Author Topic: Lemmings Redux [Easy-Medium]  (Read 58166 times)

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Offline WillLem

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #90 on: July 18, 2020, 12:31:24 AM »
I don't feel that overlapping hatches is a huge issue, and if the solution depends on it, it's probably best to go with overlapping. I would discourage it in new levels, but I have no issues with it appearing in older packs for compatibility reasons where necessary.

+1 for this - the second option is by far the best. I only suggested the 4 pixel displacement because it's a slightly more aesthetically pleasing solution to the "unfair overlapping hatches" thing (which, just to be clear, doesn't bother me in the slightest).

Dullstar and I are agreeing on loads of things these days! :lemcat: :crylaugh:

But I think we should just let the people vote on it and accept THEIR decision as this is a community of lemmings players. No one person should override that

I agree, but we can't ignore the fact that NeoLemmix is namida's baby, and so his opinion will ultimately have that bit more weight than pretty much anybody else's, whether intentionally or not.

I don't intend to outright block overlapping hatches, but should a "unfair content detection" feature become a reality in the future, expect overlapping hatches to be something it warns players about.

Maybe such a detection feature would solve all of these sorts of problems once and for all. Have we talked about this before...? Which thread was it in...?

There is no reason why levels from the official game should have a special rule seperate from any other NeoLemmix level.

I think the point is not that the levels being "official" makes any difference, but more the fact that the level already features a different spawning order prior to its inclusion in a NeoLemmix pack, and therefore the conversation needs to address whether said pack should keep, modify, or remove that particular feature of the level.

Offline namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #91 on: July 18, 2020, 12:51:54 AM »
Quote
I think the point is not that the levels being "official" makes any difference, but more the fact that the level already features a different spawning order prior to its inclusion in a NeoLemmix pack, and therefore the conversation needs to address whether said pack should keep, modify, or remove that particular feature of the level.

It is not a feature of the level. It's a feature of some of the engines the level was officially playable on. NeoLemmix does not have this feature. Even if it were hard-written into the level (eg. the actual DOS / Amiga LVL file contained the hidden entrance), I would still feel that removing or exposing the duplication would be an important part of the "NeoLemmix-isation" of the level. This level is not intimately reliant on the ABCB order (it can still be solved and remains a similar feel with ABCABC), and multiple proposals to retain the "middle spawns twice as often" without directly overlapping the windows have been put forward, so it cannot be argued that it is required for compatibility.

It is also, in my view, very contradictory that in all levels that already had hidden objects this pack goes out of its way to expose them, yet adds an entirely new hidden object in this one (which previously did not contain any hidden objects).

It should also be considered that an explicitly-specified custom window order is another feature that was specifically culled; partly due to lack of use but it would not have survived the "cull the unfair stuff" phase either way for these exact reasons.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 01:04:10 AM by namida »
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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #92 on: July 18, 2020, 01:25:06 AM »
Maybe such a detection feature would solve all of these sorts of problems once and for all. Have we talked about this before...? Which thread was it in...?

Here's the thread. It was started in response to a discussion of 3-hatch levels in NL conversions of the original levels, back when you were doing these conversions.

I note that you made a proposal then that hatches should have helper indications "A", "B", "C" etc to indicate order (presumably at the start of the level, at the same time the arrow for facing direction is displayed), which would not only solve the unfairness issue here, it would address the fact that hatch order is always hidden information when there are two or more hatches.

And no, an "unfair content detection" feature would not solve all these problems. Depending on how exactly the feature works, some authors would be okay with their content being flagged as unfair; others would say "Fine, you win, if this is going to throw up pop-ups whenever it's played then I'll just change it." In short, the likely end result is the same as if namida were to outright block release of any levels that don't meet his fairness standards -- which, yes, from one point of view would be a solution to the problem, but it's not the solution I want to see happen.

Offline WillLem

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #93 on: July 19, 2020, 12:52:39 AM »
It is not a feature of the level. It's a feature of some of the engines the level was officially playable on.

Ah, that chestnut. Fair enough: in that case, the level should probably spawn ABCABC, because that's what NL does. I'm keeping my vote as the second option though, because that is genuinely what I feel would be best, and I don't think overlapping entrances is unfair. It would be better if there a visible way to represent them, of course, and here are some suggestions (some of which I'm sure I've made previously):

1) Make overlapped entrance hatches a different/darker colour.
2) Have spawning indications in CPM
3) Include spawning number/order/number of hatches as panel info (this would take up more space on the panel, but frankly it could probably do with a bit of an overhaul anyway - I'm not pushing this as an idea though, because there have still yet to be decisions made regarding the menu thing!)
4) Invent a character called "Helper Cat" who pops up (in a similar way to the old Microsoft Office Paperclip dude) and lets the player know stuff they need to know about the level :lemcat:

I note that you made a proposal then that hatches should have helper indications "A", "B", "C" etc to indicate order (presumably at the start of the level, at the same time the arrow for facing direction is displayed), which would not only solve the unfairness issue here, it would address the fact that hatch order is always hidden information when there are two or more hatches.

Thanks for reminding me! And yes - that's a good point: in a multi-hatch level, there is currently no way to know which hatch will spawn first, not to mention the order.

For example: a level could have 27 hatches, none of which are overlapping, so it's technically "fair", but the player has no idea which hatch will spawn next until all 27 hatches have spawned. Granted, a level with this many hatches may well be skipped because it has so many hatches, but yes: maybe having a spawn-order-indicator would remove the unfairness of overlapping hatches whilst also informing the player of spawn order.

some authors would be okay with their content being flagged as unfair; others would say "Fine, you win"... the likely end result is the same as if namida were to outright block release of any levels that don't meet his fairness standards... it's not the solution I want to see happen.

Me neither, for sure. I'm in favour of freedom of expression for creators being preserved as much as possible.

Can you elaborate a bit more on why "unfair content detection" would result in the same scenario as outright banning of unfair content, please? I'm not sure how it would be the same... ???

Personally, I'm in favour of an "unfair content warning" system: it allows creators to make whatever levels they want, and players can simply skip any levels that feature a warning (if they want to). The benefits of this seem quite extensive: it means that players won't skip an entire pack because of one "unfair" level - they can just skip that level, as well as being a way to put an end to (or at least limit) the recurring conversations about whether levels should or should not contain controversial content.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 12:57:54 AM by WillLem »

Offline Dullstar

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #94 on: July 19, 2020, 02:01:32 AM »
Information request (since changing votes is possible anyway):

1) How, specifically, does the spawn order affect the solution in this level?

2) Which ports use ABCB and which ports use ABC?

Reasoning: As I said, I don't have a problem with using overlapping hatches to mimic ABCB ordering where it's necessary for compatibility reasons with older content. But if this ordering is a quirk of a specific port and the level is not intended to rely on it, that might change my opinion.

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #95 on: July 19, 2020, 11:26:26 AM »
Can you elaborate a bit more

Sure, but I'll post in the other topic because this is moving away from the subject of Redux specifically.

1) How, specifically, does the spawn order affect the solution in this level?

2) Which ports use ABCB and which ports use ABC?

I've attached both versions so you can try them out. The general route is the same (build to land on the small pillars, then build to link them with each other and the exit) but the timing of the lemmings reaching danger is different.

I haven't played any ports of ONML other than the Mac, so my information is limited here, but I believe that the original (Amiga and DOS) game has ABCB order, the Mac version does, and I'm not aware of any that use ABC order. Namida has pointed out some ports of original Lemmings that do, but ONML had fewer versions in the first place.

Offline namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #96 on: July 19, 2020, 08:38:16 PM »
From what I recall, Win95 / PS1, as well as any DOS versions that also have the higher fall distance bug, will have the ABCABC order on that level.

With all this being said, I'll stress my point isn't "let's go by what Version B does instead of what Version A" does, and even "official ports don't agree" is really more of a footnote.

My biggest reasoning is: NeoLemmix uses an ABCABC order for three entrances, always. This may not have been true in the past - but the feature that allowed for a different order was specifically culled. Therefore, if a player sees three entrances, while they currently would have to specifically let the game run in order to see which order the three spawn in, they should be able to assume that once the third lemming's out, they won't be caught out by a hidden 4th one. Doubly so when the major selling point of the pack is that it specifically adapts the levels to NeoLemmix. It just makes no sense that, while exposing every other hidden object, and otherwise bringing levels up to NL standards where they don't already meet them; in the case of this one level, steps are specifically being taken to take it away from NL standards.

(In hindsight, I should have avoided all this by adopting a Master System / L3D -like means of handling multiple entrances - in these games, all entrances spawn simultaneously - but it's far too late for that now, the damage to existing content would be way too severe.)
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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #97 on: July 19, 2020, 09:14:46 PM »
I see what you're saying, but in a pack where the aim is to make decisions on community consensus, it's hard to go against two votes that have both clearly favoured a different option. Also:

My biggest reasoning is: NeoLemmix uses an ABCABC order for three entrances, always.

That isn't really true. NL uses ABCABC order for three entrances unless there are stacked hatches to enforce a different order. And stacking hatches to enforce a desired order (or just to have more lemmings come out of one hatch than the other) has a long history, and there will be a lot of examples in older content that should eventually be ported to NL, since it's desirable to port as much older content as possible so that it doesn't have to be played on obsolete engines. (There may also be examples among content created in the NL era, although the only one I know of is "Tame Gone Wild", which is not a shining example, as the use there is very trollish.)

It's true that when porting older content, we could remove stacked hatches, maybe making whatever concomitant changes are necessary (as we did on "Triple Trouble", for example). But at the moment, there doesn't seem to be much reason why we should do this, since there does not seem to be a community consensus that stacking hatches is always unfair. This may change as debate on the issue continues.

So, I think what I'll do for now is end the current vote and move on to a vote for level inclusion. Who knows, we might still end up dropping Havoc 12 as a result of this vote :P

For the record, these are the standings of the Havoc 12 vote:
* Three hatches, ABCABC order: 3
* Duplicate the middle hatch without moving it: 6
* Duplicate the middle hatch and separate them: 1

Offline namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #98 on: July 19, 2020, 09:52:07 PM »
Quote
NL uses ABCABC order for three entrances unless there are stacked hatches to enforce a different order.

Incorrect. NL does not have any special handling for when multiple entrances overlap. What you are describing is a four-entrance level, which (as all four-entrance levels in NL do) has an ABCDABCD spawn order, with one of the entrances hidden behind another; not a three-entrance level.

Quote
there does not seem to be a community consensus that stacking hatches is always unfair.

There is consensus that hiding objects is unfair. I don't see why hatches specifically need their own seperate consensus from everything else.

Would you consider it fair to overlap multiple traps, so that it's harder / impossible to slip lemmings through via compression even though visually it looks like that's an option? Or to overlay multiple pickups so that the fact that the player gets more than the displayed count (and/or some other skills as well as the displayed one) is fair? I do not see any logic by which overlapping multiple hatches is different.

I could see an argument that exits (provided they don't have a lemming limit), water, etc are fair to overlap - because it makes no physics difference (though it could result in some minor graphical oddities - but not severe enough to obscure what's what, generally). However, for obvious reasons, they are also very pointless to overlap.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 10:04:53 PM by namida »
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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #99 on: July 19, 2020, 10:01:27 PM »
The vote result shows that a decent number of people are willing to accept stacked hatches. You can ask why if you like (although please let's move the general debate out of the Redux thread) but that just seems to be how things are at the moment.

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #100 on: July 19, 2020, 11:56:10 PM »
Anyway, shelving this for now, let's get back to whether or not to (slightly) expand the pack. I've thought a bit more about this, and I think the best way to move forward would be to vote on the levels first, and then have a vote to make a decision on including more levels once we have a clearer picture of which levels we're seriously considering.

Please read carefully before voting: For this vote, I'd like everyone to imagine we're back in the early phase of putting the pack together, when we narrowed the selection of levels down by considering whether each one was worthy of being included, before we had very much idea of the total number of levels we would end up with.

So, I'd like you to vote yes/no on whether each level would be on your shortlist, and we'll see how things look once we have a decent number of votes. Also, if there's any other level you'd like to consider that hasn't been mentioned yet, feel free to bring it up -- this is the absolutely last chance to include any other levels in the pack.

Offline namida

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #101 on: July 20, 2020, 01:47:58 AM »
For me - Taxing 16, Taxing 18 and Mayhem 2 are all candidates. Mayhem 2 is the clear favorite of the three for me; I'm not sure which way around the other two would be.

Taxing 24 is somewhat interesting, and was borderline as to whether or not I selected it. Eventually it came down to - I'd rather not contribute to it distracting from three far better candidates here. I certainly wouldn't object to it though, I just don't see it as worth actively supporting. If it were included, it would need to be much closer to the start of the pack than it was in Orig, though. I think I would have thought similarly during the initial phase too, if we were conducting that now - that it's not a level that's a bad fit per se, but there's simply too many levels that are far better that I'd think it was a distraction, if that makes sense?

Wicked 4 I'm pretty neutral on. It's one of those "not particularly noticable, but that includes not noticable in a bad way" levels for me.

I personally don't think either Taxing 3 or Taxing 11 should be considered. However, I'd even more strongly say that if they are being considered, it should be on a "one or the other, not both" basis - and in such a case my preference would be Taxing 11, because it at least adds a little bit of extra stuff to do rather than purely just "build, build, build, don't run out of time". (And for Taxing 11, it could also be considered viable to remove the time limit; whereas I can't see that going down well for Taxing 3.) I would object to both, Taxing 3 a bit more so than 11, but not super strongly.

Which brings us to Mayhem 1, which is the only one on this list that I strongly oppose. The slightly interesting start and end do not make up for the tedious builderfest that comes inbetween, even when looked at only as a single level (rather than in comparison to several better candidates). A cut down version would be okay, but still not a particularly strong candidate - but the required cutting down would go far beyond what's generally being considered acceptable for Redux.
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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #102 on: July 20, 2020, 02:14:00 AM »
I appreciate that the current vote is a bit simplistic in that it only allows saying yes or no, and not yes / neutral / strongly oppose, but I won't make any inclusion decisions just on the basis of this vote -- this one is mainly to see if we can eliminate some of the contenders from consideration, whether there are any that have particularly strong support, and whether there's enough overall support for additional levels to make it worth while continuing this line of inquiry at all.

Offline mobius

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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #103 on: July 20, 2020, 09:21:42 PM »
Steel Works only if the latter portion is significantly altered. (that is removing the entire build up to the exit in the tight corridor and danger of running out of builders in that way). Even if the exit was just on the bottom beyond the pool; it would be easier but significantly more fun.
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Re: Lemmings Redux
« Reply #104 on: July 20, 2020, 09:40:29 PM »
Conversely, I think the build up to the exit is the most interesting part of "Steel Works" and the main reason for even considering it. The middle section is just straightforward building; the first part is quite interesting but there are plenty of other levels where the main challenge is to make a landing platform under a splat fall.

That said, with six votes so far and none in favour of "Steel Works", it's safe to say it will be bowing out at this stage. "Heaven can wait (we hope)" is in the same boat.