the LP and there seems to be consensus, is to move Manic 11 "Where Lemmings Dare" later within the rank, most likely switching it with Manic 31 "With a twist of lemming, please".

Assuming the selection and ordering won't take long to resolve, we can go straight on to discussing talismans. I've asked for opinions on this already, and there seems to be a consensus that we shouldn't add too many talismans at this stage. But there are definitely some good ideas for talismans that have come from the max saved and "skills you can't live without" challenges, and only one current talisman ("PoP YoR ToP") that doesn't seem worth keeping; so I think going up to 40 might be the best bet.

Just to be clear, I want to select talismans first, and only when the selection is finalised, decide about ranking them. (We could also give names to the talismans, as Crane has suggested recently; but it must be all or none.)

Looking through recent suggestions and the challenge topics, I've drawn up a shortlist of talismans I like best, but this does not mean I am only considering these; anyone is welcome to suggest others.

* Chill out! - No climbers
* Acrophobia - Save 100% or no diggers
* No justice for the hero - Save 100%
* Lemmy in the cold, cold ground - No bashers or no miners
* Going Their Separate Ways - Max 20 skills
* SNOW JOKE - 1 basher
* Worra load of old blocks - No diggers
* ROCKY ROAD - 2 builders (this would be in addition to the existing "Save 100%" talisman)
* Steel Block Party - No builders
* Be more than just a number - Save 100%
* Fix the road, quick - Save 100% with 10 builders
* SEGA Four - No climbers
* With a twist of lemming, please - No climbers
* Temple of Love - Save 29/30
* Save Me - Save 45/50

...and there may be others I've missed, but I have tried to look thoroughly through both challenge topics, as well as posts in this topic. Since that's 15, adding all of them would bring us to 51. We could go for 48 or 50, but most people I've spoken to seem to prefer a number in the 32-40 range, so maybe we should select just a few from the above list.

We can also consider removing some of the existing talismans, but one thing is not up for discussion: Redux is aimed at new players who may be experiencing the original levels for the first time, so challenges like saving 100% on "Cascade" that are interesting to new players will not be removed just because they are old hat to Lemmings veterans.

I would really appreciate it if everyone would take the time to contribute their opinions. If not, I can make all the necessary decisions by myself, but I won't feel the same confidence in those decisions that I do when they're reached through discussion and consensus.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 12:36:19 AM by Proxima »

Offline Proxima

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2020, 01:13:19 AM »
As an addendum, since this has been brought up more than once:

In the original discussion of which levels to backroute-fix and which to leave, it seemed there was a consensus for leaving the blockers in "The Great Lemming Caper", necessitating having a talisman for not using the blockers. I can't remember whether this was one of the things we voted on or whether it just emerged from forum posts. We could potentially go back on this decision and remove the blockers after all, since some people feel it's weird to have this talisman. But again, since this is specifically one of the things we discussed in the original topic, I would need to see a clear consensus in favour of removing the blockers before making this change.

Online namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2020, 04:54:09 AM »
Quote
it seemed there was a consensus for leaving the blockers in "The Great Lemming Caper", necessitating having a talisman for not using the blockers.

I disagree with the second part of this. I would strongly advocate against removing the blockers, but I'm fairly neutral on the talisman. I mentioned this on Discord but in short, I feel the blockers should only be removed if their sole purpose was to position bombers. In practice, this pretty much just means Fun 6 and Fun 18 - and even the latter is slightly debatable, because they could also be placed next to a firepit to prevent lemmings going into it.
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Online WillLem

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2020, 01:34:11 AM »
I'd suggest (if possible) inclusion of the following levels. Even if not in their original versions, these can be made into very interesting levels with a minimum of tweaking:

The Ascending Pillar Scenario
Mary Poppins' Land
Take A Running Jump
Steel Works

Oh No! It's The 4TH DIMENSION!

And, you're welcome to use the recoloured exit and entrance graphics for the "special" levels.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 01:42:14 AM by WillLem »

Online namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2020, 07:29:31 PM »
Modifications in Redux are solely for the purpose of blocking backroutes, or NeoLemmix-izing the levels. Redux isn't a pack of derivative levels (well, in a sense it is, but not in the way that I get your post to be implying), just the same ones but NeoLemmix-ized.

Out of those suggestions:
- The Ascending Pillar Scenario; no, just no. Perhaps its easier version if some more filler for the early ranks are needed (although even this, there's likely better candidates), but the repeat doesn't have much value. There are better candidates (such as Taxing 3) for levels requiring a digger pit or similar, likewise, I'm sure the "dig down rather than build up to make a safe fall" appears elsewhere, though I'm not awake enough yet to think of specific examples. And the middle segment, of course, is just a builderfest.
- Mary Poppins' Land; I don't feel super strongly about this one but don't see any reason (other than "there are better choices", as applicable) to not include it either.
- Take A Running Jump; I do like this level but backroutes are an issue. It would need significant changes to eliminate a certain well-known backroute, and even then, variants of it would remain open. So I think more on technical reasons, this one isn't a good pick.
- Steel Works; this was discussed on Discord the other day. Basically, while the end segment is somewhat interesting, the rest of it is just a tedious builderfest, which makes it a very strong candidate to not include. Proxima also felt the 1-pixel-too-far splat start was awkward, too, although I personally didn't see too much of an issue with that. Cutting it down to just the end section doesn't really feel appropriate for Redux.
- Oh No! It's The 4th Dimension!; I'm neutral on this one much like Mary Poppins' Land.

With that being said, one level has come to mind that I'd personally argue for inclusion of. Mayhem 2 "The Boiler Room". While it does share a main trick with Taxing 27 "Call In The Bomb Squad", a key point of difference is that the trick is not as obvious here. I don't feel super strongly about this, though.
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Online WillLem

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2020, 09:52:26 PM »
- Take A Running Jump; I do like this level but backroutes are an issue. It would need significant changes to eliminate a certain well-known backroute.

Out of interest, which backroute?

Online namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2020, 10:32:07 PM »
- Take A Running Jump; I do like this level but backroutes are an issue. It would need significant changes to eliminate a certain well-known backroute.

Out of interest, which backroute?

Blocking off the way up to the top by sealing the one-pixel corridors with a builder, rather than building a splatform.
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2020, 11:42:09 PM »
Whether that's a backroute or not is somewhat debatable.  Unless the mechanics changed in NeoLemmix, the builder that seals up the one-pixel corridor will not himself be able to turn around, he will still follow the way up and eventually splat unless you do the splatform anyway.  The only reason you don't need to bother is because the level lets you lose 1.  At the same time, lose 1 is rather unlikely if you did do the splatform approach, unless you're slightly careless at the beginning when you need to spam-build a little.

It's also surprising how much building you need to make the splatform safe, you pretty much almost have to start building as soon as the lemming finishes falling down the cliff, or your splatform apparently won't be quite high enough to stop the splatting.

Honestly I don't find that level terribly interesting, but if people actually want to include that level in Redux and yet you're really bothered by the seal-the-corridor route, you could consider changing save requirement to 100% so that the splatform must be done.

Online WillLem

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #54 on: May 29, 2020, 08:23:00 AM »
Blocking off the way up to the top by sealing the one-pixel corridors with a builder, rather than building a splatform.

As ccx said, I'm pretty sure that isn't a backroute because the level lets you lose 1; since 1 lemming walks up the corridor and to his death (unless you build said splatform to save him, of course) having sealed the corridor with a builder for the others, it seems likely this is intended.

It's also the solution that's suggested in the Prima Publishing Lemmings: The Official Companion which was created and licensed by Psygnosis, which I think at least makes the solution acceptable if not intended by the level's designer.

It's also surprising how much building you need to make the splatform safe, you pretty much almost have to start building as soon as the lemming finishes falling down the cliff, or your splatform apparently won't be quite high enough to stop the splatting.

You can also build from the cliff itself to prevent this being an issue, as long as the 1-pixel corridor has been sealed.

if people actually want to include that level in Redux and yet you're really bothered by the seal-the-corridor route, you could consider changing save requirement to 100% so that the splatform must be done.

+1 for this: I agree that this would be an ideal way to present the level in Redux.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2020, 09:05:00 AM »
Okay, so there is definitely some interest in enlarging the pack. That doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen; for one thing, I have to balance this against quite a few people who've said that the pack is a good size already. I'm pretty sure there aren't any currently included levels that should be removed -- I'm certainly willing to listen if you have suggestions for removals, but since we went through a lengthy selection process to make sure there was firm consensus for which levels made it in, I would have to see a very strong shift of opinion against any particular level before I'd consider removing it.

If we don't remove any levels, then we currently have 160 (32 per rank), and only a few possible additions have been suggested. I'm not wild about the idea of having 33 per rank (especially since the original games usually had round numbers or powers of 2 per rank -- 30 in Lemmings, 20 in ONML, 16 in Holiday); but maybe other people don't feel as strongly about this as I do? We could consider going up to 35 per rank, or even 40, but that would require adding a lot of levels that were considered not worthy of inclusion in the original discussion. Also, large ranks may be a little off-putting to players as the landmark of having a rank completed would be a long way off from the start. (One possibility would be to have 6 ranks of 30, 180 in total, but again, that would require finding 20 new levels.)

So I don't know what the best thing is to do here. Maybe I'll leave it a little while longer to see how things go, and put up a poll if necessary.

My thoughts on the specific levels that have been mentioned:

The ascending pillar scenario: The interesting (and difficult) part of this level is containing the crowd at the beginning, with so little space to work with. (I was stuck on this level for about a year!) I think it could potentially be worth including for this reason, even if the rest of it is just building.

Heaven can wait (we hope): This was a striking level in the original game, because of the tight time limit and 100% save requirement. I think (but can't be sure) that even for a new player, it would be less impressive in NeoLemmix, because the player would be used to framestepping to release the crowd at the correct time (although if Redux is the only pack they have played, there are not that many time-limited levels at all). The tactic of trapping the crowd in a digger pit rather than using blockers is a valuable one to showcase, so I'll check whether we already have any levels like this.

Mary Poppins' Land: This is an interesting case, because Nepster argued for removing it and adding Blizzard 1; I was against that; and with the way bsmith counted up votes, that meant neither level got included, even though it's possible Nepster may have felt that at least one of the two should make it in. I think it's a decent level and a clear example of a useful tactic -- but Old MacDonald Had a Farm feels like a more complex and interesting expansion of the same idea, so that would be a strike against it.

Take a running jump: This feels redundant, even with the proposed fix. There isn't much to it other than building a landing bridge, and we definitely have other levels that show that.

Steel Works: One of my own favourites, but that's partly because of its placement as one of only four levels unlocked from the start, so it was extremely daunting to get a glimpse of the level of complexity the game would eventually work up to, and of course very satisfying when I finally managed to beat it. That wouldn't work at all in NL, because all levels are unlocked, so the player has no particular reason to fixate on the first level of the last rank; and in any case we've chosen It's hero time for that position and I'm happy with that decision.

All that aside -- the ending part of the level is good but neither the beginning nor the middle shows anything we don't have in other levels, so overall I'd rather let this one go than try to fix it into a worthy candidate level, since really we would then be making our own level inspired by the original, and that's beyond the scope of Redux.

Oh No! It's the 4th Dimension! -- This has some interesting features but is spoiled by too much building and a save requirement so low that you can let the lower-left lemmings all die. Again, a good candidate for making a derivative level for another project, but not so much for this one.

The Boiler Room -- I do like this level, especially the daunting "this is completely impossible" first impression it gives. Redundancy with Call in the bomb squad isn't an issue since that level isn't in Redux, although the somewhat similar Don't leave any Lemmings is.

Since I'm neutral-to-negative about most of these, my own inclination is to leave the pack at 160 levels (which would certainly be the simplest option!) but again, I want to take everyone's views into account, so please keep the discussion going -- I'm really glad that even after the huge discussion we've already had, people are still willing to take the time to put their views forward.

Online namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #56 on: May 29, 2020, 09:43:40 AM »
I definitely wouldn't say there's a critical need to include more. My comments were more "if more are going to be added, this is my input about which ones". Likewise, I don't recall any level standing out as particularly worthy of removal either, so adding would likely be either swapping one borderline case for another (which I'd say don't do; let the one that's already in win on "it's a hassle to change now, this level was the lucky one of the two" grounds), or increasing the total number (which I think is unnecessary, but not outright objectionable).

If expanding it, I'd be in favor of increasing the rank size rather than adding an extra rank. Adding an extra rank requires further discussion of how to spread the levels out between ranks; simply keeping the same overall order but changing the cutoff points could end up with rank starters / finishers that don't feel so appropriate for the position, etc.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 09:49:20 AM by namida »
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Online WillLem

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2020, 10:30:14 AM »
One possibility would be to have 6 ranks of 30, 180 in total, but again, that would require finding 20 new levels.

If any pack enlargement does take place, I'd suggest this would be the best way to do it as more & smaller ranks is better than fewer & larger.

since really we would then be making our own level inspired by the original, and that's beyond the scope of Redux.

To be fair, a lot of Redux levels seem to do exactly this by changing skillset, time limit, amount of lems, etc. For Oh No! It's the 4th Dimension!, for instance, simply increasing the save requirement would be enough to render this one less trivial.

Adding an extra rank requires further discussion of how to spread the levels out between ranks; simply keeping the same overall order but changing the cutoff points could end up with rank starters / finishers that don't feel so appropriate for the position, etc.

The simplest way around this would be to leave the start and last levels as they are for each rank, and it's possible that current members of the community may enjoy being part of the process of contributing to Redux.

I say all this without wishing to give the impression that I'm all for Redux being changed or expanded, but opening the pack up to the community once more (particularly now that it's bundled with NeoLemmix) and responding to feedback on what levels people would like to see included definitely seems like a positive thing to do. I'm communicating my thoughts in that spirit more than anything else.

Offline chrisleec728

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2020, 12:56:49 PM »
On the one hand "Bomboozal" has been reduced from Taxing to maybe Fun difficulty due to untimed bombers, which makes replacing "A task for bombers" with it an interesting idea at least (you've still got "bomb" in the title for one thing), but on the other hand "A task for bombers" is better known as a tutorial level, so I'm not sure what to lean towards. Just a couple thoughts of my own.

Offline Proxima

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #59 on: May 29, 2020, 05:22:07 PM »
If any pack enlargement does take place, I'd suggest this [6 x 30] would be the best way to do it as more & smaller ranks is better than fewer & larger.

Another possibility is 6 x 28 = 168, which only requires us to find eight new levels. Namida is right, though -- adding an extra rank would require a lot of restructuring work, so I'm reluctant to take that step unless it's really clear it's the best decision.

Quote
To be fair, a lot of Redux levels seem to do exactly this by changing skillset, time limit, amount of lems, etc.

I don't see those as comparable. Time limits were removed except where essential, because that's an established NeoLemmix convention and makes the pack feel more at home and less like an import of older content. Reducing the lemming counts similarly makes them feel more like NL levels (although that is less firmly established as a convention than removing time limits). Neither of these changes affects the solution to the level.

The only cases where we have changed the range of possible solutions were to fix backroutes, and only in really clear cases -- for instance, "The Great Lemming Caper" still has a variety of solutions, even though the intended solution is beautiful and uses a unique trick, because we felt that fixing the level to absolutely require this solution would be too much of a change from the original.

"Oh No! It's the 4th Dimension" is one case where we could consider a fix to make the level more interesting -- but it would also make it even more builder-heavy. I guess we'll see how the conversation goes regarding number of levels first of all, and if we do enlarge the pack, that one is a possibility. It's just not one that, right now, I regret not being included.

Quote
opening the pack up to the community once more (particularly now that it's bundled with NeoLemmix) and responding to feedback on what levels people would like to see included definitely seems like a positive thing to do. I'm communicating my thoughts in that spirit more than anything else.

That's why I'm asking for input now :P